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 (378 Comments).
Click Here To Leave Your Comment Below.


  1. 91

    to curvy girl,

    Can you elaborate on the term “generous curvy-girl butt.” LOL!

  2. 92

    to cinnamon,

    Why didn’t you marry your college/university sweetheart?…

  3. 93
    Curvy Girl

    Cinn: I hear ya about that money thing. And it isn’t the women who are bringing it up, either. So what does that tell you.

  4. 94

    In person, curvy women are sometimes described as ‘buxom’.

  5. 95

    hunter, that was rhetoric question, wasn’t it?

  6. 96

    So my friend Michelle and I had a discussion this morning on what these on-line dating body-types are defined. It would be nice to have visuals to go with those labels, you know? I think slender is a stick figure. Athletic and toned would mean someone with some muscle mass, who works out regularly and doesn’t have squish. In my mind, about average is anything between not quite athletic & toned and a size 10, according to height. So help me out– I’m 5’4″, 128 pounds, run/workout regularly (training for a half-marathon), I’m solid, and wear a size 4. I market myself as athletic and toned. Michelle thinks this is misleading, that I should be saying that I’m about average because athletic/toned should mean ripped with 6-pack abs, and regularly doing triathalons and living outdoors. Am I off the mark?

    1. 96.1

      If you’re athletic, you’re probably toned.  So how is it off the mark?  Even among actual athletes, body types vary from you to ripped with six pack abs. 

  7. 97


    Perhaps this description will help, though I by no means speak for all men.

    5?4?, 105 – slender ( I actually agree with your description)
    add 10 lbs of lean muscle (think more toned, shaped legs, arms, etc) – athletic. Think yoga -longer, lean & toned. Even if 5’4″, when I and most guys I know think of athletic, that’s what comes to mind.

    There’s a difference between athletic & toned looking, and an athlete. There are some great athletes who don’t look quite as athletic (Charles Barkley vs Michael Jordan looks wise, playing days of course.)

    At sports bar a week or so ago, one of the TVs had on the Univ. of Arizona-Oklahoma softball game. now The UoA girls looked like, well, girls. Lean, yet more than capable of performing (I think they were winning). In contrast, the Oklahoma girls look like the football team. They were HUGE, and not in a good way. Good athletes, yes, but what guys think about when ‘athletic’ body type is described in dating, no.

  8. 98

    to cinnamon,

    I suppose I get no response…hmmm

  9. 99

    to curvy girl,

    Most men agree with you about the existence of women that are not into “wallet chasing.”

    According to research and studies the non wallet chasers are in a much smaller pool of available women.

  10. 100

    to hunter,

    things don’t always go the way you want them to. that’s probably the best answer I can give at this point.

  11. 101

    I’ve found Cinn’s heart is in the right place hunter. Missed signals, methinks.

  12. 102

    thanks, vino… me too.

  13. 103

    Vino– thanks for your take on the athletic/toned descriptor, wish the dating sites would provide a little guidance on that front. I really do think we should choose from cartoonish figures instead of labels. And let us manipulate the shapes. 🙂 So if I’m not athletic/slender, does that put me in the “about average” bucket? When I look around, I am smaller than 98% of the people around me. But that could be because I’m in Chicago, right? 🙂 I guess what is most important is that whatever label you choose post enough current pictures so that interested parties can get an accurate idea of what you’re advertising. Hopefully the guys I’m matching with can determine from my photos if I have a body type they are interested in.

    1. 103.1

      The labels on sites just need to go. Match has them as a search criteria, I suppose.  I haven’t been on that site in a long time.  I’ve heard that men mostly look at photos and often don’t read the profiles.  If there isn’t a range of photos including full body shots, move on.

  14. 104


    No worries. Now if only I could get my Co. to send me overseas near you….(sigh) 😉


    My pleasure, though many may disagree with my description. A, good old Chicago, home of beer, brats (pronounced “braahts”), and deep dish. May have a bit to do with your comparables… Have a few @ Gamekeepers for me.

  15. 105
    Curvy Girl

    Hunter: Yes, that exotic animal, a “non-wallet-seeking woman,” does exist. Why don’t they do one of those oft-cited, so compelling STUDIES on THAT. I mean, we must contain a lot of cavewomen DNA, given that money and wallets for holding it didn’t even exist until relatively recently in our genetic evolution. And since these STUDIES are always using our prehistoric genetic predispositions to explain modern social behavior, you would think it would be a winner.

    Vino: 5’4″ and 105 — are you nuts? That’s like anorectic unless you have the bones of a bird.

    What are your physical stats? (Take that big wallet out before you weigh yourself) 🙂

    1. 105.1

      I think Vino needs to drink some Vino and chill. I would be very worried if a 5’4 woman weighed what he’s suggesting. Vino’s message is very physically and mentally damaging to young girls and women everywhere.

      Also look at message # 36. Vino doesn’t sound like a good guy at all. I hope this blog doesn’t get filled with jerky bitter people out to hurt others. Let’s be adults.



      — Mark, please comment on this, to take some responsibility for messages put on you blog that can hurt kids. At least by replying to his nonsense messages.     

  16. 106


    Here where I am patience is the most important item in your survival kit. I guess I’ve learned it by now 🙂

  17. 107

    The problem is not whether or not a woman has curves. It’s whether or not she has the right curves, or “curves in all the right places.” Essentially, the “right” curves are concave waist, convex hips/ass and chest. Unfortunately, the “curves” descriptor has been usurped by women who have curves in the WRONG places, so men have basically been trained by those women to discount those who use the term as having the right curves.

  18. 108
    Karl R

    When I’m doing online dating, I’ll search for “curvy” women (along with “athletic & toned”, “average, and “slender”). The majority of women who claim to be “curvy” are using it as a euphamism for “overweight”, but there’s a substantial minority who fit my definition of “curvy”, which justifies the inclusion in my searches.

    I agree that “curvy” and “athletic & toned” could be accurately combined with other descriptions. Two years ago I was dating a woman who was “curvy” and “a few pounds extra”. Her dimensions were 44(I cup), 34-ish, 44-ish. She might have a few extra pounds (or so), but she looks good from any angle. A couple weeks ago I went out with one of my dance partners who is “athletic & toned” and “slender”. She may be 10 years older than me, but this lady is ripped. And last night after yoga I was flirting with a lady who is “curvy”, “average” and “athletic & toned”.

    The same situation applies to men. If match.com allowed multiple build choices, I would list myself as “slender” and “athletic & toned”. Since they don’t, I list myself as “slender”. The majority of women would say that I’m athletic & toned, but 100% would agree that I’m slender. I’ll go with the answer that everyone thinks is honest, even though “athletic & toned” would get me a lot more hits. I won’t hesitate, however, to send an e-mail to a woman who is seeking an “athletic & toned” man rather than a “slender” one. She can look at my photos and make up her own mind.

    I don’t waste space explaining this in my profile either. (I agree with Evan that it would sound defensive.) I do, however, put in a couple sentences stating how recently my photos were taken.

    Like many people, I come across better in person than in on online profile. Despite this, I’ve found online dating to be useful in the past. I met women that I never would have encountered otherwise. In addition, when daily life wasn’t providing new women, online dating always did. Online dating sharpened my skills, so I was confident and relaxed when I began pursuing a relationship with my last girlfriend.

    I was attracted to my last girlfriend because of her confidence, which made her attractive. I wouldn’t have been able to see that in a picture, so I would have bypassed her if I’d encountered her online instead of in person. This is an obvious shortcoming of online dating. We can discover the less important details about someone long before we know anything about their personality. If you meet someone in any other environment, their personality is one of the first things you notice.

    Similarly, I probably wouldn’t have stood a chance with the woman that I was out with on Monday if I’d encountered her anywhere except a dance floor. She happened to meet me under the circumstances where I’m the most confident with women, where I’m pursuing one of my passions, and where I’m quite competent. Because of this quirk of fate, this MD and professor is interested in me even though she’s more intelligent, better educated, and has an income that’s some multiple of mine … and she’s even my equal as a dancer.

    Ironically, she’s probably also doing better in person than she would be if she was searching online. As a thin and pretty 34-year-old, she’d be receiving hundreds of e-mails from men who didn’t remotely meet her criteria. Instead, she’s spending time with someone who is nearly her intellectual equal, not at all intimidated by her intelligence or success, shares her interests in music, dancing and yoga, and who lives within 2 miles of her.

    And to close (somewhat) on topic:
    This thread has reminded me that I need to find out whether the curvy brunette at yoga still has a boyfriend….

  19. 109

    Based on Lauren’s description in post # 96, I’d go with athletic and toned as her body type. My girlfriend is 5’7 1/2, 120 lbs. and wears a size 2. She’s best described as slender. Though built a little differently, you’re both probably look equally thin, but you just weigh more because muscle weighs a lot. So you would attract the same thin women-seeking guys as her. Athletic & toned women are basically thin but with some denser muscle and definition. They may also have the bigger boobs slender women often lack. Keep in mind that a woman can be thin and yet still be described as curvy if she has a big chest and wider hips – Salma hayek and Eva Mendes are examples. The thing with the term curvy that has scared guys off is that many really big women have adopted it to describe themselves, thus throwing off its originally intended meaning. Bigger women like to use Marilyn Monroe as their rallying cry, claiming she was a size 10-12. In reality, Marilyn was various sizes during her life, being the heaviest at the end. During her hey day when most of the famous pictures were taken of her, she was a modern day size 4 who had big breasts and wide hips.

    Even the term average is being appropriated by women who are misusing it. Average should mean a woman who’s not thin, but not overy fat either like say someone of average height wearing a size 8-10. That said, you can’t even rely on dress size as an indicator because of they effect of height. I dated a 5’10, 145 lb. volleyball player who was a slender size 8. The problem is that because the average woman in America is now a size 14, some think they can call themselves average. But a size 14 ain’t average anywhere but America. By worldwide standards, that size is huge. Try and find clothes that size in places like Italy or in Asia. You can’t. Their idea of plus sizes are an American 8-10. Thus the best thing a woman (or man) should do is post full body shots and let the public decide if your body type is for them instead of relying on written description which is relative depending on who you ask.

  20. 110

    Curvy Girl,

    Please see Craig’s #109 for a good perspective. Makes lots of sense, esp. the last paragraph.

    “Vino: 5?4? and 105 are you nuts? That’s like anorectic unless you have the bones of a bird.”
    – I did say that was slender, not linebacker-ish.

    “What are your physical stats? (Take that big wallet out before you weigh yourself)”
    – This thread isn’t about me….It’s about curvy girls getting interest online. 😉


    So true. So true.

  21. 111

    Thanks, Craig! I was beginning to lose faith in online dating after being compared to a hefty she-man softball player and Charles Barkley. OMG, seriously?!?! I am thin and attractive, and can boast that I earn a $1/4MM yr. working as an attorney. It’s not easy to put in time at the gym and on the running trails while billing my hours. But I digress… the last time I weighed 105 was when I was a weight-obsessed undergrad. I was constantly low on energy and temperamental. Today, if I didn’t have a profession you can bet I would spend several hours at the gym every day. But I think guys are probably attracted to me for a multitude of reasons, and my intellect may be one of them. As a general rule, if a guy prefers someone who is slender/ athletic-toned, then I steer clear. But if a man is open to athletic-toned/about average and expresses interest after viewing my photos I think he has a good idea of what to expect. Thanks for your comment!

  22. 112

    to curvygirl

    about #105, “oft cited and so compelling studies.” I am like the parrot, I only repeat what I hear. And I heard that statistic at a singles seminar. If you care to, next time you are in the L.A. area, look up a 70 year old Harvard Certified therapist, and tell her what you think of the research and studies she has been doing for the last 30 years………

  23. 113


    I read Lauren’s post #111, and don’t see where it was previously intimated she’s compared directly to Charles Barkley, etc. Wasn’t the intent at all and don’t see how it could be construed as such.

    Was intentionally writing in generalities to avoid that conclusion.


  24. 114

    God help us all when size 10-12 is now considered fat or overweight. I am a size 22 and I’m smart, witty, a great conversationalist, outgoing, and have a nice face. If I’m rejected for not having the perfect body type, so be it. I’m not going to blame myself for the preferences of others.

  25. 115
    Curvy Girl

    5′ 4″ and 105 lbs is a BMI of 18, which is considered underweight, not normal or slender.

    5’7.5″ and 120 is 18.5, the lowest BMI considered to be normal/average/healthy. (Normal/average/healty is a BMI of 18.5 to 23.)

    I know many, many dancers with “underweight” BMIs and this discussion goes on endlessly among them. They have gorgeous bodies, all super skinny and athletic, and all they can do is recount obsessively what they ate that day and how much they exercised and who said what about their body and what guy came onto them and how awful their boyfriends are and look how fat I am and holy god it is tedious. Hardly any adult person living in the US of A is underweight without doing a hell of a lot of insane stuff to stay that way.

    Give me a normal BMI and a normal conversation and my lovely round fanny any day.

  26. 116

    Eda (re: post 37),

    Some time ago I came across this very blunt article about the probability of success with using personal ads depending, as it may, on the person’s “rung” in our human “animal kingdom”. (Unfortunately, can’t post the link to the article here, as the latter is not in English.) It states that alpha females would have the lowest rate of success despite the highest number of responses, BECAUSE most men who resort to using personals are omegas, and thus do not correspond to those women’s standards by definition.

    The highest success rate would belong to the alpha males (if they ever deign to use such a service), as there are so few of them in general, and especially in these venues, that they can really have their pick.

    This is a general comment, not directed at anyone here, so please do not read too much into it.

    I can provide the link to the English version of the work that delves deeper into the animal aspect of love, if anyone is interested, but I personally read the original and cannot vouch for the quality of the translation. I can say, however, that this is a scientific work and the accuracy with which it describes human sexual behavior is uncanny.

  27. 117

    on Post #116

    I have heard about the alphas and the omegas….it is really interesting, the energy exchange….

  28. 118

    Nicci, be honest. if the guys out there cannot accept you for who you are then they are not the ones you want to deal with anyway. Don’t waste your time on them.

  29. 119

    Body Type – Average ?? Average what ??

  30. 120
    worldwide dating

    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.

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