click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​




Dating Advice #152 - Dating Largess
Dating Advice 152

Dating Advice #152 - Dating Largess

Okay, a few pounds overweight. What's all the fuss?

by

Dear Rosie & Sherry,

I live in a medium-size city with a decent pool of Jewish singles. The problem is that as I officially approach my "late 20s," I have realized that I am in a hopeless situation in my love life. The past two years have seen a marginal amount of fix ups that have never resulted in a second date. In fact I have often been in situations where I was introduced to someone, and have gotten this attitude that I was simply not worth spending a few minutes of polite conversation.

I meet Jewish men through a variety of singles and community events. I also meet others through friends or more casual social situations. My friends would describe me as smart, funny and creative. I am always told that I am a kind and caring person and that I am fun and easy to be around. You'd think that those qualities would help attract men, but they don't!

I think I know the reason. I would say that I am on the heavy side of average. I used to be much larger many years ago, but a thyroid condition was discovered and through medication and exercise I have been able to work myself down to a size 18 (from a 26). I take care of my hair, skin and makeup. I also make sure to dress attractively. Other than the larger size, I feel that I am pretty cute and put together.

What gets me is that I am rejected by men for something I cannot prevent. It hurts to know that most guys care more about what you look like on the outside than on the inside. I don't understand why a man who himself is not exactly all that fit or attractive feels he has the right to look at me or any other woman who is not perfect as if we are wasting his time by simply existing? I am active and energetic. My size doesn't limit my life and my goals. So many other things are going well in my career and friends.

I want more than anything to meet someone and have a family. I also know that I would make someone very happy one day. But they never give me a chance. I know of many men who lament their singlehood and wonder why they are single. But they behave in a way that says they'd rather be single than date someone imperfect.

Am I being paranoid? Is there a technique to perhaps deal with these obstacles? Is there a way to convince someone that they are not "settling" by dating someone who doesn't fit the mold of "perfect"?

Leah

Dear Leah,

You write about an issue that troubles us a great deal. In fact, we know many unmarried women who could have written your letter, and our hearts go out to you. You are in a great deal of pain, beginning to feel that you are running out of resources and hope. You are the reason why the two of us decided to devote so much of our energies into helping singles. We could not ignore the turmoil you are experiencing when we know that there are many avenues to achieving your goals of marriage that you have not yet explored.

All of us face different challenges that make it difficult for us to achieve our goals. Some face a chronic medical condition, physical handicap, learning disability, emotional illness, language barrier, difficult childhood, less-than-perfect social skills, or economic hardship -- while others who appear to have a "normal life" can't accomplish something they very much want because they lack that small, extra talent or ability to succeed. God didn't make any of us perfect, and the challenges some of us face may seem to be more difficult than those of out neighbor. Is this fair? No, but that's life.

We aren't going to tell you that you must lose weight in order to have a fulfilling social life. For many people, losing weight is very difficult, and we know that if it would have been easy for you to be slimmer, you would be. You appear to be doing the best to maximize your appearance and to feel good about yourself, which is something that all singles, and even married people, should do. In addition, the fact that you feel attractive is a big plus -- someone who likes herself and feels good about her appearance projects a positive outlook that is often contagious.

In spite of this, we cannot in all honesty tell you that you have the same opportunities as slim women to meet and be attractive to potential dating partners. Our society views thinness as beautiful, just as a Rubenesque figure was considered beautiful in the early 17th century. It is true that there will be a large percentage of men who will not want to go out with you because our society has conditioned them to be attracted to slimmer women. However, there are some very fine men who do not mind (and can be attracted to) a woman who is heavier than the ideal. They are just the minority.

Therefore, you are going to have to make that much more of an effort to find potential dating partners. Believe us, they are out there. Your larger size is not an insurmountable barrier to finding the man who is right for you. However, you will have to do a great deal of networking to meet suitable guys. Dating Maze #135 describes the networking process in great detail, and we suggest you review it for pointers. You cannot be shy about approaching people and asking them to help you. You have to be proactive.

We recommend that you pay special attention to one very important aspect of the networking process -- training others how to present you in the best way possible. Your friends should describe what a beautiful person you are -- personable, warm, fun to be with, caring, intelligent, and attractive. If they are asked to describe your physical appearance, we recommend that they do so in a positive way, letting potential dates know that you are an attractive, larger size woman.

We always encourage singles to take care of the way they look, since they never know who may introduce them to Mr. or Ms. Right because they made a good overall impression, and because people tend to radiate positive "vibes" when they feel good about the way they look. We especially believe that larger men and women have to be well-groomed all the time, because of prejudices our society has against heavier people. We do not like these prejudices any more than you do, but we cannot ignore the fact that they exist, and that people are more receptive to a well-groomed person who is heavy, than they are to a heavy person who is unkempt or wears unflattering clothing. And don't we want people to be receptive to getting to know the person we truly are?

We haven't yet mentioned using the Internet to find potential dating partners -- it has worked for many people. One of its advantages is that it gives two people the opportunity to learn a little about each other sight-unseen, so that they become interested in getting together. It's important for someone who uses the Internet to arrange for a face-to-face meeting early in the correspondence. Yet we know that the idea of a meeting sometimes terrifies heavier people, who are afraid their e-pal will be disappointed in their appearance. You can avoid surprises by using a very flattering, up-to-date photograph that will show that you aren't a slender woman. If your e-pal is only interested in slim women, it is better that he knows that you are not slim at an early point in your correspondence.

You wonder why men seem to be overly concerned about a woman's appearance, even if they themselves are less-than-ideal physical specimens. We know this is a generalization, but many men are first attracted physically, and then allow themselves to get to know the woman's inner qualities. Since there is frequently a strong visual element to the physical attraction, a man may never take the chance to know a woman who doesn't instantly appeal to him (and that is a shame, because physical attraction often grows as two people start to develop an emotional connection). On the other hand, many women become physically attracted to a man only after they begin to feel an emotional connection.

The bottom line is that people of all shapes and sizes fall in love and get married. There's a great man out there for you, and we hope that during your search for him you bear in mind that he's the only one you've got to find and attract... not the rest of the male population.

Rosie & Sherry

Published: March 27, 2004

Submit Your Dating Advice Question (Click here)


Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.

Visitor Comments: 19

(19) Anonymous, January 16, 2005 12:00 AM

he's out there for you

I have a friend who's thin as a toothpick. He married a woman who is obviously overweight. (To put it crudely, she's fat.) They love each other. He has no problems with her being overweight. I've gotten to know both of them. I've eaten by them numerous times, spoken with them, played with their children, and had a good time. I've gotten to know her myself. She's a very nice person. If she could find someone, then I'm sure you can too.



As for all men looking for perfection... that's not true. I'm a man and although I would like to meet the perfect woman, I realize that's not going to happen. You'll find yours. Don't worry about it.

(18) Bud Millington, May 21, 2004 12:00 AM

Do Unto Others...

Dear Leah,

Be honest: Would you date a man that: Was shorter than yourself? Much older or younger? Made substantially less money? Of a much different religion? Of a different race? Have you EVER turned down a date or a suitor for any reason? Then you have preferences!

We ALL have preferences (whether they are “rational” or not) so let us not harshly judge, criticize or derogatorily “flame” others because we don’t meet their desires. Others have the right to not date you (or me.) Instead, focus on finding someone whose preferences you do meet, and who meets yours. Attempting to make someone change their preferences to accept us smacks of psychological manipulation and (quite frankly) throwing a temper tantrum for not getting our way. People have the right to own their own lives, make what choices they desire, whether we like it or not.

As for weight, I once had a woman much heavier than I turn me down as I was overweight. I lost 35 pounds and she still would not date me. She had a preference I did not meet (she never did tell me the real reason she would not date me) and instead of judging her harshly, I just accepted it and let it go. It’s her life, and her choices are her right, whether I like it or not.

Personally, I have a weakness for red hair. I prefer taller women, and when I was very young, older women as I felt women my own age behaved immaturely. VERY FEW women will date a younger, shorter man. That’s something I had to simply accept. I endured a LOT of rejection. Some where quite proper how they handled their rebuff (to whom I am grateful, and indebted) others quite UNgracious.

I know a man over six feet tall that only dates very short women; another only very large women. I know a
few couples who get along famously and the woman is quite older than the man. We all have preferences, that’s just life. Does that make someone else a horrid person because their preferences do not match who I am? I think not!

Does rejection hurt? YES! But it’s far more productive to focus on finding someone whose preferences match who you are (and they your preferences) than to waste time pining over rejections. And if we reserve to ourselves the right to choose whom we will; what right do we have to deny others the same right? We don’t, pure and simple.

Just keepin’ it real…

(17) Carly, May 10, 2004 12:00 AM

shallow and repulsive

Man some of these comments are making me sick. From the woman who says “fat is ugly no matter what spin you put on it” from the guy who says “I’ll be looking for my basherte elsewhere” (can’t imagine why he’s still single) – it’s all making me ill. What you’re really saying is “we’re right, you’re wrong.” Despite what you’re telling yourselves, you’re not perfect either. What you think comprises beauty isn’t necessarily what I think is beautiful. We don’t have to agree. We don’t have to fit into you’re little molds of “perfection.”



The most troubling thing is that it doesn’t seem to matter what else she might have, or what else she might be – all that you (and others) are talking about is her size. She could have the cure for cancer in her hand, but you’d ignore her because she’s overweight. If this is what the population is like I’m completely unsurprised by the soaring divorce rate. After all, after a few kids she may not be able to fit that bikini anymore, so you’d better get rid of her then. Clearly, she’s no good anymore. And after years go by he may not have that six pack anymore, better kick him to the curb. Yuck.

When in Mexico all of my ultra skinny friends were completely ignored by all the men, but myself and my larger friends were constantly hit on.
The non-shallow, non-childish ones are out there. HaShem brings challenges to us all. One of yours is to find the diamond in the cess pool. Real men are out there. You have my best wishes.

(16) michal, May 2, 2004 12:00 AM

Leah...Got to face some facts...

men are visual. That is how they are wired. Fat is ugly no matter what spin is put on it. All is not lost though. I am a small female. Everyone said, "You'll never be a cop." My grandmother taught me everything is a technique. Find the technique and you can do it. For two years I worked out with free weights. I became a cop. I found the technique to get me throught the academy and to deal, out in the streets. Loved every moment of it.
Now I am a fitness trainer/nutritionist.
Here's a technique for you.
1) Get a blood work done. Need to know what proteins and hormones you have/lack - where are you out of balance. Base your nutrition on that.

2) Get your self a home gym. Universal with heavy weights, w/various stations. Learn it. Use it.
Recommend you crank up some metal music. To get your adrenalin pumping, plus it drowns out your own thinking of what a drag this all is. See your self as firm and taut. This may take you at minimum two years to accomplish.
It works. It can be done, depending on your priorities.(Forget health clubs. Waste of money.) You have to do this by yourself to really learn about your body and know how to continue to maintain it after you reached your weight goal. It's all in the technique and your priorities. Men aren't shallow they are visual, and everybody likes to look and touch beauty. Even us women. I'll take a beefcake over a tub of lard anyday.

(15) mike, April 29, 2004 12:00 AM

leah seems to be a great girl and she should not worry about what others think about her. If i was close to her age, i would date her myself

Leah, you sound like a great girl who will make the right guy happy. I am only 21 or else i would be coming after you myself. The tip that i have for you as a general guy is that you should act and be very confident about yourself because guys really like that. I know a lot of girls who do that and it works. At the same time, don't act haughty either. Be a confident woman with a nice smile on your face letting the guy know that he will be lucky to get you.

See All Comments

Submit Your Comment:

  • Display my name?

  • Your email address is kept private. Our editor needs it in case we have a question about your comment.


  • * required field 2000
Submit Comment
stub