Ok So I’m Fat, but Why Can’t I get Someone to Date Me?
Dear Leather and Lace (Alison & Tony): I can’t seem to grab the attention of the opposite sex. I am not ugly but I admit it: I’m very overweight and I am working on that. But no matter what I do now, I can’t seem to get a guy to look at me. All they see is my obesity and not the other great qualities I have. The men I meet seem to think that looks are everything. I’m reluctantly beginning to think that while it’s shallow, men just want someone who is thin and pretty and that’s all that matters. My weight and my appearance aren’t all that I am. I am smart, and funny, and loving and a great person. How do I get someone to see these facts? I’d like to date, but first I have to deal with how I look. That is going to take a long time and I don’t want to be lonely. Is there any way to get men to get past the image and see the rest of me?
Tony’s Take: You have two issues which you need to confront. The first is you are having unreasonable expectations about what type of male company you can actually attract. I am sure, for example, at my age, that I might desire a fit, blonde, 20-year old, but you have to look at this in the reverse. What in God’s name would she see in me? The point is, you need to desire men who desire you. Of which, by the way, there are fair amount.
Your second issue is that you must be extroverted and flirtatious so that you get enough attention to attract someone.
It is actually not that hard is to lose weight, but it can take a long time and the real challenge is keeping it off once you have lost it. It is a constant vigil, and lonely in that it will separate you socially (where they drink and you can’t, or they’re snacking, and you can’t), but the benefits are worth it since self confidence is the best sexual attractant. A woman who is confident, affectionate, and happy will attract men like flies to honey.
Alison’s Take: Who wants to be rejected solely because of they way they look? No one does! “Thin and pretty” are attractive attributes, but not the ones on which lasting relationships are made. Alas, this offers little comfort at the moment to you, SuzeAnne.
I don’t totally agree with Tony’s assessment of your situation, but again, he is a man and I’m a woman. We do see things differently. And to be honest, some men really do just want a woman who looks a certain way. If they are dumb as a stump, or mean, or gag-worthy, it doesn’t matter because they look “hot.” But these are not the kind of men most women admire and want to date, let alone spend their lives with. I’m not going to lie. You and I both know these guys are out there, and you’re going to run into them. Every woman reading this has probably encountered these pigs!
I’m fond of saying that dating isn’t a politically correct activity. Life isn’t fair and not everyone is going to be attracted to you (maybe even fewer people if you are quite overweight). Dating is not a process of selection as much as one of rejection. Yes, it can hurt, but consider that even thin (and pretty) people get rejected by others.
If you want to be taken seriously and noticed by men who will look past your body issues, the first thing to do is to avoid bars or clubs where one can barely carry on a conversation and where connections are made quickly, on a first, visual impression. Go with girlfriends to dance the night away (good exercise anyway) but for dating, these places are not going to be good for your social life or your ego. Instead, try doing things that allow you to show the other parts of yourself are a good way to let others know how many beautiful facets you have (and you have already described several very attractive and worthy attributes in your letter). Online dating is a possibility, and of course, attending parties with friends. You might also consider doing some volunteer work, where being part of a team project will let your talents and personality shine through and people can really get to know you better while you are all focused on something that is positive and makes you feel good. You might join a choral group, or do some community gardening, work with animals, or maybe even join a walking club, a dog lover’s group…anything that takes the focus away from the immediately visual, and puts the emphasis on you as a person. If nothing else, you will meet new people and will be involved in life, and be a lot less lonely, while you’re working on those weight issues. The rest will come!
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