THE BLOG

You're Loving Big Girls All Wrong

12/20/2013 09:06 am ET | Updated Feb 19, 2014
Becky Cavender

There is a crazy amount of ridiculousness online about dating big girls, loving big girls, how to talk to big girls, how you better stay away from big girls, how guys only like big girls in secret ... you get the point.

I've read that an advantage of being with a larger woman is that she'll stand up for herself if someone gives her flak, whereas a skinny girl will expect a man to defend her honor. Apparently, we fatties are our own "bodyguard." Really? I've had men defend my honor. Can I stick up for myself? Of course; but that has nothing to do with my size and everything to do with my integrity. And, by the way, skinny girls can stick up for themselves, too!

Another article stated men only have to put in minimal effort to date a thick chick because she is "probably an emotional wreck" so will grovel for and lap up any amount of attention bestowed upon her. I haven't noticed this to be true. In fact, it's probably quite the opposite.

Sadly, many big girls have had negative experiences dating, or in relationships, so may not have such an open heart. Some of us get a little skeptical (like, err, most women). In my case, I've learned to watch and let a man show me he's interested. They might have to work a little harder at proving it. I'd do this if I were thinner, too. Seems like a smart strategy: for ALL women.

Being single means I can jump on that dating bandwagon again. It's been over 12 years since I have and things are different now. My concern is not whether I'll be able to attract a man because of my ample size. This has never been a problem; I've had many relationships. Instead, I'm more concerned about aging, about being nearly 40 (and those bodily changes), and about being a single mother to boot. (Does that still put guys off? Do I have to tell them I'm not looking for a replacement daddy? I have no clue.) Then there's this: I'm busy and picky about who I choose to spend my limited time with.

Apparently, larger women have trouble finding dates. This has not been my experience so I cannot relate. In fact, when I was at my heaviest, I dated the most. No joke. There are many men who like us roundy types -- and not just guys who "secretly" like big girls, as I've read. I don't even know who those men are.

Way back in the day (when I was 21 and going out to clubs all the time... and was large then, too), one of my best friends gave this piece of advice on how to pick-up a man: "Look at the guy you're interested in, hold eye contact for a bit, smile, then turn your head." Honestly, that works. Sometimes I still do it. Just for fun. Maybe the guy at the car service center is handsome and I feel like seeing if I've still got it. I do the eye-contact thing like my friend taught me years ago and they smile, glinty eyes and all, back.

Come on, girls. I'm getting old and this shit still works. It's more about confidence and how you carry yourself.

I know what you're thinking. I just wrote over here that if a guy says he's attracted to me exactly as I am, I internally scoff. And that's true. Sometimes I do. It seems most women deal with this; we live in a society where we're taught to not accept our bodies (regardless of what we look like). We're always comparing ourselves to other women -- and trust me -- those women we're comparing ourselves to are comparing themselves to other women, too.

I'm not unaware that some men don't prefer us fat girls. They don't have to! It's not offensive that they don't. I'm typically not attracted to slender, skinny guys. I doubt those men feel offended and left out.

The problem that may come up for us large women in relationships is lifestyle preference. If you're with a guy who wants you to be involved in outdoorsy activities like backpacking up big mountains, white water rafting, or bungee jumping and you're not that kind of girl... it will probably become an issue.

If the man isn't honest enough with himself or you to say he needs to partner with someone who has similar interests and pursues those activities as a couple, he might blame your weight for his subsequent unhappiness: it's easy enough to do; if you buy into that bullshit (I have), it's tremendously painful and damaging. Instead of being true to himself, it's simpler to say your size is responsible for the demise of the relationship. Those guys should leave big girls alone. And you should walk away.

The truth may actually be you're the kind of girl that even if you were 105, you still wouldn't want to do those things. This isn't about weight. This is about individuals knowing -- really knowing -- who they are and what their needs and wants are out of a relationship, looking for those things in a partner, then not compromising. (If you're obese and actually want to do those adventurous activities but your weight is hindering you, that's on you, sweetheart. Do something about that: Go be who you are.)

For those men out there who like us big girls, a few words of advice:

  1. Don't tell us we're cute and cuddly. Toddlers and puppies are cute and cuddly.
  2. Do tell us we're HOT, gorgeous, sexy, beautiful, stunning, lovely, amazing, wonderful, special... you get the point.
  3. Don't say, "You have a pretty face." That's the kiss of death. We'll groan, roll our eyes and think, "I've heard this all my life. ONLY my face is pretty?!" No. See number one. This will also register on any fat girl's radar that you haven't been with many of us before.
  4. Do take us out, flaunt us, dance with us, hold our hands in public... act like a normal guy who is into his girl.
  5. Don't say "You're a beautiful big woman" or "I'm into fat chicks." Really. Just see U.S. as who we are. The individual. You don't have to qualify that we're pretty... for a big girl. Come on. Just own it that you think we're hot. On the "I'm into fat chicks:" We're not a fetish. 'Nuff said.

Despite my sometimes-difficulty accepting compliments, I actually know I'm a pretty cool woman. My biggest issue -- if I were to call it an issue -- is my size. It could be a lot worse: I could be a mean spirited, miserable, gossipy coke head; instead, I'm fat.

Oh, and for the record: the boys still dig me. It ain't a problem.