She had butterflies in her stomach.
That’s how it started.
My friend hadn’t been out on a date for a while. In fact, she hadn’t been dating for the last three years. At first, it was because of her ex-boyfriend. Even the thought of going on a date terrified her because her ex had treated her so poorly. And then she got busy with her career.
But after a drunken night with us, her friends, she was finally feeling brave enough to get back to the dating world. She missed being intimate with someone so she downloaded a dating app.
She swiped on Jake for his perfect smile and funny bio. When he cracked a joke about Jeff Bezos’s bald head, she immediately wanted to go out with him.
They talked to each other for a while. They were both working from home so they texted each other throughout the day for a week. She enjoyed talking to Jake. He made her laugh all the time and sent her the funniest memes on the internet.
Jake was a software engineer in his late twenties, exactly the same as her. They worked in companies that were each other’s rivals and moaned about how much they hated their jobs. They enjoyed listening to the same kind of music and watched the same kind of movies.
Jake asked if she was free to grab drinks on Wednesday and she gladly accepted. He seemed like the perfect guy to go out with after three long years.
She spotted Jake from afar. He was sitting in the outdoor dining space of the restaurant they had agreed to meet at. He was different from how he looked in the pictures but she didn’t mind. He didn’t see her until she was standing right in front of him. When she got closer, he got up and kissed her on the cheek.
“Hello,” she said. Her palms were sweating despite it being a very cold evening.
They ordered several drinks as Jake continued to make her laugh. Even though she was nervous, she felt the date was going really well. At one point, Jake even held her hand and looked into her eyes. There were definitely sparks flying between them. She felt silly for being so nervous before this date.
She felt great that she could talk to Jake about anything under the sun. They talked about art, history, video games, and even Shrek. She was relieved they got along offline as much as they did online.
At the end of the night, Jake kissed her on the cheek once again and even offered to walk her home. She got back home and posted in our WhatsApp group telling us everything about her date. We all squealed in happiness with her. She slept very well that night.
(Also read: Are Dating Apps Ruining Relationships?)
The next evening after a long busy day of work, she texted Jake.
“Hey, I am sorry but I don’t think you and I can work out.”
Jake’s text was surprising to her. She was shocked. What had gone wrong in the span of 24 hours? “What happened? I think we had a good time last night.”
“We did. But you catfished me. And I am not okay with that.”
“What do you mean? I did no such thing.”
“You’re fat. And in your pictures, you pretended you weren’t. I don’t date fat girls.”
She put the phone down and ran to the mirror to look at herself. Yes, she had gained a few pounds since her pictures were taken but she was still herself. She still was the same person she was in her pictures. Was it really catfishing? Was Jake right?
She started doubting herself but then shook her head. She was almost 30 and she’d had enough. Even though she hadn’t been on a date in three years, she wasn’t going to let this guy make her feel bad about gaining weight during a pandemic.
She was a survivor of an eating disorder. She had spent the last ten years of her life battling with food. Food wasn’t just food for her, it was the number of calories she was consuming. She would look at an apple and think about how fat it would make her.
It didn’t matter how thick or thin she was, she had always hated her body. She had been thin as well as thick and people always had found something flawed about her body.
The pandemic was the first time she allowed herself to eat whatever she wanted. Did she gain weight? Yes. But she was finally getting healthier. It took a long time for her to be okay with how she looked and she wasn’t going to let a guy shatter all of her self-confidence.
Her body was 206 bones and some cartilage covered in tissues, different types of tissues — areolar, adipose, simple, complex, etc. That was what her body was, that was what her body should be and that was what her body could be.
Jake exactly wasn’t honest about his looks either. In his pictures, he didn’t have a beard but in real life, he did. And even though he had mentioned in his bio that he was exceptionally tall, Jake was not taller than 5'7 in any case.
But she hadn’t let any of this affect how she felt about Jake. She enjoyed his company. But not anymore. She couldn’t date such an immature guy. She simply unmatched Jake and went out to grab pizza with us.
When I met her and asked if she was okay. She said, “Life is too short to be sad about a guy who can’t see you for who you really were.”
What about you?
Would you go out on a date with a fat person?
What would you do if the person you love was thin when you got together but then gains weight eventually? Will you leave them?
Will you date someone who is only a few pounds heavier? What if they are morbidly obese?
(Also read: Things No One Tells You About Abusive Relationships)
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