If you're an obese man successful on the dating scene, what are your tips and advice?
September 13, 2007 9:23 AM   Subscribe

If you're an obese man who's been successful in the dating scene, please give me some tips and advice. As always, there's

Having come off a bad relationship and a stressful time with a considerably larger physique, I find myself entering upon the dating scene as a morbidly obese guy — this being a new experience for me. (Not that my body was Adonisesque the first time around, mind you — I was more the tall and gangly type.)

I am feeling a little bit awkward and, despite being able to carry on a good conversation and having good listening skills, I am feeling as though (no offense to potential answerers) this obesity makes me an extremely unattractive partner to women, despite the fact that my diverse interests, conversational skills, etc. served me well in that regard in the past.

Obviously, though, this isn't the case — women evidently do fall for and like larger men. So, as suggested, I wanted to put the question to the overweight Mefite men who don't have problems actively dating women ...

Psychologically ... how do you do it? How did you convince yourself that your ... well, not to put it too nicely, but how did you convince yourself that that big ol' potbelly doesn't matter when you found the need to approach a girl for the first time? Unlike before, I find myself paralyzed by a voice harshly critical of my physique at the moment of truth which freezes up most of my "normal" ability to interact with women if a romantic element isn't involved. (And I unfortunately can't "fool" myself into engaging "friend-mode".) I can't have been the only fat guy to deal with this; how do you?

Fashion-wise ... having formerly dressed for a more thin physique, I'm at a loss as to what fashions and style flatter an obese man. My business casual garb also serves as my "nice event" garb, and I have a feeling it's probably not as flattering as other things might be: single-color polo shirt and black Dockers slacks. How do you dress to be comfortable yet impressive (or, failing that, uncomfortable yet impressive)?

And, by all means, if you have any tips or advice unrelated to the questions above, by all means, I would very much desire to hear them and learn from them. Also, if it matters in terms of a generational sense, I'm in my late twenties.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I have to say, honestly, it's all about the attitude. When I was single, I never had a lack of female companionship despite being almost a hundred pounds overweight.

Just be yourself! Don't dwell on the fact that some people are shallow and will only see a fat guy. Eventually you'll find someone who likes you for YOU.

I lucked out, and we've been together nine years and married for six.
posted by mrbill at 3:49 PM on September 13, 2007

Weight really shouldn't matter to women. It may at first, if this is the first time that your potential partner has come across this, but if she has any character at all, she'll learn to get over herself* and her preconceived notions of how relationships should look.

Be sure to give people a chance to like you though. And to accept you the way you are. Don't let your insecurity get in the way of that. In fact, sharing a little bit of it may be a bit of a comfort to somebody who is also dealing with this aspect of their new prospect. Honesty, communication, and straightforwardness go a lot farther than looks and physique.

I know guys that aren't all that, but get laid left and right. It's because they put themselves out there and aren't afraid of rejection. They are comfortable in their own skin, good listeners, and openly share their thoughts about the women they're hitting on (whether it's comments of how great the woman looks, or how they themselves feel about a topic at hand, or something entirely off the wall). And they ask questions.

In these dire dating times (the post-feminist 21st century) many women are seeking chivalry, flirting, or attention. If you provide any or all of these, it makes you stand out, it draws attention, it turns us on. So many times we shop, dress up, accessorize, pay money to attend fun social events...and absolutely nothing happens** (pickup-wise). Or we get hit on by jerks or losers. Don't be in either of those groups...be in that small, third camp — normal men that walk up to women and talk with them. Possibly even flirt. How else is it going to happen? Again, I personally don't think weight even factors into any of this. It may for some women, and if that's true, wow, they really suck. And I can't imagine that they'd be all that adventurous in life or bed, what with all these superficial requirements. When you run across women like this think to yourself "glad her lameness is so f*ck*ng obvious, good riddance." And move onto the next.

I fell in love with a very obese man a while back. I wasn't sure at first, because the experience was new to me. But his charm and boldness won me over. And because he was somewhat patient with me and my initial hangups, I was able to see through their thin veneer. Once I wasn't blinded by them anymore, I realized that he was a totally sexy and beautiful man. And I laughed at myself for not seeing so before; it was like I found a diamond in the rough. And I was also surprised to learn that I wasn't the only one who saw how attractive he was—it's amazing how much hangups can distort a reality! However, fashion-wise, here's what I'd recommend...

Clothes that are fit and snug and comfortable are a million times better than baggy and slimming-looking.

Shirts: shouldn't be too wide. It's ok if we can see the shape of your belly or manboobs, its considerably better than sloppy and swimming in your clothes. Trust me. Nice simple button down shirts with classy stripes or light pattern are great. T-shirts not so much, unless they aren't too wide, and are long enough to cover at least half your fly/pants-pockets. Straight sleeves (not bunched) are nice and flattering.

Pants: don't underestimate how important good, fitted pants are! Women really notice a man in great pants, no matter what his size. She thinks that he's classy and stylish, that he knows how to work with what he's got...all big turnons! I really, really recommend lower-rised pants. Here's why: pants with a long torso/fly tend to do one of two things (especially on a larger man)...1) accentuate the curvature of his lower belly by wrapping around it and making it look long and girthy, or 2) the belly hangs over the waistband (fine), but pushes the pants down so that the crotch and back pockets are hanging low, creating this baggy mess of fabric, especially in the back. If you have an ass or not, we wouldn't know it!

Low-rise pants solve this problem by allowing your belly to hang over the pants without making the pants droop. These pants are also flattering for anybody of any size because the back snugs the butt a little more, creating flattering creases in the ass when you walk or stand.

Also, if your pants fit properly, you do not need a belt. Belts are fashionable, NOT functional. The difference is noticeable.

And for God's sake, NO pleats or tapered legs!! Pass it on.

Another thing about pants: when the top portion is fitting you properly, the length should be about 1/2-1" off the ground WHEN WEARING YOUR SHOES. This should cause the pant leg to cover the top of your shoe AND to "break" or crease slightly at the back of your ankle. Too long is better than too short however.

You can make personal shopping appointments at places like Macy's...it's free and they'll keep bringing you clothes that fit, look good, meet your budget, etc. I highly recommend this! You'll learn lots.

And if there's one thing I could emphasize/reiterate in this long, rambling response it's this: Please buy pants that fit your ass comfortably. Good luck to you!

*Note that I said "she'll learn to get over herself", rather than "she'll learn to get over it". Because really, her problem with how you look is exactly that. Her problem.
**Not that women should passively wait around for men to choose them. Many don't. ;)

posted by iamkimiam at 5:12 PM on September 13, 2007 [7 favorites]

This is adjacent to what you're talking about, but you may find online dating works well for you. Some services allow for screening by body type, which may help women who are open to your body type to find you more easily. I suggest being totally open (about any major criteria) when you enter the online dating scene. You may find that exchanging a round of emails before meeting gives you a chance to present a little bit of your personality before the other person has a chance to judge your body in person. This may allow your better qualities a chance to shine through in absence of any body image perception. Don't be dishonest, again. I'm just suggesting you check out the online thing and see if the wide wide internet has something to offer you.
posted by scarabic at 6:03 PM on September 13, 2007

Intellect, Character, Conversation, and Sensitivity trump size each and every time.

I second Kim's comments regarding get pants that fit. Don't fall into the knit "stretch and grow" syndrome. Nothing is worse than a large man who is slovenly dressed. Take pride in your appearance and always lead with a smile!

Good luck.
posted by peace_love_hope at 6:44 PM on September 13, 2007

I don't think you will have any trouble. I personally like big guys and have quite a few friends that do too. It seems to me your chances are a whole lot better than your female equivalents may be.
posted by haikuku at 6:47 PM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]

You could also try your hand at losing weight.

I'm not saying big is bad, just suggesting that if you can't stop feeling insecure about it, getting rid of some weight could help.
posted by mooza at 9:20 PM on September 13, 2007

I did better with the ladies when I was 215 than I do now at 170. Go figure. I'm not sure what changed, but it was probably my attitude. So, not much advice really but I think you'll be o.k.
posted by m3thod4 at 12:23 AM on September 14, 2007

Weight really shouldn't matter to women.

Is this "advice from the absolutely delusional" day? Seriously, one of the first steps on entering the dating scene as an obese man is really concentrate on trying to lose some weight.
posted by xmutex at 9:20 AM on September 14, 2007 [2 favorites]

I vascillated between "shouldn't" or "doesn't" matter. Then I thought about qualifying the word "women" with "nonjudgemental" or "nonsuperficial", and then I considered just changing it to "women like me". I settled on an implicit "fuckit, they'll know what I mean".

I personally think that an obese person should really focus on loosing some weight, for health reasons. Many obese people already know this. I didn't really feel it needed to be stated. If obese people are not concerned with improved health, and all the benefits that go with it, it'll become apparent to other interested parties in the dating scene real quick. And they can decide if that's cool with them or not. But that's another issue, which I felt was off topic from the OPs question.

It's like when a person asks "I'm a smoker. How do I be comfortable with this less-than-desirable aspect of myself? Will it hinder my chances in finding a S/O? What do I do about that?" The desire and willingness to change is inferred.

There's steps on how one should enter the dating scene?
posted by iamkimiam at 7:43 PM on September 14, 2007

Although I'm late to the party: be willing to approach (interesting, intelligent) non-thin women. Many of us prefer to snuggle up to men who are not skinny.
posted by wintersweet at 6:17 PM on September 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

Hey Anon, I dunno if you're still reading this, but here goes:

From one fat dude to another: Dress nicely (see above) and be yourself.

I'd also encourage you to loose some weight (I'm in the process of loosing some myself) but don't loose it because you want to be someone else. Smart women can smell a fake from 10 miles away, no matter how big or small he is.

I just can't emphasize enough how important it is to be yourself. Not all women are going to like "the real you", of course, but do you really want to pretend to be a different person for the rest of your life just so you can hang around with one chick? Don't go that route.

Its okay to feel awkward, and you will be/feel awkward for a while -- thats normal for anyone whos just re-entering the dating scene. Be yourself and eventually it will pass.

Remember, above all, that "ugly" is a state of mind -- there are some really ugly people in this world: Osama Bin Ladin, Charles Manson, Dick Cheney. But they're all ugly because of who they are and what they do, rather than the way they look on the outside. It frightens a lot of superficial people to hear that, because it implies that being beautiful requires more than an appealing exterior.

You are loveable, and you are sexy. You may not feel that way about your body right now, but once a lucky lady out there discovers who you really are, you'll find that you were irresistible all along.
posted by Avenger at 2:07 AM on September 16, 2007

as someone who previously had a lower sense of self value. the best thing you can do is be yourself and be accepting of your own state. Embrace it. If you have to explain stuff do it in a "its how it is" way not a "i wish it wasnt" way. Positive attitude gets you everywhere. Forget about "conventional attractiveness" its fairly irrelevant in the scheme of things.
posted by browolf at 4:48 AM on October 21, 2007

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