I'm starting to realize I feel a little alienated by the fact that I haven't dated recently. I ended a seven-year relationship almost a year ago and haven't even come close to starting a new one. It's not not dating that's bothering me. Sure, I'd like to, but I'm actually still kind of enjoying not having to consider someone else with every decision I make. The thing that bothers me is feeling like I can't properly relate to my friends socially because I shut up when the conversation is about guys — and as girls in our early 20s, that's what the conversation is a lot of the time.
One thing I notice, though, is that I seem to have excluded myself, not the other way around. Sometimes I get grumpy and sad and think, "They treat me like I don't count, they don't think any guys would be interested in me," but really it's that every time they've tried to talk to me about guys, I've gotten all awkward or quiet or made a joke out of it, so they've stopped.
I'm wondering if any of you have dated at your highest/higher weights because I'm curious about how much this isolation both romantically and socially is my weight and how much is the way I act because of my weight. I know I do everything in my power to be invisible. I noticed the other day that the person ringing me up at a store was actually ducking his head to make eye contact and I wasn't looking up. I'm wondering if that kind of behavior has something to do with it or if I would be ignored even if I didn't want to be.
I know thinner women get a ton of attention and have an overall different social experience than bigger women, and I also know that plenty of larger ladies are confident enough that their weight doesn't hold them back, but in general have any of you found that there's at least some potential interest in you even at higher weights? Or is dating pretty much just generally not an option even if you want it?
07-10-2012, 03:47 AM
Hi I'm Laura. I know exactly where you are coming from. For me the biggest obstacle was where to find a guy that didn't mind and actually liked chubby women. I was in my early thirties and had been overweight since junior high. I'd tried dieting a number of times and was still plus size. I wanted a man who could love me fat or skinny, because given my track record I'm more likely to be fat. I know a lot of men like bigger women but I sure wasn't meeting any! Mostly I felt invisible when it comes to men. I was often the single one in a group of girlfriends. The fat friend. The spare wheel in a group of couples. So I decided to try an online dating site for BBW (big beautiful women) to meet a guy that was looking for a bigger gal. Now, you will find your share of creeps when you date online, that's for sure. But it allowed me to meet men who aren't afraid of a few curves. Of course you need to be smart and safe and protect yourself. Don't give out personal contact info to just anyone. But I did meet a really great guy. We've been together almost a year. He loves me for who I am, whether I lose another pound or not. And he's incredibly supportive. :hug:
I hope you find the same. I know it isn't easy to put yourself out there in the dating world when you are at an uncomfortable weight and you don't feel sexy. But you can't let your weight isolate you or keep you from finding happiness. There is a guy out there for you. And if you find him when you are overweight and he supports you through your journey, then he just might be good enough for ya!
07-10-2012, 11:41 AM
This is different from your situation but I think it carries an important message. My fiancÚ in December said that he was worried I had given up on my body. I had low self esteem about the way I looked and wasn't happy. I interpreted it at the time as, "I'm not attracted to you b/c you're overweight," and I nearly kicked him out of the house. Even when he reiterated that he loved me and thought I was sexy I didn't believe him. I get it now though and since I've taken control, he's totally mesmerized and excited for me. Even when I'd only lost 5 lbs, he could see I felt empowered.
I think that you'll be fine dating as long as you love yourself the way you are. And the way you are is motivated to get healthy! If a man can't see that . . . to the curb he goes.
07-10-2012, 12:15 PM
I personally had trouble with my self esteem at my highest weight.
There was this really cute boy who kept taking me out, but In my head i really couldnt figure out why he was taking ME out. I didnt feel pretty, confident, and i just felt overall super awkward in my body. When he would hug me, my thoughts were like "oh no, he's touching my fatty back, he's gonna think its gross" and I kinda psyched myself out! now, unfortunately we dont really talk, he has moved on to other, confident girls.
Its sad to me, that i didnt love myself, and that i couldnt even put myself out there to flirt and be cute! Im hoping that with this weight loss, it will be a confidence booster, and that maybe that cute boy will give me another chance! haha
But im really sorry for whats going on with you. I feel ya girl
07-10-2012, 01:06 PM
My husband looked at me last night and said, you're about where you were when we met. I think I was a bit smaller then, but I'm definitely smaller than I was when we married 14 years ago. Find the right fellow, and he'll fall in love with you, not your size.
07-10-2012, 03:08 PM
I not only dated at my highest weight, I met and married my husband at my highest weight.
I have found that I've had to be more assertive than my thinner friends. Observational research has found that men actually don't usually make the first move in dating - women do. That is most men won't ask a woman out unless she's shown interest by making eye contact, smiling, flirting...
Even though I've always been an outgoing, confident person - willing to take a chance even if embarassment is the ultimate cost - I still found it difficult to flirt obviously enough to get the "I'm interested" message across.
As a result, I had much better luck with personal ads (and more luck with ads that I placed).
I met hubby through an ad I placed in the local paper/on the paper's website (the website ad included a 3/4 length photo, which I had done professionally - not a glamour shot, just a nice portrait). I was very descriptive not only about myself, but also what I was looking for. Since I was willing to date large men, I said so. I mentioned that I was dieting and pursuing a healthier llifestyle, and was looking for someone who was doing the same, or who could be sympathetic to the process and could accept me at any weight.
I made my ad super explicit, with the intent that the ad would weed out most of the men I didn't want to meet - men who had a strong preference ONLY for fat women, men who didn't want to date a dieting woman... And I also wanted to make it clear that I was willing to date overweight men.
In the "BBW" (Big Beautiful Woman) dating "scene" many BBW's won't date overweight men - mainly because they don't have to. There are a lot more men interested in BBW than there are women interested in BBM. So at the parties and in the personal ads, many women will date only the hottest of men - because they can. Both men and women tend to be more superficial than they believe they are.
My husband was (and is) heavier than I was (and am), though proportionally less overweight because he's 8" taller than me at 6'2". However, I didn't snare him because he was as or more desperate than I am. He's incredibly confident and charismatic as well, and all through our dating and even during our marriage, he's practically had to beat women off with a stick. He's dated women of all sizes and levels of attractiveness. When I saw a photo of one previous ex who was especially movie-star-gorgeous, and said so, hubby laughed and said that she was also the most "messed up" woman he'd ever dated.
If I hadn't placed that ad, I wouldn't have met the guy most perfect for me. To get what I wanted, I had to ask (advertise) for it.
I do think that many of the wonderful guys who would date larger women (or any woman who is considered not of the cultural ideal), often aren't the most assertive of men. Giving them a reasonable hope that they might not be rejected is key.
Of course learning to recognize signs of interest is important too. My beautiful, thi, but shy sister has that problem. She is too shy to show a guy she's interested - AND she isn't very good at getting the message when a guy is flirting with her.
Men who are open to dating overweight and very overweight women are out there. Some are creeps, some are wonderful, and some are even gorgeous. Just like the men who date thin women.
The more you deviate from the norm (whether because you have blue hair or because you're 250 lbs overweight) the harder it is going to be to find those interested men, but that's where judicious use of the personal ad comes in handy.
I once read that placing a personal ad (no matter who you are) is more effective than responding to one. The odds are in your favor, because you're doing the choosing rather than hoping you'll be one of the chosen. Also your personality can show through the ad more (which is why it's important to write a ad that really tells a bit about who you are and what you're looking for. It may sound counterintuitive, but the most generic ads are the least successful. Men (and women) want to think that someone is looking for them specifically, not just for anyone who is willing to answer the ad).
07-10-2012, 03:33 PM
Yes, when I got married, in fact, I was at the highest weight in my life at that point. It went a bit higher with pregnancy and nursing overeating, but I didn't let it stop me.
Some of that was denial over how big I was, though :o
07-10-2012, 03:42 PM
I did date at my highest weight, even met my baby's father (we've since broken up) when I was at my HW. Now, I'm about 25lbs below that and I don't feel comfortable dating. It's not that I believe no one could ever want me at this weight, I just don't have the confidence to go out and meet people and socialize with men looking the way I do. When I have reached my goal I will be far more confident, vibrant, and effervescent--I will have the tools I need to be comfortable with dating.
07-10-2012, 04:20 PM
I didn’t date at my highest because I knew that I wasn’t gonna stick with that weight, or I would at least try to lose. Losing weight was so much effort – emotionally and physically and I had such strong feelings about it – I opened up to some people about it but I didn’t feel like doing that balance between meeting someone new and opening up to them about this big thing. Maybe if I dated them beforehand or they were a friend, but not someone right off the bat, especially because weight is something that is hard for me to talk about out loud anyways.
07-10-2012, 09:45 PM
Back in 2003 I weighed 245 with LA Weight loss in four months I lost forty-five pounds. Then I maintained 200 and on October 1, 2004 I met the love of my life. Now I weigh 281 over the span of eight years, I have yo-yoed and been batteling constantly. The love of my life doesn't even bat an eye, he just wants me to be healthy but loves me for me. Don't give up, there is that special guy out there. :)
07-10-2012, 09:53 PM
My personal philosophy is why bother pretending to be invisible when I am so clearly not? I dated at my highest, and had a great time doing it!
07-11-2012, 10:04 AM
I'm a woman of extremes I guess. From age 11 on, I rarely didn't have a boyfriend. Starting at age 30 I gained 100 lbs and stopped dating. It wasn't entirely because of the gain, part of it was I had a job where I traveled for a living and I've never been a person who dated casually so didn't follow up on any flirting, etc. while on the road. But when I stopped traveling at age 42, I found nothing happening in the romance department. I was now fat and middle aged and still the person who wasn't interested in casual sex. Hmmm
So a big motivation for me to lose the 100 extra was to date again. I know many, many people will attribute their new dating success to newfound confidence with the weight loss, but for me I honestly feel I did not change at all except for my appearance. And that appearance attracted men so I could start dating again. It was a pretty rocky relearning experience (if you're adding it up, yes nearly 20 years had passed), but after a year of kissing frogs, I found my prince.
We've been together nearly 2 years. My beau has only known me at this weight but has seen pictures of me at my former size and confesses that he wouldn't have asked me out 100 lbs ago. My body now is no prize, I'm still 20 lbs. overweight with a lot of sag due to age and weight loss so I know he's not with me because of my appearance, but dating reality is initial appearance did factor in.
07-11-2012, 11:57 AM
I've dated at every weight (aside from my highest because I was pregnant and married!) and almost always lose weight when I start seeing someone new. I think I get busier and less inclined to sit around when I have someone to do things with. I was a binge eater back in my early twenties, and if I binge ate, I would want to sit at home with my swollen stomach and not be flirty, sexy, or go out with others.
Every person I've dated for the past four years has known how I feel about healthy foods because it's a big part of my life. I spend most of my free time cooking, perusing recipes, growing plants and herbs, etc. He'd be a fool not to notice how much I like food! :) Then the requests for meals start coming. Apparently my love for cooking is attractive because it usually appeals to their love of eating, lol.
07-11-2012, 04:47 PM
i dated at 290 lbs.... and met my wonderful husand that i have 4 years of marrage and almost 7 years of knowing him ...
i was 290 pounds like i said and now im at a320 lbs.... i started to gain weight after my 3 pregnancys.. i feel confident in my body :) but its not the body that i would want to have .....
07-11-2012, 05:19 PM
Well, I am at my highest weight right now and I can't date because I'm married.. but I have a friend that is around 300 lbs, and she lost her virginity at that same size.. She has had more boyfriends than I have, and she currently has a fiance which they plan on getting married sometime next year.. So, I don't think it's about weight, but I think it's more about personality than anything. The friend I'm referring to though has a very strong, outgoing personality.
07-12-2012, 01:19 PM
I've been overweight my whole life up until now. My HW was 185, and though it doesn't sound very high, I was around 5'1 when I weighed that much. It didn't sit well on me I guess, and the rest of my appearance was kind of neglected because I was fat and figured no one would even notice the other flaws, because being fat was bad enough already.
I'm only 16, so it's not like I've had a lot of opportunity to date, but I've yet to have a boyfriend/first kiss/whatever. At my HW, a boy would see me for a second and I could just feel the friend-zone coming in all around me. Dating, it seemed to me, wasn't a thing normal people did, but a thing movie-star-good-looking people did and them only. I obviously didn't fall into that category and I didn't even think I'd get a boyfriend ever in my entire life.
Then I met a guy who seemed to show interest in me, but I couldn't bring myself to show too much interest back because I knew I didn't have the confidence for a relationship. So I decided to lose weight, because I wanted to like myself enough for others to like me. He and I drifted apart (sad thing, actually) but I'm infinitely more confident and people show interest in me, they smile at me, they casually flirt with me... it's almost surreal. I don't think I'll ever be a 'casual dater' but I sure am not objecting to casual attention.
I guess my point is like what everyone else said, no one will date a fat girl who spends all of her time wallowing in self-pity. No one is really inclined to date a thin girl who wallows in self-pity either. I knew I could never be confident with all my extra weight, so I've worked to get rid of it. Now I'm gaining confidence. A fat girl can definitely score if she is confident and makes an effort to look presentable (make-up if it makes you look better, combing hair, showering, etc.).
07-17-2012, 04:59 AM
Thanks for your responses, ladies! I'm pretty sure my brain is the main thing getting in my way, but I'm not sure if that's good or bad news :|
I wish I had the confidence so many of you have! I've just never known how to be happy in my body. Even when I lost a bunch of weight and was well in the "healthy" range, I hid all the time and felt like no one would be interested in me. And now that I'm this size, I guess I feel the same way except now it's closer to the truth.
amandag13, you said you dated at your higher weights — did the men you dated only date heavier women?
pixelllate, I know what you mean. I don't want to date at this weight, either, mostly for the reasons you mentioned. I just wish It was more of an option.
For those of you who have lost a lot of weight and starting dating someone long-term after you lost it, what is it like? Do you openly acknowledge that you were once very overweight, or do you try to hide old pictures, etc.? One of the things that makes me most anxious is that even if I manage to lose the weight, and then even if I manage to get to a point emotionally where I feel content with myself, I'm afraid I'm never going to be able to escape all the fat in my life.
carbstart, that's helpful, thanks. I think on a smaller scale I experience what you're talking about — when I'm eating healthier and losing weight, I seem happier and a little bit more confident, and I think more strangers talk to me when that's the case. I just can never seem to sustain it.
kaplods, I'm impressed with your ad story. I can't imagine ever having the courage to place an ad or sign up for a dating site, but I always hear great stories like yours that show it really can work.
chubbygirl, thanks for your story, too. I think I have a poor image of men who prefer larger women, which I'm sure is directly related to my poor image of myself. I always worry that the only guys who will like me are ones who are "into girls like me." On the one hand I don't know that I'd want to date someone who only dated girls with brown hair, either, but on the other hand, I acknowledge how sad it is that I'm convinced it's not ok to think someone like me is attractive.
I think I need a therapist :dizzy:
07-18-2012, 02:58 PM
PARADISE FALLS ....
the men i started to date were mostly always with thinner girls, but that never made me fell bad at all.. like they say, if you feel sexy thats the way people will see u .. not every1 though .. jijii ... if you can work the body you're in you will acomplish alot of things .. dont be shy or even scared to try something new keep your head up and never look down .. :) ...
07-18-2012, 03:07 PM
My highest weight was 181 and I still dated around some. I met two or three guys but it never worked out. I don't think it was due to my weight, they never said anything, but who knows?
I personally feel that weight has more of an impact on online dating than it does on offline dating because, generally, when people go on dating sites they register with a checklist in mind and standards are fairly high. It's not natural, things rarely develop comfortably, it's usually rushed or artificial if anything happens at all. Now, that's not to say that it never works - it does - but it has a low success rate and I fully believe that looks are involved well over 50% of the time. As a result, I feel like I need to drop at least 10 more pounds before I'd be "worth it" to most guys...fortunately, I wouldn't want to be "worth it" to them anymore. :p
However, offline, I feel like if you get to sit down with a person and talk, sometimes things develop just because the other person's personality is so wonderful it can't be helped. I know a couple of people who are somewhat heavier or not really what you'd called "model beautiful" but their personalities are so great it didn't matter.
07-18-2012, 03:13 PM
kaplods, I'm impressed with your ad story. I can't imagine ever having the courage to place an ad or sign up for a dating site, but I always hear great stories like yours that show it really can work.
The first personal ad I wrote and placed wasn't an act of courage, it was an act of cowardice. I had been having a lot of trouble flirting with guys - even those who were obviously flirting with me, because I was so afraid to admit I was flirting (in case I was mistaken and they weren't really attracted to me, they were just being nice).
I decided I needed practice with guys I KNEW 100% sure were interested in me - thus the personal ad was the most logical choice. It was also anonymous.
And after all that work, I didn't have the nerve to respond to any of the responses I got to my ad, even though some of the guys sounded really nice and some of those who sent photos were really cute, but I didn't have the nerve to respond to any of them, and it was a couple years before I got up the nerve to place a second ad (and I wrote letters - this was before the internet - to several of the guys - using a post-office box and using my middle name instead of my first name just in case the guys were nut-jobs).
I built up my courage with practice, taking bigger and bigger "risks" (though always being safety conscious like using a P.O. Box, meeting in public with a friend or family member knowing where I was, not giving out my full name or phone number until I felt I knew the guy a little better...).
Whether through personal ads or in everyday real life, flirting and dating takes practice, and it's always scary at first - until you try bit by bit, and begin to see that the world doesn't usually come crashing down if you make some mistakes.
07-18-2012, 03:14 PM
I met (and got engaged) to my fiance at my highest weight. Heck, my daughter was 1 at the time, so I even had (and still have) a stomach full of stretch marks! In the past he has dated women of all sizes (I'm the biggest) and I know that he thinks I am beautiful and sexy. I have always had pretty good self esteem and been able to "carry" my weight well, so that definitely played a roll. I think people in general are attracted to people who are comfortable with themselves and are having a good time.
When you are ready, you will find the right person!