I Refuse to Settle

[CN: frank discussions of sex and sexuality, possible TMI]

A couple months ago, I was contacted on Facebook messenger by someone I didn’t know. It was a guy who said he knew one of the women I knew in my undergrad, which was confirmed when I checked his friends’ list. He said that she’d told him I was his type, so he asked if he could friend me and we could talk. I told him I wasn’t looking for anything romantic right now, but we could be friends and talk a bit.

It didn’t take too long for the thread to unravel. It was clear that he was only interested in sex. We exchanged pleasantries a few times, but then he started leaving bigoted comments on articles I shared. This was right around when Brexit happened, and he posted things like “the English are understandably scared about all the immigrants taking their jobs”. I was miffed, because I’d told him when he first reached out to me that he should read my wall to get to know me, and he said he had, but he obviously didn’t (or else didn’t think my extremely strong-held liberal beliefs mattered, which is worse). When I looked at his profile, I found he was unemployed and living with his parents in NC (I was still in OH at that time), and often commented on his friends posts in condescending tones. There was no evidence that he was looking for a job or to improve his lot. Being unemployed and living with your parents isn’t a deal breaker, but not caring about changing that definitely is for me. And acting like a douche to people who are supposedly your friends is even more of one. I resolved to mostly ignore him, which wasn’t hard because he didn’t really try to pursue me. I finally unfriended him a few weeks ago, and haven’t heard from him since.

What bothers me about this experience isn’t that some dude came onto me on Facebook, or that he was mildly douchey. The problem was that a girl who had known me (admittedly quite a few years ago) had told this guy that I was his type. I don’t know exactly what else she may have told him, because even though she’s my FB friend we don’t really talk, but either his ego or something she said made him think that I would welcome his attention. And therein lies the really infuriating subtext to this whole encounter, because guys like this (and many other people) seem to think that I should be grateful for any attention because I’m fat.

Time and again I’ve had friends and acquaintances try to set me up with men I had absolutely nothing in common with, simply because said men liked fat women. I once had a gay friend point out a girl in a crowd to me, and said “you might like her”, when it was obvious all we had in common was being fat (and bisexual, according to him). True, I often used to bewail my single status, but not liking being single does not equate to being desperate, at least not for me. If I had truly been desperate, I would’ve dated (or at least had sex with) this one guy I knew in my undergrad, who was creepy and always telling me he’d like to sleep with me (I mainly used him as a free ride, since I didn’t have a car at the time). That ended one day when we were watching a movie at my apartment and he did something that pissed me off and I half-jokingly said “I could poke you with my knitting needles” and he pulled out a knife and said “and if you did I’d stab you” and I said “get the hell out of my house”. Thankfully it ended there, which is a happy ending compared to what many other women have been through in similar situations.

The thing is, I’ve made peace with my perpetual singleness. I used to worry that there was something wrong with me, because it seemed like the only people who ever expressed interest in me were online and very far away. I never got to date in college, and it wasn’t until a few years after I graduated that I had my first boyfriend. That didn’t last long, mostly because I realized the basis of our relationship was me being happy someone liked me, and when that faded there was no point in continuing. A couple years later and I had my first real boyfriend, someone I really cared about and enjoyed spending time with. We were together for a couple years, although physically we were apart for much of that time (because I was overseas for 18 of the 36 months we were together, and only saw each other on weekends the rest of the time). He was a good guy, but when he asked me about where he fit in to my plans to move overseas, I realized I didn’t want to be with him any longer, and I certainly didn’t want him to move to a foreign country where he didn’t speak the language just to be with me. I broke his heart, and I’m sorry I did, but it was the best for both of us. I broke up with him last Fall, and despite a few brief online flirtations, I’ve been single since. And I’m okay with that. I definitely wouldn’t mind having someone to cuddle, because I miss physical contact, but I don’t want to get involved in anything right now, especially because I’m still job searching and not sure where I’ll end up.

To be totally honest, the only thing I feel like I’m missing out on is sex. Neither of the two men I’ve dated did much for me in that department (for various reasons), and I feel like I’d really like to find a good partner (or partners) for that, someone who isn’t creepy about it, who cares enough about me to make it fun, but not necessarily wants to have a relationship. A friends with benefits situation would suit me just fine, I think. But it feels almost impossible to find someone like that without already being friends with them, y’know? And I don’t exactly have a lot of friends (and an even smaller number I’d even consider in that regard, let alone whether they’d consider me), especially in limbo here in NC.

So I’ll just be single, I think. And I’d rather be single until the day I die, than entertain another well-meaning friend’s chubby-chaser acquaintance who doesn’t see me for anything but my fat body. I am not your fetish, goddamn it, I am a person. And even in a potential FWB situation, I reserve every right to choose someone who finds me sexy for more than just my fat. Because I refuse to settle. I refuse to be the desperate fat girl. I refuse to be anything less than who I want to be, and be with only who I choose to be with. If you’re going to set me up out of pity, then don’t fucking bother. I’d rather my vibrator than some douche who wouldn’t even admit to his friends that he wanted to fuck me because I’m fat. The vibrator’s quieter and more focused on getting me off!

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