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How do you keep up your self-esteem when you're overweight, over 40, and dating

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Old 06-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default How do you keep up your self-esteem when you're overweight, over 40, and dating

Hi All,

This is my first foray into the 40's forum. I turned 40 in March.

I wanted to see if other women my age and size find dating to be a self-esteem crushing endeavor. Mind you, when I got divorced about 2 years ago, I was feeling great. I'd lost 70 lbs. ( not to mention the 180 lbs of deadbeat ex-husband ). Everyone told me how beautiful I looked even though I still had about 40 lbs to lose. I actually felt beautiful, too.

Fast forward about a year to when I felt the time was right to start dating. I'd been through therapy. My self-esteem was coming back after years of an abusive relationship. I signed up for online dating. Suddenly, the pounds started to pile back on. Now I'm only 10 lbs away from my starting weight.

If you've done online dating, you know it's like shopping at Amazon.Your picture is surrounded by younger, thinner, prettier women with no kids. Everyone is looking for thin and athletic. Some of them say it nicely and some of them rant about how fat girls are gross.

You'd think maybe a big girl would feel the love from the big guys. I mean, I think I'm at least cute, heavy or not. And I'm willing to get to know a guy before I decide whether I'm attracted, because sometimes people grow on you when you give them a chance.

Nope. Even the fat bald guys expect a 10. The guys that are interested seem to think fat girls are easy to control.

I went into this excited about finally finding someone to treat me right. Now I wonder if I shouldn't just give up to preserve what's left of my self-esteem. I know self-esteem doesn't come from others, but it's hard not to feel down when 9 out of 10 guys you look at couldn't care less what a great gal you are because they don't like the packaging.

Do you think I should keep sifting through the losers in the hopes of finding someone to love me for me, or should I just forget about it and try to learn to enjoy my life as it is, not the way I wish it was?

* Sorry if this rant is depressing. I just needed to get it off my chest. *
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:15 PM   #2
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Hi Streudel!

I'm not in the age range for this forum, but I have done online dating before and I wanted to offer my support . (Just to preface this, I certainly haven't found Mr. Right yet, but I have met and dated some great guys.) I have two general mantra's for online dating that help stay positive about it:

Its their loss.

and

You just have to weed through the crap.

Firstly, there is no possible way for a profile to contain or convey all the awesomeness that is you. You also cannot control how a guy reads your profile (he might miss a witty joke, or just be in a bad mood that day). This means that a lot of guys are going to miss out because they didn't figure out how great you are. Just because they didn't get it does NOT mean that you are any less great.

It may be true that the majority of guys out there are looking for a 10 and they base that score only on looks, but the first mantra is important because it helps me not take it personally if a guy isn't interested in me. And not taking it personally is important because it takes a lot of work to find a good guy online (second mantra)! They sadly do not fall into your lap (at least not into mine) and there are a lot of both creepers and guys who are probably fine but I'm just not interested in. Online dating seems to be more about quantity rather than quality no matter how much they advertise their ability to find you a perfect match or whatever. Most of them are not going to be guys you want to date, but (I at least tell myself) that if you weed through the schmucks you'll find a decent guy out there.

Ultimately if you are finding it hard to stay positive about it (and hopefully other people will have more insight here on how to do that) and its really dragging down your self esteem then take a break or stop altogether. If its keeping you from being the best (and happiest, most confident) you that you can be then it has no place in your life.

Best of luck to you with whatever you decide to do about this crazy thing that is online dating!
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
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I'm 42, but I'm married, so I don't know much about the online dating thing. However, to me, it seems that you should put it on hold for a bit? I think there are lots of men who are genuine and don't judge a book by its cover, so to speak, but since you're running into so many shallow guys, maybe this is not the best approach for now. Or, could it be the particular dating site? Also, maybe you could meet someone through people you know or through a church?

Either way, I feel like you shouldn't be constantly subjected to cruel comments. We are so much more than our weights! Sending you hugs.
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Old 06-23-2013, 09:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by luckymommy View Post
Also, maybe you could meet someone through people you know or through a church?
I was going to suggest the same thing as luckymommy. I did the online dating thing long ago and had a lot of first dates. I wouldn't even say it was fun. It was work! A lot of guys seemed interested, but we didn't even make it past the online stage. Some of them would just disappear. They must've found someone else that attracted them more.

It seemed that men were like kids in a candy store -- always the possibility of someone better right around the corner, and there were so many women choose from, why should they be content with just one? The one guy I did fall for and dated a while turned out to be married, so that kind of soured me on the whole thing.

I do think it's best to meet someone the "natural" way. Get out there and be active. Be prepared where ever you go to meet "the one." He's out there.... and he's looking for YOU!
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:32 PM   #5
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It sounds like you're not 100% on board with this whole online dating thing right now. That's okay. Just take a break for a while until/if you feel like going on there again.

But please, don't take it personally. Online dating sucks for everyone - overweight or not! Although it's an easy way to meet new people, and although sometimes it works out, it's not easy to find decent people on there. I'm going to say the ratio is about 1:10 - 1 decent person (not even Mr. Right, but just decent) to 10 losers.

You really have to make an effort when you're single to get out and do stuff. Do stuff you normally wouldn't do, go places you normally wouldn't go, hang out with people even if you have no romantic interest in them. Let your friends and people you know, know that you are single and are willing to go on coffee dates.

Once you relax and take the pressure off, you'll find someone :-)
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:44 PM   #6
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My feeble attempt at online dating left me more depressed than I was before I went online. Before putting up my profile, I at least had some hope and optimism that there was somebody out there for me.

Instead, after getting no interest, I was left feeling like the biggest loser on earth. Not even perverts wrote to me. The two that indicated they liked my picture didnt even respond when I sent them a note.

I get so sad when I see these TV ads about how many successful relationships and even marriages have taken place due to their site. And yet I can't find a guy who is remotely interested. I feel doomed to be alone forever. The experiece has really been a downer for me; one that shattered my already low self esteem.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:03 AM   #7
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Shoot, sweetiepies.

I have these days and problems even though I'm married. DH isn't hateful, but he didn't say a word when I gained 100+ pounds, and now that I've lost 20, he doesn't seem to have noticed. And of course, I take all that to mean I'm not worth the notice. I think the size of my thighs doesn't cause low self esteem, it's a symptom of it. I get the impression I need to love and notice myself before anyone else does- hard to do in the face of constant rejection.
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:03 PM   #8
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Perhaps try another online option instead of the one you're using, when your paid time is up. I know eharmony does such an in-depth questionnaire that does ask potential matches how you feel about a match's size, etc., and uses that as part of their process as well. Only if folks are honest, though, and sometimes when people pay a bit more, they are more truthful since they want it to work. ??
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Not even perverts wrote to me.
omg!!! LOL. That was so funny to me, but I know exactly what you mean! At some point you're like, can ANYONE, pervy or not, just notice me! I think that's the point when you have to just step back and take yourself off the site. lol.
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Old 06-25-2013, 03:55 PM   #10
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Well I applaud you for being unwilling to compromise. I see lots of women who will let a guy talk down to them because they are heavy and think they can't do any better. But they can. There are guys out there that will look past the packaging- or heck, even love the packaging!- and will treat you right. I'm fairly assertive, I would probably put a thing right in my online ad saying something to the effect that I respect myself and any guy who dates me will be respectful also, and that if someone only wants to answer my ad to make comments about my weight to not bother.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:23 PM   #11
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Default Thanks everyone for your feedback

I appreciate the support. I think I will take a little break from it to get out into the real world. Now would be a great time to focus on me and my health. Gaining the weight back is telling me I have more healing to do.

It is so tough to put yourself out there after decades of hiding yourself away to keep a controlling spouse happy. Not only do I struggle with dating, but just going out with friends is hard. Even after 2 years, I feel this uneasiness when friends ask me out. I find myself explaining myself to my teenage daughter, who laughs at me and tells me I'm a grown woman and I don't need her permission to go out.

To KittyKatFan: I know how you feel about just wanting the attention. My first shot at online dating on Match.com yielded not one date and no one responded to any of my messages. I definitely spent quite a few nights crying because I felt like a loser. Looking back on it, I can see I was more interested in getting validation than finding a partner.

That being said, I'm still far happier because, as Eagle River Dee said, I am unwilling to compromise. I wasted 23 years compromising. I'd rather be alone than in a bad relationship. My profile pictures have the caption " I've learned to love myself through thick and thin and I want a man who will do the same. "

Thanks again ladies! I feel much better.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:09 PM   #12
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Quote:
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To KittyKatFan: I know how you feel about just wanting the attention. My first shot at online dating on Match.com yielded not one date and no one responded to any of my messages. I definitely spent quite a few nights crying because I felt like a loser. Looking back on it, I can see I was more interested in getting validation than finding a partner.
Ditto. While I really do want to meet someone, I think part of me was going on match.com for some sort of validation that all this effort to lose weight paid off. Boy, did it backfire! I ended up feeling worse about myself when I got no response. I was in the middle of some major turbulence in my life at the time and the rejection made things even worse.

I haven't posted on another dating site because I'm not sure I can handle the rejection. It makes me feel like I have no shot at meting someone. I may try again when I have time to put together a new profile. But I have a health issue to deal with in July (nothing major, just inconvenient). Then I'm going to join a hiking club and maybe some Meetup groups. I'm also going to Europe for a couple of weeks in September. One country with a friend, but will go solo to another country before meeting up with her. It does sometimes feel lonely to travel solo, but it also means I can set my own agenda. And I'm not going to let lack of a boyfriend keep me from doing things I enjoy, like travel.

Maybe one day some guy will notice me...
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:40 PM   #13
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Ditto.
Maybe one day some guy will notice me...
And he'll be d@mn glad he did.
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Old 07-03-2013, 12:59 PM   #14
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Okay i'm going to stick my two cents in here......I am not horrifically overweight although in my head I am, and my self esteem has taken a nose dive after some really bad relationships. I have a lot of single friends and they all say the same, online dating sucks..it isn't what they show on the commercials!! The percentage of people that meet Mr Right online are slim. People lie on their profiles about their age, their job, what they look like (they use photoshopped pics form forty years ago)....you think you're getting one thing and then you show up and it is Lurch from the Adams Family...Or you meet men that use online dating as recreation...they meet tons of women and have no intention of settling down with just one or takng that profile down. It definitely is a man's world when you're dating over forty. Please don't make this about you and it being your fault. And for the record, skinny pretty girls get abused in the dating world also. I know women that look like Barbie dolls and they complain that they can't find a nice guy..... Like someone said, it sucks for everyone. I am taking a break from dating for a while, I don't have the stomach for it. I try and do fun stuff with friends and i'm just focusing on myself for a while. When you're happy with your life you give off an energy that people are attracted to. I like to think that i'll meet a guy that really likes me for me and doesn't care what i look like....

I have never done the online thing and I hope I never feel like i have to. I will meet my men the old fashioned way....out and about and when i least expect it.....
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Old 07-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #15
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smile and say hi. We are out there everywhere.
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