Here at The Daily BBW offices, the subject of online dating comes up a lot. Most of us have had direct experiences with it, both good and bad, but we wanted to talk to a few plus-sized women who are currently trying online dating and get their advice for successful tactics – what to do, what to avoid and how dating a BBW might be different (or, in many cases, the same) as their thinner cohorts.
TDB: Where’s the best place to start?
Laura: To preface, I have been a part of the online dating scene for about three years now. I have used both the conventional dating sites and more fat-oriented forums to try and talk to guys. I have had some success; a lot actually, from wonderful one-time dates to relationships. Try everything. It can be kind of exhausting at first, but put yourself out there in all kinds of forms of internet dating. At one point in time, I juggled a POF, OKCupid, Tinder, and Fantasy Feeder account while I also posted the occasional Craigslist ad. I have honestly met the best guys through the weirdest methods of online dating.
TDB: What advice do you have for people who might want to answer your dating site profile or approach you online?
Kellie: Dating sites can be brutal, not only with guys who open their message to me with sex talk but all the boring ones that literally just say ‘hi’. It can feel like you’re not really that interested in getting to know me, you just want sex. That’s not necessarily a bad thing unless I specifically list in my dating profile its not what I’m looking for at the moment. You can also go the opposite direction and say too much, tell me your whole life story in the first message, overwhelming me and making it hard for me to respond because I feel like we’ve run out of things to learn about each other.
Laura: Put some effort in, please. If your profile is the same sentence copied and pasted repeatedly so that you fill up the minimum character count, it shows that you don’t really care. Same goes for messages; a sentence or two goes a long way in comparison to a Hi or Sup. I can honestly tell you that I don’t care how good looking you may be, if you send me a one word initial message, I will not respond. And a lot of women won’t.
Kellie: If guys would just play it cool and not sex or fat talk for at least a week they’d have a way better chance of going on a date with me. Let me initiate the sexy talk; if it’s wanted I’ll let you know!
Jacqulyn: First and foremost, always, ALWAYS read the full profile. Aside from the obvious reasons of getting to know someone, and finding a topic for an ice breaker, it could be the thing that makes or breaks your shot with them. I’ve tossed little phrases like “if you have actually read this profile, mention zebras in your message” to easily weed out the people just ogling images, and those who actually cared enough to read the profile. Be respectful. If a profile says “long term dating,” messaging the person asking for sex clearly isn’t going to work – it wastes both your time, and it’s offensive, thus killing any chance there might have been.
Laura: On a similar note, try and pull something from the profile of the person you are messaging. Even better if you can make it about content or personality and NOT looks. Like, super extra bonus points if you can do that. I don’t mean that you shouldn’t compliment someone if you like their hair, think they’re beautiful, or whatever. But it is really refreshing to get a message about something other than looks.
Laura: Yeah, have a sense of humor. I know this can be hard in the online dating world, but you really won’t enjoy yourself unless you take things lightly. There are some mean people out there – and as a fat woman you will totally encounter some snide remarks at one point or another. But don’t be afraid to laugh about it. I don’t know what my friends and I would do if we didn’t have each other to copy and paste shitty messages to. When you encounter these jerks, just remember that their lives are literally so sad that they have to resort to harassing people on the internet for entertainment. I would highly recommend not sending any responses though – that just lets them win. Also, block buttons are especially helpful.
TDB: What advice do you have for people trying to create the perfect profile?
Jacqulyn: Always be clear, and honest about what you are looking for. If you claim to want long term, but really it’s about sex for you, whether you want to or not, that’s going to show through in how you act and speak, so no one is going to buy it. Besides, people value honesty, and maybe if you’re honest about your intentions, whatever they may be, other people might just be looking for the same thing.
Laura: Don’t make a person think you are looking for a relationship if you are only looking for a hookup and vice-versa. It is also important to have the exclusive/non-exclusive conversation if you get far enough into talking with someone. There is nothing worse than finding out that the guy you are super into is also talking to three other women the way he has been talking to you.
Jacqulyn: I can’t even count the amount of times a man has unknowingly sent similar, if not copy and paste messages to myself and several of my friends. We do talk, we do compare names, and we will find out. So stop.
Laura: Honesty is key, in so many ways. As a BBW, I have learned to not necessarily focus on my body, but make it known either through my pictures or quips on my profile that I know exactly what I look like – and I both love/rock it. Being honest about your size. For example, choosing ‘overweight’ instead of ‘a few extra pounds’ is important. Let’s face it, 300+ pounds is not a few extra! It really goes a long way in finding a person to talk to that is totally accepting.
Laura: Be open-minded. I thought for a very long time that I had a “type” that I could only be attracted to. I had the age range, the height, the facial hair, and the body type so “figured out” that I never ended up talking to anyone. However, once I started opening up my mind to different kinds of men, I started to enjoy my online dating experience. But on the same note, DO NOT lower your standards. I have learned that a lot of men will message me as a BBW expecting my standards to be lower than low. But why should they be? I take pride in everything about my life and you should too.
TBD: We like that attitude! Attraction is a very personal, subjective thing. There shouldn’t be any sense of obligation; you don’t have to be attracted to somebody just because they are attracted to you.
Laura: You don’t owe anyone anything. You’re not into a guy? You don’t have to humor him. If someone sends you a lacklustre message that just doesn’t spark your interest, you don’t have to send them a reply. He doesn’t have a sense of personal hygiene? Ya don’t have to talk to him. He has a spaghetti sauce stain in the shape of Germany on his shirt in his profile picture? Ya don’t have to talk to him. Some people will get offended by this, be prepared. But any guy who flips out on you after you read their message and didn’t respond is not worth your time anyways. Consider it help in weeding out the bad ones.
TBD: In your opinion, what are some issues unique to messaging or dating a BBW or SSBBW?
Jacqulyn: If you like big men or women, please, do us all a favour, and don’t announce it in your message. If you’re messaging a 300+lb man or woman, it’s safe to assume we already know you like fat people, and announcing it is redundant, and can unintentionally give people the idea that they are expected to feel gratitude for being seen as acceptable in your eyes. If someone who dates thin people doesn’t feel obligated to announce that they date thin people each time they message someone, it should make sense that it doesn’t need to be said for fat people.
Laura: Definitely! If you are messaging someone specifically because of their body type, I wouldn’t bring it up right away. If you start dropping bombs such as: “I only date BBWS,” “I’m really into a big shelf ass,” “Are you into gaining?”, some women might be taken aback by how forward you are being. You have to remember that not all bigger women necessarily embrace their size the way someone like me would, and being super forward about their size might make them uncomfortable.
Kellie: Being an SSBBW who’s dating brings on a whole other list of things you gotta take into consideration, but the most important one is making sure where ever you take your lady, she can fit. This means seeing if the chairs have arms, if there is space for her width to walk through and if the booth has a movable table. If it does you can just pull it towards you to accommodate her size. Another important one is if she will fit in your vehicle. For me I no longer fit into cars. But it’s never an issue b/c I’m more than willing to use my vehicle and then we both can ride comfortably. It’s the little things that matter the most. Just being taken into consideration for how huge I am and working with it makes all the difference.”
Jacqulyn: If you want to hook up with fat women, but won’t take us out in public on dates, or even have thin girlfriends you think are a secret from us, stop now. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200. We’re no one’s secret side girl who never meets friends or parents. We’re just as worthy of love, respect, and dates in the public eye, as anyone else. If you’re using online dating as a way to secretly hook up with fat women while you date thin women, just stop.
TBD: Thanks, ladies, for all the great advice! Good luck!