Dating in this city, and in this era, is interesting to say the least. I always refer to Louisville as a small, big city because I’m constantly meeting new people, but also continually running into people I already know. Being from a town that has a population of nearly 6,000 people, I’m used to everyone knowing my business and vice versa.
Louisville is where I found myself, found my voice, and found my confidence.
It’s also where I’ve had most of my dating experience and gratefully learned a lot about myself through dating with the freedom of privately doing so. When the components of your location, your age, your use of online dating apps, your size, your outlook and place in life all coincide, dating can be a stressful and questionable experience.
Yes, I did mention my size.
I am fat. I have always been fat and probably always will be fat and I do not see fat as a bad word or a negative trait when describing myself. Being fat has never stopped me from trying to find love in the city, but it has contributed to a lot of my dating anxiety. With the common use of apps such as Tinder and Bumble, dating is a game of initial attraction and although Body Positivity is a well-known buzzword currently, I feel that many still judge a potential partner based on size.
While discussing this with my friends, I’ve noticed that this is a common anxiety and that the first date is always the most anxiety-inducing moment of the process. After the matching, the texting, the flirting, the setting up a time to meet in your very busy schedules, the first date is the lasting impression and pivotal to establishing a relationship. I penned this letter after almost 8 years of dating as a fat girl in this city:
A letter to the dating fat girl,
First dates used to be my worst nightmare. Anxiety-ridden early 20’s me was constantly worried about the first impression, especially concerning my weight. Okay, obviously these people knew what I look like because photos, but being fatter in real life (especially in contrast to them) often lead to less than stellar experiences. These days, after many pep talks to myself in the mirror, the idea of a first meeting doesn’t faze me. Sure, nervous excitement is a thing, but I never feel negatively about myself when it comes to being fatter in real life. In fact, I am usually more concerned with men talking over me or interrupting me or boring me on the first date (i.e. a date that I had earlier this year where my date constantly tried to one up me.) So, the purpose of this letter: in the past I’ve often heard “I don’t see how you put yourself out there like that” or something along those lines. And the answer is simply that I have nothing to be afraid of and neither do you. Know what you want and don’t settle for less, engage with the people you’re with openly, and don’t doubt yourself. You’re magic and soon someone will realize how true that is. In my case, after many horrible, mediocre, and sometimes amazing first dates, it’s all been worth it in the journey of finding my person.
Please feel free to reach out to me via any of my socials if you’d like to discuss further. I’m on Instagram @fleurdefat or @meowficent_ & you can find me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/fleurdefat/ or on my blog https://fleurdefat.wordpress.com/ . You can also feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.