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How To Not Be The Worst If You’re Interested In Dating A Fat Person

As someone who proudly wears their curvaceous body like a badge of honor, I’ve seen my fair share of absurdity in the dating world. From the gym-toned Adonises to more slender individuals, my romantic history has been a rollercoaster of love and never-agains. (If you’re curious, yes, I’m still flying solo, but that’s a story for another day.)

Over the years, I’ve been struck by the sheer audacity of some of my straight-sized suitors who seemed genuinely interested in me. Whether they were men, women, or nonbinary, they all seemed to commit the same dating faux pas. So, in the spirit of giving meaning to all my suffering, I’m here to offer a guide on how not to be the absolute worst when dating a fabulous, plus-sized person. 

Whether it’s your first time navigating the world of voluptuous romance or you’ve done this before, there are just a few things I think every straight-sized person should understand before plunging into dating someone on the plushier side. (Pun absolutely intended.)

Accept That You Might Be Fatphobic

Let’s start this off with a sizzling hot take: Pretending to be oblivious to the pervasive fatphobia in the world is as effective as claiming to be “colorblind” in an interracial relationship. It doesn’t cut it when the world outside is anything but weight-agnostic.

Dating exposes both our best and worst sides, so it’s essential to self-reflect and challenge your biases, quirks, and expectations when romancing a plus-sized person.

Keep the BBWs For Your OnlyFans

When you swipe right on a curvy hottie, keep this in mind: Fat people are people, too. It’s shocking, I know! The digits on the scale don’t determine our value, and treating us right means respecting us for the remarkable individuals we are.

Nothing makes me roll my eyes faster than someone (usually cis-men, surprise, surprise) casually throwing around “BBW” as if it were a compliment. We’re not a category on an adult website, a guilty pleasure, or an uncharted fetish. So please, if you can’t look past our dress size (or, you know, contribute to our Venmo), kindly step off the stage.

Chill Out, Gordon Ramsay

Once, I had a date who insisted on scrutinizing the menu. At first, I thought they were just being considerate, checking if I liked Thai cuisine. But as soon as I was about to order some crispy spring rolls, they started listing the “healthier” options, subtly implying that I should probably avoid the “oily and fried” stuff. I wasted no time in getting those spring rolls to go, with a parting gift of “This isn’t going to work.”

Food is a playground, and indulging in diverse culinary experiences is a basic human right, as far as I’m concerned. Do yourself and your date a favor and avoid assuming we’re all counting calories or obsessed with fast food. And for the love of Queen Bey, don’t make “healthier” choices on our behalf. We’re perfectly capable of making our own menu decisions.

We Can Move

Speaking of misconceptions, let’s cut it out with the myth that fat equals inactivity. Just because we rock some extra curves, doesn’t mean we can’t keep up with our slimmer counterparts. Don’t act surprised when we mention our love for yoga, Zumba, or even boxing. Responding with a condescending “That’s nice” makes me feel like a kid showing off my stick figure family portrait rather than a partner sharing my interests. (Spoiler: That relationship didn’t last.)

All bodies are good bodies, and larger bodies are just as enthusiastic about pushing their limits.

No Backhanded Compliments, Please

Now that we’ve addressed condescension, let’s discuss compliments. Compliments are golden, but they should never come with a side of passive-aggression. Spare us the “you’re pretty for a fat girl” nonsense. Just compliment us for being amazing, full stop.

While we’re at it, don’t assume we don’t want to hear positive comments about our bodies. We know we have awesome personalities, but avoiding physical compliments because you assume we’re not comfortable with our bodies is a big no-no. (That’s some unconscious bias right there.) If we look drop-dead sexy in a form-fitting outfit or our ass looks P.H.A.T (pretty, hot, and tempting!), just say so. It’s not rocket science.

We Take Up Space

I once had a date in a hip gastropub with nothing but high-top tables and stools. Now, I can’t speak for all the curvy folks out there, but eating on stools is a nightmare. I’m vertically challenged (standing at 5’1″, every inch counts!), and my booty is broad. Sitting on stools is about as comfortable as a spin class without padding. My date — tall, slender, zero ass — preferred stools. My only memory from that night is my desperate attempts to prop my elbow on the table to relieve my behind and prevent myself from toppling over completely.

The takeaway here? Remember that your plus-sized partner may not be able to squeeze into cramped seats, wear your jacket when it’s cold, or meet the absurd weight limits for certain activities. Consider this when planning dates or suggesting “squeezing into” tight spaces.

Wardrobe Choices Are Our Business

This one’s for all straight-sized and plus-sized folks out there. Don’t play fashion police. I can’t even count the number of times people have attempted to dictate what I should or shouldn’t wear. (A special shout-out to my former curvy bestie who once told me I was “brave” for donning a two-piece swimsuit, claiming she would “never” if she “looked like that.”) If you’re a fellow fabulously plus-sized individual, understand that telling someone what’s “flattering” isn’t your prerogative. Ultimately, if we want to wear something, we’ll wear it. We don’t need a lecture on what’s “appropriate.”

Confidence is what truly makes an outfit pop. Instead of pressuring your plus-sized dates or pals to play it safe, lift them up with compliments and revel in their unapologetic beauty.

Be Open to Conversations About Body Positivity

Vulnerability is part and parcel of the human experience. As a plus-sized person, discussing my journey toward self-love is second nature. It’s intertwined with my career, my travels, and my joy. While my weight isn’t the focal point, vetting potential partners means looking for a certain level of emotional intelligence that goes beyond surface-level attraction and connection.

During a date, the conversation may veer toward body positivity and self-acceptance. Your date might talk about how they’ve learned to embrace their body despite their hardships. Being open and supportive in this dialogue is vital; it shows that you’re genuinely interested in understanding their perspective — and that’s HOT. (Pro tip: Avoid platitudes like “you’re not fat, you’re beautiful!” because ew.)

TLDR: Dating sucks enough, so why make it worse? Let connections be all about chemistry and that special spark, not waistlines and stereotypes. If you’re lucky enough to snag yourself a lush lover, hold on tight. (No, seriously, we feel amazing.)

Mare Leon
Mare Leon
Mare is a fat, Black, nonbinary femme empowered by vulnerability and surviving through humor. You've seen them in Yes! Magazine, Womanly, Prism, and Salty Magazine. Catch them outside fighting off bugs, enjoying iced oat milk lattes, and buying anything because it's yellow. | IG/TikTok: Organic_Weirdo