I'm a twenty-something, post gastric bypass, divorcee looking for love. I'm starting this blog not only to share my dating misadventures (and to provide me and my friends a good laugh for years to come), but to also document my journey of self growth, awareness, and discovery that is sure to come while looking for that perfect someone.
Guru: So tell me what's wrong here, what's missing from your diet?
Me: I know, I know...fruits and vegetables.
Guru: I know getting enough protein is critical for someone who's had gastric bypass but you really need the vitamins, minerals, and all the rest of the good stuff fruits & veggies have.
Me: It's not that I don't like them, I just have a hard time incorporating them into my diet.
Guru: Would it motivate you if I told you they will give you more energy and ,ake you look and feel healthier?
Me: I guess....maybe...
Guru: What if I told you eating fruit will attract men to you?
Me: Then I'd immediately regret not adding raspberries to my morning yogurt.
Guru: I'd also like to inform you veggies would make your excess skin disappear.
Me: Any vegetable?
Guru: No, candy corn doesn't count.
Me: Hrmm...can I still drink Dr. Pepper while eating baby carrots? Or will that cancel out the skin-disappearing benefits of eating the veggie?
Guru: You know that Dr. Pepper isn't a real doctor, right?
Guru: Ok, then we'll work on curbing your soda addiction another day.
01/14/11, via conversation
In one way or another, my gastric bypass surgery has been a deal-breaker for several of the guys I’ve dated. For some it’s the “once a fatty, always a fatty” mantra, others think I took the easy way out, and some are grossed out by my skin. I’ve chalked the comments and rejections up to the guys being jerks and assholes while still accepting the fact that attraction is an important part of any relationship, so I can’t really blame them if they don’t want to pursue things further with me. Usually I feel more empowered after the relationship fizzles because I know I’m a good person and I know I’ll find someone who can look past my physical appearance.
However, I’ve been hit pretty hard by the last three guys I’ve dated. They all turned me down because of the body I’ve been left with and they weren’t shy about letting me know that was the reason why. I’ve been having a hard time lately dealing with image issues so three guys in a row—the last one explicitly stating the skin was an issue—has really hurt me.
In response, I’ve decided that I need to be honest and straight forward about my gastric bypass. Usually, I let it come up in conversation when guys will ask why I no longer have an alcohol tolerance, why I eat so little, or how I lost the weight. I’ve never lied to a guy who has asked direct questions, I’ve just never volunteered the information. My dates are usually cool with it, they ask a couple general questions about my experience, tell me it’s awesome, and then we move on. Then the bedroom comes into play and, like all sexual experiences, that’s where things get tricky. They turn the lights completely out when clothes start to come off, they redirect their hands to the boney parts of me, and in some cases, flat out tell me my skin is a reason they can’t get hard (thank you for that gem, Mr. Viagra).
After some reflection and listening to the advice of friends, I’m going to not only take things slower in the bedroom department, but I’m going to be more straightforward about where I’m coming from. Telling people up front I live with my parents and I had gastric bypass will weed out the jerks who will judge me right off the bat. And for those who make it through the first round, dating them for more than 2 dates before jumping into bed will give us more time to get to know each other better. The idea being, the skin would be less of a turn off if he has more of a vested interest in the prospective relationship.
So, I’ve been emailing this one guy, Hemingway, for a couple weeks now. His emails have been super sweet, intelligent, genuine, and funny. He seems like a great guy who is looking to start a relationship with someone and has expressed interest in getting to know me better. I really like this guy. Like, I haven’t even met him or spoken to him on the phone, but if he’s half as sweet as he is in his emails, I definitely want to give him a shot. I get super giddy thinking about him and extremely excited when there’s a message from him in my inbox. However, I’m *terrified* of getting hurt again. Vman gave me butterflies too, but he turned out to be a total douche. Hemingway doesn’t at all seem like the kind of guy do blow me off like Vman did, but I don’t want to take any chances.
In the email he sent Monday, he gave me his number. Instead of calling, I responded relatively quickly with a short email giving him my number and yesterday afternoon I followed up with a longer email answering all of his questions. Here’s where I think I fucked up. I ended the email with a disclaimer explaining the fact that I live with my parents and I’ve had the gastric bypass. The reasons I threw it all out there were completely legit—I feel like I could get attached to this guy really easily and I want him to know these things up front so he can make an informed decision on whether he wants to pursue things with me further before one of us gets hurt. Anyway, here’s what I wrote:
I think before we take our relationship to the next level (phone call lol), I think it’d be best if I disclosed a couple things. It’s nothing terribad, but it can be rather awkward stumbling upon it in conversation on a date or on the phone. I actually share a home with my parents. When I left my husband I had no job and he wouldn’t let me take any money so I had to move home until I became financially stable again. About a year after I moved home (and of course when I started to get my finances back on track), my brother died. I decided to stay at home until my family pulled through it. My mom has had a hell of a time coping and my being here has helped her a lot. She’s doing much better now and finances willing (I just bought a car), I’m hoping to move back out sometime in the next few months. My family is very important to me and while we’re not the Brady Bunch or anything (we definitely have our dysfunctions), I’m grateful they were here to support me during my divorce and I’m proud that I was able to return the favor and be their rock after my brothers death.
The second thing sometimes surprises people that it could be a “deal breaker” is the fact that I lost about 130 pounds thanks to the help of gastric bypass. But, yea, some people are kind of assholes. If you’re one of those asshats, sorry, but yea, it’s not something I’m ever going to let someone bring me down for (although it has left me with some insecurities). I’ve been lucky that, other than a snarky gallbladder, I’ve had no awful side effects from the surgery. I now work out regularly and eat mostly healthy—so the surgery has made me the healthy, active person I was hoping to become. The fact I’ve lost half my body weight alone isn’t what usually scares guys off—it’s the odd body I’ve been left with. I’m super skinny but not as toned as I’d like to be. This isn’t something I typically share with people on the first couple dates, let alone before I’ve even talked to someone on the phone, but I’m tired of being hurt so I’m just going to throw it out there.
If either of those things are deal breakers, it’s completely ok. It hurts, sure, but it just means you’re not the right person for me so the relationship wouldn’t have worked out in the long run anyway.
Sorry to leave the email on kind of a down note, but I think those are 2 things I like to be up front and honest about right off the bat. Like I said, it prevents an awkward moment in conversation and it avoids pity dates/hurt feelings on my end.
I hope your day went well and I hope to hear from you soon as I’d love to continue learning more about you. Stay safe in this ice!
I think everything I said was completely reasonable and said in a way that wouldn’t be off-putting. Although…perhaps I shouldn’t have tentatively called him an asshole haha. Anyway, I’ve been freaking since the moment I pushed send that maybe I shouldn’t have told him all that. I think it’s for the best because I’d rather know now than after a couple dates…plus by his previous emails he doesn’t seem like a guy who wouldn’t at least give me a chance before blowing me off….I just don’t know. I kind of wished I had just called him instead of sending the emails. Since I sent him the emails, I can’t call him because that just becomes clingy/desperate/creepy/stalkerish….ugh the do’s and dont’s of dating are tricky and they totally blow!
So here I am, a day and a half after I sent the last email. I’m impatiently waiting by the phone with my inbox open.
Is he going to call? Is he going to email? Did I scare him off? Has he even read my replies? Is he busy? Is he trying to think of a nice way to blow me off? Will he ever respond? Is he still interested? How long do I wait before giving up on him? If I wait a couple more days would it be ok to call? If I wait a couple days should I send a follow-up “Did my email scare you/are you still interested” email? Should I stop being so hung up on him and accept a date with another guy (who I’m not that particularly interested in)? Am I ever going to find a guy who can accept me for who I am who I am interested in as well? Should I not be upfront with people about this? Was it too soon? Even though it’s awkward when it happens, should I just let these issues come up in conversation? Is getting hurt later truly worse than being judged at the beginning? Am I ever going to love myself not to care anymore about what guys think?
The questions never stop. And here I sit. Still waiting.