Home It's All Mental Big Love: Dating While Losing Weight

Big Love: Dating While Losing Weight

by Erika Nicole Kendall

I don’t love this topic, because it’s thorny. In fact, every time I blog about men and relationships on this site, it’s thorny.

Being “thorny” has never deterred us before, though.

That being said, this was posted over at Clutch. I’m just gonna highlight a few parts of it:

Weight is an emotional and challenging subject for many women who struggle to keep (or take) extra pounds off. While a lot of us fight to get our bodies “right” in order to stave off health issues, others feel that weight is a barrier for them when it comes to finding or sustaining a relationship. And for all the stories of happy and loved heavy women, our size most certainly can be a factor when it comes to meeting Mr. Right.




They way I looked in clothes (and what I perceived to be my limited dressing options) had great baring over my disdain for my size, but my desire to meet what I believed to be a better caliber of men had far more to do with my choice. I met a lot of guys even when I was much larger, but I felt that many of the guys I would have wanted to want me back weren’t interested in a chunky girl. Now that I’m on the other side, I actually think my line of thinking had a lot to do with my lack of confidence (see above). Either way, whether it was the increased confidence or the “improved” appearance, once I lost the weight I definitely met not only more men, but more men that I wanted to date.

However, there is something awfully unhealthy about your relationship to your appearance and your body being so deeply connected to your desire to be in a romantic relationship. What happens if you make the changes and you still don’t find someone? Or, if you find love only to find the pounds piling back on (this is the current challenge I’m facing, btw; I’m winning so far, but that comfort of a relationship has made saying ‘yes’ to dessert much easier than I would have hoped)? While I’m glad that I lost weight either way, I wish that I hadn’t waited until I felt romantically frustrated to realize that I needed to take control of my body. Ironically, not only has my current boyfriend dated chunkier women and isn’t nearly as interested as I am in seeing me get that elusive small dress size that I seek. Chubby Jamilah probably could have pulled the same dude, had I been walking around with my head held high.

In the comments, you’ll find this from me:

I surely hope that no one come and chastises you for what you’ve written here, because the reality of a lot of our relationships with our bodies is that we’re simply not sure what that relationship should look like.

It’s hard to develop a healthy sense of self when we so rarely see it… and among many of our peers, it’s taboo to even talk about weight in terms of weight LOSS. Hell, I run a BLOG about weight and I don’t engage in these conversations in public unsolicited.

I think it’d be disingenuous if we didn’t admit that appearance is an element of attraction. It’s why we put on heels. It’s why we put on makeup, polish, fix our hair to our standards, dress well and make sure we aren’t ashy, lol. It’s also just a hard truth to admit that – for one horrible, unfortunate reason or another – weight is also a factor that can come into play. Because women know this – regardless of whether or not they’d admit it – it becomes a big part of our relationship with our bodies, even though it’s a lil’ unhealthy. “You’re too fat… you’re the reason why I can’t get the man I want.”

I’ve written about this on the blog before – that, after losing over 150lbs, a lot of the men who weren’t giving me that kind of time before were all up in my face – and even though a lot of women don’t like what that implies, it is still a fact. Losing weight increases the dating pool exponentially – lots of men simply don’t see you if you’re at a certain weight; and once you start being “seen,” you start getting attention.

Whether its right or wrong, we still have to work over time to make sure that we are in tune with ourselves, and that is also something else that comes along during [what I consider to be] a successful weight loss journey. You learn to be in tune with what makes you feel bad, what makes you feel unhappy, what excites you, what turns you off, what makes you uncomfortable, where your weaknesses lie, where your strengths are… and that element of intuitiveness also makes you, overall, a more attractive person. You can be aware of the realities of dating and weight loss without letting it affect your sense of self in the end.

In closing (I almost said “in short” but this ain’t short), I believe posts like this that allow every woman a little private space to reflect on her own sense of self are important. We may not like what these things imply, but since there are very few spaces where these conversations can be had among women, we should allow these things to be said. They have to be said because those of us who have healthy senses of self can help our peers get to where we are, and that’s far more important than any harm Jamilah’s words could bring.

Sorry for the hellalong comment. I’m pretty sure my readers are used to it, but this ain’t MY blog. LOLOL

Now, I was all done with it until someone sent me the link again, and I saw the following response to my comment:

While it’s great to hear success stories, I’d be interested in hearing from folks who are actually ON the journey and trying to date. Because in reality, it takes TIME to lose the weight if it’s anything over 10 pounds, so do women not date until then? How do you cope through that? And how does it help/hurt your self esteem while you’re transitioning? Or do you just remain invisible and cope with that until you’re an “acceptable” weight for being approached?

Surely, people have their thoughts about what the original author wrote, but I’m not one for shaming women for their reasons for wanting to lose weight. I don’t question a woman’s reasons for not wanting to lose weight, so I afford women who do want to lose the same courtesy. (If anything, I care far more about how you go about it than anything else.)

That being said, I’m more interested in the questions asked afterward. How do you handle dating while losing weight? I’ve already admitted that after a break-up in the early part of my journey, I became abstinent and didn’t date. I was not only vulnerable, but working through insecurities that would’ve only made dating an embarrassing experience for myself. I valued having time that was mine and mine alone because, quite frankly, I’m dope and interesting when I actually pay attention to myself and learn about me.

I mean, I can understand a desire to date – if for no other reason but the sake of company and being sociable – but I wonder if there’s a part of a woman’s journey (and I specify gender there for a reason) where, if it’s extensive enough, she’d benefit from not dating. My journey was like literally demolishing a building and rebuilding it from scratch. Would you let anyone set up their home in your building, knowing that it wasn’t completely solid, sturdy or even able to provide adequate shelter? If a house is still being actively rebuilt, I wouldn’t rest my head in it.

I mean, don’t get me wrong. I’m not looking for people to understand why I made the decision I made. Lots of women balk at the idea of remaining abstinent during their “rebuilding” process. Lots of women have “journeys” that are nowhere as complicated or extensive as mine was, and that’s okay (shoot, as much as I had to deal with about myself, I can only hope there aren’t a billion women out there dealing with those kinds of issues.) I’m just wondering about the wide spectrum of choices looks like for women losing weight out there, because while I’m positive that there are plenty of us who’ve chosen to go either way on this one… I’m also positive that there are women out there who are unsure and may very well be needing different viewpoints to help her make her own decision.

So… I’m curious. Did/do you date? Did you decide to fall back? What compelled you to make that decision?

You may also like


Aiby36 April 21, 2011 - 10:46 AM

I decided last year to pursue a dream and train for a figure competition. In the beginning, I believed that this meant losing a decent amount of weight and putting on A LOT of muscle. As I got farther into the process, I found that the process of training was making me confront my insecurities and distorted self-perception. It has been and continues to be a beautiful and painful process. I am learning myself better than I have ever had to before. So…to get to the question, I stopped dating a few months ago. I tried to date initially, but realized that I just didn’t have space for it. This process is a selffish one and I couldn’t share myself with anyone else while I was still trying to know and understand myself and changing body.

Jeannine April 21, 2011 - 11:19 AM

I’m dating now! I’m still fat, yes, still fat, and I stumbled upon a guy who I enjoy spending time with and he is not concerned with my weight at all. He is not a “chubby-chaser” but he happens to like me, the person, and he knows I want to lose weight and that it’s hard. (I was actually told once that I would need a “chubby chaser” if I wanted to be with someone now) There are things about his body he doesn’t like either but we just enjoy each other’s company and have fun together and we don’t focus so much on our physical issues, and he’s not fat at all has great arms! I like that I don’t have to hide it from him and he doesn’t act like it’s okay either for me to be fat. Whatever I want for my body is fine with him and that is refreshing! He never said “Don’t change I like you like this” it’s more about what I want and what makes me feel good and he just likes me.

I did not plan to date until after I got in better shape and felt more comfortable with my body or get stuck with a “chubby chaser”. But sometimes a good person just comes along and those things just don’t matter anymore. My self-esteem isn’t totally jacked up because of my weight but I don’t like it and I did feel like it could possibly get me overlooked by men. However, that ended up not being the case. Maybe it was because I didn’t allow it to cripple my self-worth. Maybe it was because I still contacted him and let him know I was attracted to him. Maybe it was because I was honest about it and still was myself.

We dated very briefly years ago when I was much thinner so I didn’t think he would want me this way when he had met the old me.We have mutual friends and were at a party where I felt chemistry between us. And after a while I acted on it. He said he felt it too but thought I wasn’t interested in him, so for me it paid off, so far since it’s still fairly new. I was shocked, he thought I was too good for him, and here I was thinking I was too fat for anybody! So I think it has less to do with our weight and more to do with our other internal issues. I almost allowed myself to get caught up in thinking I wasn’t good enough to be with a man because I am fat. In my case I didn’t have to fix that first to date.

But I understand what you are saying about your situation. If the feeling is much deeper than just the weight, if you truly need time to reinvent yourself then take that time before adding something else that can be pressureful to your life. Dating is not easy. There are plenty of situations where we are broken but can still be lifted up by a good person in our lives, man or woman, because I’m not talking damsel in distress at all!!! My sister, for example, was going through a bitter divorce that left her a shattered woman. It was a very traumatic experience for the whole family. She met the man of her dreams in the midst of going through that. And now they are buying a home together and have been together for like 10 years! He is a great person and the love that they have is truly amazing to be a part of. By no means did he “save” her but rather he endured the pain with her and loved her still. He did “rest his head in her house” while it was being rebuilt. Since I’ve seen it I know it can happen, depends on the people involved.

Vae July 25, 2015 - 1:31 AM

I think that was my problem with my now ex. We met when I was at the smallest weight I had ever been and I’m top heavy so I didn’t have much of an ass, I’m just all tits. Well when I started to gain weight of course mostly it went to my chest and stomach 🙁 but some of went to my butt. And while I was happy to have my man all over me especially dealing with the insecurities of being obese I still wanted to lose weight to feel confident. He on the other hand would crack jokes about how he liked the size I was at and that I was being selfish for trying to lose weight. And while I know it was a joke I still would have rather had his support more than anything.

Rhonda April 21, 2011 - 11:28 AM

I dont’ date. I tried to start something with a new person not long ago and he immediately started with the game playing. It just brought back all the insecurities that would make me reach for something good to eat in order to calm my nerves. I cut off all communications with him and decided that until I get to goal I can’t even consider dating. It is not worth it.

Lynn September 23, 2012 - 12:44 AM

Yes you’re right Rhonda. Wait to lose weight and they will think you are now out of their league and behave.

Rooo February 3, 2013 - 7:45 PM

When they think you’re “out of their league”, you get a whole different set of problems, trust – the “I have nothing to offer you” wail, the “Who do you think you are” rant … sigh.

I really do think as a WOC, as far as men go, if you’re bigger than the weight you like, you have one set of problems. If you’re the weight you like (or smaller, a whole other sweet potato) you just have a different set.

Maybe I already said that.


Patti April 21, 2011 - 11:39 AM

I’ve been in a relationship for 17 years, that right now is sort of rocky. I met my lover in college when i was much thinner, we reconnected and started dating for the first time almost 18 years later. I was sort of chubby but I have gained weight through all the usual ways, stress, a child, taking care of others before myself. So has he. But his opinion of me has changed, he’s actually called me fat, and made cracks about my size, something i never do to him. Mind you he never hesitates to bring home the ice cream, doughnuts or goodies he knows I don’t need and although I manage to resist them most of the time, its strange and somewhat inconsiderate at best, and downright mean at worst. Anyway, my point is, a relationship changes with time, with weight, with a variety of things. I’m working on my own esteem as I work on my weight issues. To me, they are one in the same. If I love myself I’ll be able to do what’s best for me, regardless of what others feel, or say.

CoCo April 21, 2011 - 2:03 PM

I don’t know you from a can of paint, but I wanted to let you know that I’m proud of you for focusing on loving yourself despite the way your partner makes you feel. I read your comment and thought “Good for her!” so I thought I should go ahead and type those thoughts out. =)

Renee April 29, 2011 - 8:04 AM

With all due respect, the quickest way to lose weight is to drop that zero. I am single and I absolutely LOVE my own company. I think we settle for abusers (and trust me, he is being abusive to your spirit) because we do not feel good about ourselves and fear being alone. I think we need to be alone sometimes to figure out what it is that we want out of this life, staying with someone who is taking the best years of your life is a tragedy in MHO. Life is just too short….don’t waste it on someone who demeans you for being fat, then sabotages you by bringing crap into the house. That’s not love, sweetheart….it really isn’t.

Eva April 21, 2011 - 11:49 AM

Unfortunately I don’t date anymore. When you’re over 50, not too many guys want to hang out.

realitybites August 17, 2012 - 5:29 PM

Men are visual creatures, so they keep reminding us in the culture. Age and weight are impediments to seeking a man. When I was in the dating pool approximately a decade ago in my 30s, I had just ended a 7-year relationship with a man I met while chunky. A health scare caused me to get serious about taking off the weight, but the relationship morphed into emotionally abuse and stress from my job caused me to gain all my weight back. I was not seen by most men, I was also deemed to be older than I was (mistaken for my nieces grandmother by an old woman in Target). Well, that was the last straw. As soon as I went from size 16 to 6 men came out of the wood work, including my husband. I gained some happy weight with him, but soon got it off. Men, especially these youngsters, want women that look as close to the hotties in the media to show off to their friends. Old or fat is associated with ugly, period. You can complain or put your best foot forward. It’s just reality.

Lynn September 23, 2012 - 12:42 AM

I agree whole-heatedly! I will call myself a mini Janet Jackson or Oprah. I have gaine and lost two or three times and ladies you will be amazed at how different the two lives are. First I was a size 14 at about age 18-22. I didn’t have a lit of guys beating down my doors. I had a few guys who liked me as friends but it didnt go too far. I also had a boyfriend from about 20-22 so I didn’t worry about weight. I decided I wanted to be an actress and went from 165/170 pounds to about 130/135 pounds size 4. I found that yes like the sista said above, MEN CAME OUT OF THE WOODWORKS! I had all types of men hocking me, young men, old men, rich men poor men, white men, black men. Professional athletes, investment bankers, private steel company owners, corporate executives, many many business owners, big time drug dealers, everyone. So as my size got smaller and apparently my stock got higher, my options and tastes changed. I didn’t have to date my loser wanna be rapper boyfriend who made $10 per hour and lived in his brother’s band house. I could date the corporate exec who took me to fancy dinners and on fun trips, had a really nice house, and drove a Mercedes CL 550. Things were going well while I was thin. Everyone treats you nicer. Women, men, children. It’s easier to get jobs. You don’t have to pay for yourself on the weekend. YOU DONT HAVE TO PAY to get into clubs, for your drinks. I would go to exclusive restaurants with another beautiful and thin girl, order up about $200 worth of stuff and have the waiter come over and say thr our meal has been taken care of. This has happened several times. Everything was great until I got with this loser during a stressful one of my life. I started gaining weight (gained 35 pounds quick with that losers help) and my man stopped having sex with me, started cheating on me, then eventually left me. What a jerk. Anyway, at 165, I found gettin back in the dating pool to be a daunting task. The men who were once spending their money and time on me wouldn’t return calls or texts. I couldn’t go out for free anymore. The bouncers who would once kiss my cheeks and let me cut the line and walk in for free would now tell me that the cover wa $20 and tell me where the line started. It was a humbling experience to say the least. I used to get excited to see what my new dates would roll up in to pick me up. Would it be a Range Rover? Infinity Truck? Seven class BMW or E class Mercedes? No. The guys that wanted to talk to me now were average. They drove old Lexus’ or new Chevy’s. These guys weren’t as cute, made a big deal about payin for stuff. Ugh. AND they had the nerve to still try to play games because now they would look at me and think that I was on their level. My ability to “pull” the type of guys that a liked drifted away and I was stuck back with the caliber of men that are on the Judge Judy show or who go to one of those colleges advertised on TV. It was sad. A very humbling experience. I’m losing weight again. Lost ten pounds and at 155pounds I’m seeing that my options are improving a bit. At least some of the guys who totally dismissed me are starting to call again. I’m getting drinks and dinners paid for again by strangers. As I lose each ten pound increment, I know that my options will improve. I’m sort of holding off of dating seriously until I get back down to 135 because I won’t even want the guy that I can pull at 155 when I get back to 135 and have better options. Why waste their time like that and mine? Also, dating side tracks you. I don’t need any mediocre man getting in the way of my fitness, health, an appearance goals. Also, if you’re seriously dating a man and you start losing weight, they start getting jealous as was the case with my rocker/rapper boyfriend. So it pays to just wait until you get closer to your goal weight to date. You can date now as “practice”. But don’t hop into anything serious until you come close to your final outcome so you can see the value of your new stock in te dating field and get the best man out there for you. Ladies, don’t feel bad about movin up and getting a better man. You want the man who will be able to provide and contribute the most love and stability (meaning wealth) for you and your future kids. Do not feel bad. This is he way of the world. It doesn’t make anyone bad or good it is just the way things are. These men will drop out like a bad habit when you’ve hit the potato salad one too many times and allowed that waiste line to expand. They will rediscover their undying live for you when you’ve hit the gym for a few weeks and stopped eating before bed and got that ass siting up a little higher. They will do this. Jut know it. Lose te weight. Stop listening to your friends who want you to stay fat and pre-diabetic so that you will not be a threat to them. I’m telli g you from experience. Skinny girls who have always been skinny have no idea what its like to be overweigt or what it means to lose weight because they have never had to. Far girls who have never benn skinny have no idea how good it feels to have the whole world treat you nicer because you’re skinny. I say beautiful women don’t necessarily have to be smart. But really smart women understand that as a women it makes sense to be beautiful because it is helpful and it gives you power that you wouldn’t have access to if you were not attractive and large. Hey, the game is to be sold but I just told! Lol

Amanda October 8, 2012 - 3:59 PM

What you siad is so true. I was once at the magical 135 pounds. That equated to a perfect size six for me. I had my choice of all types of top of the man-chain men. The world was open to me. Then I gained weight. Went up to 258 pounds. The door slammed in my face. It was hurtful. The men who were attracted to me at 258 and a size 22 were loosers putting it nicely. Now that I’m loosing weight I’m seeing that door creep open ever so slightly. But, I’m not ready to date for keeps yet. It taks a lot of focus to get off 120 pounds and I’m not trying to be side tracked with dinners to no star restaurants. But I have befriended a few guys who I know will have a change of heart of our friendship status once the big reveal takes place. I feel like I’m coming back to me.

Miss Maven November 30, 2012 - 3:08 AM

That is the truth.

I went from getting completely ignored to getting sides free at restaurants and friendlier waitresses. Not even close to goal yet but near the overweight category rather than obese. The only thing this shows is how much the world hates fat and men are even worse then women. Guys who were in my social circle for a year and never spoke to me are talking to me. The people that say women only lose weight for other women never been a fat women who transforms to overweight or average. MEN are MUCH worse then women no questions asked.

Nikki July 24, 2015 - 10:27 AM

So so so so true!!!! You are telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I am trying to lose weight. The funny thing is once you start trying, you become aware of how much weight you have gained. And over time, being in different relationships where men are either chubby chasers or they have some deficiencies of their own (lack of education, habits, no career, etc.) you realize how much they let your weight slide or they didn’t speak the truth about how they prefer a smaller woman etc. Then you look up and realize that you do not even recognize yourself anymore and when you want to date the higher caliber men, they will not even look your way and some are even bold enough to say how beautiful you are in the face or as a person but you are overweight. It hurts but its true and I’m sick of women friends lying to themselves saying a man has to accept you as you are. When I workout, who do you see working out, making sure they stay attractive for their mates? You even see pregnant women working out. There is no excuse. Thank you for this very real message.

Erika Nicole Kendall July 25, 2015 - 8:40 PM

“It hurts but its true and I’m sick of women friends lying to themselves saying a man has to accept you as you are. When I workout, who do you see working out, making sure they stay attractive for their mates?”

Er…with the utmost of respect, I must say – when we say that “a man has to accept you as you are,” that’s with the initial presumption that you’ve *already* set standards for yourself and meet/maintain those standards for yourself because that is the first and foremost person to whom you should be accountable. The goal should be to find a partner who appreciates your standards and encourages you in positive and loving ways to maintain them, be they in fitness or financially or whatever point in your life.

Also, I have to – once again – put a pin in this “who do you see working out?” thing. Don’t buy into the hype – black women are working out. It might not be in the same spaces YOU are working out, but MANY are getting it in, and I’ve seen the shift since I first started writing about fitness here in 2009. I may not see black women at my fancy gym in TriBeCa, but when I take my daughter to the park? Or jump onto the running trail in the early mornings? Or any other number of environments? I see black women. Hell, I’m 9 months pregnant and I’M a black woman working out.

So, really – your anecdote is as good as mine on this one, but I’m the one who travels and teaches black women about training and fitness. Take my word for it, sis – we outchea.

Sabrina August 22, 2015 - 12:18 PM

Well maybe fat and old is YOUR definition of “ugly” but your attitude toward body size and age is the universal definition of ugly! Ok, so one can lose weight but what in the hell are you supposed to do about age. Lie???? I’m nearly 55 years old and yes large and yes I am also a grandmother, so suddenly I’m supposed to drop off the face of the earth and be unloved for the rest of my life?? Basically you just told me and every other old chick forget about ever having a man. Your comments are just plain rude and shallow and offensive. Thank God there are men who don’t share your negative and narrowminded opinion.

Maria August 22, 2015 - 3:56 PM

You say “old” or fat is associated with ugly, but I’d say buying into sizism and agism is uglier still. Sure one can lose the weight but what are they supposed to do about their age? Lie and get plastic surgery? Ridiculous. The right man won’t care about shallow crap like that. No one stays young and thin forever, not even the men who insist on it. now THAT’s reality!

Avien April 21, 2011 - 11:57 AM

Well I been struggling with my weight since I was eight years old and it hasn’t been until recently at the age of 24 that I decided to get serious and start my weight loss journey. I have been in a steady relationship for the past 3 years. When I mentioned to my bf how I felt about my weight and what I wanted to do of course he gave the usual bf talk of “You are wonderful the way you are” and “I personally don’t think you need to loose weight” but he also went on to say that he “would support me and do whatever he can to help me with what I wanted to do”. and I seriously believed him because we have been through so much… and he has been supporting me and has jumped on the bandwagon also because he is also over weight. But I know when I have tried to loose weight before in other relationships I have been ridiculed and even been told that if I lost weight they was gonna leave.. I have also been in the position where I have expressed the fact that I was interested in someone but I was “to fat to date, and we should just be friends” smh… So I truly believe that the basis of a good strong long lasting relationship is to find someone who loves you for you because our bodies will always be changing.. No persons body stays the same… As we age they change, as our situations change we loose/gain weight… things happen.. I feel that if I person truly loves you it doesn’t matter if you gain or loose weight.. If they have a problem with me wanting to gain or loose then I feel that they aren’t the right one for me… Cause truth be told a long lasting relationship has to do with way more than the size of your mate….

Erika Nicole Kendall April 21, 2011 - 12:25 PM

“So I truly believe that the basis of a good strong long lasting relationship is to find someone who loves you for you because our bodies will always be changing…”

While I hear what you’re saying, I still think that phrases like this miss the point.

Obviously, no woman is foolish enough to genuinely say “I’m going to purposefully go out and find a man who loves me for my nice booty,” or “I want him because he loves me for [insert something superficial].” Though women do wind up in situations like that, I think that this turns the focus OUTWARD, as opposed to inward.

Yes, find someone who loves you for you, but only after you’ve resolved within yourself that you love you for you, and made sure that you’re a whole-enough woman to go out and genuinely contribute to a relationship and another person’s life. I’m assuming that women make sound sane decisions when it comes to choosing a mate, but even if they don’t, this post isn’t about that part of dating. This is about truly looking at ourselves and deciding whether or not we’re emotionally sound enough to actually date successfully. Lots of broken people enter the dating pool every day… I’m just trying to see how many of us take stock of ourselves to make sure we aren’t one of ’em.

CoCo April 21, 2011 - 2:25 PM

“This is about truly looking at ourselves and deciding whether or not we’re emotionally sound enough to actually date successfully. Lots of broken people enter the dating pool every day… I’m just trying to see how many of us take stock of ourselves to make sure we aren’t one of ‘em.”

I don’t think a lot of people are used to hearing about someone who is choosing not to date because they are working on themselves (physically or otherwise). With work, school, working on my weight, etc. it’s good for me to be single and focus on my life right now. I just don’t have the space in my head or my heart for someone else while I’m trying to make myself better. But when the topic of dating comes up with my friends, it never ceases to amaze me how many people suggest I “get out there”, “wear a push up bra” or “put on some makeup” to find somebody. It seems to me that some people think having a relationship is more important than emotional health and stability, which is too bad. I’ve learned more about myself since I’ve been making a point to be single than I ever have when I was chasing after somebody.

Aiby36 April 25, 2011 - 1:58 PM

I have actually experienced this recently. Friends telling me I need to get back into the dating scene. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with taking time to be selfish to understand who you really are. Honestly, I feel that more woman should do this–while changing their bodies or not. For me, the decision to change my physical appearance revealed the need to strengthen my emotional self. This process needed to happen regardless of my choice to change my eating and exercise habits.

Allison April 21, 2011 - 12:17 PM

I not too long ago left a relationship where clearly my weight was an issue for the man I was seeing. Granted I wanted to lose the weight and tried to commit to the gym and eating better but quite often fell off a bit. Him asking me constantly about the gym or what I was eating didn’t help either and only magnified my insecurities. One day his ex called me and said he told her I wasn’t his ideal woman because I was fat, that broke the straw on the camel’s back for me. I decided that I need to be on my weight loss journey alone because I knew once I was comfortable with my size, it would remove a lot of the insecurities I had in my past relationships. I am talking to a few men but I’m truly not trying to form anything serious, just trying to get myself in order before I commit to something serious because I believe if you’re not happy with yourself, you can’t be happy with someone else.

Chi Chi April 21, 2011 - 12:49 PM

I can kind of relate with not being ‘seen’ when you have more weight. When the Atkins diet first came out, I did it and lost about 60 lbs and I noticed I was getting more attention. I eventually gained all that weight back and then some and so here I am currently trying to lose weight and still have a lot to lose. I have been big all of my life so I am sort of used to way that I look and have become accustomed to it, so I know what flatters my shape, I’ve met a few guys here and there and my overall self esteem is pretty good. I would be lying if I never thought that my weight was the reason why I was single, but then I look at the 80 million single beautiful girlfriends I have and about 90% are slim to average so it has to be more than about weight in my eyes. I have never thought I was ugly and think I clean up very nicely, but maybe when you are bigger you just don’t get ‘seen.’

I do have a very outgoing personality and make friends very easily and often feel that people gravitate towards me, but now that I am going through this journey of overall well being I wonder if I use my personality to outshine my outward appearance. I have been pondering this lately b/c I have been learning how to say no to a lot of things other than food and people are telling me that I’m changing.

nita April 21, 2011 - 4:02 PM

Hi Chi Chi,

The words I have for you are simply this, Chi Chi you are changing and it is a very important wonderful thing. I realized in my own journey that the phrase “you’re changing” isn’t always about you, but rather how the changes you are making impact the people in your life. Your friends may fear somehow that they will be “left behind”. We both know that this is absolutely not true! It could also be that your striving to improve your health has made them take a “good long look at themselves” and we all know the “good long look “can be sobering. It takes tremendous strength to look inward and make corrections while that strength is takes in my opinion should always be supported and encouraged, the truth is often that does not happen. Friends may fall by the wayside which is a very sad thing. But I have found that the void will often make way for new things and new people to enter your life and when the very people who had issues with your “changing” realize that you are still the same person with the same heart they make their way back to you. So Chi Chi I leave you with this, change is a wonderful thing to embrace. It is the only way we can achieve our hopes and dreams. Stay your course I’m sure your friend will come around, my friends have. Please know that although I am a complete stranger to you. You are “seen” and supported as wonderful you.


Chi Chi April 22, 2011 - 11:40 AM

Thank you Nita! Your words were a wonderful way for me to start my Friday!

nita April 25, 2011 - 2:52 PM

Hi Chi Chi,

I’m so happy you found it helpful!


Kiwi April 21, 2011 - 1:17 PM

I don’t have much choice in the matter as a married woman. Luckily he’s military and will be gone for most if this process. It’s a hard road for me because I find myself angry that I feel better about myself when I look in the mirror. To acknowledge that I didn’t look as good or feel as good as I lied about when I was bigger is an emotional process and I’m glad it’s an experience I can go through without him here.

Malpha April 21, 2011 - 2:14 PM

I didn’t date before, I don’t date now…it’s not really hard, with reading, Netflix, PS3, really I don’t have enough time as it is. Truthfully, I’m not quite at liberty to do so, as I’m currently in an area not too hospitable to queer individuals and a queer dating scene, but I’m hoping to move soon! So I do plan on trying to start afterward, it’s kind of been like a, I don’t want to say a “reward”, but more like a “life experience”?

If I had to be honest, the women I’ve known (mom, aunts, grandmother, friends of family) have been expected to sacrifice and deal with a lot of BS in relationships because they are treated as though they should be lucky to be in a relationship to begin with (or have to learn to live with a relationship for financial reasons or are pressured to behave a certain way for religious reasons) and once they’re in one, they don’t have a lot of time for themselves, they’re constantly expected to make time for and accommodate spouse/children. I don’t really have time for that…especially when I need to put myself first to accomplish this goal. And further, if I’m at my “A game” so to speak, I feel like I can better head off and cut off people looking to gain relational dominance through demeaning comments over appearance. It’s kinda twisted, but oh well.

Jubilance April 21, 2011 - 2:35 PM

I have been losing weight steadily over the past year (down about 50 pounds – yay!) and I dated during the entire time. I met a guy I really liked at my absolute highest weight, and it didn’t affect our situation at all. During my weight loss I dated 4 guys – 2 seriously. None of them had a problem with my weight. I’m naturally a confident woman tho, even when I was highest weight & hated my body, it didn’t affect me where I was unable to go out & attract men.

The funny this now that I’m smaller (though not at goal yet) I’m actually not dating anymore. My weight loss journey had no affect on my decision to stop dating – other factors led me to do it. But now that I don’t have the distraction of dating, I can focus more on my journey & work towards getting to my goal faster.

Indulgence1908 April 21, 2011 - 2:48 PM

I am currently struggling with the issue of dating. I recently lost alot of weight, and have more to go. When I was bigger, I never thought I deserved more then what I got, and what I got wasn’t much. I basically put up with anything, because I felt “who would want me”, eventually my mind changed and that is what caused me to loose the weight. The deciding factor was the last fool I dated, I made the decision, that I know longer wanted to attract his type anymore. You know the type, he uses your insecurity against you. Leaving him alone and loving myself FIRST, for once, enabled me the courage to loose the weight.

So now, I want to date, but I want to enjoy dating. Not always insecure and wondering, why is he with me, but being secure in myself. The reason that i wasn’t attracting the right person is, how could they treat me right when I wasn’t treating myself right.

I think if you date while you are still loosing, you have to get your mind right. If not, you won’t change anything, and eventually gain the weight back

Trina April 21, 2011 - 2:50 PM

I have decided that I don’t want to date. I’ve been going back and forth with it but this is honestly the first time in my entire life that I’m an actual priority. With me finally focusing on me and making my life better, right now I want to do just that. I feel like I’m being rebuilt from the inside out and when it comes to mindsets, myths, lies, and also words that I’ve spoken and others have over my life. As I’ve lost the first twenty pounds my confidence has soared. BUT that has only been compounded by the fact that I have the mental and spiritual space to think about ME. It isn’t about someone else and how/what they think but about me. This isn’t being selfish in my book, it’s actually bringing my into the picture. Like I’ve told a friend, I’m finally going from being the side character in my life to the main character. It feels good and as much as I would like to be in a relationship one day, right now this is too important. Too solidifying for me and my soul.

Shannon April 21, 2011 - 3:08 PM

This post is right on time for me. In the past few months I have been trying to “re-enter” the dating world after a 3-year hiatus during which time I was recovering from the difficult and bitter end to my marriage. That period of time was the first time since I hit puberty that I actually took time to get to know ME without trying to pursue a relationship. I began focusing on my own mental and emotional health and realized I had a lot of issues that were not conducive to a healthy relationship. I think that time was so valuable and helped me to realize how important self-love truly is. See, I have been overweight for the better part of the last 6 years (gained toward the end of my marriage – lots of stress) and whether it is related or not, I have had a lot of trouble meeting the quality of men that I like since then. My ex was a “chubby chaser” and didn’t care about my weight, or rather loved big women, but it has been a major issue for me in terms of how I see myself. While I haven’t received any of the comments about my weight that some of the other commenters have, I have felt that my options have been limited by my weight. I definitely don’t feel like men “see” me anymore. I mean when I was smaller, men were always honking at me when I walked down the street, trying to say hello, grab my hand when I walked by them, etc. And while these aren’t the most romantic gestures, I do feel the void of that attention now that I am bigger. Clearly 3 years wasn’t long enough to work on my self-esteem and all that emotional baggage I’ve carried around. Still, I have been trying the online dating thing and find that the men that are attracted me are into “bigger” women. I don’t want to necessarily be THAT woman those men are looking for, but I also want some companionship and to go on a date for goodness sakes! Lol. This is such an emotional rollercoaster. Getting back into the dating world has made me realize that I still have a lot of insecurities, I still haven’t healed completely and that losing weight is going to have to be based on my health, happiness and love of myself. Still, I can’t help but have the idea in the back of my mind that I won’t find the guy I want while I am this size. It’s not a healthy attitude but it is where I am right now.

Camms August 11, 2013 - 12:36 AM

I feel the same way you do. I met my husband smaller and now we are about to divroce and Im just realizing how I dont get any attention from men anymore. And I hate looking in the mirror at my fat arms, legs, and stomach. I just hate myself. I got comfortable in my marriage but it fell apart, he was a loser anyway, cheating and even abusing me. But I know once I get to 130 men will be at my door for dates, In high school I was small and got alot of attention from the opposite sex. I kinda of miss that lol. Anyway I just hope I will find a good man who loves me for me.

Daphne April 21, 2011 - 3:30 PM

I’m not dating while I lose weight. I have a lot to lose, and to me, dating a man while I’m going through such a drastic physical change is likely not in my best interest. Why? Because with that physical change, I anticipate some psychological changes as well, and I need to be able to properly deal with that without having to potentially mollycoddle a significant other and his issues with my weight loss.

Serenity April 21, 2011 - 3:55 PM

There are plenty of men who don’t have a “size” preference. We make it worse than it is because we are obsessed with it. My 1st husband saw me go from 160-280 and never blinked. My size wasn’t the thing for him. It was that fact that no matter what size I was, I remained flawless…. meaning my clothes were always VERY stylish, my hair, my nails done like ALL THE TIME! My current husband met me at this weight (not 280!!!). He has dated tall, short, Black, white, thick, and thin. His ‘thing’ is breasts. So my point is not all men are fixated on weight. And we need to be mindful of that.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 21, 2011 - 4:03 PM

Not to belabor the issue, but this comment also misses the point.

I’m trying to keep this on topic – this is absolutely not about whether or not men care about a changing body. There are enough men in the world where there’s a man to like every size and every shape. That’s pretty irrelevant to what I’m saying, here. This is about whether or not THE WOMAN is mentally and emotionally whole before she enters the dating market. As I said in another comment, this is about truly looking at ourselves and deciding whether or not we’re emotionally sound enough to actually date successfully. Lots of broken people enter the dating pool every day… I’m just trying to see how many of us take stock of ourselves to make sure we aren’t one of ‘em.

Y’all keep wanting to focus outward (on men) instead of inward (on YOU.) What’s that about?

Kim April 21, 2011 - 7:52 PM

Erika, you said: “This is about whether or not THE WOMAN is mentally and emotionally whole before she enters the dating market. As I said in another comment, this is about truly looking at ourselves and deciding whether or not we’re emotionally sound enough to actually date successfully. Lots of broken people enter the dating pool every day… I’m just trying to see how many of us take stock of ourselves to make sure we aren’t one of ‘em.”

This is interesting because I kind of have the OPPOSITE situation going on. For years, I didn’t date because I didn’t feel worthy. I just stuffed myself with cookies and ice cream and occupied myself with my work, friends, and family. Today I am at my heaviest weight, but have embarked on a journey to better health – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. As part of that, I *want* to date and stop being the fat chick alone in the corner. But I’m finding the pool of potential suitors to be rather shallow. It is only the fact that I know of plenty of attractive, slim sisters who are great catches that are also single (or just dealing with a jerk) that keeps me from completely blaming the situation on my weight. But yeah, for me the decision to date has come from a recognition that I am date-worthy . . . that has been a long time coming . . . .

Erika Nicole Kendall April 21, 2011 - 8:32 PM

See, that’s interesting. I don’t know that this is an issue of whether or not one is date-worthy. We’re ALL date-worthy. I don’t know of any reason – short of committing a heinously deviant act – why one wouldn’t be WORTHY of dating.

That being said, worth isn’t what we’re discussing here. I genuinely hope that ALL of us consider ourselves to be worthy of love, admiration and adoration. Again, these are external elements. Might not feel like it, but it is, without a doubt.

Like I said, “Lots of broken people enter the dating pool every day,” ostensibly because they believe they’re date-worthy. That doesn’t mean they aren’t emotionally confused. This also doesn’t mean that the only emotionally confused people in the dating game are overweight…. so we can stop trying to single out “slim women” and stop bringing them up like their lives are perfect. No woman is exempt from emotional problems, so let’s not get into the realm of “thin women” because when I made the comment that you quoted, I was referring to ALL women – thin or otherwise, y’know?

I’m glad that you feel date-worthy, but take stock of your emotional self and determine whether or not you’re emotionally ready to involve another person in your life and actively contribute to theirs… and there’s nothing wrong with saying “Yes, I am date-worthy because I am dope, but I am not ready to be bothered with all that right now.” That’s all I’m sayin’, mama.

Eva April 22, 2011 - 9:36 AM

You make a good point Erika, but many people think they’re ready to date when they aren’t. I think the question is, how does a person know they’re broken? How does a person know they can deal with a relationship? Sometimes that knowledge takes a long time to come.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 22, 2011 - 9:42 AM

I don’t disagree with that. I also don’t have a problem admitting that I think a LOT of people should spend some quality time with themselves, not dating.

Do I have an answer for that? Yep. I’m going to write it out in a blog post, though, because a lot of strange things happened in these comments.

Malpha April 22, 2011 - 11:16 AM

“It was that fact that no matter what size I was, I remained flawless…. meaning my clothes were always VERY stylish, my hair, my nails done like ALL THE TIME! ”

But see, some women don’t want to do that. My mom is a hefty lady, but she still looks great because she puts a lot of effort into her appearance. Personally, I don’t want to feel like I have to dress around being fat or having to buy certain things, wear a lot of makeup, a lot of high maintenance things I don’t like to do to compensate for being overweight. I’m a jeans/t-shirt, minimal makeup, no-fuss-no-weave hairstyle person….when you’re overweight, unless you spend a ton of money on fashion, this translates into being frumpy, whereas if you’re a smaller person, it’s just a more androgynous or lowkey look.

Nikita April 21, 2011 - 4:39 PM

As I walk steadily towards getting healthy, passing up things that I would normally eat and eating a great deal less, I have pondered dating and what they would be like. I will also admit that this becoming healthy forces me to look at myself mentally and emotionally and to face things that I have avoided. Currently I am in counseling, and as I work some things out, dealing with a great deal of emotions I have avoided for years, I have noticed that I eat a great deal less and get to living a great deal more. I was always comfy with my body as a larger woman (size 14-16), but after not caring about the state of my body for four years, let’s just say I have some work to do to get it in shape and to get myself ready for a relationship emotional intimacy and love. When you don’t love yourself the best you can but just let yourself go, I believe that often that is the kind of man that you attract into your life. I am beginning to understand now that I deserve to position myself to have the best life I can for me.

I am exercising now, getting up in the morning (sigh!) and getting on the treadmill I purchased, and recently decided to start using another piece of equipment my parents bought for me eons ago. I am also beginning to lift weight and continuing with yoga. My desire to get healthy and have a great and solid relationship is real and one that I am willing to do the work to obtain. I want to be available for the right man when he comes along, and though I do not think that weight loss is the end all be all, I think that becoming as healthy as I can in all of the ways that I can is part of my solution.

Cerpin Taxt April 21, 2011 - 11:09 PM

I’ve been mulling this over everyday since I began the journey.

I’m at the point in my life where I know I deserve better and I won’t settle for less than that. I also know that my size as it is now significantly hinders me from snatching what my better is.

I do crave a certain amount of companionship but I’m gonna fall back and not jump into anything. I know that my weight is the source of most of my insecurity and that insecurity fuels my paranoia about most dudes.

So, I think it’s best that I remain unattached.

Nina April 22, 2011 - 10:12 AM

When it comes to working on yourself and taking time out of the dating scene to be “selfish”, I have been there, but for me it was more a matter of self preservation. I have also had to sideline myself because I knew I was vulnerable and knew that I would get dogged…but that was only after it happened (and embarrassment ensued). I literally had to take emotional stock and think about what I was putting out there about myself. I wasn’t projecting that I was rebuilding or improving or growing, I was projecting brokenness and shame over where I was and how I had allowed myself to get to that point. I was also very confused and guilty because I didn’t want to feel like my self worth was so attached to my appearance. But the odd thing is, that once I started to take better care of myself and to care about my health (physical and emotional) I came to some really important realizations. And I made some crazy connections about not only what I put in/on my body but also the people I let into my life and how I spent my time and energy. It’s hard to explain, but it’s crazy what happens when you feel empty or unfulfilled…and how you try to compensate for that.

On the other side, I feel very…full…spilling over, so to speak. Like I can give because I love and not because I’m needed, or worse, because I’m needy. And I am able to put things in better perspective. I can cut out unhealthy relationships and step away from toxicity without guilt. It has become so much deeper than food and exercise because I have been forced to pursue health on so many levels. And I hope this doesn’t sound cliche, but as this transformation was happening (and I am a work still in progress), love blossomed.

Natasha April 22, 2011 - 1:34 PM

I love myself, I love men, I love sex, I love food, I love to workout, I love my weightloss journey. For me, it is about balance, in all areas in my life and I encourage all women to go towards balance. If balance means sex go for it, if balance means abstinence then go for it, get it? There is more than one way to live, love, and be.

Colah April 24, 2011 - 2:47 AM

I have been enjoying all the attention I’ve been getting with my new figure, but it is also overwhelming at times. I don’t really want to settle with one suitor because I want to be free to date anyone I please. When I was 130+ pounds heavier (in the 300+ club) I saw what dating was like for my slim girlfriends and was glad to realize (for wisdom’s sake) that being slim wouldn’t make the mate selection process any easier. Rather, I would only have more men to choose from and more BS to sift through by default. I see that first hand now. Is it fun, flattering and ego boosting to be the object of appreciative stares and winks? Hell yes! However, I do have more pressing concerns in my life that don’t involve deciding who gets to take me out, who to call back, or what to wear out on the town. Plus, dating often involves dining out and cocktails which are unnecessary temptations as I crunch down my last 20 pounds or 10 inches. I’m VERY seriously considering keeping me all to myself for a while after reading this and evaluating my core needs at this point in my life. Thank you for the sagacious and valid perspective on the matter.

Miz Toni April 25, 2011 - 11:47 AM

This is a big issue, for me. If you hide yourself away from the dating scene and concentrate on losing weight, what happens if you never lose the weight? or if it takes years and years? What happens if after the weight loss you still can’t get a date? plenty of single women are at very healthy/socially acceptable weights. And many of them can’t get/keep a man to save there lives. How would that leave you feeling? Haggen das anyone?!!!! So many unanswerable questions, so I decided rather than pondering these issues for too long I’m just gonna concentrate on eating healthy, exercising and getting to a more healthy weight, and let the cards fall where they may. I will Trust in myself to take good care of me and put it out there into the universe that you only want to attract people/lovers/mates that will be a loving supporter of you goals in life, weight loss being just one of them. I’m not going to wait for the weight loss to happen: I’M GONNA LIVE MY LIFE LIKE IT ALREADY HAPPENED!!. I’m gonna love what I’ve got and make the most of if, while I transition. I’m gonna do what I love, go to museums, art galleries, farmers markets, and if I meet someone nice, I’m not gonna let my weight stop me from going on a date. I not going to online date or anything like that but I will be more socially active. And if I meet someone then wonderful. Either way, you gotta love, the you, that you are right now.

Erika Nicole Kendall April 25, 2011 - 1:29 PM

It’s the same thing in these comments… over and over and over again.

Where did I say “wait until you lose the weight?” Did I say that, or did I say the following:

“I mean, I can understand a desire to date – if for no other reason but the sake of company and being sociable – but I wonder if there’s a part of a woman’s journey (and I specify gender there for a reason) where, if it’s extensive enough, she’d benefit from not dating. My journey was like literally demolishing a building and rebuilding it from scratch. Would you let anyone set up their home in your building, knowing that it wasn’t completely solid, sturdy or even able to provide adequate shelter? If a house is still being actively rebuilt, I wouldn’t rest my head in it.”

I didn’t say “wait until you lose the weight.” I said “take some time to figure out whether or not you require some emotional growth and development.” That doesn’t have anything to do with weight loss, and it doesn’t have anything to do with being skinny or not. Emotional shortcomings should cause ANY person – thin or otherwise – to step away from the dating scene.

All these excuses to not actually spend some time alone with yourself… and, really, it sounds more like you’re more interested with finding a man than finding peace when people imply that their mental health isn’t more important than dating. If you already have peace, I’d presume you’d understand what I’m referring to in this post, and realize that I’m not talking about you.

Seriously. Anything to avoid doing a mental assessment, I guess.

Nicthommi May 2, 2011 - 3:03 PM

Um, the last question posed in your article was asking women if they dated or not while losing weight. It sounds like this poster and many others answered your question and you keep chastising them for it.
It seems that many people felt that they weren’t necessarily rebuilding themselves, or that they shouldn’t wait to try to find love even if they were. Some did feel the need to stay focused on themselves. But how is that not answering your question? If not everyone feels that they must go through some complex emotional restructuring as they change their bodies, then why is that answer insufficient?
So if I was to answer your question, I’d say that for now I am not falling back because I feel as though I’ve spent my whole life falling back, and I don’t think I need to. I mean, if I decide that it gets to be too much, then maybe I’ll reconsider, and yes, some people will shed the partners that they are with or that they choose.
But how is this NOT answering your question and why is it that only the people who say that they are continuing and explaining why are getting criticized for that?
Maybe the better question and the one that you want answered is whether or not people think that they should get involved with someone if they are going through a big transformation and why did they decide that they can juggle both. Or you should ask people if they feel as though they are going through a complex journey and even need to shut new people out. Because not everyone feels the same way that you do about what is going on in their heads. That doesn’t mean that they are avoiding the work, but we are all different even if the exteriors look similar.
I think that the title of the article AND the question you posed are the reason why you are getting these answers, so maybe consider that instead of criticizing everyone who isn’t answering you the way that you want.

Erika Nicole Kendall May 2, 2011 - 4:46 PM

It’s not about “getting the answers I want.” This isn’t about me. I’m questioning a VERY specific thing, here.

When a woman implies that it is UNNECESSARY to assess someone’s mental capacity BEFORE they involve themselves in someone else’s life and BEFORE they involve someone else in theirs, I throw a flag on the play. Especially because my community has a habit of both downplaying mental health issues AND overemphasizing this “You’d better have a man ASAP!” thing I keep seeing. It’s more about them attacking the idea of not dating (as if to imply there’s never a reason to not date – again, flag on the play), not offering up what they’ve done and why.

YOUR comment isn’t “not answering” my question. This – “I’d say that for now I am not falling back because I feel as though I’ve spent my whole life falling back, and I don’t think I need to. I mean, if I decide that it gets to be too much, then maybe I’ll reconsider, and yes, some people will shed the partners that they are with or that they choose.” – didn’t downplay the need to assess your own ability to handle what you’re taking on. There is a difference. Glad you asked, because I’m sure you’re not the only one who figured as much.

Miz. Toni December 31, 2011 - 10:48 PM

Wow, this topic got a little heated. I left a comment a while back and I think it was misunderstood. I was really writing to affirm my choices about the future. I wasn’t really answering the question as much as stating my opinion on the subject. I, like many of the folks who have commented understand that this is a difficult subject at best. I am like the character from Waiting to Exhale. The one played by Loretta Divine. At first I didn’t date because I had way to much to do. Raise a set of twins, finish college, go to work, pta, swim classes and all that jazz, as a single parent, btw. By the time I had gotten all that out of the way, I had become a relationship hermit. I gained the weight and now I feel like I have to get rid of it to met the kind of man I want. I’ve spent the better half of my adult life doing the work to help me grow as a person. Now I’ve got a whole other challenge to work through. Weight loss.

MissMemorable May 14, 2011 - 7:32 AM

I bring a different perspective when I say that I have decided that right now I am not ready to give a man what he deserves out of a relationship with me because I have yet to give myself all that I deserve. This is compounded with the fact that at 26, I have never been on a date or dated anyone seriously.

Now, I assure you I’m cute. I know I am. I’ve been hit on by some decent looking dudes but for my entire life I have ALWAYS let my wait get in my own way. So this comment in not about whether or not there are men out there that want me. It’s about me not being ready to put myself out there. I don’t like body right now and I don’t want to be with someone who would want my body the way that it is (329 lbs) right now. Please understand that I for the most part I love me. I know I’m funny, smart and a great friend to have. And as much as I would like to be in a relationship or at least date, I know that I have develop my love of self and self esteem before I expect anyone else to.

So Erika, to answer your question I find it extraordinarily important to take a step back and evaluate one’s self and their WLJ prior to a embarking on a dating life. Again, it took me a long time to figure out why I kept men at a distance and now that I know why I can work on it to make the best me possible.

purple 'fro June 14, 2011 - 11:42 AM

I love love love this topic. a little about me i’ve been a bit large for all of my life. I stand at 5’10..I wear alot of 4 inch heals..so image this 230lb solid woman..already tall..wearing heals. I’ve never been below a size 14..and the only time i attract attention from men was when i was all done up while being my smallest (size 14 pushing to a 12). Right now…im back to being a 16 and honeslty..this topic is correct an on the head. Men just arent “seeing” you if your larger..for my case large AND tall.

I am not dating right now because weight loss (yes i am actively back on the road to my size 14 pushing into a 12) is just too much to deal with..to have a man around. It’s really psychological and it just require me to focus on what i’m eating..what is motivating me to eat along with..attacking alot of my personal issues as it really relates to my weight. So weight loss. coupled with learning me, AND going to grad school and a new career change…umm yeah. I dunno call me crazy…but i think i will be capable to date when i’ve dropped these pesky 30 pounds, and near the close of my grad school career.

I never attracted the men i wanted to date..because most of them prefer “pettite”. That I am not. The men I did attact where very much over weight and felt that because I was a large tall girl i would settle on them. I did “fool around” with a attractive looking man who was tall and slender but he was a mess and half…but some reason he liked tall “thick” women. So I knew my size wasnt an issue. But then I wonder..when I lose the weight and start attracting whole new set of men…will they really be genuine..and where were they when I was larger…and is there a whole new head space of competition to deal with? I have smaller sister friends…who are single and attract men nice looking men who I would not pay for all the tea in china to deal with. I dunno know..

but yeah..i chose not to date during weight loss..because to much emotional and mentail changes are going on. Shucks, it’s like renovation. I did not sleep in my condo until everything was done and too my liking.

*i loooooove this blog by the way. this site had motivated me to keep pressing on in my weight loss journey*

MzTee June 19, 2011 - 5:44 PM

I haven’t dated in several years. At first, it was by choice. As the years went on and I gained more weight, I became a hermit. My only male interactions were limited to family members and work colleagues. Until recently, I just began to vocalize my desire to date. However, I don’t like my body at this size. I’m uncomfortable with it. My outward appearance is fly and my demeanor is super confident; but, I know that I project my dislike of my curreny body size to the universe making myself unattractive to men. I am a firm believer in ‘you are what you think.’

I know I’ll feel more comfortable dating when I’m a smaller size. This will affect my behavior, attitude, and actions. If I’m digging me, then men will as well.

pretty yung thang June 20, 2011 - 1:22 AM

Right now I’m so focused on one losing weight and two adding a DDS at the end of my name so I haven’t been dating. I have been pretty lucky to meet some pretty fabolous guys who accepted me as I am even though I don’t accepted me. Some how I have balloon in a weight I have never been in my life and a size I don’t feel comfortable at and I’m not even 30… I have started eatting healthier and hitting the gym atleast 3 times a week.I did a big chop on my hair and I’m looking foward to the new me..so I think i ‘ll wait a little longer to really get out there and start dating at this point I don’t need any up sets to send me off the cliff into a world wind of unhealthy goodies…

Lee August 16, 2011 - 1:22 PM

Call me shallow if you choose but I have believe in calling out the big elephant in the room so it can be dealt with. I recently met a great guy that is overweight to the point where he takes meds for HBP and Chol. He asked me how I felt about him/his situation. I was honest and told him that I have always been attracted to people who value their health/wellness. Elephant #1: The usual topic of genetics came up and I get that. However, if you are not your proper weight, making proper food choices and have an active lifestyle then you don’t know if your illnesses are genetic or not. Elephant #2: HBP meds can affect a man’s ability to perform in the bedroom and I went there. He told me that there is a pill for that. I asked him if he actually heard himself. You are taking meds for what might be controlled with lifestyle changes and then you are willing to take a pill to combat some of the well-known side effects of the pills you may not even need to take with a few changes. WOW! That was not sexy in any way, shape or form. I believe that we all look for what appeals to us and I’m not mad at any man or woman who chooses to look at the outer because it may be a big indication of what’s going on inside at least healthwise. Ignoring the inner beauty of a person, male or female, is a huge mistake but we don’t get to that until later…ijs and keeping it real

The Curvy Road Runner October 31, 2011 - 4:48 PM

The thought to NOT date never crossed my mind. I have a good amount of self confidence and when i was at my biggest, I was still sexy. Men respond to a woman with confidence, regardless of her size. True, the more weight you loose, the larger the pool of men who find you attractive. But the idea that a woman should stop dating just because she’s losing weight and trying to be healthier doesn’t resonate with me. If you had self esteem issues as a big person, those issues can still follow u as u slim down. What the focus needs to be on is how we see and treat ourselves.

Erin Milligan November 1, 2011 - 10:55 PM

Stumbled upon your blog because a friend merely “liked” it on Facebook using that crazy live stalking feature. But, boy, was I glad that she did. I have really loved snooping around, and have to say that this particular post makes an excellent point that I think was well-divided and outlined: that while weight does play a factor into attraction, it needn’t play a factor in terms of value. We have to get to a point where we are not drawing value externally based on unrealistic expectations (though, I’d contend drawing them externally is a problem in and of itself). If we reach a point where we are satisfied with our personal brand of beauty, in all its transitions and forms, then deriving some value externally can work to a point. But really our value doesn’t have to link with our attractiveness at all – and I think that is an excellent way to divide the issue. Divorcing attraction from value is a critical point that you have touched on. Cheers.

Ayana November 14, 2011 - 6:27 PM

I am so glad I saw this post. I am struggling with the same sentiment. My spin is that I’m now 37 and feel like my weight has held me back from love for the better part of my dating life. Now that I am clearly ready to wife and mommy up- I find my options limited. I want to lose weight to have my “outside” reflect how I feel about myself on the “inside.” In my opinion, like you Erika, I felt like I was not able to attract the caliber of man that I wanted. I had to defer to the guys who liked “big girls” or didn’t mind the extra pounds. I realized at some point that I, myself, didn’t like being a “big girl” (hate that phrase!) so I wouldn’t like a guy who liked me. Twisted but a huge part of my “coming to Jesus” that has put me on this path. I am starting with wanting to lose 70 pounds. I am starting with the first 50- which I know will take some time.

I am wrestling with a crush on a great guy at work but even through our flirting, there is a part of me that wants to wait to see if/when this thing could reach it’s tipping point and part of me that wants to wait until I am in my best shape- phsyically and emotionally- since I’m not just looking for a casual fling. Although, I project confidence, I’m not sure I really feel it when I think “he could have that girl” or “why would he want a “big girl” when he could get a thinner, prettier, more socially acceptable girl.” I know, I know. This is MY issue, not his. So, is it right for me to project that issue onto him when he just comes by for a flirt and nice conversation a couple times a week? If he woke up tomorrow and asked me out, would I feel comfortable or would I find some way to sabotage it because I don’t feel good enough. I can’t get past the feeling that ‘maybe he’s just being nice to the fat girl at work’ and me thinking that HE is thinking ‘poor girl.’

So, no conclusion has been made

HuckleberryHound February 24, 2012 - 3:19 AM

This is a discussion that I’ve been wrestling with in my own head. After attaining my graduate degree, I had gained almost 40lbs. A year after that, I had my heart broken and decided to pull back from dating due to my feelings. During that time, I began meditating and I lost all the weight and became the healthiest I had ever been.

Now I’m in a loving relationship and I’ve gained 20lbs of that back and working towards losing it. I can’t pull back, because I’m in love, but I have noticed that this weight loss journey is different from my last. Someone else is along for the ride and all the psychological issues that I meditated through on my own are now part of our relationship.

Most long-term weight loss journeys require you to choose the road less travel and you grow stronger in many ways. This time, while I’m dating, I’m choosing to use this journey and all the psychological challenges that come along with it as a practice in relationship transparency.

Regardless if you chose to pull-back, completely abstain or even increase your dating during your journey, you should always be working to be the best you possible. It makes it easier to spot the impostors.

Cher June 24, 2012 - 4:42 AM

I really enjoyed reading this. It was right on time. This past week I tried to explain to my friends why I was not ready to date yet. When the summer vacation started I joined an online dating site and met a few people but had serious anxiety about it because of my own insecurities about myself. I thought I was fine because I had already lost 35 lbs and I was already feeling better about myself, but the reality is, I have 80 more lbs to lose. I decieded to get off of the site and focus on getting my tail in the gym and planning my meals. Trying to date was messing up my schedule. I would miss my cardio days or stay out late and not get enough sleep. These things were messing me up from getting to my goal. Not to mention being nervous about trying to get this person to see my personality and not my body drove me crazy and I turned to food. I am so glad I am not alone. I felt like I was making excuses for not dating expecially because some people just didnt’ understand. But I am glad to see that I am not the only one who felt the need to give up dating while on this journey.

Neikata June 24, 2012 - 1:49 PM

I made the decision not to date. I want to get myself together and be at peace with me for awhile. Eating healthy, exercising, and my family are my main priorities right now. I think dating would knock me off my square. I am enjoying the time to just, “DO ME”.

MissJoy June 25, 2012 - 12:38 PM

Although I’m not dating right now, I get approached a lot, but by men I’m sooo not interested in…LOL! But this post did remind me of a recent conversation I had. A co-worker of mine has always expressed interest in me since he began working for the company. A few months later, he approached me and said “Can I ask you something? I don’t mean to offend you…”. Of course I’m already on defense (lol)! He asks me if I have lost weight. I said yes (I’d lost about 20 in those few months). Then he says: “Why? You were thick before. Now your stomach is getting flatter, your face is thinner. I like them thick.”


I couldn’t even respond to that. I just walked away because that was some pure garbage he just said. Loser. LOL!

sweetpea June 25, 2012 - 12:43 PM

Well. I have always had a weight problem but I just recent told myself that I need to get to know me do I have stop date period to do just that….I’m also trying to lost weight for health reasons ..with me I found that I gain weight when I’m in a relationship…but I have an old boyfriend that we are just friends now that is my support system he never had a problem with my weight we broke up for other reasons

marie August 16, 2012 - 5:45 AM

I just broke up with my bf of almost a two-years relationship, I trusted him a lot and I now feel so betrayed, disguted as per what he did.
I don’t see myself dating someone again, sharing intimacy with another man is something I am just not ready to do. I see most of my friends who breaks up and find another man asap but I just can’t.

I cannot engage in any kind of relationship right now as I am in a time where I am not totally emotionnally strong and do not feel really comfortable with my body, my mind. So sharing THAT with someone? sorry but no.

I started my weight loss/therapy journey a few months ago (and I have to say that the breakup gave me an extra boost) and that will be how I will try to heal, through spending time with myself, I guess that is the only thing I can do.

But I realized that the idea to spend time with myself is a bit scary, like “how do I do that?”, “what if I don’t like what I find?”

It is much easier to dive into another relationship with someone than spending some time to appreciate and discover ourselves.

Erika Nicole Kendall August 16, 2012 - 9:12 AM


marie March 18, 2013 - 5:13 PM

Hey hey I re-read this post, I can’t imagine it’s been 6 months since I left this comment (I was depressed I can remember….)

Still not dating but I feel SO much better about
Actually I have noticed one thing, there is one the one side what you feel about yourself and on the other side what society wants you to feel about yourself. It’s socially “normal” to be dating and socially “weird” to be single AND appreciate to spend time with yourself. From my own experience what I noted is that you need an extra strength not to fall into what is socially acceptable, and make the decision for you and listen to what you feel and find your true needs.
As far as i’m concerned, i’m still on my weight loss / self-discovery journey and I love it. I’m not ready to date and I think I still need a bit of time. I find myself so amazing lol lol. I’ve lost 10k and I’ve less than 10 to go. I will participate to my first race (10km) in a few weeks. I’m so proud of all the progress I’ve made!
One advice: live for yourself, and learn to love yourself <3

Anna November 12, 2012 - 8:51 AM

I started changing my lifestyle 2 months ago and I’ve had a pretty impressive weight loss going. I’ve always suffered from being lonely but I’m just way too insecure to date. And a few days ago, I decided to get out of my “shell” and start dating again. But it didn’t go so well. I was rejected by a BIG loser. Then I told myself: “What have I become?” Sure I was humiliated and even more insecure. I asked God: WHY? I’m TRYING and you still do this to me! It’s not fair!
But I kept my diet. And now I’m even more motivated. I’m not going to date until I’m 100% confident about myself. I’m sick and tired of being smashed into pieces. If anyone here is as sensitive as I am, I recommend you to be single for a while and after you feel happy with yourself, you can allow someone else into your life.

Thank you for this great article you’re such an inspiration even though I’m not black 🙂
Lots of love, Anna

Alana December 11, 2012 - 2:10 PM

@Anna, I’m in the same boat as you. I stayed out of the market two years ago after my divorce and during that time I did do a lot of soul searching, but not a lot losing weight. So, when I reluctantly re-entered the dating market about six months ago I was very unsure of myself and ending up entertaining a guy I KNOW I wouldn’t have given the time of day at my best self. We had nothing in common other than a desire to date. I ended that and took myself right back off of the market until I am 100% sure of myself.

With all of that being said, I think women who want/need to lose weight can certainly date while they are losing weight but only if they are confident in themselves. This mantra would apply to all women – regardless of weight.

I’m not fully confident when I’m heavy, I’m self conscious and feel like I’m almost doing any man who wants to come into my life a disservice because I’m not offering the best of me which is what I want from whomever I end up being in a relationship with and I’m until I’m certain and confident in what I can offer, I’m not going to offer myself. Maybe confidence and weight/size shouldn’t be intertwined, but for me they are.

I’m down 10 pounds, about 70 to go. Good luck to anyone else on the same journey.

Nicole March 19, 2013 - 12:58 PM

Lol @ Ericka! i get the whole point, i too have lost about 140 lbs in two years and i have about 50 more to go before i venture off into fitness(weight lifting) land. I am not ok while dating even after so much weight loss, I personally have seen the change in men who so call chase me , but thats not it for me. I had a man at the beginning of my journey and now i dont and no i wasnt hurt we are still friends just not compatable(mainly because of my wanting a healthy living and him not). And I havent dated in about a year. I still feel like it distracts me from what i ultimately want to be and do.
Think about a lot of the weight lifters, they spend so much time in the gym (males) they barely make time for women and when they do they sometimes need you to validate they are “fine”.

bottom line for me is on the inside i dont feel like im ready to date(make friends yes) because my outside isnt complete, too me i still feel as insecure as i did at my highest weight and its because im striving for PERSONAL BEST not HIS BEST. Im happy not worrying about what some man thinks of me because been there done that, im trying to make sure im ok with me.

Mia March 20, 2013 - 4:21 PM

I’ve chosen not to date. I’ve been single for a little over a year and prior to that I was in a very long-term relationship; 7 years and I’m 27. I came out on this end of the relationship with lots of questions about who I am, what I like, what makes me happy, and etc. For me, dating is a distraction while I’m trying to get myself together. My family and my friends often question why I’m not interested in dating and why don’t I talk about seeing someone. My reply is that I’m not ready. Which is taken as I’m not over my ex. However, its about myself. I’m not a whole person and I’m rediscovering myself and I think that I can’t give a 100% if I don’t have 100%.

For me, its not about waiting until I’m 50 lighter to find love or to date. I understand that there are plenty of people who have no qualms about dating someone who is overweight. However, my issue not necessarily the the weight loss and dating. Health is not solely about weight. Having confidence is not solely about weight. Everyone has their own thing and line of thinking. But I just feel like if we took the time to be the best version of ourselves PRIOR to dating or committing to someone else, relationships would be healthier, they would last longer.

ChickieB April 1, 2013 - 11:37 AM

I gained about 120 pounds over the course of the last 8 years and stopped dating altogether. I gained the weight because I was very unhappy and the more weight I put on the unhappier I got. My physical appearance was a manifestation of what was going on with me emotionally. Why would I want to inflict all of that on another human being?

Last year I hit my heighest weight ever and was in serious fear for my life, my health, my sanity, my happiness and my future. I decided to buckle down and do the work. I went to therapy, changed my diet and started working out. I’m 100 pounds down so far and I couldn’t be happier. I started dating recently because I’m in a much healthier headspace. It’s not just the weight loss, it’s the fact that I’ve been strong enough to identify a problem and be disciplined enough to achieve the solution. When I’m eating healthy and exercising, those are acts of loving myself and if I’m able to love myself, I think that I’m able to let someone else love me too.

I realize that people go to school and achieve stellar careers and those are acts of love too. It’s been a very personal journey for me but my problem is about a lot more than just weight.

Good luck to everyone.

Jewell June 16, 2013 - 9:41 PM

Whew. Well, I think it is all about attitude – and general flyness. Sure, you may have more guys on you when thin, but honestly, I have some gorgeous, small girlfriends that have never been married/can’t stay in a happy relationship. I am not small, never have been, and I do not have a problem attracting CUTE men, getting free drinks, et al. I guess if I were smaller, I’d be ridiculous – LOL! Right now, I have a wonderful hubby that is a hottie (like me). Think this about loving yourself, working what you’ve got while you are on your journey, and if someone cannot appreciate it – screw ’em!

True June 16, 2013 - 10:55 PM

When I was smaller my confidence sucked. I still got attention but I would ignore it. I have noticed that when my confidence picked up then more people looked my way. Even at the weight I am now dating hasn’t been a huge issue for me. I am currently with a wonderful man who loves me. He is helpful and not nagging when it comes down to eating healthy. He loves my body from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet. I can look him in the eye and see how he feels about me. I also realize that having him doesn’t make or break me either. I just gave this advice to a cousin of mine who is having some troubles with her own weight/dating issues. I just told her she has to love herself first. The rest of that will fall into place eventually.

Susie June 28, 2013 - 2:41 AM

I’m losing weight now! I’m still fat, it makes me very upset
I can’t find good method also cannot very good persistence. I think need some psychological hint persistent stick to add movement.

Kay August 12, 2013 - 3:25 PM

I am currently losing weight (38) lbs down but I weight 220 right now. I have never been able to attract the caliber of men that I want. I have a Masters Degree, my own everything, but still I can’t manage to snag a good guy so I’ve spent my entire adulthood dating randoms here and there but I’ve not been in a “relationship” since high school. I know it’s because of my size. I wanna thank all the women on here who are being honest with their dating struggles. It’s just true that when you are smaller, you get a different kind of man. Very few men want to date the big girl. I tend to attract the men who want to use me because I’m a bigger girl they automatically think they are about to live off of me which has never and will never happen. I can’t wait to see what life will be like on the other side when I get down to my goal weight (140). I haven’t been that small since maybe middle school. I look forward to attracting different men cause lets be honest, I’m ready to date and though it sucks that men won’t date me due to my appearance, it is what it is.

Lameaka August 12, 2013 - 4:56 PM

Listen… Life doesn’t stop because of your dress size ot the # of lbs. you carry. It goes on whether you choose to be an active participant or not. We all know that when you look your best you feel your best. Even if you’re on a weight loss journey that is going to be a long one, put your best foot forward every day. Fall in love with yourself and you will be open to being loved by others.
Everybody deserves to love and be loved regardless of the number on the scale. In closing I say make hay while the sun still shines. YES FAT FOLKS SHOULD DATE!

Erika Nicole Kendall August 12, 2013 - 5:01 PM

Who said they shouldn’t?

Critical thinking, man. Whew.

Carolyn August 12, 2013 - 4:56 PM

First of all I really love your blog!

I get the question you are asking. A few years ago I stepped back to evaluate myself. I walked away from a relationship because I wasn’t emotionally available. I thought I was ready but not available. At that time it was because I decided to start repairing my life and at that time I was beginning with school. Fast forward to a year ago I decided to make a the biggest and hardest lifestyle change. I had changed my finanical outlook and it was time to change how I looked at myself. I felt like I didn’t love myself enough so I couldn’t dare love another. I didn’t have any underlying condtions that cause me to feel that way I just did. I felt like I had made a commitment to everyone but myself. I started working out and learning how to make better choices. I chose not to date because it was a distraction. For me it was more about finding balance in my life. I’m still a WIP.

LaToya November 2, 2013 - 7:46 PM

It’s funny. When I hit 30 years old late last year something clicked inside of me. I knew I wasn’t living up to my potential academically and physically and just decided from that day forward that I would change my habits to achieve the results I knew I was capable of. There were issues I was tired of dealing with in the same way, using unhealthy coping mechanisms. So I further tweaked my eating habits, worked out more consistently, and just performed better in school in addition to other things. Doing these things consistently has increased my mental strength, built my confidence and helped me to heal old wounds so that I could stop self-sabotaging myself. But because there’s so much to deal with, I had and continue to have this feeling that I’m not emotionally ready to date. At least not until my birthday again. While I am open to meeting someone during this time, it’s not my focus. I will be ready soon enough. Just not right now.

Safia February 7, 2014 - 7:27 AM

“My journey was like literally demolishing a building and rebuilding it from scratch. Would you let anyone set up their home in your building, knowing that it wasn’t completely solid, sturdy or even able to provide adequate shelter? If a house is still being actively rebuilt, I wouldn’t rest my head in it.”


Tammie February 16, 2014 - 5:02 PM

Hi erika, I like this post u started..I found it because I was feeling some type of way and I google something about big girl finding good men or something like that. But I was married for 6 years I packed my shit up and I left. Reason being he was mentally abusive and I did meet him while having a few extra pounds on me. I went through the divorce and it empowered me I started losing weight drop over 40 pounds. Clothes was fitting good and looked good. Stomach flat and my boobies was sitting right. Because I have very large breast it gets me unwanted attention The wrong attention just want a man to like me for me is all im saying. But after the weight loss I had every race of men to hit on me and they was fine too something i wasnt use to. i didnt know how to handle it so i didnt date any one. Because I still havent dealt with my self eesteem. Here it is almost 5 years later and im still alone and I gain the weight back. I know what I need to do but its so hard to start the weight loss. I honestly work alot but I feel like im so ready to start dating but deep down inside im afraid to because of my weight.

Annette September 28, 2014 - 2:19 PM

I can understand taking the time to work on yourself and your issues while you go through this change. It would be the same with any other addiction. Yet I wonder can you do both and still deal with any issue that comes up. Dating should be fine but being in a relationship will probably bring up a whole host of issues, you don’t want to face.

It depends on what going on in the dating relationship. If it’s very light and casual okay but anything more involved will be very difficult.

Aida December 24, 2014 - 3:43 AM

It’s been interesting to read your post and all of the comments. I think most folks may *want* to date during their WLJ but the reason you’ve gotten the answers you have is because in their attempts to date as their full-figured selves, they’ve-regrettably-learned &/or been reminded of everything that’s “wrong” with them. (Read: being over weight)

Generally speaking, I think it’s good when you take the time to know yourself–period–before entering the dating scene. For me, personally, I’ve been forced to take a hiatus from dating. This is my second go’round in trying to lose weight and the first time I made a semi-selective choice not to date. I say semi-selective only because if someone I was interested in approached me, I would’ve given them a chance, but that didn’t happen. I did, however harness a great deal of self-respect & self-care I had never experienced before. Since then, life happened as it does and I am beginning the journey again. (I also think it’s important to mention that some folks’ WLJ insn’t necessarily synonymous with mindful introspection–although a good idea–it just isn’t part of their process, for whatever reason. Again, maybe another reason the early comments yielded responses that had more to do with mourning what was &/or didn’t happen as a result of the weight (outward reflection, but not inward)…but I digress. Lol) I have been struggling with do I “lose” more time by going on this journey sans pursuing a dating life? I’m not sure. I wonder/fear if doing so would actually help reinforce some of my self-esteem issues in the sense that, “I have to be __ size/___lbs before I can live life/deserve a date or some other societal restraint” that fat/overweight women have been told they must seek to fulfill before they are worthy of using up space to live. [a la your feminist post]

Needless to say, the jury is out. I am one of the women reading in hopes of finding my answer. Based on other factors (career pursuit requires a somewhat nomadic lifestyle), I may not be able to date, but am aware of other things I will be working on that I think will help me be more “okay” with me…and hopefully give me what I need as a person so that I will reach the long term result of one day marrying a man who will be a genuine life partner.

Erika Nicole Kendall December 26, 2014 - 3:30 PM

” I wonder/fear if doing so would actually help reinforce some of my self-esteem issues in the sense that, “I have to be __ size/___lbs before I can live life/deserve a date or some other societal restraint” that fat/overweight women have been told they must seek to fulfill before they are worthy of using up space to live.”

I think this is a sincerely deep question – because holding off CAN reinforce stigmas against women, in that they only deserve to date if they’re thin.

That being said, it might do me some good to take some time here to clarify that. This isn’t about saying, “don’t date until you’re thin.” It IS, however, about taking some time to figure out of some other issues may be contributing to your individual weight gain – emotional eating due to not having proper coping mechanisms, perhaps? – and recognizing that this is a journey best sought through alone, not with a partner whose motives you can’t entirely trust yet.

It’s not about adhering to an implied societal rule – it’s literally about centering yourself, your needs, and ensuring that you go into dating with a clear head and heart, ready to make friends and enjoy life as someone with a positive spirit. While the person who might have a few vanity pounds might not need that (vanity pounds, not-disordered), someone like me might feel/need otherwise.

It’s worth noting that I didn’t simply wait until I was thin to start dating again, and found my husband in the middle of my own journey. And, I must admit, he’s been a great support to me through it all. I wouldn’t have been in a place, mentally, where I could contribute positively to the relationship has I not done that initial emotional heavy lifting, and I wouldn’t be in a place where I could’ve been able to add to and support his life as a partner if he’d met me prior to that period of time to myself. So, while I think there’s some parsing out to be done in terms of whether or not a dating sabbatical serves the patriarchy, I think the ultimate factor in deciding that is the individual: if you are centering yourself and your mental well being and needs in the decision, then yes. If you’re waiting because you think being skinny will get you a better man, there’s a lot of thinking to be done on that, IMHO.

Christine Yarde January 4, 2015 - 2:07 PM

My answer is super simple. My journey was complicated and still is. I never really stopped or started dating, I just went with the flow. If I met someone that I was interested in knowing more I would follow the hunch. If I didn’t meet anyone then I didn’t date. It was simple for me, when I wasn’t dating I did deal with a bit of loneliness but I think I got through because I didn’t put any pressure on myself to date.

Chrissy April 9, 2015 - 3:55 PM

I know I am late on commenting. I was looking for this! I just started a weight loss journey and also just started two online dating profiles lol. I feel like since gaining so much weight I have isolated myself a little too much due to the fact that I hated how i looked. Like you said above, I didn’t want to invite someone into my life and try and build a relationship when I needed to rebuild a relationship with my own self. Since starting a weight loss journey, I’ve been also working on loving myself no matter what and that need to isolate myself has gone away. I think as I feel a lot better physically, I start to feel better emotionally and mentally. I am still hesitant on dating though, because of the insecurities that still linger but at the same time I would like to slowly put myself back out there.

Reading this helped along with the other articles you linked. Simply knowing I am not alone is just what I needed to see.

Diana June 28, 2015 - 3:57 AM

From age 6 I was labeled the chubby girl. After going through puberty a few years later combined with an unhealthy diet I was labeled fat. Being ridiculed by strangers and family members on a regular basis destroyed my self-esteem. I sought solace in food and emotionally distanced myself from family members especially my mother. I tried many diets throughout my teen years and some weight was lost but I would always crash & regain more than I lost. Some days the weight never crossed my mind & other days I dreaded leaving the house because I feared the stares I would get. The teenage years are all about having fun, dating, etc. But the teen guys I was around were all over the slimmer girls so I didnt get any attention from them just creepy guys who were 10-20 years older than me (gross!). One guy did show some interest in me and I loved it until I discovered that he was talking about me behind my back. I’ll never forget the day I overheard him calling me a cow. After that day my self-esteem hit rock bottom. I tried diets again after that day & would continue to diet through out my high school years. I topped the scale at 175 and being only 5’0 makes 5LB weight gain look like 20LBS. Thankfully, I recently took a nutrition class & learned about eating right & exercise which has led to a 15LBS weight loss. I’m currently a junior in college and I am ashamed to say that I have never been kissed or had a boyfriend. Now that I’ve lost some weight guys my age approach me but my inexperience makes me fear that they will laugh at me or find that to be a turn off since my generation is all about “sex, sex, more sex”. I plan to stay away from males until I lose my goal of 40LBS & then I will try to tackle my inexperience problem.

I’m sorry I didnt mean to go on this long. I guess finally putting my feelings out there just opened up everything.

Comments are closed.