I spend a lot of time thinking about what it’s like to date as a fat, queer femme. Lately, I’ve been reading anecdotes, stories, and confessions from other fat women about their dating disasters, many of which are similar to my own. Part of me wishes that I were the only fat woman who deals with fatphobia in my pursuit of love, sex, romance, and affection – but there is something validating about knowing that I’m not. I have learned quite a few Dating While Fat lessons in my 27 years and would like to share five tips to keep in mind, while playing the field as a fat woman.
Firstly, you need to brace yourself for the barrage of “compliments” you will inevitably receive. You’re so pretty for a plus size lady. I’m actually really into BBWs. You just have more cushion for the pushin’. No, you’re not fat – you’re beautiful! It’s important to acknowledge that it takes a lot of bravery to compliment a fat woman, so be sure to practice your appreciative face – you don’t want to come across as ungrateful! And remember, it’s rude to point out blatant and annoying fatphobia.
Lowering Your Standards
When your friend tells you to be grateful for any attention you receive, believe them! And later, when that same friend suggests that you should lower your standards, agree with them! Surely they must be right because why would a real catch be interested in you? I mean, unless you’re secretly trapped in the plot of a 90s movie where the popular kid asks you on a date as a bet and then falls in love with you anyway, despite your flaws – because being fat is the biggest flaw of all. But let’s be real, the chances of that happening are pretty slim, so lower those standards!
Accepting the Love You Deserve
And when you do settle for the next chubby chaser who shows interest in you, don’t forget to show them how grateful you are to have finally found someone. Disregard their bad behaviour, lack of respect, and poor treatment of you. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t count as fetishizing or degrading behaviour because any attention is good attention for a fat woman! As long as they believe “real women have curves”, they are worthy of your love and your body. Society has taught you that fat women aren’t worthy of love for a reason!
Behind Closed Doors
One of the most important lessons you need to learn is that it’s perfectly normal for the person you’re dating to keep you a secret. Don’t expect public acknowledgement of your relationship – this means on social media, at events or parties, in pictures, etc. The only people willing to be seen in public with you are most likely creepy perverts with a fat fetish. This may surprise you, especially if you are queer because us queers are known for being open-minded, anti-oppressive feminists but that’s the fun thing about fatphobia – it isn’t just a white, cis, straight person problem! Everybody (regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, class, etc.) can be fatphobic. We can ALL agree that fat people are gross, right?
If you do finally meet a loving, kind, and respectful partner, do everything you can to sabotage the relationship! You should begin the sabotaging behaviour early by doubting their desire and attraction for you, always assuming that being treated with love and respect as a fat woman is too good to be true. Next, search through their dating history to see if you are the only fat woman they have ever dated, and if you are, obsess over it. Why did they choose you? Are they dating you out of pity? Are they embarrassed to show you off to their friends and family? So many questions, so little time to over-analyze! If you haven’t successfully pushed your partner away yet, I suggest constantly questioning their motives. Your sweet, devoted partner will most likely never tire of having to prove themselves to you.
I wouldn’t say I’m an expert when it comes to Dating While Fat (or an expert when it comes to anything, I’ll be honest with you), but I do feel like I’m qualified to speak on this subject as I’ve been fat my whole life and dating for half of it. Dating as a fat woman is challenging and exhausting, and sometimes it’s just plain heartbreaking. But I’m no quitter and I’ve learned over the years that I’m worthy of love and respect. And so are you.
Lindsay is a queer femme who was born and raised in Halifax, NS. She loves ice cream, memes and whiskey. By day, Lindsay is an administrative assistant and by night, a hobbyist blogger with an interest in bad jokes and rap music.
You can find her on Twitter @femmelindsay