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Profile Writing Tips
21st Century Dating
Online dating advice? Fat lot of use!

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!).


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!


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 a tad ill-mannered to those who don't agree with them. Or to be more precise, they show hatred towards their own genders, in between hating the opposite genders! Whatever our views, some will disagree. Don't lose sleep over it!

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. The topic is more complex, when one considers the traditional male/female roles, and how equality has put a strain on our inherent desires within relationships. Judging by many dating profiles, many career women have lost the plot, as to what dating and relationships are. Successful relationships are usually those where each person brings something different to the 'table', thus complimenting each other's attributes. Simply trying to divide every aspect, every chore, and every role, is unlikely to make partners happy. That is partly because there may be debate (and resentment) if things don't appear equal and fair all the time. But in a partnership where the roles differ, then there is less scope for making comparisons - you just get on with life.

"Independence" is a popular attribute that women like to advertise nowadays, but there is some confusion. It is good that women have the financial independence to be able to live on their own if they need or desire to. Plus whatever abilities needed to survive comfortably. However, a happy and successful relationship will flourish if there is some dependence (in both directions) over less important things. Most people like to feel needed, yet single women seeking a mate, often boast how much they don't "need" a man! Then they wonder why men aren't interested. No man wants to feel like he's a pet goldfish - there at a lady's convenience! As with most aspects of relationships, there is a balance to find between too much or too little of everything.

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. Be sure to learn the culture and some of the language, which will help prevent you from being scammed, as well as showing respect to any genuine ladies.

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. I did check some data across the profiles to try and assess if many are genuine. I checked the stated height for each lady. A random selection of ladies' heights, should form a bell-curve graph. It did so in this little survey, but it was a very narrow curve, peaking at around 5ft 6. That is, most heights were concentrated around 5ft 6, with few very tall or short. While not conclusive, it might suggest that most profiles are fakes, with heights chosen to appeal to most men? Accounts of relationships developing from this online 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 :)

Online dating advice? Fat lot of use!

Today (2019), online video is the popular medium for advice for dating and relationships. If you wade through enough of the rubbish advice, you will eventually find some really well informed people, and hopefully someone well suited to your culture and life-style. Yet, most still have a "blind spot" towards plus size women and men's preferences. Even the seemingly intelligent dating coaches who debunk myths and misunderstandings, are still brain-washed on this one topic. And I cringe every time men continue to grade women's beauty on a scale of 1 to 10. I would expect that from an adolescent boy who has only just discovered girls! Beauty is highly subjective, and nature has its way of making sure we don't have 100% of males chasing 10% of females. Some guys like muscles on women, some like them short, some like big hips... well, you get the picture, and an obvious one at that. And there are women who break the stereo-types, such as tall ladies who prefer shorter men (my ex had this preference).

More surprising, is how naive many of the men are towards understanding beauty and how it is perceived. This is where being a portrait artist (with an eye for style) gives me an edge. Most men realise the influence of women's make-up, hair and clothes, on their beauty, because, well.. it's obvious! But they don't usually grasp just how significant these can be when combined with a variety of subtle factors. A man reacts subconciously to a variety of visual cues, aside from the woman's physical features. Facial expressions give off subtle information about character and confidence, while poise and deportment (and body-language in general) also add to a woman's power of attraction. Any of the more talented movie actresses can illustrate how to go from unattractive to a great beauty without any physical changes.

...and here are some random pieces of advice to help inexperienced daters:

Communicating - Men and Women

'Separated' by a common language, men and women may interpret what each other says differently. Success in dating is greatly helped if you can avoid such misunderstandings. You probably know that already, but resolving it takes a bit of research and keeping a calm and open mind

Remember that most people can by overly sensitive to some topics, and can be set off by certain trigger-words. For example, a woman describing herself simply as "independent" might be (mis)interpretted as a hard-line feminist, or someone who doesn't want a full and loving traditional relationship. It is all in the way you say things. Saying that she has been successful in her career, gets the message across smoothly. If a man is worried about feminists, he needs to be aware that the term means different things to different women. If she just wants equality, then that should not be a problem. If she uses terms popular with third-wave feminists (e.g. "man-flu", "manplaining", etc.), then that will be a warning to the men.

Nice guys finish last?

Are you a young man wondering why seemingly good women do not even give you the time of day, let alone date you? They date bad boys, have bad experiences and then moan that there are no nice men... before dating another bad boy!

Part of the explanation is female genetics. Not all women, but many instinctively seek a boy friend who has traits that suggest he is going to be successful in his life. Being nice, is not one of them. The women who go through this process - if they are smart - will eventually learn to seek out a guy with a better balance of qualities. Simply being nice, is not sufficient even in modern (post caveman!) life, since he needs plenty of other qualities too, to be a good partner and a success in his career. If you are a nice young man, who is witty, successful (or striving for success), then you might just need to wait a few years before you find yourself in demand in the dating market. You might find that some younger women do appreciate your qualities, since not all women follow primitive instincts.

Are mature women still attractive (for dating)?

If you are a woman over 40 or 50, and you've read articles on dating versus age, then it might make depressing reading. Much is said about women's appeal peaking at a very young age. However, these claims fail to take into account the changing reasons for dating as we age. If you are no longer planning to have (more) children, then your value is measured a bit differently from those younger ladies. If you are finding difficulty in attracting nice men, then it is worth searching for factors that men complain about. It is important to have a positive outlook on life, no matter what bad experiences you have gone through. Also, be nice to the men! Don't put them down, don't be sexist. You don't have to make insincere compliments, for the sake of it, but rather, be polite, take a polite interest in their hobbies. Many mature women judge and put men down, and then wonder why they don't succeed. Many are outraged at this advice to be nice to men, and believe themselves to be a good catch! That opens the way for all the more sensible ladies to grab themselves one of the good guys. But just remember that those good guys might be very cautious at first. As long as he treats you with respect, and gives you the benefit of the doubt, then you could be onto a winner.

Appearance is important, but good men don't rate women purely on appearance. Good looks grabs the initial attraction, and opens the door to getting to know each other. As a portrait artist, I know that good looks is more than 50% style, and the older you get, the higher the percentage. A lot of men do prefer long hair on a lady, which might sound simplistic and shallow, but it is a factor to consider, and there is nothing wrong with a visual preference. Some women seem to lose interest in attractive style as they mature, or maybe follow some out-dated (and stupid!) unwritten rules about how women over a given age should dress. You can dress your age and still be colourful and eye-catching. As well as considering your style, also consider your facial expressions and body language. Be cheerful, friendly, and have a touch of confidence in the way you move, stand and sit. If you struggle with your image, and lack confidence, you can practice in front of a camera in the privacy of your own home. Try out some nice clothes, and pose. It does help!

Shyness and anxiety in girls and women.

Advice on shyness is usually best heard from a shy person. I used to have the anxiety disorder "selective mutism" which was often mistaken for shyness. I can empathise with those extremely shy ladies. For the men, it can be easy to misunderstand a shy woman. If she is interested in you, she might give out some of the obvious subtle clues such as glances, and warm smiles, etc. But she might also appear to show a firm disinterest. She might dream of meeting and talking to you, but when the opportunity arises, she might become overwhelmed with anxiety and end up doing the opposite, and avoid you. Sometimes, you can read this effect from her face. She might look down and have a serious or unhappy expression. Some might look away to their side, and seem aloof. You will need to gather more evidence to decide if she is really attracted to you. Just don't feel disheartened on those moments when she seems turned-off. Wait and see how she behaves around you next time. Also, try to think how she would be feeling after missing a chance to talk to you. She might be frustrated with herself and wonder if she has missed her final chance, so make sure that is not the case. If she is really, really shy, then you will have to be patient. Maybe just smile when you encounter her, and see if she seems happy and relaxed. Later on, you might say "Hello", but nothng more, and allow her a few days to process that. Assess her reactions each time, but don't assume disinterest if she seems to back off.

If you are the shy girl or woman, admiring a guy, then it is not easy to break through that invisible barrier that holds you back. You need to give the guy opportunities to approach you and talk, ideally when there is nobody else too close by. The last thing you need is an audience when you are already so nervous! You could memorise possible things to say and talk about for such an occasion just in case you do get to chat, so that the guy does not have take the lead throughout the conversation. You will fear things going wrong, or simply being rejected, but even if that happens, it is a basic part of the learning process. It is nothing to do with your value as a potential girl-friend. Learn, and move on. Or be sad for a short period, get through any emotions, and then move on and practice talking to guys. If you have a severe anxiety, then there is plenty of advice and tips online for ways to begin to improve. I used to force myself through difficult social situations. When it worked out well, it helped to cure the problem. If it went badly, it made the problem worse! I didn't have the internet or mobile phones back then. Now, you might be able to message or email online, if you know who your crush is, and this gets round the shyness problem.


At one time I dated a lady who was later diagnosed with aspergers syndrome. This condition is harder to spot with girls/women. Each person with this issue is different, but there are some common characteristics, including positive ones. Such as honesty, loyalty, and straight talking. No need to decode female language into male language! Contrary to popular opinion, they tend to have great empathy, but communication issues can mask this positive trait. If you are dating an 'aspie', then it is probably best not to try and get them to mask their condition. They might do this at times, to make inter-actions during their day a bit smoother, just as everyone has to compromise a little to exist among people. But when on your own together, it is nicer to let him/her be themselves and relax. And helpful for you to learn why they behave the way they do, so that there will be few arguments. Hopefully! They might suffer anxiety in some situations, so you need to find out what things trigger this, so you can either avoid those scenarios or help them through and be supportive. Also, be aware that they might be highly sensitive to certain light, sound and smells.

Although ASD folk often like to have some time alone, they also suffer from loneliness. Difficulties in communicating (reading body-language, and interpretting sarcasm, etc.) makes it very hard to form lasting friendships. But if they can find just one friend who understands and accepts them, then that can make all the difference. And if that best friend is their soulmate, then they have a safe haven to come home to, after the exhaustion of interacting with workmates and other people.

There is an important difference between male and female aspergers (although each individual is different): The average 'normal' male has poorer skills in reading others' emotions than average women. Therefore, a female asperger might be on a similar level to a normal male in this respect. A male asperger, is likely to be more extreme in this characteristic, which might be why we tend to hear cases of men getting into trouble over their behaviour towards women.

Further advice sources for dating.

By far the best dating advice for men, comes from
Dan Bacon. He is excellent at explaining the principles of male/female behaviour, communication etc.

It is much harder to find good advice for women. Some successful dating coaches (especially for career women) give the most terrible advice! That is because they tell their clients what they want to hear, making them feel happy. But anyone who is failing in their dating exploits, needs to change their approach. A good coach will tell the uncomfortable truths that you might not want to hear, and also the underlying reasons. Women and girls seem to receive endless poor advice, and it can take a new mindset to understand how male/female romantic inter-actions really work. For mature ladies, you might want to watch "Engaged at Any Age" videos.

For younger women, I would recommend watching what is being taught to the men (see Dan Bacon, above) for a better understanding. And maybe even "reverse engineer" the stategies? Research what men are talking about, so that you are not learning entirely from women.

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