Love

How Losing Weight Made Me Hate Dating

Photo: Courtesy of the author
dating, self-esteem

If there's one thing I've discussed at length, it's how much I deeply yearned for a person to love me, marry me, and just take care of me the way I would take care of them.

RELATED: 4 Types Of Eating Disorders & What Could Have Caused Them

Back when I was a size 0 to 8, men treated me nicely and would always be willing to take me on dates. I really did believe, at one point, that guys would see me for me, regardless of what weight I was.

That all changed after I got seriously ill after having my daughter.

When I got sick, I became bedridden. I could barely move since it hurt to walk. The medications caused water weight gain and also made me crave foods that made me bloat. The final result: I was a size 18.

I don't think I've ever been treated so horribly by so many people. My breaking point was when a guy ditched me mid-date, saying I was too fat to be seen with. He had the audacity to accuse me of lying about my photos, despite me having told him I was overweight.

I actually considered killing myself because of how badly men treated me as a result of my weight gain, and it was only because of the help of my friends that I didn't pull the proverbial trigger.

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Since my recovery, I have shrunk to a size 10 to 12. Physically, I've been feeling closer to my old self. It no longer hurts to move. I'm not bleeding out of parts that shouldn't be bleeding. It no longer burns my insides when I lift up things. I'm not bloated as often, though it still happens when I drink beer.

Emotionally, on the other hand: Well, let's just put it this way: I don't think I can honestly say I respect men as equals anymore.

It really sank in how hellbent and focused men are on the packaging. I'm not a package. I'm not just something you can use up and throw away but when it comes to men, that's exactly how they've made me feel. I feel lied to, duped, and hurt.

Photo: Author

When I was broke but hot, men would stay with me so they could sleep with me. When I was broke and heavy, guys never even spoke to me like a human being. Now that I'm moderately wealthy and a size 10, guys suddenly think I'm worth their time. Unfortunately, I stopped thinking men were worth my time altogether after I had lost the weight.

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I can't fault men for liking what they like, but I can fault them for calling me a "fat pig" when I wasn't to their liking. I can fault them for acting like I owed them beauty. I can also fault them for not even wanting to be seen around me as a friend, simply because I was a bit hefty at the time. I can fault them for being the reason I had an eating disorder years ago, and I can fault them for making me think I had to be more beautiful just so that I had to be liked.

When a guy asks me out, I say no. I can't even help it these days. Whenever I see a hopeful date, all I wonder is, "Would this guy have asked me out six months ago?" The answer is universally "no." So, I reject them. I see no point in being with someone who would only talk sweetly to me if I was a certain dress size.

What really infuriates me about this all is hearing guys' narratives about who they are. They have the nerve to call themselves "romantics" and "gentlemen," and boldly proclaim that they'd have dated me regardless of how I looked. I can't help but sneer at them.

Where were these so-called "romantics" wanting to whisk me away on a date when I actually wanted them? They were more into the petite brunettes and blondes who were completely uninterested in them. How were these so-called "gentlemen" gentle to me when I was sick? They weren't! In fact, they would have just told me I was worthless.

Oddly enough, it was actually women and non-binary people who were kindest to me when I was at my heaviest.

They were the ones who actually sat me down, learned about me, told me I was attractive, and even just lent a sympathetic ear. As a result, I began to gain more respect for them, and I'm still open to dating them as a result. I think, to a point, it's because they are judged by their packaging that they are as empathetic as they are.

Photo: Author

My weight loss has made me look pretty by social standards again, but the overall experience has really changed the way I look at men. Simply put, the best case that was ever made for me to stop dating and stop believing in love was the case that men made for me when I was sick and needed them the most.

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All things considered, part of me is somewhat thankful for my illness. I got sterilized as a result of it, and that was a surgery I had wanted for a while. I also got to see a side of men I didn't want to believe existed, and that made me realize I had better things to do than try to have a relationship with people who cared more about my outside than my inside.

Ossiana Tepfenhart is a writer who focuses on dating, relationships, love, and all sorts of lifestyle stuff.

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