Fat Dating

JR in Muir Woods

I won the dating lottery.

When I heard about Golda Poretsky’s new master class on body positive dating, I was really happy – I think it’s a subject that doesn’t get talked about enough and can be really tricky.  I get reader questions about it  from time to time but I’m the opposite of an expert when it comes to fat dating – I’ve managed to luck my way into an amazing relationship but it’s not because I have any game, or any expertise when it comes to dating.

For me the difficulty with dating fat was that it wasn’t just about my body acceptance and how I felt about myself.  As a fat woman my potential partners live in a culture that tells them that my body is not just completely unattractive but in fact a moral failing and that to choose to date me is to open themselves up to the same social stigma with which I am currently .

That sucks, but it’s important to remember that there is a nothing “wrong” with our bodies that a little culture shift can’t fix (which is to say that there is nothing wrong with our bodies at all) – and that the cure for social stigma is ending social stigma and not weight loss.  Still here we are, with a dating pool inundated with the message that fat=bad.

Social stigma related to dating has something in common with all social stigma related to being fat – it is highly profitable for the diet industry.  The fear of not finding a mate sometimes means that people who might otherwise look at their abysmal success rate and take a pass instead go back again and again.  I have definitely wondered how far this idea that you must be thin to get a mate sets the Health at Every Size movement back?  I know people who have chosen to do what they consider to be unhealthy things to their bodies to be thin, even temporarily,  in the hopes of finding a partner.  (Knowing that if they succeed they may be setting themselves up for heartbreak in 2-5 years when they’ve gained the weight back ).

Then there are our own standards when we decide who we date.  I’ll speak for myself on this one.  I refused to date anyone who is interested in me in spite of my body.  (I inadvertently did it once and it was a disaster.)  I was also once part of a dating experiment that a grad student was doing and we self-selected into one of three groups.  A group who made being fat the first thing that they talked about on their profile, a group who made it part of the profile but not the first thing, and a third group who avoided telling people that they were fat until it became unavoidable.  In discussions that we had, the women in group three believed that their only chance was to get someone to fall in love with their personality enough to overlook their bodies.

If it works for them that’s completely cool, but I was committed that before I would date someone who felt that my body needed to be overlooked, I would get a bunch of rescue Great Danes and grow old as the weird dog lady.  On the other hand I was not willing to date someone who only loved me for my body.  With some regularity I get e-mails from guys (I’ve so far only received them from men) saying something to the effect of “I didn’t read the blog but I saw your picture and you are just so damn hot, let’s get it on”.  Um, no.

Obviously dating is not necessarily a walk in the park at any size,  I had to acknowledge that being fat may indeed have made dating more difficult. But looking at it logically my options were: to date someone who was willing to “overlook” my body, or to try something that fails 95% of the time in the hopes of attracting a mate who wouldn’t consider dating me as I am now, and then rolling the dice that they won’t leave me if I am one of the 95% who gains their weight back (As I had been so many times in the past), or to hold out for someone who was interested in all of me.  I chose option three.  I know I am extremely lucky to have found such a wonderful partner, but my choice also included an  understanding that I agreed with the old adage “better alone than in bad company.”

If you’re in an awesome relationship then today might be a great day to leave a comment and tell us about it!  Also, check out the Museum of Fat Love.If you’re dealing with dating, then you might want to check out Golda’s Body Positive Dating Masterclass.

February Speaking Schedule:  If you are at Dartmouth, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, Smith, or UMass Amherst, I’ll be seeing you later this month – final schedules to be published soon. If you would like me to give a talk at your University or company just e-mail me at ragen at danceswithfat dot org. It’s totally ok if you’re not sure how to get it done, we can work through it together!

Like the blog?  Here’s more of my stuff:

The Book:  Fat:  The Owner’s Manual  The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here for details

The Dance Class DVDs:  Buy the Dance Class DVDs (hint:  Free shipping was supposed to end on Monday but I haven’t had a chance to make the changes to the pricing so there’s still free shipping until I get it done)!  Click here for the details

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I do size acceptance activism full time.  A lot what I do, like answering over 4,000 e-mails from readers each month, giving talks to groups who can’t afford to pay, and running projects like the Georgia Billboard Campaign etc. is unpaid, so I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and want to  support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month  To make that even cooler, I’ve now added a component called “DancesWithFat Deals” which are special deals to my members from size positive merchants. Once you are a member I send out an e-mail once a month with the various deals and how to redeem them – your contact info always stays completely private.

Published in: on February 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm  Comments (91)  

91 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My husband has never liked fatness, and when he points it at others I know it’s only because he hates it in himself. We’ve still been able to love each other and work through the various issues of life, despite having different feelings about fatness. It has caused hurt and strife, but my own personal strength of believe in the HAES movement and my self-esteem is enough that I can handle it when he makes comments about fatness. Recently we have started trying to have kids, and me being fat as the mother has been a hot issue of debate. I was looking up statistics though and for the sake of my side of the debate, the way the numbers look to me indicate that children have a much better chance of being sexually molested by their fathers (something like 7 – 15%) than they do of having birth defects due to the obesity of their mothers (4%). While a horrible comparison all around for obvious reasons, I think that it’s telling that fat stigma has led to obese mothers being villified and hurting their children in a way that is akin to child molesters, though the rate of birth defects in non-obese mothers is only 3%. My husband pointed out that’s a 33% increase (from 3 – 4%), but to me that seems pretty negligible. Anyway, in the end my husband and I are still trying for children, still love each other, and while I wish my husband didn’t hate fatness in himself and others, it just means that now that my HAES practice has made me stalwart, my first attempt at converting someone else will be long, slow, and close to home.

    As a side note, I would really love to see the kind of research you do on what I think I found on obese birth defects. I am not great with numbers and not sure of the methods of comparing statistics, but trust you to know how to do it and also it seems like the kind of dramatic example of fat stigma you would be interested in highlighting.

    • You are an adult and you are entitled to remain in a relationship where your partner’s ideas toward bodies like yours are cause of “hurt and strife”.

      However, I would think long and hard about having children with a man who has such a mindset. As the daughter of a fat-phobe, I am qualified to say that it’s a harrowing experience to see disgust in your father’s eyes when he looks at you, and to be the target of barbs, verbal and emotional abuse, and general nastiness.

      Children do not ask to be born, they should not bear the brunt of their parents’ prejudices.

      • I absolutely second Barbara’s words. My father loved me dearly, but he wanted me to “fit in” better. The most incredibly painful moment of my life was a joke he made at a family Christmas at my expense. I absolutely broke in pieces that day. I was in my 20s. Twenty years later and I have NEVER completely healed. I knew immediately that he wanted to take back what he said, but it was too late and the damage was done. The saving grace in our relationship was that I know my father loved me more than life itself and that he absolutely did not want to hurt me. Even knowing that, the damage can be lasting.

      • I agree with your comment as well barbara. I, too grew up with a family who constantly put me down about my weight. it is not a pleasant experience and as an adult now I have very little to do with my family because of their treatment of me and their opinions about fat. as adults we can choose what kind of relationship we want but the children we create don’t get that choice, they are stuck with us for better or for worse.

      • I grew up listening to my dad say horrible things about my mom’s weight and fat in general. He’s never said anything to me about my weight but now that I weigh more than my mom I often wonder if he loves me less because I’m fat.

  2. My lovely husband and I have been married for 31 years, together 35 years. I am fat, and have been throughout the relationship, he isn’t fat and never has been. My size has never been an issue for him, I was still yoyo dieting when we met, so I have been a variety of shapes of sizes of fat. We have two beautiful adult daughters. Of course we have had issues and disagreements and tough times in our marriage, but none of them have been related to my size.

  3. Thin Husband loved me when he met me and I was fat, loved me when I got really fat, and continued to love me when I got thinner than when he met me. He loved me for me and found me attractive at every size and I’m confident he’ll continue to do so even if I get really slim. He never criticised or put me down and always supported me. He wants me to be happy and well and puts his money where his mouth is in making my priorities his priorities. I wish there were more men like him for fat women.

  4. My wonderful husband and I have been together for 12 years, married 10 of them. I have been fat the whole time and he has never been fat a day in his life. He still tells me all the time how beautiful he finds me and how attracted he is to my curves.

    He said the other day he thinks more men are attracted to curves but many won’t say so because its not cool or they will get ridiculed. Too bad for them!

    • Elizabeth, your husband is so right. Men are attracted to curves. Most men I talk are not attracted to pencil thin…..My husband says the same thing. They will be ridiculed…probably by men who like curves themselves. LOL

      • There are men who are attracted to fat women, skinny women, and everything in between, and that’s perfectly fine. Fat is not “better” than skinny in the same way that skinny is not “better” than fat. There’s a whole spectrum of beautiful bodies out there, and all of them deserve to be loved as is.

        • @Helena I really like your comments, you make great points :)

  5. My loving boyfriend and I have been together for almost four years and he helped me to feel beautiful. He helped me through the teasing in high school and has been my best friend and confident through all my insecurities. He got me to see past the fat stigma I saw in myself. He taught me to love all of my body. He has always been really skinny and is shorter than me, and some people make comments about that, but we work past it. I’m thankful everyday for him and all that he does for me.

  6. For an “outside” perspective on the question of the rate of birth defects in overweight mothers: Having studied anthropology for a long time, I know of several cultures, historical and currently existing, in which women were not considered attractive or sexually desirable unless they were fat. In a few cultures, the fatter the better; there wasn’t really an upper limit on how fat is too fat. (I know of a society in which some young girls were force-fed until they became so fat they could hardly move; they could not stand up without someone to lift them. Only then could they be married to the richest men!)

    There are also cultures in which thin women are considered not fit for having children; the same scary things are said about thin women there as are said about fat women here: You’ll have trouble getting pregnant! Your child will be unhealthy! You won’t be able to breastfeed! You’ll only have girls! (Terrifying, that last one.)

    These women still, overall, have healthy babies. In none of these cultures is the rate of birth defects higher than in other populations (barring other causes like chronic malnutrition). None of these cultures is in any danger of dying out due to infertility or birth defects because their women try hard to be fat.

    In short: bullpuckey. It’s just another scare tactic.

  7. I’ve been married for 6 years and my husband and I have been together for 9. He loves my body. He loves me when I get bigger or smaller, as I have done during our time together. He loves my curves, but he doesn’t love me because of my curves. He is amazing and I am so lucky to have him. He is also so lucky to have me. :) (aside: he is one of 5% who lost weight and kept it off and he is still not interested in changing me)

    Sent from my iPhone

  8. Like you, Regan, I lucked into an amazing relationship with the absolute perfect person for me.

    I met him when I was a quite thin teenager and he was a fat guy in his very early twenties. We started dating when I was a slightly less thin woman in my mid twenties and he was a fat guy in his mid twenties. We married when I was a fat thirty year old and he was a fat man in his early thirties. Now I’m a fat woman celebrating her half-century year and he’s a fat man in his early fifties.

    Yes, his body has been the stable one. It’s roughly the same size and shape as it was when we started dating almost thirty years ago, and I have always loved it because it’s his body. Mine has changed a lot more over the years in terms of size and shape, but he’s loved every single version because it’s me.

    Every single day at some point, I kiss the scar on his chest from his triple bypass, because that operation kept him here with me. He may not be wild about that scar, but from my point of view it’s the most beautiful thing about his body.

    I know there are plenty of people out there who wouldn’t find anything about either of us very attractive. We’re fat and we’re getting old and we don’t do anything to hide those facts. He’s got grey hair and scars, I’ve got horrible teeth and no fixed hairstyle. We dress oddly, quote bizarre things for no apparent reason, spoil our cat, and generally march to a percussion section that most of the world doesn’t hear.

    And you know what? I wouldn’t change a damn thing about him, nor would he about me.

    If I couldn’t have a relationship like that, I wouldn’t be the crazy dog lady, because I’m not a good dog mom. I’d be conventional for once in my life and become the crazy cat lady. Unless there were some sloths going begging for a good home. I love sloths.

    I could totally be the crazy sloth lady.

    • Twistie, you and your hubby are fabulous and I wish I were blessed like you both are. I hope you have many, MANY more happy and wonderful years.

    • your comment about your husband’s scar totally made me think about my own body in a much different way. 7 months ago i had my son via emergency c-section, i had appendicitis and my appendix had ruptured without the c-section and appendectomy neither of us would be here. I have had a very hard time looking at that scar and feeling attractive, for the first time in my relationship i didn’t want my boyfriend to see my body. he kept telling me he loved me and i had never stopped being beautiful to him, that i gave him our son and that’s the most beautiful thing i could ever do. but still, i could hear those voices telling me i was ugly now, pretty women don’t have scars. thank you for helping me see it from a different perspective, without that scar neither me or my son would be here, it is beautiful, just like your husband’s scar.

  9. I have been online dating and I was always turned off by guys who wanted to fetishize my fat. I also had to give myself a pep talk every time my approaches were rejected, because I usually thought it was because I was fat.
    I recently met a guy who was first attracted to my personality, and apparently not turned off by my picture. I sent him another picture of me, full bodied and dancing in my form fitting exercise clothes. He now has a pet name for me: “honeyhips” XD
    He says that he is really attracted to my confidence and passion. I think it is an example of how what is on the inside affects how people receive what is on the outside. My weight hasn’t changed over the last year but my inner self has undergone quite a lot of transformation. I feel I am more “dateable” now (and more ready to date) because I’ve gotten my life together, not because of how I look. I held my head up high and opened my heart, and my guy walked into it. If he walks out again for whatever reason, I will survive and move on because I know I am an awesome person.

  10. bah! this! oy vey. I’m on okcupid right now, just “browsing” lol, but I haaate when I com across someone I think “wow we have a lot in common and they’re attractive (to me, which can look like many things)… let’s read their answered questions!” and we have many similar answers and I think of perhaps messaging them and then boom… “would you date someone who is even slightly overweight?” “no.” “can overweight people be attractive?” “no.” (seriously? no never? fuck you!) “do overweight people annoy you?” “yes.” ugggghhhh. and these responses come from both men and women.

    • I understand your frustration, but I have to admit I like that they have this question so I can weed out the intolerant twits. If they answer like you described, then it doesn’t matter if they are cute or like the same stuff as I do – they don’t have the same values. FWIW, the guy I’m communicating with now I met on okc. When he first contacted me, I checked how he answered those questions and he said “yes,” “yes” and “no.” Tolerance is quite a turn on isn’t it? ;)

      • This was totally my favorite thing about online dating when I was doing it. Well, that and the “Block” button. IRL dating should be so lucky. ;)

      • Oh yeah, I’m very glad those questions are there too because it definitely helps. I’m just frustrated by the amount of people who can’t see past society’s narrow view of “attractive”.

    • I hear you. Online dating made me so frustrated that eventually I just walked away.
      My favorite response to that question: “Yes, but only if they were obese.”
      WTF does that mean? First, I HATE the word obese. Second, “obesity” looks vastly different on different people.
      I chalk it down as meaning, “You don’t have to be thin, but I don’t want you to be “too fat”.
      Well I am obese, I am fat — really fat. There’s no middle ground here, so I’m going to move on.

      • yeah!! technically I qualify as obese, but I don’t think the “average” sized person looking at me would think so. I hate that, because I’ve read a lot of responses like, “obese people just make me sad” because you know, all people over a certain weight are the same and not individual humans anymore.

    • I get that a lot in real life and on dating sites, hence why I just don’t try anymore. I have been single for most of my adult life and I am only 23 sure I still got plenty of time but my job keeps me stuck in this pathetic city full of people who are scared of fat people.

      I have truly given up. I am tired of checking and having that under the answers or that they like to shoot things for fun.

      • Girl. You don’t get to give up for another 20 years. ;) *hugs* I feel you.

      • Amara, I didn’t let anyone get close to me until I was 26. Because I had an all consuming eating disorder and serious body hatred, and I could not fathom how anyone could possibly find me attractive. I’m 28. In the past two years I’ve had five different intimate relationships of varying proportions that certainly make up for for chastity in my early twenties lol. You will find your time, and you will find the right people (or person! sometimes people find “the one” right away, amazingly) to move along your path with.

    • SO. MUCH. THIS. My internal response now is to think that they’re the ones losing out. But I feel your pain. I’m 42 and not traditionally pretty, so I’m overlooked. Just want someone so much, but they don’t want me. This is where my self-esteem still just can’t stand up on its own and I spend too much time in tears. Sometimes it’s just easier not looking. It hurts too much.

  11. Huh. I met a fun person at the college and asked her out. Fat dating? I wasn’t dating fat. I was dating a person. That she had some fat on her body was just a part of that person. We just seemed to click right away. I fell in love with her, and she’s been my best friend ever since. Today is our 33rd anniversary, and we’re looking forward to whatever adventures the next 33 years might hold. Her size has never been an issue for me. I didn’t go after her because of it, and I’ve never felt any inhibition because of it, either. She’s still my best friend, I’m still in love with her, and I still find her incredibly sexy.

    • Damn. You were taken before I came along. *sigh* ;) I love your last line. It’s wonderful.

  12. After a history of bad, uneven relationships and a horribly abusive marriage, I finally faced the demons in my past (medical abuse as a child that bordered on something from an Ira Levin novel, raped at 17), confronted my asshat ex, became happy with myself… and out of the blue, met the most amazing woman ever. It’s a long-distance relationship, sadly, and we don’t get to see each other often. I’m unable to work due to chronic health problems, so I don’t have a lot of income, and my sweetie is a student, but we chat ALL THE TIME. She says frequently that she loves every bit of me. There’s a 15-year age difference between us, but that’s fine. She acts and looks older than she is (and is plenty legal for everything, including drinking), and I look and act a lot younger than I am–to the point that I get carded constantly, including for R-rated movies. (When I’m 40, I’ll be eight five-year-olds!)

    Hopefully, when she’s in med school, I can make some extended visits to see how we get along for longer periods. Maybe by then my ex will have signed the divorce papers (he’s a SERIOUS asshat–it’s only been FOUR YEARS, jerk) and my sweetie and I can see if we’re in this for the long haul. She’s even got me interested in finally finishing my degree. I think I’m going to study Social Work and, if I get to a point where I can hold a job, I’m going to be a juvenile patient advocate to help keep kids from going through the same abuse I did. My exes, especially asshat, would look at me and go, “Why?” in regards. I mentioned it to my sweetie, and she said, “GOOD.” :D~

    • As a social work student working on my MSW, I say a resounding GO FOR IT!!! It’s incredibly tough, and incredibly worth it.

      • Thank you! :D I’m not surprised it’s tough. Social work strikes me as a job that puts you face-to-face with the worst the world can dish out on a daily basis, with almost no power to directly do anything about it (such as power to arrest or detain). OTOH, it’s also meant to come at situations from a different perspective.

        You know, I just realized that my sweetie is planning to specialize in ob/gyn. Even if I don’t get to a point where I can work full time, I may keep up a social worker’s license just in case she comes across any patients who’ve been sexually abused and NEED to talk to someone immediately, but don’t necessarily want to go to the police. Is that something that would be kosher, or is it a little too hinky in the eyes of the law?

        • Social workers are mandated reporters, but I haven’t learned enough yet about how that affects that kind of thing. You might talk with someone who specializes in crisis or hospital social work in your state.

    • I agree – I’m a SW prof and I also say, “Go for it!” Challenging life experience – whether it includes abusive relationships, surviving oppression from many different sources (including moving through our world as a fat person), or a general feeling of exclusion – can create a strong basis for a career in SW. If we are able to use our hurt to better understand ourselves, our relationships, or our world, we can ultimately use it to support and assist others who are hurting. Good.

      • Thank you! :D Where do you teach, if you don’t mind me asking? The school I’m most likely to go to for my BSW is NSU in Broken Arrow, OK, ’cause it’s near my house. Master’s, if I can get funding, would depend on where sweetie goes to med school, but might be Case Western Reserve.

        I never would have thought of this if I hadn’t gone through so much shit in my life. It’s weird, when I was a kid and dealing with medical abuse, people told me I should be a psychiatrist, just like my abusers, because I’d be good at it. Now, I want to be a potential barrier between psychiatrists and patients, just in case the doctors don’t necessarily have the best in mind for their patients. (Or the facilities, the nurses, orderlies, other staff, etc.) I’d gladly work with other patients–Elvis knows I’ve gone through enough medical hell of other kinds–but I know firsthand how psych patients are treated and how easily they can be abused, especially if they’re minors, and I specifically want to make sure those people are treated with dignity, respect, and with their well-being at the forefront of their treatment plan. I solidly lined two fat pockets, boosted two egos, and was the subject of a Mengele-like experiment before I even got my period. I will NOT sit by and let other children go through that just because they’re “less human” than everyone else.

        Gah, can you tell I’m still a little pissed off? It’s only been 25 years. ;)

        • You’re in OK? I’m in KC, MO. We’re neighbor-ish! ;)

          • ((waving towards the West)))) Helena, I’m in Mid-Mo! Jeff City to be precise! Love your posts!!!

            • Sweet! We should get a midwest gathering together. :D

              • Nevada, MO here. :-)

                • All right. All y’all find me on fb: deskdiva. :)

  13. I love this top! I’ve been married to my super thin, super athletic, extremely hot husband for 15+ years. We have 3 kids. There came a time after my divorce from my first husband because he was put of by my weight–which was the same when we married–that I realized I was worth dating. I don’t think I even considered size, it was an over all thing. I would date people I found worthy–not people who found me worthy. That’s a big shift many women need to make. Somehow I ended up with exactly the man of my dreams.

    OK, this is getting long…but I have to mention my complete abhorence for Dr. Phil. He once had an overweight young woman of 23 on his show. He actually asked her: “why do you hate yourself so much? Don’t you ever want to get married?” How dare he discount her ability to be loved by someone else because of body size! I’ve never watched his show again and I sneer openly when I here someone refer to him in positive terms.

    • Both Drs Phil and Oz piss me off so much, I respond in much the same manner as you. It’s gotten to where my husband will dive for the remote to change the channel if either show up on the television, even if it’s just a commercial. :-)

      I try not to be a “hater” in general, but I really, really dislike the way those two treat people and pretend to have all the answers. They are terribly mean to fat people and prescribe terrible diets.

      • I just read an interesting article on Dr. Oz. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/02/04/130204fa_fact_specter

        Even the professionals are questioning him

        • THANK GOD. That’s the best news I’ve seen in AGES!!

        • Good article. I hope a lot of people read it and take it to heart. You’ll notice that the reporter kept his journalistic integrity and didn’t just lambast that quack, which I guess was ethical of him, but if you read between the lines, you can see that Dr. Oz is simply in the business of selling “snake oil.” What a putz.

        • Thank you Susie Kline! My employer’s wellness committee links his videos to their newsletter. Now I have something to use in protest!

        • My sister is an Oz fan, but also a faithful New Yorker reader. I hope this article will open her eyes a bit.

  14. I’ve been together with my hubby for 17 years, this year will be our 16th wedding anniversary. We met when we were both in the military and we were both gym rats, I was @ a size 10-12 and 5’6″.

    When we met I was in a bad place with regard to my weight and self esteem. My body regulated between 150-165, my max allowable weight to not be on the “fat girl” program (and possibly discharged from the military) was 153. He was my champion for remaining sane during these times. We worked out together, dieted together, he would tell me he thought it was horse-hockey, that I was as awesome as I knew myself to be somewhere deep down. And he helped me believe it even while we worked to make sure my weight did not interfere with my ability to remain in the military.

    I have since gotten out of the military, my weight is somewhere over 200. My husband’s has not changed much from when we met. He still calls me sexy, we still have fun. Due to injury, I’m not much of a gym rat anymore, but we continue to find ways to enjoy ourselves and each other.

    The take away for me with regard to dating is that he didn’t take me for granted, he has been my champion and I have been his in other matters.

    It’s love. I don’t know how to explain it. But when you find it, it’s awesome.

  15. “Awesome relationship” Oh let me tell you about it. We have been together for 35 years, married for 33 and lived in sin for 2. I was in my 20s and had lost weight. I was a size 14-16. We fell in love. Then it was time. I let him know I usually weigh over 200 lbs and I will probably gain the weight back. “If that is going to bother you, leave me now”, I told him. End of story. By the way, he is now bald. So we have always had an agreement, he never asks me to loose weight and I dont ask him to grow hair. Since I quit dieting,(did the yo-yo diet for 25 yrs.) we both have been happier. We eat healthy, I walk, he doesnt. We will get back to dancing when we retire. I am blessed to have a great husband.

  16. Your story and mine are almost identical. Well, everything except the happily ever after.
    I didn’t walk away from dating, but I did walk away from dating unless it was the right kind of person. I stopped looking because it was taking its toll on my self esteem and sense of dignity. If the right person doesn’t show, I think I’m better off on my own.
    Perhaps that is my happily ever after.

  17. My husband is never going to tell me I’m “hot.” I honestly could care less. He loves me for ME, not for what I look like. The only guys who ever told me I was “hot” were the ones into “fat chicks.” I always thought, but what if someday I am not fat? Since I was still dieting in those days, that was a “dream” of mine. To not be fat. But even now, what if I got sick? What if somehow something happened and I lost a ton of weight? I don’t find it likely, but it’s not impossible.

    Then let’s take weight out of the equation entirely. What if someday I was in a horrible accident and was somehow disfigured? If a relationship is based on a physical attraction, not an emotional one, so MANY things could put that relationship at risk.

    My husband does think I’m beautiful, but he loves me regardless of how I look. I should mention he has Asperger’s so we’ve discussed these things in a much more open and blunt way than most couples. I may also be an “aspie,” but whether or not I am, I love his honesty and bluntness. It’s part of what attracted me to him.

    We’ve been together since 1999 and married since 2004. My friends envy our marriage. I was about 380 pounds the day we met, and also right around that same weight when we got married. He’s loved me no matter what the scale says, and I know he always will.

    It is very freeing and liberating to KNOW I am loved for who I am, not how I look. It’s something I, like most fat people, was taught I’d never have. Well, they were wrong. Very, very wrong. I take great pleasure in knowing that today.

  18. When I was 20, my manager at Lane Bryant set me up with her boyfriends roommate who was 31. I was self conscious about my weight but was rocking it and was just totally myself when I met him. Because of our age difference, we took it slow and developed a great relationship of mutual respect and adoration for each other. Intimacy has always been a strong point for us gets us through rough times. We’ve been married for 6.5 years now and coming up on 12 years from our first date. My weight has never been an issue for him, he loves the curves and doesn’t give a crap what anyone else thinks. I’m his trophy wife! He’s my perfect combo of a big strong man with and a soft heart. I attribute our luck to being completely ourselves with each other, being real, not playing games and being each others number one fans. I had trouble dating growing up with dating because of f’d up southern California girl ideals ruining it for us real girls. I was always the guys best friend. I always held strong that a guy would need to love all of me and accept me as I am. when you put that out there, you attract it back. If you lose weight to fit an ideal to find someone, that’s entering under false pretenses and you attract that energy back to you. All relationships can get tough, but you gotta have a lot of fun and be yourself. This was a great blog post! Thanks dollface!

  19. I am in an awesome relationship, even though when I met my husband, he had our culture’s typical prejudice against fat dating. At the same time, he was always respectful of fat people and is very conscious of what a sick bias it is to look down on people because of their size, especially when he notices how rampant and distasteful that point of view is in his own family. His mom and both his sisters are extremely fat-phobic.(His oldest sister has been seriously anorexic since she was 18, and she’s now 70!!).

    When I first met him, I was slim, and it turns out that is indeed the “type” he’s attracted to. In the almost 29 years we’ve been together, I’ve gained about 50 pounds and now weigh about 180 at 5’5″. About 20 years ago he admitted in couples counseling that my weight gain was a sore point for him. Our wonderful counselor (a man) really called him out on this, and I made it very clear how devastating it was for me to hear this, especially with my eating-and-weight-disordered history.

    My husband is a very insightful guy, and he learned in counseling that he had highly unrealistic standards of perfection, for both himself and me–not just in the area of looks–and that these were attitudes he very much wanted to change. He has worked hard on his expectations and on becoming more realistic and accepting overall, with fantastic results. He still occasionally mentions feeling self-conscious about his own small pot belly and his baldness (he’s been balding since his 20s), but he also constantly tells and shows me that he finds me sexy and attractive.

    I suspect my weight gain is still a mildly annoying thing to him, somewhat along the lines of my letting the cat sleep on our bed pillows or my leaving the lids too loose on jars–that is, the issue is still there, but on a very small, unserious, level. He definitely knows not to mention my weight to me. He understands my commitment to size acceptance and Health at Every Size (HAES) and tells me how much he respects how tolerant I am as a human being. He adores my cooking and the fact that I love to eat. He frequently say I’m his best friend and how much he appreciates me.

    It’s hard to change others’ perspectives on looks, especially when we live in a society that puts so high a value on thinness, but we can certainly work on changing our own.

  20. I’ve been dating the same wonderful person for 7 years now, been fat the whole time. I’m also really lucky to have found them so young (I’m 21, they’re 24) and they’re an amazing support and always have been! We met through an online art community and met up IRL as friends, and two years later started dating long-distance. Now we live together and every day is body positive bliss.

    It can be a journey to communicate to your partner what is important to you, but don’t waste your precious time and energy on people who want to treat you poorly or fetishize your body only. My partner loves every inch of me, and has never even come close to suggesting I’m worth any less because of my size. No one deserves anything different than that. If you’re having trouble finding someone, keep your head up–someone out there would love to give you everything you deserve, I’m sure of it.

  21. Sigh, as a 21 year old who has never had a boyfriend, I always blamed it on my looks. It’s just that fat, with acne scars, ‘average looks’ don’t help when there are so many socially acceptable thin girls out there. I resigned myself to not ever dating because dating for me equalled being humiliated and not respected enough. If there’s one thing that I want, is what you mentioned above. When it comes to dating, I’m a disaster.

    Anyway, I found a guy that really likes me for who I am, not ever once mentioning my size, in fact he thinks I’m confident because I accept who I am now. He makes me feel amazing, constantly telling me that I’m beautiful. Nobody ever calls me beautiful, except my mom.
    Problem is, I’m not very into him (attraction is a bitch) and I like him more as a friend. So I’m kind of torn. What if nobody else will like me? That sounds silly but based on my experience…but I only met him recently so I’m willing to give this relationship a chance.

    But what I learned anyway is that men will most certainly see you as you, your entire person while immature guys will only see your body. I’ve heard everything from guys, including that a ‘fat guy doesn’t need to worry because he is a guy so it’s not that important’. There’s a certain double standard, you have to be ‘hot’ as a woman, because women are objects to be used by them (P.S I am not talking about all men just some opinions).

    I’ve even been told that I will find true, unsuperficial love because ugly people like me will find other ugly people and let personality be the deciding factor. (this is a semi-insult)

    With first year of college came making out with strangers in bars, at parties and refusing to text them back because I was so self conscious. The thing is, that settling is a bad thing (one guy friend told me this two years ago and he was right) and you have to acknowledge the fact that dating is hard and you deserve better.

    I’m still trying to adjust to the fact that I deserve love, kindness and affection and that is what so many fat people think they don’t deserve because society tells them so. I say screw that.

    Also, if I don’t ever marry or have a partner, I’m still going to be happy somehow because there are other things in life to think and be happy about.

    • I feel like my somewhat plain Jane cousin settled and married a man who didn’t treat her very well and after spending a few days with them I vowed I’d rather spend the rest of my life alone than marry someone who didn’t treat me well.

      I was in grad school at the time and about a month later I met a nice, albeit way too young (though perfectly legal) boy to fling my way through school with and 18 years later, we’re still together. Don’t close yourself off to someone because the attraction isn’t there now, I didn’t really see a possibly with my husband beyond well, I didn’t see anything beyond the next couple of hours, so just see where it goes. I kept spending time with him because he was easy to spend time with, we just had a lot in common and I just felt so comfortable. I’m not saying, run out and get married or anything, nor am i guaranteeing happiness ever after; you are absolutely right, attraction is a bitch. I can tell you attraction can grow. Of course, if he’s just adoring you all the time that can just so annoying and kill any chance of your attraction for him growing. So what the heck do I know.

      I guess the takeaway is trust your gut, you know you’re doing. And never ever settle. So keep on doing what you’re doing. :)

      • That sounds awful for her! I guess there are some men that think they are entitled to treat women how they want to because they’d stay anyway…that is certainly not for me. It surely get tougher to be single as all your friends get boyfriends and make plans to get engaged etc. but it’s harder to be faking a relationship.

        I’m glad you have found the one! :) You seem like you have a great relationship.

        It sure is! And he was really kind of suffocating me so I told him that we should go slower and he agreed without complaining or anything. My real concern is not to hurt his feelings and never make him change because of me.

        A lot of my friends advised me this and that but you’re absolutely right, at the end of the day we have to trust our instincts.

    • I think you should never settle. When I was single and dating, I dated a lot of different guys. My friends actually told me I had to pick one and just make it work. But I waited until I had the spark with someone.

      It’s like Tara said: “It’s love. I don’t know how to explain it. But when you find it, it’s awesome.”

      You deserve that same feeling.

      • It’s kinda funny, my mom once blamed me of “settling” for my awesome hubby. He’s blue-collar and icredibly intelligent. But I was supposed to marry an intellectual. *eye roll*

        So some advice, if I may. Don’t let friends/family push you around, telling you how you should feel with regards to a (potential) mate. Your feelings belong to you, and you alone. Trust your instincts when it comes to whether you should give a guy a chance or not. Sure, it can hurt to shrug someone off… but it opens you up to others. Using friends/family for a sounding board when confused about your feelings? That’s cool, and lovely if you have a good support network.

        And try not to set some arbitrary rules like “must be a rocket scientist.” Other than his striking ice blue eyes, my hubby does not meet many of the specs of the perfect man in my childhood dreams. But I really do think he is the perfect man for me!

        • Really, really want to echo pretty much all of Tara’s points! Trusting your gut is so important – if you want to give this a chance because you see potential, or you’re curious about what it might become, that’s great. But if you feel in your bones that this isn’t anything more than friendship, you owe it to both of you to honor that, and to create room in your lives for people who are better matches for you both.

          And I’m in the same boat when it comes to not having met my ‘perfect’ partner, but having found someone who’s perfect for me. He’s smart and funny, but everything else I remember listing out when I was a teenager isn’t there. However, he shares my fierce respect for bodily autonomy, pushes me to be more generous, more radical and more honest in my life by being so thoroughly committed to those precepts himself, and is just awesome in bed.

          Physically, I’m much bigger than him and always have been; I’m a 26/28, and was a 22/24 when we met 11 years ago. He’s of average weight with a slight pot belly, and is one of the 5% of people who’ve lost weight and kept the majority of it off (though he lost ‘temporary’ weight – he gained the Freshman 15, then the Sophomore 15, etc. during every year of college, then dieted to lose it after he graduated – we met two years later).

          He’s always been 100% fine with my weight and has found me sexy and attractive from the beginning of our relationship. I’m glad that I’d embraced the ‘better alone than in bad company’ philosophy in the year before we met, since I would have hated to be in a mediocre relationship and have missed out on what we have.

    • Jo, hon, NEVER settle, and never, ever find reason to see yourself as less than a whole and deserving person. It’s an easy trap to fall into, but a difficult one to get out of. My self esteem issues led me to settle for a spouse who choked me, left lasting damage in my right wrist that ended any hope I had for an art career, raped me on a daily basis for almost two years (including forcing me to have sex with one of his girlfriends), squandered nearly every penny I earned on himself, and forced me to stay with him for eight and a half years so I could have medical insurance. (I have multiple life-threatening chronic health conditions, so leaving and thus losing my insurance coverage would have been suicide. Believe me, I considered it plenty of times.) It’s actually been four years to the day since he kicked me out of my own home for some woman he’d been flying cross-country to meet him on business trips. Motherfucking bastard still won’t sign the divorce papers because he wants to make me shell out for an attorney (on my disability income!) for as long as possible.

      That, my dear, is settling. It’s getting the worst of the worst because you think it’s the best you deserve. NEVER fall into that trap. You’re better than that, and you deserve better. Anyone who says otherwise is lying, and should hang by his dick or her clit until he/she gets the point. *HUGS*

      • Thank you all for the amazing support! He is kind, generous, hard working, we love the same things. He talks way too much for my liking and is kind of awkward (in a way I don’t find endearing now) but I decided that maybe time will tell if there will be something or not. If not, yeah, I’ll still be the single friend tagging along with couples and hopefully someday I’ll find someone and have that chemistry.

        My friends are kind of pressuring me, telling me how wonderful he is. And he is but being with someone I don’t feel attracted to just for the sake of that is wrong. Especially for him. Of course, everyone has his/her imperfections and perfect is kind of out of my vocabulary now.

        I have witnessed abuse as a child. I have listened to stories told by battered women, women I knew, women I grew up with. I have seen ugly scenes between my parents, bruises on my mother’s friends bodies. I have seen a man apologising and crying after trying to throw his wife out the window. My brother has beaten his wife 2 weeks before their wedding and threw her out. She came back home. I can honestly say that I talk to him a few times a year but to me, he is a wife beater and can’t ever see him as the person he used to be.

        I swore that anything is better than that and I will never have to live this nightmare.

        This is a great video, Leslie Morgan Steiner talks about her exp. with abuse: http://www.ted.com/talks/leslie_morgan_steiner_why_domestic_violence_victims_don_t_leave.html

  22. I got hit on/asked out a lot when I was at the height of my eating disorder and very thin. Yes, I got more dates, and they were almost uniformly awful. I’d go out to dinner with some cute, brainless douchebag, he’d make a “joke” along the lines of “I hope you don’t do something seriously unsexy, like eat” (no, I’m not kidding), and I’d excuse myself to the bathroom and sneak out. Eventually my body rebelled, and I put on weight. I decided I wasn’t going to put myself through dating torture anymore, and focused on building my friendships and my career.

    Not too long after that, I went to visit an old college friend for his birthday. He suggested stopping by his weekend Dungeons and Dragons game after dinner, since there was a member of the group he thought I’d like. When we got to his friend’s apartment, the door was opened by a tall, blue-eyed, dimpled hunk with a devastating smile and the most adorable Winnie-the-Pooh belly ever. We were introduced, and I shook his hand. A few moments later, he said, “Can I have my hand back?” I said, “No.”

    For a few months, we hung out as “friends”, even though I had the most massive crush since middle school. I had to get drunk and make a pass at him before he finally got the hint that I was into him. The reason? He thought I wouldn’t be interested in him because he was fat. (Never mind that I was, too; he thought I was so gorgeous I had to be beating men off with a stick.) That was 4 years ago. I was a fat bride, and I was (and still am) happier than I have ever been in my life. We’ve been married for nearly 3 years, and we still act like newlyweds.

    • I met my husband over D&D too! :) That was 19 years ago. Yeah, I’m old. lol

  23. Ragen, All your blogs and writtings are great, but this one is exceptional. I really have enjoyed reading the “awesome relationship” stories. The next time someone wants to write a book, I think these stories should be in a chapter. These are great and very possitive stories, especially for young woman. Thank you. Great job.

  24. So: married over ten years to my amazingly wonderful husband. I was a fat bride (size 24) who gained more weight over the years (now size 32). My husband’s previous girlfriends were all fair-skinned brunettes like me and none of them were thin, but I think I’m the fattest woman he’s been with. He’s an average sized guy who’s very physically active. He has no problem with the size of my body, but he does get after me occasionally when I slack off on my physical activity but that’s because I’ve told him how much better I feel – both emotionally and physically – when I get in my walks and hikes. And I get after him when he overschedules himself on the weekends and ends up grumpy and tired Monday mornings. Through me he’s learned about HAES and weight stigma and now does some educating of others which is so much fun for me to see! Oh – and he’s a GREAT father to our daughter. I’m a lucky woman :)

  25. I LOVE your column. LOVE it. For the record, I AM the crazy dog lady, and, after years of worrying about men/dates/weight/attractiveness, much happier for it. My dog is a great big Mastiff-mix bitch. Nobody calls HER fat, especially when she growls.

    • Dogs don’t give two craps how much you weigh. They care if you get dressed up in leaving the house clothes but that’s about it. They love you even on your best and worst days. They love you exactly as you are. It was because of my beautiful baby dog I learned what to look out for in a partner and I must say the two of them are the great loves of my life. They are both always so happy to see me even on the days when I don’t even want to know myself. If we could see ourselves the way our dogs see us, our lives would be infinitely better. Well I believe anyway.

    • So true! My dog is 8 and she’s amazing. During my teenage years I can honestly say she was the only one that I could be around and feel totally safe because to her I was and still am amazing, animals see into your soul more than humans do and that’s all they care for really: how you treat them.

  26. I too had the philosophy of better to be alone than in bad company. I still have no idea how I found such a wonderful man. He loves me and thinks that I’m beautiful exactly as I am. He loves my curves and has never made me feel like anything should be different. I can’t wait to marry him. He asked me this past Christmas and we’ll be moving in together soon :)

    This blog and the whole HAES movement has helped me cut through all the bullshit and see why I was so desperate to be thin. It has nothing to do with health (I’m in excellent health) or so that I can be loved (I already am in abundance). I bought the crap that I should be thin because any other way is wrong. That is so not true and I’m glad I finally see that.

  27. Married for about 9 years, together for almost 11, with a slim conventionally attractive guy and two babies. He’s got a great heart, and that was my deciding factor in whether or not to ever marry (until meeting him, I wouldn’t have). I’ve always been super sized and an overly sexual goth, and I was never been single for a long time even in my younger years-that’s not to say dating wasn’t a disaster, but it def. wasn’t non-existent.

  28. I was a size 28 when I met my husband and we both thought the other was gorgeous the first time we met. I had been using a dating site called okcupid.com to meet guys and had been out with a half dozen guys, some good, some not so good. I had said in my profile that I was a Big and Beautiful woman so anyone who didn’t understand that or didn’t ask would find out on our first date. My husband and I did talk online for over a month before we met and knew we really liked each other for a variety of reasons before we met in person. We’ve been together 4 years now and I adore him. We have a wonderful love life, with the lights on. We also have a healthy and beautiful 2 1/2 year old. Life is good.

  29. I was considerably smaller when I last dated and I kept seeing the phrase “height/weight proportional” in dating profiles. I felt like I was height/weight proportional. No I wasn’t smallest woman ever, but dammit, I didn’t feel like I was fat, so I was crushed when my potential dates didn’t think I was acceptable. Well, screw them. I gained a massive amount of weight when I went on birth control pills, so I reckon any of those guys would have run out of the door anyway, so I’m lucky I got a guy who didn’t give a crap about my weight.

  30. I’ve been really lucky with my relationship. I was fat when we met (and still am) and we had sparks right away. He has never brought up my weight once and his actions never have caused me to doubt how he feels about me. The only doubts I have come from me alone and he puts up with them and reassures me as many times as need be to make them go away again. We’ve been together for almost a decade now, (3 years dating 5 years married) and I thank the universe every day for letting me spend so much of my life with someone who cares so deeply for me. I do like to say I cheated in finding him, since I never have really dated anyone else. He was my first and only love.

  31. I was actually quite thin when I met my partner… though at the time I had no idea that we’d wind up where we are now. I was your typical tall, thin, pretty girl and he was a tall, fat dude. We started out as friends. Were friends for years, in fact. Then somewhere along the line he became my best friend. He helped me through some rough times, I helped him through some rough times. And then, some years later, I was looking at him and just sort of thought to myself “you know… you’re absolutely perfect for me”. By that time I’d jumped up a few dress sizes and was definitely not considered thin anymore. We’ve been together for four years now, living together for two of those – I’m now a size 20 (and weigh literally twice what I did when we first met), he’s still the same as ever, and he has always told me that he finds me attractive no matter what weight I’m at. He’s told me he doesn’t care if I gain a ton of weight, lose a ton of weight, or stay exactly the same, he’ll still find me attractive because I’m me.

    And I feel the same way about him. It’s funny, because I never acknowledged that I found him attractive until I stopped beating myself up for gaining weight (for “letting myself get this way”). The less I hated myself, the more I started questioning fat-hating culture, the easier it was to admit that I was genuinely attracted to a man who looked nothing like the buff, tanned guys women are supposed to be attracted to.

    I compare being with him to being with people when I was thin and the differences are startling. I got more food-policing from my partners when I was thin than I do now. I felt more self conscious about my body, as if being attractive was conditional (and to them it probably was). I remember feeling anxiety over whether or not I was as pretty as other women when we went out, and if they were comparing me. I remember actually being compared to other women!

    My current partner does none of that. He accepts me the way I am and has never once made me feel anxious about the way I look or about if he’s comparing me to other people.

  32. My husband is a guy who IS pretty much exclusively attracted to fat women, but he’s NOT a fetishist. I now see it as similar to my preference for tall men. I’ve definitely been attracted to shorter men (first husband was 5’7″ just like me) but tall is a bonus. It took a while to sort out that he was attracted to me and not just fat me, but we’ve been happily married 8 years after meeting on Match.com.

    He’s gotten smaller during our marriage–lap band. I know that’s a sensitive topic here, but he’s happy with it so I’m happy for him. I’ve gotten larger. We’ve both gotten more physically limited due to various injuries and chronic diseases. We also both still laugh, cry, play, and f*ck like bunnies together.

  33. I am so lucky. I met my partner when I was at my thinnest and most disordered eating. Of course I gained the weight back. While my weight doesn’t make me superfat, it does still put me in the overweight and obviously chubby category. I don’t have a good idea of whether this makes me less date-able, but in my mind 20 years ago it did, and so dating *was* a problem. My honey doesn’t care what size I was or am now – he loves me and he makes sure I know it. I still have those stupid moments of “Oh no, he’s going to feel like he was duped!” but I realize that is my issue to deal with, not his. I’ve come a long way in how I think about bodies and fat and I know now that if I was single, I would never date anyone who had any issues with my body. I would choose weird old dog lady over that too!

  34. I am technically recently out of a long term relationship, but my ex always loved me in my entirety, and wanted all of me. I have been fortunate to have dated people who felt like that, with one exception – a very short fling with someone who just wanted my body, but that didn’t work for me. It wouldn’t have worked for me if I had been a super model either. :)

    Right now, I have two people who are interested in the whole package. I don’t say that to brag, but to say that we can all be desired, sometimes without knowing it, and sometimes by more than just one person! I spent a lot of my life as a single person because I felt the same way that Ragen does. Now I am able to say that, while I want to be partnered, I can do it alone too. I think that opened my heart and soul to the possibilities that the univers had for me. It has certainly opened my heart and soul to the two amazon people who are excited to get to know me and share themselves with me. :)

  35. I’m at that point also. After 2 bad relationships and two children I’ve been putting on weight for the past few years. I didn’t feel very attractive when I was thin either. I’ve always been perpetually overlooked by the male gender so me being biggerfeels like ANOTHER road block into finding love. I know bigger people can find love it just seems like it’s ME that can’t. It’s a deeper inside issue than just being fat that I have to work on. After being in an abusive relationship and getting out quickly sometimes I feel I want to be with just anybody no matter how bad they are just to be desired.

  36. I love hearing everyone’s stories here. I often find myself advising friends and family to take whatever time they need alone to feel 100% comfortable on their own before trying to find a long term relationship. Why is it sometimes so hard to apply the Golden Rule to ourselves?…. I suggest dating oneself for a full year to find out what being treated well feels like. Go to all the places and do all the things that you like. Next time you are with someone who doesn’t support you, you’ll know deep down that you can have better love, because you already have it!

    I’m very fortunate to have a loving hubby of 7 years, together for 10. After 9 years of happy healing celibacy I was ready to date and met someone in a music group I was in. I first met my guy while I was finishing up a relationship with someone who was afraid to let himself be seen as liking fat women (also drank too much and was moody as all F***). After a birthday party I threw myself as a backup to his flakiness, my girlfriend went online and told me to look and see how much better I could do. And there was hubs; the rest is history.

    While attraction is important, I learned that for myself, the confidence I gained as a crazy cat lady living at the end of a long dirt road allowed me to look past my usual prerequisites and find love with a different person than I would have looked at previously. When I met him, DH was living with his Mom (he was her caretaker for 10 years, and incredibly kind to her) and not working outside the home for money. I am a longtime veggie lefty, and he is a meat eating, gun owning republican. He’s very much my ‘type’ as a skinny little nerdy weirdo, but I doubt I would have given him a second glance if I hadn’t been confident enough to see the generous, kind, responsible, and totally loving artist in him due to my ability to know who I AM.

    I know I’ve changed over time, and so has my partner. Fat has the least to do with any of that, yet is an integral part of our attraction to each other. And, much as I adore him and our life together, I still know I would be absolutely FINE without him.

    I think the key to finding the relationship you want is setting yourself up for a win-win situation regardless of whether you find that person or not. Maybe it won’t happen, but you’ll still have the life you love.

  37. The guys I dated in the past may have been hung up about my weight but they never voiced it to me. :)

    My fiancé is definitely the best man I’ve been with though. Not only is he totally accepting of who I am but he also kicks my ass whenever I try to look to anyone else but myself for reassurance, even him! Not that he doesn’t remind me all the time that he thinks I’m attractive but also reminds me that not he nor anyone else gets to be my judge, which is such a mature way of thinking that I haven’t seen in a lot of men. :)

    Even though he is thin, he has his own insecurities and I’m so happy that we found each other so we can help each other grow. :)

  38. My husband and I have been married nearly 13-1/2 years, and if you were to see us walking through the store, you would think we are newlyweds from the way we tease, hold hands, and act with one another. He was not fat when we married, but he is now. I was fat but a smaller fat than I am now when we married, but my change in weight has had no impact on our relationship just as his change in size has had no impact on our relationship. Our ups and downs have been due to outside influences, such as jobs, dealing with the INS, and putting up with both sets of parents.

    What has had an impact on our relationship is the fact that I’ve come to accept myself as I am. I have fought, and still am fighting, the daily battle to keep loving myself and deflecting the messages of shame and hate from society. He has encouraged this at every turn, and I have said that there were times when he loved me enough for both of us, when I was having a difficult time loving myself. I owe him a debt of gratitude for his encouragement and support, especially when it came to learning to accept and love myself.

  39. My problem isn’t finding suitable men to date — it’s how other women treat me when I’m with a man who is considered exceptionally nice-looking by society’s standards. Some women seem actually enraged at me, like I don’t deserve him and they do. Maybe they are starving themselves or working out to exhaustion in the gym or simply so self-conscious about how they think they look that it’s almost like they can’t abide seeing a fat chick with a hot guy. They make this sort of horrified, angry, I-just-bit-down-on-a-lemon-filled-with-razor-blades expression. Sometimes they are rude. One time a waitress who could barely conceal this facial expression “accidently” dumped a little dish of salsa into my lap, white skirt, of course, during a date (don’t worry, I didn’t gratify her by freaking out).

    Sadly, even my best friend has been throwing a little of this attitude my way lately. It seems to have been much easier for her to be my friend when she was in a relationship and I wasn’t. Now that our places have changed, I think she feels deep down that I don’t deserve to be happy, at least not if she isn’t.

  40. For me this subject is like talking about other planets, because it’s completely alien to me. When I decided it was time to stop looking and just live the solo life, it wasn’t because of my size, even though at the time I was still hating myself for my size and believing that if I could just lose weight my life would magically become amazing. The key was actually because I looked in the mirror towards the end of yet another horrible mistake and realized that I was never so utterly miserable as when I had a significant (b)other. I didn’t know why yet, as the correct mental illness diagnoses had not yet come along.
    I have bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and OCD. I have been sexually assaulted more than once. I have been at the least emotionally abused by every man I’ve ever been with. (And anyone who tells me I should ‘try women’ dies. I will find you and I will kill you. I have nothing whatsoever against homosexuality, I’m just not wired that way, and for someone to tell me that I should go against my sexual orientation is equally as offensive as me telling a lesbian that she should ‘try men’ because she’s had no luck with women. Sorry, but there are actually people who have told me this, and were shocked that I was incensed.)
    Basically, I’m damaged goods. The kinds of guys I attract are the kinds of guys who want to enslave people like me. Either that or make me part of a harem. I’m nobody’s dirty little secret, and I’m nobody’s option. I’m better than that, even if I’m far from perfect.
    Also, at this point in my life, I’m sick of hearing “you aren’t getting any younger, when are you going to find a man?” Not to put too fine a point on it, but Bitch, I don’t want to! I’m too worn out to invest myself in an actual relationship, and I don’t like casual sex. I need to work on my own self. Not everyone needs to be with someone, and we shouldn’t be made to feel like we’re less of a person because we’re not.
    Which really has nothing to do with this post, which obviously wasn’t directed at people in my situation. For some reason I have this unhealthy compulsion to explain my reasoning why I don’t ever want to be involved with anyone again. It’s not always a bad thing to fly solo.

    • Cie, you just be your own self and everyone else be damned. You are not damaged goods, unless you want to call every piece of humanity damaged goods. Ain’t nobody perfect nowhere. You are simply a wonderful, unique woman – a complete person as is – and you have problems and ailments like everyone else. *hugs* I think you’re pretty fantastic just as you are.

    • No shame in that. Some people just aren’t made for putting up with other people’s shit.

    • I respect the hell out of you for making a decision you felt was best for you and sticking to your guns. Kudos! Especially when there’s pressure to have a significant (b)other by society all around you. No one can know you like you know yourself, and you are doing what you need for yourself, so get on with your badass self. :)

      As for those who tell you that you need a man in your life or tell you to try women since men haven’t worked out for you…wow, that’s ballsy and really obnoxious. Sod them and the horse they rode in on. Talk about breaking the Underpants Rule…that’s shattering it into tiny little pieces. You’re wired the way you’re wired, and if that means you’re wired to fly solo, then that’s what it means. To try to force yourself to be something you’re not or with someone who makes you miserable would only lead to misery.

      Based on the responses you’ve posted here, I think you’re pretty awesome. You’ve brought great insight to the conversations, and I enjoy reading your responses. I think it’s great that you are taking time for yourself, working on yourself for you. *two thumbs up*

    • It can be a really good thing to fly solo! I flew solo for 15 years to avoid the enslavement/harem thing. When people were snarky, I’d say, “Hey, I’m not going to settle; when it’s right, I’ll know it” or “I’m determined to follow my heart, and so far it’s been saying ‘NO!’” No one knows what’s best for you except you.

  41. I’m really late to the party but I’d like to add that I have a great partner who loves my fat. When we met I told him straight up that I’d never diet. As the relationship progressed I told him more about HAES and intuitive eating (intuitive eating has been very helpful for him).

    On my Tumblr dashboard I follow tons of fat women bloggers who post pictures of themselves daily. He often looks up at my computer and sees their pictures. He told me that since dating me he’s become way more attracted to fat women then he was before.


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