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Windchime
07-02-2009, 12:14 AM
So, I'm on the other side of 45 and have been single for 13 years now (yikes, that's a long time). I've dated on and off a little since my divorce, but I can't honestly call any of it a "relationship". Most of the time I am truly OK with that; I have a demanding job, a home to take care of, and until recently I had adult kids in various stages of moving out. Now they're both gone, which is sometimes nice and sometimes not.

Because I've been rather chunky over much of those 13 years, I haven't had to worry too much about relationships or attention from men. A few years ago, I briefly was down in the low 200's and was getting more attention from men, but then I gained it back. Now I'm back in that vicinity again and sure enough, I'm noticing more attention again. Nothing unmanageable (I'm not THAT hot! LOL), but enough to have my old anxiety problem start to flare up.

I want to get past this! I want to keep right on losing, want to get into Onederland, and might even want to find a nice man to go to the movies with. So what the heck is this anxiety about? And why do I feel very stressed out and almost upset the last few days? Do any of you other single chicks experience this?


CamiToo
07-02-2009, 12:23 AM
The only anxiety I experience regarding men is that I won't find a good one. LOL

I'm 42, never been married, never had children and I'm definitely on the prowl next year! Or maybe later this year.:D

Operator265
07-02-2009, 12:42 AM
Yeah, dealing with this big time. I've been trying to meet people and develop some friendships since I now have time too. Can't figure out any other way so I've been trying online.

First came the discussion with my DDs about "Body Type". I put down "Few extra lbs". The girls said I couldn't do that or every one would think I'm fat. I said I was, they said I wasn't. Youngest one declared me "Buff-fat". We settled on "Average". Then, getting letters from guys with "nice legs", "you're cute" and other such. It feels weird. Try to ask them about THEMSELVES, and still get comments about my body.

Getting looked at in public again too. I married my X when I was 24. Everyone in the town we lived in knew he was the biggest man in the county, so folks were really careful not to get caught looking me up and down. Here, not so much. Getting blatantly stared at sucks, and, I don't care if the guy doing it is good looking. It freaks me out.

I came to realize it's because I'm not any different on the inside than I was 50 lbs ago and this crap is making me feel like folks didn't think I mattered then. Same brain is still here. Same heart. Didn't lose any of that stuff as I lost weight. Not going to lose any of it as I go for the goal. Also having to realize it's going to keep happening for awhile, at least til I start getting wrinkles and going gray. Then, I will stop mattering again.


geoblewis
07-02-2009, 02:15 AM
I'm in the process of getting divorced, I'm 48, and I am freaked out with the idea of anyone being attracted to me right now. Both my sons are living with me, and they're 17 and 11 and very much not prepared for their mother to move on with a new man. When they come to understand that their father has been "in the process" of moving on for the last 11 years, well, that's the time I'll need to get us a family therapist.

In the meantime, I think I need to talk to my therapist about moving on with life and what place men have in it. I literally married the first guy that came along, 25 years ago. I never actually dated. I have absolutely no idea what to do. I've never been with anyone other than my husband.

I know that hanging on to the excess weight has been a way for me to manage my behavior with men. I love to flirt. I'm not shy. Even if I've weighed 300+, men have flirted back. Men of color seem to really be attracted to me, so I love talking to African-American, Arab, Egyptian and Indian men. White men seem intimidated by me, or they have a problem with their "ego" being serviced properly by being seen with a fat-bottomed girl. I don't need that sort of man in my life any longer.

But despite my flirtatious nature, I find myself hiding behind my sons, my responsibilities and my personal ambitions. I don't want remain alone in the future. And I don't know where my life is headed just now. I've recently moved back to my hometown (not what I wanted to do) in order to care for my ailing parents, and I have to stay here at least until my youngest is done with high school and goes off to college. So I need to build a life for myself that will serve my needs for the next seven years.

I don't want to be fat for another seven years, or for another three years, for that matter. I really don't care to be romantically imposed upon right now. I am enjoying my freedom, but is it really freedom if I'm not free from the extra weight and everything that goes with it?

I do have the right and the power to say no to men. I have the right to be with a man on my terms, and if he walks away because he doesn't like my terms, I can live with that. I don't know what men and women really are like these days in the dating world, but I absolutely don't want to be wanted because of what I look like. My ex liked the way I look, then he assigned characteristics to me and told me that's what I was supposed to be like, and then reminded me how often I fell short of the mark. I am NOT falling victim to that again!

So I guess I need to make a wide variety of new friends, re-kindle some old friendships, find some meaningful activities, and pursue my dreams. If I come across some others who want to go along my path with me for a period of time, I will welcome them. I have no problem kicking them off my path if I need to. I will probably have a problem with sharing my heart. I don't trust myself, and I'm struggling with trusting others...the ones with body parts I don't possess.

Georgia

Rosinante
07-02-2009, 03:07 AM
I was just wondering, this hot and sleepless night, about the whole emotional thing, and how, now that I consider myself just the high end of 'normal', and all my feelings that were submerged by or excused by fat are bubbling up.

In my 20s I got down, briefly, to 114. A co-worker that I liked, and in my immature head had thought it would be good to 'go out with', literally jumped me and wrestled me to the ground. Baffled by my look of horror, he left. No concsciously, that was the end of being slim and I ate up to 242 20 years later.

In my 40s I got down, briefly, to 136. I looked better, I had more confidence in general social situations but I have no sense of men looking at me at all. Now, you've seen my photos. I know I'm not Miss World or even her mother/granny but I'm not a bucket of spanners either. So my question is, how do you
even become aware that men are lookin at you?
That you're lookable at?
project lookability?

I totally feel less than a woman in this area because I just don't know how to do attraction.

I've got loads of other stuff bubbling up - including the panic feelings of 'he's looking at me' leading to total panic and 'what's wrong with him?' amongst others but don't want to hijack the thread. Interesting one.

rochemist
07-02-2009, 06:29 AM
I think we try to hide behind our fat. I know I have used it in the past to keep intimacy away particularly in a marriage where I would reach out and be knocked away on a regular basis. Plus food has been a comfort when nothing else can be.

My advice is let go, remember feelings aren't reality when some man is attracted and you start to panic; acknowledge the feeling, accept it, remember you don't have to act on it, and move forward with you. What do the PCD say:

I don't give a
Keep looking at my
'Cause it don't mean a thing if you're looking at my
Ha, I'ma do my thing while you're playing with your
Ha, ha ha, ha ha ha ha

And I really believe this, when your ready to really put yourself out there and be squished and vulnerable you will and he(or she) will be there.

dragonwoman64
07-02-2009, 09:41 AM
I want to get past this! I want to keep right on losing, want to get into Onederland, and might even want to find a nice man to go to the movies with. So what the heck is this anxiety about? And why do I feel very stressed out and almost upset the last few days? Do any of you other single chicks experience this?

I'm 45, and yes, I feel that anxiety too. thinking about attraction and guys makes me focus on my body more. when I'm relaxed and feel sexy and confident, I notice more attention (and I enjoy it more).

I'm thinking for myself, that I just need to relax, and feel in control, I get to decide how I react to any attention, whether it's to smile and walk away, or flirt back, or ignore it. (it's not like I'm Marilyn Monroe in any event, heh heh).

I think it's the out of control feelings that can start to make those anxieties interfere with my weight loss efforts.

Windchime
07-02-2009, 09:56 AM
Now, you've seen my photos. I know I'm not Miss World or even her mother/granny but I'm not a bucket of spanners either.

LOL Ailidh, this made me laugh. You're definitely more attractive than a bucket of spanners; in fact, your most recent picture is dowright cute. I know what you mean, though. I'm not beautiful, but I'm also not stupid--I know I could have it much, much worse in the looks department. As I get thinner, I start to see hints of the somewhat pretty girl that I was in high school. Some days I think I am more approachable than others; other days when I look in the mirror, I still see the fat girl from January. I was in a lot of pictures this weekend at my class reunion; in them, I still look like one of the heaviest, biggest women. It's kind of depressing.

I'm down a pound this morning. I think what my plan is for right now is to keep moving forward. I'm only 2 pounds away from the weight where I got freaked out and stopped last time; I'm ignoring that milestone this time and have my eye set on Onederland. I'm just going to keep hanging out here, keep doing things with female friends, and just hope that I somehow/someday run into the guy for me. But I have to tell you all that I'm really, really, really lonely for significant male companionship (if ya know what I mean, wink wink nudge nudge).

Rosinante
07-02-2009, 11:47 AM
wow, windchime, congratulations on getting so close to where you stopped last time, that's mega!

thing is, attractiveness is not about the weight. I've been doing a lot of people watching recently and seen a lot of women much bigger than me who ooze attractiveness and femininity. I just don't know how to do it.

That's not attention/reassurance seeking, not asking any chick to say, but honey you're gorgeous; I literally don't know how to do it. I do know I give out not available/interested signals, because I have an absolute inner certainty that I'm not attractive, one of those 'know in my head it's illogical but in my heart it's just a given' feelings that are so hard to shake, if ever.

Today I can't imagine ever wanting 'signifcant male companionship nudge wink' ever again, it's too darn hot and sticky, and this is the UK's first hot week for about ten years, so we don't have much air-conditioning; but I used to quite like it, although I had to sink into a deep recess of the mind because I felt so bad about my body, and I'd like to see if it is, as they tell me, like riding a bike..... :wink:

Hope you find your bike er man soon!

nelie
07-02-2009, 11:57 AM
I will say that weight has nothing to do with your ability to date. I will say I never had tons of dates but my entire 'dating career' involved me being 300 lbs or more. At my highest weight (360s), I was dating someone. I started dating my husband when I had just got to around 300 lbs but he had known me at my highest weight. I think I just had to be open to the idea of dating and willing to just go out there and do it.

Rosinante
07-02-2009, 12:10 PM
not trying to be thick here - but how? honestly, I'm not joking, how do I do it?

rochemist
07-02-2009, 01:33 PM
Sexy is as sexy does. I would strongly recommend "The Women's Sex Bible", smiling, and being yourself.

LindaT
07-02-2009, 01:37 PM
I dunno about this either. I am around your age, never married , down into slightly overweight category and men still freak me out. I still feel fat and the idea things may ever progress to a point where I have to get .. :o neked... makes me queasy. I don't even like seeing my lumps and bulges and sags. What would a man think about them? Ugh

But I don't even get to that point because I get no attention from men, other than my personal trainer but I PAY him to pay attention to me. :lol: I still feel ignored and slighted and unattractive. More my issue than anyone else's I suppose but I haven't figured a way to deal with itther than to just keep living my life as it is. Not unhappy, but I know there could be more

rochemist
07-02-2009, 01:47 PM
I dunno about this either. I am around your age, never married , down into slightly overweight category and men still freak me out. I still feel fat and the idea things may ever progress to a point where I have to get .. :o neked... makes me queasy. I don't even like seeing my lumps and bulges and sags. What would a man think about them? Ugh

But I don't even get to that point because I get no attention from men, other than my personal trainer but I PAY him to pay attention to me. :lol: I still feel ignored and slighted and unattractive. More my issue than anyone else's I suppose but I haven't figured a way to deal with itther than to just keep living my life as it is. Not unhappy, but I know there could be more

Men just want us naked, they are rarely as critical as we are they few that are, are not worth anything.

nelie
07-02-2009, 01:57 PM
Honestly, I always had issues with dating because I was shy and not very open to dating. Once I decided to open up, try to act confident, tell myself I was beautiful and willing to talk to men and look them in the eye and even smile a bit, then I got more attention from men. I've known many heavy women who have had no issue with men and it is usually because they exude confidence.

It was a hard thing for me to do especially at first. I also went for a shy boy or actually he went for me, I tried to establish a good friendship with him, he was the one that took the step further.

LindaT
07-02-2009, 02:22 PM
Men just want us naked, they are rarely as critical as we are they few that are, are not worth anything.

Miss Chris.. so nice to see you back! :)

I know what you are saying. It just is hard to really believe when you go to ALL the online dating sites and the first things men are saying is " no fat chicks, slender only, not into BBWs" etc.... It's enough to kepe me celibate until I croak! :p

nelie
07-02-2009, 02:39 PM
I think there have been women on here who have said they have joined dating sites with varying amounts of success. I can't imagine all guys on dating sites are looking only for skinny girls.

CLCSC145
07-02-2009, 02:53 PM
So my question is, how do you even become aware that men are looking at you? That you're lookable at? project lookability?

I totally feel less than a woman in this area because I just don't know how to do attraction.

I've got loads of other stuff bubbling up - including the panic feelings of 'he's looking at me' leading to total panic and 'what's wrong with him?' amongst others but don't want to hijack the thread. Interesting one.

Ailidh, you and I have such similar thought processes going on in our messed up minds! ;)

geoblewis
07-02-2009, 03:01 PM
I subscribe to a newsletter by Debbie Ford, who does a lot of self-discovery and growth writing. I got this in my email yesterday

The Vow of Emotional Independence

This vow's proclamation says I, ____, will no longer be bound by the slavery of my past.

I will never again give my power away to some food, substance or disempowering craving.

I will stop allowing others to define who I am and I will stand for my highest expression.

I will stop trying to please others and instead please myself.

I will stop listening to the voice of my critical internal mother and father and I will listen to the voice of my most supportive and loving self.

I will break free from the strangulating grip of my self-defeating behaviors and choose powerfully each and every moment to make choices that leave me feeling great about myself and my life.

I take this vow NOW as a positive stand for my soul's highest expression and for every man, woman, and child on this planet today.

As I set myself free, I am freeing all others from the violence of my darkest thoughts and my negative projections.

And now, as I close my eyes, I ask all the powers that be to support me in living this vow each and every moment of each and every day.

And it shall be.

I think if we concentrate on being our very best selves, the best that we want to be, in the manner we want to be, and we stop worrying about everyone else's reactions and responses to us, we will be surrounded by people who love us for who we are, we will be attractive to those who will support who we are, and we will easily maintain ourselves in a confident state of being. I know for myself, I really cannot be looking to others to help me define who I am. I can see others and admire them for who they are.

If I see someone who has qualities I wish I could emulate, I will consider what it takes to be like that. We all know and understand that people in the public eye have a professional interest in looking and being a certain way. Actors/models spend thousands maintaining their appearance. I know I don't have that kind of money or time to devote myself to that. And even if I did, I don't think I would! If that is what is expected of me as a woman in order to attract a man in this modern world, then I make the choice to remain single.

If only, if only, people in the public eye would openly talk about what it takes to be a person of genuinely good character. Because I think that's about the least expensive thing one can do to be attractive.

Georgia

Windchime
07-02-2009, 08:57 PM
wow, windchime, congratulations on getting so close to where you stopped last time, that's mega!

thing is, attractiveness is not about the weight. I've been doing a lot of people watching recently and seen a lot of women much bigger than me who ooze attractiveness and femininity. I just don't know how to do it.



For me to feel attractive, it IS about weight. I just don't feel cute, attractive, sexy, anything like that, when I am heavy. I just don't. I see lots of other women who are, but I am not. Because part of becoming attractive is FEELING as if you ARE attractive (at least it is to me). I don't feel attractive when I have double chins, am puffing and out of breath, and have a big gut. For me, I need to have a slimmer figure to feel attractive.

And yes, Ailidh, I think it is like riding a bike only hopefully there isn't the danger of scraped knees, and you don't have to wear a helmet. ;) I saw a comment the other day where someone said, "Being with a new partner (in that way) is like trying to drive someone else's car" and I thought that was funny, yet true.

Windchime
07-02-2009, 09:00 PM
Miss Chris.. so nice to see you back! :)

I know what you are saying. It just is hard to really believe when you go to ALL the online dating sites and the first things men are saying is " no fat chicks, slender only, not into BBWs" etc.... It's enough to kepe me celibate until I croak! :p

Yep, me too. And if it wasn't about weight, it seems like the men's "girlie mags" would be filled with middle-aged moms with a few extra pounds, and not the barely-18 girls with the big fake boobies. So I do think that it is somewhat about weight--although I see plenty of larger, curvy ladies who have happy relationships, so what do I know! LOL

saef
07-02-2009, 10:34 PM
I can so relate to everything being said in this thread.

I'm 46. I haven't been in a relationship in over 10 years.

The last time I lost an enormous amount of weight, I got an overwhelming amount of attention from men at the workplace, all of whom were married; I developed an eating disorder, first anorexia, then binging & overexercising to compensate; & yes, finally, I ended up getting involved with someone who was married & whom I worked with. (I know, I know. NEVER GOING TO DO THAT AGAIN. Either part of it, actually.) I was very inept at relationships. Immature, lagging so far behind my contemporaries that it was ridiculous. I felt safer with the men I'd seen every day for years. On reflection, I believe there was so much attention that I decided **I** was going to do the choosing, to get it over with already, and that picking one of them would make me safer, in a way, having been claimed. Also, that I was afraid of real intimacy, and someone who was married could be held at arm's length. And I didn't understand what my emotional needs were -- or really, that I had any.
A big, big mess.

This time around, I've lost all my weight at another male-dominated workplace. For several years, I have hung out with a group of four to five men. We sit in the cafeteria & have lunch together. It's a fun break from a tense job. They knew me at my highest weight. As I began losing weight, oh boy, did the atmosphere at the cafeteria table change. There's a certain tension now that wasn't there. Thing is, I don't want to date any of them. They're my buddies. I'd hate to mess up the friendship. I don't want to date guys that I work with. (If it goes bad, it's terribly uncomfortable to be around them.) Also, I know all of them quite well, and I know none of them are quite suited to me.

And also, as others have said here, I am full of indignation, deep down, at my sudden power. They've known me for years. I am the same girl I that I was. I talk about the same things (well, I do talk more about going to the gym, but not by much, only with the ones who also go to the gym). But now that I'm, er, sexually viable, there's been a subtle but distinct shift.

In a way, I think having nonsexual, nondating relationships with these guys is going to be a form of "training wheels" for me before I really get rolling.

Oh, I am so screwed up in this area. It's a relief to read of others fretting over the same issues, even if our histories are completely different.

geoblewis
07-03-2009, 11:00 AM
I was reading up on how to go about meeting more people in general and came across the suggestion of volunteering time to a cause, thereby meeting people with shared pursuits and interests. For most of my adult life, I've walked into situations where there were "instant friendships". Now I can take an opportunity to develop relationships from the ground up.

But to be honest, I don't know how people develop friendships these days. Is it okay to step into a group, get to know a few and then invite everyone to potluck at my place? I'm accustomed to doing that within a closed community. Do people "in the real world" go over to others' homes for dinner anymore?

Saef, I'm looking forward to hearing how the "trainingwheel" sessions are going with the guys at work. I used to work in a similar situation with lots of men, back in the early 80s, before all the sexual harassment and sensitivity training. I'm curious about how conversations have changed since then.

Georgia

Windchime
07-03-2009, 11:22 AM
I work with mostly men, too, but in a conservative small town. I've not ever been hit on by a married man at my workplace, at least not that I've noticed. I have noticed that one of them is tending to give me casual touches a little bit more frequently lately, so maybe I'm being hit on and don't realize it. Like Saef, I'm a little annoyed that I'm finding I have more feminine power in general now that I'm becoming slimmer. Part of me finds it understandable, but part of me is irritated about it. It's like I wasn't good enough to be looked at before, even though I'm the same person? Huh? And yet at the same time, I get it because I DO think I'm becoming more attractive. I walk a lot in the evenings, and I am noticing a few more second glances from men who drive by. Flattering yet a little ......annoying? Alarming? Not sure.

Georgia, I don't know the answer to your friendship question. I work in IT so we are not really a social bunch to begin with. One guy recently said he was having a BBQ for a few people at work and their families and I should come up. I replied positively and asked him to email me the information--nothing. So I don't know if the BBQ happened, or if he changed his mind about asking me or what. I also suspect that many wives of the guys I work with don't really want me invited--some women don't feel safe with a divorced woman in the mix. Sad but true.

I've decided that I will start saying "yes" to opportunities to mingle that come my way. This means that I will be traveling an hour north in a couple weeks to listen to an old high school friend sing Christian music in a park concert. It also means I will be braving the traffic tomorrow night to meet a girlfriend in town so we can watch the fireworks. I don't expect to meet "someone special" there, but at least I'm getting out and being around other people and that's a start.

nelie
07-03-2009, 11:42 AM
I was thinking about this a lot and I am not always so keen to putting others stories out there.

There are these 2 women I have known all of my life. One of them is very bubbly, absolutely loves kids, has a small circle of friends. The other one of them isn't as bubbly but definitely has a small circle of friends. One of them is a teacher, the other is in sales. Both went to college.

They are both 40. The bubbly teacher has never had a boyfriend. The other one had her first boyfriend when she was 34-35ish. Either of them may have gone on dates but really never advertised it if they did.

Now would you guess these women are obese?

Neither has ever been overweight, they may have been considered slightly underweight when they were younger but both are incredibly curvy. I think at their lowest adult weight they were around 95 lbs (they are short), at their highest, I think one of them got up into the 120s. I believe right now they are somewhere between 110-115. Oh and they are incredibly cute.

They are just incredibly shy and I don't think either of them figured out how to deal with men.

LindaT
07-03-2009, 11:43 AM
But to be honest, I don't know how people develop friendships these days. Is it okay to step into a group, get to know a few and then invite everyone to potluck at my place? I'm accustomed to doing that within a closed community. Do people "in the real world" go over to others' homes for dinner anymore?


Georgia

You got me. It was easier in school wasn't it? You were thrown together by fate and got to know those people because they were in your face all the time. It just seemed to "happen". I see people with kids doing this well.. their kids get together and they get to know each other through them.

I've tried the volunteer route and while I find it very rewarding and do continue to do it, everyone there seems to be so busy in their lives. They put their time in and then move on to the next thing. It's nutty. I do fine in work situations, but this personal stuff I am really bad at. Even if I did manage to find someone to tak to, what on earth would I say? The art of small talk has eluded me for my entire life....let's not even get into flirting. Good Heavens!! :blah::yikes:

dragonwoman64
07-03-2009, 12:21 PM
Men just want us naked, they are rarely as critical as we are they few that are, are not worth anything.


I laughed out loud at this. there are always going to be shallow people, shallow guys, and it's my experience younger people are more obsessive about package over content (I was more that way when I was young, about myself esp), but I do agree with the above.

saef, I'm wondering if the guys at your lunch table are responding in part to you yourself feeling more attractive and sexual. it's easy to say it's because men are more attracted to skinnier women. vibes and confidence are strong attractors.

CLCSC145
07-03-2009, 02:14 PM
Like Saef, I'm a little annoyed that I'm finding I have more feminine power in general now that I'm becoming slimmer. Part of me finds it understandable, but part of me is irritated about it. It's like I wasn't good enough to be looked at before, even though I'm the same person? Huh? And yet at the same time, I get it because I DO think I'm becoming more attractive. I walk a lot in the evenings, and I am noticing a few more second glances from men who drive by. Flattering yet a little ......annoying? Alarming? Not sure.

I completely understand this. When I lost all my extra weight several years ago, I must say I looked good (166 pounds). And I was getting lots of attention and friends who never offered to set me up with anyone were coming out of the woodwork to do so. I thought I would have been happy about all that considering that one of the reasons I had lost the weight was to be more attractive. But I found I was angry that so many people clearly found me acceptable thin when they didn't before. I get that fat isn't pretty. But I was still bothered by the fact that I was only desirable as a thin woman. It just served to reinforce all the ugly messages I received from my parents that a man could never love a fat girl. Trust me, I see examples that contradict this notion every day, but that was not the example that played out in front of me in my home growing up.

I think a small part of me gaining the weight back (and there are many other ways I screwed up) was a way of saying I don't trust anyone who can't love me no matter what. And I don't want someone who would only want the thin me, because what if I gained it back and they left me or, worse (like my parents) stuck around and verbally abused me for being fat for the next 40 years?

That's part of why I'm in therapy this time around; so I have time to sort all of this out before I get to my goal again. I want to eliminate as many excuses to backslide as I can...

caryesings
07-03-2009, 02:26 PM
Thank you for starting this thread. I haven't had a relationship in the 19 years since I gained 100lbs and one of my primary motivators frankly is to feel good enough/look good enough to dive into internet dating on my 50th birthday near the end of this year. But at the same time, totally wigged out by the entire idea.