A letter to the guy who dumped me for being fat

Hello there, I hope you’re well! I’m writing this to prevent me from screaming it down the phone at you. So firstly, you’re welcome. Secondly, fuck you. 

On our first date there was a moment; one of those little moments that people like me write about in fiction about love and romance and perfect, tempestuous relationships that are tested but always come back from the brink stronger and thrive against the odds. You were helping me down a step, hands reaching out to mine, and our eyes met and that was *the* moment. We hadn’t yet kissed for the first time and there was a tension; an exhale, a swallow, a flash of smile, before we both looked down and laughed. I could write pages on how wanted that moment made me feel. 

That moment was replaying in my head as I listened to your voice note a couple of weeks later. 

“I do like you a lot….you’re very cute, we have a lot of fun, we get on really well…but that is something I am struggling with a bit and I don’t want to…like I do really like you…but it is something I’m struggling with and I’m not sure how exactly to approach that or talk to you about it…because God knows that’s not something I want to do…make someone feel bad…on account of their body…”

“On account of their body.” That last word echoed around my head for hours afterwards. I tried to force myself to come up with another explanation; it wasn’t my body you were talking about, it must have been something else. We’d just had sex for the first time, I’d made you cum multiple times, so you must be attracted to me and it can’t, it cannot, be my body. 

It was my worst fear realised. And the thing is, you knew that. Because I’d just told you it was. 


Talking about your ED with other people is always a matter of timing. I try to avoid throwing it out as a flippant comment: ‘Remember the table of Girls Who Eat Their Feelings from Mean Girls? Haha, yeah that’s me; the whole table’. It reduces it to a joke, and I need to stop making it a joke. It’s killing me, quite literally, and it’s no longer funny. 

I don’t introduce myself to potential dates as being a binge-eater because I don’t want to draw attention to the fact I’m fat. Yes, my brain is hoping you haven’t yet noticed and yes, my brain is ridiculous. I don’t talk about it until I need to, until there’s an opening in a frank conversation about body image or eating habits that lends itself to an “Oh yeah, about that…” moment. 

That moment had presented itself. Our conversation had changed; you’d become quieter, your messages more succinct and answers closed. You’d stopped sending me Spotify recommendations and videos of your cute dog. The change made me feel vulnerable and out of control, and I hated feeling like that. So I panicked and let you in: 

“I should probably just clarify why I’m in a vulnerable place…so I have an eating disorder and body dysmorphia and I always feel very vulnerable when showing my body to someone for the first time…” 

Your response, such as it was, made my whole chest feel like it was filling with quickly setting concrete. 

“…So that…is part of things I’m struggling with…”

I’m sure anyone reading this will note the number of times you said ‘struggling’. I’m not writing this to create a villain; I get it, it’s hard to approach someone you’re dating about something you’re not into. And you’re allowed to not be into me, for any reason. At first I actually appreciated your honesty. Come on, this isn’t the first time I’ve been dumped for my body, it’s just the first time someone’s been honest about the reason. It’s OK to not be into me, I just wish you hadn’t waited until my most vulnerable moment to tell me. 

I thought I’d draw a line under it and move on. But it’s now been a couple of weeks and my impotent rage is still burning white on the inside. 

My first instinct was to try and excuse my body. I wanted to grab you and tell you how it wasn’t my fault I was this way, it’s the eating disorder you see? Do you see? I’m not lazy or greedy or disgusting, I’m broken. And no, as you pointed out, I shouldn’t do that because no one needs to provide a disclaimer for their body; but you made me feel like I needed one for mine. 

You previously reassured me that we were going to be fine; that you were into all kinds of bodies, me being plus-size wasn’t a problem. But then it quickly became a problem. Was it when you saw me walk towards you for the first time and you realised I wasn’t that ‘size 16, perfect hourglass waist, with a cute little tummy’ kind of plus-size? So you’re into “all kinds of bodies” but mine was just a step too far? 

Me being broken isn’t your problem, by the way. My eating disorder isn’t your problem. My body isn’t your problem or anyone else’s. But your timing fucking sucked. 

I need to take a break right here because you’ve just sent me a message and I don’t know how to respond to you. Is this us being friends? Are you trying to hold onto something between us? Is it guilt? 

Lord, I hope it’s guilt. I want you to realise the impact this has had on me, on my ED, on my self-worth. I want you to know because in moments like this I need to fight every instinct telling me I’m worthless and unattractive and I don’t deserve someone like you, that I don’t deserve anyone. I need to rage and scream and release all the shitty thoughts that are festering in me. 

But you’ll never realise that, because I’ll never send this to you. I’ll probably continue replying to our asinine conversation and playing nice and bury my feelings very deeply and smile. Because I’m broken. But then you probably are too. 

7 thoughts on “A letter to the guy who dumped me for being fat

  1. Well I would love to say its a lovely story, but clearly it isn’t.
    I’ve seen your twitter profile. You’ve nothing to be ashamed of. You’re beautiful, beautiful in your own way. Yes that’s the same ways that I adore. Fantasise about, I wished I had someone who can converse like you. To know your own flaws but still be beautiful, still try to be strong. To understand that his words may have hurt, that his openness was cruel but valued. To know deep down he wasn’t truly honest even now that he’s being honest. You’re beautiful and your words show you have inner beautiful and outer beauty xx

      1. You’re very welcome. Have loved your writings and it was your beautiful body that brought me hear to read your thoughts. Looking forward to reading, seeing and listening to more of you xx

  2. In a word, fuck that guy. People suck. Honesty isn’t always the best policy. You are great with words, you are sexy, beautiful, worthwhile, funny, all around pretty great. Fuck him. Keep writing, keep living, keep on keeping on.

  3. Ahhh Robyn, I wish I could hug you right now and we have never even met. I don’t know what you look like but I also know it doesn’t fucking matter and if it does then the person with the problem is not you but him.

    All that aside though, my one piece of advice, you don’t owe him nice. You don’t have to make him feel better about this by continuing to have nice conversation with him. Don’t make him feel better about his decision. He gets to sit with that and he doesn’t get to have you make it feel OK or nice for him. As women I think we have been conditioned to make men feel OK about hurting us but it’s bullshit. Be fierce and strong and BIN THAT MAN.


    1. Thank you so much Molly, I’d totally accept a hug! And you’re absolutely right about our conditioning; we should call out men and tell them how they hurt us and I’ll have this in my mind for the future!

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