Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Dating Coach,

I’m fat. I’m also smart, funny, and generous. But for some reason, people only feel the need to comment on my weight. I have been dating for a few years, and I have stopped counting the number of times I have heard, “You have such a pretty face, if you only lost a few pounds.” Or, “Have you ever tried losing weight with blah blah diet or blah blah program?” I know! And I have tried! How do I tell shadchanim, family, and strangers to leave my weight out of the dating game?!

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More Than

 

Dear More,

I was driving on the highway this week when a car cut me off. Clearly, they didn’t realize I was a VIP riding incognito. The minivan must have been too good a camouflage for my super important self. Regardless, they rudely cut me off, racing ahead to wherever they needed to be in a hurry. I was forced to silence my TED talk on “Tranquility” so I could yell at the driver’s retreating car properly. Just kidding. Instead, I simply smiled and waved, the perfect response for when others behave badly and don’t warrant the energy.

 

Be Sure…

I’m sorry people have been hurtful to you. It is both unkind and frustrating when others feel the need to notify you of the obvious. You are aware of your size and the research. At this point you may have tried to make a change multiple times but have not been successful. When people point a finger at our most painful challenges, the hurt is compounded. You get it. You are working on it, and you don’t need everyone to “remind” you.

 

To Taste…

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to mention that while I could never condone hurting someone’s feelings, the truth still matters. Most men are looking for a partner who is on the slimmer slide. I hope this does not include a dress size, but it likely has a specific look. Therefore, a safe way to get to a healthy slimmer look would be of value. Dressing to complement whatever body you have is also important. (Working on your self-confidence at any size matters most, of course.)

 

Your Words…

Furthermore, clearly people who are overweight get married. We don’t live in a solely Skinny Latte world, and there are lots of Frappuccinos who are living happily ever after. Remember this as you work toward your goals, putting in your sweat equity. We can put our best foot forward, but Hashem runs the world and every size in it.

 

Before You Spit Them Out.

Finally, we may not be able to completely remove “weight” from the dating scale, but we can address the commentary. There is no need to respond with anything more than a figurative smile and wave when someone offers you advice you didn’t ask for. Square your shoulders and don’t allow their unasked-for remark to take anything away from who you are. Remember who you are; how special, how strong, how smart, and let the comment slide. This is not easy, but it is necessary. So, smile and wave and drive toward your beautiful destination.

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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 hennihalberstam@gmail.com to schedule a phone session.
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