A reader asks:
What if you’re overweight/fat, but you don’t really want to necessarily date another fat person? I know, hypocritical much.
Oh, there’s so much in this question, Lovely. I hear a lot of other, more painful questions hidden behind this one – which may seem shallow or hypocritical on its surface (it’s definitely not). Here’s my guess as to what they may be.
Do I get to date someone I’m attracted to…or will I have to settle because I’m fat?
I think a lot of fat women worry, or assume, that we don’t get the pick of the litter when we’re dating. We don’t get to want HOT partners like our thin friends. Sometimes it feels shameful to wish for a partner we find attractive.
But you 100% need to find your partner attractive. How would you feel if someone were with you but didn’t find you attractive? That would be heartbreaking! Don’t do that to someone else. Keep looking until you find the right fit, because no one wants to be settled for.
Okay. That being said, what if the sweetest, smartest, funniest, coolest, most considerate fat person messaged you on OKCupid? And what if their message showed genuine interest in you, and a sense of humor, and every other quality you were looking for? Are you gonna reject them off-hand because of how they look, or are you gonna give them a chance?
My guess is you’d give them a chance – at least a first date. And if that went well, maybe a few more dates, just to see. Because some things you CAN learn to love and find adorably endearing, like someone’s jiggly belly fat, and other things you should NEVER settle for, like someone’s contempt for your sadness.
Physical attraction isn’t set in stone, lovely. It can be changed, pushed, molded. It can shift over time. One important thing about dating is to be open to someone who could be a wonderful fit for you, even if they’re shorter than you, or fatter than you’d like, or their nose is a funny shape, or they have a hairy mole. Because in the long term those things matter a whole lot less than how much fun you have with them.
Can anyone love me in my fat body?
I think the desire to date a thin person comes in part from a desire to be thin yourself. Because deep down you wonder if you’re worthy of love yourself if you’re fat.
Dating can be such a long, boring, discouraging, and hopeless process that at some point (right away?) we start assigning blame for why it’s so hard to find a partner. And our favorite go-to punching bag? Our bodies.
But really, dating is HARD and takes deliberate work, and a supportive community, and at least a full metric ton of patience. And absolutely, it is harder in many ways for fat women. But that doesn’t mean you’re not worthy just the way you are – or that you won’t find someone truly wonderful.
Someone can love you. Someone can truly see you. And you can love and appreciate and giggle about and truly see others of your size, too.
But…aren’t I more WORTHY if a thin person wants me?
Ah, the power of privilege – that the more-privileged among us have the power to lift the less-privileged up by bestowing favor… Fatphobia is so ubiquitous, so deeply accepted, that thin people are seen as BETTER in many ways than fat people. Smarter, more active, healthier, prettier – they get assigned all sorts of good qualities for free, while we are relegated to second-class status.
But just because culture sees it this way, doesn’t make it so. Fat people are not actually stupider, lazier, sicker, uglier. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a more privileged group actually IS more worthy, and that YOU are more worthy if they like you.
Okay, I guess I’d totally date a fat person, but the ones who message me are so weird. How do I find the good ones?
Really simple answer to this one, lovely: send messages to five new people a week. Don’t wait for cool people to message you. Online dating is jammed with weird, creepy, socially inept people of all sizes, ages, and hotnesses – in fact, that’s what it’s known for. The messages you receive are very likely to be terrible. Don’t wait for fatty prince(ss) charming to find you – reach out and find them yourself!
XO, Curvy Cupid (aka Krista)