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You Can Find Love Being Overweight

I went on a date recently and a man sat down at the next table, catty-corner to me. I was embarrassed and annoyed, and already trying to figure out how I was going to get out without disrupting him or if I could squeeze through without knocking him off his chair. A regular-size person wouldn’t think about that.

But I’m a plus-size girl. I’m also an accountant, a bit of an extrovert, a bargain-shopper extraordinaire and a really reliable and good friend. Unfortunately that is not what is most visible about me, what defines me before I even open my mouth, is my size. I’ve dieted my whole life and can’t remember a time when I wasn’t concerned about my weight.

I grew up with a mother who was old school. She was supportive and loving and my best friend. She always told me I was amazing, and said I could accomplish anything I wanted to. But when I grew into my teens she also started saying, “You need to lose weight. It will be harder when you get older to find a husband.”

I didn’t date at all in college, I was always overweight. Then my dad died when I was 20 and I wasn’t interested in anything anymore. I was lost and depressed and found comfort in food.

It wasn’t until I was 25 that I decided I wanted to try dating again. Some of my friends were very heavy, but they were married and successful in relationships. I was like, Why am I not dating?

I started out on a few dating sites but worried that maybe people didn’t fully see my body type, even though I never lied or showed a picture that wasn’t me. Some jerk once messaged me and asked, “Are there really guys out there who are attracted to you?”

Friends of mine were setting one another up on dates but not me. It makes such an obvious statement—that no one would ever find me attractive because of my weight. I guess it’s hard to say to somebody, “I have a great girl for you, with a great personality but she’s fat—are you okay with that?” That makes me extremely uncomfortable and angry. People are image-conscious, and it takes a very secure man to advertise his preference for a woman of size. No matter how many magazines start featuring plus-size women, in mainstream white culture, a woman who’s heavy isn’t considered as attractive as a woman who’s not.

There’s a misconception that plus-size girls are insecure in their bodies. Yes, there have been times I’ve felt uncomfortable at bars because guys talk to my friends and not me, and if I notice a group of men snickering at me, that always makes me upset. But my size has never stopped me.

When I started on BBW dating sites, I got crazy amounts of messages. Before that, I didn’t understand that there were people out there who actually preferred a round body with curves and voluptuous boobs and butt. Now I know that the skinny white girl is not the ideal to everyone. There are cultures and races that prefer plus-size women. I’ve had really in-shape guys, bodybuilders even, contact me. I think they like the combination of hard and soft. They like the feeling of being with someone who’s bigger than they are and the fullness of another body.

A man approached me one day and wanted my phone number. He kept saying over and over, “I think you’re beautiful.” My first thought was, This is a joke, someone put him up to it—which says a lot about where I was at that point. It’s not where I am now. Experience, age and understanding now that a lot of people are attracted to me because of my size takes away some of the nervousness I used to feel on dates.

There can be challenges, though, being bigger. Sex isn’t always a physically easy encounter. I was once with someone I’d been out with a few times. I was trying to move over him, and he said, “Your weight is hurting me.” That brought me back to reality. I really started off feeling great that night, wearing a new outfit and feeling sexy and in one fell swoop, he brought me down a little bit. I was surprised because we’d never talked about my size being an issue.

There’s the whole dominant-submissive side of fetishizing a plus-size woman, wanting her to be in control, to be physically bigger. And I’ve been contacted by men on BBW dating sites who ask me if I’m open to a feeding relationship, which I’m not. It means they want to be with somebody who likes to eat, who they can feed and would consider gaining a lot of weight. They get off on the visual of a fat woman eating.

But I think there’s a fine line between someone who’s a fetishist and someone who’s not. I have trouble with the term because what’s the difference between a fetish and a preference? I once went out with a guy I met on a bbw dating site, then didn’t hear from him again. I e-mailed and he wrote back, “I had fun making out with you—if you’re ever up for some more fun, let me know.” So then I knew that’s all he really wanted. He just wanted to have sex with random plus-size women. Guys are always attracted for some reason. Everybody is. So what’s the difference between hooking up with a fetishist and just hooking up with someone casually? Is someone who likes plus-size girls a fetishist just because his preference isn’t mainstream? You will run into these types in all walks of life and in online bbw dating. You just have to be smart enough and savvy enough to know the difference.

I’ve been seeing someone now who’s given me a newfound perspective. He definitely cares about me and likes spending time with me, but if he could stare at my ass all day long, he would. He’s opened my eyes to the fact that there are a lot of men out there who prefer plus-size women and that the bbw dating pool isn’t as small as I thought it was. And I feel very secure and confident when I’m with him. I found happiness and so can you. Don’t be afraid to give bbw dating a try.

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