It’s hard to be fat when you’re online dating

I’m fat.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m kinda fat. I’m not obese. Technically speaking, I’m smaller than average.  But, average these days is generally no better than fat because most of us (in the US) are on that cusp.  I’m also short and pear-shaped so I look dumpy. While I’m often dressed in heels and any type of bottoms that make me look longer and leaner, it’s just not practical everyday wear, especially in a town where people buy the bulk of their clothes at REI or Lucy. So, I can’t pull it off every day, or more importantly (for the sake of this blog), for every date.

I’m in a weird place and I’m never sure where I belong as far as body descriptions go. I’m really an average/athletic woman in a chubby woman’s body. I’m slowly but surely losing the extra weight and toning up after my four-year hiatus from any type of exercise. All I did for those four miserable years with the Ex was work (a lot), try to get some sleep (never did), take care of his kids and stress out (on a daily basis, if not more).  Top that with cooking (and eating) several large meals each week, and here I am.  Despite the extra weight, I’m no lazy slug and I don’t sit around eating gallons of ice cream and bags of chips in front of the television. I live the lifestyle of a thinner person – my fat just hasn’t gotten with the program and scrammed yet. I gained 25 lbs and I have 15 left to lose. It doesn’t seem like much, but when you’re short and pear-shaped, it can be quite a bit, plus it comes off really slow and I lost all of my muscle tone.

This makes online dating difficult.

Am I supposed to base my body type on what I think it is, what I think most men will think, what my doctor tells me or by media standards?  If a guy sees that I’m not ‘slender’ or ‘athletic and toned’ in my description, it’s highly likely that he will not read my profile to see that I’m active and working really hard to get back in shape, and that I’m really not a ‘BBW’ in denial.  I’m attracted to men who live a similar lifestyle to mine, so they are in good or decent shape. I’m not talking gym-rats or Abercrombie models, just regular guys who are healthy, athletic and active. I would be OK with a man who has ‘a few extra lbs’ but those guys are generally at least 30 lbs overweight (in my experience) or, if they are working on it (and truly just a few extra lbs over) they date thinner women because women in general are not as particular about body style. Basically, that leaves me with fat guys and active men who like chubby girls (ha!).

So, what am I then?

After thinking about it way too much, I decided to describe my body type as ‘curvy’.  I felt that it was an OK way to communicate that I have some meat on my bones in a feminine way.  That would be ‘curvy’, right?  Maybe, but not so much and it depends on who you ask.  Upon further research, I have found that ‘curvy’ really means slender with a big ass and large boobs.  I’ve got the ass part down . . . but I think I need a new body description.

My options via Match are:

  • Slender: This is not me, and probably never will be.  This, to me, is skinny.  It could even be skinny-fat.
  • Big and Beautiful: When I hear BBW, I think of fairly large women who spend a lot of time and money on clothes, hair and make-up.  Like an overweight beauty queen.  Not me.
  • Curvy: We covered this one.
  • About Average:  Like ‘a little big pregnant’?  WTF?  Also, average is a size 14 and most men call that fat.
  • Athletic and Toned: I think this one is self-explanatory.  And, it’s not me either.
  • Full-figured: Wouldn’t this also be ‘curvy’?  What’s the difference? You have a figure, and it’s full.
  • Heavyset:  What’s the difference between this and ‘full-figured’ or ‘curvy’?  Does it mean you’re overweight, but without womanly curves?  Is this the biggest of the bunch?
  • A few extra lbs: I am wondering if this might be me?  But, a few is 3 . . . so perhaps not quite accurate either?
  • Stocky: Hmmm . . . does this mean a manly build?

Why bring this up now, three months into my online dating adventure? 

When I was first dating, after my recent break-up, and was heavier, I didn’t really care what anyone thought or whether or not I was successful. I hadn’t put any effort into my body over the past four years, so why should it bother me if someone regarded me as too heavy?  Plus, I just wanted to get out.  I was transitioning from a full-time family to just me and didn’t have a lot going on.  It gave me something to do, something to focus on besides the shit-storm which was my life at the time.  There was a part of me that felt confident.  I’d just started working out again, which felt good, and I’d left my Ex which made me feel great in many ways, too.  Ironically, I had more success in this stage of dating.

Now that I’m working out and losing weight, it bothers me quite a bit to have someone judge me based on my body.  I’m getting up at 4:30AM three days per week to work out.  In addition to that, I have a long run every Saturday morning at 8AM with my running group.  And, don’t forget my 20 – 30 minute evening runs at least four nights per week, too.  No booze and I’m counting calories.  So, yeah, I’m kinda sensitive about my weight right now because I’m working my ass off (literally!).  I feel good, but I am not where I once was, so unlike someone losing weight and getting into shape for the first time, I know I have a ways to go before I’m going to be happy with myself, and my confidence won’t kick in again until I fit into the size 4/6 clothes gathering dust in my closet.

It’s like this . . .  If you slap together a peanut butter sandwich for someone and they don’t like it, it’s no biggie.  But, if you slave over a hot stove all fucking day long, and this person turns their nose up at it, you’re going to be pissed and highly offended.  Am I right?

So, where does this leave me?

My gut says to put myself in a category that is worst-case scenario.  That way, if someone meets me they could say, “I wouldn’t consider you ‘a few lbs extra’, you look ‘about average’ to me”.  But then, there is the issue of never being asked out by the type of man I’d like to spend some time with.  It’s a double-edged sword, and perhaps this is where contacting men instead of waiting for them to contact me would be a smart move.

Online dating is hard.

In conclusion, online dating is just plain hard, especially if you’re imperfect, unphotogenic or human.


7 thoughts on “It’s hard to be fat when you’re online dating

  1. Hey,
    So, I did a search for ‘getting in shape’ blogs and happened upon yours. As I made my way through some of your posts, I quickly came to the conclusion that I was reading a blog authored by my female doppelganger! I especially appreciated that you introduced me to a new term: prison pussy, hahaha, wicked!

    After going out with an unmotivated lifelong loser for far too long, I got out of a 7 yr. relationship a couple of years ago after learning of a dozen or so loans ($130k) she had taken out in my name. Awesome! The money part really did suck, but it was very liberating. I had basically started looking after her like she was my kid, and so I am sure that I would have stayed with her forever had she not fucked me over so badly.

    After the breakup, I was 33 and although the money part of the breakup was shitty, I felt much worse about the fact that I was now 33. Dammit, why was I too much of a pussy to deal with this years ago? I now felt so old all of a sudden… So, like you, I decided to do all of the things that I had put on hold while I was with her. I traveled all over the world and went back to school and got an MBA. I did the MBA in part because I had talked about doing it forever, but mostly because it gave me an excuse to not have to feel all kinds of pressure to get a girl and get married in short order. Although the MBA was a huge pain in the ass, I definitely feel good about having completed it.

    Upon completing school, I realized that I was totally out of shape and completely burnt out. I had always been athletic, but between the shitty relationship and the school/work combo of the past couple of years, I had become a bit of a train wreck. After getting back from a trip to China, I was going through the pics and I really wanted to think that the write off in all of the pics was not me. From that day through to today, I have made a concerted effort to get my ass back in shape. I am 6’1 and did weigh 245, ugh… I have since lost 30 pounds and plan to lose another 20 or so.

    Like you, I also set up profiles on POF and OkCupid. I was initially drawn to the sites for 2 reasons:
    1. To reassure myself that there were still 36 yr. old girls like me.
    2. To hopefully find someone that would enable me to have a credible reason for saying no to my friend’s wives and my sister trying to hook me up with their writeoff friends that are divorced, have tons of kids, or who are just terrible in general…

    I was kind of surprised and often demoralized at the types of girls responding to my profile. If you can picture the female versions of the rednecks you so eloquently described in your blog, then you have just pictured 75% of my respondents. BTW, are there really rednecks in Oregon? I always kind of had an altruistic view of Portland as this great, liberal city with tons of beautiful people. You have definitely shattered my perception! So ya, the other girls that have messaged me that are cute seem nice until I find out that they are GED grads that can’t get a day off from the grocery store to go on a date. ‘Graduate degree’ doesn’t mean you graduated high school jojo. O boy….

    So, my shitty relationship aside, I have never been one to settle, so I have decided that I am not going to go out like that. I have been living in and around Toronto for the past several years and have recently decided to move to Vegas to change things up. I don’t know what will happen, but I do know what hasn’t been happening here, so why not take a chance and try something new?

    Anyway, I just realized that I have written you a book, so my apologies. I never respond to these types of things, but yours really made me laugh, so I wanted to write to say thanks! Good luck in your search for your prison-pussiless man, I am sure he is out there…


  2. Hey, wow, thanks for the comment/novel. : )

    You know, I don’t think we’re the only ones who whip our own asses into gear after a relationship fails. Kinda sad, don’t you think? Anyway, congrats on the MBA, the weight loss and all that. I can’t wait until I’ve made some marked post-relationship improvements in my life.

    Portland, the city, is Portland. A lot like any city, I suppose. But, just a few miles outside of Portland, you have country, suburbs, trailer parks. Rednecks. Hicks. Prison pussies. LIfted 4x4s. Oregon is a huge state, and very well-connected by the freeway system. The vast majority of people do not live in Portland.

    So, Vegas? Out of all the places you could live in the US, you chose Vegas? Why?

    – JM

  3. Hey,
    It is kind of pathetic that it requires a monumentally shitty event for the average person to get their ass in gear. Wouldn’t it be nice to be one of those people that always makes the right decisions, and does all the right things? I’m not sure if that person exists, but I am obviously not him! It would be a lot cooler if I was though, haha…

    Portland seems like a really nice place. I’ve never been, but its one of the places that seems like it would be a great place to live. So, why Vegas? Well, I was feeling pretty burnt out after graduating in May, so my Dad suggested I go and spend some time at his house in Vegas since no one was using it. I had initially planned to take a leave of absence from my job for a couple of months to ‘recharge’, and then I got to thinking about just staying down there for a while. Because I had done a graduate degree in the US, I was eligible for a 1 yr. work visa, so I basically said fuck it, and quit my job. I don’t have a relationship, or kids, and I have enough money to do nothing for a while, so why not? My best friend lives in LA, so that made the decision a bit easier.

    Growing up in Canada results in a siginificant amount of contempt for the winter, so moving to Vegas for no other reason than to escape the rank winter weather was likely reason enough in hindsight. I grew up in a town called Timmins, Ontario. Google it, and you will see why I decided that I have had enough cold weather to last a lifetime.

    I don’t know if I will stay in Vegas for a month or a year, but for once in my life, I am not all that concerned. I would ideally like to find a job that I enjoy somewhere with a relatively warm climate, and if Vegas turns out to be the spot, then great. If not, I have no shame in going anywhere in the world. That is one of the benefits of being on my own as I am sure you are well aware!


  4. Well, best of luck in Vegas, Dan! Never been there, except for a weekend or two to party/gamble, and even then, it was years ago. I can’t imagine living there, but I know people do (of course).

    Friend from high school moved there. I think Vegas is very looks-oriented, from what she says (and the fact that she is my age and has had lots of plastic surgery). Probably similar to LA or anywhere sunny where you tand and your body is on display a lot, like AZ.

    Sounds like fun, and if you don’t love it, consider it an adventure, right?

    – JM

    – JM

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