Dating.. *SO* much fun

If you have a blog, or you tweet, or even if you just like telling stories to your friends.. you’ll probably have had this experience..

Something bad, or embarrassing, or both happens.. and AS IT IS OCCURING, you think.. “Whoah boy, this is going to make a GREAT blog entry/story later…”

I have had a couple of dates like that lately.

As has been previously mentioned on this blog, I am poly people. This means I engage in more than one romantic entanglement at at time. No one gets lied to, everyone’s informed, and all is well… (if you’re wanting more information, wikipedia is a good place to start.)

It means that while I am currently living with someone utterly wonderful, who I am head-over-heels smitten for.. I am also dating.

And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that sometimes, dating SUCKS. And when you’re fat? It can have a whole fresh layer of complications attached.

I meet lots of new people through the internet – new friends, new hobby-mates, and new people to date. When I am dating someone I met online, I like to make sure they have seen pictures of me. Including pictures of my whole body (clothed! gesselouise, people!) . I feel after seeing those pictures, there should really be no surprise when they show up and realise they’re on a date with a fat girl. I make sure the pictures I show them are realistic. I think this saves me some angst.. if they look at the pictures and they don’t like what they see, well, I’ve just saved us both a lot of time.

Perhaps it’s foolish of me, but I have assumed that, having gone through this process, if the guy (girl, alien from the planet awesomo) then asks me out on a date, the “fat” issue is put to one side. Settled. A non issue. They’re okay with it, otherwise they wouldn’t be there.  It’s the same as my crazy hair – you can see it in the picture, right? I don’t then expect to show up to the date and have the other person yell “OHMAGAWD WHATS WITH YOUR HAIR IT IS BRIGHT RED!”.

Turns out this isn’t always the case, though. One guy seemed.. more nervous than he ought to, and then spent almost the entire date talking about his amazing personal trainer, PJ, and the amazing thing he did, where he gained a whole heap of weight on purpose and then lost it all again, just to prove it could be done… and proceeded to repeat this personal trainer’s odious and misinformed views along the lines of “all fat people are just lazy and could lose weight if they wanted to..”

Afterwards, he contacted me, keen for another date. Me? not so keen! I explained that what he said was pretty offensive, not to mention TOTALLY UNTRUE. He couldn’t understand why I had taken it so personally!

I couldn’t understand why he thought I’d go out on another date with him after he showed himself to be such an insensitive idiot.

The other one – we went on two lovely dates. Lots of flirting, laughs and great conversation. I thought this had real potential! Then I didn’t hear anything from him for ages. Oh well, I thought. Guess he changed his mind.

Eventually he contacted me and said he was feeling really conflicted about how attracted he was to me, and he thinks it’s probably because I am “a bit chubby”. He explained that sometimes he felt really attracted to me, and then other times, he felt repulsed/indifferent and it was all very confusing, and he needed to think about it.

I let him know as kindly as possible that he could think about it all he liked. Far, far away from me.

Now I’d like to be able to tell you that both of these unpleasant experiences were very easy for me to shake off, just like water off a duck’s back. I’d like to be able to tell you that I shook my head, secure in the knowledge that it was them, not me, with the problem, and I haven’t thought about it since.

I’d like to be able to tell you that, but it wouldn’t be true.

I know the next time I am talking to someone online, and they ask me out on a date, it is going to take every ounce of self-restraint I possess not to ask them “So, you know I am fat, right? And you’re okay with that?” ….

Stupid thing to ask! Stupid thing to say! It smacks of insecurity and assuming the other person is stupid. So.. I’m not going to ask it.

But after these.. interesting.. experiences, you can be sure I’ll be wondering about it, anyway.

..where’d all the nice smart cute funny poly-friendly curve-loving men go? huh? :)

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  • LexieDi

    I actually have told people after they've seen a picture of me that I'm fat. My current long distance boyfriend lives in England and for a while, I was quite nervous and said in a few chats, “Look, I'm fat. I'm not going to change for you. I care for you but my body is my body and I'm not going to fight to be thin.”

    I finally shut up when he sent me a link to the song “You're the One for Me, Fatty” by Morrissey. I thought, he's got it. Finally! I'm so sick of people insisting that I'm not fat. I AM FAT! And he acknowledges it, thank the powers that be!

    I'm still shy and such (I'm still fairly new to the whole body-love thing and not everyone around me is so body-positive). However, while web-camming with him, my shirt rode up and showed my rolly side. He stopped talking and said “You know I love you, don't you?” I said I did. And he said something to the effect that he loved me and every bit of my foldy body and I didn't need to hide. I almost started crying. Most people just ignore my body and it made me so happy that he didn't and that he asked to see my tummy and even that he called it rolly! I'm rolly! It's okay! After that, I was even more smitten than before. It's really a new experience for me, having a guy not ignore my fatness and I love it.

  • JLopezCostume

    I would begin convos with people on dating sites and then go, “I'm fat.” Most of them seem not to care, but one gentleman decided to give me a lecture about how unsexy a lack of self esteem is, and how I need to learn to love myself and stop calling myself names. I tried to explain to him that he was totally off the mark with my comment, but he basically told me to grow up and disappeared. I've had others react the same way when I use the word fat, as if I am insulting myself or others, when that is totally not the context I am using. *shrug*

  • MiniMolly

    I really dont get why guys say they like curves but all end up choosing the breakable skinny types, Im a big girl and thats the way it is and shall remain, if i can see past your bad morning breath, your overt body hair and your egocentric issues surely you can love me for me, no wait you think all good women are caged in a size 8 and even better if they get their kit off on the net? did I miss the memo saying all men now are just complete wastes? ;)

  • regwebb

    This is hard to express properly, so if I sound sensorious, it came out wrong.
    This post triggers my personal feelings, and that's all they are of course, about “poly” as a basis for sexual relationships.

    If there's a main relationship involved, I.E. if two people live together or something close to that, I suppose most people would agree, as you say, that everyone has to be “informed”. Acting on the basis of “what the other person doesn't know about doesn't matter”, is, if not exploitative, at least contemptuous of the other's feelings – one's own wishes always coming first.

    But, informed or not, my problem is that I can't treat love and sex between two people as separate. Sex on its own can do nothing for me which masturbation can't, and sex with another human being seems to cross some line which I couldn't bear my partner to cross, which rules it out for me as well of course. There is certainly a part of me which would like to be all accepting, and I'm as prone to hormonal impulses as anyone but, it would feel like squandering the long term for the sake of the short term. Putting something fundamental at risk for the sake of something which might not even be enjoyable and, if it was, it would only be the equivalent of masturbation, plus proving some dumb thing to myself about how I could still be attractive and give some relative stranger a good time. I'm a musician; I can give a roomful of people a good time. Why would I want my partner going nuts about what aspect of our mutual trust had been violated, as I would wonder if she were doing the same thing.

    If poly people have got all this totally sorted out, then I certainly wish you nothing but well. But I worry that some might only find that it wasn't as sorted out as they thought it was, when someone they loved had to cave in and admit the pain they were suffering. Then what would you do? Put your desire for variety ahead of love and trust? Just asking.

  • amplecurves

    I know that feeling about wanting to say something about being fat (and how it's ok) SO BAD cuz I'm so sick of being passed over for this reason, but I'm trying really hard to bite my tongue b/c I know that looking “defensive” can turn people off. And, after all, someone I really want to be with isn't gonna need the lecture in the first place. But JEEZE.

  • Omega

    It's not for everyone, and it sounds like it might not be for you. That's okay.

    I'm not sure where you got the idea that “give(ing) some relative stranger a good time” is what being poly is about.. it isn't. Not all poly people are into casual encounters – some are, I'm certainly not. Many poly people (myself included) seek out this lifestyle simply BECAUSE they feel that love and sex are very much intertwined. Polyamory is not “have sex with whoever you want, but just love one person”.. I think that would more properly be described as “swinging” which is often considered almost polar opposite to polyamory in it's philosophy.

    It'd be foolish for me or anyone to claim that I had it “all sorted out” but the problem you describe has never been an issue for me.. my partner(s) and I communicate a lot, and if someone is feeling bad then we work it out, together, long before it turns into the sort of heart-wrenching pain you're talking about.

  • regwebb

    Thank you for this. Sorry about confusing polyamory with casual sex – that's my anxiety around this issue showing through.

    We're all on a continuum, well several continuua, relating to our needs, sexual preferences, security/insecurity ETC. Consistency clearly demands that I (try) to regulate my behaviour according to what I can tolerate in others. This is only my feeling of course, but “resisting” those impulses is a way of affirming the importance of my primary relationship. It's a way of demonstrating my commitment, both to myself and my partner.

    I can see there are different ways of establishing trust between people, and I think the issue of what two people need from each other to feel secure is often neglected as an area of prime importance. My initial feeling would be that polyamory has to apply to both of you. A monogamous partner who simply accepted that her/his partner had polyamorous needs is hard for me to imagine. But I'm rationalising on the basis of my own feelings of course.

    Anyway, it's all mightily subjective, and I think the main thing is that both people have to be on the same page. If I thought I really understood someone on a different page, I'd be afraid that the wishful thinking had started, and there might be trouble ahead.

    Thanks again for your response, and for the opportunity to think aloud.

  • artsykelly

    I actually *do* make a statement about being fat when meeting potential dates online – in fact it's within the first few sentences on my dating profile. If it's at a point where we're chatting or emailing, I'll sometimes include some full body “unflattering” pics and say something about wanting to make sure they understand that I'm a larger woman and I'm not attempting to misrepresent myself. Most guys who've already been communicating with me respond well and don't seem shocked when we meet. It takes the pressure off me b/c they've already seen my “cute” pics and “real” pics. I actually have a girlfriend who will check my photos for me to make sure I look fat enough – how silly is that?!

  • danalynny

    Thank you for posting about this. It’s a struggle, to say the least, whether or not to say something about my size, or not. It’s also a shame how often we get passed over, by, it seems, great guys, on dating sites, just because of our size. I don’t hide the fact that I'm a large woman on my profile, so I assume, as did you, that they won’t be shocked to see a fat lady when we meet. I've been talking to this wonderful guy for a while now, and last night I just had to say something regarding my size. I said “I'm far from a skinny girl”. He said, “Are you now?”…”well curvy girls need lovin too ;) ”. I couldn’t tell you how happy that made me when he said that. Let's hope that this keeps going in the right direction.

  • MelbQueerFatFemme

    I found this a really interesting article as a 27 year old queer fat girl who has only just, in the last few years been coming to terms with my sexuality (I am attracted to men, women and others who identify somewhere else along the gender spectrum) and even more recently coming to terms with my physicality as a fat person – and trying to accept my body as it is. I have held onto so much fear about exposing myself to possible rejection all of my life. I have never dated and never had a relationship, although have had my heart broken. Since starting to accept myself, which is still an ongoing struggle, I have only just started to think about trying to date. This is a REALLY scary prospect for me but I'm trying to know that I deserve to be loved as I am.
    So, aside from telling my story, I guess I'm seeking some tips/advice about where to start – what dating sites have you used? Where have you gone to meet people? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • ErinAree

    What is ridiculous about this whole thing is that it even needs to be an issue. A skinny girl would not say 'Just so you know, I'm skinny'. A guy with glasses wouldn't not say 'Oh, and by the way, I wear glasses'. It's the fact that 'fat' is so negatively looked at that is the problem here.

    I feel very lucky that the very first guy I met up with from an online dating site fell head over heels for me in the first minutes of us meeting. My size has never, not once, been an issue for him. He calls me sexy and beautiful all the time and is confused when I tell him that I'm not.

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