Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I hope to start dating this summer, but I am worried about my appearance. I am not happy with my weight, or my overall style and look. I don’t want to invest in new things until I lose the weight, but every time I look in the mirror, I am less and less motivated to do anything. I am hoping that when I start dating, I will feel better about myself after getting (hopefully) positive feedback from the guys I date. But if I get negative feedback, I may feel even worse, so I am not sure what to do. Please help!


Drab Dater


Dear Drab,

I am still on the fence about Trader Joes. I just don’t get it. I applaud your cool spices, and your pretty flowers. I admire your commitment to snacks (even if chili lime chips are lost on me), and I appreciate Scandinavian candy that can swim. I am left adrift in your endless freezer section, and confused by your sunflower butter obsession. But mostly, I would love to know why the Trader employees are all so happy. “Happy Tuesday!” (Is that a thing?) they offer when I walk in, and “Oh! Ghost-pepper chips! Good choice!” (Is it really, though?) when I walk out. Last week, I realized I had forgotten apples on the checkout line. “I’ll get it!” the cheery employee offered, thrilled beyond belief to make a trip to the produce section. (If you don’t believe this, go and see for yourself. Trader joy. It’s real.) Yet on the way back, a tiny toddler pushing one of those mini carts ran into her and she dropped those Fujis onto the floor. They bounced and flew across the store, hit by eight carts, nine pairs of converse sneakers, and one wine display. We gathered the now bruised, soft, and mushy apples and stuffed them back into their bag. “Applesauce!” she declared, offering the damaged bag to me. Sadly, I had to refuse, and her smile dropped, the power went out in the store, and Trader Joes was gone forever. Just kidding. No need to be so dramatic. Instead, we just grabbed some fresh Granny Smiths on our way out.


The Best Accessory…

Thank you for your question. Preparing to date and the anticipation can be both exciting and a cause of anxiety. We want to present ourselves as best we can, but any negative self-belief will often use this time to remind us of our flaws as we compare ourselves to others in the dating pool. You are not pleased with your appearance and while this worries you, you are counting on positive affirmations you may receive while dating to help boost your self-esteem. You hope that if he sees you in a positive light, you will see yourself as better, prettier, and more appealing.


A Girl Can Own…

Those we date and the one we eventually marry cannot be responsible for our self-worth. While it feels nice to know that others view you positively, we cannot rely on others to manage our self-esteem. Furthermore, while a lack of attention to our appearance is not ideal, a poor self-image is even more off-putting. Confidence is the most attractive quality that someone can have. Someone who holds their head high, who walks with certainty, and is self-assured, is always even more appealing.


Is Confidence.

Take this time now to work on how you feel about yourself. Sure, you may want to exercise, invest in clothing that fit your shape, and eat foods that fill you with energy. More so, you may want to explore your best qualities and what makes you uniquely you. Give of yourself to your community and learn how much you have to offer with volunteering and kindness. This self-work may alter your physical appearance, but more importantly it will change how you present yourself to the world. Because you are a perfect apple, not applesauce.


Previous articleCelebrity Claptrap – The Less Attention, The Better
Next articleWhoopi Was Right! – Phantom Nation [audio]
Henni Halberstam is a Dating and Marriage Coach whose expert advice will help you navigate dating and relationships in order to ensure a successful marriage. You can contact her at [email protected] to schedule a phone session.