Sex and the Single Fat Girl: Disastrous Dates
Posted by Guest in Sex + Relationships
Awkward date courtesy of der jones

The reasons why we date are personal. Some of us are looking to settle down and start families. Some want to have fun and aren't ready for that yet. Some just ditched a long-term relationship and want to live it up for a while without labels or strings attached. There's nothing wrong with any of this; we should be dating for our needs and desires, not to check off boxes on an imaginary list of things everyone expects of us. Iíve dated for fun, for companionship, to learn about myself and other people, and in search of someone to settle down with. Iíve dated to prove to myself that men want me, that Iím not desperate, and that I have good choices. In every single one of those instances, Iíve had great dates and awful dates, and I've found that the good experiences soften the blow of the bad ones, and the bad ones motivate me to chase after something better (or they simply make epic "we can laugh about it now" tales later on).

Weíve all been on a bad date or ten. Or fifty. Theyíre often the first (and only) date weíll ever have with someone, but sometimes they happen months into a relationship when something goes horribly wrong, leaving you questioning why you're together. No matter when they strike, bad dates can be really discouraging - even the comically disastrous ones that make great war stories. Bad dates seem to be an unfortunate necessity, like any other pothole on the road to an otherwise exciting adventure. Even knowing this, bad dates often make me question why Iím dating in the first place and what on earth is wrong with me that kept me from seeing such an awful evening coming.

The thing that makes a bad date so especially disheartening is that thereís so much hope going into it -- particularly on the first few dates with someone. Even if you try to keep yourself in check, remaining cool and collected like the sophisticated woman of the world that you are, you canít help having some anticipatory daydreams. Lurid fantasies are sometimes rudely interrupted when he announces that he's decided to reclaim his virginity. Just as visions of dream houses and beautiful children begin forming, he shares that he can't bear to settle in one place for more than a year or two. Or maybe he's just plain . . . off. I once went on a date with a charming grad student who told me he'd taken himself off of his psych meds and had decided to start his doctoral work in biochemical weapons research. There was not a second date.

Our attitudes toward ourselves as big girls can make a bad date sting that much more, too. Sometimes we worry a guy won't like us because of our size, or if he does adore us, we turn around and question why he does. Iím certain that we make our size into a bigger deal in our heads than it is to most men, but getting passed over in the meat market of dating is a very real thing. On the other side of that coin, Iíve had guys who were a good match in terms of intelligence and interests, but turned out to be more into their big butt fetish than anything (or anyone) else. We all want to have our bodies appreciated, but none of us like being objectified because of our size or shape. It's not easy for anyone when a new relationship fails because of body-related reasons. But in my experience, Iíve been wanted for my body more than Iíve been rejected for it, which seems to be true for my friends of all shapes and sizes, so keep any size-related self-doubt in perspective when pondering why a date took a wrong turn.

We all hate to have our hopes dashed or see our rosy pictures of a person turn out all wrong. I think that rude awakening is harder to deal with than the actual date itself. Dating is a little bit risky and scary; we have to rely on our intuition and people-reading skills to try and sort out whether or not our date meets our personal criteria, sparks any chemistry, or raises red flags. When everything looks good to go but turns out to be a wreck, a girl can't help but question her judgment. Don't linger in that place for long; your intuition isn't broken and you aren't a bad judge of character. There's simply no way to know everything about someone in a few weeks or even months, and rough patches on the road to dating adventure are completely normal. If you do find yourself in the same bad relationship pattern over and over again, you may need to reassess your deal-makers and deal-breakers, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. These things will change over time and be refined with every relationship, and all we can do is learn from what happened and use it to our advantage going forward.

If you can learn to live with your dating mistakes and disasters, I think you'll find that the ups and downs of dating will level off. Doing things for ourselves gives us confidence--in ourselves, in our desirability and worth, and in the decisions we make. Not dating because of a bad experience? It might be time to think about what you want out of a relationship right now and give it another go. Cast your net wide: there are wonderful men out there who will treat you well and adore you, even if you have to trip over a few trolls on your way to finding them.

Got a great bad date story you can laugh about now? Or a real heartbreaker you ultimately learned from? Share your bad date stories or your tips for getting over an evening gone horribly wrong in the comments.