Thursday, December 16, 2010

Breaking Out of My Shell

I've opened up a can of worms. It all started when, based on the conversations I'd had with the Summer Fling, I realized that I needed a new online dating profile. I needed to shake up my old profile and make it more fun. This led to the realization that in fact I need to shake up my life and make it more fun. The more I thought about my current profile, the more I've realized that it is actually reflecting my current life. My life has gotten boring. My work is intense and interesting to a point but I don't want my life to be all about my work. I find it stimulating but it doesn't fulfill me. I've always prided myself on keeping my life interesting, of doing fun things with fun people but somehow lately I've lost that spark.

It's time to make a plan for more fun, more adventures, more excitement, more playfulness, more ME. I am more than my work. I need to make sure that is reflected in the things I'm doing, the places I'm going and the people I'm spending time with yet I'm not sure how to make that happen.

I feel like I need to explore some more of what makes me who I am. I've spent a lot of time trying to be what other people expect. I did all the things I was told to do and now I find myself waiting for the rewards I was told I would receive. For some reason, those rewards didn't show up. There's no husband and babies when I expected that I would have them. I've been good but Santa seems to have skipped over my chimney. I've made the lists, I've taken the classes, read the relationship books, worked with coaches and therapists, I've visualized and believed with all my heart that I would have that life but here I am, 35 and still single and childless. I've got a PhD but am not sure I want the career that goes along with it. I'm not so young and not exactly the classic definition of pretty and now somehow I've managed to become did this happen?

I feel like I've flirted with the edges of some worlds that might hold interest for me but I can't quite get into them. I've recently discovered that I'm more of a geek than I knew. I've always been interested in sci-fi/fantasy to a certain degree, I stumbled across the work of Anne McCaffrey and Piers Anthony as a teenager but didn't figure out where to go next with it. I loved stories about dragons and unicorns and psychic powers. I discovered a show called Quantum Leap and loved it but I didn't know anyone else who liked these things. I wanted to fit in, to be liked by the other kids at school and I never found a group who I really fit with. I was also fairly oblivious. There were probably other kids around who liked what I liked but I didn't see them. I was smart and I liked to sing and these things fit with the groups I could find. I had friends but we didn't really have deep connections. I'm friends now with a few of them on Facebook but we don't really stay in touch. No one in my family liked the geeky things either. I was working so hard to avoid the negative judgments of others, the judgments related to my body and my bookishness. I was afraid to be different in any more ways than those. Now as an adult I've explored it a little bit more and I've discovered a bunch of things I really love, the books of Neil Gaiman and Dr. Who being two of them. Yet I don't know how to engage further in that world. I feel stuck. I read all those books and watched all the new Dr. Who episodes but how do I find other people who are interested in these things? I feel like I'm behind, like those who are engaged in that world all started when they were teenagers and now here I am in my mid-thirties, just admitting that I like this stuff. Just looking to connect over these things, just starting to explore these worlds.

Another world I've flirted with is the arty/hippie world. I went to Burning Man twice, met some amazing people, LOVED dressing up and the theme events, enjoyed the art, but was shy about the drugs, not wanting to admit my inexperience and naivete and being too afraid to try things that I didn't really understand. I couldn't fully engage with the open sexuality there. I got scared, backed off and just felt envious of those who were able to open themselves up to it. I feel like I've really repressed my sexuality. I've always been intrigued by a much more open sexual world, more kink, more exploration but again, I've been afraid. Afraid I don't have the right body for it, afraid others will laugh at the fat woman who wants to be a sexual creature. I used to like talking about sex with people. I've always been fascinated by what's out there though I've felt afraid of getting into a situation where I didn't know what I was doing. I've lost a bit of the thrill in my sex life in the last few years because I haven't had a consistent, playful partner. I don't even know how to describe it, but I've been afraid to explore my sexuality, afraid of doing it wrong, afraid that it's too late to explore, afraid I'll offend someone, afraid that I'll end up being a slut full of uncontrollable desires and unmet needs, afraid that I'll ruin my chances of living this life I thought I was on the path to with the good job and the family. The life that isn't happening anyway but somehow this is a threat to it.

Another community (and one that I suspect may overlap with some of the others) are the folks who play online games and go to Renaissance Fairs but with all of these, I can't quite figure out how to gain entry, I feel like I need someone to give me a tour and show me the way, to say "Hey, come with me and try this out." Why can't I just do it myself? I am still afraid.

I've spent so long repressing my true desires and worrying about what others think that I am having trouble digging into that space inside myself. By covering it all up and trying to be who I thought I should be, I think I've lost what makes me interesting. I think I've hidden the things that could have really allowed me to connect with someone. I've pasted on this papier-mâché Kim that has covered up the light of who I really am. I want to let that light out. I want to explore these sides of myself without fear. Without looking ignorant to both those inside and outside the communities, without fear of the consequences. I've lived too much of my life dictated by fear. I have a lot more light to radiate. I have to break free of this shell I've created. The funny thing though is that it's not about being fat. The shell isn't the fat girl hiding the thin girl who has always wanted out. The inner me is still a fat woman. She's just bolder and less afraid and she's much more interesting.

Edited to fix my many spelling errors.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Better Catch-The update

So in my last post I talked about the man I dated last summer who recently suggested that my online dating profile needed to be reworked and made me a bit uncomfortable in the process. I ended up having a very good conversation with him about the situation finally this past week. We'd been trying to find a time to talk for several weeks but we both have busy schedules and then there's the three hour time difference so it took a while.

Soon after I posted the previous entry, I responded to his email saying that I was a bit uncomfortable with the initial suggestion. He immediately sent back an apology. When we were finally able to find a time to talk on the phone he continued to apologize and clearly realized why it was awkward. He said he'd wondered if he might have put his foot in his mouth when I didn't respond immediately and was upset that he'd done something that made me uncomfortable. He told me that when he wrote the email he was trying to find a way to reciprocate for some advice I'd given him that he'd found very helpful and since he's done a lot of online dating he thought perhaps that was an area where he could offer something to me. I felt better after hearing his explanation and explaining a bit more about my feelings and I'm glad we got a chance to talk about it.

When I then asked what his feedback was, it actually was illuminating though I haven't decided what I'm going to do with it yet. He mentioned that it struck him that my profile is very serious while I am actually a very playful person who uses a great deal of humor in my day-to-day life. I think he's right and after he told me this I started to reflect on why this might be. I realized that part of it is that I'm not very happy about online dating. I don't find the process of sorting through the replies to be fun or exciting. Perhaps I'm even a bit burnt out. I want to be dating, but I feel cynical about the potential. I've been on so many bad dates now and had so many good dates that then ended up not going anywhere that I feel as if I've lost my hope for finding something meaningful. I'm tired of wading through the guys who are looking only for a sexual connection when I know that I want something more.

Since this conversation I've been a bit frozen with regards to my online dating presence. Realizing that this part of my life just isn't fun anymore makes me wonder if I should be doing it at all. I do know that I want to be in a relationship again. I really enjoy couplehood. I like the day-to-day companionship and I know that I thrive when I have someone to engage with in that reciprocal caring way. I want a lover again in my life. I miss the intimacy of a good regular sex life. I love to touch and be touched and I know I'm a more balanced human being when I'm getting those needs met.

So now I'm asking myself where I go from here. Do I try to rework my profile to better reflect my personality, the joyful fun parts of me as well as the serious? Do I take a break from online dating for a bit? I doubt I'll meet anyone offline as I work with mostly women and my friends and social contacts all seem to be married these days. Is there a way to bring the joy and fun back into the process of online dating without sacrificing who I am and what I want? What do you think readers?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A much better catch...

I just got an email from my summer fling on one of the dating websites I use offering to give me tips on improving my profile. We've stayed in touch as friends though it hasn't always been easy. I initially thought there could be something much more potent and powerful between us and was very excited about him and the possibility of a relationship with him. He was interested in spending time with me but not interested in something more serious. Luckily I've been able to see him more clearly since we stopped seeing each other romantically and I have a better understanding of why it didn't/couldn't work for us to have the kind of relationship I would have preferred.

The email read:
if you are interested in my providing you with feedback on how you might improve your profile, feel free to let me know. i think you are a much better catch than this profile lets on. :-)
My initial response to this email was to feel a bit insulted. I've worked hard on that profile and have put quite a bit of thought into it. I was also hurt because some small part of me still hoped that he would realize how great I was and want to date me again (though when I think about this logically it would be a bad idea.) After thinking it over for a few hours, I have come to the conclusion that I should probably ask for his suggestions. He is trying to help after all and I don't have to actually make the changes if I don't agree with them. Something about it though does rub me the wrong way. What do you think? Would you feel differently if you were in my situation?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Dating Fat as a Radical Act

Love and the search for it is really what this blog is about. I'm dating because I want to be loved for who I am now, in this body, with all my flaws and foibles as well as all the good things about me and also because I want to love someone that way.

As most who will read this probably already know, this past week has been an interesting one in the fat-o-sphere related to love. It all began with the brouhaha about the fat hating column on Marie Clare's web page by Maura Kelly. I initially found the article really disturbing. It made me sad to read her words about being disgusted by people's bodies and suggestions that it wasn't OK to put them being affectionate with one another on TV. Reading all the responses of the fat blogging community has helped. It is so nice to know that there are many people out there who have my back, who will stand up and say "You can not talk to us like that. You are wrong and here is why."

The article was disturbing because it put into print much of what we all knew some people were thinking but rarely making explicit. I know that there are many folks out there who don't like how my body looks, who wouldn't want to touch me because they have in their heads that rolls and larger bodies are somehow inherently disgusting. Most people try to hide this idea in polite society, but we know it is there. I do sometimes wonder where this comes from because if I look at it objectively, my fat parts are actually kind of nice to touch. They're soft and squishy like a stuffed animal or a nice pillow. I'm great to lean up against while watching a movie or to snuggle up to in bed. Large breasts are primarily composed of fat and lots of people want to touch those. Perhaps people are afraid that fat bodies are smelly but I know that I smell pretty darn good most of the time.

I know some folks say it's associated with health but I just don't buy that. Mariane Kirby wrote in her response in the Guardian that,
If you want people to be healthy, you don't want to deny them love and affection. You don't want to deny them the freedom to walk around in public going about their lives. When you want people to be healthy, you don't dehumanise them. And you certainly don't use a media platform to discuss how aesthetically displeasing it is to encounter them, even in ways that don't require interaction.

Perhaps the revulsion comes from the fact that fat has been so closely linked with "sick" in the cultural discourse. Are people afraid they might catch our disease? Kelly's assertion that she would also be disgusted watching a drunk or a heroin addict touches on the association with somehow being out of control which I think scares some people. Perhaps seeing fat people out and about, living lives in the world, implies that those bodies have not been properly policed by society. These are people who are refusing to hide away from the world just because they have not been able to mold their bodies into the "right" shape. They are radical just for stepping out into the world fat and radical threatens the status quo.

Dating a fat person is also a radical act, a resistance to the cultural messages that tell you who you should love and often a resistance to your friends and family who might not be fully supportive of you dating someone whose body is not the culturally accepted norm. Unfortunately there are people in this world who will make fun of you for dating a fat person, who will try to make you feel less than for who you love. I know that I am risking being the object of that as someone putting myself out there to try to date.

To that end, I'm so happy to see that Lesley Kinsel has started adding to the Museum of Fat Love (MOFL) again on Tumblr. This site is an inspiration for me and a message to those like Kelly who are living with unexplored fat hatred. This site is a reminder that the dating I'm doing can lead to something beautiful. I am aspiring to be part of this museum someday, to have a photo with someone with love shining out of our eyes at each other and a little story below explaining how we met and how happy we are now.

I will have a partner someday who will love me just as I am and who I can love in the same way and it will be good.

Ingrid Michaelson "The Way I Am" Video

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Balance and Boundaries

I was talking to a friend this afternoon about how many of the online dating profiles we see say something like "I don't need a partner to complete me..." or "I don't need a relationship but would like to have one if it came along." This message is present in magazine articles and self help books that purport to give advice to those looking for love and is also common in the conversations I have with friends about dating, especially with married or partnered friends.

I understand where the "you must be a complete person on your own" trope comes from though I've certainly seen very needy people end up in good relationships. I feel that I am a "complete person," (whatever that means) but I really do want and even perhaps need to have an intimate partnership with someone. I know that I function better when I have a partner, someone else who is invested in the day-to-day world with me. I think this is partly due to the fact that I'm a very social person. I am happiest when I'm around other people and fun times with family and friends are actually re-charging for me.

If I have a partner, some of that need is met in the course of everyday activities. We have interesting conversations while we do the dishes or we can chat about that interesting show we just saw on TV, and I know that I'll have plans on Saturday night without having to put much effort into planning them out ahead of time. When I'm single, I have to spend more time and energy making sure that my social needs get met. Energy that could otherwise be put into work or other activities. There's also the energy that gets expended in the quest for partnership, the management of the online dating process and the emotional energy invested in meeting new people and trying to figure out new dynamics. When that is a settled area in my life, I am more productive at work and just plain happier.

My most recent dating adventures have involved a man who was lacking some important boundaries. He too recognized his need for a partner, but he wanted someone who could help him with his overwhelming work as much, if not more, than he wanted a romantic partner. He runs a charity organization that is trying to help people in Africa. He is incredibly passionate about this work and has given up much in his own life to try to help the people there. He gave up a high powered job, a large income, and all of his personal savings as well as almost all of his free time for the past few years. He said that he had recently realized that he needed to re-balance his life and decided that finding partnership might be the way to do it. We had two very nice dates where we shared interesting stories and discovered that we had much in common. My instincts were telling me though that he was so invested in this charity as to have little room left for a life for himself. My instincts were right. At the end of our third date he began to tell me a story about a certain child who needed medical care. It was a heart wrenching story and unfortunately it is something that is happening every day. This story was different though because it was in the village he has agreed to help and as such he was giving everything he had to help this child. He had already spent over $5,000 and needed more, more which he did not have.

He asked me to help, to donate myself and to reach out to my friends and family to help as well. It was a very difficult situation. My heart was of course touched by the story but I felt as if this had violated the social contract implicit in an early date between two virtual (no pun intended) strangers. I just wasn't ready to ask for money from those I know based solely on a story he told. I told him I needed time to think about it and that seemed to upset him. He said that when people said they needed time it usually meant that they were going to say no (which he may have been right about) and that this was a life and death situation for this child. Though I do not doubt that he is doing the work he said and that this was a real story of a child in need, I began to doubt why this man was dating me, why he was saying the flattering things he said. I began to think that there might be part of him who saw a successful single woman and thought perhaps I could be a financial help to him and his cause. It was not a pleasant feeling.

These two conversations have me thinking about balance and boundaries. The balance between needing and wanting a partner and creating a life that is fulfilling without that partnership and the boundaries between work and personal life, including dating. How do you maintain those boundaries when your work is something that is integral to who you are? How about when your being or not being in a partnership affects how much you have to give to your work?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Back in the game...but not the best match.

I went on a date last night. My first one in quite some time. It was with a guy who had contacted me through the chat feature on the site I have my profile on. We chatted once then talked on the phone a few times. I had some reservations as we didn't seem like a great match but he convinced me to meet him for coffee.

We met last night at nine at the local coffee shop. I was pleasantly surprised by his appearance as I thought he was more attractive than his online photo appeared. He is short. I had worn a short heel and was taller than him. I know this would bother some women but I don't mind short men personally. He has an interesting job and the date started well with some conversation about our work. Unfortunately it soon turned to talk about dating and he spent most of the date telling me what's wrong with "girls" and how hard dating is for men. His major complaint was that women wouldn't give him enough of an explanation for not wanting to go out with him and would only tell him once they became "defensive." He felt this was happening in real life and online. He was insistent that dating is harder for men than women and that "girls" are disrespectful and rude. Once he got started on this topic he got very animated and went on and on while ignoring my cues that I wanted to join the conversation. It was about a 30 minute monologue. I later gently pointed out to him that spending most of a date complaining about women who didn't respond "properly" while you were out with one who did respond was probably not the best strategy for success but I'm not sure he was able to hear me. I don't think he ended up liking me much either, he seemed to want someone who would agree with him about these ideas. When I challenged some of them he told me that he's talked to other "girls" who agree with him so I must not really understand.

I left the date and stopped in at my local bar when I had a nice conversation with one of the regulars who always hits on me. I agreed to meet him for a drink downtown next week as a friend so that was a pleasant outcome for a rather disappointing night.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dry Spell

Well I'm going through quite a dry spell. I have had very little action on my online dating profile lately. I made some changes a few weeks ago and have apparently scared off all the men!

The main thing I changed was that I put the information that I plan to leave Los Angeles in Fall 2011 on there. I framed it as an important fact because it does relate to dating. It makes dating a really different proposition right now. There's an expiration date on my time here and so if I meet someone great we're going to have to deal with that fact. I might be able to be convinced to stay in the area if the right group of circumstances came about but I am pretty determined to get back East so I can be closer to my family. I also changed my pictures, but I'm hoping that's not why nobody is biting.

What do you all think? Should I leave this information off? Reveal it later after I meet someone? Is it too much honesty to include it on my profile? Or does this mean I just shouldn't be trying to date? I do want companionship and I really enjoy the process of dating so I don't feel like I should have to give it up entirely. Any ideas?

I'm also curious for those of you who have done some online dating, did you search out and approach many men? I usually don't because I've often had many writing to me but since that's stopped I'm wondering if I should be putting out more feelers. The site I'm using doesn't have a space for people to specify the body type they're looking for which makes me more reluctant to reach out. I'm a bit afraid that some men might react negatively to my approaching them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Recycled Dates

I've been dipping into the recycling bin again. Spending time with two guys who I've dated in the past. Now this wouldn't be a problem except that these are guys that I have decided are not good choices for me. They fill a need though, a need for male companionship and a little bit of touch, a need to be seen as desirable and worth spending time with. And frankly, it's easy. They don't demand much and they give me that little buzz I can get off having a nice evening with a man.

But, neither of them is really emotionally available or a good match for me. The first is beautiful and a great lover but he doesn't want anything more than to be fuck buddies. Now that can be fun, but it really isn't what I'm looking for in my life right now. I know that if I let that happen regularly with him, I limit myself from looking for that something more that I really do want.

The second is wildly inconsistent. He can be sweet and helpful and act as if he adores me one day but then the next he is distant and shut down. We've tried dating a few times and each time it ends after just a few weeks when he withdraws then accuses me of "going crazy" when I call him on his massive mood shift. I've told him that our contact has to be on a purely friendship level, but it's tough not to slip back into cuddling and acting like we're on a date when I am so craving touch in my life right now and he's in one of his sweet phases.

I know that neither of these choices are right for me yet I continue to go back to them, I continue to reach out for that temporary satisfaction of feeling like I'm with someone even though I know it's not a good long term choice. This weekend I slipped back to them because I was feeling particularly vulnerable. I'm coming to terms with the ending of my summer romance and I'm a bit sad that the man from New Jersey doesn't seem to want to be with me enough to step outside of his comfort zone, to try something different with me-to give long distance a go even though we both know that wouldn't be easy. I've also been in the middle of a conflict with my brother that has been very hurtful. He put me in a very difficult position regarding his girlfriend (who I struggle to get along with) while I was visiting and I didn't handle it very well. I've apologized and tried to figure out how to make amends but he's not a great communicator and being 3,000 miles away doesn't exactly help. Overall, I've been feeling unheard and undervalued by the men around me so I went looking this weekend for someone to listen.

I think one of the toughest parts of being single when one doesn't want to be is not having someone to be really vulnerable with. I've never been great at showing people when I'm hurt or having a difficult time. It takes me a long time to achieve a level of intimacy with someone where I can reveal that. I am lucky to have some wonderful friends and I can reach out to them, but it's just not the same as having a partner, someone who has committed to be there with you through the tough stuff.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Technique-Fat Folks Flirting 101

I've been back from vacation a week and though work is going well, I'm missing my family and friends that I spent those two weeks with. I went out for a drink with a friend last night to help cheer myself up and there was a cute fellow at the bar who kept shyly smiling at me. It felt like he was interested, but I was talking to my friend and just didn't have the energy to give him the encouragement he needed to come over and say hello. This morning I am somewhat regretting that.

I have what I consider a practically fool-proof method for getting someone* who has a bit of interest to come by when you're out at a bar. I've taught it to a few friends and it's good for when you're looking to meet someone. I find that even if people are interested, they're often too shy to come over without a little bit of encouragement. Some of course are bold enough to just approach or to send a drink your way, but for those that need a little help, this is what I do.

First, look for eye contact. If he's interested he'll be looking your way. If you've had a few of those brief fleeting eye contact moments and he hasn't come by (and you want him to) use The Technique. Now this is uncomfortable for most people at first. It violates a few unspoken social rules but it does so in a way that lets him know clearly that you'll welcome him into a conversation. Try it sometime, it's good to do things that scare you. I've rarely had it fail when I've been bold enough to use it and I've talked many friends through it with great results. I'm kind of known as a great flirt among my friends; they find it amusing.

The next time you catch his eye, hold it for about two seconds. This feels like forever so you may want to count "1 Mississippi, 2 Mississippi" in your head (counting it aloud would probably have the opposite effect than what you're looking for ;0). When you get to 2, smile gently. Then raise your chin up in a tiny little nod, bring it back down and turn back to your friend or to another part of the room. When I'm talking a friend through it (it works best if she's turned toward me and he's behind me) I say, "Catch his eye, Hold it... smile... and nod and turn." This often results in the recipient getting the bartender and sending us some drinks or in him coming over immediately to say hello. The smile shows him you're friendly and the little nod gives him a subtle "yes" to approach. Now if all else fails and you're really interested you can always go over and just say hello, but this is a fun way to let him think it was all his idea. I've done this at several different body sizes (including my current size 24) and had it work beautifully so don't let your fat stop you from flirting!

Good luck, let me know if you try it.

*I've only ever tried this with a woman as the one doing the technique but it does work for women attracting men and women attracting women. I'm not sure that it would work in most interactions for a man to attract a woman (it might read as creepy but I'm not sure) I do assume it would work for a man who was interested in another man as well. I've used "he/him/his" in my examples simply because that's often the way I've used this little strategy and I find "he/she" overly clumsy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Snoring and Sleeping with a New Partner

So we've established that dating is fraught with challenges for everyone but being a fat woman is associated with a few extra challenges. One of those for me is a bit of new challenge. In the last year I've started snoring. Now snoring is not exclusively a problem for the fat folks, but it is definitely associated with large neck circumference (which I have) and weight gain (which I did).

I've never been a great sleeper but in the last 6 months my sleep has gotten horrible. I've been stressed about work and I started waking up gasping on a frequent basis. My throat and chest were often sore and I was constantly tired.

I saw a doctor who specializes in sleep problems first in late May. He noted that I have a delayed phase sleep disorder and he was concerned about obstructive sleep apnea. He recommended a sleep study which I had at the beginning of July along with a program to help me shift my sleep pattern. He recommended that I stop exercising in the evenings which may be helping me sleep but I'm struggling with getting in the workouts that I know make me feel good overall.

So that brings us to the snoring. From my previous post, you know that I've spent a few nights this summer with someone new. The first night I hardly slept so snoring wasn't an issue. On the second visit, snoring became a bit of a problem. I find the fact that I snore very embarrassing. I'm not sure why because it's not really something I can control. I think the fact that it's new for me and I don't really have strategies makes it even more difficult. I just didn't know what to do about it. Luckily he was very understanding and though we did spend some time sleeping apart we were also able to make some time sleeping together work which was nice. I had the second part of my sleep study last night because the first one did reveal that I was having severe apnea in REM sleep. I'll be getting a CPAP machine and I got to try it out last night. I already sleep with a tooth guard because I grind my teeth so this is just going to add to my sexy quotient. I guess it's going to take a special guy to want to sleep with me and all my appliances!

Anybody out there dating with a CPAP? Or just as someone who snores? Got any tips? I guess there's not much I can do besides pull it all out once we get to that point and if we're comfortable enough to be sleeping together, I should be comfortable enough to put on my anti-snoring/keep breathing mask.

Some part of me hopes that I'm going to magically lose some weight by getting better sleep. The doctor mentioned that sleep apnea is associated with weight gain but that the data isn't clear on which causes which. He said he doesn't recommend that his patients try to lose weight before having a CPAP because apnea messes with the hormones related to weight control. I'm trying to remember all of my fat acceptance stuff and to love this body I'm in, but old habits related to the Fantasy of Being Thin still slip in every now and then. I do think getting back to regular yoga practice with it's focus on healthy breath work might be a very good thing for sleep apnea and I know it always makes me feel great as well.

Update: I just remembered that Coleen over at The Pretty Pear has been dealing with some similar issues (though she's not relating them to dating). Worth taking a look at her posts here and here if you suspect you might have apnea or another sleep disorder. She also links to the Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder information which I tucked in above.

Summer Romance

So I haven't been here as much as I'd expected partly because I found myself a little summer romance. I met a man at a wedding out of town at the beginning of July and found myself fascinated with him. Well it wasn't quite an immediate fascination, but almost. We met at the rehearsal dinner on the Friday night before the Saturday evening wedding. I first assumed he was with the woman he was standing next to when we were introduced and then actually decided that he was gay once I deduced that he was not with her.

My expectations for meeting available men are obviously pretty low. He wears hoop earrings in both ears and leans toward the more sensitive side of masculine which were my false clues. I was missing what was apparently some very obvious flirting from his side though. He later told me that he wanted to kiss me within minutes of meeting me but I was completely unaware of his intentions. The dinner was a bit chaotic but we were both good friends of the groom and as such were heading out afterward for a "bachelor" party for him. It was very mellow and mostly consisted of drinking milkshakes and playing a card game at a cafe (Give me the Brain which I highly recommend for a fun group game.) He invited me to ride with him between venues and we got a chance to talk about the myriad of things we have in common. When we went to take a group picture at the end of the evening Earrings, as we'll call him from here on out, stood next to me and put his arm around me. I was still completely clueless, but looking back at the photo it's clear that he's interested in me. While everyone else looks forward into the camera he's smiling down at the top of my head. After the photo he asked me what I was doing the following day since the wedding wasn't until the evening. I replied that I'd planned to just explore the city a bit and maybe find somewhere pretty to read my book. He suggested we meet for lunch and to watch the world cup match between Spain and Paraguay and I agreed, still completely oblivious to his romantic intentions. My first clue actually came later that night when he sent me a few flirty text messages saying how much he enjoyed meeting me.

The next day we met for lunch/match watching in the restaurant of my hotel. I was unsure about what the sub-context was but I put on my favorite pretty top and decided to just embrace whatever it was. I knew that I liked him quite a bit and we did have an amazing amount in common. Knowing he was a friend of my good friend didn't hurt either. I was waiting at a table in the restaurant (it was completely packed because of the match and I'd grabbed the last table.) When he arrived he gave me a great hug and then stood next to my tall chair for several minutes. Lunch went really well and we watched the match and chatted. When we finished up I suggested that we go for a walk. He agreed and we were headed out the door when my phone rang. It was the groom asking for a favor. He had sent two of our mutual friends out on an errand near my hotel which was near the wedding location. He and most other people involved in the wedding were staying about an hour away. He was wondering if they could use my room to get ready in before the wedding. I of course agreed but there was a small catch. They had already left and were going to be heading my way but they didn't have a cell phone and the groom wasn't sure how long the errand was going to take them. They could be arriving anytime within the next 2-3 hours. They had been to my hotel room the day before to pick me up for the rehearsal and dinner so they knew which room I was in.

So Earrings and I now had a dilemma. We had to wait around my hotel room. Now this is a bit awkward with someone you have known for less than 24 hours but suspect of being romantically interested. I explained the situation and he suggested that we just go hang out in the room. What else could we really do?

Now this was not a large hotel room. It was very nice but the space was just big enough for the bed, a desk, and one chair next to the window. We sat up there and talked, him on the bed and me on the desk chair. I showed him some things on my laptop and we compared notes on the large number of people that we both know. We marveled a bit on how we hadn't met before this and eventually he used one of the oldest and most obvious ploys in the book for getting to touch me and suggested a back rub. I agreed, knowing exactly what it was leading up to and sat in front of him on the bed. He did get a few minutes of good neck and shoulder rubbing in before he leaned over and kissed me. It was a good kiss. He then told me that he'd been wanting to do that since he first met me the night before and we moved promptly into making out like teenagers. Now I knew that at any moment this couple could show up so I didn't let things go on for too long. I got up and went to comb my hair and such and just as I did they arrived. I felt a bit like I had a naughty secret.

We all got ready for the wedding and headed over to it soon after. The location was stunningly beautiful and the groom sent Earrings and I on an emergency errand just before the ceremony began. It was fun running around with him trying to solve a problem. We sat next to each other during the ceremony and were actually seated at the same table for dinner afterward. Well actually it was a picnic blanket which was even more fun. He brought me drinks and acted like my date for the entirety of the wedding evening and then he asked if I wanted to hang out afterward. Now I knew this probably meant that we'd end up back at my hotel room and I wasn't sure how I felt about this. I really liked him but that was moving pretty fast for me. We talked about it a little and decided that since our time together was so short we'd play it by ear. Oh I've forgotten to mention the big challenge in all of this. He lives on the East coast and I'm in Los Angeles. He quickly expressed that though he liked me a lot he wasn't interested in a long distance relationship. I was a little bit disappointed but decided that I wanted to explore whatever this was, even if it was just going to be a short summer fling. He did end up spending the night and we spent the entire next day together. We went to a brunch on a houseboat for the newlyweds, took a nap on a blanket in a park and talked and talked. He drove me to the airport for my evening flight and left me with some wonderful kisses and the promise of staying in touch.

We have stayed in touch and I actually got to spend four more days with him last week. I was visiting my family in upstate NY and he drove up to visit for a few days. We spent two days alone at a place on a lake and two days with friends and my family. We talked again about possibilities for the future but he is quite sure that he can't do long distance and is even questioning his readiness for a relationship at all right now (he's 2 years out of a marriage and 3 years into a PhD so he's feeling a bit off center I think). I have been planning on moving back East in fall 2011 so the possibility seems real to me that we may end up together at some point but for now I'm just filing this away as a wonderful summer experience that has restored my hope in real connections with men. I am going to continue dating and we're going to keep in touch. We will probably see each other New Year's Eve as he's been invited by some other friends to a long running party that I always attend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dating for the Big Girl

Plumcake over at Manolo for the Big Girl has taken on another dating question, this one from the comments of the post I mentioned previously. Go check out her fun post encouraging her reader to start dating.

It seems that a lot of people find themselves in the position of starting dating again when they haven't done so for a bit. Sometimes that bit was a marriage or a long term relationship, sometimes it's just a break from the dating world, and some people never really managed to jump in at all. Starting anything new is scary but here are a few tips I would share as an experienced dater. Hopefully Jane from Plumcake's post will be ready to put herself back into the dating world soon.

Some online dating basics:

For most people, online dating is a great way to get access to a wide pool of possible dates. If you are thinking about starting dating again, I'd highly recommend joining one of the big dating websites. I've used most of them and have had varying luck on each. seems to be the most broadly used. It's a pay based site but the fees are pretty reasonable. I also like OK Cupid and Plenty of Fish which are both free sites. I did not have a good experience with eHarmony but it was several years ago and I know many people have found it helpful. I've briefly used two sites that are devoted to fat people, Large and Lovely and BBW Personals Plus both of which you also have to pay to use. Before you join any pay based site I'd recommend doing as much research as you can about them. Most will let you search for matches but not contact them before you pay. Do some searches for people in your area and age range. Look on the profiles for the date that people were last active. I've noticed that there are lots of online dating profiles out there that people don't seem to be actively using. It benefits the site to keep the profile there even if the user isn't active because it looks as if there are more dating possibilities.

1. Create your profile. Try to be as honest and authentic as you can be. This is not about fooling someone into going on a date with you. It's about showing people who you are and what you're looking for so that you can figure out if you are a good enough match. Of course you will highlight the positive but don't make shit up! Tell people what's special about you. Think about why the people who love you now love YOU? What do your friends like about you? Ask them if you don't know. Talk about the things you really like to do, not the things you wish you liked to do. Feel free to read other people's profiles for some inspiration, but don't just copy them. Reach inside and figure out who you are and what you want from this dating experience and then put it out there. Proofread and spell check obsessively. No need to give people a silly reason to be put off by your profile.

2. Add a picture. Profiles with pictures get more attention. There's something about being able to put a face to the words that matters. Choose a picture that makes you look friendly and approachable. I really prefer a photo with a smile but I'm not sure how other people feel about this; the men who message me and have a photo without a smile always read as serial killers to me-but I'm not sure that's typical! Readers, what do you think of this? Make sure it's a recent photo. If you don't have any photos of yourself, grab a friend and a digital camera and go take a few somewhere that you like to go. Do not take one of yourself in your bathroom mirror and unless you're only looking for sex keep your clothes on. If you're not much of a photographer (and neither is your friend) take a whole bunch of pictures. Try some with the flash and without, zoom in more for a few, take some from above and some from the side. If you're outdoors, try to take some in the late afternoon or early evening when the light gets really pretty. Turn and face different directions to take advantage of the light. Inside, turn different lights on and off, even in adjacent rooms. Light some candles to add a softer glow. Throw a scarf over a lamp if it seems just a little too bright. Wear something that makes you feel good.

Start thinking about having a camera with you when you do things that you enjoy, even if it's just dinner out with a friend ask her to snap a picture of you sitting with your glass of wine. Start getting more pictures of yourself. You'll get more comfortable looking at them and there will be more good ones for your profile to choose from. It feels a little narcissistic sometimes but I think it will help you feel better about your body and to begin to see your body in a more neutral way. I still have times when I hate a picture of myself but I like many more of them now that I take more. Show all of your pictures to a friend and ask them to pick the ones they like best. Try showing them to a person of the gender that you would like to date. If possible put up a few shots including one that shows your full body. If you end up dating a person from the site they are going to see you eventually. If they're the kind of person who is comfortable or even prefers a fat body the picture will just show that you're comfortable being honest about the body you have. If a fat body is a dealbreaker for them, you won't have to worry about revealing it later when you've already started to form a little hopeful attachment.

If the whole picture process feels torturous to you, start looking at more pictures of fat bodies looking good. Make yourself look even if it makes you uncomfortable. Try to look without judgment or let yourself judge but then look at your own judgments critically. Is there something inherently unpleasant about a fat stomach? Or could it be that you've been taught to believe that? Is back fat really the end of the world? Check out Adipositivity and the Fatshionista Live Journal Community for pictures of mostly women and/or Men in Full for pictures of fat men (Adipositivity and Men in Full include nudity and may not be safe for work).

Put it up and see what happens. As many of you already know, no kind of dating is all easy and a online dating has it's fair share of challenging bits but there are also good things to be had and I think it's one of the best ways to get yourself back in the game.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Finding Fat Men Sexy: Culture, Gaze and the Male Body

This post started off as a comment on the post written by Plumcake from Manolo for the Big Girl called No Fat...Dudes? I ended up writing a post's worth in the comments so decided this was the better venue.

In that post, Plumcake asks whether she is a hypocrite because she has never dated a fat fellow hasn't historically dated fat fellows. I think this is a very interesting question. I've done a lot of dating and for a long time I too had never dated a fat man. In the fat-o-sphere I have the general impression that the message is:

"We don't want all men to find fat women fuckable because 'you're attracted to who you're attracted to' (YATWYAT) and that's fine. We just want you to respect the fact that some men are attracted to fat women and not deride them and us about it as if the possibility of wanting to have sex with us was unthinkable."

I think the message that our worth is not tied to whether you want to have sex with us is powerful and important but I think we may be doing the movement a bit of a disservice when we don't examine this more closely. The "YATWYAT" line is actually problematic. All of us are trained in this culture in many explicit and not-so-explicit kinds of ways to respond differently to different body types. We all absorb these messages even when we're trying to fight against them and I think it often takes vigilance and specific action to counteract the effects. Many women have to work to find their own bodies and bodies like theirs to be attractive and I think we need to do that same work with regards to the men we find attractive. So often the men presented to us in magazines, movies, and on TV as sexy or as objects of desire are very slim and muscular. Big and fat men are often presented as comic characters and often do get to be the love interest. When they are the love interest it's often in a role where the relationship is already established and they are not shown as an object of lust. This is doubly true for fat women in the mainstream media but this post is about the dudes!

A little over a year ago I decided to take on the project of retraining my eye to better appreciate the beauty and sex appeal of fat men. I had briefly dated a fat man and though I hadn't initially found him physically attractive I was attracted by other things and soon found myself physically interested in him. This conversion led me to realize that I'd been unfair and that I was missing out on a group of guys who might make great partners both in bed and in relationships so after we broke up I embarked on my gaze retraining project.

I was hesitant at first to even try because I believed the "YATWYAT" trope but I started seeking out images of fat men to see if it was possible to retrain my gaze. I'm happy to report that my project was a big success. I've been able to re-train my eyes to appreciate the sexiness of a variety of different male body types. One of my favorite resources for this has been the (often NSFW) blog Men in Full and the accompanying tumblr feed. The pictures of the men, sometimes nude and sometimes clothed and the commentary focusing on what made them sexy for the blogger there (sorry I can't find her name) helped me to start seeing these men differently and the fat men I run into in real life differently too.

Like Plumcake, I definitely didn't have a "no fat dudes" rule but I just didn't tend to notice them in the same way I did a more fit man. Men notice when you notice them. We put off subtle signals that give them the green light to flirt and I wasn't giving those signals to fat men so they weren't coming on to me. Now, over a year later, I notice big guys all the time and they often flirt with me. I've come to appreciate fat men like Jorge Garcia in a different way. I often saw his character on Lost as endearing but after this project I sometimes noticed that I wanted to jump Hurley's bones when he was on the screen in the same way I sometimes wanted to jump Sawyer's (Josh Holloway.)

Image copyright Fabrice

So my intrepid readers, what do you think about this? Have you dated fat men? Do you find them attractive in general? Have you changed what you find attractive or do you think it would be possible for you to do so?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Patience is a Virtue

This evening I chatted with a fellow who had contacted me last week on a dating site. He seemed interesting during our first chat and we ended up exchanging phone numbers. He called one afternoon last week. I couldn't take the call but he did not leave a message. Now this is one of my personal pet peeves because I feel like it leaves me in an awkward position. If you want to talk to me, leave a message. It's not that hard.

So needless to say, I did not call him back. Then Saturday at midnight as I was driving home from the Lilith Fair, my phone rings. It's an unknown number but I'm curious so I pick it up. A man with a strong accent says "Hello, did you forget me?" Now I have no idea who could possibly be calling me at midnight. I ask who it is and he replies "You don't know who this is?" I say no. We go through this routine a few times and I decide to make a few guesses. I was feeling a bit panicky about not being able to figure out who it was, like I had forgotten someone important which was a bit ridiculous. Just as I'm about to hang up he finally told me. I felt relief and we chatted for a few minutes. I told him I can't talk for long because I have a friend in the car. He is obviously a little bit peeved that he hasn't heard from me before this point. He comments on how busy I am. I felt strangely guilty but I shook myself out of it. I am doing the best I can. This is a complicated process with no clear rules. He asked me to call him back when I could talk. I told him I would though I'm not sure I really want to. My instinct is saying that he wouldn't be a good match.

Tonight he found me on instant messenger and again got a little bit belligerent about my pacing. He told me early in the conversation that he'd been on a date with a woman from his work yesterday. He told me that he doesn't really like her but that he feels like he needs to be in a relationship so he's probably going to date her. He complained about how people weren't responding quickly enough to his overtures on the dating site. He also told me that he has interviewed "over 1,000" people related to his work so he can judge people on the first date. He was anxious to have a date with me so he can put me under this microscope and decide if I'm worth dating. It was not a very good vibe.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wonder Woman Dating

I adore this illustration by Alex Heberling. Check out the rest of her blog and look here for more fat Wonder Woman illustrations. I've always loved Wonder Woman and it's nice to see her look so joyful even though she's a big beautiful woman.

But back to the dating stories!

Sometimes I feel like it takes a superhero to keep at the internet dating. I've been juggling a few guys through chat programs and phone calls and a few more first dates. Keeping all the details straight is a lot of work. I'm thinking that I may need a database or to create files on each of them but I'm not really that organized of a person.

After a few more conversations with A from the previous post I decided that I definitely didn't want to go out with him again. He was really just interested in a sex partner both online and in person. I guess I should have expected that a bit since he came from Craigslist.

I had a brief first date with another guy last night. We met for a cup of coffee after conversing by email quite a bit. He was sweet and attractive and I enjoyed meeting him. He works many evenings so it's difficult to find a time to get together again. He wanted to see me tonight but I wouldn't agree to meet him after he got out at 11 pm. He wanted to come over here but I just wasn't comfortable with that and he couldn't come up with an alternative except walking around a closed park. That didn't seem like a great idea with a man that I've only met briefly once. I suggested that we make a plan for another night but he seemed unwilling to do so. Next I suggested lunch on the weekend but he said he had to practice his music and would be too busy. He was clearly disappointed that I wouldn't meet tonight. I thought about suggesting a bar or a diner but I was frustrated with his unwillingness to make a plan for the future. Is it asking too much to make plans for a date? I'm not looking for a fuck-buddy here so if you want to date me you're going to have to come up with a time we can meet in public or at least in the daylight.

I'm feeling like a bit of a fuddy-duddy (and maybe by using that word I'm proving that I am!) I am a fairly sexual person but it takes me a bit to get to a point where I'm comfortable in that realm and I have unfortunately had a few bad experiences that make me cautious about protecting myself when meeting people I don't know very well.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Date #1

So my first bloggable date was last week. It was a man who had responded to my Craigslist post. He was one of the first to respond and this was what he wrote:

Hey there--I'm also from Los Angeles; 31. Tall, educated, authentic, too.

Let me know if you want to know more--I'd love to know more about you!

He also attached a picture. He was quite handsome and I thought that he looked familiar but when I brought that up to him he didn't think I looked familiar to him. We sent a few emails back and forth and got on a chat program. He was witty, charming and quickly asked if I wanted to set up a date.

Now I've done a fair amount of online dating and I have often said that I like to meet early. My theory has been that it saves time and honestly a big part of that is motivated by my insecurity that the man I date is not going to like my body. I'd rather he see it in person sooner, rather than later so if that's going to be an issue we get it out of the way quickly, before I've had time to feel too attached to the idea of him. I have pictures but I'm always afraid they don't really represent me fairly. I'm not sure why that is. I do pick "flattering" pictures generally but I know I don't have a great idea of what my body actually looks like so it's hard to know which ones to send. I'm not sure if this is the best strategy. But I decided to go for it and we quickly set up a plan to meet for a drink at a local bar in three days time.

The next day A contacted me on chat again late in the evening. This time he was more forward and asked me to send some more pictures which I did. He then started throwing in some light innuendo. I playfully rebuffed this and he soon said he had to get to bed. On the third night, the night before our date, we chatted again. He mentioned that he hadn't realized how large my breasts were before the last set of pictures and seemed to get quite fixated on them. He asked me what size brassiere I wear. Now this is an issue that I've had come up before in dating. I don't know if it's more with online dates but it's been a bit of a problem. I know I have large breasts and I know that many men are fascinated by boobs, but I really don't want to talk extensively about my chest at this early stage in the game. Am I wrong to think this is inappropriate?

We bantered back and forth a bit about it. I told him that I didn't want to talk about it and he seemed to get a little bit miffed. He told me that he was worried that we wouldn't be compatible but wouldn't elaborate. I was starting to think that my plan for setting up a date early might have been a mistake, but I wanted to give him a chance.

Date Day:
He sent a message confirming that we were still on and I got ready. I wore my hair curly with trouser leg jeans and my favorite robin's egg blue cardigan. I put on a pair of low heels and pretty makeup. I used a dash of one of my favorite scented oils. I headed out just a few minutes later than I expected but still with plenty of time. We were planning to meet at 8:30 on the patio of a local bar. He texted me as I was driving up that the patio was closed so I called him and we decided to meet inside. I parked and called him. He'd wandered over to another shop but came walking back. He was very tall and he smiled at me from across the street. As soon as I saw him I knew that we had met before.

We had been on an Amazing LA Race tour together a few months ago and we'd chatted with our groups of friends afterward over a few drinks. He didn't recognize me. I pointed out the connection and then he remembered me and that made for some easy conversation as we relived some of the highlights of that day. He had not eaten dinner but I had so he ordered food and I got a glass of wine. Conversation flowed pretty well and I was having a good time.

After dinner he asked what I wanted to do and I suggested we go for a little walk. He hinted at wanting to go by my place but I ignored that. We walked and talked and he again brought up the subject of my breasts and what size bra I wear. I really don't understand this. Why is that important? What made him think it was appropriate first date discussion material? Uggh! Anyone else had these experiences? Like I said above this is not the first time it's happened to me. Are there some of you out there who aren't bothered by this and just kind of roll with it or take a "boys will be boys" attitude?

To be continued...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Craigslist Ad and a Deluge of Responses

I posted this late Saturday night.

Something Different...BBW - 34 (Pasadena)

I'm a bit lonely tonight. I miss having someone in my life who makes me want to go to bed. I'm a night owl. I have two dogs. I am too smart for my own good. I might move back East sometime. I don't like sex without strings. I can be a bit shy with a new guy though I'm outgoing in most social situations. I love to go out for dinner or drinks. I'm a good cook. I'm not a great housekeeper. I love live music. I like sitting on the beach watching the waves and drinking wine. I drank a bottle of Chandon Blan de Noirs by myself tonight but I wish I'd had someone to share it with. I'm reading "The Last Unicorn" and just finished the Temeraire series. I love swimming in lakes or frolicking in the ocean. I belong to a liberal non-christian church and I love it. I get insecure with new guys when I haven't heard from them in a few days and then tend to walk away so I won't get hurt. I realize this is fucked up. I want to be authentic. I am willing to work on myself and to make connections. I am faithful. My skin is white and soft, my hair is curly and reddish brown, my lips are often turned up at the corners, my eyes are green and open. This is my body:

My roommate and I had ordered some dinner and I had opened bottle of sparkling wine that I mentioned. Roomie was drinking beer so I was responsible for the entire bottle myself...wouldn't want to let it go to waste. Posting the ad was a total impulse act, but I'm glad I did it.

I think posting while intoxicated wasn't probably my best plan but it may have had an unexpected benefit in that I was uninhibited. I've been thinking a lot about authenticity and how important it is in the early stages of dating. I need to be able to be myself. I need to be able to show the parts of myself that aren't my favorite bits.

The picture is a bit of a conundrum for me. The one I chose is certainly flattering but I don't think it misrepresents me. I worry though that those responding won't really understand how big I am. I want it not to be an issue but I understand that in dating bodies matter. I heard my roommate say once that she thought men were interested in the body first and then the rest of the person. I know that's not true for all men, but I do think there's more of a bias that direction in the male population. I want to be with someone who can enjoy my body, both for it's looks and for all the amazing things it can do but it's crucial to me that I'm with someone who is more excited by the person I am in this body.

I've had over 70 responses and they're still coming in. One was a picture of a penis, an attractive penis mind you but that's just not going to get me to respond. One was mean about my weight. Three have been invitations to have sex immediately upon reading the response. The rest are all some degree of a serious response. I haven't had time to respond to most of them but I have been emailing back and forth with a small handful of men yesterday and today. I think this is promising but as I said in the last post, it's a ton of work!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Emotion Work and the BIG Questions

The last post was about some of the actual work that goes into making on-line dating work but this one is more about the emotional work it takes to put oneself out there and give it a go. I want to date. I love having a significant other and I would really like to have that energy in my life again soon but dang the dating part is a struggle. I've dated on and off for many years now and I'm struggling with maintaining the energy.

The second big challenge for me is that I'm not sure where I'll be in a year's time. I may be moving back to the East coast or somewhere else entirely. I think that could be good for dating but it puts me in a strange limbo now. Am I looking for a long-term relationship here? Is there a chance I'd stay around if I met the right person? Is it possible that someone might come with me if I needed to move for my career?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The work of online dating

Online dating is a LOT of work.

First I create a profile. I go over it a few times trying to make it interesting and authentic and to minimize the silly errors that are basically inevitable. Having done it a few times does give me some extra compassion when I'm reading the profiles of others. I choose a few photos: flattering but not unrealistic representations of what I look like. I'm not trying to trick anyone. I make sure I put a full body shot up. I hit submit and wait for approval by the service. A day or so later it begins...

The first wave: I get the initial feelers of interest. On the smaller site I'm using now this has been less than I've experienced before. This site is devoted to fat folks. I got 18 responses. The first was a man inquiring whether I am looking for a dominant/submissive relationship. I'm not so I move on. About half are men well outside what I consider an acceptable age range. I'm 34 so I gently hold to 26 to 44 as what I'll consider. If a profile really wows me but is outside the range I'll give him a chance. I read all the messages and look at all the profiles unless the message is completely out of line. I try to respond to anyone who writes a real response in some way even if it's only to tell them I'm not interested. Many of these responses are quick form responses which you don't have to be a paying member to send. I have not paid yet. I wanted to see what the responses were like first. I'm not sure what I will do. You can engage in email with paying members even if you haven't paid. I've had 5 real emails. I sort and respond favorably to the ones who catch my interest. Many are not local. I've decided to look beyond the LA area.

If anyone is reading this, let me know if this is similar to your experiences. Are you trying online dating? Do you want to but are worried? Have you tried a site that is devoted to fat folks?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Fat and Dating

Dating. It's something I've done an awful lot of in my 34 years. I've been in 3 long term relationships since I was 17 but I've also spent about six cumulative years single and I don't like to sit home alone. I've got some great stories and though my friends have heard most of them I feel like it might be time to write a few down.

I have very much enjoyed dating at times of my life and at other times it's felt like a huge chore. I'm certainly not a champion at relationships. I make mistakes and probably don't have the confidence that I should in putting myself out there but I'm re-committing to the process so I think it's time to bear (bare?) some witness to the struggles of being a fat woman dating.

I very much enjoyed the only other blog I've seen about fat women dating but she fell in love and started blogging about running (something I definitely don't enjoy) and I've felt like there's been a bit of a hole in the fatosphere ever since. So I guess I'm going to try to fill it.

Yesterday I posted a new personal ad on a site specifically devoted to larger people and considered posting another one. I've had ads up for years on the mainstream sites with various degrees of action coming from them. I've met some interesting people and even had a few short relationships start from them but obviously nothing that was right for the long haul and that's what I'm looking for. I want to be with someone for a long time to come. I want an everyday connection. I want the security of knowing that I am with someone I can trust. I want someone who can work with the flawed parts of me and appreciate the fantastic parts too.

So off I go...maybe just continuing to talk to myself but maybe someone else will take a little inspiration from here. Maybe there are some other fat women who would like a place to talk about all the trials and tribulations that come with dating as a fat woman. Maybe I will find some insight in the wilds of the web that will lead me down a different dating path.