Every once in a while, I like to poll my readers on the Nerd Love Facebook Page and on Twitter to find out what issues they feel are holding them back when it comes to dating.

And the most common answer is: “I worry that I’m too fat to date.” I’ll be honest: I’m not surprised. According to the Center for Disease Control, 69% of adults 20 years old and over are overweight and 35% are considered obese.

Yes, I realize that you’re sensitive to people noticing your stomach or your nech.

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Take, for example, this image from a feature in the UK periodical The Sun; they flipped the script by posing ordinary men in underwear ads a la David Beckham or Christiano Ronaldo: women prefer large and burly even when society insists that they only like guys who look like they’re 3% body fat.

More importantly though, it’s important to remember that attraction is about more than just looks – it’s about personality, presence and what you bring to the table.

Societal standards of beauty are not only arbitrary but often literally impossible to achieve without Photoshop and make-up and there are assholes out there who feel empowered to mock fat people with impunity.

But being large and in charge doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to a life of being forever alone; in fact, you may find that you have far more options for finding love, sex and happiness than you’d ever believe possible. There are plenty of notable examples out there if you look around. Seth Rogan is no Abercrombie and Fitch model but he’s also happily married.

Some people simply have long, skinny frames and will be lean and lanky no matter how much they try to bulk up.

Others are shorter and squatter and will always appear heavier.

And yet even when the number of people who are considered overweight form the majority of the population, obesity is in many ways one of the remaining acceptable prejudices.

Last week, the #fatshamingweek hastag was trending on Twitter as numerous assholes and shitbags took to the network and decided to mock fat people – mostly women, but men too – from behind the dubious anonymity of their Twitter accounts.

Now we could dwell on the fact that these various winners are not gym-sculpted Adonnises themselves, but instead I want to focus on the positive and work on people’s lives instead of trying to stroke the hate-boner.

Besides, the best revenge is living well and there’s nothing quite like seeing the underdog succeed despite all of his or her disadvantages. The cognitive dissonance Now, I’m going to be blunt: dating can suck when you’re fat.

Once you accept your shape, then you can work within it.