Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Reader question: How do I approach the "weight" issue with online dating?

Q: Okay, I've been debating whether or not to submit anything about this, because I'm kinda lazy about trying to put the words together to say what I'm wanting to say/ask in the most concise manner possible, but here it goes:
If you decide to actually answer this question, I can probably send you a shorter version.
I've dabbled in the online dating thing for years and years and years with many breaks in between. In its most recent incarnation, my online dating approach has trained quite drastically.  I used to meet guys without a whole lot of thought, if they were attractive (to me), could put together full sentences without glaringly awful grammatical errors, shared some common interests, and didn't present any of the obvious deal-breakers for me.
Now, I am super reluctant and guarded about meeting anyone. Why, you ask. Well, I've gained a shit-ton of weight, and just don't have the same confidence I once did, what little of it I actually once had.  See, I'm pretty awesome in most other aspects of my being, and I'm told I sell myself way short. 
Shit, I should really get to the actual question, huh?  I've thought to myself many times, that I would be more comfortable meeting these guys, if I actually told them prior to the meeting, that I'm a pretty big girl, and if they have serious issues with that, then let's not bother. I feel like that can come across as insecure, but really, most every big girl I know is insecure about their weight, but that doesn't make them insecure as a person. I don't think that I am, but some guys are just kinda simple minded, and would read it as such. Does that even make sense? I just don't want to waste any time, and I sure as hell don't want to be repeatedly rejected. That shit hurts. 
And yes, I have recent pictures on my profile, but I don't think they are a true representation of my size, because they all seem to mask it pretty well. 
So... do you think that it's a bad idea to say anything about this, if you are seriously considering meeting someone?   


A: Has the weight issue ever popped up in the past? Or, are you just worried that your recent weight gain has sharply affected your confidence? If it's the former, are you afraid of getting rejected by men over your weight? If it's the latter, are you worried that men will be "put off" by your potential lack of confidence? Finally, is it possibly just a mix of both? :)

I'll tackle the first issue, well, first: if you're concerned about the weight thing with guys, you have a few options.
1) You can put your height and weight stats on your profile--this is a little much and isn't really an accurate portrayal of how your body really LOOKS, in my opinion, but it would take away from any shallow guys. 
2) You can ignore guys who say anything in their profile requiring specific physical attributes in females. Honestly, any guy who lists highly specific needs in that arena is a bit of a loser. End of story.
3) You could post new pictures that you feel show your weight a little more accurately.

Whatever you choose, dear Kim, you must realize that any guy worth your time isn't going to care about your weight. You do not need to explicitly say anything about your weight before you meet someone if you feel that your pictures are reasonably accurate. When you do meet a guy, unless you are obese or extremely unhealthy, he's not gonna bat an eye. One thing that girls need to realize is that a guy would rather have a slightly overweight girl than a slightly underweight girl. I've NEVER had a man tell me otherwise. :)

I wrote a blurb on online dating a little while ago, and you can read it by clicking here. Be very discriminating of who you meet, and don't meet anyone who you think will hold negative feelings towards your weight. 

That brings me to the second issue, the insecurities. Kim, short or tall, skinny or not-so-skinny, pretty or ugly, we as women are chock full of insecurities. It's not a big deal, and men recognize that about us. However, there is a difference between being quietly insecure and constantly going off about your insecurity. Telling your new date that you are on a weight loss plan because you gained weight recently is just fine. Continuously mentioning how miserable you are and acting negative due to your weight is not only going to be emotionally unattractive, but it will make you less physically appealing. No joke. Confidence is sexy, and as contrite as it sounds, it's one of the truest things out there.

In summation, worry less about your weight and bring back your confidence. Always accurately portray yourself online and in person; always be YOU. It you are able to, begin a healthier diet and workout plan--just doing it will make you feel better, even if you don't see results immediately. From the sounds of it, you are a beautiful person inside and out, and I stand by my conviction that unless you are significantly obese and unhealthy, no guy worth your time is going to care about your weight.

Best of luck!

--Dr. O.

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