top of page

Body Image affects Dating and Relationships

Body Image affects Dating and Relationships

By Cassandra George Sturges MA, MA, Psy.D

If you are on a diet now because you think that this will help you find a man, keep a man, or entice a man to love you more, ask yourself why you think that changing your physical appearance is going to be the key factor that determines his love and attraction for you. Many women feel that if their stomachs were flatter, waist smaller and breasts bigger and firmer their man would still be in love with them. A woman admitted to me on an elevator that if she had a body like Jennifer Lopez she could get any man that she wants and that he would treat her like a queen. She went on to say that once she lost weight she would be able to attract a man who could truly love and respect her.

If a man cannot love you for who you are at the size that you are now, today at this very moment—he will never truly love you. You will never be good enough for him if you are not good enough for him now. You cannot force a person to love you based on how much you weigh, the length of your hair, or the size of your breasts. If the richness of your character and the integrity of your being is not enough reason for him to love you, he doesn’t deserve your love.

As women with negative body image issues, we feel that the average man is holding out for Tyra Banks, Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, or America’s next Top Model. Some men feel that women are holding out for the next Donald Trump, Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds or Bill Gates. The truth is that both men and women are waiting for that special person who makes them feel rich and beautiful inside and out. The mate you choose to share your life with is a reflection back to you on how you really feel about yourself. Before you focus on losing weight to make a person fall in love with you; eliminate unhealthy relationships from your life.

Don’t look for your identity and self-worth outside of yourself. Select someone because you love them and they love you in return. Whatever characteristics you seek in someone else, develop them in yourself. Remember that like attracts like. If you want to marry a lawyer, become a lawyer. If you want to marry a doctor, become a doctor. If you want to marry a millionaire, become a millionaire. It is not a man’s responsibility to pay your bills or finance your hair, nails and wardrobe. It is not a man’s responsibility to buy you expensive jewelry and the house of your dreams. It is not a man’s job to make you happy. You are responsible for your own happiness and well-being.

Some women diet to obtain or maintain intimate relationships because they psychologically see themselves as inanimate objects in the relationship, existing only for the pleasure of their male partners. Additionally, some women see themselves as human barter for exchange in the market for goods and services. She thinks that the more attractive she is on the outside the more money a man should be required to spend on her. Many women have indirectly implied that if a woman is beautiful she deserves to be treated well by her partner. In fact, sometimes during girl-talk women will say something like, “She is too pretty to deal with such a terrible man.” However, on the other hand, if a woman is not physically attractive, women will carelessly make comments such as... “If she loses weight or make herself more attractive then maybe her husband or boyfriend wouldn’t cheat on her.”

Can you look at your own body and admire it? Develop a healthy relationship with yourself? Take yourself to your favorite restaurant; buy the diamond ring that you have been admiring; go on a cruise to Tahiti with a group of strangers. Use your best dishes even when no one else is coming to dinner. Wear your cute black negligee to bed because you feel like it. Polish your toenails, shave under your arms and dab your expensive perfume on your favorite spots, just for you. The mate that you select will treat you exactly the way that you already treat yourself. Whatever characteristics you seek in someone else, develop them first within yourself. People will always value, love, and treat you the way that you treat yourself.

bottom of page