Anxieties about Dating

I would really like to date a Catholic man. One that is devout, doesn’t leave Mass early (I know I shouldn’t judge but it really, REALLY grinds my gears), doesn’t see going to Church on Sundays / Holy Days of Obligation as a chore… maybe go to adoration with me too, you know?

However, I see so many issues with myself that I doubt anyone would ever consider me.

Starting off, I am a convert from Atheism. I am in RCIA (and have been for about 2 years, my “track” is almost finished, will be confirmed / first reconciliation / first communion this coming year). I worry that this gives men a bad impression of me, rather than if I was a former protestant.

My life prior to conversion was in line with living a good Catholic life, apart from the whole “I don’t believe in God / Never been to Church and ain’t going to” bit. I have always been chaste and never entered into any romantic relationships because I had no interest in them, as academics were my highest priority. However, I feel as though some men consider those inexperienced in the realm of dating to be unattractive, or perhaps that there is something innately wrong with the inexperienced person. Alternatively, some men might say “former Atheist = Godless whore, ew gross!”.

On the physical level, while I feel my face is decent enough, I am overweight. Gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins, and while I am working to better my eating habits and take care of myself, it worries me that when men look at me they think “What a glutton, look how fat she is! I bet she would let kids starve in front of her! If only she had sent her plate to Africa!” or something else equally ridiculous. I do have a lot of scars from my job (work with animals) and carelessness (multiple times have missed cutting produce with a knife and cut my hands/arms… lost of bit of a finger once also) and I worry that people assume I self-harm, as I had a doctor assume that once.

I try to tell myself that it is all in my head, that surely people don’t think like that, and that if they were the kind of person who I would want to be my spouse (as that is the end game in dating, yes? Find a person who would be a good spouse?), they would look past these things, but I just don’t know. I doubt I could understand the mind of any man, let alone a Catholic man.

Advice, opinions, anything is welcome.

I would encourage you to seek counseling because yes that sounds largely in your head. And no one else can do anything about that.

You sound like a lovely person. I can share that as a convert, I once ran into a person who specifically excluded converts from their dating pool (it was a
Catholic dating site where I eventually met my now
husband). That stung a little, but I chalked it up to (a) he knows his deal breakers and he has a right to them (b) I’m awesome so it’s his loss!

I have a wonderful husband now. That other guy was one out of millions of guys who don’t care about concert vs cradle Catholic. As for weight, hubby didn’t care that I had had some medical issues,
gained weight and was on the chubby side when we started dating.

You’ll meet the right guy for you and he will think you are awesome. Don’t settle for anything less and don’t think badly of yourself.

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I’m an overweight catholic man who used to be an atheist. I get what you’re saying. Here’s the deal: our bodies really matter. We can’t really separate our souls from our bodies and our bodies often give an impression of our soul.

And despite what people may say, being physically fit and having a physically fit body makes a person more attractive and your dating pool will increase if you lose the weight. This is true for both men and women. I think you’d have more opportunities present themselves if you lost the weight. Also, it’s healthy for a person to be at a healthy weight. If I were you, I’d worry about dating after the weight is lost so that way you could have more options.

The fact that you were once an atheist shouldn’t matter so long as you’re living a devout life now. It may matter to some as some people really care about past behavior, but I’d say everyone has a past. If it bothers them to the point where they can’t make it work with you, find someone else.

As far as the scars, you probably notice them way more than anyone else.

The last thing I want to say: focus less on finding a good spouse and focus more on being a good spouse and you’ll find the right one.

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I don’t understand why. Converts can make the most committed Catholics. I married one!

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Firstly, bettering eating habits alone will do nothing. I am someone who used to live a very sedentary lifestyle up to my mid 20’s. I got very involved in sports when I was about 26 and you immediately notice a difference: More energy, better mood, less lethargic/tired etc.
I find if you excerise several times a week you can prettymuch eat what you like.

Secondly…I don’t think most men would think that because you’re a bit overweight. If I’m honest, I normally wouldn’t even think about that unless the person was really really overweight. In that case I might think “God, they need a bit of excerise.”

I do think it’s very much the case that “the healthy body” is attractive. I’m not talking the front page of Vanity Fair. But for most people a healthy body is an attainable goal with very few lifestyle changes.

Many men do observe a woman’s weight, among other markers of appearance, and no amount of denigrating that behavior will curb it. Men are wired to be visual and I won’t apologize for that. That said, it’s a two way street, not sure there are many women who stay with couch potatoes for long.

Physical fitness is a matter of discipline once one gets far into adulthood. For those who have let it go for a long time, best to start with small but easily repeatable actions with respect to both diet and exercise. Takes awhile to see results, but the important thing is to developing self-discipline as a habit along the way and this takes time.

Technically speaking, I’m a cradle Catholic, but the reality is that I spent years away from the Church before returning. I have no issues with converts, I think it’s wonderful that they’re with us.

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I’m someone in a non-traditionally beautiful body due to dwarfism. It is very easy to self criticize and think that others are saying the same things when we are outside the norm.

What is important for me is to put my best foot forward. My hairstyle is flattering and current (find a good stylist and really listen to their advice wrt shape of your face, what is going to look best on you). I find products that work well but don’t break the bank.

I take care of my skin, cleansing and exfoliated and moisturized. Brows are shaped, other facial hair sprouts are quickly tweezed away. Your scars, Mederma is available at WalMart and works wonders.

Cosmetics, some women look good without makeup, but, they are super beautiful. I am not super beautiful, so, I take time every morning to apply cosmetics that make me look better. As with hair, cosmetic styles change and what I wore 10 years ago is dated now. YouTube videos help me stay on trend with my eyeshadow or mascara styles, etc.

Super beautiful women can get away with going out with hair in a pony, just a bit of lip balm and a smile. I know that people ARE going to be staring at me when I go out and they will react to me in a more positive manner if I am well groomed. That is just the way it is for us women :slight_smile:
Clothes, a few good pieces that fit well are better than a closet full of stuff that is worn out, ill fitting, blah. I wear basically the same thing every day!!

Taking charge of my appearance gives me a confidence that allows me to show off my brain.

Baptism means a new you inside, maybe it is time for a new you on the outside as well!!!

Girl,

Man look at appearance only at first sight until they get to know you as a person. After that, it’s all about the person: who she is, what she thinks, how you connect and enjoy each others company…That is the essence of a good relationship: the person (“loving the person for who she is”). All those basing their relationships solely on appearances will find those connections quick passing or lacking solidity at first sight of hardship.

As for my overweight friends I don’t judge them, I just fell sorry they didn’t have the privileges that I had like doing sports and being fit and healthy. Many times the explanation lies not only in habits (it can’t and shouldn’t be simply reduced to “gluttony”) but also in metabolism: so two people eating the same will have radically different weight gains. And I’m not cruel towards my overweight friends, that would be unjustifiable and my fault to begin with.

Nothing is more attractive than sanctity, and chastity is a form of sanctity. So be careful not to attract an overwhelming amount of attention by divulging such personal choices before due time. Modesty is “the counsel” on this. Remember that “dating” is about getting to know each other, and there should be no haste to it.

And please, stop putting yourself down. I can see from your writing you’re a charming person, “mister right” will certainly be charmed at the right time.

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