I rationalized that he talked to me because he enjoyed poking fun at me.I couldn’t understand why dating an overweight girl like me would interest anybody.I didn’t build up the courage to tell him until over a year after we met. My questions danced between two topics: did he know I liked him, and was it possible for him to like me, or someone like me—a fat girl. I wasn’t being subtle and yet he had made no counter-move.

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They weren’t serious relationships, but I was still jealous. Even after goofy Mike literally asked me on a date, I didn’t take him seriously. We acted together in a summer theatre program called Second Stage.

Since I was insecure and lonely, I was jealous of anyone who found someone that understood, cared for and stood by them. I was too insecure and loathed myself too much to be able to understand what another person could value in me. I met him at auditions and it was love at first sight; for me, at least.

You need to be able to love, forgive and trust yourself before you can consider giving them to another person.

If you don’t know how to give yourself love, you’ll be clueless how to give it to anybody else. Rob’s ambition, smarts and dedication intimidated me.

I was still losing weight and learning to love myself when I met my husband, Rob. How could somebody such as Rob ever like (or love) a person like me?

I was afraid he would realize how much work I needed.I was afraid of getting hurt if he wasn’t actually interested in me. Being open and honest with myself, let alone anybody else, was terrifying. I can only remember through the eyes of an obese, insecure teen girl.Though it would be interesting to know for certain, I’m glad I never clarified my relationship with Mike.I longed to love my body, find joy and live the life I dreamed of. Evan, a blogger and dating coach, explains it well: See, we can’t separate looks from the package.Being unhealthy, lethargic and cranky weren’t part of my goals. Maybe Forrest wasn’t one of the guys who like big girls. Now I wouldn’t, since I realize what you weigh and eat is connected to how much you value yourself and your life. It’s PART of the package, whether we like it or not.I was waiting for the moment when he would finally understand me and be repulsed. If you can’t love yourself, you won’t be able to understand why someone else would love you. I didn’t love myself and didn’t get much love from my distant family or friends. You can’t replace self-love with love from another.