The Lower Your Expectations, The More Successful Online Dating Will Be For You

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Furiousbaddate2

Comment: Moxie I’m at the end of my tether. I’ve just come off a dating site having had a 4 month stint. I decided the calibre of men on this site wasn’t for me and I would rather be pursued in person. I had 3 good dates with 3 separate men. I am a pretty girl so I get inundated with messages about my looks but I have insecurities about my weight (UK size 12-14) which is why I felt the need to sign up (I’m working on these). Note: my photos are all about good angles and I’m clear my body type is average not slim. My issue is therefore not getting asked out but actually that men never follow through with it and I’m sick of it. :( In these 4 months I have had maybe a dozen exchanges with men who I want to meet who set a date with me and never follow through and it leaves me feeling powerless. Perfect example would have been yesterday evening when I should have been on a date with a handsome guy, my age in my industry but I didn’t hear from him since Monday when he referenced the date!
What am I doing wrong? All I want to do is send him a sarcastic message saying “thanks for the date!”
Age: 27
City: London
State: London

I’m not sure what you mean when you say that your photos are all about good angles.

Are these men asking for additional photos? If so, that’s a sign that the pictures you have don’t present your body in a way so as someone can gauge whether or not you’re their preferred body type. It could also indicate that you don’t look relatively similar in the photos you have posted. Meaning, you may look noticeably slimmer in some pictures than others. So I would get a few friends to look at your photos and ask them if they’re accurate.  Avoid pictures of you sitting down. They should be shots of you standing up, facing the camera, unobstructed. See that photo below? And the one of me here? (And before anybody yells “Photoshop!”..Other than a line across the front of the dress that was erased, nothing else was touched.) Like you said, it’s all about the angles, but in these two cases, what’s being shown off and featured are our curves. Don’t hide them. Show them off. If you look like you’re twisting yourself into a pretzel just to look more attractive, guys are going to sense your discomfort with your body. It is what it is. So present it confidently.

You and I have similar body types.  For those of you who hear “Size 12″ and think, “Ermergard so fat!” this is an example:



I defy any man to say that body isn’t attractive. Of course, there will be some. And that’s okay. I happen to believe that our body type is more attractive to some men than they are willing to admit. As I mentioned recently, there’s status involved with dating someone who is considered conventionally attractive. Just like some women won’t be seen with a short guy because she fears people will assume she’s desperate, so are there men who exclusively date conventionally slender women for the same reason. God forbid they show up at their reunion or company picnic with a fattie. What will the partners and all of their Facebook friends think?

The other thing that is unclear is what is transpiring during these conversations with these men when you set up the date. Are you making plans and then going radio silent? If so, take the initiative and follow up with them a day before the set date and confirm. Are you just saying, “Hey, we should meet for a drink?” and they’re agreeing but not making any more effort? Well, then there’s your answer. In those cases, just walk away. You don’t want to go out with someone who doesn’t show genuine interest in meeting.

If someone suggests you take things off line, you have to be proactive. Don’t just accept the invitation. Respond and say that you’d love to meet up and then suggest a couple of nights. Then settle on a time and place to meet and tell the person you’ll follow up the day before to re-confirm. A lot can go down in four days when you’re dating online. That’s how fast things move. You can not sit back and wait for the other person to make a move. Online dating requires a certain level of assertiveness. Forget about worrying if you seem like you’re chasing them. If they’re interested enough, they won’t care. The ones who were lukewarm about you will back away, and thank god for that. You don’t need them.

If this keeps happening to you, then I think that might be a sign that you’re going for guys who aren’t all that interested, for whatever reason. The smart thing to do when it comes to online dating is to avoid anybody who doesn’t look like they’ve made a concerted effort to present themselves well. Basically, avoid all the half-assers. I’m talking about the people with a barely filled out profile or who have only posted one or two photos. This is where knowing your audience is crucial. That all of these guys keep flaking definitely raises an eyebrow. Also interesting is that you referred to the most recent guy as “handsome.” That’s not necessarily a huge tell, but combined with the flaking it makes me think you’re going for guys with a lot of options and they are merely entertaining you for the moment. So my other suggestion is to aim a little lower.

Yeah, I know. That sounds like I’m telling you to settle, and I suppose I am to some degree. Online dating simply isn’t something you utilize to find your Dream Man. Matt Bomer or Mark Ruffalo look a likes aren’t likely to be on a dating site or app, and if they are it’s unlikely they’re there looking for Ms. Right.

As depressing as this sounds, the lower your expectations are the more success you’ll have with online dating.

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83 Responses to “The Lower Your Expectations, The More Successful Online Dating Will Be For You”

  1. Ishtar Says:

    UK size 12 is perfectly average. The size and weight things are totally bonkers, people honestly have no idea what different weights look like on different people. They seem a number and they think it’s huuuuge when in fact it’s much less than they think it is.

    • HammersAndNails Says:

      5’8 is a perfectly average male height. Does that mean women get excited about it? Of course not.

      And angle shots are a huge red flag. You might catch a few guys who are brand new to the internet but the rest of us know what you are up to and we respect you less for it.

      Any picture online that I can’t see clearly what’s really going on, I just assume ill hate it, and that you clearly hate it. When in doubt, it’s likely close to the worst case scenario.

      You are aiming out of your league.

      • Ishtar Says:

        5’8″ sounds perfectly alright to me. I actually don’t even know how to visualise it since I don’t really understand feet and inches that well. I just know it sounds like an awful lot since I’m short. I don’t feel attracted to overly tall guys since I don’t like being on elbow height with somebody. No, I can’t name you any numbers. Because, you know, I don’t think of people on a numbers level. I just know whether I am attracted to them or not when I look at them.

        I have no idea what “most women” want. You know, since nobody made me the representative of women (regrettably). Some women are no doubt fixated on height. Some women don’t care at all. See how that works?

        • HammersAndNails Says:

          I see how it works all the time. some people don’t care if a partner has all their teeth. Getting to be choosy is a luxury for those that can afford it. You may be choosy about other things. If you aren’t choosy about much, it’s almost always because you can’t afford to be.

          Maybe where you are women are not into height, but I’m guessing there are still some very obvious things which make some men sought after and others undesirable, which have little to do with a man’s character. There is nothing wrong with this.

          BTW, in America even most short women want guys 180cm+. 5’8 is 172cm. Not short, just averageish here.

          • Ishtar Says:

            I find it amusing that on the one hand you complain that women don’t want anyone under 180 cm and yet you say that women who don’t have as many requirements are the ones with no options. Which means you don’t want them.

            My current guy is 174 cm, for what it’s worth, which is perfect for me.

            I don’t know if having superficial requirements indicates plenty of options. Some people are just lacking in self-awareness.

            • ATWYSingle Says:

              Can we please drop the height vs. weight topic? Nobody cares.

              • Furious Says:

                Yes, back to me. :)

                First thanks for replying. Second, when I say all about angles I mean I still have pictures of my figure but I upload the pictures where I look slimmer. I’ve never been asked for more photos and I get very complimentary comments about my pictures. I would also not hesitate to give out my Instagram details if someone thought I was a fake (which I’ve also had before).

                HammerAndNails it’s easy for you to say I’m aiming out of my league when you don’t know what I look like.

                I think you’re right Moxie, I need to lower my expectations if I want to be successful at online dating. But then I don’t think that’s what I want. I want to find the dream man and if that means going out into the real world then I’m heading to the gym, building my confidence so that I love my body and hoping he finds me soon.

                • ATWYSingle Says:

                  Second, when I say all about angles I mean I still have pictures of my figure but I upload the pictures where I look slimmer.

                  That’s actually counter-intuitive. If the photos aren’t accurate then you’re going to end up with a lot of first dates that go no where and a lot of disappointed guys. Guys know the tricks. They also understand angles. You’re not fooling anybody by posting pics taken at a good angle. This is probably why a lot of these guys are flaking; they don’t know what you actually look like and aren’t going to make the effort to meet you because of that.

                  • Greg Figueroa Says:

                    Also, I don’t know what option the OP picked for her weight, but if a guy sees curvy or full figured selected, it will give him pause, if weight is an issue for him.

                • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                  “it’s easy for you to say I’m aiming out of my league when you don’t know what I look like.”

                  Right, and it’s also easy for you to deny it under cloak of anonymity and ignore good advice. I’ve gotten into this with people before too. “Shooting out of your league” is a phenomenon that has certain characteristics many of which can be objectively observed. It’s not exclusive to any one group. You can be shooting out of your league even if you’re a supermodel, because it’s by definition relative. Experienced people recognize the signs; fact is, most of the time it’s a pretty good explanation for the non-problems many people seem to suffer from around here.

                • ATWYSingle Says:

                  You’re sort of contradiction yourself, Furious. You’re disagreeing with Hammers when he says you’re shooting out of your league, but you’re agreeing with me when I suggest lower your aim. He and I are saying the same thing.

                  I’ll also say that size 12 is not unattractive. In fact, the men who have reacted the most positively to my body are British guys. So, I think you might be going for the upper 10% Guys, the hot ones. I think that’s you’re problem. Those guys are only going to end up with other upper 10% percenters.

            • HammersAndNails Says:

              We could talk about money, or whatever other measure you please.

              I’m not mad. I’m tall. :)

    • Yvonne Says:

      I think you are kinda joking, but for me this is useful info. Someone who doesn’t seem eager and doesn’t make firm plans to meet is automatically moved to the back burner. And when I meet someone I’m not that excited about, I usually end up disappointed.

      On the subject of weight, a UK size 12-14 is US size 10-12, I believe. Unless, you are short, I can’t imagine that would make a woman appear fat. Seems like perfectly average weight to me.

      • Yvonne Says:

        Sorry, first paragraph was in response to B-Robin: “My expectations are so low that sometimes I don’t bother confirming, just show up and *almost* hope they don’t come. “

    • KK Says:

      Except that, while a UK size 12 is perfectly average, it is not the same as a US size 12. Isn’t a UK size 12 equivalent to a US size 6 or 8?

  2. BTownGirl Says:

    I have three words for you, Furious:

    Christina. F-ing. Hendricks.

  3. Ben Iyyar Says:

    When I was first dating, I often judged my dates in terms of how they met my standards, as if these women had some duty to satisfy me, and if they failed, then I dropped them because I had to find the “perfect woman.”
    As if I was the “perfect man!” No. I had my own faults and inadequacies and it wasn’t as if I had some really outstanding future awaiting me. No, I was a 23 year old college graduate and Viet Nam War veteran with no discernible job prospects who was making a living from job to job. Not the best husband material you would admit.
    However, this did teach me an important lesson about myself and others. I know many of us consider ourselves to be very attractive and worth being with, and we expect our dates to appreciate us and be attracted to us. All of which is fine, so long as we remember that this is precisely how our dates feel. That we should appreciate them and find them attractive!

    • Furious Says:

      But this is implying I didn’t match up AFTER I’d met them. The issue here is that they are asking me out but not following through with their offer.

      • Greg Figueroa Says:

        I don’t know if I missed it, but what happened to the 3 good dates with three guys, no follow up there?

        • Furious Says:

          Interestingly or not of these 3 good dates, all followed up to say they had a good time…one disappeared, two wanted second dates and I disappeared but it was because of a lack of chemistry not a hard and fast decision based on their looks.

          • PwdrPuff Says:

            If you weren’t put off by their looks or personality and you deemed these 1st dates as successful, then pray tell, why didn’t you give these two guys a chance?

            Hopefully your expectations are realistic, and aren’t strictly led by a love a first sight or fireworks fantasy. Life isn’t a movie, and you might not know right away that there’s chemistry. This instant chemistry you are seeking, makes me think that you are looking predominately at the surface, and maybe shooting a bit out of your league (physically or otherwise).

            I say use your intuition in setting up and accepting dates, and give it more of a chance for something to develop if everything is pretty decent at the beginning. Chemistry is not always apparent with just an hour or two conversation, let alone a little lip action.

      • Julie Says:

        “The issue here is that they are asking me out but not following through with their offer.”

        Welcome dating. And its not online dating, its dating in general. This includes short attention spans and a constant quest to both try to do better and not be left without a date.

        This causes otherwise perfectly reasonable guys to initiate contact, make vague plans to go out and then disappear….or worse yet, resurface several months later with some lame excuse and ask you out again.

        This also causes otherwise perfectly nice and resonable women to make vague promises of future dates only to disappear never to be heard from again….or worse yet, reappear several months later “just to say high” and try to prompt the guy into asking her out.

  4. Speedy Says:

    It might not even be anything very complicated. When making plans how serious about turning up do you sound? Some online daters take this moment as the perfect opportunity to regain what you lose from the very act of online dating, its like a bounceback reflex thing. All of a sudden, having put yourself out there and agreed to something in principle, we’re ‘mysterious’ and ‘hard to get’ at the last minute. I can see the thought process there, its trying to renormalise the whole thing into a sort of courtship. But in reality this tends to read as likely to flake and so we move on, nobody else likes being stood up either.

  5. Nicole Says:

    Lowering your expectations about the online dating experience is good advice – and it’s not the same thing as resigning yourself to settling for a partner who’s not what you want. It’s just recognizing that the vast majority of people online aren’t going to be your true love or even your next hook up. You can accept that and still keep looking for the rare matches that do turn into something great.

    I have said before, I went out on one actual first date for every 100 or so messages I received online. I could look at that statistic and complain about all the guys who faded or just wanted to send dirty pics, or I can say, hey, that was still lots of first dates I wouldn’t have had otherwise. Of the dozens of guys I met in person, only 2 turned into long term relationships. Again, I could get pissed about all the time I wasted. But I’d rather focus on the fact that I did eventually meet amazing people, and now I’m with a guy who’s so perfect for me I still can’t believe it.

    Let go of the idea that every guy who messages you or even meets you is going to be important – online dating is full of flakes and time wasters. If you’re getting lots of messages, just keep playing the numbers, and don’t get wrapped up in any one guy until you’ve at least had a real life date or two.

    (Oh, and on the pictures… The guys who are good matches for you would still be interested if your pictures were straight on, honest, full body shots. In fact they might be MORE interested, because they would see that you have confidence in yourself and your body. Funny angles etc just says you are uncomfortable with your size and will probably only want to have sex under a blanket in the dark.)

  6. Furious Says:

    I really wish I hadn’t made the comment about my photos. It’s confusing the issue. I really don’t think it’s the reasons guys are asking me out for a first date and then not following through with it. Speedy and Nicole seem to be on the same page here. It’s not about being in or out of any leagues. Once I’m on the dates we have a great time. It’s not that I’m a disappointment or not living up to any expectations. There’s no issue there. My issue is with the guys who are suggesting dates and then never following through. That surely isn’t impacted by whether you’re in someone’s league or not. If they’re asking, why aren’t they following through with it? So I’ll take from this the notion that 1. online dating is a numbers game and 2. maybe I’ve had too high expectations with regards to them confirming details of the date when actually I could have followed up and firmed up plans with them myself.

    • bbdawg Says:

      Can you be more specific? I don’t understand this. If someone asks me out it’s a back and forth until we find the right day/location. A couple of messages does it. How is this worded? How is this dialogue? If you are having such a hard time, maybe it’s something you say or imply? How do you reply to a man when he “suggests” dates? Are you high maintenance (i.e. suggesting expensive restaurants/bars)? Do you get back to them with a day and neighborhood?

      Men who aren’t specific re: meeting aren’t serious. That might be a low-balling offer to see how “flexible” you are. Maybe they want hookups and you want “dates”? Are you princessy? In which case it sounds like you might come across as high maintenance or not worth the effort? Sorry it can’t just be about the man if this happens so often. I wonder what YOU are doing to cause this to happen.

      • Furious Says:

        First of all I really appreciate all these replies. At the end of the day I came on here to get this feedback so thank you.

        To be more specific is to say there were two occasions that were remarkably similar in that the guy will say “are you free Friday? I want to take you to xxx.” I’ll agree, there will be a further message either the same day or the day after where he’ll say he’s looking forward to it and then perhaps 3 or 4 days will pass where I won’t hear from him and I won’t follow up either. Only because I’ve always assumed that by following up I am showing too much interest. By the presence of these comments, apparently I was very wrong…

        In my defense though, I’ve never made demands about where we go and I am too polite to say if I didn’t like something.

        • Dan Says:

          This sounds pretty straight forward to me: you are making a big deal out of flakes. Don’t waste your time analyzing this.

      • Julie Says:

        Its not always like that. In a densely populated area like nyc (or london), there is so much activity on the dating sites that a lukewarm man or woman can easily lose interest mid conversation even in the middle of planning a date. Happens all the time.

        You cant take anything that happens before you meet seriously or personally.

        Flaking is proportionate to the population density. Want follow through, move to a small farming community.

    • Fyodor Says:

      “I really wish I hadn’t made the comment about my photos. It’s confusing the issue. I really don’t think it’s the reasons guys are asking me out for a first date and then not following through with it. Speedy and Nicole seem to be on the same page here. It’s not about being in or out of any leagues. Once I’m on the dates we have a great time. It’s not that I’m a disappointment or not living up to any expectations. There’s no issue there. My issue is with the guys who are suggesting dates and then never following through. That surely isn’t impacted by whether you’re in someone’s league or not. If they’re asking, why aren’t they following through with it?”

      Because they’re not that interested and they make plans with other women or find something more interesting to do with their time. Because they like the validation of having you show interest and/or the advantage of having you on the hook as a backup plan.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        Fyodor is probably right, although the “why”s shouldn’t really matter. It’s frustrating, but flakes make up the majority of everybody’s online dating experience. You need to quickly move on from these experiences or you’ll quickly be debilitated by discouragement.

        “Lower expectations” means being pleasantly surprised when someone you meet is *not* a flake. Nicole makes a great point that “lowered expectations” thing doesn’t mean settling for crap, just being a realist about what you’ll actually find and how much work it can be to meet someone worthwhile.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      I really wish I hadn’t made the comment about my photos. It’s confusing the issue.

      It really isn’t. You’re communicating with men who aren’t all that interested to begin with. That’s why they’re flaking. Part of that reason they’re on the fence is your photos. Yes, this is an issue of leagues. You’re going for men who aren’t sure if they find you attractive instead of going for men who confidently believe you’re attractive. The men in the former category can be that choosey because they know they can get someone more conventionally attractive. It is both a league and photo issue.

      The fact that you even brought up both your photos and your weight means you know those two things are challenges for you.

      • Furious Says:

        But how do you know they’re already doubtful before they’ve met me? I really wish you would look at my Instagram so you could be an honest judge whether this is true or not. I really believe the photos can only be an issue after they’ve met you when they judge whether or not you match your photos. I totally agree that my weight is an issue for me but my concern has always been when they meet me for the first time what they will think. It’s a separate issue to these men who are 1. contacting me because they like my pictures. 2. Suggesting to meet on a specified date and in a place and 3. then disappearing.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          Because they flaked on you. That’s how I know. That and I’m an average looking woman who uses online dating and don’t have trouble wrapping my brain around the concept that not every guy that contacts me is genuinely interested in me and that guys will shower a woman with compliments in order to grease the wheels. I know my audience. I know what I can pull. I accept it. I know when I’m batting out of my league. Stop swimming against the tide.

    • Nicole Says:

      “My issue is with the guys who are suggesting dates and then never following through. That surely isn’t impacted by whether you’re in someone’s league or not.”

      Actually, it is. The thing with online dating is that it takes almost zero effort for a guy to ask you out – he can be messaging with ten different women, ask them all to dinner on the same night, and then just pick which of the women who accepted he’d actually like to meet. That’s an extreme example, obviously. But some guys totally play the numbers game online. They ask you out even if they’re only marginally interested, just to keep you as an option.

      “If they’re asking, why aren’t they following through with it?”

      Because they found a better option. That doesn’t necessarily mean prettier or skinnier – it could just as easily be a woman who seemed more enthusiastic about meeting them.

      A guy who is truly interested will not just ask you out, he’ll check in regularly, confirm the date, and show up. It sounds like you are getting asked out by a lot of guys who are on the fence and just want to have you as a back up plan if nothing more exciting comes along. It *could* be that you’re shooting out of you’re league… but it could also be that you’re giving off a not-that-interested vibe by expecting to be “pursued”. I’d definitely follow Moxie’s advice to be more enthusiastic and proactive if you decide to keep dating online.

    • maria Says:

      a lot of times, unfortunately to avoid looking like jerks, guys say “let’s do this again sometime” even if they have zero intentions of doing so. Hell, I have done that myself but I try really hard not to do that.
      Is that what you mean is happening? Or do they truly ask you out later, ask what day you are free and not follow through. the distinction is very important. I don’t trust anything anybody says until the date is set. I take zero stock in “let’s do this again sometime” as, to be honest, that usually means they have no interest in seeing you again. Since you do seem to get some real offers for dates, I doubt the issue is your pictures. Sometimes, there is no issue. Sometimes the guy you feel a spark with doesn’t feel the spark back. I have definitely chilled out with the whole spark and chemistry thing after the first date. Unless the guy was rude and off putting or repulsive and looked nothing like his photos, I’ll go on another date. One date is usually not enough.

      Moxie is always right about this one thing thing–it is a numbers game. Please don’t expect to go on a couple of dates and find “the one” sometimes you just really have to date a lot, with no results. and I think while there is some merit to this whole “leagues” thing for sure, I won’t jump on that bandwagon because I don’t know what you look like, what your personality/profile is like etc and I don’t know what the guys you are dating are like. Just keep at it, and try to keep an open mind with the guys who do show interest in you.

      • Furious Says:

        Thank you! I discussed the issue with girls at work today and they agree that how can the issue be the photos if the photos are the actual thing getting the date invites in the first place. I can’t get over the fact people at making all these assumptions about my looks without knowing what I look like. For the record, I saw an ad on my Facebook for an invite only dating club for and to apply you submit photos and a brief description of your job and your favourite restaurants and bars and guess what…I got accepted.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaatttttt? A for profit business accepted your money? You’re right! You must be GORGEOUS.

          That means nothing. All it means is that you’re not totally unfortunate looking and have a credit card. And what a surprise that the gals in your office all disagreed with what was said here.

          Nobody said you weren’t attractive. We said you were average looking like most people. There’s a difference. You don’t seem to be getting that guys aren’t as discerning about looks when they’re low on options.

          • Furious Says:

            To quote one of your earlier replies where you referred to yourself as an average looking woman. I would say I’m better looking than you. That’s not me being rude, it’s my opinion. So no I don’t agree I’m average looking.

            • ATWYSingle Says:

              Too bad you don’t get to decide what men find attractive. If you did, you wouldn’t have written this letter in the first place.

            • bbdawg Says:

              Maybe your high opinion of yourself is what is preventing men from liking you enough to follow through. Men will take attitude only from extremely attractive, 1%-er type of women. Like maybe if you’re Kate Upton or something. If you’re not, you’re not.

              It’s not about how you see yourself. It’s about the fact that no matter how you see yourself, you’re not getting what you want. If you were as hot as you think you are, you would not be online, would you? I mean your mailbox would be just fill up in 2-3 days.

              • Furious Says:

                Because I didn’t agree that my photos are the reason guys are asking me out and then not following through I suddenly am someone who rates myself too highly? Yet I clearly highlighted I have insecurities about my weight in my initial message? I actually think that’s called having good perspective.

                Besides I would rather be regarded as having a high opinion of myself than walking round thinking I’m “average looking” isn’t that a lesson in self esteem? How sad if we started teaching young girls at school to look in the mirror and say to themselves “I’m average looking and should settle for ok things” rather than look in the mirror and say “I’m beautiful and deserve the best.”

                Yes I wrote a post here to get advice and feedback but the most helpful replies have been from people who realize this is bigger than a photo issue.

                At the end of the day this whole blog is subjective. There are no right answers and no one has to agree with the responses given and I’m absolutely okay with that. If anything, writing this whole post has given me a confidence boost, shown me online dating is not for me and given me hope that by not settling I will find something great.

                Good luck to ya’ll.

                • Snowflake Says:

                  Furious.. you aren’t listening to Moxie..and when I say this I mean this in the most honest way… I’ve done what those guys have done to you.. because of the reasons Moxie has stated… their pics looked probably deceiving.. i was on the fence about the guys.. i say yes.. and then bail/fade/ghost… shoot me if that is “bad/wrong”… just stop for a second and just listen to what the majority are saying…

                  Change how your pics are, just give it a try.. put up honest and true to who you look like in person, pics, what do you have to lose by trying this…? Let’s say its to prove us nay-sayers wrong.. and see what happens…

                • ATWYSingle Says:

                  You’re right. It’s not just an issue of your photos that is causing these men to flake. It’s also an issue of you not knowing and accepting your audience. You’re taking the word “average” and interpreting it to mean “unattractive.” Average in this context means where you fall on the scale as compared to everybody else. 80% of dating sites are full of average looking people.

                  You are also refusing to accept that attraction and beauty and all that is subjective. Good for you that you think you’re more attractive than and rate yourself as compared to other women. That in and of itself demonstrates that you don’t understand the concept of attraction. What men consider attractive and what women consider attractive are different.

                  Finally, you seem resistant to the idea that a guy can express interest yet not truly be interested in you. If these men truly wanted to meet you or even had a modest level of genuine interest, they wouldn’t be flaking on plans. It’s that simple. That this consistently happens to you supports the theory that you are communicating with men with limited interest in you, i.e. men out of your league.

                  Bottom line? You may be considered beautiful amongst female peers, but that doesn’t mean men feel the same way.

                • D. Says:

                  Besides I would rather be regarded as having a high opinion of myself than walking round thinking I’m “average looking” isn’t that a lesson in self esteem?

                  That actually misses the point on self esteem. Self esteem isn’t about saying “I’m beautiful” or “I’m average.” Real self esteem is about accepting who you are and actually liking it.

                  Moxie’s point on people being average is that most people are average. That doesn’t mean they look good or bad. It just means they look about as good as the majority of other folks out there.

                  A person with self esteem looks at that and thinks “Cool. That’s good enough for me to work with.” A person who lacks self esteem is uncomfortable with the notion of being average looking, and struggles against it. The distinguishing factor isn’t what you look like, but rather how you feel about that fact.

                • HammersAndNails Says:

                  Sigh… And why, exactly, do you deserve the best?

                  Do you look like a Victoria secret model? Are you the most talented lover in the world? The best Cook in the world? What are you bringing to the table that earns you the right to expect the Best?

                  Everyone can’t have the best. That everyone almost certainly includes you. Can you get great? Sure. The best? Probably not. Grow up.

                • mindstar Says:

                  I predict a long and lonely life for Furious.

                  • Furious Says:

                    I love the recent replies, they reveal far more about you than they do about me…they are all judgmental, negative and completely unhelpful…you’ve just come on here to belittle me…and you tell me to grow up. I assume you’re all happily married and have had a string of perfect relationships and so your advice is golden.

                    • Fyodor Says:

                      I will try to come at it a different way, in a final attempt to get through to you and because the comments have been diverted.

                      It sounds like you are specifically picking very attractive and high value/popularity men. Your comments on holding out for your “dream” man, not lowering your expectations, and your canceled date with a handsome man in your field suggest to me that this is so.

                      These men have a lot of options and often will flake when better options come along. They will only make a high effort with very attractive women, which you may not be.

                      When people talk about your looks, the point isn’t to say that you are ugly or not pretty. It’s to say that you might not be so special as to really be able to get significant interest men you are limiting yourself to. That doesn’t mean that you will be unloved or that you aren’t appealing to someone.

                      This may seem counterintuitve because you are thinking of your own model where you are superselective about who you will express initial interest in, but then want to go out on dates. That’s not how some men operate. They’ll express interest in someone who they think of as “meh” for the purpose of validating their egos or getting laid and then drop them when they get bored or something better comes along (many very attractive women operate this way too at least for the ego validation part).

                      Getting flaked on four times in a row is kind of a crazy outlier and should be a warning to you that you are not making good selections.

                      Getting a “dream man” is not something the universe owes you and not something that most people can pull off. The fact that you are having this trouble suggests that you may not be a good fit for the “dream men” you are selecting. It may be that you have to live with the unbearable indignity of dating someone who is only OK looking or not that successful. You will endure and perhaps write a popular but sulky piece about your trials and tribulations for XOJane or Jezebel.

                  • AAORK Says:

                    Totally agreed.

                • Julie Says:

                  Isnt thinking that the problem is with all of those tens of millions of men on online dating sites and not you kind of just a little bit delusional?

                  Have you ever bumped into a casual friend on the street and said someting to her like “Its great to see you. We should get coffee some time and catch up.” But than you never follow through on that proposition. Think about why you did that because…..ok….these guys are doing exactly the same thing for exactly the same reason. Essentially, it seems like a good idea at the time but by the next day they lost interest in getting together or forgot about you.

                  Rather than blaming the entire online population, its worth asking yourself why you are so easily forgotten.

    • KK Says:

      I think the reason why so many guys are asking you out and not following through is mostly just because…that’s how it is right now. I once had two dates lined up for one day. On the day of…nothing. It’s hard, but you get used to it.

  7. D. Says:

    A few observations.

    The league thing has already been pretty well covered. That may be what’s at work here. While leagues do exist, I tend to think they’re talked about in ways that oversimplify the issue. Leagues aren’t necessarily about hierarchy in terms of where Group A is objectively better than Group B, so if you’re in Group B, you’re screwed. The same “out of your league” phenomenon can occur when you’re trying to date people who aren’t necessarily “better” than you, but are very unlikely to be as into you as they are into other kinds of people.

    I think two other things may be at work here, and may be what is preventing Furious from actually going out on a date with some of these guys.

    1. She’s admitted being insecure about her looks. She thinks she’s attractive, but has concerns about her weight to the point where she feels like she needs to disguise her weight. In that sense, what may be turning guys off is that this insecurity is somehow coming through in her profile or emails. Actually, even guys who might otherwise be attracted to her body type may be turned off if she’s using obvious “angles” shots. What that says is “I’m not cool with how I look, so I assume you won’t be either.” And plenty of guys take one look at that and say “Meh. Next.” It might not be the photos, either. There might just be kind of a “weird nervousness” vibe that she exudes. Put simply: insecurity kills attraction for both men and women.

    2. She may be far too passive. It’s difficult to tell, just based on the initial submission here, but this line stuck out to me:

    “I decided the calibre of men on this site wasn’t for me and I would rather be pursued in person.”

    It’s not the bit about the calibre of men. Rather, it’s the use of the word “pursued.” While it’s true that most women want to be pursued, and that this has been the traditional dynamic, that dynamic is shifting somewhat. In the online world, men will respond to women who respond positively to them. All things being equal, a man will be more likely to contact a woman who is responding more positively to him than a woman who seems lukewarm.

    I have no idea what Furious’ tone is like with these guys, or how any number of other subtle queues may be coming through. Moxie’s advice about being proactive is good. Obviously, you don’t want to be obsequious or puppy-like (since that tends to suggest insecurity), but you do want to come across as more than just vaguely interested.

    Mostly, I’d say Furious should focus on working on her insecurities, as I expect that’s far more damaging, and can influence a whole range of things, including one’s own perception of how one is doing with online dating.

    Online dating takes a degree of resilience if only because the volume of people you interact with and the speed of the encounters can tend to magnify short-term trends (like runs of people who aren’t interested or who flake). If you go into that process already a little insecure, it can be incredibly disheartening. You need to be able to shrug off the dry spells instead of taking them to heart or as some referendum on your desirability.

    • Furious Says:

      Thank you. I feel like you understand my scenario. I’m so confused by all the dating advice out there, “play hard to get”, “men like b****es”, I’ve got caught up in the notion playing it cool and being passive is the way to a man’s heart when actually it’s getting me nowhere.

      The insecurity part I am all to aware of. I know I have issues but I don’t know HOW to solve them. Hence why I’ve come offline now because to your point I don’t think I have the resilience to deal with all these setbacks and perhaps that nervous energy is coming thorough. I just don’t know how to be anything else…

      • D. Says:

        People’s advice here about “shooting within your league” is basically an attempt to get around a lot of the insecurity issues. Ever go on a date where you thought “No problem. I got this”? Notice how much more confident and relaxed you were? Notice how much less anxious you were? You probably weren’t thinking — consciously or unconsciously — “I really hope they like me…”

        When you go into a situation thinking “I really hope they like me…” you’re already on the back foot because that statement contains the unspoken belief that there’s a reason why they wouldn’t like you. Otherwise, the thought wouldn’t occur to you in the first place.

        If you consistently find yourself feeling anxious-and-excited about guys, then it could be one of two things: (1) your self-confidence issues are getting in the way of guys with whom you should reasonably have a shot, or (2) you’re consistently going after guys with whom you don’t reasonably have a shot. People telling you to lower your expectations and/or shoot within your league are trying to eliminate the second scenario.

        As for the first scenario, if you worry about people liking you even when you aren’t all that interested in them, then you’re unfortunately probably dealing with deeper-seated self-confidence issues than “Try this technique” dating advice can solve.

  8. Fyodor Says:

    ” I am a pretty girl so I get inundated with messages about my looks but I have insecurities about my weight (UK size 12-14) which is why I felt the need to sign up (I’m working on these). ”

    “Inundating” you with compliments about your looks is a very low-effort strategy for men. I’m not saying that you’re not pretty (I don’t care) but I wouldn’t read very much into emailed comments from strangers.

  9. Fyodor Says:

    “If someone suggests you take things off line, you have to be proactive. Don’t just accept the invitation. Respond and say that you’d love to meet up and then suggest a couple of nights. Then settle on a time and place to meet and tell the person you’ll follow up the day before to re-confirm. A lot can go down in four days when you’re dating online.”

    I’ll just add that men are also waiting to see if you’re working to advance the ball yourself as a measure of your interest. If you aren’t suggesting a time or showing interest in arrangements they’ll take it as a sign of disinterest.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Yeah, I’m wondering if it’s the case that the guy says, “Wanna go out next Friday?” and she doesn’t say anything and then thinks, “WTF? Why did this guy disappear?” Details provided are kinda vague.

    • Furious Says:

      Fyodor – but isn’t it such a hard line to tread between showing enthusiasm and looking desperate?

      Fuzzilla – this is exactly what happens. Because this is exactly how I thought you were supposed to play things.

      I will say one thing to all the above…who determines these leagues anyway? Is it fair to say one person is better than another? Isn’t that all a matter of perception anyway? You often see successful couples together where one person may/may not be more attractive than their partner. Is it a really an accurate answer to say they didn’t follow through because you weren’t in their league? The fact it’s happened to me more than once suggests to me it’s something to do with my behaviour but it certainly doesn’t suggest to me that they are in anyway “better” than me, because who is to be the judge?

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        I’m now officially annoyed with you. You asked your question. You got an answer. The guys are telling you what it is, but for whatever reason you’re choosing to listen to the women, most of whom have their own blindspots when it comes to online dating and men.

        If these guys were interested in you, they’d follow up. Ergo, they weren’t all that interested in you. Ergo, you’re batting out of your league. We could do all kinds of philosophizing about leagues and how they were created and how othered they make people feel. Or you could just accept that you’re average looking like the rest of us and move on with it.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        Who’s got a right to be the judge of whether or not they consider you attractive enough to date? Well, the guys who would be dating you, for starters.

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          Dating “out of your league” means that you are interested in people who, for whatever reason, rightly or wrongly, perceive that you are not their best option. That is all. Completely subjective on their part and no great mystery. The key is to remember that you don’t get to decide your own “league.” They get to decide why they are not interested. You get to deceie who you choose to pursue.

          • Furious Says:

            That definition of leagues I can get on board with. What I can’t get on board with is this looks thing. Regardless of whether I think I’m beautiful or ugly nobody should be forced to look in the mirror and define themselves as average looking. But I think I’ve got my answer here. The answer isn’t to define yourself as average looking or to use your looks as any means to justify someone’s decision, it’s to note that actually none of us really know what they were thinking, the lesson is to not care and in the future I will be sure to convey more interest and enthusiasm next time a provisional date is set…I’ll report back (or maybe not. :)

            • mindstar Says:

              Why not? It’s called acknowledging reality.

              And whether or not you acknowledge reality it is still there.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            By the way, if the diagnosis is correct and you are, in fact, “aiming out of your league” then advising you to do so more aggressively or with more “enthusiasm” is really horrible advice.

      • Fyodor Says:

        “Fyodor – but isn’t it such a hard line to tread between showing enthusiasm and looking desperate?”

        No. It’s not. It’s not looking desperate to affirmatively communicate about setting up a date AFTER SOMEONE HAS ASKED YOU OUT AND YOU’VE SAID YES.

        I want you to consider that your reactions and participation in setting up the date are a type of communication. When he suggests getting together and you just say “OK” without moving the process forward, trying to set up a time, prompting him for more secure plans, you are communicating either (A) that you are not that interested or (B) you are trying to get him to jump through hoops to validate your own ego.

        If you want to go out on a date with a guy, act like someone who wants to go out on a date with him.

        • Fyodor Says:

          I am just so confused by this. Have you arranged social meetings with your friends? Do you force them to maintain all of the communication? Do they think that you are desperate?

          • Furious Says:

            I am sorry to be the cause of Moxie’s annoyance and your confusion, truly.

            So Friday (gone) when the guy suggested taking me out to a bar near my flat and I replied saying “great idea” and he said “I thought so too” and we preceded to text. What was I doing wrong exactly? While I don’t dismiss any of the comments here none of my friends have ever said to me that I’m too dismissive with these men. Perhaps my friendship group are guilty of the same thing.

            But I will take it on the chin that should I go back online, I need to want to go on these dates and convey that want.

            • Fyodor Says:

              You could say something like

              “just confirming that we are still on for Friday-should I meet you there or will you pick me up?”

              I’ll also add that, per everyone else’s comments, you seem to be landing on men who are not that interested in you.

              Without getting into leagues, your comment about dating a “handsome” guy in your field and/or holding out for the “dream man” suggest to me that you are picking men with lots of options who aren’t that impressed with you.

              In any event, getting flaked on four times in a row isn’t only bad logistics. You’re selecting for men who aren’t reciprocally interested.

              • Yvonne Says:

                When the man says, “How about Friday?”, and you say great, and he says great, you say, “Did you have any time in mind to meet?”He will either answer or he will not, but you’re not sitting around waiting.

                You’re entitled to plan your weekend without waiting endlessly. That’s being proactive, not pushy. Be a person who acts in your own self-interest; that is different from actively pursuing someone.

                • Yvonne Says:

                  Also, if it’s a few days before the planned meeting, one of you should be following up to confirm that the date is still on.

                  • BostonRobin Says:

                    My expectations are so low that sometimes I don’t bother confirming, just show up and *almost* hope they don’t come. Never such luck though :)

            • maria Says:

              your answer should have been, great idea, I’d love to. I am available after work around xxx o’clock. Is this a good time for you too? done.
              a guy being vague asking me out and not suggesting times to move things along by only saying “great” is a red flag for me. Guys are NOT going to beg you. If they feel for a minute that you are being vague/not interested they will not chase you around. there is nothing desperate about giving somebody information about what time to meet, he’s a human, you are a human, just act like you would while making plans with friends. its not that hard.

      • HammersAndNails Says:

        “It certainly doesn’t suggest to me that they are in anyway “better” than me, because who is to be the judge?”

        No… it certainly can’t be that.

        “I decided the calibre of men on this site wasn’t for me”

    • D. Says:

      Exactly. This is one of the things that online dating has changed about traditional dating mores.

      Ever text back and forth with someone where it feels like you’re driving the whole conversation? Sure, they respond to your inquiries, or will elaborate on how their weekend was when you ask, or will maybe give you a “That’s cool” or “That sucks” when you tell them what’s up with you. But they don’t really do anything else to keep the conversation going. Put simply, they aren’t being rude, necessarily, but they just don’t seem that interested in talking with you. Compare that with someone who actually seems engaged. They play off of things you say, they ask you questions, the conversation flows naturally. All of that suggests that they’re interested in talking with you.

      Many men have had the experience of pursuing a woman who did little more than the text equivalent of answering the question, but nothing more than that, and had it go nowhere. As a result, those men tend to look for women who respond more positively. And the thing about online dating is that those men can find women who will respond more positively, so they focus on them.

      I think this can tend to catch women off guard who are relatively new to online dating. They’re expecting to be pursued in the traditional sense, which used to mean that the guy would keep up the pursuit in spite of not getting as much back. That’s changed with online dating, and it’s bled into offline dating as well. If you don’t seem interested, if you’re merely allowing him to continue pursuing you, that’s not necessarily going to be interpreted as interest, or at least not enough interest, to a guy.

  10. PwdrPuff Says:

    OP, I think you have a bigger problem than just flaky guys that aren’t communicating well. It might be your age and lack of self-awareness/experience that’s causing you all the issues with pursuing dates with the wrong men and not understanding the basics about successfully setting up dates online. Just my observation from the back and forth on here.

    Since you say your’e done with online dating for the most part, I would work on your self-esteem/confidence. Fact is, you are thinner the avg woman at size 10US/12UK. Nothing wrong with a bit of curves in all the right places. Learn to be happy with that or no one else will. Guys don’t like being tricked, and I know plenty of guys that would find size 12UK very attractive. To ensure you are picking those guys, represent yourself flatteringly honest.

  11. Noquay Says:

    Whole ‘nother issue; what site were you on, do you live in a desirable or not so desirable part of London. How far away are these guys? Paid sites get a good many more men actually interested in dating than freebies which get many more flakes, marrieds, and attention whores. Some sites are generally understood for being for hook ups. Someone living in a place seen as less desirable will be judged for that. Dunno if the photo thing is the problem as few guys look like theirs. Could be something where there is a disconnect between what you wrote in your profile and who you present yourself to be.

  12. Dori Says:

    I wonder whether the guys’ flaking has nothing to do with pictures, angles, enthusiasm or lack thereof, insecurity, weight, leagues, and other red herrings.

    Perhaps they sense that Furious is… furious. Who would want to go on a date with someone furious?

  13. Dan Says:

    I agree with Moxie to lower expectations and show off your best physical attributes.

    There is a colleague at work who’s facial appearance is quite unattractive, and this is very noticeable. However, she always dresses very fashionably and professionally, feminine in heels and a skirt. She has an insecure personality but is always very friendly. Withing a few weeks of me first noticing her, I was totally interested, because her style made me look at her in a new light. Not that I’m so hot either, but I also make an effort to present an alpha style.

    A year ago, we went on a date, and by then, we were so turned on with each other that it led to first date unprotected sex. We are now in a relationship with serious talk about marriage. Anyone can come across appealing with the right presentation of style and personality, because we both agree that that was how we captivated each other.

  14. I'mnoexpert Says:

    Did you just get out of a long term relationship?
    It sounds like you are getting overly excited by these prospects and creating a fantasy about these guys and how great these date would be. You have never even met these guys. There are a million possible reasons they never reached out to you and they are the only ones that know what that reason is. So for anyone to hypotheses what it was is pointless. Try not to beat yourself up over it or obsess about.
    If you still really think any of these guys are your unicorn, then send them an email today. Like this last guy who you have deemed awesome, despite never setting eyes on him in person or talked to the phone. Shoot him an email and say something like hey, how are you. Things got really busy last week and unfortunately we missed meeting up for drinks, still interest? I’m free this Friday. Obviously change it to your style but think casual optimistic while writing it, not “thanks for that date that never happened” If he doesn’t respond then your no worse off then right now. Also, no response, not interested, move on.

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