Things that are different in dating when you’re plus size

Despite what many websites might try to tell you about dating as an overweight person, the truth is that in real life your body type can feel like the be all, end all deciding factor for how successful you are in the dating game. Plus size dating can feel like a struggle, both with others and yourself. 

Sometimes it’s people who see dating a “big girl” as a way to scratch a fetish they have, or other times it’s feeling self-conscious of yourself and your prospects. 

There are more than a few things that can be different for people who are plus sized and dating. We’ll cover some of the most common issues that larger people face as they go online to date, as well as how you can deal with fat shaming online and remain confident. 

illustration of a bigger woman and a bigger man holding hands and in love

Just some of the many things plus-sized women are facing in the dating world

If you are one of the many big women out there who have had less than stellar dating experiences, you’ll know then that plus size people face difficulties with dating that thinner people don’t necessarily run into often. 

Whether these are issues relating to self-confidence or bad experiences, the reality is that these experiences can be traumatic. 

Both plus sized daters and people looking to date larger singles should try to be aware of these problems so they can approach relationships better prepared. Not everyone will naturally have the same issues either, so keep an open mind going forward: 

The lingering “BBW” effect 

It’s no surprise that the phrase “BBW”, which stands for Big Beautiful Women, has had a profound effect on the world of dating for larger people. People who date fat women tend to view them as sex objects, and can be pushy about sex in the early phases of dating. 

This is very much because of how the idea of a “BBW” relationship has been pushed as a very sexual one by porn and online dating services. It’s an unfortunately outdated way of referring to plus sized dating that hasn’t yet been updated. 

Anxiety is a real thing and it can be an anchor holding you back

More than just being nervous about swiping on someone for a first date, the fear of rejection after you meet up can create a powerful anxiety in larger women. There can also be fears of how comfortable they’ll feel physically, what clothes to wear, and so on. 

Fatphobia is a real thing added onto this, and trying to present yourself in a way that makes you feel confident and will prevent any fat shaming is a tricky thing to do as one tries to also battle their own anxiety.

Self-consciousness and a feeling of not deserving love

Whether it is as the butt of a joke, a subtle comment, or an abusive verbal assault, there is an unfortunate cultural view of fat people that sees them as shameful. Even being in a friendship with someone larger can be misconstrued as something done out of pity. 

This potentially encourages plus sized women and men to approach potential dates as if they ought to be gracious for the chance to date them in the first place. In turn they anticipate being rejected, all too aware of their weight and how society views them. 

The sad truth is that sometimes women in this situation put up with more trouble than they should, and are expected to be thankful for it as they wouldn’t get the love they seek otherwise. It impacts their idea of what they deserve, and so they can end up with less. 

Looking for a way to warm up your plus sized date? Check out our tips on how to flirt with large beautiful women! 

People who can’t be open about dating someone overweight

It’s an all too common occurrence when you meet up with someone who seems great at first, appreciates your body more than you could have believed possible, but then does a 180° and tells you they don’t want to be seen in public with you

It’s exploitative because it sees fat people as sexual objects to be obsessed over in private. They believe that an overweight woman will just be so grateful to be with them that they won’t complain. 

It’s a dehumanizing approach to dating someone, as it reduces them to their appearance and nothing more. It also says a lot about the person if they refuse to be in public with someone larger. 

Parasites that take advantage of your fear of loneliness 

Imagine being in a relationship that almost seems perfect, except they aren’t interested in you in a sexual way whatsoever. After a while, it becomes clear that this “relationship” is more akin to a “friends-with-no-benefits” than it is anything romantic. 

Oh, and you’re the one who is taking care of all their needs, including finances and housing. 

It’s a drain on your time and energy to dote on someone who holds your fear of being single over your head because they feel that a fat person wouldn’t find anyone better than anyone, if at all. It’s exploitative and can be a betrayal of truly personal feelings

In one scenario, a fat woman may be friends with someone for months that seems to be developing into a relationship, only to be met with surprise that she has developed intimate feelings for them. 

She feels pain, betrayal, and confusion, and may hold off on trying to date anyone for a long time because of the bad experience. 

illustration of a bigger couple looking at one partner's phone

Plus Size Dating Apps and Sites: Pros & Cons

So is it worth your time to be using dating sites and apps specifically designed for curvy people? Here are some pros and cons to think about when it comes to how different they can be for plus sized daters. 

Pros

  • Just with how online dating works, you’ll be matching with more people frequently than if you were to try once a night or once a week when going out. 
  • You can join body-positive, empowering communities that, if they are exclusive to plus sized dating and are modernized in their treatment of larger people, are quite supportive and informative.
  • If you don’t want simple hookups you can find services that encourage truly romantic, serious relationships.
  • If you’re self-conscious about your appearance, your pics don’t have to be shared until you’ve matched with someone and actually want to share them.
  • You can date locally, across country, and even further, so you aren’t limited to region, and additional filters can give you more options for dating by ethnicity, age, and more.

Cons

  • Especially around hookup sites like Tinder, people see larger women as a type of fetish that is only interested in sex.
  • Less than reputable services can be vulnerable to a lack of moderation amongst the community, meaning there is a chance of fat shaming online to happen.
  • Many sites and apps still use the phrase “BBW”, which is an unfortunate carry-over from a time when porn and fetish sites featured plus sized women as models.
  • Just because a service claims that they want only serious relationships to happen doesn’t mean some people won’t try to use it for hookups anyway.

Fat Shaming on Dating Apps

If you join a community that isn’t exclusively for larger singles, it can sometimes happen that people will try to fat shame you online. It’s an unfortunate experience and can be traumatic to confront and move on from. 

Fat people may take it harshly and take even longer to try again to look for a partner online, as it is a particularly nasty form of bullying that really should have no place in any mature, serious place trying to facilitate romances. 

If you should find yourself on the receiving end of fat shaming, take some deep breaths and ignore their hateful, shallow comments. They don’t mean anything and their power to hurt can be combated with your own self-confidence, self-respect, and empowerment. 

Respecting yourself as a plus size woman

Of course, not everyone is at that point in their life yet where they can ignore such hate. If you are feeling unsure of what to do, contact a site moderator and block the person immediately. Don’t put up with any sort of negative commentary about your body or person.

Our dating tips want to focus on you and empower you. Ignore the bad and take in the good. Be proud of who you are, of your curves, imperfections and of every little bump. They make you you.

There’s also no pressure in loving everything about yourself either. Self-acceptance is a process and each of us is on their own journey.

Don’t let anyone dictate to you what your future should be. No matter your personal experience thus far, as long as you look you will find someone.

But we also want to say that you don’t need someone to tell you that you are beautiful. Your opinion is the only one that matters, not what someone on social media or some dating site says. 

You define your beauty. 

The first step to become confident in yourself and respecting yourself is to realize that these comments don’t matter. Ignore them and see the good in yourself. Focus on your positive traits. Build on those strengths and make them your identity. 

Don’t let anyone take that from you, and be proud of who and what that identity is, both in dating and in any other area of your life. 

illustration of a plus size couple going roller skating

Tips on how to remain respectful when you’re dating a “BBW”

Even if you use a service that helps you to meet big beautiful women, you should first and foremost recognize that the acronym “BBW” is a fairly complicated one, even if you want to naively assume it is just complementary. 

Treat your date as a person and not the object of a sexual desire or fetish. She is a person and deserves the respect that anyone else would get no matter her physical appearance. Remember, fixating on her weight even if it is your kink is still dehumanizing her as a person.

Communicate with her as you would anyone else. If you want to see a movie, do so. If you want to go grab dinner or a coffee or a drink, do so. Take her out and if you aren’t comfortable being in public with someone bigger, then this relationship isn’t for you and you should question your norms and values.

Compliment her but don’t drown her in praise either. Remember, a good person for a long-term relationship is someone that you are not only intimate with, but who is also your best friend. 

Finally, hear her out. Let her take the lead, give her time when she needs it, and don’t be afraid to reach out to her when you think she might want to hear from you. 

Dating differences for plus-sized women FAQ

Your love life as a plus sized dater can feel unique compared to thinner women, but the irony is that, as long as the relationship is good and healthy, then there’s not so much difference. That’s because they can look past physical appearance and see them as who they are.

This is true no matter the size of the guy you are dating or your own size. True love sees past all of that.  

To address more specific questions about dating as a plus sized single, both for men and women but mostly for women, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions.

Are there any dating sites or apps for plus size women?

Yes, there are. There are also some non-exclusive apps that we would recommend for their stellar approach to ensuring that women of all shapes and sizes, orientations and backgrounds, feel safe and comfortable. This is especially true for plus size women: 

  • Bumble – as a dating app, Bumble already gets a lot of credit for giving women the power to contact men first. They also feature strict guidelines and rules on avoiding hate speech and abuse on their app, meaning you can safely and easily use it to find long-term relationships.
  • Wooplus – a dating app for plus sized singles and the people who fall in love with them. It’s an exclusive app with an active community, so if you feel like you would prefer something more specific than Bumble, this is an excellent option.
  • BBWCupid – if you prefer a dating site that has been around for a while that is run by a service which specializes in niche dating markets, then BBWCupid is a reliable and effective place to try out. 

Should I put plus size in my dating profile?

If you want to, yes, although you don’t have to use the phrase “plus sized” if you would prefer something else. You also don’t need to include full body shots of yourself if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, but you can if you want to. 

The dating scene is full of people who provide half-truths and misleading statements about themselves on their profile. It’s a mistake to do so though and usually ends poorly for the person, so be honest and upfront about who you are. 

It’s the best way to meet someone who is truly right for you. 

What is considered plus sized?

Plus sized people vary from culture to culture, and even from location to location. It depends on what is considered an average weight in the area that you live. Generally though, sizes 18 and over, or 14w-24w, according to PLUS Model magazine.