Why Being in the “Top 25” is Meaningless

The silliness of rating systems on online dating sites

Sometime last February, as I was soothing my busted heart (and sitting endlessly on the toilet in Indonesia), I rejoined Fitness Singles.

This online dating system promises that you and I will meet, fall in love with and/or at least work out with like-minded fitness nuts.

I have no clue why I keep ponying up to pay for this but nobody said I was smart. At least in this regard. Certainly not in this regard. Perhaps my ego needed soothing (yes of course it did, so there you go).

As has always happened before, in no time my profile, flush with recent and fun photos, and a well-written and funny bio, shot to the top.

Not just in my age group, where I often hover close to #1 in the 55+ category, but in all ages. At 67, I’m a lot older than most of those women.

It says something that your profile sits in the top ten in several million, especially as I am barking at 70.

And it’s fucking meaningless.

Because out of all the looks, the likes, the compliments on my guns, my great profile and all the rest of it, I never once got a date out of Fitness Singles.

Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.

I do get overtures from lugnuts in other countries. This one twit (whose name is Sergio, he’s been stalking these sites for more than ten years now) lives in Italy, says the same things every single time as if I haven’t seen him before. There is a long, long, long, long list of blocked profiles.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Gemma Evans on Unsplash

And of course the scammers. While the traffic has slowed a bit, online dating still offers a perfect opportunity for international scammers to target folks, especially people in my age bracket, to pry open our wallets in the name of love. Or desperation, whichever shows up first. Usually both.

They are extremely easy to spot these days. Still, sometimes I’d love to get something other than a drive-by. For years, and who knows why, I used to get some really nasty darts from guys close to my age. While my age preferences haven’t changed, I no longer get the vitriol. The incels might have gone underground or elsewhere, but for now they aren’t barking at me. Nice change of pace.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Fitness Singles, despite what it promises, is little more than a virtual beauty pageant for bodies. Because of the emphasis on fitness, many of the profiles are of posing body builders (in my category) in very skimpy stage outfits or folks who are desperately trying to prove how body beautiful they are. There’s a lot of preening going on. That’s because there is so much emphasis on fitness that there isn’t much shared about what makes folks tick, who they are, what they care about.

Their story, in other words. What makes them interesting. It’s all about the body and the sports they do. Many of the profiles only show long-distance shots of folks skiing or boarding or swimming or whatever. Can’t see a face. In many ways this is no different from folks who post shots of their cars, dead fish, dead bears, dead elk, motorcycles and toys as a way of pushing something else other than themselves forward.

Truth, I knew better than to join back up. But stuck in a small room in hot, humid Indonesia and unable to get more than five feet from the loo, whaddya do?

Swipe left.

Two days ago I got an interest tap from a guy in Jersey. All that was on his profile was a shot of his left tricep muscle, flexed, no face, no body, nothing else, and three sunset photos. Honestly? Really? I am going to be motivated to go cross country for a tricep?

Online profiles, photos and what folks choose to say to one another- usually the pre-written statements for the seriously-challenged (I’m interested. Wanna chat?) are dead giveaways. People too lazy or too self-absorbed to put any genuine work into designing an engaging profile. Here’s me skiing. Here’s me doing a skydive. Here’s me…..memememememememe.

Women close to my age or thereabouts visit my profile all the time. That happens a lot on Fitness Singles. They want to see the competition. I’ve reached out to several, and the stories are all the same. People do appreciative drive-bys, but no bites. All of us in the top 25 have been there a long time. It’s flattering.

And utterly useless.

Interestingly, same for the boys. Some of them have reached out to me but they live in distant states were I wouldn’t move. They’re friendly, and just as perplexed as the women are as to why we all rate so highly and yet, a year later, here we all still are. Some of us have been on and off for years, enjoying lots of eyeballs and no results.

I’ve come to the realization that Fitness Singles is a great way to shore up a sagging ego, but little more. Right now I am #12 out of 25 of the top-rated women in bodybuilding all ages, out of some two million people.

BFD.

In my age category I’m #3.

BFD.

Because if all anyone does is peruse the goods and leave, it’s like driving the Lamborghini around the block but going home with the Volvo station wagon.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Taylor Smith on Unsplash

So in truth, all the website does is stroke the ego, appeal to the ridiculous need to be rated alongside other people, and waste money doing more of same while getting nowhere in terms of finding good company.

Swipe left. Apparently I’m not alone; there are plenty of other folks who don’t like FS for the same reason.

In truth, if I am going to cross paths with anyone of interest, I am going to have to put myself out into the river of life. I do that on my trips, most assuredly. But when I am in country, but for my training regimen I am a near-recluse. I am up so early and go to bed so early that there is no social life. But that doesn’t mean I can’t change some of my routines and habits to create better opportunities. It’s very easy to hide, using routine, habit and relative comfort for excuses. That way I get to be right about how there are no good guys out there.

That’s balderdash. And I know it.

If all I want are bragging rights, I can get them on Fitness Singles. Feeds the ego but doesn’t assuage the loneliness. That’s going to take a lot more work that sitting on my aging (still slim, but aging) butt and swiping left, over and over, while the days of my life as a single person continue unabated. I don’t mind single per se. I mind not having a hug once in a while, a kiss once in a while, and I righteously miss damned good sex. My very juicy buddy Vienna De Vega can relate.

Which, all due respect to my brethren, is even harder to find than good company.

January 5th 2020 is the biggest day for online dating the entire year. Much like the lemming-like rush to the gym to work off those holiday calories, folks who have simply had it with a lonely, housebound holiday season also flock to the dating sites in search of company.

It’s time for me to shut down Fitness Singles, if for no other reason than it’s a time suck. I don’t need ego strokes. I’d much prefer a gentle stroke on the cheek from a man whose company I treasure. That would be a fine Christmas gift indeed.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

Written by

Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store