J. Peirano: The secret code of love: I think I'm too fat - how can I still approach women and where do I meet them?

Dear Dr.

J. Peirano: The secret code of love: I think I'm too fat - how can I still approach women and where do I meet them?

Dear Dr. Peirano,

I wrote to you a few weeks ago and you replied to my letter.

The reason I've never had sex is because I don't find myself attractive and even physically reject myself. I'm about 25 percent body fat, which isn't healthy, nor is it sexy (in my opinion). As a result, I don't dare to "go on the offensive" and approach women. Because if it came to sex, I wouldn't even dare to undress.

Also, I put my needs on the back burner to please the woman, so as not to do anything wrong, which keeps me from opening up.

The solution for me: do sports and change my eating habits (so that I can feel sexy again, feel comfortable in my own skin, especially naked). I also signed up for the swimming club and got to know new people there.

I think the solution to "putting my needs aside to please the woman" lies in a low level of self-esteem, which I will rebuild through exercise (then find myself physically sexy) as I will then accept myself and gain a sense of accomplishment .

I also decided to give up my studies, start an apprenticeship and move into my own apartment.

I'm also in therapy and I'm coping better with the addiction. And I also understood that suppressing sexuality is not good, I should get away from the movies and seek sex in real life instead.

So your answer in your column has already helped me a lot, but I have a few more questions.

I look forward to your reply!

Many greetings

Timo T.

Dear Timo T,

I am pleased that you were able to do something with my answers and that you have already set out to live your life in such a way that you are satisfied with it!

You describe not feeling comfortable in your own skin and body because you think you weigh too much. Some guides suggest accepting yourself for who you are (and how you look). Personally, I can well understand that you can't completely separate self-satisfaction from looks, but that you feel more confident when you find yourself attractive.

I work as a behavioral therapist and love coach in private practice in Hamburg-Blankenese and St. Pauli. In my PhD, I researched the relationship between relationship personality and happiness in love, and then wrote two books about love.

Information about my therapeutic work can be found at www.julia-peirano.info.

Do you have questions, problems or lovesickness? Please write to me (maximum one A4 page). I would like to point out that inquiries and answers can be published anonymously on stern.de.

And the ideal of beauty in our time is slim and fit - it's hard to ignore that.

In this respect, I think it's important to find a balance between what your own body has for idiosyncrasies (you should accept them lovingly) - and on the other hand doing something to make you like yourself and get in good shape.

In this respect, I think your approach of going swimming a lot is very correct. A healthy diet can also do a lot to make you feel better, have more vitality and lose weight. You're already on the right track there! Doing something for yourself and your desires makes you feel loved by yourself - and that's great.

Otherwise, I would advise you to first establish casual contact with women, especially women with whom you do not want to have sex. List all the women you know and write what kind of contact you have with each woman. This could also be your grandmother or the nice 60-year-old neighbor, the woman at the cash register at the swimming pool or your cousin.

Why don't you try to have a longer conversation with the women, to laugh with them, to listen to them and to understand what is important in each individual's life. In the process, you'll loosen up, gain experience, and get the idea out of your head that women in general are special and should be given some kind of special treatment.

Women are very different (at least I don't see many similarities between e.g. Dolly Buster, Alice Schwarzer, Anne Will and Queen Elizabeth).

Since women are very different, they also need and like to be addressed personally. For example, one person likes to talk about their dog, another about their work, another about their sport. It is usually well received when you find out and respond sensitively to it. You could also say: If you speak their own language.

And because women (and of course everyone) is so unique, there are women who, just like you, don't like drinking and partying, and maybe don't like going out as much either. They probably suit you better than a club acquaintance.

How about if you choose women in series and films that you could imagine as friends and then think about why you find exactly that woman attractive? Or look at the women around you (partners of your friends, cousins, school friends...). Also look at the nature of the relationship and what the woman or couple does in the film (go for a walk at night, cook together, go on bike rides...) and how they treat each other (tender, supportive, humorous).

You can learn a lot about yourself and your preferences from films and observation!

It helps to know your own favorite places. If I like going to the literature café, I might meet a suitable partner there. If I don't like football, I probably won't meet the right partner there. Try everything, experiment. Buy the newspaper that tells you what's happening around you and go to any events that interest you.

Create a description of the partner you want. If you know exactly what you are looking for, you can find it better.

You don't enter "clothing for a man" on Ebay, but e.g. "baseball cap dark blue with red lettering".

It would help if you were patient and took your time with the topic of sex and relationships. Instead, take a few steps to feel better about yourself and change your life. If we are happy ourselves, we radiate it, and then you usually get to know someone who is suitable. And it doesn't really matter who speaks to whom.

Greetings and all the best to you!

Julia Peirano