General chatter - Is Dating a Good Idea While Losing Weight?

08-01-2010, 12:59 PM
I'm incredibly torn -- a couple of years ago I lost about 30 pounds with the help of this site, and now 25 of them are back. I've learned my lesson to stay with a support system, but I have a slightly different problem now: at my near-peak, I think that there is a very, very attractive guy at my school who is interested in me, but because of my weight insecurities, I'm too timid to find out.

I'm not sure if he does or not -- he may just be nice -- but given the amount of self-love that you often need to find to make this process work, I'm worried that dating while losing weight might be a bad idea.

In other words, I'm concerned that if I don't like myself that much, I'm unlikely to get into a positive relationship or to be able to "accurately" read signs.

Is anyone else in a similar boat?

08-01-2010, 01:23 PM
Honestly, I think you need some self love to lose weight. I started dating my husband when I had lost around 70 lbs and then lost 90 lbs between dating/getting married.

08-01-2010, 01:23 PM
Well, I personally think that your weight should have no effect on when/who you date. You could turn down your soul mate, just because you have another 10 pounds to go! But I will admit that 1) I am a romantic and 2) I've never had to deal with this question. But my instincts are to tell you to go for it. You'll never know if you don't try.

08-01-2010, 01:29 PM
I'm also going on gut instinct, but I say go for it. I say "go for it" anytime someone wants to put their life on hold while they lose weight. Go swimmng, go on a date, take vacations to places you've always wanted to go. Life's too short to put it on hold for any reason!

08-01-2010, 01:36 PM
I agree with the gut instinct suggestion. Whatever you feel is best for you.

The question is though, do you think that you'll have a higher sense of self-worth when you lose the weight? I've heard of a lot of people who thought that everything would be better when they lost weight, only to find that the same issues were still present after losing weight, they were just thinner and that was all that was different. Losing weight isn't necessarily the key to everything else. I think that this is really important to remember when doing anything.

Good luck!

08-01-2010, 01:55 PM
I agree with gardenerjoy. You never know
how it might turn out so go for it! :)

08-01-2010, 02:09 PM
Just try and date a weight trainer, not someone whose idea of a good Saturday night is a movie at home with a pizza. I am not kidding, I have dated both and only the first helped me lose weight. :)

08-01-2010, 02:33 PM
Only you can decide if you're comfortable enough with yourself to try to initiate a new relationship. All of us deal with this differently. If you feel like you need to focus on yourself to get 'er done, then that's what you need to do. If you feel like having a significant other would be a helpful resource of support, then obviously don't close any doors on possible relationships :)

I have two slightly conflicting thoughts on the subject.

First one is: Ideally, I do not believe weight loss/maintenance should interfere with life. You shouldn't put something off until you lose X amount of pounds. Hopefully, you can enjoy all of life's experiences before, during, and after the weight loss process. It's like how people often put off dieting until after the holidays or something. Weight loss and then maintenance should continue to happen no matter what. Part of the journey is to learn how to navigate these obstacles (dating, holidays, trips, etc) with our new healthier lifestyles.

Second thought, which contradicts my first, is that dating might create an unnecessary challenge in the weight loss process. Especially when you're first starting a new lifestyle and forming new habits, it takes a lot of concentration and will power to stay on track. When you're all caught up in the new-romance twitterpation, weight loss might take a backseat. What if he gives you chocolates? Wants to take you out to dinner every weekend? Get ice cream and go for a romantic walk?

Again, going with my first point, hopefully we all learn to deal with these challenges and are still able to enjoy everything to its fullest, but it may make the initial habit-forming phase harder.

08-01-2010, 02:50 PM
I think that it just depends on the situation. I think it's a good test of character if the guy likes you even when you are unhappy with yourself. It can also be a great motivator (whether you want it to be or not).

Another thing to think about are the guy's habits. Is he active? What are his eating habits like? If he's a bad influence & you're spending a lot of time together, it might distract you from your goals.

I say definitely go out on a date or two to feel the guy out. He might be just what you need!! Good luck! It's tough, but definitely go with your instincts as long as you're putting yourself & your health first!! =)

08-01-2010, 03:44 PM
There probably is no "right" answer. It largely depends on your goals, but I will say that I spent way too much of my life turning down dates because I thought dating would interfere with my dieting, or I thought I could "do better" if I waited until I lost all the weight, or I feared that the guy had a preference for larger women and would be disappointed if I lost weight.

I put too much of my life "on hold" because of dieting, and I think it made dieting harder. It gave me more reasons to quit so I could have "a real life."

For me, I had to learn to incorporate weight loss INTO my real life. I solved the problem by placing a personal ad in a local newspaper and their online site (with my best 2/3 body shot, professionally taken photo) stating my current weight and the fact that I was trying to lose weight and get healthier and was looking for a guy who was either in that same boat, or sympathetic to it.

I met my husband from that ad, although I almost didn't. The guys I met through it before my husband were not at all what I was looking for, and I didn't think now-hubby's voicemail reply was all that interesting. I waited weeks before responding to it, and finally decided what-the-heck.

Dating did reverse some of my weight loss, because it is hard to date and lose weight (restaurants seem to be such a dating institution, it's a hard cliche to break), but I can hardly regret meeting my wonderful husband.

I wasn't dieting because I lacked confidence though. I was intelligent, friendly and confident. I was just also really, really fat, and needed to change that. I didn't need to change the rest of my life - just the diet and exercise portion.

If you need to change more than your weight, maybe it is better to wait - but don't just wait, make the changes while you do. Losing weight will not automatically increase your confidence (it might, it might not - don't wait and see, work on the confidence along with your weight).

I think though that we can only work on stuff, by practicing it. You can't gain confidence without practicing it. You can't practice it, if you're putting most of your life on hold until you get it (you never will).

08-01-2010, 05:46 PM
All I have for you is hugs. I don't envy your situation. I met my DH at my lowest and married him at my highest so like everyone has said, you just never know.

Violin Jenn
08-01-2010, 07:35 PM
While I agree with mkendrick.

My thoughts are this. On one hand you don't want someone to derail you from your health lifestyle and goals, especially if those habits are not second nature just yet. But if someone wants to spend time with you and get to know you, why not. If those habits are second secure it may provide a bit of an extra push/motivation and bost your self confidence.

Also keep in mind, that WE are more body concious then they are! We see every flaw. Could it be that he see's you making healthy changes and is inspired by you? Maybe see's your strength and says Hey I gotta get to know her. You'll never know unless you give him a chance(this is something I'm working on myself).

Let us know what you decide!

08-01-2010, 07:48 PM
I see no problem w/ dating while dieting as long as you have the willpower to stay on plan. MY concern is this (and it is b/c I know how easily I myself could fall into that way of thinking)...if you begin a relationship w/ this guy how easy is it going to be to say "hmmmm, he likes me as I am...I don't NEED to lose weight!!!"

08-02-2010, 02:09 AM
Second thought, which contradicts my first, is that dating might create an unnecessary challenge in the weight loss process. Especially when you're first starting a new lifestyle and forming new habits, it takes a lot of concentration and will power to stay on track. When you're all caught up in the new-romance twitterpation, weight loss might take a backseat. What if he gives you chocolates? Wants to take you out to dinner every weekend? Get ice cream and go for a romantic walk?

Any tips for dealing with those type of scenarios? It would probably even come up when maintaining, and we know a few slip ups will add up in time.

It seems like some guys find it a turn off when a girl can't eat like one of the guys. It then feels uncomfortable explaining you have to eat less and such and such so you don't gain weight.

I know it's all about finding someone that accepts us for who we are, but when you just meet someone they might not be supportive or really care and think controlling your weight is your problem, not theirs.

08-02-2010, 02:57 AM

I agree with paris81. I lost approx. 150 pounds about 15 years ago and I thought all through the process that when I hit my goal weight ,which I did ,that anything negative would "magically" go away but of course I couldn't of been more wrong. All of the self-worth and self esteem issues that I had at 300 pounds I had at 150 pounds. Fifteen years has taught me that I have to like what is on the inside of myself to ever be able to sustain a healthy weight outside.

In regards to the dating issue, getting to know him better by talking to him more and/or going on a few dates will let you know if he is someone that is good to have in your life.

08-02-2010, 03:09 AM
Just throwing in my personal experience, although I agree that everyone needs to make the decision on their own. I started dating after I had lost about 50 pounds. I had some friends telling me I should wait until I was perfectly confident with my body. Others told me to go for it because you never want to regret, and who knows if you might be missing out on a great guy if you just kept waiting (and when are you done, anyways?)

I started going out on dates and worked on my confidence. To my surprise, I fell in love and have met the man I will spend the rest of my life with. We've had plenty of conversations about my weight loss journey and he even admittedly questioned dating a bigger girl. But, because I was so open and honest with my journey and my plans for the future...we both took a leap. And, I've never been happier or healthier.

Be confident, take a risk, and be honest about the parts of you that you are working on (of course with reason, so you don't sound wacko on a first date or something!)

It worked wonderfully for me!

08-05-2010, 03:49 AM
I think the most important thing is how you're feeling about yourself.

It varies so much. I know a couple who are both overweight and are extremely happy. They've been a bit of an inspiration-that it doesn't actually matter how much I weigh, it's all about personality-but I think I have to personally wait.

Recently I've kinda figured out that weight was one of many things to try and keep others away. Now as I'm finally losing it, I'm starting to feel more confident, but personally I don't want to date anyone until I've done more self repair. I just think if I work on it now, it'll only be better for the future.

But there's also no prospects, so I can't completely believe all that until I actually have someone that I could like. Even though there's a guy at work that my coworker thinks (and yeah, I kinda think so too-just not interested) is into me, she keeps pushing me to him or saying "We need to find you a boyfriend" and I just feel I'm not ready and that my journey is most important right now.

But I don't feel it's either stick to your journey and wait or be as open to dating as possible just because. Just whenever you feel you're ready to let someone in and are comfortable with yourself to actually be with them.

08-05-2010, 04:00 AM
Only you can decide.

But me? I dated!

I'd say don't put all bits of your life on hold just because you are dieting. Besides, developing social skills/good character judgement comes from actually being social and trying to get to know people.

I'm sure you know enough of the basics for safety for that initial first date... meet in a public place, go in your own car, etc. The rest? You can handle if and when it comes along.... whatever it is destined to be.

If he's not interested for a first date or if he's interested in a first date but then you both find there's not a lot in common? You haven't lost anything and at least gained practice in social skills, right? And if it does work... yay. Go for the second date next. Think positive and think baby steps!

I think sometimes people stall at the gate because they look too far in advance and start to fret. Dating happens one date at a time. And those first few dates aren't serious, binding or anything more than "get to know you."


08-05-2010, 02:54 PM
If you date will it take you off plan? Do you think you will be able to tell anyone that you date or hang out with about your plan? The person you date may want to go to dinner and you will have to prepare for that just like you would if you were going alone. You need to determine what you can handle and don't over do it.

I dated when I had no plans of losing weight and when I was "attempting with no clear plan" and found the men I dated were supportive of what I was or wasn't doing. So if you have a person you are dating that is supportive you'll be fine if you can handle yourself. If not you may want to wait. I'm married now and my husband has seem me at my smallest (bigger than I am now) and at my largest (oowee big). But I prayed for him before I knew him. I wanted someone that would love me where I was on the way to where I was going and would help me go through the process. That's what I got. So do what YOU CAN HANDLE!

08-08-2010, 02:40 PM
Thank you very, very much for all of this advice. It has been immensely helpful. I think the biggest issue that I'm grappling with is a rather shallow one.

There are actually two guys -- one of whom I definitely know likes me, and one I think might like me. The first guy is far less attractive than the second, but I get along much better with the first.

I think part of what upsets me is that, for all of my talk about how frustrating it is that men pick attractiveness over personality, I seem to be doing the same. I guess I figured that it was a sign of how insecure and body-conscious I still am.

I also don't want to date the other guy just because I know it'll make me feel good to be "adored" by someone.

I think it's not so much that I'm disinclined to date, but I'm worried about what my feelings about dating are saying.

08-08-2010, 02:59 PM
I dated someone long term when I was on the way up... and it was actually a huge distraction to losing weight...

Scratch that - it was a huge distraction to focusing on myself.

He was the one who "adored" me, said "I love you" first, got upset when things didn't go as planned, etc.

Looking back, those are good memories, but I kind of wish I could turn back the clock, break up with him after we got too serious, and focus on myself for a myriad of reasons.

So maybe, date the "adoring" guy to get a taste of "adoring" but... unless you fall in love, don't stay with him just because it's comfortable. Instead, break it off and focus back on yourself, and if that means working out, good. If it means losing weight, good. Whatever. I mean - if I were to rewrite history that's how I'd do it.