Fit – The New F-Word In Dating

July 29th, 2016

Moxie 101, NEW!


This will come as a surprise to literally nobody.

So, last month, we launched a series of speeddating events for Advanced Degree & Ivy League Professionals.

Shockingly (not really) these events regularly sell out days in advance for women.

This month we’re launching events for Fit/Active Singles. Guess what? The first NYC Athletic/Fit speeddating event we have scheduled on Aug 4 is – you guessed it – one man away from being sold out. This is the case for both our NYC and Boston speeddating events. 

Our Boston Aug 7 Athletic/Fit Speeddating event is almost completely sold out for men.  The Boston Aug 7 Speeddating for Well-Educated Singles (Advanced Degree/Ivy/Ivy competitor schools) is almost capped out at 12 women.

So you have women really interested in the Ivy League/Advanced Degree events, and you have men rushing to register for the Fit/Athletic events. Huh. Who knew?

Here’s what troubles me, though. We all know that in the online dating world “fit” is another word for “conventionally slender.” That could be part of the reason why women might be hesitant to sign up. I’m working on the language in the description to make it clear that people should not expect a room full of folks who look like the people above. Managing the expectations is the hardest part.

When I see that little sneaky disclaimer in disguise in a profile about wanting to meet someone “fit” I roll my eyes and click next. When will people learn to stop including such information in their profiles?? It makes you sound like an asshole. And for fuck’s sake STOP ANSWERING THOSE OKC QUESTIONS ABOUT BODY TYPE! What does “even slightly overweight” even mean?? Skip any question that prompts you to give an opinion about a person’s body.

Here’s the thing: I’m easily 175-180 pounds and I consider myself fit. But I know not everybody thinks that way. I don’t want men showing up expecting every woman in attendance to be a size 2-4-6-8. That’s not how it works.  Nor do I want women thinking that they shouldn’t sign up because they think men (or society in general) won’t consider them fit. You can be a size 12+ and be fit. End of story. The only people who argue that point are shallow idiots.


Okay. That’s all for now.



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29 Responses to “Fit – The New F-Word In Dating”

  1. Dark Sarcasm Says:

    To be totally honest, when I see those ‘fit’ events, I immediately think of a club full of gym nuts & weekend zip liners talking to each other, with most of the women being a size 2. I’m 46 years old, do the Insanity series of workouts often and weigh 175 pds. I don’t have a six pack, but by your definition, I’m ‘fit’. I can see some of your attendees being a little disappointed when there’s not a bunch of ‘slender’ women/chiseled men in the room.

    Now you start up those wine events in Boston? Baby, I’m THERE.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      I’ve been calling bars and wine shops all week. I can’t believe it’s harder to book an event like this in Boston than it is in Manhattan.

  2. Trish Says:

    I like that the event states the word Active and not only the word Fit.
    I think there will be some great conversations once folks share the activities they regularly participate in and as well as those they might be open to experiencing. Should be a fun event :)

    • Trish Says:

      Oh, now I see the exact events read Athletic/Fit whereas the sentence prior reads Fit/Active Singles. Any chance you can adjust the event name?

  3. asker Says:

    I was interested in the fitness event in Boston. I’m a marathon runner and slender, sorry. I have to apologize now. But I am 41, and the range I found was what? 34-42? As I stated previously, once I turned 39, I had to forget about being asked out by someone under 45. Please, organize an event for older people so I can have better odds. Same for the advanced degree. Thanks.

  4. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I don’t understand what the “non-superficial” meaning of “fit” is. Of course it refers to body type. I’m overweight. How do I know if I’m also “fit?” Because I can do a lot of push-ups? Why would anyone care about that if I’m not thin?

    “Active” signifies more of a lifestyle choice. Less superficial. You enjoy exercise. I mean yeah, that event is going to attract gym rats so, I wouldn’t go. But at least it indicates some sort of mutual interest and compatible lifestyle. Fit may have many meanings from a medical perspective but means lean/thin for dating purposes.

  5. Zaire Says:

    Yes when I read “fit” in a daring profile I interpret it as code word for thin/lithe. For instance Serena Williams is fit. No denying it. However most men writing fit in a dating profile (in my estimation) are going for a Maria Sharapova body type not Serena.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      Ha I’m trying to imagine Serena Williams showing up at a singles event for fit people and someone complining about her not qualifying.

      • Zaire Says:

        Never said she didn’t qualify just said most guys really mean thin and toned as opposed to athletic/muscular when they write fit in a profile. Nobody would kick her out but she also wouldn’t be the exact image that comes to mind when describing a “fit” woman.

    • Jesse Says:

      Of course fit is code for thin. If the event isn’t for thin people, drop the word ‘fit’

      The common couplet is “fit and trim” not “fit but fat”

  6. Speed Says:

    My idea of “fit” is someone in superb physical condition (not me, obviously), not just thin. There are many slender women who are not fit: eat a ton of junk food (yet somehow don’t gain weight!), drink too much, smoke, etc. So if I were a guy going to one of these things, I’d expect to meet someone who was my magazine cover woman counterpart, not just some woman who was slim. “Active” to my mind is someone who eats right and hits the gym and few times a week and is not too far off the standard BMI for their height.

    I also wonder how “advanced degree” and “Ivy League” degreed people can attend the same dating event. I’m not sure how you try to cross the Academic Apartheid barrier like that. There are a lot of women online who are “seeking Ivy League only,” which means you can take your MS in Information Management from Northwestern and stuff it, dude.

    My guess is that women who want “Ivy League” want the “right” major, too. Harvard Medicine, or Harvard Law, not Harvard Theater. So if you really want truth in advertising, you’d maybe have to bill it as “Ivy League, marketable degrees only.”

    “Advanced degree” on the surface is more of a grab bag, everyone from the guy/gal with the MA in performing arts to the person with a doctorate in computer engineering—and from Redneck Tech University to Yale. But, again, my guess is that most women attending such events are looking for someone with a marketable degree. Redneck Tech advanced degree is okay, as long as you’re making phat bank from it.

    To me, the whole “Ivy League” or “Advanced Degree” titles are just thinly-veiled markers for guys are successful or have the great potential to be. Which is understandable, frankly. So, just billing it as “Wildly Successful People, some of whom are very attractive with advanced or Ivy League degrees,” might be ideal. You could probably get away with charging $3K per person at the door.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      I’m revising my opinion – you’re right. Fit doesn’t just just mean slim. It means lean with visible muscle tone and low body fat. That’s why Serena probably qualifies. But, it’s still superficial – based on appearance. Even if you exercise a lot and have great stamina, you’re still not “fit” for dating purposes if you’re overweight or have high body fat.

      • ATWYSingle Says:

        Well, yeah, in the online dating world that is how fit is commonly defined. But in real life, fit doesn’t just cover the external. I could probably stand to lose 20 pounds but I can do 40+ minutes of cardio at 80-90% of my target heart rate. Lungs, Heart, joints, etc are all in very good shape. I don’t smoke (finally, thanks to the Wellbutrin). I consider myself fit.

        • DrivingMeNutes Says:

          But why would someone care about your target heart rate when deciding whether to date you?

          • ATWYSingle Says:

            If they truly care about wanting to date someone fit, they’d care that I worked out often.

            • DrivingMeNutes Says:

              Yes. They would care that you exercise because of the effect it had on your appearance. I assume they would also care that you’d be able to and interested in doing athletic things. But the latter doesn’t exclude the former.

              I think the stats you quoted in your article about male and female attendance at these events is really interesting. I also think it’s interesting that you don’t seem at all concerned that you wouldn’t qualify for your own “Ivy League” event but are concerned that people might not think you are qualified for your fit and active events because of your body type. These events are exclusionary and superficial – you set them up that way because people like that.

              • ATWYSingle Says:

                I don’t get it. Of course I wouldn’t qualify for the Ivy/Advanced events. I don’t possess either. Those are tangible criteria that are not subjective in any way. Fit/Athletic is a different. I wouldn’t be at all concerned about attending an event for Fit people, but I could see how some people would.

                These events are exclusionary and superficial – you set them up that way because people like that.

                Well, yes and no. I chose criteria that people focus on in their dating profiles: education, income, body type, and travel. We have 2 travel lover events a month.

                What i will say is that the Advanced/Ivy events are the most diverse events we’ve ever organized. As someone said above, I definitely get the feeling from some attendees that they’re showing up expecting to meet the white Ivy League banker or lawyer and are surprised when they see men and women of all different races.

                • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                  The irony I guess is that people who would qualify for an “Ivy League” event would, presumably have attended an Ivy League school and would know better. They would know, for example that these schools are quite diverse and here is a vast difference between a person who attended Yale Law School and someone who may have gone to Cornell Undergrad Ag school. The people who would be impressed with the term Ivy League – at least when the term is used literally – did not attend an Ivy League school.

                  • bbdawg Says:

                    There is another dating website I got finally “accepted into” after being on some waiting list for a year and half called The League. It’s obviously focused on people who have “degrees”. I looked at it once. Men with Harvard Business School degrees and such. This app was of course started by a woman. OF COURSE.

                    After that one experience I had trying to help a 48-yr old guy find better matches on Tinder and realizing that the women he liked all were wearing skimpy clothing and were “fit” in the conventional sense of “reminds me of Shape Magazine”, I realized how important thin and “body conscious” really is for men. It’s not enough to be thin/fit you also have to wear tight and/or short clothing. I have met some men from online who described themselves as “fit” but had beer guts so I am wondering what the men will actually look like in person.

                    It’s as shallow as it gets, folks. We want the go-getter entrepreneurs and the men want the Jillian MIchaels types.

                  • Adam Says:

                    The people who would be impressed with the term Ivy League – at least when the term is used literally – did not attend an Ivy League school.

                    I strongly agree with this. I’ve been to a few events for advanced degree/ivy professionals and the majority of women I met were teachers and paralegals. Not that there’s anything wrong with those jobs, but that’s not what most people think of when they think Ivy League or Advanced Degree.

                    I also have to say that the majority of women I’ve met at events like this were hands down some of the rudest most unpleasant women I’ve ever met online or off.

        • Brad Says:

          Obviously “body type” in online dating parlance is talking about appearance and not how fast you can run a mile.

          That’s like me checking “college”, then saying I didn’t actually attend but can do calculus in my head.

  7. Parenting Says:

    I attended an “athletic” event once (not in nyc) and was it disappointing. I initially hesitated to sign up because while Ive always loved physical activity, Im certainly not a talented athlete and generally got my butt kicked by marathon running, double century riding and Ironman participating girlfriends. But OMG, I ended up being the most athletic person in the room. I wowed some guy when I told him I ran 5 miles per day. Fit/athletic is as arbitrary a term as “attractive”.

  8. Bree Says:

    Yeah, considering 70% of Americans are overweight (and 30% of those are obese), many people have a false perception of their own fitness level, like a class of dumb students being graded on a curve so some of them can at least pass. People grossly overestimate their own fitness level while at the same time can and do recognize (and find more attractive) people who truly *ARE* healthy and fit, and are not attracted to overweight, unhealthy people, which is the majority of Americans. The men who bought up Moxie’s dating event are hoping against hope the women they’ll meet will actually be lean, strong and healthy. They will be disappointed. And so will the women.

    • Noquay Says:

      Good point Bree
      Folk really DO overestimate their fitness. Being thin doesn’t necessarily mean one is fit. Plenty of emaciated, no muscle tone whatsoever folk in the area; they’re thin because they smoke, do drugs, are malnourished. Used to be on the Fitness Singles site and it’s now inundated with some very unhealthy looking folk of all sizes. As an ultra marathon runner, cyclist, overall pretty active person, I get tired of being expected to date someone sedentary and told I am five kinds of evil for not doing so. Not only are sedentary folk incompatible with those who choose to be active, but sadly, there are huge health issues associated with not being active and not living a healthy lifestyle. Saw my dad take 18 years to die from lifestyle choices. Don’t wanna go on that ride ever again. Here, at high altitude, poor cardiovascular function, poor overall fitness can be life threatening. Folk who overestimate their fitness get in trouble fast. Our Search and Rescue crew are kept really busy because of this.

  9. Bree Says:

    Meanwhile, the women who signed up in droves for the Ivy League group don’t seem to realize that men couldn’t care less about dating their equals. Men want somebody younger and “fit” who looks up to them.

    Moxie, you should just suck it up and pander to the masses. Create an event called “Ivy League Men and Fit/Active Women.” You’ll make bank.

  10. Art Says:

    None of the NYC events listed under either category go above age 46. You used to host events for people up to age 55, why not now? I am both fit and have an advanced degree, but I’m above the maximum age for any of these events.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      Here’s why we’re capping events at 45:

      1. Because so many registrants for the 45+ groups live in the outer boros, the no-show and cancellation rate is exceptionally high. This goes for Boston and NYC. I can’t produce a quality event when people are constantly canceling last minute or texting that they’re going to be late due to traffic or the train.

      2. Bottom line: It’s extremely difficult to get men to sign up for events that go over 45. The reality is that the ratio of single men to single women in Boston and NYC is nowhere near equal. We can’t be expected to beat that ratio. When we’re upfront about that and state there will be more women than men, women don’t sign up. When we don’t state it and there are more women than men, women really frustrated and take it out on the host or me. It’s not worth the aggravation.

  11. Dave Says:

    Enjoyed reading all the responses. My sense of “fit” is a bit unorthodox…since my main forms of exercise are weight training, pilates and martial arts core exercises (balance training). So while I may admire someone who runs, bikes and looks physically “fit”, in honestly doesn’t mean much to me. I tend to look at their sense of balance and overall core strength, which isn’t always easy to tell at first glance.

    After meeting many martial artists over the years who didn’t always look “fit” at first glance but were have to see it to believe experts at physical training and mastery of the body I keep a very open mind about physical appearance.

    There’s nothing like getting knocked across the room by a short and elderly Asian man who was almost 90 to open your eyes a little. That’s my kind of “fit”. :)

  12. em Says:

    very interesting topic, Moxie. I feel like the other code for “fit” in OLD is “takes care of him/herself”.

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