I will openly admit I’m in the process of trying online dating. And recently I was talking to a man who commented to me that I look really good, and it’s obvious I’ve lost a lot of weight. I said I appreciated his comment only to receive a subsequent message to not get “too skinny” otherwise he wouldn’t find me as attractive.
This is the second time in my life this comment has come from a man. The first time I received it was from my partner of over 5 years except that his comment was I had become too skinny and he was no longer attracted to me. To give a little context he said it mid-explosive fight and probably only said it to get a rise out of me buuuut the point stands: why is it up to anyone else how much weight I lose, or don’t lose for that matter?
I was blown away by this man, who I had messaged a couple times, and the fact he thought it was completely ok to tell me he would only find me attractive somewhere between this weight and that weight. Excuse me, but a) you have no idea what it is I actually weigh and b) it’s none of your business.
I am consistently surprised by people and how they feel they can comment on your progress in life and how you should either keep going or stop right now. No one has the right to tell you how you should feel about you; no one can make you feel inferior or like you don’t matter. Your thoughts, feelings and opinions about yourself are the most important thing you have. Or, as my girl Carrie Bradshaw once put it:
“The most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you that you love, well, that’s just fabulous.”
I decided to stop talking to that man. I felt as though it wasn’t an appropriate thing for him to say. I know there’s an argument that maybe he was joking or something but that is in poor taste, and in an online environment perception is key. Whether you know how you meant something, how someone perceives it is more important.
And now that I think about it . . . it’s like that in the real world. We have to consider how someone perceives what we are saying or doing, and how it may alter his/her perception of us. For a prime example, what that man said to me changed how I felt towards communicating with him any further and meant I cut off communication. Had he not said anything other than congratulating me on the weight loss and success perhaps we would have met up, gone on a date and who knows where that could of gone?
This also makes me think: what could have happened in my life if I would have said something a little differently or taken the time to get to the bottom of what someone said to me? I’m quite sure that really this man didn’t mean anything harsh by what he said, in fact, he very likely was just joking. But, and this may be a small but, what if he wasn’t? And with that little question comes the reason I acted the way I did. The reason so many people react the way they do. They don’t call it a gut instinct for nothing. Perhaps if this was someone I knew for a long time I could tell if he was joking or not, but I don’t know him and likely I never will get to know him.
To end I strongly believe that it’s up to us to decide when enough is enough: whether it be weight loss, drinking, eating, and yes – even men. It’s up to us because we will dictate how people treat us by how we allow them to treat us. I was in a relationship for a long time where I sent the message to treat me however, and with a good enough apology it won’t matter anymore. Well, that stopped a long time ago. You cannot just say things like that to me and think I will let them fall by the wayside . . . I didn’t appreciate it then, and I definitely don’t appreciate it now.