Welcome to Ask April, a no-nonsense advice column focusing on what it is you can do to correct things that need correcting. While we all know much in life is out of our control, and sometimes, our reaction is all we CAN control- we really do have a lot of personal power, thankfully. Our will is just as important as the wills of others around us, and while we need to be considerate, we also need to make sure others are equally considerate of us. It is my hope that when you write in to me, asking advice, I can help you make a good decision that somehow improves whatever situation you’ve found yourself in. As with anything I share, I recommend people don’t automatically take my word for anything, but include my advice in with the rest of the things that help them make a decision. I wish you well. Read on.
I am a single woman, over 40, and friends have talked me into doing online dating. It is driving me crazy! Some of the men just want to hook up for a one-time roll in the hay, which I am not down for, and others stopped talking to me once they saw I am plus sized. I finally got on a site where men are specifically looking for plus sized women, and it does not seem like this crowd is any less disappointing. It seems like dating was easier when I was younger! Is this as good as it gets? What can you tell me about the dating scene for older people? Am I doomed to die alone?
Dear Disappointed Dater,
I think the reason dating gets harder as we get older is that us older people have lower tolerance for bullshit. We do have more baggage, and tighter work schedules as well as less energy for going out- but that never held anybody back from meeting somebody to love. The thing is, we know who we are, we know what we want, and thus the options are more limited than they were when we were too young to know all of this. We are no less attractive, we are no less desirable- we are just less open to wasting time and we sometimes know almost immediately if somebody will work out for us or not.
Personally, I never needed a date to go out and have a good time- because I have been blessed with plenty of friends to do that with. Chances are, you have plenty of friends to enjoy life with, and you don’t need a man to show you a good time. So dating , for you, may be about more serious things such as settling down, as opposed to having a good time or “hanging out.”.
Advice I’d give you is to hang in there. You never know when you will meet somebody wonderful. I do have friends who settled down with somebody they met doing dating services, but I also have friends who have met their significant other by accident. I consider dating services very worthwhile and another good option when you are open to meeting people. I think it is very smart for you to be on a site that is specifically for men who love us larger ladies. I don’t know about you, but I DO have a physical type. I love tall men with long hair. If they either do manual labor or know how to fix a house up, that is extra points in my book.
Like us women, men have types too, and men who prefer larger women are out there looking for somebody just like you. Depending on your personal interests, there may also be groups devoted specifically to those where you can meet people as well. It sounds like you are doing everything right, and you should not to give up, but keep doing everything just as you are.
A really BAD piece of advice I got when I was younger, which I will warn you away from, is to NEVER have a drink in your hand at a bar. I was told that being drinkless signaled you were open to a man buying you a drink, and thus talk to him, and you would otherwise appear unapproachable. I always felt sorry for girls who sat by the bar and begged men for drinks and attention as opposed to going out with girlfriends and having fun together. Life is too short to play games and base relationships on alcoholic beverages. Unless all you want to do in your spare time is go to bars and drink, what we commonly refer to as “meat market bars”, are not the best way to meet people. Seek out places where like-minded individuals are sure to be, and enjoy your fucking life whist being open to meeting that special somebody.
Perhaps in “the dating scene” there are rules one must adhere to if you are playing people, but I never did that. I also never saw anybody who was a “player” succeed in a real relationship, although they seemed quite popular and to have plenty of people falling all over them. It seems the “nerds” who have few dates, and are less eligible by mainstream standards form the best long term relationships. I am not saying we should all go become homely- what I am saying is I have never found a shallow “hottie” to be somebody you can have a relationship of substance with, and the people who focus on things like being decent human beings, paying their bills, and being reliable are the ones you’d want to be involved with. They are not always the most noticeable ones in the room, because they are too busy paying attention to being nice than to going out of their way to be the center of attention. This might make them harder to pick out, but they are worth sorting through the attention whores to find.
When I was single, I did not “play the game”. I just got together, and spent time with people I was interested in, and finally, things worked out quite well, and I am blessed with a wonderful husband.
I did give everybody who expressed interest in me a chance, and had a lot of first dates I did not follow up on. I highly recommend that to anybody- but I also recommend always meeting new people in public because you never know when you will get stuck with meeting a sicko. Have a bailout plan handy in the event your blind date shows up smelling bad, is much different than their profile picture, or otherwise repulses you. Do not feel bad for fleeing if necessary.
Are you doomed to die alone? I know some people are- and not everybody is “meant to be” with somebody else- many people do die single and or alone. I can’t answer that question for you. I DO know that a lot of people spend an inordinate amount of time worrying if that will happen to them- me included- I confess- and I have found that attitude never helped anybody. It just makes you miserable in the present, worrying that you may be unhappy in the future.
My last bit of advice to you is to, take a deep breath, and be proud of yourself. You have the courage to reach out, and give people a chance- which puts you ahead of “the game” if you will, and means you run far less chance of dying alone than somebody else who is too afraid of putting themselves out there.