Global Love Report – February 9, 2022
by Brigitte Weil, Matchmaker and Food Coach.
Don’t hate me but I am going to say it: It is really hard to be single and dating right now, and carrying extra weight, for some, makes it even harder.
We all choose who we want to work with, so some Matchmakers don’t need to address the weight issue with their clients, because their clients fall into the easier-to-match fortunate column of fit and thin.
I don’t have that luxury. You see, I am a Food Coach and Matchmaker. Many of my Food Coaching clients – mostly women actively on a weight loss journey – ask me to simultaneously take them on as Matchmaking clients. I chose to become a coach so I can help individuals achieve goals that they are not able to achieve by themselves, whatever they are, and I don’t get to choose their obstacles.
And, as a natural-born people-pleaser, I don’t like saying NO.
However, in this undeniable fat-phobic society, we need to be realistic and it’s a disservice to our clients to not be candid.
Most women with some extra pounds already know there could be potential challenges.
Here is some of what we all likely hear:
“It’s not a good time to date.”
“I need to lose this flabby stomach so I’ll fit into my nice dating clothes.”
“I should wait several months because I’ll have more time to lose weight.”
Before moving onward, please know this info does not apply if your client is a BBW – a big, beautiful woman who is fiercely body positive and has overcome social stigma regarding body size. There are some proven strategies for matching these confident women which I will save for another conversation. I believe we have a lot to learn from these women, but that is not what this article is about. We can decipher how a potential client self-defines regarding body-image in our first consultation and decide how to best proceed forward as we learn how they see themselves.
I am also mostly referring to women who want to date men. We all have heard many female clients say they will date men with “a few extra pounds,” or a “bit of a belly is fine.” We rarely hear our male clients express such openness and generosity. This unfair double standard stinks, but it is a reality we all work with. While we can try to challenge and “open up” our male clients, we are still protective and want to ensure our female clients have the most positive experiences. (This is why it’s imperative to be upfront regarding body size with clients and their matches).
So, how do we address our clients with extra pounds who are exhibiting reluctance to date or a desire to commit to shaving off some pounds?
With honest, motivating, firm guidance.
Start with sharing these reminders:
- Nothing is as appealing or as sexy as a person who feels good about themselves and is working towards being even more fabulous.
- YOU(your client) sets the tone on a first date: if a strong signal of optimism and confidence is sensed, even if your desired size 4 or 6 or 8 or 10 is not yet achieved, your date receives these loud, very clear, positive messages from across the table.
- You don’t need to pretend that you are perfect. That is not honest. Allow dates to meet you exactly where you are.
- It is ok to share that you are on a path to self-improvement or on a weight loss journey – this is an appealing and impressive quality to expose – it exhibits candor, flexibility, determination and the desirable goal for increased happiness and well-being.
- Never apologize. For anything.
- Your date wants a happy partner, not necessarily a skinny partner.
Always tell your clients the truth, just as you would with any issue that you would see as a matching challenge. If your client insisted on only dating 6’2”+ matches, you would have zero qualms telling her that she is narrowing her options.
It would be a disservice to sugar coat the real dating world as we know it to be, so be direct and kind while encouraging clients towards improved self-care. You are being hired to provide a service and will protect yourself by being open, knowledgeable, and realistic with your client from the start of your Matchmaker/Client relationship.
If we agree that our greater mission is to help our clients venture into the dating world, learn more about themselves, and pave the way to find happiness and romance, then motivating them to feel empowered and good about who they are, and who they strive to be, will always lead to more positive experiences and optimal dating results.