Tuesday 9 October 2018

Dating While Fat

Swiping left, and swiping right, it’s no longer the gut reaction that the app creators hoped for. It’s laden with politics, with doubling thinking, and who has the upper hand. 

Typically, in my humble experience, the men are likely to just swipe right on everyone – I mean, what an ego boost, right? To see out of everyone on that particular app, everyone who things ‘yeah, okay’. The amount of ‘you’ve got a match’ alerts I get, and then poof, they’re gone – tell me this is not just my dating based paranoia speaking! 

Because we’re not swiping because we see a future with that person; we’re not just swiping because we might actually find this person tolerable; we’re swiping to get the middle ground. Obviously, I don’t know about the other people using the app, but I can guess I’m not alone in only swiping for those that I think I might stand a chance with. 

For I am, swiping while fat. I mean, I know I am. I do everything that I can to make sure that the people who match with me know this too. Other than my carefully chosen selfies, I make sure I link my IG – gotta share those candid makeup free pictures too, as well as the plethora of cat pictures! But I also link my Spotify account, sharing my love of 60s girl groups, and mainstream riot grrl, to even out the picture, to show I’m more than just a cute chubby woman. That as confident as I am, the next match needs to see that the past experiences of dating need to be navigated, that there are some reassurances which need to be made. 

When my phone lights up, another match on another app, I wait, knowing the likely hood of this one unmatching me as well, is pretty high. I sound bitter about that, don’t I? I’m not, I am battle worn. I am hardened to the Tinder, the Bumble, the Plenty of Fish's of this world. But then, I’m not new to these apps, although I do regularly throw my phone across the room in a fit of pique and decide to go on deleting rage! Or, and this one is rare, I am chatting with someone who I actually might just agree to meet, and delete the apps as a way of showing “here man, I’m taking a chance of you”. Sadly, this is usually the point they send the unsolicited dick pic, or tell me how much they love my confidence, my style, but have I thought about my health!? 

Let’s get this one cleared up: you can’t tell someone’s health by looking at them. The only thing you can tell is your own prejudice, your own fatphobia. I don’t smoke, I rarely drink, and actually, for your information, I’m fully gluten free. Foxtrot Oscar. 

I worry that I’m a little block button happy sometimes. But then, got to protect my sanity – I’m not on these apps to educate for goodness sake! 

If you’re thinking of getting yourself out there, joining these magical apps (for I’ve had some brilliant conversations, it’s not all doom and gloom), expect quick unmatchings, remove that from your notifications if you can, and be ready to block if need be!