Fat Women Don’t Date, And Other Laughable Illusions

I put myself on the scale the other day at the gym and was elated to learn that I weighed 195 lbs.

Because I’m a chronic weight-obsessed person (less so now, as I get older and more confident), I’d been thinking for the last year that I was about 20 lbs heavier. When I look in the mirror, no matter what my actual weight, I usually think I’m about 20 lbs heavier. Because I’ve spent the majority of my life either On A Diet or Thinking About How I Should Be On A Diet, I’m very good at juding what other people weigh, but always misjudge myself.

The lowest weight I ever remember being was in the 7th grade when I weighed 170 lbs. I have not seen that weight since, for good reason. I mean, I was in the 7th grade. My highest weight when I was 18 was 270, all of it gained while I tried to extricate myself from a not-so-great relationship in which I hoped he might break up with me if I gained enough weight. For the record, ladies, he didn’t. I had to get out the old fashioned way and do all the breaking up myself, for the third time, and stick to my guns this time.

Minus the crappy relationship, I dropped the weight in a year and got down to 180, which is my comfort weight, my size 12, my I’m-in-shape-and-can-bike-ride-20-miles weight.

What that means is that I’ve actually spent most of my life between 190 and 200 lbs. I’m 5’9. Yes, I’m big in the hips and shoulders. Yes, in grade school I was a chubby dork and largely ignored by boys unless we were “just friends.”

Once I hit highschool, not so much. I weighed 270 and couldn’t even get rid of a guy.

It isn’t about the weight, no matter how many years I’ve spent beating myself up about it and telling myself that’s why the Aryan boys didn’t run after me in droves. In fact, post-highschool, I never lacked for partners. I boldly told my internet-dating prospectives that I was 200 lbs. They mostly didn’t blink. The ones who did weren’t worth my time anyway.

I spent six years mostly-single as a matter of choice, not for lack of prospects. When you come out of a bad relationship, you’ve gotta be real keen that the next time around, you don’t start the cycle all over again. I needed to go on my own journey, figure out my strengths, and be absolutely certain that I could not only choose a better partner, but have the strength to walk away without going through a 100 lb weight gain and chain smoking in order to “just get through it.” I turned a lot of very good guys down. I’m still good friends with some of them.

So when I saw this article about a woman who was 5’5, 200 lbs and got rejected by a pretty regular sort of dating service because she was “overweight” I was pretty stunned.

She said she told a LunchDates counselor in a phone interview she weighed a little less than 200 pounds. “About a half-hour later, I got a call from her, and she said, ‘I’m sorry. We can’t help you because you’re overweight.’ Just like that. I think what really upset me is that it was done strictly by numbers,” Traynor said.

“We can’t help you.” You’re kidding me, right? There’s no guy out there (let’s keep this strictly hetero for the moment) who’d date a woman who weighs 200 lbs???

Hold a moment while I laugh.

That is the biggest bag of utter horseshit I’ve ever heard. It’s just not true.

Traynor said that she liked the personal nature of it, adding there is nothing in its Web site about weight requirements.

Gee, I hope not. Most people who meet me think I’m average-to-plump. Imagine a website that said that any woman over 150lbs need not apply. Too bad for the boys!

And I sure as hell can’t imagine a site that would turn away a man for being “just under” 200 lbs.

“I just don’t have the people for everybody. Whether it’s age or body type, religion, hobbies, if someone asked us for something we can’t do we try to be honest about it,” Sack said.

And yet I really can’t imagine her calling back and saying, “You’re Jewish. We can’t help you.” She’d say, “We don’t have any good matches right now, but we’ll keep you on file.”

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