If you didn’t already know, I’ve been in a relationship for the past 5.5 years. We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve navigated them together. We’ve also learned the realities of being a “mixed size” (I cringe at this term but also fail to come up with something better) couple. Some of them I could expect, like the glances you might get when you’re together, but others were a bit different. I’ve wanted to sit down and touch base on what its like to date a thin male in a world that thinks I shouldn’t for ages now. Below, I’ll be touching base on the realities of being a fat woman dating a thin male and the struggles that have come from that.
People will assume you’re their fetish.
Believe me, I’ve dated my fair share of dudes who had a thing for my body type, but it was never really something I thought much about until it was brought to my attention. Gil like fat chicks, but he doesn’t fetishize them.. but somehow that will never compute to people who see us together. I’ve had friends delicately ask if ex-boyfriends were “one of those” and people hold in weird assumptions about us for years. Its absolutely exhausting to remind the world that SHOCK, HORROR; someone can just like me for me.
You’ll hear “You hit the jackpot” a lot.
Hey, yes I know I’m fat and yes I know that to some people that seems like my market value is significantly lower than like, my thin sisters or whatever. Just because I’m dating a thin, hot dude doesn’t mean its safe to assume I “hit the jackpot”. I have come to realize what a back handed compliment this is, and it irks me every time I hear it. Sure, if people knew us and took the time to learn about us, I’d welcome the comment. However, most people just know what Gil looks like vs. what I look like and I can tell what they mean. “A thin & conventionally hot dude thinks you’re dateable and you should be SO thankful someone was able to overlook your body”. I can probably count on one hand the times I’ve heard the comment in reverse. I’m over it.
Your bodies are going to need different things.
Moving past other people as a factor, I realized a little late in our relationship that Gil and I need different things physically. I’m fat, duh and my body reacts a little differently to the furniture that my boyfriend has grown fond of. For example; we’ve been sleeping on the same super soft mattress for the majority of our relationship and my side was just ever steadily getting saggier and saggier. Enough was finally enough, and we decided to do some research for a universally appreciated mattress. Thanks to my pals at Big Fig, we found something firm enough for me and cooling enough for him. Believe it or not, he runs much hotter than I do at night and now we can finally cuddle without overheating 20 minutes in. Big Fig is a mattress for plus size bodies, but I have genuinely grown to love it for us as a “mixed weight” couple. Finding common ground when our bodies react so differently to furniture can be really difficult, but it has helped us appreciated a common space together a lot more.
You’ll get looks.
I mean, it kind of goes without saying but I feel that I have to do it. You’re going to get funny looks from people who pass you by on the street, and sometimes people that you know. I’ve become really skilled at not noticing when we’re out in public, but sometimes its too obvious not to.
You will experience the world in different ways.
My thin boyfriend cannot understand first hand what its like to be yelled fatty from a car. My thin boyfriend cannot understand personally what its like to have someone sneak a photo of you while you’re out in public. But what he can do is support me through that, and listen when it happens. He can also throw hands when he notices that asshole trying to take photos of you. The differences can suck, and I’ll admit to sometimes feeling like he has it easier but I’m thankful I have his support whenever I experience those things.
You might have to explain your relationship. Like a lot.
Its 2018 and I just can’t understand why some people don’t understand the concept of liking someone who doesn’t look like you. To some people, it just doesn’t make sense and they won’t be shy with their questions. Some are super invasive, some are the usual “but don’t you think he’d prefer someone who looks like him?”. It can get really exhausting having to explain someone’s attraction to you over and over and over again.
You’ll learn to accept the difference.
I spent years of my life running from what my body looks like, and I wouldn’t even dream of actively making a point to accept it. I’m lucky to have a partner who lovingly calls me fat, and a partner who doesn’t squirm awkwardly in public whenever I refer to myself as such. Ultimately, our bodies are different and there’s no denying that. We are who we are, and we don’t love each other in spite of that. We love each other because of it.
As a fat woman, I will never stop experiencing ignorance about my size. As much as we experience these negative and often uncomfortable experiences, we are a team. We may bicker about who loads the dish washer correctly, but I know I can count on my partner in life to help me navigate the woes of a thin/fat relationship.