Why Men Don’t Write to Curvy Women on the Internet


Hi Evan,

I have been online dating for about two months and it’s been so-so thus far.   My problem is deciding how to list my body type.   I’m 5’3″ and an hourglass-ish size 10, so while I’m not obese, I’m definitely not “athletic and toned.”   I chose pictures that I think accurately show this.

Anyway, at first I listed myself as “A few pounds extra” thinking it was an honest description.   Well, two male co-workers were talking about online dating and mentioned that they’d never contact a girl that was in that class or “curvy”, because any time they’d met one in the past, she’d been much heavier than in her pictures.

I’m wondering if this is why guys will view me a lot, but won’t make contact. The guys who have made contact have been people that I probably would not have dated normally, i.e., no steady job or just a little odd.

Any suggestions?


On the next episode of Online Mythbusters, we will learn:

  • Why women don’t list their true weights or body types!
  • Why men avoid “curvy” women!
  • Why men look at you and don’t write to you!
  • Why odd men with no jobs contact you!

You have to be asking yourself — is it REALLY in my best interests to tell the truth if 95% of guys are going to dismiss me for doing so?

The good news, Nicci, is that all of the answers can be derived from the same exact technique — flipping things over to consider the other person’s point of view.

Let’s start with you, because a) you wrote me the note, and b) you’re an online dating anomaly — an honest size 10 who doesn’t claim to be athletic and toned.

However, after talking to your male co-workers and observing that you’re not being contacted, you have to be asking yourself — is it REALLY in my best interests to tell the truth if 95% of guys are going to dismiss me for doing so? This is the online dating dilemma that faces MILLIONS of people each day. If I’m a 5’4” man, I know that it’s going to be hard to get a date if I tell the truth. If I’m a 50-year-old man who makes less than $30,000/year, I’m going to be somewhat handicapped. And few people face more discrimination than women in their 50’s and 60’s, who only seem to get email from men who are MUCH older.

Most of these people are good people — and yet they give in to the temptation to lie. Why? Because telling the truth is a FAILING strategy. This is the explanation for why women don’t tell the truth about their bodies. Simply put, there’s very little reward for having integrity. At the very least, heavier women (like shorter men) feel that if they can convince someone to go out with them, they’d have a chance in person….

Except this isn’t true either, because most people feel duped by the disconnect between your description and real life stature. Heavier people almost always do better in “real life” than online.

Next myth to be busted: why men don’t go out with “curvy” women. Well, you touched on it yourself, Nicci, in your email. In their attempts to be honest (but not scare off men), women will click on descriptors like “a few pounds extra”, “curvy”,   or “voluptuous”. All are considered euphemisms for “fat” by men. This creates a vicious circle. Women know that men prefer thin, so they adjust their descriptions accordingly. Men have learned to mistrust these body types, and therefore only look at women who are “firm and toned”, “slim/slender”, or “athletic”. And when the slightly overweight woman shows up on a date with a man who was expecting “athletic”, both parties are in for a night of disappointment.

Focus on what you can control — YOU — and let go of what you can’t — MEN.

Why do men look at you and not write to you? First of all, I think that’s a problem that’s more in your head than in reality. Fact is, we all window shop online. How many men have you looked at? 1000? How many did you write to? 12? Should 988 men feel rejected because you didn’t initiate contact? Please. Ignore how many people look at you. It is misleading and can only serve as a tool that makes you feel rejected. If no one’s WRITING to you, however, there is something to think about. Which is why I’ve helped thousands of people rebrand and market themselves successfully online over the past nine years. Better photos, better essays, better usernames, better email technique. Do everything 25% better and it can make a remarkable difference in your life.

Still, no matter how much rebranding we do, life is still not going to be fair. Men are still largely going to prefer young, thin women. Women are still going to prefer tall, successful men. All we can do is tackle this confidently, and not get too thrown by the many bumps in the road. The man who wants you is going to WANT a curvy girl. No point in getting bent out of shape about the ones who prefer skinny chicks, y’know?

Finally, the last myth we’re gonna bust is that there’s something about your profile that’s attracting the wrong kind of men. I swear to God, I have heard this complaint every single day for nearly a decade. And it always baffles me. So let’s play the game I play with my clients on the phone:

Me: If you were to go to an airport and look around the terminal, what percentage of men would you date?

Her: I don’t know. 5%? 2%, maybe?

Me: Then why would you expect the percentage to be any higher online? If, by definition, 95% of men are wrong for you, it should be expected that many will be unemployed, uneducated, older and inappropriate. Get over it. They’re allowed to take a crack at you, and you’re allowed to ignore them. Focus your energies on attracting and maintaining the 5% that you want. THAT’s what we’ll do together.

And so it is, Nicci. Focus on what you can control — YOU — and let go of what you can’t — MEN.

Understanding this about online dating is essential to your success. And if you’ve struggled with the same frustrations as Nicci — not enough good men, all the wrong men writing to you — my Finding the One Online system is a one-stop-shop to get you the kind of attention you deserve.

Click here to learn more and kickstart your love life today.


Warmest wishes,

Your friend,


Join our conversation (382 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 41
    Dating Headshots

    First off, don’t give up after just two months! Noone finds their perfect match in that amount of time. Online Dating can be very frustrating!

    There are a lot of good answers here from readers. Like many said, don’t worry, lots of men LOVE curvey woman. Lots of men actually have little interest in models, they really find them too skinny (and tall). That media model archetype causes so much frustration for normal women.

    I’d go with what a few others said: Rewrite your profile and reexamine the photos you’ve picked. This is all that people have to go on. Does your profile just list your likes/dislikes but not show off your personality? Look at it like an advertiser would: Does this make me want to take action and buy? If not then write it again. Could you have better profile photos? Lots of people use photos that are okay but don’t make them look their best.

  2. 42

    116 lbs. is overweight? Dunno. I’m about 5’3″ and I must say I’ve gotten alot more compliments being 115 lbs. than I did the year I weighed 97-103 lbs. Guess some men do prefer curves over planes, go figure. Cushy…funny.

  3. 43

    I personally allow for “Curvy” in my searches…I look at the photos to decide if the girl’s definition of “curvy” matches my definition. I do like curves and don’t mind a couple of extra pounds! But what does scare me a bit is that “curvy” today may end up being more than a few extra pounds down the road, especially after marriage. Yes, I’m looking to settle down and get married. I had heard a quote once that the average woman gains 15 lb in the first year after marriage! It seems like there is truth to the phrase that women marry men hoping that they will change, and men marry women hoping that they won’t.

  4. 44

    I’m on the side of Susie with this issue. If you hold yourself to a standard in something, you aren’t doing anything wrong in expecting the same standard from a person you date.

    I don’t have a body like Apollo, but I’m really active. I don’t want a thin woman to be able to show off, I would like a thin woman because chances are she’s someone who would like to go kayaking, hiking, biking, and running with me.

    I’m not a couch potato looking for someone who has the athleticism which I don’t have.

    I’m not holding girls to impossible standards either. The women in the Dove “real women” commercials look great to me.

    But if you go weeks without breaking a sweat, then, I hate to say it, I’m going to be turned off.

  5. 45

    I think both men and women gain weight after marriage.

  6. 46

    It’s been my observation both men and women gain weight simply as they age. Not all, but take a look at those around you over 30. Over 35, 40, 50. If you marry young–young-ish, the chances of both your partner and yourself gaining weight down the road are highly likely.

    And sometimes pregnancies have a cumulative effect as well. Something to reconcile yourself to if you are hoping to have kids with your size 2 one day.

  7. 47

    Another reason not to get married. It is fattening!

  8. 48

    With a little bit of magic thinking you can keep your youthful looks for eternity. Rumour has it Peter Pan has even kept all of his baby teeth 😉

  9. 49
    Curvy Girl

    I’m pretty active (ballet) and am of a normal weight and have always had a J-Lo butt. I love it! And so do guys. So when I first started online dating I put down “curvy,” thinking that my hourglass was so cool and sexy. But then I gave it up because some non-curvy (very overweight but not hourglass) girls were claiming the adjective. Now I only use a site that doesn’t use any body type descriptions. No guy has been disappointed yet, based on my many responses and multiple dates. But I have. to tell ya, they should use the word “curvy” to describe some of these guys. What is it with the fraudulent pics? They say that women do the same, but I don’t date women, so I wouldn’t know.

    And lest that “men are visual” (implying women aren’t) myth get perpetuated any more — WOMEN ARE ALSO INTO THE WAY MEN LOOK! I’m not going to go out with a guy who is at a different level of attractiveness, education, earning power, or niceness from me.

    I am very happy to be dating a few guys I think are great and who seem to think I’m great, too. (There is one guy in particular who really does it for me…it’s not a looks or money thing. We just seem to hit it off.)

    So good luck to all. Most of us have room for improvement in the looks department, so it’s best just to slap on a smile and give it our best shot. Love is waiting for us….:) !!

  10. 50

    Good one Curvy Girl! Like your optimism. And yes, women are visual TOO. And often more accepting of less than ‘perfection’ as well.

  11. 51

    I have been online “dating” for a number of years and as an attractive mature “curvy” lady, have found that a number of the men (online) lie, fib and fabricate about themselves. For what, I ask?

    Exercise and healthy eating habits are part of my daily routine. As a CEO within an upscale fashion industry, those habits help me to function at my highest level. I am also tall (5’8″) and carry my curves quite well.

    With that said, what could I possibly have in common with a guy who is (a) a smart ass know it all who makes one unfounded broad generalization after another, (b) shorter than me, (c) a fried food/sugar freak, (d) less ambitious than me or (e) all of the above……not a thing.

    Am I shallow…..not at all. Merely realistic about myself and my preference(s). Furthermore I cannot be everything to everybody. Emaciated I am NOT. Healthy and self-assured I am. Most online sites allow members to perform very specific searches, i.e., age, height, education and location and that is exactly how I search. Rarely do I check to see who has viewed my profile.

    I could date every weekend but have learned through experience to eliminate after the first conversation or two. Quite frankly was tired of meeting men who simply did not meet my preferences, even though some thought they did. And that has worked to my dismay also. There have been a few dates that captured my interest only to never hear from them again. Sure it stings, but life goes on and am grateful that I had little invested other than a few hours of my time. I am simply not every guy’s cup of tea.

    If a man opts to eliminate a profile based on the “curvy” attribute, chances are real good that his inability to see beyond the curves……tells me that he’s not my knight in shining armour (or even close). Character and sound moral values are far more significant.

    So, Nicci the way I see it is: Be who you are and be pleased with yourself. Evan is normally so gentle with the ladies who write and I personally appreciate his kindness, but do remember Nicci — like me, you cannot be everything to everyone. It really is a numbers game when all is said and done, so hang in there.

    Good Luck and keep on reading Evan’s blog(s). They have been extremely enlightening and helpful to me.

    1. 51.1

      Well I have to say that I’m glad I read your post. I just had a date that left a bit of a sting despite the fact that I have a pretty healthy outlook on the dating site and confidence in myself. Yet no matter what you do chances are that someone will get disappointed somewhere along the line.   Your post and many others put some perspective on this online dating format.

    2. 51.2

      Michele, I liked what you posted, and that is even with the contradiction.   The contradiction stating that you do in fact go on first dates with many men that do not measure up…measure up to what?   Doesn’t matter.   You did list some things that you don’t find attractive and as you stated, you wouldn’t have anything in common with them based on…what…the guy being shorter…being less ambitious?   Being shorter is something the guy can’t do anything about, just like you may not be able to do anything about being curvy, depending on what curvy means.   I like curvy women, so long as it doesn’t mean fat.   You would be surprised how many women list curvy but they are not curvy, they are fat.     Likely this is why guys shy away from it.
      I am not short, but I don’ think I would care if I measured up to your standards.   Your post shows very much that you are in fact a CEO, and I don’t think that would work well with me.   I am not materialistic.   Things don’t make me happy, so money wouldn’t matter to me.   Doesn’t matter to me.   It wouldn’t matter to me that I don’t measure up because what is important to you is not important to me.   A woman’s soft touch, the soft touch of her lips on my neck, a soft nature in how she approaches me, looks at me, talks to me…those are the things that are important to me.   As a CEO, I think you have to be driven, and driven people tend to have a tough demeanor about them.   You have to have a certain demeanor that makes people jump when you say jump.   Most men and women can’t turn that off when they go home.
      I suspect that you look for those same qualities in a man.   But most men, even those top shelf driven CEO types love the battlefield called work…but when they go home, they want something different.   Yes many of them carry that same demeanor home, but they aren’t looking to play, “who gets to be boss today.”   And sorry, everyone always says they want equality in a relationship, but every relationship i ever had where the woman expressed that this was very important to her, I walked away from because they didn’t want equality, they wanted to run the show.   One was my ex-wife.   We actually went to a very good therapist who had us do this thing where you have to have the object in your hand to be able to talk, and you have to use “I messages” and you have to repeat back everything the other person says, so that you listen instead of formulating rebuttals while they talk.   She started crying and admitted that she never realized how selfish she was being because she only looked at things from her point of view, and though I often expressed my point of view, she never took it on-board and internalized it like she did in his office.
      But I think you have a right to your preferences in what you want in a man, just as a man has his right in preferences, which have made those you desire, not desire you.   I think we would all be a lot happier if we learned to identify when our preferences are rooted in outdated evolutionary/biological programming.   Women no longer need men to be providers, and yet that is what they still look for.   Even when a man no longer needs to pass on his genes, he still looks for the woman best able to do that.   It’s sheer madness, and we wonder why we are unsuccessful in finding love.   I think it’s quite simple.   We have totally screwed up priorities.

  12. 52

    Boy I stirred some trouble. Truth be told, she wasn’t big but for someone in early 20’s, she had zero musculature, chubby face & muffin top (ugh). More importantly, it was coupled with the ‘tude of someone who has, shall we say, more reason to have a ‘tude.

    One can weigh very little, but due to diet (or lack thereof), she’s still ‘cushy.’

    Eda’s #45 – I agree. Reason – There’s no incentive to stay attractive. They are legally on the hook. Your fish is caught. The hook no longer needs good bait. Or any bait for that matter.

    Cinn’s # 46 – I so don’t hope you’re intimating Steve’s immature.

    Curvy Girl’s #49 is right – Many co-opt ‘curvy’ to expand their options when they aren’t curvy. They’re weebils (You know, they wobble but they don’t fall down). Problem is, It’s ruined it for truly classically curvy women. So guys don’t even bother with it as a search criteria.

    Many guys i know implemented some simple rules when viewing pictures, no matter the search criteria – If legs look bigger than mine, move on. Big arms, no go. Double chin, no thanks. No cankles! There’s more, but you get the idea….

  13. 53

    vino (and Steve)

    No, it was not my intent to imply Steve’s immature (I’m sorry if it sounded that way). I referred to the comment, not to the person.
    It might be that the comment was funny but simply did not appeal to my sense of humor.
    It might also be that I misunderstood Steve’s message, probably because it appeared just after Selena’s saying: “It’s been my observation both men and women gain weight simply as they age.”

    It is my observation that people (incl. myself) typically gain weight if they eat too much (in relation to their height and metabolism) and exercise too little, and that applies both to married and single people.

    That being said, I’m around 101lbs and I would be concerned if the guy I dated was not paying attention to a healthy diet simply because I would be afraid I would gain weight while being with him. I can understand that guys who try to keep in good shape also may have such concerns with respect to women they date.

  14. 54

    Cinnamon, post #53.
    I was being facetious and I took your reply for that as well.

  15. 55

    I guess when all of the posts are boiled down “curvy” is the female version of men using “stocky”( euphemism for heavy ), though internet sites generally don’t have the second term.

    1. 55.1

      Stocky is someone who’s short and “wide set”.   A tall, overweight guy would be “husky”.

  16. 56

    There are a number of defensive posts in this thread. I have felt defensive too and I would agree some comments have been a bit too blunt for my tastes. Those comments aren’t getting me down because I feel fortunate I don’t have to live those people’s lives for them :). Those comments are also valuable. Like I wrote earlier, in real life people are not going to honest about the dating thing the way they are here. My feelings of defensiveness will fade, but I can take the information on “how it is” with many people with me.

  17. 57
    CupidsReviews Heidi

    Great points! I think that perhaps instead of listing your body type as ‘cury’ or whathave you, perhaps you should list it as average, but make a note in your profile stating that you are somewhere in between, and to look at your pictures for an acurate idea of your size?!

  18. 58

    On second thought, just to expand on my previous post… I’m not dating on-line so I cannot relate to the “screening” process, but in real life a few pounds this or that way would not be anywhere near the top of the list of qualities that I would consider in a guy.

  19. 59

    Sorry, late to the party, but this subject is also of interest to me. I’m a little heavier than some of the women here have admitted to being. I’m 5’6″ and wear a size 16 dress. I’m larger than fashionable, but I do have a nice figure.

    On my profile, I have 7 recent photographs. In three you can see my full body. One is a swimsuit shot, so there’s nothing to hide. This is how I addres the issue in my text:

    “I’m attractive, with natural blonde hair, big blue eyes, and as the little check box indicated, a curvy figure. Voluptuous, curvaceous–I’m sure that’s a dangerous way to describe yourself here. Yes, that does mean I’m overweight, but not huge or anything. I’ve just got a really feminine, and if I may say so myself, well-proportioned figure. But, I’ll be honest, if you’re looking for a fashion model, you’re looking in the wrong place. I look like the girl in these photos. I’m soft and warm and cuddly. I am really feminine. I like dressing like a woman and feeling like a woman. ”

    BTW, I do list myself as “average” for the very reason that so many men won’t look twice at “curvy” or whatever. But I don’t know how I could be much more honest about my appearance. I’m wondering if any of the men have any opinions as to how I’ve represented myself, and do I sound too negative when I say, “If you’re looking for a fashion model…”

    Constructive comments welcome. Thanks to all for a very interesting discussion!

    1. 59.1

      Personally, I hate it when both men and women use the word “attractive” to describe themselves because it is subjective. I once had a man describe himself as “attractive” and showed up with a pineapple/lop-sided face and a crooky eye. And, I was like, nope…   not attractive.   I now mistrust any man using the term to describe themselves because I feel he’s attempting to sell me his level of attractiveness instead of allowing me to, subjectively, decide for myself.

      I think, like women who unrealistically click “curvy” (all women, thin and overweight – each misuses the term “curvy)   men misuse the term “attractive.” I’m with Evan that photos should speak for themselves and physical descriptors should be left out of the equation entirely.  

    2. 59.2

      @Susan, I talked with a male friend of mine. He helped me with this once, when I asked him what I should put for my body type. I told him I was going to put average because I am not skinny, but I am also not curvy. he told me that because I was athletic, that was what I should say. But we had a little discussion on the body types that were available. He gave me some insight. He said that too many overweight women who really were not attractive at all use the descriptors like curvy and voluptuous to describe themselves when really, they are just fat. His words. So he said that when he sees that he assumes she is fat. He said that curvy should be reserved for women like Kim Kardashian and voluptuous should be for women like Christina Hendricks. So curvy for women with round buts and voluptuous for women who are big boobed. If you have both, like Anna Nicole Smith was, then you could use either. Just use your pictures.

      I showed him this article and your comment. He said he would completely get rid of the part “If you’re looking for a fashion model…” He said it sounds passive aggressive. Your pictures alone should be warding off the guys who are looking for a skinny-mini.

      He also said that if you really do look like the girl in the picture, you shouldn’t be having a problem meeting guys, and said that he does not consider the model to be overweight. He said that average is a good descriptor for her since the correct terms have been corrupted. He said that if you look like her and are having problems finding a guy, you may be overestimating your level of attractiveness. I think he meant that if men are contacting you but not men you like, it is likely the most common problem we all seem to be suffering from. Thinking that we are more attractive than we really are, and so we go after guys that are not attracted to us.

    3. 59.3

      I would change this for the simple reason that you spend so many words on it people will think you have an issue just because of that. So, number one, keep it short and sweet. And don’t apologize or guys will pick up on you not being okay with yourself.  

      So maybe something like, “curvy, cuddly, feminine.” And maybe a little challenge, like “if you want a stick go hunt in the woods” or “if you can’t handle dangerous curves, I will be too much woman for you.” Guys love challenges, especially if you are confident in what you are saying!

  20. 60
    Evan Marc Katz

    My constructive comment:

    Never say ANYTHING about yourself physically. Let your picture speak for itself. You just spent 100 words defensively describing your body – the same body that anyone can see in a photo. It’s a waste of space, and it calls more attention to your body than is even necessary.

    If you don’t want guys to make a big deal about your body; don’t make a big deal about your body!! 🙂

    (Other things not to say about yourself besides “attractive”, include “smart”, and “funny”. If you’re so smart and funny, we should be able to tell from your profile…)

    1. 60.1

      In other words, as my English teacher used to say (and probably still does) SHOW don’t TELL.   Wise counsel indeed.

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