Advice for Alexandra

Published February 19, 2011 by Fat Heffalump

Well, let’s talk about something else besides the bigots out there huh?

I got a message on the Facebook page for Fat Heffalump from Alexandra, and on thinking about it, I really wanted to give her more space and time than responding to it on Facebook.  She has given me permission to post my response to her question here and I’d also like to throw open the floor to all of you for advice.

So, to Alexandra’s question:

I just got dumped (on Valentine’s Day no less) via text message, the douche citing he ‘finally woke up and realised I couldn’t date a fat girl anymore’ …and that he didn’t want to spend another day with someone below his level. Not to Agony Aunt you, but I feel as though the world is telling me to lower my expectations (not physical necessarily) when it comes to finding a partner. That because I’m fat, I should accept anyone that shows the slightest interest in me.

Well firstly, let me say that any man who dumps you like that is actually below YOUR level.  But I know it hurts and I am really sorry that someone would treat you this way.

Secondly, I am single, but I’ve been around the sun 38 times, and had my fair share of experiences.  Perhaps those in relationships will have a different perspective.

I’m pretty sure most of us have struggled with this situation at some point.  With so many messages pushed at us that fat women are unloveable, it’s hard to shrug that shit off.  I’ve certainly had experience with it in my romantic history, that’s for sure.  Some of it has even come from friends and family.

The thing is, that there is no such thing as unloveable.  Even the most reprehensible human beings have people who love them.  So strike the idea of being unloveable off your list of woes.

The next thing I believe is that no-one should ever settle for less than someone who makes them truly happy.  Now that doesn’t mean that you should expect a relationship to be all perfect, but it does mean that a healthy relationship is all about working together to make each other happy, and if that’s not happening… well then you have to ask why you’re in that relationship.

As for lowering your expectations when it comes to finding a partner, I don’t believe ones expectations are too high to expect a person to treat you with respect, which this dude clearly did not do for you.

I guess the things I have learnt in my 38 years on this earth are that it is better to be a single person than be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t respect you and make you feel loved, deserving and happy.

So, I’m throwing it open to you, dear readers.  What advice/support do you have for Alexandra?  For those of you who are in relationships, share your stories about being fat and finding love.

Over to you troops!

42 comments on “Advice for Alexandra

  • I would ask, “What are your expectations?” Classifying people by anything other than their behaviour and perhaps their interests is not usually very helpful, but the world likes to do it anyway – it’s easier that way. I’m in a long-term relationship (I’d say marriage but we’re both women so we can’t get married) and we share a lot of geeky interests; I know other geeky women who date only geeks, and others who date or marry non-geeks who respect their geekiness, people who do everything together and people who mostly have quite separate lives. What do *you* want?

  • Alexandra: Sorry to hear that, sweetie. That is really low of him. As Kath says, it’s clear he didn’t respect you, and therefore, he was below your level, not the other way around.

    For what it’s worth, here is MY advice:

    Whatever this douchebag says, believe this: you ARE deserving of love and respect. We all are. (Even him.) Play some music that makes you feel happy, hug your teddy/cat/pillow, have coffee and cake with a person who DOES respect you – friend, family member, whoever – and revitalise your own self-respect. Then, when the right person comes along, you’ll be able to accept that person’s respect of you, too.

    Aretha Franklin had it right, you know 🙂

  • I can only speak of my own experiences, and I don’t know if I’d call it advice. But I spent the first ten years of my dating life, high school and college, “taking what I could get” because I assumed that was what a fat girl had to do. It was practically at the precise moment that, after another heartbreak, I decided I would go after what I wanted in the dating world that I met the man who would become my husband. He respects and values me and loves all 300 pounds of me. (And he’s super cute. :)) So, I guess my advice is to follow my path, stop taking what you can get, and go after what you want – it can work, even for deathfats.

  • First off, Kat, you are fast becoming a messiah! That is one amazing advisory piece of writing you have there. These are the voices of our revolution people male no mistake!

    Secondly for Alex, that is such a hard blow man you are so strong to still be standing! That is such a harsh thing to do to another human being and totally souless. Something like that would tip anyone off the wagon of self love and happiness and I admire your courage.

    Really, at the end of the day did you really want to stick around with some one as shallow and self serving over being single and open to the possibility for better? Because believe me, you can.

    I recently read an article on bitch media of the worlds fattest man getting married THE worlds fattest man yo! And they looked happy and were sexually active

    You see there are people in the world who look beyond beauty, or even and especially attracted to fat people. As the age old saying goes there is plenty of fish in the sea and sometimes you gotta kiss a few frogs (blah blah blah)

    The first step is loving yourself again, be proud of who you are and DON’T settle for less, society sucks and has no valid opinion for the most part. There are people out there for you but have faith in yourself first

    Good luck xxx

    • Oh I am not the messiah, I am just a very naughty girl.

      One thing I like to think is that sure, you might have to kiss a few frogs before you find a prince, but for God’s sake, learn to recognise a toad!

  • Karma’s a bitch, what goes around comes around, and he will get his just desserts one day. OK, enough with the cliches…

    Alexandra, it doesn’t feel like it now but this guy did you a favour. He is obviously sub-human and not worthy of your affections. The way he dumped you lacked class and sensitivity and no doubt he will get his comeuppance one day.

    I have never had a lot of male attention, and some of the guys I have been in relationships with left a lot to be desired. But, I never doubted that I was loveable and worthy of a decent relationship. As long as you keep that in the forefront of your mind [and fine-tune your douchebag radar :)] you will find someone who recognises your special qualities. Learn from this relationship: what worked and what didn’t and use it to make the next relationship better. Whatever you do, don’t take his douchiness to heart – his behaviour says more about him than it does about you.

    • I think that’s an important thing VickiR – being able to recognise a douchebag early and act upon it. I think back to the number of times I excused guys behaviour becaause I thought they couldn’t be that big a douchebag… only to get seriously burned later on. Learning to listen to my gut instinct has been the most useful skill ever.

  • Jeez, how old was this spineless little weasel who dumped you by text in the crassest way imaginable? Puts me in mind of being made to call up my best friend’s boyfriend of two dates to say “Juliadoesn’twanttogooutwithyouanymorekthxbye!” when we were 14 years old!

    Okay, before you move on Alexandra – I’m single too and I agree with Kath a hundred percent that it’s better to be in a good relationship with yourself than a toxic one with somebody else. I’ve had some epic rejection experiences I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. (Try “I’m too much of a body person when it comes to women but I still wanted to shag you last time I saw you”). And the one thing I’ve learned is that anger is your BFF in cases like this. The faster you can find yours, the sooner you will realise just what a fabulous catch this guy was not and start celebrating your very lucky escape and move on to a way better place.

    Maybe I’m wrong and up until this point he gave you moonlight, roses and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates round the clock. But my guess is that anyone who felt you were beneath him the entire time you were stepping out together will find a hundred ways to communicate that subconsciously and otherwise. Why waste another moment taking to heart the words of someone who not only thinks he’s superior to you but thinks so little of you that he think it’s quite okay to say so? That’s not the world speaking, that’s the subjective opinion of one insensitive oaf who is so far up himself he’ll probably never see daylight for years.

    Have a good cry, smash a few plates, play a few emo tunes. Then find your anger, smash a few more plates and play something loud and thrashy. Then do what Jen D said and have some happy times with people who love you and value your worth.

    • Buttercup Rocks that sounds like a guy I went out with. Couldn’t keep away from me or his hands off me but when I asked where this was going, he said that he “Wasn’t into me.” and promptly went out and found a really toxic woman who was a size 8. Even tried to continue seeing me as a “friend” that he still couldn’t keep his hands off.

      Sometimes they pay a lot of lip service to not being attracted to fat women, but the truth is that they ARE attracted but are too cowardly to behave like a decent human being in case someone else criticises them for their choice.

  • First, maybe the problem isn’t your fat at all–maybe you intimidate him mentally or emotionally, or you’re not enough of a doormat, and this way he thinks he can make it your fault. Don’t buy in! No matter what, it’s still his problem.

    Seek out men who like you as you are. It can be easier in some communities, such as science-fiction fandom. It also became easier in my late 20s/early 30s because men began to care less about social pressure and more about who might make a good mate. Experiment with fashion: when you feel you look good, you’ll look good.

    I know almost no one, of any weight, who met his or her life-partner right away! With each relationship you’ll learn more about what you do (& don’t!) want and how to get (or avoid!) it. It takes some of us longer than others, but we can still get there. I’ve been fat almost all my life–I had my share of heartbreak, but now I’ve been in a magnificent marriage for over 25 years, and it was all worth it.

  • When it comes to love relationships, rejection is protection. Do NOT settle for just anyone who shows interest. You will hate it. I was as lonely as I could be when I was married, because I was terribly mis-married. And the reason I was mis-married was because I thought I had to hurry up and get hitched (I was 34) so I wouldn’t be a freak. Turned out I just felt like a married freak. After him, I hooked up with someone else who decided he’d rather blow his six months of sobriety than be with me any longer, and then, after that, I met The Guy. We’re coming up on 6 years now.

    But you know, Buttercup Rocks and Sleepydumpling are right, single is plenty cool too. ANYTHING is better than being mis-attached. Trust me.

  • Alexandra,
    Cry as much as you need to. Then, spend time with friends, do stuff you like, eat yummy things, treat yourself really well.
    You are beautiful.
    Sadly, this guy that dumped you probably will realize what an idiot he was — sounds like he hasn’t come to terms with his attraction to women who don’t fit the societal mold of “standard issue beauty.” He hurt you, but he will be hurting himself for much longer.
    Keep doing things that make you happy. You will find someone worthy of you (this jerk wasn’t) and someone who will be your true partner. There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing at all.
    I’ve been married for nearly 20 years, and before that, I had a few relationships and my share of hook-ups. My weight has been between 185-250 pounds (I’m around 5 feet tall). Weight hasn’t been something that’s interfered, but it has been a bit of a “filter.” And not every guy who liked my body was worthy of my love, either.

  • “The next thing I believe is that no-one should ever settle for less than someone who makes them truly happy.”

    This. THIS!

    I’ve seen this happen to men and women of all kinds…many believe they have to settle because it’s supposedly better than being single.

    But I would also say that in my experience…you can’t hinge your happiness on what others think of you. When I finally stopped hating myself and began to show confidence in my abilities and became aware that I was a good person, it did start to open me up to other like-minded people, including interested guys– my weight only became an issue when I let it.

    The way I see it too, if a man’s more concerned with my fat than what’s in my mind, he isn’t worth dealing with anyhow.

  • Well, I too have had the lovely experience of being dumped for my fatness. I met the guy online, we got to know each other online and through phone calls and then we finally met for a date. We had a great time, it didn’t seem awkward at all and he seemed thrilled. Then, I don’t hear from him for a loooooong time. I go through various stages of “WTF?!” before I finally hear from him when he randomly pops up on an instant messenger. He tells me he couldn’t date someone who was overweight, BUT HE STILL WANTS TO BE FRIENDS. Um, no. No friends for you, buddy. This interaction showed me not one iota of respect as a human being, and that makes him the asshole, and me the awesome fat girl who got hurt. Having been fat my whole life, and having a lot of misses when it comes to boys and men, I have always had the tendency to blame it on my fatness. This kind of thinking can easily lead a person to think that either they have to change or they have to give up hope of finding a partner who will love them and their body, and respect them. Well I am 25 now and I do have a partner who loves my body, and the kicker is I am fatter now than I was then. And I am really, really fat, none of that size 12 stuff. But this guy, well, he just loves it! My fat isn’t anything weird to him, it’s not a compromise, and it’s not something he has to look past in order to think I am beautiful. The guy I was with before the current guy would say that he found me attractive “because he knew my personality” OH WHAT HELL NO. That really pissed me off and was a cause of great strain in our relationship. Yes, he found me attractive, but it always felt more like a “I’m not normally attracted to fatties but you have a nice personality which makes you more attractive to me” thing. Pfft. My current man was attracted to me from day one, before he knew fuck-all about my personality. We have been together for over three years and I never have a doubt in my mind that he finds every inch of me (and that’s a lot of inches) absolutely smokin’ hot. You absolutely, positively CAN find this too. It’s really no different than if you were thin; You keep trying, you live your life, and you don’t blame the bad dates or heart-ache on yourself, because it happens to everyone. When you find the right person you won’t believe you were ever with some asshole who couldn’t appreciate your ample assets.

  • Wow! What an asshole! (sorry, but douche is too nice for that one!)
    Anyone who cites Your body as a reason to breakup? They are lying! Totally lying!
    I don’t care what you look like, there is someone out there for you, maybe even 3!
    I feel as though I have seen it all and I can assure you, only someone who feels bad about themselves would say/do that to another person. Don’t fall into the self-pity trap. This is the classic case of it’s them not you, for real though!
    Treat yourself to something nice/pampering/lovely and re-embrace your you-ness! You are amazing and lovely and you must find a way to accept yourself as you are. Next thing you know you won’t have many evenings free and the lot of them will be beaming at you! =0)

  • The only thing you need to know about your ex is that he wasn’t worth spending time with. No decent human being dumps someone else for such a stupid reason.

    The most attractive quality that anybody can have is radiant self confidence. If you don’t have that, you can be as thin as a pole, with the beauty of a model, and you’ll still be alone – or with someone, but abused.

    I’ve seen wrinkled women wrap men round their little finger, and comfortably upholstered women do the same. The secret ingredient they all had was sexual self confidence. Try walking down the road while you’re luxuriating in your own body. Heads will turn, I promise.

  • I know it probably feels terrible, but once you get past that you’ll know he did you a favor by revealing what a weak asshole he is. You deserve better. Go about your life, meet new people, and you’ll find someone much better. Oh, and I will pimp my V-Day post at BFB, if that’s alright.

  • To Alexandra: I am so sorry this happened to you. The guy is clearly a douche to say what he did, and you deserve better.

    And Kat, your advice rocks, as does what everyone else has said here, but I’ll add my two cents’ worth. It is indeed, especially if you have low self-esteem in the first place, all too easy to end up with anyone just because you feel the need to be with someone, no matter how they treat you. I married at 21 (way too young for me and I really needed to spend time alone, not living with parents or a partner, to find out more about me and my feelings), to a guy I met through a dating agency, whom I knew subconsciously wasn’t right for me, but I thought I was nobody without a man at that stage. It happened he knew I wasn’t right for him either – he was always uneasy about my pagan beliefs, and he admitted after I left him that he’d really wanted a skinny blonde all along – he never hinted my hair color (I’m a natural brunette) was an issue, but he’d hinted that he didn’t like my body in less than subtle ways, and those were only a fraction of our many incompatibilities.

    Anyway. The important thing, from my limited experience, is to remind yourself that this wasn’t your fault; that you’re a wonderful person, and that you will, in time, meet someone else who also thinks you’re wonderful, and who is that right person for you. I’ve now been married to my lovely second husband about twice as long as I was to my first. In the aftermath of something like what’s just happened, you just need to take care of you, spend time with the people you know truly love you (and avoid anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable), do stuff you love and get on with enjoying your own life. The relationship stuff will happen when you’re ready. (I know, I never believed it when people said that to me either, but it turns out it’s true. Who knew?)

  • Wow, between his timing and his method of breaking up, he sounds like a real…uh, prince. Yeah, that’s the word.

    Of course it still hurts – he was mean to you, he said deliberately mean things, and yeah, mean words HURT. (“sticks and stones” is a bunch of hooey.) So of course it’s ok to hurt.

    But please don’t believe him. “Fat” has become such an excuse in this society to the point where it’s pretty much become meaningless. He’s using it in place of actually having to suck it up and admit what’s really going on with him, whatever it is. It’s the weaselly way out. And it has nothing to do with you or your body size.

    Don’t ever lower your expectations. Be realistic about them – which means figure out what YOU want in a partner, what’s important to YOU, not what society says you should want in a partner. To me, being realistic is the absolute opposite of settling – you have a real list of characteristics that are really important to YOU, and you acknowledge and seek them out. There’s a great power in that, not to mention that it makes it a lot easier to recognize it when you’ve found it :).

  • You know, it took me a long long time to come to the conclusion that I didn’t have to take just whoever showed any interest in me. I did that, 5 times–latch on to whatever guy was showing me any attention, because I was desperate to not be alone. They treated me awful, from day dot, and I just assumed that being fat meant beggers can’t be choosers and that at least I could say I had someone.

    I finally woke up and realised that I’d rather be alone than with someone who was clearly willing to be with me as long as they could do whatever they wanted to and with me, and me not object. It was almost like it was expected that I wouldn’t put up a fuss, because after all–what were my other options, right?

    Wrong. When I decided that pi$$ on it, I don’t need a man, and learned to live with ME, that I met someone who accepted me for who I was–a fat woman, with a heart of gold that she wore on her sleeve, who would do anything for a friend or loved one–and didn’t expect me to change, and doesn’t treat me badly because I don’t fit societies idea of what a woman should look like.

    That doesn’t mean that I think you MUST have a man…..on the contrary, when we met it was almost annoying because I’d come to enjoy my singleton status, and was making plans and taking action for a single future. Then he comes along and busts that all up! hahaha My life has never been better.

    The point is, you have to value yourself before you expect anyone else to value you. Never lower your expectations–nobody else would, so why should you? Better to never have anyone than to accept someone who doesn’t meet your expectations.

    I really do believe that.

    And he is such a f*cking coward if he can’t have the balls to tell you that in person…..definately a douche and definately NOT a man, but a boy. Don’t worry, if he’s that spineless he’ll eventually hook up someone who will take him for all he’s worth and he’ll be the one left feeling like sh!t on someones shoe. You might not be there to witness it, but it will happen, sure as the sun in the sky. 😉

  • Hi Alexandra,The guy’s a coward and he’ll do what he did to you to every girl he gets into a relationship with, NO MATTER WHAT SHE LOOKS LIKE, until he grows some balls. Because what he did was sell you and himself short by listening to what he believes society thinks and not to his own likes and dislikes. If he doesn’t change he will probably end up in a loveless relationship so he can ‘run with the pack’ ruining her life unless or until she leaves him. It’s all about him baby girl and nothing to do with what you look like or your personality, your values or beliefs. Don’t settle for someone you don’t love. Not only will you be selling yourself short, you’ll be selling them short and trapping them in a loveless relationship and ruining their lives until and unless they leave you. Do you really want to live your life like he does?

  • Okay, now that I’m past my initial response, which was a combination of ‘What the flaming fuckity-fuck’ and ‘Lets get his email address and give him a kicking’ I can parse my thoughts into something more useful.

    I’m not going to waste words speculating on his motivation, fears, weaknesses or what have you, because someone who would say what he said is worthy of very little armchair quarterbacking.

    I’m 40 years old. Been a fat girl my entire life. I met my husband in college, we were friends first, then we dated, then we got married. Our regard for each other grew and we both found each other impossible to resist over time and weight was never an issue. In my experience, the right one loves YOU. Period. You may have to step over the carcasses of a few douchebags to get to the right one, but you’ll know when you find him.

  • I come to offer some Ani Difranco:

    “I want someone who’s not afraid of me
    or anyone else
    in other words I want someone
    who’s not afraid of themselves
    do you think I’m asking too much?”

    If you ask me most people’s expectations at bottom aren’t as high as they’re made out to be.

    These are my expectations, and maybe from my pool of guys it is asking too much. But that doesn’t ever actually mean that it’s too much to ask or expect. And on the flip side, since it’s exactly what I’ve got to offer – that makes me pretty cool by my own standards, regardless of whether I’m coupled up or not. 😀

    Take care, listen to some ani, invest in a comfy and gorgeous pair of pjs pants.

    best wishes,

  • Since it’s just about all been covered, I’m just going to add some dot points and hope I hit something that hasn’t already been said.

    – Never allow anyone to make you feel like you’re less than anything or beneath someone, for any reason. We are all humans and as such, deserve a basic level of respect, if nothing else.

    – Don’t date anyone where you feel like you need to excuse anything about yourself or them. If you aren’t proud of being with each other, then something is wrong.

    – If your gut twinges and it’s not quickly soothed by an explanation, question it thoroughly.

    – Definitely have standards or maybe KPI’s is a better term. Things that any person you’re going to be with should be hitting. Kindness, sense of humour etc

    – When the right person walks into your life, it’ll be clear pretty quickly.

    – Don’t be afraid to make the first move/go after what you want. The worst that can happen is you get a rude response.

    – Trust in yourself, believe in yourself and that you’re capable of whatever you need to do.

    I’ve been with my man for 3 months in the official scale of things, a bit longer unofficially. We had a bit of a weird start to things, but managed to figure things out as we went. We made a deal that before we jumped into anything, even/especially sex, we’d get to know each other properly. So we did, when it came to us deciding we were going to pursue this relationship thing properly, we were good friends, we knew how messed up the other was and we went in with eyes wide open. We have a relationship where we trust each other, we’re honest with each other and we respect each other. I’m happier and more settled with him than anyone, because he knows who I am and I know who he is. He loves all of me and I love all of him.
    I was single for 6 months before this and quite enjoying it. He literally appeared in front of me as I walked into a party with friends, in all his gigantic (6’5″), purple haired glory. I started talking to him a few minutes later, grabbed his number an hour or so after that and I was snogging the hell out of him not long after that 😀 and now, about 5 months after we met properly, I snog the hell out of him on a regular basis.
    He makes me feel beautiful, loves me unstintingly, even when I’m being a pain in the arse and takes care of me when I need it. I do my best to support him, take care of him and show him how much he is loved.

  • It breaks my heart when a woman gives up on romance when one man does not appreciate her. Alexandra, it is when you lower your expectations that you begin disrespecting yourself. There is many worthy men waiting in the world for a good woman like you. You will find each other when you least expect it. Your size does not affect your beauty, beauty is your heart. A man who can not see that and does not respect you is not a man.

  • Alexandra, in Texas, hair is big,hats are big, food is big,and mommas are big! We make everything big. If a man is disrespecting you, you just gotta forget him and move on to the next one who will treat you nice. I am lucky I have such a great boy friend who loves me for the awesome momma I am, but this ain’t my first rodeo. Get on back in the saddle and don’t give a damn. It’s like we say in Texas, don’t call him a cowboy til you scene him ride. : )

  • Hi guys! I’ve been stuck in Sydney for a few days without internet until now so apologies for only having read this now. I’m so overwhelmed with the support! Really, I wish there was something like this ten years ago when I was in high school and so down on myself. I decided to get away from everyone and everything for a week to clear my head and ‘get that man right out of my hair’!

    This blog entry has been the biggest morale boost I think I’ve ever had. I mean I’ve only just come to terms, in the last year or so, with my size and that I’m happy being this way and I don’t know why it should come as a surprise to me (but it does!) any time I meet someone that can’t just let me be happy. I think perhaps it’s an age thing as well (though I don’t doubt there are idiots like this at every age) my ex-douchecanoe is 21 so he’s still very much in that mindframe of idiolizing Victoria’s Secret models. He even told me that if he’s still single in ten years, he’ll call me! Like if he doesn’t get a hot Victoria’s Secret model, then he’ll give me another go.

    Jen’s video really struck a chord with me and I think that’s the point I’d like to get to in self-acceptance. Like I said, I’m part the way there and I’ve funnily enough never been rejected this blatantly before with such a clear message ‘you’re dumped because you’re fat’ rather than just ‘you’re dumped’ and it could have been for one of many reasons. Right now I’m content in being alone, seeing a beautiful city and being open to whatever comes my way.

    Thanks again Kath et al. You guys are truly awesome and have made this so much more bearable, you have no idea!


    • OMG I just read your comment with fresh eyes (sorry Alexandra, I was barely awake last night!) and saw the comment about him telling you he’ll be back if he is still single in a decade.

      As I once saw Marianne Kirby say “Fuck you dude, fuck you right in the ear!”

      You are worth ten dozen of him my love!

  • He even told me that if he’s still single in ten years, he’ll call me!”


    And I hope, should that glorious day come to pass, you’ll think of us all standing right behind you when you tell him to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

    • “And I hope, should that glorious day come to pass, you’ll think of us all standing right behind you when you tell him to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.”

      I…am bowing down to the fucking awesomeness of this statement. May I have permission to use it freely? 🙂

    • Love that saying Buttercup Rocks 🙂 I think I remember reading it in a Stephen King novel? But of course, he could have stolen it himself…

  • @sleepydun Hahaha yeah, he is, gigantic purple haired wrestler with a Klingon tattoo. Funnily enough I get fairly frequent requests to clone him lol I’ll look into the technology required 😛

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