Ask Wendy

Do I Need to Lose Weight to Date?

Reprinted from March 3, 2017
Hey Wendy,

So I’m overweight but have lost 8 pounds in the last month. Do I need to lose weight before I date? I conducted a social experiment by creating two different Tinder accounts: the first using photos of me at my old weight, and the second with photos of a woman who looks a lot like I will when I lose about 20 pounds.

I swiped right 100 times. Real me got zero matches. Fake, future me got 9 guys.

I am going to lose 20 more pounds. It will take me about 10 weeks of hard work, but I’m committed. I am considering using my real photos, but with the help of Photoshop to show what I will look like soon, to try to go on dates. If I get busted, I can just say the shots are a little old and I’ve gained some weight. Since Tinder is 100% based on looks, I feel like this is my only option.

Bella K. - Los Angeles, CA


Girl, no. This is a terrible plan, and not your only option. You do not need to lose weight before dating. Do you think when “real you” gets there not looking like her online photos that your date is just going to be cool with it? Trust me on this one, I assure you, he will be far from cool with it and your evening will not go well – at all – not even a little bit.

It’s devastating to watch a stranger look you up and down, a long, lingering head-to-toe gander, then meet you eye to eye and frown at you. It’s super-unpleasant, and not an experience you’d ever repeat. So learn from my mistake – represent 100% accurately who you are, right now.

If your body doesn’t fit into the classic category of what the mainstream finds attractive, that’s OK. You are in good company, sister. And I speak for all of us when I say there are PLENTY of great guys – amazing guys – who will like you exactly how you are, love handles and all.

If you want to lose weight, then go for it. But I bet you’re thinking that your guy – the best possible one for you – will only like you when you are 20 pounds thinner than you are right now. This is not the truth. It’s a trap.

Pick the guy who’s happy with you thinner or fatter than you are right now. The one who just might wine and dine you and accidentally fatten you up during the courtship. If you pick one who likes you, that extra five (or 20) pounds you gain back won’t affect his attraction for you.

There’s nothing better than being with someone who loves you for who you are – right now.

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