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"Ianardo's BBW Art Gallery".

Profile Writing Tips
Flirting/Dating Tips
21st Century Dating
Bad Dating Sites! - On a separate page.

Personals sites are included on this page strictly at the webmaster's discretion. I can't guarantee the quality of the sites/services listed below, but I have tried most of them. I've also tried out most BBW sites (and/or had correspondence with the owners) not listed! I use the same discretion regardless of whether companies offer affiliation or other rewards.

Be cautious whatever dating site you use. Both for the individuals you may meet online, and for the honesty of the services provided:

Large and Lovely Connections

The webmaster has used this site to a small extent in the past, but although I didn't find anyone through it (in the UK), it seems like a good site.

Large Passions (free)

A good site that the webmaster has used, and one of the last free sites specifically for BBWs and admirers. (UK based)

This has been the best UK site that I've used, having met my (ex) wife there, and also a previous girl friend. It's less sophisticated than some sites, but that can be a positive attribute.

Here are some newer sites that the webmaster has not had a chance to thoroughly assess or try out:

BBW Admire (UK based) (UK based)

Plenty More Fish (Cuddly Pond)

BBW Friends Date - free.

One BBW - UK based.

Tip for browsing personal site profiles: If you find someone you think might be worth contacting, see if you can find his/her profiles at other sites too. It can be surprising how varied some people's self descriptions are, and it can help to weed out those who are not honest (or who are unbalanced!).

A Greater Date - lists personals sites incl. BBW.


Profile Writing Tips

The following advice on writing a good profile for dating websites, is only one man's thought's, but I am a veteran of the BBW sites (and to a lesser extent the general ones) since 2000. I've seen the sites evolve, and the changes in the folk using them.

Firstly, I'll list a few things to avoid, as these are very common, but serious, mistakes by profile writers. Keep in mind at all times that a personal profile at a dating site is supposed to be an advert, intended to attract (hopefully the right person):

Ranting has no place in a profile (even though it may be tempting after many bad experiences on a personals site) for the following reasons:

1 - A rant gives the impression that the advertiser cannot handle problems without anger and bitterness, and that they think they're the only ones having such problems.
2 - The people actually reading the rant will more than likely have had equally bad experiences, and they do not want to hear moans from a complete stranger (ranting should happen between friends or on an appropriate forum).
3 - The sort of people mentioned in the rants probably don't bother to read profiles properly.
4 - A profile should be positive if it is going to attract the right sort of person, and a rant will probably make him/her move quickly onto another profile. So a rant may make your troubles at a site worse.

A slight exception to this rule would be a witty, well written, humorous take on bad experiences at dating sites. If you enjoy writing, then this can give an insight into your sense of humour and how you get through these annoying experiences in a cheerful and positive manner. It is best to save such an article for the end of a profile.

"Favourites" lists at dating sites
This is really part of the rants issue mentioned above. There is a widespread (but bizarre!) resentment among the ladies (at least) at dating sites, for men who add them to a "favourites" list, but then do not get in touch. The whole point of a favourites list is so that someone browsing can find profiles again that looked promising, but there are many possible (and obvious) reasons why he might not write. Maybe he has changed his mind, or found someone more suitable, or some other reason. Who cares?!

Silly Exclusions
Give some thought as to the types of people you say you definitely don't want to hear from. I often see requests for "idiots" not to reply, which tends to mark out the profile writer as an idiot! After all, how many idiots believe themselves to be idiots?! And assessing idiocy is highly subjective anyway. Requests concerning honesty and liars can also make the profile writer appear foolish. How many liars are going to own up to their lying tendency?! As fools don't always read profiles properly (or just look at the photos), it can be futile to take up valuable profile space trying to tell them not to write, while the nicer and more intelligent readers will be put off by having to read so many negative points. It is rather like placing a sign on your house: "Burglars. Please don't break into my home". Great deterrent, huh?!

Subjective Attributes
When describing yourself or the person you seek, don't attach words such as "good" to purely subjective issues. For example, "good sense of humour", "good fashion sense" or "good taste in music" are meaningless unless you give examples of your own taste. Sadly, many people do not grasp that these issues are subjective, and seriously believe their own taste to be the only right one! And asking for someone good looking, handsome, beautiful, etc. really is very silly! One person's view of good looks is another person's view of unattractive.

One person's view of being "normal" will be another's view of eccentricity. So, avoid writing that you do all the "usual things" or "normal things", or that you are "normal" and/or seek someone "normal". That can come across as arrogant, since one should not hold oneself up as a personality that all others should aspire to!

Hobby Lists Too Lengthy
Sometimes it can be a mistake to list too many hobbies/interests. Some people do this in the hope that they may hit upon an interest of the reader, but it may have the reverse effect if there are several interests that don't appeal to the reader. It is better to mention one's main spare time interests and state that you are open to meeting someone with different interests and learning about them (if indeed that is your philosophy?).

Profile Too Long
If your profle text is very long (especially in long paragraphs), the reader may not bother to try reading it all. Remember, the profile is an advert and so the text should be structured. Start with something to get his/her interest. Break it up into paragraphs if the website design permits this. Use bullet-style or numbered lists if appropriate, to make the text easier to read quickly. The reader may be browsing through dozens of profiles and does not want to dwell on any single profile unless it grabs his/her interest. If you still want to add extra information, then this can be added at the end as an appendix to be read by those who have enjoyed reading the main part of the profile.

Many profiles look the same because they are full of clichés, often the same ones over and over again. Apart from being irritating when browsing lots of profiles, they can fail to get across just what the person is like, since the phrases are open to interpretation. Clichés such as "laid back", "down to earth", "don't suffer fools gladly", "work hard and play hard", "what you see is what you get", also fail miserably because it makes one's profile blend into many others. It needs to stand out as being individual, since it is after all advertising an individual person, and not some cardboard cut-out pretend person! So write something that describes your character. A party-goer? A quiet, creative type? A world traveller? A lot about yourself comes across in the way you write it rather than actually stating it, such as the type of sense of humour you have.

Annoying the BBW Admirers
For the cuddly ladies advertising in BBW/admirer specific sites, please make sure that the text of your profile is not a copy of what you have been using on the general dating sites. I often see firm statements made about the lady's physique followed by a request for those wanting a thin lady to push off! When written on a BBW/admirer site, that looks pretty silly! Virtually all the men reading will not prefer thin ladies, but they will be irritated by that out of place request. Again, it makes the profile writer look like a fool, when it may just be carelessness. Profile writing should not be hurried. Potentially, they can be very important for your future life.

Long Wish Lists
Unfortunately some website profile pages encourage folk to write out long and unrealistic wish lists about the potential partner that they seek. When a maid told Mae West that she seeked a man who is "tall, handsome and rich", Mae replied that the maid wasn't seeking a man, she was seeking 3 men! Apart from being realistic about who you would like to find, one should not have too many strict criteria because every person is a balance of many qualities, quirks and faults. He/she may fall slightly short of one of your preferences, but compensate by being very good in another aspect. If you set a long list of uncompromising criteria, then you will exclude almost everyone. For the ladies in particular, this can have even worse side effects, as I suspect that these long wish lists encourage some men to lie about themselves, and I'm sure the ladies do not want to find themselves dating a liar! Sometimes criteria appears as a result of past bad experiences, but it is all too easy to over-react to just one or two experiences of a particular 'type' of person, and then generalise about all in that category and exclude them all in the future. Given time, the entire population may end up excluded! A common example is to exclude men/women who are out of work. There are lots of possible reasons for that state of affairs and many people have been in this situation at some time in their lives. It is only fair to hear their story first and then decide what sort of person they are.

Causing offense
When expressing your preferences for a potential boy/girl friend, there is no need to be offensive about those who do not meet your requirements. At BBW sites, this may well be deemed hypocritical, as a number of larger ladies, evidently seeking acceptance, then make remarks about men who are large, thin, short, etc. Thoughtless comments (perhaps made in jest) can even be offensive to people who actually do fit your criteria. For example jokes about false teeth and lost hair, aimed at steering away men who are much older (than the lady advertising), will actually target victims of illness and accidents who may be young and just as worthy of consideration as any other likely prospects. That gives the impression that the lady is thoughtless and/or heartless, when in fact she may just have been careless and hurried in her profile writing.

Keep it logical!
Sometimes I read profiles with statements and requests that make no sense. For example, insisting that replies must only come from men who are taller than the advertiser, but the advertiser has not revealed her height! Or requesting someone who shares the same interests, without actually revealing the advertiser's interests!

Photo captions
I often see photos 'dated' as having been "taken last month", or "taken 3 weeks ago". These are meaningless statements unless the reader has some way of knowing when they were written! If the photos are to be dated at all, then the actual date (or at least the year) that they were taken should be stated. If you look young for your age, it helps to emphasise how recently the photos were taken.

Photos of yourself only!
When dating sites ask you to upload photos, they don't mean pictures of Ely Cathedral, a house, a dog, or a car. They mean a photo of yourself! Amazingly, quite a few people actually display photos of their children, for all the nut-cases browsing the web to see. That is not a wise thing to do, for the children's safety.

Your appearance
For the ladies, don't apologise for your appearance. Even if you have a low opinion of how you look, resist the temptation to convey that in a profile. A touch of modesty is fine, but anything more will give the impression that you are very lacking in confidence. That can attract the wrong kind of man, while putting off those who genuinely admire full figured women. Starting profiles with the cliché "Don't judge a book by its cover", (as many profiles do) gets you off to a bad start!

Proof reading
Take some care and proof read your profile. One typo can reverse the meaning of a statement. Sometimes mistakes can look highly amusing to the reader. I read one lady's profile, stating her job to be a "fiance administrator"! I could guess what she meant, but it highlights the importance of avoiding errors: One mistake might cost you the price of putting off that elusive companion.

Built-in obsolescence
Avoid writing things that will quickly make the profile appear dated, or else be prepared to keep updating it. Such as being new to the site or online dating, or even writing your age within the main text. When it states age 35 in the main part of the profile, but the current age is shown as 39, then it gives away how long you've been on the site, while showing you have not kept it up to date.

Personal security
Be careful not to reveal your surname and date of birth on your profile. I've seen user-names that appear to reveal these details (assuming they are genuine). You don't want to become a victim of identity theft.

And having covered what not to do, here are some tips on what you should do:

1) Take profile writing seriously and put some time and care into it.

2) If your writing skills are not good, get a friend to check over your profile. Spell-checkers might help, but won't solve all writing problems.

3) Write positive and optimistic things about yourself (including appearance) and the partner you seek.

4) Write about what makes you unique.

5) Be honest and open, but don't write at great length.

6) Keep sounding happy and optimistic in your profile no matter what online experiences you may have.

7) Don't be too restrictive with the age range of partner you seek. That would defeat all the trouble you have gone to, to set up a profile, only to exclude too many potential friends/soulmates.

8) Say what you will bring to a relationship, rather than just listing what you expect from a partner.

9) Avoid addressing your readers in the plural. For example, don't greet them with "Hello boys" or "Hello ladies". Write as though only one person is reading.

If you are using a dating site with a very large number of members, then it is important to have a really good headline to grab attention. Remember that people browsing the site may be skimming fast over lots of profiles. Your headline needs to stop them in their tracks.

Humour is often a good approach, but there are two things to avoid: Firstly, sarcastic humour can cause problems when it is read by folk who don't know you. They might not be sure if your words are serious or a joke. Secondly, avoid humorous lines that are being repeated all over the site. Instead, write something that relates to yourself, or perhaps demonstrates the kind of humour you like (but nothing offensive!).

Alternatively, write a headlline that is heart-warming. You might be limited in the length of headline permitted, so be careful that the end has not been chopped off. Also, keep the headline truthful, if it relates to anything about you.

As with all profile writing, never put in the headline anything negative (even hinting at anything negative) and never put anything that sounds as though you are desparing in your soul mate search.

Photos are also vital in catching attention. The main thing is a good quality, clear photo, that is also flattering. Avoid flash photography and group photos. If necessary crop the photo so that there is not too much background, otherwise it will be hard to see you (ask a friend do crop it if you don't have the required software or know-how).

But when it comes to attention grabbing photos, don't read that as meaning scantily clad, or silly or rude poses! Don't put off the reader whose attention you have just caught!

If your photo was taken sideways-up, most computers have the software to rotate it 90 degrees. Look at the photo on whatever picture viewer your computer has, and you will probably find some controls shown below the image. Two of these will be for rotating the photo one way or the other.

And finally... make a positive sounding profile

You may need to include a few negative points, such as certain categories that you will not date at all. But try and make most of the profile sound positive by writing what qualities *do* appeal. If you have gone through some hard times recently, then don't dwell on how bad these experiences were or the effect they've had on you. Not only is that negative sounding, but it may also mark you out as a potential victim for just the sort of person you wish to avoid (control-freaks, parasites, etc.). You don't need to sound conceited about yourself to come across as positive. Just try to be cheerful, optimistic about the future, and include some humour. If you can make the reader smile, then he/she will probably read the whole profile.

Update, 2017
It seems that as more folk use online dating sites, and gain experience, the worse profile writing becomes! This is more of a problem at free sites where laziness tends to be evident, but many of the latest troubles surround photos, now that uploading images is much easier than it was back in 2000. Here are some of the profile creating mistakes that are much in evidence in 2017:

- Pulling faces in photos, or manipulating them with software. Why would anyone in their right mind want to show photos on a dating site that don't show what they really look like? It's a deception on a par with lying in the text.

- Aerial selfies: Selfie photos taken from high up, with one's face very close to the camera, gives the illusion that one's body is much smaller than it is. Since this webpage is in a BBW related site, my first comment is that a lady doing this may miss out on men who prefer full-figures. And will disappoint men who are strict about dating thin only. Everyone loses out. It is also just another deception, to add to common profile lies, such as age and height.

- Chips on the shoulder: Ranting about the opposite sex, from one's past experiences is something I dealt with above, but continues to get worse. Oh yes, I would just love to date a bitter, angry man-hater!

- Blank profiles: Or a brief comment to "Ask me" or "We won't have anything to talk about when we meet". How would you meet, other than someone judging you by photos alone?

- Stating that you won't reply to messages if you are not interested: This is an extension of the old "no reply" problem, backed by various lame excuses for what is actually laziness and bad manners. A common excuse is the angry reactions of some idiots to rejection, but that is not a licence to become ill-mannered to everyone else. Warning in advance that you won't reply, will send all well-mannered readers moving onto the next profile.

- Writing for your own gender: This is for heterosexual profiles, where women write as though they are trying to impress other women, or men writing for men. The readers either mis-understand what the writer means, or might even be offended. I've seen women's profiles containing sexist jokes about men. Offending the readers won't help! And it won't assess if he's a good sport. He'll read it to mean the woman can't get on with men.

- Profile ultimatums: "This is your last chance before I close this profile and leave". Boo-hoo! The cry-baby approach is likely to cause laughter, not a sudden rush to grab that despairing and desperate sounding person. And they are usually still there, online, after their promise to bow out. What a surprise!

- Explaining etiquette: I've seen a few women's profiles with checklists of how a man should conduct himself in a relationship. And very patronising too! If a man needs to have those things explained, then he's not worth dating. If he already knows how to treat a lady, then he will feel insulted at being told. Some women also like to ask men philosophical questions, along the lines of, "Would you stay with me if I became ill or disabled", or variations thereof. It translates into "Are you a low-life slimeball, or a nice man?" That's a tough one... let me have a think...!

Perhaps the good thing about reading very off-putting profiles is that they might be an accurate representation of some advertisers, and thus a useful warning!

It is easy to find articles online for more indepth advice, or tips for certain age groups. For example:

The 5 Biggest Mistakes Women Make With Online Dating

My 6 Pet Peeves about Middle Aged Men's Online Dating Profiles


Flirting/dating tips for larger ladies and the men who admire them, out in the off-line real world

There is a lot of advice online about body-language between men and women and other aspects of flirting and dating (much of which consists of appalling generalisations and dating clichés!). But there are additional things to consider if you are a cuddly lady or a gent who prefers a larger girl-friend.

Firstly, for the men who are seeking a potential girl friend

An added problem for BBW admirers is that many of the ladies may have self-esteem issues relating to their physique and may have had bad experiences that now make it harder for them to connect with a nice, genuine admirer. The following is a bit simplistic, but it will help to understand these issues if I list a few categories of larger women:

1 - Genuinely confident. A minority of large (even very large) ladies are lucky enough to have real confidence in themselves. This makes them especially attractive to real admirers as they have few self-esteem issues or other worries about how the world perceives them. They tend to be strict about being treated with respect, and those men who are not true admirers, but prey on low self-esteem women, won't last 5 minutes with them!

2 - Confident on the surface. A great many cuddly ladies manage to show a confident looking exterior, and may have strong qualities in their character. Yet underneath, they may have a fragile self-esteem and a delicate heart. No matter how strong and confident they appear, treat them gently and with kindness towards their feelings.

3 - Introverted. Quite a few cuddly ladies look less confident straight away. They avoid eye contact with strangers, perhaps take less care of their appearance, and may be suspicious of a guy who takes an interest. They may have had troubled experiences in relationships, having been treated badly, and they may take a bit of extra time to build up confidence if you get to know such a lady. If you get on well, then it is worth the effort!

4 - Miss Angry. A small minority are so disgusted with their own appearance, that they are aggressive towards admirers. Unless you are a professional counsellor, you would be advised to avoid such a lady, especially if she can't treat you with respect and politeness.

Whether their self-esteems are high or low, and whatever their past experiences, these ladies should be treated largely the same. With respect. The main difference is that more patience is needed for lower self-esteems, and it can take months or years for a lady to feel better about herself. It is up to her to change, but your moral support and admiration will help.

For men who have spotted a lady who they would like to get to know

Many larger women have had experiences of being eyed up by guys that they found to be "creepy". For men who like their girl friends to be extra cuddly, spotting a lady who appeals visually may be a rare event. The danger then is to get over-whelmed with admiration and spend too much time checking out her figure. So, pull yourself together, and look at her eyes and not any body parts. Popular general flirting advice is to hold a glance for a few seconds, but with a larger lady you have to be more cautious. Avoid staring. You can always make a few glances. If you are shy and can't hold eye contact for long, be careful that your eyes don't drop. This might be mistaken for you looking at her chest! That does not go down well. The way that you look at her is very important. Hopefully, your natural expression will give out the right signals, but you can make a conscious effort to be sure that your eyes are wide and "smiling", that your eye-brows are raised a little bit, and that you give at least a hint of a smile. Over-doing the smile might make her think you are mocking, depending on how good her confidence is.

If you have had the opportunity to chat, and had the courage to take it, then be careful what you talk about. Mundane chat about the situation you are in, just as you might talk to any other person, is a good cautious approach that is unlikely to scare the lady away. It will also allow you to gauge her reaction to you and see if she has enough interest to talk some more. Avoid starting a chat with a direct comment about her beauty, as she may just brush you off if you are too forward. In this first chat, don't talk about your BBW admiration and avoid the topic of her physique. Make her feel like you are interested in the person she is. She may work out that you like her appearance by the fact that you are talking to her.

Men dating a cuddly girl friend

It is important to show your girl friend affection when out and about with her. Onlookers are less likely to make negative comments or give rude stares if they can see that she is with a loving boy friend. Give her your full attention and be oblivious to other people. And don't check out any other big ladies you spot! Make sure that you welcome her into your circle of family and friends. Men who seem embarrassed to be with a large lady, do not deserve to share her company, and she deserves to be treated better.

For the ladies who are seeking a potential boy friend

If you hope that a nice guy will make that first move and approach you to talk, then it helps if you feel good about yourself, or at least try to put on an air of confidence. This makes you appear more approachable and more attractive.

If a gent is looking at you, but you are not sure if this is admiration, keep in mind that he might see very few ladies who he is very attracted to (being a BBW/SSBBW admirer), and is a bit "gob-smacked"! That can cross up his body language and facial expressions, so give him a chance to recover his composure and see if he might be a true admirer. It is so easy to miss-understand each other's body language at the initial encounter, for a large lady and an admirer. If he doesn't continue to "creep you out", and seems attractive, then your natural body-language should take over, but a smiling glance or two will help just in case he doesn't pick up on subtle gestures.

If a guy does not keep eye contact for long, he might just be shy. If his eyes drop, don't assume that he is checking out your cleavage! Women who have had countless bad (or just irritating) experiences with men, can sometimes make the mistake of jumping to conclusions over the behaviour of a new guy. Take things slowly and give the poor chap a fair chance to show what he is like.

If you do get chatting, don't be too disappointed if he is a bit inept at expressing his admiration. In this thin obsessed world, men often have trouble explaining their admiration, and ladies often have trouble taking the concept in. If you do receive compliments, accept them politely and assume that they are genuine. They probably are! Rejecting a compliment will cause offense and quite possibly be the beginning of the end of a new relationship.

A lot of full figured ladies are seeking a boy friend who is only interested in her inner qualities and not her appearance. While it has been known for this approach to work, it is very optimistic and limits your chances. More importantly, many plus sized ladies in successful relationships, report that their soul mates loved them for both their inner and outer beauty, and this is usually important for a full and rewarding long-term relationship. Many people claim that looks don't matter at all, but in fact, physical attraction can help to keep a relationship going through any difficult times, as the guy will try harder to make it work well if there is a strong attraction to you. So, while one's inner beauty is most important, the outer attraction helps a lot!

21st Century Dating

I spent several years in the online world of size-acceptance (as well as meeting and dating in real life), learning as much as I could about the issues that concern the ladies, and about relationships and social interaction and prejudice. It was also interesting to learn issues that affect women and relationships in general, not just plus sized issues.

In a similar vein, I've looked into other topics where relationships are hit by mis-understandings or prejudice and judgement. For example, inter-cultural relationships, inter-racial relationships, and large age gaps. Then there are the more wide-spread topics of the way things have changed over the years due to feminism, political-correctness and the effects of modern technology on dating.

Feminism and dating

The feminism/relationships issue seems to cause a lot of excitable debate! It is interesting to analyse the two extreme views one can come across, and note that both groups are very similar, even though their views are at opposite poles. At one end, there are angry men who are anti-feminism, and at the other end, angry women who are out-spoken feminists. Both have a few things in common - apart from being angry! Both report trouble with dating. Both blame the other gender for those troubles. Both refuse to admit any blame. And both, from the way they express themselves, reveal why few want to date them! As long as they are a small minority, then the rest of us have little to worry about as long as we can spot them easily. Both groups tend to be ill-mannered to those who don't agree with them.

On a more subtle level, the problems for some successful career women also get debated often. If you consider both men and women who battle through education and a career to progress and succeed, there is one important underlying characteristic that helps them through: Selfishness. But (don't get angry!) that is not necessarily a bad thing in the right context. The problems come if that (and other business characteristics) are not toned down for dating and relationships. Relationships should not be about competition, or putting the other person down, or wanting everything, while giving little (in emotional terms). Years ago, this problem would have been mainly with men, but now it applies to both genders more frequently.

If you are a woman, then I'm sure you can think of areas where gender equality is still lacking, from the women's perspective. I'm not diminishing any of that, when I highlight the imbalance that exists against men, which mostly refers to social and relationship scenarios. Men's etiquette is very closely scrutinised and criticised, while women seem to get away with behaviour that is not tolerated in men. More worrying, is that innocent men can very easily be falsely accused of stalking, or even worse (and very repulsive) acts, with little or no evidence, which can have a long-lasting impact on their lives. It also doesn't help the real victims of such crimes. It is good that there is more awareness, but one has to be careful to distinguish between the bad guys, and those who are well-meaning but shy or anxious. Returning to the former point above, an example of the double-standards that prevails, is that many women get away with sexist jokes and comments about men, while the reverse is almost certain to start a row. And if men complain about women's behaviour towards them, they are labelled "cry-babies"! It is not really a new issue, but the scope for criticising men's behaviour has expanded. And to be fair to women, over-sensitivity is something that has expanded with both genders, over the decades. The irony is that sensitivity, can stimulate anger, which can bring out the harshest of insults and abuse!

Age gap dating

I've always been very flexible on what age I would date, even when I was very young, and never understood those friends who placed restrictions. Such as plus/minus 5 years. That eliminates most of your potential dates. I also think that there are pros and cons of dating older, younger or same age, but the main thing is the individual person. Once we start considering larger age gaps, then problems arise. Not usually because of the age gap itself, but the reactions and judgement of other folk. Some people even prefer to see a couple split up, so they can claim to have been right! When the woman is the older of the couple, then the judgement can be harsh even if the gap is not all that big. Hopefully, this state of affairs is improving as more such relationships happen and some get publicised.

When the man is much older than the woman, I find it sad when the woman breaks up with her family. A family is for life, whereas a boy friend relationship is more likely to fail than endure - regardless of the ages involved. So, to the older men, I think it is important to consider the girl friend's long-term future with support from her family. And to parents of a daughter dating a much older man, be sure to get to know the man rather than making any rash judgements. The latter may drive a wedge between you and your daughter and, if her relationship is a bad one, then it makes matters worse. A bad relationship will often fizzle out quicker if parents don't intervene.

To any mature women who rant about men who date much younger girl-friends, your ranting will only serve to demonstrate one reason why they do what they do! And if you don't like such men, then you are not going to date them, so what is the problem? And yes, I know... some people just like to vent, but it will harm your dating prospects if you vent publicly.

Most judgements levelled at age-gap relationships are based on a small minority of the worst cases. In some cases, based on pure fallacy. The cringe-inducing comments about women with "daddy issues" has no corellation with age gap dating, as confirmed in academic research (
see here). Some women do report cases of older men wanting control over their 'partner', but these are the exceptions, judging by the first-hand accounts I've read from women. Sometimes these couples were not even seeking that specific age group. The relationship evolved naturally. And folk are allowed to have preferences without being given false labels. Live and let live!

Inter-cultural dating

When I first went online in 2000, there were not many British ladies on the internet. I befriended some delightful American ladies, mostly via size-acceptance, and later because of this art gallery. At least two of my American gallery ladies, married British men they met online, and I was aware of other such trans-Atlantic unions. What some of them said about American men, I will not repeat! By contrast, there are American men who seek soul-mates from Eastern Europe and Asia, sometimes with success. What they say about American women, I won't repeat! The Western man/Eastern woman romance trade has long had a very tarnished reputation, and there are indeed scams both organised and individual. Scams flourish if those men allow them to. If you are a Western male considering this approach to marriage, then you should do extensive research before taking any action. And follow any advice from those who have been through it (not me!). Remember that the grass is not always greener elsewhere, even if it looks good to you at first.

Early in 2018 I decided to do a little research myself, and test out one of those dating sites that claim to bring together Western men and East European women. I chose a site that did not appear to have a reputation as a scam. It was a tough task to subject myself to attention from large numbers of glamorous women, but I was determined to bring you, my reader, some useful information :) I ran my standard test and made a profile that was as empty of information as possible (and no photos), but no deceptions either. Any information given was true. I had to provide gender, age and location. Within the first 24 hours or so, I was contacted by over 60 ladies! About half of the contacts came with no written message. Of the messages, all but two looked like standard circulars that could be sent to any man. The other two were properly written, picking up on what little data there was on my profile. With my age at 52, most contacts came from those in their 20s and 30s, but covering ages 18 to 66 overall. The younger women's profiles looked the least genuine, with the text full of philosophical notions about love and relationships. The younger profiles' photos tended to look as though they were auditioning for a men's magazine - just too riské for husband hunting! Nearly all profile photos across the age groups, looked like professional shots. As a portrait artist, I was very impressed by the standard of these photographers! As to how many of the responses I got were fake, and how many from real women with limited English language skills, I can only speculate. And how many are just seeking to move west, how many are scamming, and how many genuinely prefer Western men, I'll leave you to judge. Accounts of relationships developing from this approach, are very varied. There were a few profiles with a ring of truth to them, including full-figured, attractive ladies, maybe with children and divorced. In a UK dating site, a full, well written man's profile would receive very few replies - other than a small number of fakes initially.

Inter-racial dating

My mother was white English and my Dad came from Sri Lanka, and they married in 1950s Britain. I'm not aware of any racial troubles in their day, but I certainly experienced abuse - both verbal and violence - growing up in the 1970s. Today, my home town has a rich variety of ethnic groups, and racism is far less apparent than in my day. When it comes to dating, I'm open to any races, but I respect that many folk prefer a specific race for girl/boyfriends. There is nothing racist about that. When writing online profiles, I would recommend some diplomacy when stating a preference. Just say who you prefer. If you make it sound negative, then be prepared for some backlash!

The internet and dating

It's amusing the number of folk who try online dating for a few months and become instant "experts" and write articles! As early as 1992, I tried out newspaper lonely-hearts advertising, which gave me a head-start when I first tried online dating in 2000. By 2002, I had a strong incentive to try out and vet numerous dating sites. I was not only receiving fan-mail for my art here, but also for my links page! It seems that many liked the high quality of links I maintained. Unfortunately, it was hard to maintain good quality dating site links. Dubious practices among commercial site owners were a problem from the outset.

I saw some major changes early on. Commercial sites muscled into the BBW niche, and most of the good free BBW/admirer dating sites gave up and closed. At the same time, vast numbers of UK ladies went online. Sadly, the quality of profiles got rapidly worse... and worse! Several years on, more folk find new ways to make profiles... yes, even worse!

Dating sites make it very easy for people to make very clinical lists of criteria for potential boy/girl friends, thus ruling out most of those people who they might have connected with in a real-life encounter. That doesn't mean that one shouldn't use online dating. Like most tools, it has potential dependent upon how you use it. Just be aware of the pitfalls. Anything that can be abused, will be abused, so you need to be able to 'sniff' out those who are not genuinely seeking the same as yourself. Also, be aware of the sneaky ploys that many such websites use. A useful trick, is to set up a profile that has no information about you (or as little as the site permits) and no photos. Sit back and observe how many people appear to be contacting you on the first day - maybe even within minutes of signing up! Those are from fake profiles, designed to trick you into buying membership.

One thing the online dating sites and the old newspaper lonely-hearts dating have in common, is that they attract a disproportionate number of people who are best avoided! Those who have trouble dating because they don't treat others with respect, are too arrogant, have short tempers, etc. So don't be disheartened at the poor quality you find. It is vital to remain upbeat and cheerful, otherwise you'll create a vicious-circle of failure. When trying out those newpaper ads in 1992, I did succeed in meeting a very charming lady (where are you now, Beth?!), so the good ones are usually in there somewhere. Keep looking, but don't try too hard!

If you want to read some level-headed and scientific articles on dating, the Psychology Today website is a good source. I'm not affiliated with them in any way.

And finally...

If you've been trawling through relationship articles, have you noticed how many of them stereotype everyone? Over 50s are "set in their ways". Under 25s "party and get drunk". Men "don't understand emotional support". Women "don't want their problems fixed". All true for some - but only some! Or maybe I'm just a whacky guy. I'm not intimidated by women who are tall, large, physically strong, or intelligent. In fact those are all appealing qualities to me. When I was young, I hated parties. Now I'm over 50, I'm not grumpy! Life is too short to be hateful, angry, or resentful. Being optimistic, but realistic, will keep stress levels down, and happiness levels up :)

On the next page: Bad BBW Dating Sites!

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Website started 4th March 2001