As I typed the title of this blog article, I felt myself cringe. It’s 2018 and it’s amazing that this can even be a topic. But after several of the same type of conversations with different people over the course of just the last 30 days alone; I knew it was something I was going to have to address.
First, let me give a disclaimer: I have been with my husband since 2006 (give or take some break ups in between but that’s a whole different story lol). It has been a super long time since dating or finding love has been the focus for me.
Now that I’ve said that let me say this: being fat and finding love is not rare, it is not unique and we are not unicorns.
The narrative surrounding fat women and dating always leaves me scratching my head. Have I encountered men who only wanted to use me for sex? Yes. Have I met men who only pursued me because they thought I might have low self esteem?Yes. Have I met men who only wanted to date in the secret of dark? Be the other woman? Yes & Yes. But in the same breath, I met a lot of men who wanted to date me because they genuinely thought I was beautiful, and were attracted to my mind and saw the possibility of a future.
The idea that dating while fat is harder is a notion I cannot subscribe to. Don’t you all attack my fat girl pride all at once now. The reality is, I don’t think I endured any more trauma as a fat woman dating than my slimmer sisters. Dating in general especially in this day and age is a whole hot mess. The internet changed the game. Most people are browsing social media like a menu and deciding who they want to approach based off who’s got the cutest selfie or full body pic. Sliding in DMs has all but replaced meeting people in person in a traditional social setting.
Though most of my dating was done in the early stages of social media, it didn’t affect me in that way because I was meeting the type of men I liked hanging out in places where I knew I would find them (now, I met my husband on Craigslist; but that’s a story for another day lol). I think the general shift in the dating scene, the standards of both men and women as well as the ideologies on relationships have made dating inherently more difficult for all women, not just fat women.
While I agree that there are many situations for fat women that require caping; fair treatment in health care, body diversity, shaming on social media etc.; dating or lack there of is not one I think requires me to don the cape. The most valuable lesson I learned in my career of dating was that I made a lot of poor decisions based on my weight.
Yea, you read that right.
For a little while I allowed myself to believe that I didn’t have the right to a certain standard because I told myself that I didn’t deserve it because of my weight. I was indoctrinated by the rhetoric I’d been force fed growing up about what beauty was. I did not feel beautiful, I did not see the value in the content of my person therefore I accepted things I shouldn’t have. That wasn’t the men’s problem either; it was my problem for accepting it.
It wasn’t until I began to shed the baggage that didn’t belong to me that I began to realize that I deserved a real love, a real relationship; one that wasn’t shrouded in the notion of “take what you can get”. Did that mean I might have to be alone for awhile? Did it mean there were to be a lot of lonely dateless nights? Yes. But instead of looking at that time by myself as a punishment for not being what society deemed beautiful; I looked at it as a time to focus on my personal growth and achieving personal goals for me.
The bottom line is, no man can treat you any type of way unless you let him. And I admit I definitely accepted my fair share of nonsense. However, I’ve met a ton of women in my lifetime who have shared those same type of experiences and they were not fat. The idea that fat women finding love is it’s own issue is not a narrative I am willing to co-sign. I think that weight can play a huge part in whether or man is attracted to you or not; but there are plenty of men out there who will date fat women for every man who won’t. I don’t think finding love or dating as a fat woman is something that can be considered an issue.
I can personally say in my lifetime, the last time I liked a guy and tried to holler and he didn’t like me was because of my weight was in middle school. Now, I will say there were a lot of instances of men telling me they’d never dated a big girl, and they wanted me to be the first. I was often on the fence about that because I didn’t want to be the fat girl who scared them away from fat women forever or turned them into total creep fetishist.
So I say all of this to say: I am sorry if my fat sisters are out here struggling in the love lane; but sis maybe it is not your weight! Let’s not start conditioning ourselves to believe that we are somehow undesirable or unlovable because of our weight. That is a burden you must refuse to pick up! Finding love, finding a mate is an obtainable goal (if that is your goal) and must be met with patience. In the meantime, never make the assumption that your weight is holding you back!
Do you have a success story about dating while fat? I would love to hear it share below!