Is It Her Age Or Her Race That’s Preventing Her From Getting Dates?


Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Xiena
Comment: Why don’t men contact women on line?

Or maybe it’s just me? I’m  a 37 year old attractive (so I’ve been told) African-Canadian female. I use as it’s the more “reputable” dating site out there. Thus far I’ve been on it off and on for about a year, though more times than not, I’m not getting the responses I would like. I have an upbeat profile full of cute and various pics of me, articulate, playful, deep insights, leaving out my story of travels, education etc as I’ve been told by countless self-help sites/men/women “An accomplished woman is a single woman”….and I’ve put what I’m looking for. I set my age range for 32-43, yet I mainly receive msg’s from men in their 50’s,  or in their late 20’s. I seem invisible to guys my own age. I was told (by more than one guy) that guys my age only want younger girls to “buy more time to have kids with” and otherwise guys don’t tend to date Afro-Canadian girls unless it’s for a fetish etc. I date all races so….

I just need some Real, honest opinions here. I never thought I would be entering “Spinsterville at 37″ but here lies an truth? Or maybe it’s just Canadian men? I hate to throw my Canadian guys under the bus…but just trying to make sense of it.

Thanks everyone.
Age: 37
City: Toronto
State: Ontario


The first thing to realize is that 90% of the messages that everybody using a dating site – literally everybody – receives are from undesirables. However, I do think that your race plays a part in your underwhelming experience. To play that off like it’s not a factor would be ignorant and disingenuous. Both men and women of color have cited the trouble they have had trying to get dates using digital methods. Because I’m white, I can’t offer any insight based on first hand experience, though. I will leave that up to the commentariat.

Where I do have experience is utilizing online dating as a woman of a certain age. Your age definitely is playing a role in your response rate. Complicating it further is that problematic preferred age range you’ve set for your self. Real talk: No 32 year old is dating a 37 year old seriously. So get that thought out of your head.You’re hearing from the twenty-somethings because, with that stated age range, you are saying you date younger. Those annoying frat bros will take that ball and run with it.

An age range like the one you have will alienate potential matches. People your age or older (aka your target market) are going to assume you want someone younger and not even bother. Why? Because, as men, they know that if they were you, they’d choose someone younger. Your suggested age range should be somewhere around 37-47.  If you’re still clinging to the hope of meeting a guy who will be a relatively young first time Dad (if you want kids) I would ditch that, too. As women, we fight to have people recognize that we are still quite fertile well into our early forties. We need to make a similar concession when it comes to men. There are PLENTY of men in their mid to late forties who still want kids. The fifty-something dudes who still want children? Yeah, they need to do some re-evaluating.

I’ve been told by countless self-help sites/men/women “An accomplished woman is a single woman”….


Just so we’re clear: any site or dating guru that advises women to play down their accomplishments should be blocked from your browser. As I have said before, it’s all about balance. No, you shouldn’t stuff your profile with activity after activity after accomplishment after accomplishment. You should, however, present a well-rounded person by including accomplishments as well as a healthy dose of personality traits that make you a good partner.It astounds me how many people cram their About Me summaries with hobby after hobby, never once mentioning anything about their personality.

Now let’s tackle the “are the or are they not racist” argument. First, I want to re-post something from an earlier article that I think is relevant here.

Anybody who says they prefer to date people of a certain ethnicity looks like a racist and possibly even is one. End of. No discussion. These users who write rigid and specific must have lists are not being honest, they’re being exclusionary.  Which, btw, is just a fancy word for bigot.

ETA:  Here’s a comment written in response to this post, where a woman referred to a man that she believed had Tourette’s as Rooster because he displayed some kind of a facial tic.

In all seriousness, her blog was essentially hate speech. I’m a student of this subject and it fascinates me. In any context other than dating, this lady would be be taken down immediately as a bigot. But, because it’s about dating, it only matters that she was “mean “” to some guy. She should have rejected him politely, after all! Now all is forgiven. What the fuck? – DMN

I think there’s a fine line between preference and prejudice. In my opinion, that line is when someone explicitly states their preference or says they “don’t date” people of a certain race. That, to me, is evidence that they have some internalized issues regarding people of different races.  Attraction is simply not that black and white, if you will. As someone who has predominantly dated white men, I’ve come to learn that a lot of that had to do with my own lack of sophistication and from staying in a insulated little white bubble where everything was whitey white. Between becoming more socially aware of issues going on in our society to now having several members of my family who are biracial, I’ve come to realize that the problems we face aren’t just “theirs.” They are “ours.” As a result, I’ve noticed a shift is who I am attracted to.

You’re not entering spinsterville. Stop saying stuff like that and stop feeding into such outdated and sexist ideas. Yes, things are going to become increasingly difficult for you. But they will be exponentially easier if you do exactly what you want men in your desired age range do and broaden your horizons a bit.

You should also examine any possible biases you have against men of a certain age and deal with them. If I’ve learned anything is that bias works both ways. Many people defend their various prejudices while in the next breath say they feel those who reject them are prejudiced.



Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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67 Responses to “Is It Her Age Or Her Race That’s Preventing Her From Getting Dates?”

  1. J Says:

    Some Observations;

    A 32 year old would certainly date a 37 year old seriously (I only date older women). However, the odds are a little less in your favor. Expanding your age bracket won’t hurt you. Maybe the age bracket 34-44 just to be safe.
    Many of my black friends struggle to find someone of value online. Obviously listing some of your accomplishments on your profile will give the reader an idea of what type of person you are. Also, entering some of your goals is paramount. Sometimes this weeds out of the undesirables and brings over some of the guys you are looking for.

  2. maria Says:

    I am 34 and am in a relationship with a wonderful 42 yr old. You should try to expand your horizons, it will be an uphill battle for you trying to date your own age (mid to late 30s men have the most options, and usually seem to prefer dating 20 something or early 30 somethings) after i hit about 34 I didn’t have much if any success meeting men my age who wanted a relationship. I decided to expand to 45 and met somebody I never thought I’d meet in a million years. it isn’t perfect by any means but he’s the best person I have ever dated and was ready for a relationship. If I find myself single at age 37 I’d probably expand my search to about 49 or so. You can either keep banging your head against the wall trying to date men who don’t seem to want to date you or open up the options to slightly older men. I am not implying you should date people you are not interested in or attracted to but you will be surprised. would you also consider casting a wider net to dating someone who lives a little farther away? Not hours away but maybe an hour or so by car or public transportation? are there any other strict must have you have that you can loosen? race, height etc?
    as for your race, I also can’t really speak to that from experience but according to okc statistics, black women and asian men get contacted the least, sadly. I do hope that changes because it isn’t very fair. dating is hard, especially if you have hurdles to overcome but don’t give up, just open your mind to something a little bit different and you might be surprised by who you find. there are a lot of wonderful single men who want relationships out there that are being passed over because of height, money, location and age.

  3. Alexa Says:

    I’m not sure a year of being on and off match is a long enough time to make any kind of assessment (we don’t know how long you weren’t on it). That said, it’s better to broaden your horizons (age, divorced status, education) when you reach the over 30 age mark. Not that you have to settle, but some of these things are really not so important when you get older. It’s more important to be with a person who is decent and responsible. I’m curious about these “deep insights” you reference in your profile. Could that be making you sound a little woo-woo? Sorry can’t think of a better term!

    • BTownGirl Says:

      Just to harken back to your comment on an earlier post, you forgot to add that “silly” short women are incapable of this and “everyone else” is. That’s a deep insight, right there.

  4. Jp Says:

    It’s rough for Asian guys too (both east and south). Online dating just does not favor us too much in North America. I think it is better to stick with live venues than online where you can charm strangers with your wit and personality. Alternately use online as a supplement-not a substitute- and go out more. I’ve come to accept that there’s just no way I can come close to the numbers of matches my white (male) friends can pull online with tinder or okc. If I spoof the geo location to asia or latin america I get plenty more matches (3-4x) so I know it’s not the photos. But if I go out to bars , clubs, live music events, or other venues then my success rate is higher.

  5. Dave Says:

    OP – Having not seen your profile I can’t comment on how you are presenting yourself, but one thing I’ve learned by reading this blog is that male or female, you have to make yourself stand out, especially if the odds are not in your favor.

    Although it can be tedious and boring, I’d recommend having a look at other local women’s profiles in your age range to see what your competition looks like. It can be enlightening and give you some ideas on how to present yourself in a way that may catch someone’s attention. And just as importantly, you want to try and identify what you may be doing that is scaring the decent guys away.

    I can only speak from my experience as a 40 year old male…but the sheer number of women’s profiles I read in the 35-45 age range that look almost identical never seems to end. And not in a good way, either. I usually don’t even finish reading…I just hit the back button and remove their profiles from my current view. They usually go something like this:

    1. “I’m fun loving…honest, loyal, hardworking”…etc etc…and then the word “laugh” is spattered all over their profile like a barrage of shotgun blasts. Love to laugh, laugh out loud…LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH LAUGH! Enough with the laughing already! I swear the day I encounter a profile where the lady says “I never laugh and haven’t cracked a smile in 20 years” I will propose marriage on the spot! None of this tells you anything about their personality whatsoever.

    2. A list of all of the countries they’ve traveled to. Sometimes a big list…and they travel ALL THE TIME. Don’t know how they hold down a full time job will all of that gallivanting around…but I suspect Harry Potter taught them how to teleport. Expecto I Don’t Caro!

    3. How physically active they are. They run marathons, rock climb, hike, kayak, swim with dolphins, dance on the edge of volcanoes and rescue lost Sherpas. Sometimes so much that they actually come across as very, well, manly. Not the best way to demonstrate your feminine and nurturing side.

    4. How much they love their kids. Or their dogs. Or both. On a personal level, that’s great. Part of commitment to me involves loving and accepting everything about someone – and that includes children and pets. But to shove it down a guy’s throat before you have even met them…again…I’m out of there!

    5. Sunglasses. Seriously…the percentage of women I’ve seen lately wearing sunglasses in their profile pic truly astounds me. And not Ray Bans either…it’s always those big goofy Chips sunglasses that I thought died out in the 80s…but oh no…they are once again in vogue. If I’m looking at a page of 15 profile pictures…believe me I’m going to pass on the ones where I cannot see their eyes. Something about hiding your eyes feels very disingenuous to me. It’s especially cute when they are wearing them in four out of their five pictures, and then number 5 is blurry. Please, please, please take off those damn sunglasses. That goes for the guys too if you are also perpetuating this insipid tomfoolery.

    6. Another laundry list of what “their man needs to have”. Hardworking, honest, handsome, hot, sexy, caring, opens doors, squishes spiders, saves stranded whales, sings moonlight serenades, has a beard, doesn’t have a beard, Christian, Not Religious, caring, not a wuss, drinks beer – but isn’t a drunk, loves his mom, loves puppies…etc…etc…ad infinitum vomitorium…:o

    So to sum things up now that I’ve completely derailed my initial train of thought – make sure your profile is positive, shows a little of who you are as an individual and focuses on what drives you in life and what you can offer someone else rather what they must have and must not have.

    Good luck!

    P.S. I’m not kidding about the sunglasses. It must stop…lives will be saved. Seriously.

    • Donnie K Says: profiles are notorious for everything you mention – I love to laugh, I’ve traveled everywhere from here to Napal, pictures of kyacking, white-water rafting,…it’s exhausting. All the while, not an ounce of insight into who they are.

      I imagine men’s profiles are not much different.

      • Timothy Horrigan Says:

        I am sick of hearing about people on who will only watch independent and/or foreign films, but maybe that’s because I have just enough insider knowledge of the film industry to know that indy films are simply Hollywood films with a smaller budget. And foreign films are simply made in a language other than English.

    • maria Says:

      lol this was funny!

    • Jeff Smith Says:

      Dave – Thank you SO MUCH for this post.
      This is a main reason I have given up on dating sites.
      Who doesn’t like to laugh?
      Who doesn’t like a good meal (fine dining)?
      I never met anyone who claims to hate animals.
      etc etc.
      You hit all my peeves.
      I do not care to see:
      Nice landscapes, pictures of your family,pets,car, boat, or motorcycle.
      Also, if you can’t find someone who can take a decent photo (on a phone is fine) that is well lit and in focus, you must be just plain stupid.

      If any of you women think he is off – think again.

  6. Tater B. Says:

    Sister, I feel your pain. I have (what some would consider) several strikes against me:
    –I’m African-American
    –I just turned 33
    –In dating terms, I am a giant (6’0″ and I wear heels)
    –I live in a city that is…well, sort of old-fashioned. Tinder didn’t become popular here until way after it was big everywhere else.

    It’s hard, but what I have to remind myself is that it would be hard regardless of my race. I have friends of all different backgrounds who bemoan the same dating horror stories I do. As cliched as it sounds, you just have to keep putting yourself out there. You’ll have to block some douchebags, but we all do. I really believe you would be hard-pressed to find someone who had immediate success in online dating in 2015.

    SN: This is strictly anecdotal, but I have NEVER met anyone but time-wasters and casual daters on Match. I actually had a better success rate on POF…which typically gets a bad rap in online dating discussions. I just found men on there to be more willing to go on dates and at least try.

    • Abby Says:

      Heh. You sound like my best friend (although we’re edging into 43 instead of 33), but she’s black, over 6′ and we live in a very red part of a very red state. Super old-fashioned and traditional. She’s widowed and just sent her youngest off to college, so now that she’s an empty-nester she’s wants to find someone and told me she really feels like a fish out of water!

      She said she’s had the best luck on Facebook, funnily enough. Just catching up with old school friends, may of whom are divorced and are also looking. She’s actually been dating an old school friend of ours who was married to the army and now is retired and seriously looking. They’re having a good time anyway, only time will tell! Good luck to you!

      • Tater B. Says:

        Thank you! I have never been catfished, so I consider myself pretty darn blessed about that. Lol

        Best of luck to your friend as well!

    • Jordan Says:


      I agree with you. I have had the best luck on POF. That’s where I met my current boyfriend of 7 months. I’m a 36 year old African-American female with no kids. I had 2 stints with Match (3-4 months each) last year and 4 years ago.

      I also found that Match had the biggest time-wasters. POF definitely gets a bum rap, but I think you need to be proactive with filtering through the bs and time-wasters. I had met some good guys on POF, it just that we weren’t compatible. On Match, it was like pulling teeth to try to set up a meeting. The “shopping cart” mentality was at a all time high there for me.

  7. Lisa Says:

    Try sites geared toward people of color, ppl seeking interracial relationships, your religious group (if any) and your hobbies. Also try speed dating events.

    Personally, I find Black men to be less caught up in the age thing, for what it’s worth. But yes, definitely expand your age range a little older also. And generally, focus less on the deep insights and more on great pics.

    • Bree Says:

      I’ve noticed that about black men too. Most of their profiles say looking for close to their own age up to several years older. More than any other race, they seem less inclined to be seeking much younger women. Here in the SF Bay Area anyway. I wonder why that is. If anybody has a theory I’m curious to know.

      • bbdawg Says:

        Black women age so beautifully (I hope that’s not controversial to say) and have incredible skin. Also, cultures where larger women are perceived as sexually desirable tend to like women who don’t have child-like or necessarily “young”-looking bodies with no hips which is sold as the desirable norm in white culture.

        I am latina and not black btw just chiming in. White women often almost have to apologize for having hips. I watch “Housewives of Atlanta” sometimes and I love that the women aren’t size zero and are proud of it. “Womanly” bodies (therefore “age”) are celebrated as opposed to the culture where only models an actresses with very low body fat (easier to achieve at a very young age) are celebrated.

  8. Fyodor Says:

    Two points, to add to what everyone else has said.

    1. You say that your profile is ” full of…. playful, deep insights, leaving out my story of travels, education etc as I’ve been told by countless self-help sites/men/women ”

    I’d ask a friend (preferably of the opposite gender) to look at the profile and give you his thoughts. One person’s playful is another person’s obnoxious, one person’s “deep insight” can come across as loopy or pretentious to another.

  9. Yvonne Says:

    About a third of my married women friends have married men who are younger, so while I might suggest expanding your age range upwards a couple of years, I don’t think that is the problem. In my experience, Match tends to attract a more conservative crowd, and I definitely noticed many men on the site who wouldn’t date black women.

    Have you tried OKCupid? While it has its own flaws, it has always seemed less conservative to me. As others have mentioned, definitely don’t rely on just one dating site or method. Social groups like Meetup are also good ways to meet men, and new people in general. The more people you know, the more people who also might be able to introduce you to single guys.

    • Donnie K Says:

      “About a third of my married women friends have married men who are younger,”

      How much younger? A few years is not uncommon but,honestly, how many couples who are married or in long-term relationships do you know where the man is more than 4-years younger?

      • Yvonne Says:

        According to Moxie, she shouldn’t go younger in her age range at all, even by one year. That is where I disagree.

    • Biggie Says:

      Sounds like a bunch of beta males married up to dominating career women who ran out of options.

  10. Abby Says:

    Hi OP! I can relate somewhat. The last time I did online dating, I was 37 and had the age settings much like yours. I also used Match (as well as eHarmony because I was serious about marrying and having babies). I ended up dating a nice 33 year old, but I’m afraid he never saw me as marriage material, although he said in his profile that he was ready as well. He married literally the next girl after me. I think I was his trial run to see if he was really ready.

    Moxie’s not joking when she says we have to fight to make men understand that we’re still able to have kids. The guy I dated was just too worried that I couldn’t conceive. No matter what I told him about my health, my genetics, etc. (of course, it’s a crap shoot for everyone really), but he just wasn’t willing to take the chance. And you can’t blame him for that.

    I think your best bet is to look for men near your age that are divorced with kids. My now husband, while he wasn’t crazy excited to have even more kids than the two he already had knew going in that kids were important to me and he was on board for trying. We’re working on our second. And he’s excited about about it. So if you’re on the marriage and kids track, late 30s to early 40s divorced dads are where it’s at.

    As far as where to find them, I mentioned upthread that my best friend is currently seeing an old classmate she reconnected with from Facebook. She got the idea from me. I met my husband on fb. We were classmates (although we didn’t know each other in school). Maybe this is a place for you to look, not old boyfriends, but maybe a connection through old friends. Dating in Toronto is probably much different than my area, so that’s all I’ve got to offer on where to find the men.

    Best of luck to you and don’t give up!

    • jenny Says:

      I hate when women use that term, “I was his trial run”. No, ladies, please. The guy wasn’t interested. Stop consoling yourselves with silly statements like that.

  11. Ben Iyyar Says:

    I feel that this lady has some unrealistic expectations regarding her ability to find a suitable partner. Plainly she has very high standards regarding her dates and a tremendous belief that she is what all men are anxiously waiting for.
    She may well be the attractive, vivacious, smart, well groomed, and beautiful creature she believes she is, or maybe her self perception is flawed. But whether or not her race, her age, her perfume, or her marital status or whatever is responsible for her dilemma is irrelevant, if a date doesn’t find her suitable, that is all that matters. After all, she sounds as if she is very discriminating herself, so why should she be surprised or dismayed that her dates judge her just as harshly?

  12. Jenny Says:

    Okay, I’m going to add my voice to those advising you to expand your horizons. I definitely recommend OKCupid. I live across the border from you. Don’t know how you feel about ‘international’ dating, but I set my location requirements for ‘near me’ and fully half of the men who came up in my search were in Canada, nearly all in Ontario. It’s only a 30 minute drive, or thereabouts. Either way, it’s pretty easy to weed out the ‘flakes’, and the men were for the most part personable and reasonably attractive, as well as racially diverse. My age range was much higher than yours, but I think men are more concerned about other things, because I got contacted by men (and a couple of women!) of all ages, regardless of what my stated preference was. OKCupid is free, and it will expose you to a whole new bunch of people, so it’s worth a shot. I also agree with those who advised you to have someone you trust (or several someones) take a look at your profile. We have a terrible time seeing ourselves as others see us, and we have an even worse time trying to present ourselves in writing. You may be surprised at how the profile is perceived by others.

  13. Donnie K Says:

    The best move the OP can make is to widen her age range upwards. As mentioned, most me will not get seriously involved with a woman five-years older. Especially a man in his 30’s. After all, a 32-year-old guy who somewhat has his act together can get a women in her 20’s without much effort.

    If you want to keep your youngest age at 32 (or whatever five years younger is), put an age range of 32 to 47. You might still attract younger men and guys in their 50’s but so what, they’re already not paying attention to your age range so what difference does it make? What will happen is that guys in their early-40’s view you as someone with realistic expectations rather than someone holding out for a younger guy.

    • Donnie K Says:

      Another thumbs down party….I’d like one of these gutless trolls to man (or woman) up and point out one single flaw in my argument…..

  14. bbdawg Says:

    I agree with other commenters that you have to go your age and up, especially if you are looking to settle down. Men in their 30s want younger women (and men in general do)…the ones who want an older woman will contact you regardless.

    I am lucky that I was always into older men (5 years minimum) but the reality is the older into your 30s you get, the more you have to accept that your “market” is men 5-10 years older. I know it’s hard because many of these men seem so…”middle aged” in many ways, but you know what it is what it is.

  15. Bree Says:

    Given that Toronto is a large diverse city, I would like to think most of the LW’s problem is age. However, an okcupid article from last year said black women have the least success on their dating site:

    So two strikes for her, unfortunately. According to that article, black and Asian men don’t do very well either.

    There’s a lot of argument on this site about Moxie’s advice to women over 35 to focus on men 10-15 years older when there are other factors to compromise on besides age. Those factors include income, education level, and divorce/kids.

    Then there’s race, which I don’t consider to be a compromise because if people aren’t willing to date outside their race or just concentrating on a certain racist fetish, they’re limiting themselves. Interesting that Asian men, many of whom are vocally distressed about women not giving them a chance, are the least likely to give black women a chance, according to that okcupid article.

    The dating landscape is rife with issues of white supremacy and male chauvinism. Deny that, and be forever confused.

    LW is only 37. Before answering all those messages from guys over 50 looking for their younger second wife, she might give more consideration to men her own age who fall under her in terms of career status and education, as well as those with kids already.

    • Shadowcat Says:

      That very famous OK Cupid article about the “undesirability” of Black women is actually several years old, and so incredibly depressing, I wish I had never read it back when it first made the rounds. It (coupled with my own personal experiences and observations) is one of the biggest reasons I work at my present relationship as much as I do, I’m not going back out there again if I can avoid it!

  16. manwich Says:

    Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and shades, but If you have a million dating profiles to filter through, it makes you picky. Attractiveness isn’t the most important factor in a potential mate, but it’s the easiest to recognize. This makes guys shallow in the initial stages of dating. We start with our ideal physical type, then try to find one we get along with. This leads to a whole lot of frustration where 90% of men are chasing after 10% of women.

    The other 90% of women need to be more assertive. If you send the first message it shows interest. This is refreshing for men because dating out of our league is exhausting. A dating culture where all women are passive is a hierarchy where attractive women and assertive men rule and everyone else loses. Some guys have everything else going for them, they just aren’t good at approaching women. Some guys have bad taste and you need to show them how a real woman treats a man. Most men eventually grow up and settle with the woman who treated them best.

    To be honest, the women who message me first are generally less attractive, but most people aren’t attractive. Most of the women I message don’t message me back, so they are probably out of my league. I may be a league up on most of the women who message me first. I don’t respond to most of them, but when I do, they usually treat me better and seem more engaged. As a dude, I send out ten times as many messages as I receive, but the women I end up in relationships with are usually the ones who messaged me first. Maybe women are better judges of character. They need to take a more active role in mate selection.

    You set yourself up for rejection when you make the first move, but so do guys. Don’t be too available. Don’t be taken advantage of, just search for the guys you like and start a conversation. Send a guy a message saying you liked something about his profile, and you want to meet for coffee and talk about it. If you get a 10% response rate, send 100 messages and get 10 dates. If you can ignore the 90% rejection, you will find an acceptable partner on your own terms.

    • Speed Says:

      “Most men eventually grow up and settle with the woman who treated them best.”


      • SS Says:

        Is the feeling that they’ve settled responsible for all the men who cheat when they hit their mid life crisis?

    • Donnie K Says:

      Maybe women are better judges of character. They need to take a more active role in mate selection.

      NO and half-true. I agree it’s refreshing to receive a message from an attractive woman. However, as you alluded to, most messages men receive (if any) are from women older than who we’d consider dating or lame messages that read along the lines of “hi.”

      We all endure the same hardships when it comes to online dating. The bottom line is how we deal with them.

  17. Bill Says:

    Xiena, I found Match to be the most useful site when I was dating (I’m in a relationship now :)) I think the most useful site varies by city and region, so YMMV. IMO, your disappointing results go beyond your age and race.

    To get someone to initially look at your profile, it’s all about PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES. And, honestly, if a guy is interested in your pictures, you mostly need to avoid negatives or slights in your profile that repel guys. The basics are at least 5-6 recent, well lit, smiling pictures of you in different circumstances and attire that show what you really look like. You absolutely do NOT want your date to be disappointed when he sees you in person for the first time. That is the kiss of death. Lots of good articles on what pictures to include and avoid out there. Any good pictures of you at a sporting event, outdoors, etc. participating in “man-friendly” activities are a plus. :)

    Your written profile should be just a few paragraphs about you and there should be absolutely no negatives (don’t contact me if…). The profile shouldn’t just describe you, but should allow you to shine through. For example, don’t just say you like to laugh, but let your sense of humor shine through, though sarcastic humor often doesn’t play well in writing. Though describing your ideal man may sound like you are inviting people in, in reality, it turns away far more men than you can imagine. Waiting for ONLY your perfect man to contact you can be long wait, indeed.

    That’s all basic stuff on any site. For Match, the magic is in the MATCHING percentages. Not because they are magical in themselves, but they determine whether your picture shows up in emails and on the match search. Tune your profile and your “wish list” so that match you better with the guys in your target range. You want your picture showing up in emails and on the first few pages of the search screen. Use the My Matches, Mutual Matches and Reverse Matches… skip the first ten pages or so, then look for guys you think you should match, and figure out what’s missing or is too narrow that is putting them, and you, way down on the match list. Just like a google search, guys are only going to “next page” so many times. I FOUND THIS TO BE THE GAME CHANGER ON MATCH!

    I’m a degreed professional with a good income, yet for women who REQUIRED a white collar, college educated guy who made X dollars minimum, I avoided like the plague. To me, they conveyed entitlement and a degree of snobbery. Leave these open or broad… you will not attract someone using those settings and can repel guys who meet them. Where a guy takes you for a first date and first date conversation will tell you all you want to know.

    Be open to divorced guys with kids. This alone (plus the age range you published) could account for very poor results as the vast majority of guys in your age range will be divorced dads, and the ones who aren’t are often looking for a younger woman. A double whammy.

    Do fill out the “First Date” preferences, but keep it simple. Something like “I like to meet for coffee, lunch or drinks to chat on a first date. Dinner at a quiet place where we can talk is great, too.” will attract far more attention than something that screams “Wow me with a first date spectacular that rivals the Bachelorette dream dates.” Remember, we are talking about strangers meeting for the first time here, not some long simmering mutual attraction.

    Many have advised you to up your age range and that advice is correct because you are dissuading guys you would date from contacting you. Think about it… if a guy contacted you and his stated age range was 27-37 would that give you warm-fuzzies knowing that you were the oldest woman he was interested in? That you are “competing” with women 10 years younger? Stroke their ego and go at least 2 years, I would recommend 4, past the “oldest” you are willing to date. If you were to list an age range of 37-49, that 43 year old guy would feel confident in contacting you. Remember, you can ignore guys in late 40’s or older and no one but you will know. I would strongly advise against including 50 in you age range, as that sounds “desperate” for a woman your age… and this comes from a guy who recently crossed the half century mark. :)

    Good luck.

    • Shadowcat Says:

      Great and encouraging advice, very honest, not sure why anyone would neg this…

      • Bill Says:

        It’s because of the age thing. I don’t think it’s quite as bleak as Moxie portrays it, but women 36-45 are going to have a hard time finding same-age, attractive, successful men to date.

        It starts in high school with girls wanting to date guys 2-3 years older because they are “more mature”. In their later 20’s and early 30’s, attractive women often date men 5-10 years older because they have money, nice cars, go to expensive restaurants and take them on vacations to far away islands and beaches. They are living the SATC lifestyle, having it all and can wait until later for marriage and family. Then, somewhere in their 30’s, usually as 35 approaches, they want to find a husband and the “older guys” are well into their 40’s and start looking too old or just plain OLD. So, they want someone their own age, or close. The problem is that a noticeable percentage of those guys, especially the ones with money, are showering their attention on younger women. You know, the flip side of when the women dated older when in their later 20’s and early 30’s.

        It’s simple demographics that there aren’t enough successful, attractive 30-something men to go around. And, it’s exacerbated by a good chunk of those guys dating women 5-10 years younger, so women’s options in their later 30’s and beyond are to “date down” in looks and financial situation, or date up in age. Nobody would be happy with that situation, so they thumb down anyone who acknowledges that reality. *shrugs*

        It’s a denial of reality similar to women in their mid 40’s who post age ranges starting at 29-30 who then later rant on their profile that all of the men on the site are only looking for casual sex. They advertised as a cougar, after all, and they expect “age appropriate” men to date them seriously while they are having causal sex with cubs? Sometimes I just have to scratch my head.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          No, they’re negging it because you’re a self-important mansplainy gas bag who writes verbose condescending comments. You basically said exactly what I said (but with, like, way more words) but when when I say it, I’m “bleak” and when you say it, you’re wise.

          • BTownGirl Says:

            I’m 34 and I just laughed…and laughed. Bill, I know you Know Everything, but I can tell you not every woman in my age group thinks guys 40+ are geezers who are only good for a free vacation, viewed as undesirable by men the same age as us or dying to get married. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m not a pea-brain living the “SATC lifestyle”. Here are some seats – please feel free to have several of them!

          • Bill Says:

            I said she should write her profile to attract responses from guys up to 6 years older. You told her to date guys 10 years older (other times you’ve went as far as 12 year). I think that’s more different than essentially the same.

            Regarding bleak, you’ve stated multiple times that later 30’s to mid-40’s for women is the “black hole” of dating. That’s pretty damn bleak. I agree it’s more challenging than at other ages, but disagree what you stated previously on this subject: “A man of 40-47 can still rather effortlessly pull a 35 year old.”

    • Dave Says:

      Great post, Bill. My one disagreement would be regarding your advice to post outdoorsy pictures from sporting events and other “man-friendly” events. I think this is highly subjective depending on the individual guy. I live in an area filled with sports fanatics…and one thing I left out of my rant the other day was the women who post tons of sporting event pictures. I find this a major turn off personally…and I hinted at tendency of many women to go overboard with the outdoorsy pictures…let’s save that stuff for the first date, no?

      This is as common as grass where I live…and mostly done in place of sharing any real hint at their personality. Instead of man-friendly pictures, I’d recommend instead to find a unique way to demonstrate their feminine and nurturing side which I think many men (including myself) would find a lot more appealing than the pictures of them wearing hats, sports jerseys and doing high fives and team cheers.

      “Loves to hike and watches sports” isn’t a character trait nor a window into someone’s inner self. It’s another case of monkey see, monkey do…how can someone stand out when they are doing this?

      I read one recently where the lady stated “I go to bed at 7:30 pm so I can be up at 4 am to run with my dogs”. She was in her mid 30s. I will say no more…:x

      • Bill Says:

        Yeah, Dave, I should have qualified that as a picture or two, not all of the pictures in the profile. And, they need to be the real deal… like a single woman who has Colts season tickets and tailgates every home game. Along with the picture in a Manning jersey, add in a range of pictures including a little black dress and you’ll get a LOT of guys’ attention.

        Cast a wide net to catch a big fish… and plan on throwing a lot of them back. Lol!

    • AV Says:

      “To get someone to initially look at your profile, it’s all about PICTURES, PICTURES, PICTURES.”

      I’ve never tried online dating, and so for the heck of it I created an account on OkCupid just to see what was there. I absolutely agree that pictures are important.

      I filtered the matches down to white women 20-30yo w/in 30 miles for a manageable sample to browse through, maybe 300 results or so. The pictures are terrible. These are just rough approximations, but easily:

      1/3 involved a huge beautiful natural landscape (mountains, ocean, etc.) but with a woman about the size of an ant in comparison. One was underwater wearing some kind of full-suit diving gear, so I couldn’t even tell if it was a woman or a man.

      1/3 had the face cut off by the frame, by 1/2 the face or even more.

      1/3 was spread between a nasty facial expression (sneering, duck face, tongue sticking out), bad Photoshop effects, bad camera angles (camera looking straight up nose), and other assorted issues. A handful showed evidence of drug use, and I don’t mean a bong on the shelf in the background. One that I thought was especially weird was a 23 yo, but she was standing at the foot of some steps in a house, posing in a prom dress with a young boy who is obviously her little brother. Once you’re an adult, its time to stop using photos of yourself from when you were 15.

      What was strange though, was that a lot of the weirdo types seem to have congregated there, meaning women with bizarre hair styles and colors (i.e. purple Skrillex cuts), excessive facial piercings, bizarre fashion, and so on. When I just go around town though, I don’t hardly see any of these types of people. Everybody looks so normal compared to what I see on OkCupid.

    • Jeff Smith Says:

      Not sure why this got 11 down votes, because it is exactly how I think on a dating site. Like or not what he says is very very true.

      Women poison their chances with “requirements”. Even if I meet them all, I will think that this person is petty, and will be unlikely to message them.
      The truth is most of them are not what you are really looking for, and in the end will not really matter.
      BTW Have you ever thought how silly it is to say you someone who is “honest”? For one thing, everyone thinks they are or will say they are. A bold face liar is going to claim to be honest, so what’s the point?
      What’s more to me this is a assumed to be desired, and when a profile mentions it, I question the honesty of the person writing the profile.

      • Jeff Smith Says:

        To the down votes:
        Ok, don’t like but it is reality.
        Keep writing your profiles that way, if it gets you what you want.
        I wish you would explain to me the rationale for this, because I would really like to know. Profiles are coded, and anyone who can help me further break the code would be welcome.
        Dave’s above list 1-6 is perhaps a bit exaggerated, but I have to agree.
        My only interest is to help us all improve our hits and find better matches, so please I would like know why so many women put those items in their profile. Afterall, I am from Mars.

        • ATWYSingle Says:

          Stop whining about the down votes. Nobody cares that your feelings are hurt because a few strangers on the internet disagreed with you.

          • Jeff Smith Says:

            Sorry – not meant to be a whine, just wondering why these items are put in a profiles. I assumed that a down vote might mean there is some reason I don’t understand, but I will take it for granted that you are correct … just random down votes. Lesson learned I’ll keep that in mind.

            After being married 3 times and on dating sites, it’s going to take a bit more that to hurt my feelings… in fact hurting feeling might be nice right about now.

  18. Blkbelle Says:

    Excellent response! I’ve faced similar issue in the past: I’m a single, black female, younger than original poster and I wasn’t thrilled with Match. It’s sort of the precursor to OKCupid: a lot of people looking to go out and have a good time. I think it also depends which part of the country you live. When I lived in a large West Coast city with a fairly small black population, I had tons of dates: guys approached me on the metro, and tons of other random places. Most I met through friends. I’m not a pro with online dating (I felt impatient with endless chats with people who were far away and had no intention of meeting in person). My successful matches have happened offline, but many people are successful online.

    My tips:
    1. Get to know the personality of each dating site, eg Tinder tends to be hookups vs E-Harmony is for the marriage-minded.
    2. Consider going to a specialty site if you’re specific about what you want, eg by hobby, religion or people looking for interracial matches
    3. Pursue your interests offline just for fun, you never know who you’ll meet
    4. Read “Sex and the Single Girl” by Helen Gurley Brown to help keep your motivation up. The world can be tough on those of us who are unmarried, but being single is NOT a tragedy.
    5. There’s still time to have kids. Read this article by Jean Twenge “How long can you wait to have kids?”

    I believe that the right match is totally worth waiting for!

    • SS Says:

      “There’s still time to have kids. Read this article by Jean Twenge “How long can you wait to have kids?”

      At the risk of being excoriated again for my beliefs… whilst articles like these are factually sound, useful, and helpful to those concerned about their fertility…. the idea that some women might think “oh I’ve got PLENTY of time!” and as a result miss out on a long held desire to become a mother… saddens me.

      I never had a huge desire to procreate but the grief that hit when I realized my chances were gone? It sustains to this day.

      I would respectfully urge any woman who seriously wants to have children: avoid delaying, as appropriate.

      • Shadowcat Says:

        “Some women might think “oh I’ve got PLENTY of time!” and as a result miss out on a long held desire to become a mother…saddens me.”

        Yeah, me too.

        I had a doctor tell me that “sooner is better than later” for me, when I was in my early twenties (because of a physical problem that I had NO idea would get as serious as it did later) and I laughed at it because I thought I had all the time in the world, and anyone that advised me otherwise was a “male oppressor” of some sort trying to tie me down to old world stereotypes, and suppress my freedom as a woman. (I really BELEIVED that at the time, Back then I would have made a great author for XOJANE, but anyway…) And then there was my Grandma saying the same thing (with her Jamaican lilt) That I needed to find a husband and start “having some babies!!!”) and I laughed at her too, (partly because by then I had just turned thirty and noticed that there wasn’t the long line of men asking for my hand, so my single status wasn’t necessarily by choice anymore…)

        And this: “I never had a huge desire to procreate but the grief that hit when I realized my chances were gone? It sustains to this day.”

        Yes, when you are leaving the hospital after your hysterectomy, and waiting in the lobby for your discharge at the same time all the Moms with their newborns are also being discharged, you start to question your choices.

  19. Jerry Says:

    “You should also examine any possible biases you have against men of a certain age and deal with them.”

    I was thinking that all the way though, good to see it mentioned at the end !

  20. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    The basic crux of this letter is, ‘the guys I desire aren’t writing to me.’

    This is an argument 90% of the women doing online dating make. Race has nothing to do with it.

    This is the harsh truth of what online dating has become: men and women thinking they deserve top quality from other online daters.

    A bunch of square pegs looking for round holes.

    OP, how about actually writing to some of these men that fit your qualifications?

    • Shadowcat Says:

      “Race has nothing to do with it.”
      I disagree. Race has a great deal to do with establishing your desirability in this marketplace, with determining what you refer to as “top quality”.

      However, I do agree that it is a common complaint, and honestly, complaining will do nothing to change the situation, so we have to learn to deal.

      The heart wants what it wants, and so do other parts of the anatomy, there is no “Diversity Program” program for dating. You have to put your best self forward and be more proactive than other women, I suppose. The OK Cupid survey reports that we (African-American women) have the lowest response rate of all women, and that INCLUDES from African-American men. It is what it is.

      • Dark Sarcasm Says:

        So, because she’s black, that’s why she’s not hearing from the men she wants to hear from online?
        The impression I got from her letter was she wasn’t hearing from the men she WANTS to hear from. That’s an argument ALL women online make. My point was race has nothing to do with that argument.
        Women get emailed on dating sites, but since these men aren’t who they want to hear from, it becomes ‘men aren’t emailing me online’
        I’d be interested to see what men are contacting her. Are they all undesirables? Or is she being picky?
        I’ve seen those findings from OK Cupid, etc. All I can say is, as an African American male in my 40s, I’ve written plenty of African American women on dating sites aged 37-46. And if I’m still sitting here trolling Moxie’s blog, you can see how that’s turned out.

        • Shadowcat Says:

          “So, because she’s black, that’s why she’s not hearing from the men she wants to hear from online?”

          No, I didn’t say it was the SOLE reason, just that it is an obstacle. In fact, a BIG one, one thats puts her behind women of other ethnic groups who are theoretically her exact equivalents in terms of age, social strata, quality of written profile, etc. That’s the way of the world, what else is new? I’m saying that if you are Black you are automatically considered less attractive, even by those of your own ethnic group.

          By the way, even though you were criticizing my comments, I just up voted your post because I appreciate the fact that you show interest in African-American women…

  21. Bill Says:

    “Why don’t men contact women on line?”

    Millions upon millions do exactly that everyday. For the drop-dead gorgeous women (for men, add successful and tall) it’s easy with a few good pictures and even a very lousy profile. Their problem is way too many contacts. For the rest of us “normal humans”, it’s a lot of work to ATTRACT AS MANY POSITIVE RESPONSES as possible and then even more work to then weed out the ones we aren’t interested in.

    So, how do you attract a bunch of the types of the guys you want, but not the guys you don’t want? Unfortunately, you cannot. It’s kind of like going out on the town, you dress for maximum attractiveness, then ignore or reject the guys you don’t want. You cannot carry around a “Leave me alone if…” sign. Lol! Your profile needs to be the same way… broadly attractive and welcoming.

    It’s already been mentioned that the age range and the “deep insight” aren’t working to get those initial contacts.

    Another is “I’ve put what I’m looking for.” Often, that can be off-putting even to a guy who “qualifies”. For example, “I’m looking for a successful guy.” Guys read that for what is really means, “I’m looking for a guy who makes more than X dollars a year.” You’ll repel a bunch of guys who make that amount of money, but the “losers” will still send you “hey” messages. It doesn’t work. Height is another, I’m 6′ but would never contact a woman for whom 6′ was a minimum. I had hundreds of similar profiles with lower or no height requirements to respond to where I didn’t feel “minimally” qualified and competing at a disadvantage.

    Why would I respond to a woman’s profile when she has already told me I’m in “last place” at the start of the race? Broaden your wishlist a bit past what you’ll accept (older, shorter, etc.)

    You are getting contacts from the oldsters and the cougar-cub-want-a-be’s, so you are attractive. I’m guesing you are putting too much into your profile and publicly being too narrow so that guys are not contacting you. They are contacting similarly attractive women who’s profiles are more welcoming and lead them to think that they have a good shot and they take time to send a nice introduction message, not just a “hey”.

    You want more messages coming in so you have choices.

    Another one is to check to see who viewed your profile. If their picture is remotely attractive to you and their age is close to your age range, VIEW THEIR PROFILE. Also, actively search for guys you are interested in and view their profiles. If you’ve viewed their profile a few times (week or so apart), they know you are interested… kind of like making eye contact in a bar.

    Do these things and you will get more contacts. Be prepared for 9-out-of-10 messages to be creeps, way too old/young, and other assorted desperate guys who send dozens or hundreds of “hey” messages every week. If they can’t put a few paragraphs together, they aren’t worth your time other than to ignore-delete-block-or-report as necessary. Do so and don’t look back so you can devote your time to the 5-10% of meaningful responses you get that lead to back-and-forth online conversations and first dates. If the conversations go well, without red flags, lean towards accepting first dates. Normal people are usually better company in person than online (and look better than they photograph).

    Bottom line, your letter doesn’t sound like YOU are way too picky but it sounds like your profile is projecting that you are.

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