Adventures in Fat Dating

I got an e-mail today from a reader who prefers to remain anonymous asking for my opinion about the Silly Love Songs episode of GLEE and asking me to blog about fat dating for Valentine’s day.  I’m not going to blog about Glee yet because it’s pretty new and I want to see where it’s going.  But I will blog about fat dating.

All of the quotes you are about to read are from my actual love life, such as it has been.  I agree with Marie Osmond about at least one thing: If you’re going to look back and laugh, you might as well laugh now – so feel free.  To be clear, the “bitter, jaded and proud of it”, the “hot and cold”, the “mamma’s boy”, the “liar liar pants on fire”, and the “Why Work on Your Issues When You Can Make Them Your Identity”  all have their place on the list of dating don’ts that I did.  But this particular blog is just about the ones that relate being a fatty.  Enjoy:

My Funny Valentine

This declaration of love could not mince more, and typically includes a super-awkward pause followed by an equally awkward, stilted euphemism, finishing up with some quality speed talking:  “Sure, you’re…, …, …, a… little on the…you know… big…ger side, butIlikeyouanyway.”   With a little more practice you might get “It’s not what’s on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts” [sincere smile].

A date once serenaded me, in front of people, with the song My Funny Valentine.  I gave myself a headache trying to smile and keep the horror out of my eyes as I heard the words “Your looks are laughable, unphotographable …Is your figure less than greek? Is your mouth a little meek?  When your open it to speak, are you smart?”

Yeah…no.  If your declaration of love includes any phrase that means “in spite of”, or if you’re hoping to get some after calling my looks laughable, you should probably rethink your strategy because I’m going to hold out for a better offer.

The Only Exception

I can’t even count the number of times that someone who has been interested in dating me has told me “I’ve never been attracted to big girls, but I’m attracted to you”.

I suppose I could be flattered, but I never am.  For one thing, this often turns out to be just a “My Funny Valentine” in disguise.  Even if it’s not, after we’d been dating for a while I found that dating someone who doesn’t find people who look like me attractive is disconcerting at best.  That’s my issue for sure but it just doesn’t work for me. Moving right along…

Does. Not. Get. It.

I’m very clear about being a Size Acceptance activist and practicing Health at Every Size (as you may have noticed).  And yet even after having lots of open, honest communication I’ve had to walk out on dates that included calorie counting and weight loss advice.  I know (but did not date) someone who who prefers fat girls, but believes us all to be  unhealthy and destined for health issues. I could not deal with that.

The bottom line:

I hate to do two quotes in one blog (ok, I totally don’t because I’m an inspiration junkie):  Better alone than in bad company. (Thank you George Washington).  You decide what you deserve.  I know a lot of people who’ve consciously settled for less than they wanted, and I’ve certainly given it the old college try.  But for me, I’ve decided that I absolutely deserve someone who loves not just the present that is me, but the gift wrap as well.

Bonus Bad Date:

Astonishingly Stoopid

This is an extension of Does. Not. Get. It. that was so out of control that it got it’s own post:  Reading Comprehension in the Age of Internet Dating

24 thoughts on “Adventures in Fat Dating

  1. I always hated the “you have such a beautiful face” line. Ugh, yeah, I also have a beautiful just about everything else, you just can’t get past it. That’s fine, that’s their hang up, not mine. At least, not any longer.

  2. I SO know what you mean! You forgot the “YOU HAVE SUCH A BEAUTIFUL FACE” guy. You know the guy who loves to hang out, but you’re too fat to REALLY date! Your face is so pretty, (he’s thinking wish your body was as pretty). You also forgot the “I heard fat chicks put out/they’re easy” guy. That guy who thinks, that a fat chick should be grateful for some attention! I’ve met those guys, too.
    I’m lucky to have a great guy in my life, who likes me the way I am. I’ve lost and gained and then again. He’s been there all the way. But I remember those other guys…SHEESH! I remember my early twenties , when I began to realize some guys like curves on women. However you had to learn to dodge a couple of other types of guys. I’d go out to eat, on a date, and try to pretend a little bitty salad was all I wanted. Going home and fixing something to eat. It’s so tricky to date sometimes, watching out for all those different types, those who don’t want to be in your life for the right reasons; those who aren’t good enough for you. Sometimes it is better to be alone, work on myself than have to deal with the aforementioned guys.

    P.S. You said, “I’m very clear about being Health at Every Size (as you may have noticed)”
    Regan, equatorial pygmies know how you feel! (Hope you will take that as the friendly joke it was meant to be.)
    Thank you for great blog!

  3. I’ve dated all of those.

    There came a watershed moment for me, and I remember it really clearly. A guy I know through work, and chat to fairly regularly asked me out one day as we were standing in line at a cafe waiting to get coffee. I was just quickly deciding if I did want to go out with him (I’d not actually entertained that thought before with reference to him) when he followed his request up with “Just so you know, I’m OK dating fat women.”

    I took a breath and said “Really? I’m actually not ok with dating patronising men, so, no thanks.” and picked up my coffee and walked away.

    It was the moment I realised that it really is better to say no to a bad date and enjoy my own good company than say yes and have to suffer his bad attitude.

  4. I have been reading Ragen’s blog since 2005, and I wanted to let all of you know what an inspiration you are to me.
    If there is anyone out there that doesn’t want to be with the amazing, intelligent and funny people you are, then it is definitely their loss.
    Happy Valentine’s Day – Happy Everyday to all of you!

  5. I wish more people would subscribe to the idea that being happy does not depend on validation from another person, especially a romantic partner.
    I, too, figured out awhile ago that I would much rather be happy and single, but never alone with my dear friends (and never too hard up thanks to…uh…special friends…hehe), than have to suffer at the hands of some insecure dolt who shouldn’t even be dating in the first place.
    There is power in saying to someone like that “I don’t need you to validate me.” It really separates the wheat from the chaff…although, a lot of the time there seems to be too much chaff. :/

  6. I want more of this blog. Ladies, dying to know what you put as your body type on OkCupid? I opted for full figured, but it feels like a cop out (perhaps they will think I’m just a little plump when I’m not)? I get 105 views a week, tons of messages, but always feel like I have to have the fat talk and weed out these idiots before meeting them. Props to Okc for having match questions you can mark as mandatory which eliminates some of this hassle.

    1. Hi Lauren,

      I want more of this blog to, unfortunately I have no idea how to answer your question. If someone’s figured out online dating please let me know how it’s done!


  7. Last time I was home the flat-mate (and one of his best friends) of my boyfriend looked at me for a while. “have you lost weight?” “Yeah, 5 or 6 kg…”, to which he asked in a very serious tone “And is he -my boyfriend- ok with it?” (now imagine my face of disbelief, ‘cos I usually get cheers when I say I lost weight) “With me losing weight? Well why wouldn’t he be???”. Still very serious “Well…’cos he loves you and thinks you’re beautiful just the way you are! I wouldn’t want my woman to change!”
    After a lifetime of “you’ll never find a man if you don’t lose weight” and “he dumpted you ‘cos you’re not beautiful enough” (that ALWAYS came from my family); my friends words broke my heart. In a good way that is.

  8. The men that I’ve dated have always told me that I had a beautiful body although many times I had trouble believing them. When I started to date my first husband, he would embarrass me by buying me sexy underwear and telling me how sexy I was.

  9. I can’t stand the “what’s on the inside that counts” thing for a different reason of course: men who say that think they’re superior to men who declare they prefer fat women. More than once I’ve been set upon by this kind of “noble” guy who tells me I shouldn’t care what a woman looks like, to which my retort more than once has been, “So I should fuck anything that moves like you do?” (Yeah I know, not the best tack, but I bet it was true more often than these pricks would care to admit).

    The “It’s OK if you’re fat” thing is something I did for a while before coming across NAAFA, because the culture is so saturated with the idea that such a thing is anathema that guys who begin to feel attracted to fat gals make halting steps toward stepping out of the box. It’s a bit of a version of Mao’s “Combat Liberalism”.

    As for “fat girls are easy”, if you’d asked myself pre-NAAFA for a generalization, I would have said, “Easy??? They hate you for even talking to them, but I can’t see myself with a thin woman, so it’s off to bash my head against that wall yet again….”

    1. Hi Avery,

      That’s a really interesting point of view – I hadn’t thought about it like that. I always allow for personal preference, I just think that we should realize that it is at least partially shaped by our culture (for example the men I know who declare a preference for fat women face a lot of cultural stigma). I’m glad that you’ve found NAAFA and stopped bashing your head against the wall! I checked out your pictures and your wedding (and wife) are beautiful! Thanks for commenting with a guy’s perspective!


  10. Id just like to point out that although Id guess my body is somewhere like “medium, with definite curves”, I have always been “the ugly one”. And for that, I get a lot of similar comments from men. “I like your large nose/pointy chin. It has ‘character.'” etc.

  11. I’m with Avery on this. (Not surprising since he is a friend of mine.) I always dated larger women, was always–dare I say it–a fat admirer; but my biggest problem (other than disapproving parents) was the reactions of the women I wanted to date. Sort of like Groucho Marx, they didn’t want to date anyone who found them attractive.

    But I was able to ferret out the exceptions, and had several successful long-term relationships with women who were not afraid to accept me. Most recently, I found a marvelous match on, and we are still together after many happy months. Nobody is supposed to register on a site like that unless they are prepared to be fat, or prefer a fat partner.

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