By Sarah Elizabeth Richards
You want to look your best when you’re dating new people. For most of us, that means dropping a few pounds. In your head, you just have to buckle down on your calorie count for a few weeks or months, and you’ll look great in your tightest jeans or fitted leather jacket. And then you’ll finally feel ready to date.
So you put off posting your profile. Maybe you succeed in losing a couple of pounds, but then life gets in the way. Maybe you regain some weight. Maybe you don’t lose as much as you’d hoped. Whatever the case, your weight can become a convenient and never-ending excuse for keeping you at home.
Here’s an idea: Sto p waiting. Put yourself out there in the perfectly imperfect body you have.
It’s no secret that two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. In other words, most people aren’t walking around rocking a doctor’s office-worthy Body Mass Index. That means they probably don’t expect yours to be, too.
Don’t get me wrong. Physical attraction is a critical component of dating. But it’s usually a combination of many things, including how someone takes care of themselves, dresses themselves and carries themselves in the world.
The good news is that plenty of people will love your curvy body just as it is. And they’re more than happy to meet you and your Dad Bod. People tend to be more forgiving about your weight than you might think.
Unless someone is looking for a very specific body type – and they often will clearly say they’re looking for someone who is slender or thin – they don’t let someone’s few extra pounds stand in the way of finding true love. They’re looking to meet a fun, attractive and nice person.
Here are some tips about how to feel good dating in the body you’re in:
Buy clothes that flatter your current size.
Find jeans, sweaters, dresses and jackets that you feel good in. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money because you plan to buy smaller sizes in the future, you can always find quality clothes on the cheap at discount stores, eBay or by finding online sales. The point is to wear clothes that help you feel good about your appearance so you can radiate confidence on your dates.
Post accurate photos.
Take some beautiful pictures of yourself at the size you are. Most people don’t mind your extra weight. What they do mind is false advertising on your online dating profile. They rightfully feel deceived when a person who is significantly heavier – or shorter, taller or older – shows up on a date, instead of the person they thought they were meeting.
Talk about yourself in a loving way.
You can influence how people see you by how you describe yourself. You also shape how you feel about yourself. If you’re asked to describe yourself, you can write about how much you love your “soft, curvy” body. Avoid loaded words like “fat” or “overweight.” Say you’re a “bigger guy who loves enveloping his sweetheart in a bear hug.” Find the positive message.
Show your date you live a healthy lifestyle.
Are you making your health a priority? Are you following a weight loss plan? You can easily communicate that to your matches. Send a photo of yourself on your Sunday morning hike. Share the fact that you’re spending your afternoon making healthy meals for the week.
Many people are looking for partners who will support their own health goals. Make it clear that eating well and exercising are important to you. And don’t forget to walk your talk on actual dates. That means skipping the nachos and margaritas and making healthy choices.
The bottom line:
We’re all human and trying to live the best lives we can in a world with constant temptation. Don’t let a little extra padding prevent you from finding a sweetheart now.