You may already know, that letting go of diet-binge cycling (or “feeling crazy around food”) pretty much requires some level of body acceptance
…and that what often stands in the way of full recovery is one’s objections to doing body acceptance work.
Today I’d like to comment on a specific objection that comes up in my coaching practice—and it’s a doozy…
“But I’ll never find [romantic partnership] at this size.”
Here are a couple things to think about when you find yourself running this thought loop:
1. People date, have sex, and get married at pretty much all sizes along the weight spectrum.
While Fatphobia in the world of dating and romance absolutely exists (more on this in a moment), that is not the same thing as “no one” wanting to date you or “never” being able to find love at your size.
People are attracted to all different types of humans (including medium, plus-sized and super plus folks), so let’s start this discussion with accuracy and say:
“some people may not want to date me (because of their fatphobia or any number of other reasons),” but also be clear that “some people” is not the same thing as “all people.”
2. Assuming that some people will love and accept you in your natural, authentic body type—and others will not—who would you rather enter into a long-term romantic partnership with?
The person who likes you for who you are? Or the person you have to diet, self-harm and otherwise suppress your true nature for?
In other words,
do really you want to be in a primary relationship with someone for whom dieting is a requirement?
Take a moment and realllllly think about it.
How much emotional safety and intimacy can you really experience with someone who can not, or will not, accept and love you in your own authentic body?
Do you really want to be legally or emotionally bound to someone for whom you have to physically and emotionally harm yourself on an ongoing basis?
What happens if you gain weight? Or gain the weight back? Which, by the way, is a near certainty for the vast majority of dieters…what happens then?
Is dieting really the best strategy for finding true love? Or is it a strategy for finding someone you can’t be your full self with?
As my friend Virgie Tovar once said to me, “more options does not equal better options.”
For me personally, the better option is always the person I don’t have to change my body for (or compromise my sanity around food for), regardless of any other qualities that person may possess or how perfect they may seem in every other way.
In other words,
my body is never the deal breaker…but a potential mate’s weight requirements may be
(because my sanity is too important to choose that kind of shitstorm).
Now, if you’re in the *very* difficult situation of already being in a committed relationship with someone who asks you to lose weight, or body shames you on a regular basis (which I do not recommend opting into by choice),
GIRL…I FEEL FOR YOU.
That is a super tough situation…one that realistically may require intervention by a trusted coach or therapist. There is no one-size fits all answer in that situation, so be sure to reach out to someone who can talk you through your options for addressing intra-partnership fatphobia.
3. Lastly, if you’re looking for authentic connection and want to be seen as fully human in your romantic relationships—ask yourself where you may need to work on seeing your partners as humans too.
It’s not uncommon for folks (especially women) to bemoan being seen as “nothing but bodies” in their respective dating pools, only to turn around and demand the same kind of status-seeking qualities in their prospective partners.
In other words, ask yourself where you may be holding your partners up to socially determined standards of worthiness—rather than core values of love, respect, etc.
To be clear, folks of all sizes can (and do) date all kinds of different people—including folks with all kinds of social privilege goodies (beauty privilege, financial privilege, etc.)
…but if your concern is the size of your pool of options, it may be worth exploring where you’re cutting off those options because of your own biases.
On that note, I hope this post was helpful and that I’ve inspired you to think differently about the kind of love you really want in your life:
love that requires you to be someone you’re not and/or compromise your sanity around food?
love that accepts you for exactly who you are today…love that you can securely be yourself in?
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