After my last blog, my sister and I had a little chat. Actually, we just texted back and forth because it’s 2018 and texting is the preferred method of communication. Ick.

She agreed that my weight is what she a called a “limiting factor” when it comes to dating. Can you tell she’s in marketing? She also pointed out, the way only an older sister can, that it’s not my only limiting factor.

I’m over 40. I don’t want/can’t have kids. I’m something of an introvert. I adore my cat.

Thanks, sis. Thanks a lot. Said the way only an obnoxious younger sister can.

She’s right, though. I can’t argue with any of those. They’re facts.

I am over 40. Squarely in my mid-40s, in fact, although I don’t look it. Thanks for the good skin, Mom.

Gratuitous cute cat photo. Because that face! And the lil’ peeky fang! 

My age, the kid thing, the tendency to huddle up in my shell because ew, people, my cat being the boss of me — they are what they are. They’re all part of what makes me me.

And, according to the dating experts I’ve talked to — nine now — they’re not deal-breakers. They can be “overcome.” Every single one of them.

Weight? That’s a deal-breaker. So say them all. Being a fat woman is unforgivable.

The first consultants I talked to — a his-and-her team — warned me that I’d “have trouble finding representation.”

I figured they know their business, so I threw up my hands on the coaching idea.

Then I gave myself a mental smack and decided to try another consultant. And another. And another. I stopped before I got to double digits.

Turns out the first coaches were right.

I have all these great qualities — I’m smart, funny, easy to talk to, compassionate, loyal — but there’s only one thing that seems to matter. I’m fat.

“There’s more of me to love?” I hesitantly asked one of the nine dating coaches.

“That’s not how that works,” she answered.

“What about the, ‘It’s what’s inside that matters’ thing?”

“Not really,” she said. “It’s a cultural lie we tell ourselves.”

I might be a bit cynical, but damn!

I moved on to the next expert on the list and got pretty much the same thing.

“I simply cannot — cannot — market what is inherently and objectively undesirable,” one consultant told me after asking how much I edited and filtered my selfies on Facebook. The answer to that question is none and none. Hell, I’m not even wearing makeup in half of them. Did you see the one of me in foils (fighting the over-40 limiting factor)?

She was blunt, to say the least, but she definitely is not alone in her thinking.

Another dating coach, a man, explained how I’d be in a “better position for success” if I “had a violent criminal history instead of being so … heavy.”

“I could work with that, spin it,” he said.

So a “violent criminal history” is OK, but being fat is not. Seriously?

As for the story angle, one firm declined my offer because I “have no reasonable expectation of success,” which would not be a “fair assessment of [their] services and success.”

So, I’m not a good risk. Wow. Nice to know.

I have a hard time believing that everybody is that shallow. But I don’t wholeheartedly doubt it. I’ve seen it first-hand too many times for that.

I also have first-hand experience with two guys who did not seem to give a rat’s ass about my weight. Where there are two, there are bound to be more. Right? That’s the fragile hope I hang on to.

I get it. Dating is hard. And I’m not good at it. (Just ask my ex.)

But is the deck really stacked against me?

I’m a nice person, dammit, and I have spent so much time and energy working on myself, trying to teach myself that my weight does not define me. Fat is what I am, not who I am. There are more important things that matter. 

But apparently, that’s not exactly true.

According to nine dating experts, the most important thing about me — the only thing that matters — is my weight.

What the hell am I supposed to do with that?

The answer?

“Stop whining, get off your ass and lose some weight,” came the harsh answer — to my face — from one expert. “You’re not going to get anywhere until you do.”

OK then. Easy enough. Thanks, coach(es). You’ve really empowered me.

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To prove you wrong.

P.S. That photo at the top of this little missive? Not me. But I’m pretty sure I know how she feels.