The question seems simple enough. But if you are overweight and on the dating scene, then you already know that answering it is far from simple. Here is the dilemma:

On one hand, one could be tempted to say that, when looking for a life partner, the superficial criteria that sometimes apply to short-term flings should not enter the equation. Beauty, as commonly defined by our society, is not going to sustain your long-term relationship, and should be very low on the list of the “ideal partner’s” required qualities.

On the other hand, we know that physical attraction is essential in a good relationship and that, whether we like it or not, most people are more attracted to slim candidates than they are to overweight ones. And thus being overweight reduces your chances of finding a match, particularly on dating websites where the choice of candidates is based essentially on photos.

Faced with this dilemma, here is our advice:

  • Be as healthy as you can be. People are born with different body types and you may never be thin. But it is important to be as healthy as you can be. For yourself, first and foremost. But also for your family. And that includes your partner. People want a relationship to enjoy the company of their partner.  Nobody wants to be a caretaker — at least initially. It is not fair to expect your partner to take care of you if you do not take care of yourself.
  • Do not lie about your weight. Under no circumstance should you lie about your weight. It is counter-productive and potentially harmful. If your date is not attracted to overweight people, he/she is not the one for you anyway. So why waste your time and put yourself at risk of being humiliated? You have to find someone who will love you for who you are. Not someone who is going to want to change you. Changing anything in your body or personality has to come from you, not your partner.
  • Be as beautiful/handsome as you can be. Whether you are overweight or thin, the same rule applies: physical attraction is important. So being as attractive as you can be is essential to finding your match. This means being well-groomed, well-dressed and charming (yes, a nice smile is also part of physical attraction. This is valid for both men and women. And it should last for as long as you are in the relationship, not only for the first few dates.
  • Regard others as you want to be regarded. Maybe you are overweight because you like full figures. Or because being thin is impossible or too difficult: you have a health condition or you are not good at exercising and dieting. The same is true for your potential partners. Do not forget that they too (just like you) deserve attention and love. Whether they are thin or overweight.
  • Show a healthy dose of self-confidence. Studies about attraction demonstrate that one of the most attractive qualities one can have is self-confidence – not to be confused with cockiness. People will be more prone to liking you if you like yourself. Reversely, they will be more likely to notice your shortcomings if you point them out yourself.

So here is the key: if you are overweight and miserable about it, do what you can to change the situation and regain confidence before you start dating. If you are overweight and content, then go for it and find a partner who will be as happy with you as you are with yourself!