Fat And Dating: What To Do If You Are In The 65%

If you are fat and dating you may find it is a little trickier to navigate dating online.  Let me just state up front that I am a fat acceptance movement, anti-sizist activist.  That said, I am going to give some dating advice based on my experiences as a fat, middle aged semi-divorced single woman that does not include “lose weight”.

I have been “plus sized” my whole adult life and I had an eating disorder in my teens so “fat” has been an issue I have had to struggle with since my parents put me on a diet at age 12.  At age 18 I decided that dieting didn’t work and was bad for you and pretty much never looked back.  That is not to say that I had never been told to lose weight by others or never wished I was born with more fashionable genes or that I didn’t spend a lot of energy trying to convince others losing weight was pointless or that I didn’t cut some people out of my life for criticizing my size.  I just never dieted again except one time right before my marriage ended, but then I re-decided dieting was still pointless and bad for you.


Fat and Dating

Fat and Dating

 

Fat and Dating again at middle age

When I started dating again, I realized that my size was going to be even more of an issue than it was when I was younger. My fat percent had climbed from about 10% to about 35%; still in the “healthy” range but certainly a lot bigger.  I am already tall so half of all men are shorter than me.  On top of that I am built like a linebacker’s mother.  I had heard that there are some men that prefer fat women and are not ashamed to admit it and they sounded like the kind of men that I would want to meet.  These men are called “Fat Admirers” although many of them do not even know that term.

As far as how to deal with your body type for online dating profiles, I addressed that in another post. 

I wondered what the issues would be for me as a plus sized woman, big and beautiful woman (BBW), with dating again.  As usual, when faced with a problem, I went to the bookstore, now virtual, and found a book about fat and relationships called “Big, Big Love”
 

This book taught me a lot about the fat acceptance movement, talked about the BBW/FA movement and gave some special advice on love making for bigger people. While the book does talk about physical intimacy, the discussion is of the scholarly textbook variety and was not offensive to me at all. The book also talked about how strange it was that 65% of us are fat but we are still often treated like second class citizens.


The best part of the book to me was that it said that 10% of all men are out FAs. i.e. they freely admit that they prefer women who are in the 45% tile or higher for BMI.  I did a quick survey on craigslist to see if I could get similar results. I searched on “BBW” in the relationship section of men for women. I did this in 2 cities. Both times I found that 10% of the ads did mention “BBW”.  For every ad that say “No BBWs” there seems to be one that says “size is not an issue” so I think the stats are correct.  One fat admirer activist claims that 65% of men are actually fat admirers since 65% of women are fat; can’t beat that logic 🙂  That means that 55% of them are closet fat admirers.

On Match.com I did not get much response. Match.com has a lot of conservative men and I am liberal.  I also had someone on OKCupid tell me I was cute but too tall.  I am also old. I know that middle aged women do not get hit on very much, especially women in their 50s.  One stat I read said women get hit on vs. hitting on 17 to 1 at a young age and 1 to 2 by age 50.  I wondered how much of the response was due to me being fat vs some other factor (height, looks, income etc).  To find out about fat I signed up for a smaller BBW dating site.  I did get a slightly better response but not by much. In a way that was reassuring to me. I think I am being judged as a date on other things besides just my size which I have no control over.


When I finally did meet some fat admirers it was wonderful. Not only did they not shame me when I ate, but they loved my size and curves and one even commented how attracted to my pot belly he was!  Now that was strange although I had read that it does happen so I was not totally shocked.  Finding someone who prefers my body type is at the top of my list for the next relationship for sure!

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