Boyfriend has never dated an overweight woman before...
Hi everybody! I have been reading forums on here for quite some time but have recently become more serious with my weight loss so I finally decided to join. I should first say that I am not losing weight for anybody other than myself. I want to clarify that as I'm sure what I'm going to say may be misconstrued as me losing weight for a man.
My situation is this. I recently got divorced (was with the husband for almost 10 years) and have started seeing an amazing man. The problem is my husband loved me regardless of weight (I went from 130 lbs to up to 275 at my heaviest and fluctuated in the 200's for the last 5 years - we divorced over other issues) but my current boyfriend has never really dated heavy women before (he has one ex from a very long time ago but he said it was hard for him because he was young and fell into the typical society standards of what a woman should look like so they broke up when she gained a lot of weight). He has always dated petite women no taller than 5'6" and 130 lbs and some as tiny as 100lbs. I am 5'8" and a size 20 currently.
We were friends before dating and he has said multiple times that he has never had a connection with anybody that we have. He says he's attracted to me but I noticed he never complimented my looks so I mentioned it (he compliments me to the moon and back on everything else from intelligence to humor etc). He is always very honest and tried his best not to get into the conversation but I pushed and he finally admitted that I'm not his 'ideal body type' so he finds it hard to compliment me like that. Of course I got upset and so did he because he didn't want me dwelling on it and said he didn't want it to change what we have. He is in his 40's and says that he's at a point in his life where he's not focused on looks as it hasn't served him in the past being that most of his exes treated him poorly because they could always have a guy lined up, etc because they were hot. He says that what we have is amazing and that sex isn't as big of a priority as it used to be. I think we have great sex but he's mentioned that certain positions are harder with a bigger woman and that it shouldn't bug me that we don't swing from the chandeliers because it's about the connection we have and that he finds our sex life fulfilling as is.
Which is what leads to so much of my anxiety. I have major anxiety which, as I'm sure many of you can relate, makes it so that I constantly obsess about a thought once I think about it and it's very hard for me to let go. So I can't seem to let this go. We have been seeing each other for about 6 months and EVERYTHING IS AMAZING except I have this insecurity that I'm not his petite dream girl. He says he loves me exactly as I am and doesn't think that losing weight would change anything. I have always dreamed of a man who loved me for my mind and personality so why can't I let it go that he says it's more than enough to keep him happy? I truly believe him when he says what we have is amazing and something so deep that he's never experienced because I feel the same way. He loves me and I love him. Am I blowing this out of proportion and it's all just an insecurity that i need to work through on my own? Can a guy who's only dated tiny women totally change and be happy with a fat woman? Any thoughts, insights and support is more appreciated than you know. <3
Sounds to me like you have a wonderful boyfriend. He didn't cover up when he said he's only dated thinner women, and he probably told you the truth when he said that looks aren't the testosterone-driven issue they were when he was younger. I - frankly - would be thrilled with his candor, because you have an HONEST man who is trying his best not to hurt your feelings, and yet won't lie to cover up the fact of who he was, and who he is. That's a good sign, because it means he'll be candid with you on other things too.
As to whether or not he'll be truly happy, I think that's only for him to say. Age does mellow this out, and help you love the whole person, and not fixate on things that niggle us.
But don't we all make concessions in our beloved? I've often joked that I wished my hubbie were more witty and a better conversationalist (truly, that used to be pretty important, and it irritated me), but he's not. He's plenty bright but "doesn't have the gift of gab, as he says"! To be honest, I never went out with heavy men, and preferred them pretty buff, but could certainly get beyond it. I was shallow that way, but it was not the be-all and end-all.
So I think he sounds great! He is working on being accepting of you on your weight loss journey, while acknowledging he has to shift his own mindset. People have to 'wrap their mind around things' all the time, such as falling in love with someone with a different skin tone. It happens.
And, he'll probably be a great supporter of your diet!
PS - He could have left out the comment about his ex-es have a man in the wings (as if you couldn't.) That reflects more about HIS insecurities, which he had at that time. Don't let that transfer to you!!!
Hit goal on December 14th 2013
Time to lower the goal, I guess!
Frankly, I would be upset. It sounds like his "ideal body type" is interfering in the relationship. Physical appearance is obviously important to him. Does he ever compliment your appearance? My husband has been with me when I was 120 lbs and 200 lbs and everything in between. Even at my heaviest, he still told me when he liked my hair or my outfit, etc. Even though you are not at your boyfriend's ideal weight, I would hope he finds other things attractive - like maybe you have great hair or beautiful eyes. If he isn't saying those things, I'd be upset.
It would bother me when he said that the sex was different than what he was used to. Every partner is different, so even if you were 5'6" and 130 lbs, it would be different than previous partners. So what if you can't maneuver into all the same positions? You don't have to be an acrobat to have great sex.
He appreciates your mind and your sense of humor, which is great, but it really think he needs to appreciate your physical appearance, too. Just because you are overweight that doesn't mean that you aren't beautiful. I hope that he stops focusing on the ex-girlfriends and starts focusing on all that you have to offer - intellectually and physically.
This is just my opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I really hope you can talk and work it out.
I can relate to so many things here. I can't give proper advice as I'm neither a man nor have I been terribly successful in my relationships. OK, I've messed them all up and now I'm taking a hiatus, because I need a break from messing things up. How did I mess things up? With my insecurities. I also had terrible anxieties about my body and looks. The "funny" thing is, that I actually did have the sort of body that men were really into, but I couldn't understand it. I'm pointing this out, because I think that the anxieties are a separate issue from what your body actually looks like. How you feel about your body and your sexuality isn't going to change overnight even if your body did.
I also just really wanted someone to love me for my mind and my personality. I now understand that it was partly because I was so anxious about my body. I think I was running away from my own physicality and sensuality. Those things made me feel awkward. Still do, but I try to make an effort to accept that part of me as well, because it is a part of me. I'm not a brain in a jar.
I also didn't realize that even though my personality could be lovely when I didn't feel under threat, the moment I was in a situation where I thought I was being criticized or judged, I became a really horrible person. Unsurprisingly I was able to push men away with that, and then I could tell myself "I told you so". I also sought out men who would validate my thoughts that I wasn't a person who anyone would want to love.
My point is that such anxieties can be self-fulfilling prophecies. If you continue to point out the subject, it will become an issue that you might not be able to overcome. You'll sabotage what's good because one thing is bothering you.
That said, I do think that in a non-platonic relationship sex is an important aspect. It's part of who we are, whether we like it or not, and we all deserve to have a fulfilling sex life (though we're not entitled to it; we all have to put in effort to achieve it). So if he's saying right now that it's not such an important thing for him, then where will you be in the future? I'm sure that there are couples who don't have sex and they're both happy with the agreement, but… Would that really be what you wanted?
Now that said, there's much more to sex and sexual appeal than body type. Men might pay more attention to appearance in general, but even they know that if there's nothing under that surface, they're not going to come back for more. And it's not just how you think and how witty and funny you are. It's also about how you feel about your own body and sensuality. Your body is a marvel, to men especially, and they keep being fascinated by it. If you think that it's not and treat it as such, they're going to feel conflicted and the spark will die.
So, please, do work on self-acceptance and what you want. Now you're focusing on whether someone accepts you or not. That's not the issue. If you'd accept yourself, this would stop being an issue and then it's just about whether or not you're compatible with someone. You focus on what you want out of a relationship and you'll end up with someone who wants the same things.
Your boyfriend isn't a bad guy, you know that. But I think most of us, somewhere, want to feel like our significant other is 'wowed' when they see us - they may be wowed on a hundred different levels with your wit, charm, personality etc. but I think it's naive to think that most of us don't crave that knowledge that our partner is physically attracted to us. In fact we probably crave it moreso when we have our own issues with how we look.
I dated a guy when I had lost 50lbs (I was still obese but it hung better on me lol) and through the year we were together I gained all the weight back. He would tell me I was funny, sweet, amazing etc. and the sex was sensational (we both agreed on that). But for me, well cliche as it may sound, I wanted him to look at me and physically think 'wowsers'. I wanted to know he thought I was beautiful and I wanted him to say it and mean it, rather than say it because I needed him to. He never did. He never said I was an elephant or that I was ugly either, but he never once made me feel beautiful the way I was. We broke up for a multitude of reasons in the end but that was one, only I never had the heart to actually ask him if he found me attractive.
My point is you can't blame someone for not being physically into you if they're just not - it doesn't make them a bad person, but equally it doesn't make you a bad person for wanting them to be that way. You need to decide if you can overcome this yourself - it's your decision. He can't un-say what he said and aside from that you seem to have a great relationship, but at the same time why should you let go the fact that your size is an issue for him? Why should you settle for that, and how that makes you feel?
I am going to stick my tuppence worth in....if that's OK?
You are so much more than your jiggly bits! We curvy chicks can do stuff that lots of skinny girls can't.
I may have misread what you have written but it sounds like your boyfriend feels he has settled for "second best" in the sex department whilst he has hit the jackpot in all other ways. Of course relationships are about compromise but if it makes you feel insecure it says as much about him as it does about you. As one of the other posters wrote, I would work on my own self belief and feeling healthy and see if that reduces your anxiety.
Current weight: 362lbs
Goal: Under 280lbs by my 50th in October...then we shall see!
It sounds like he is being genuine and honest with you.
The fact that he is able to feel that way and still love you and feel attracted to you truly says something about his character.
I suggest that you DO lose weight, though not for him, obviously. For you and for your health.
The fact that your boyfriend may feel more physically attracted to you is just secondary.
When I asked my boyfriend a couple months to honestly tell me how he felt about my weight, (and not to lie or exaggerate) he told me that while he thinks that I am beautiful, he thinks my eating habits don't do me justice and that he would like me to lose weight for my own self confidence because he knows I just don't feel comfortable in my body.
I really loved that answer.
Best of luck to you.
Sometimes there is a slight disconnect between what men say they are attracted to when you pin them down about it, vs. what they enjoy behind closed doors. I mean if you sort of back them into a corner and really push them to describe their ideal figure on a women, it might be somewhat more "perfect" and standardly desireable than we ourselves are. However, honestly, there is usually a degree of wiggle (and even jiggle!) room when it comes to what a man is attracted to physically. And if you really push for him to say what a difference might be between that physical side of life with a woman with weight to lose and a trim woman is, logically the latter might offer more versatility. That's just physics, lol! I personally feel you should straight up believe him when he says he is fulfilled and what you have is amazing. He seems to be trying very hard to reassure you, however awkwardly. Some men are rather late bloomers when it comes to enjoying the variety of shapes and sizes that women are. There may still be a part of him that is mentally programmed to equate the standard ideal with what he thinks should be thought of as "beautiful," but emotionally and physically he is definitely going for it with you If your size were an issue, he wouldn't even bother. IMO I agree with you that he should be complimenting you more, even though he may find it strange at first for the reason he gave you. If he wants you to let go of your insecurities, then he also should jump in with both feet and let his compliments start matching his actions.
We have been seeing each other for about 6 months and EVERYTHING IS AMAZING...He says he loves me exactly as I am and doesn't think that losing weight would change anything... I truly believe him when he says what we have is amazing and something so deep that he's never experienced because I feel the same way.... He loves me and I love him.
These are your words. Once you filter out your low self-esteem, you'll see that you have something awesome. Don't ruin it with your insecurities. He's a good man, you're the one who insisted he talk about his "ideal" type...so you had to be prepared for his answer right? Just relax, you have a nice man and a loving relationship. Keep at your goal because you want to be healthier...let go of the notion of the petite women. He loves you! Lots of people don't have what you have! Be grateful!
I'm with chardonnay. Further, You can't change what your boyfriend prefers or doesn't prefer. If you dwell on the issue you risk ruining the relationship. Your boyfriend can't help what he likes or doesn't like but he is with you so he likes you. I' have destroyed a good relationship in the long distance past over something similar to this. But i am in on doubt that its my security that ruined and it could go the same with way here.
You have got to resolve your problem by letting go of your worry. If you are struggling with it, go and get counselling about it. There are tools you can develop. One of them mindfulness. Its good for anxiety.
He is in his 40's and says that he's at a point in his life where he's not focused on looks as it hasn't served him in the past being that most of his exes treated him poorly because they could always have a guy lined up, etc because they were hot. He says that what we have is amazing and that sex isn't as big of a priority as it used to be.
This bothers me.
He's insecure from past relationships and in a nutshell he's saying that he's dating you because you're not physically attractive enough (in his eyes) for him to have to worry about another guy possibly trying to take you from him. Also saying that sex really isn't that important at 40 is another red flag that he's not physically attracted to you. If he was 70 ok but 40? That's still very young for a man to say that sex isn't as much of a priority. I'm sure you are a very nice and intelligent person but he isn't attracted to you physically. I'm sorry I'm not going to sugar coat. Can you live with this? I couldn't.
Lots of great responses/insights here. My $0.02 on the situation is this: what does your intuition tell you?
You're posting here asking for advice because, on some level, you feel like something is amiss. My advice is to examine that carefully.
My ex-boyfriend never said it, but I know my body type was not his ideal. He liked thinner women. However, I was very confident when I was with him, which was why he was always so turned on and we had great sex. His compliments to me were never "You look pretty" or "That dress looks nice on you" or "Baby, you've got a nice [insert body part here]." However, he did constantly compliment me by saying how sensual and sexy I was. And trust me, by looking at me back then? I was not physically impressive in the least. But it was my confidence and passion for him that kept the energy going and alive.
So take that for what it's worth. Maybe try focusing less on what you think he thinks of your body and what you think of your body and just make him feel special (thus making you feel special, too). I have consistently seen that men love confident women (for the most part, anyway), so maybe try building that part of you up. Or, if you don't think that is the issue or will help, then just go back to my original point and examine why you posted your story in the first place. Is your gut telling you something you're not ready to face? Only you know the answer to what's really going on. Be honest with yourself and everything will work out the way it should.
ETA: Oh, and just wanted to add... your last paragraph made me think. What if he, let's say, only got turned on by redheads, yet you were blond? It's really the same deal. But it's not the hair he's in love with; it's you, right? So maybe you can think of things in those terms and it won't make you feel so self-conscious. I mean, no one's holding a gun to his head to be with you, right? So stop over thinking it and just rock his world, girl!
I used to date someone that wasn't my ideal type. He was larger and I wasn't physically attracted to him at first in any way. His looks just weren't my thing. However, as I got to know him, I fell for him - and hard! His personality made him extremely attractive. In fact, in the past 6 years since we broke up, all of his girlfriends have been extremely good looking. His looks made him like a 5 but his personality made him a 10. Once you got to know him, you didn't even remember the looks thing because his personality took over. It sounds like this could be the case for how your boyfriend sees you. Everything else is great and he loves you. Why be nit picky?
139:February 27th, 2013
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