Stuck at the Corner of Fat and Unhappy? The Intersection of Dating and Hormones


All the single ladies (all the single ladies)
All the single ladies, now put your hands up
– Beyonce, Put a Ring On It

Is your hand in the air right now? Does the thought of dressing up, meeting someone new, and making sparkling conversation sound next to impossible?

If yes, I’d put all my money on the chance that you have a hormone imbalance.

If you’re currently in the dating pool and struggling with a hormonal imbalance, you’re probably not, as I like to say, “rocking your mission.” Stress, sex drive, and body image issues can all be traced back to hormonal problems as well as less-than-stellar dating experiences. Today, I want to share with you my three best tips–from weight loss to libido–that will give your dating game a serious makeover.

1. Dating Dilemma: Stressful

Nearly all hormonal imbalances lead back to cortisol, the main stress hormone…and dating comes with plenty of cortisol-raising situations:

  • Pressure to look attractive and be interesting
  • Worries about being alone
  • Stress associated with body image and weight issues

…and many more. But here’s the thing: those elevated cortisol levels are only exacerbating the very problems you want to fix. Chronically elevated cortisol can slow down your metabolism, erase your sex drive, and turn you forgetful and frazzled.

What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way

– Phillip Phillips, Wicked Game

Your Dating Dilemma Solution:

Balance your cortisol levels. In the long run, taking fish oil, doing yoga, and cutting down on caffeine will calm you down while simultaneously revving up your metabolism and sex drive. For an immediate soother before dates that have you all keyed up, deep breathing or guided relaxation before you meet up will keep your stress levels in control.

2. Dating Dilemma: I Feel Frumpy

It’s hard to find a woman who likes everything about her appearance. Muffin tops, thinning hair, annoying acne, and sagging skin are all problem areas my patients complain of. How are you supposed to be a fun date if you can’t stomach the idea of someone seeing you naked?

Your Dating Dilemma Solution:

Balance your thyroid. Low thyroid is associated with weight gain, brain fog, fatigue, thing, brittle hair, and mood problems. Many thyroid problems can be attributed to gluten sensitivity, stress, environmental toxins, or a vitamin D deficiency. If you suspect that your thyroid is off, I urge you to work with a physician to test your vitamin D levels, look into a gluten-free diet, and better manage your stress. And everyone can benefit from a greener environment: phthalates and BPAs that throw thyroid off track can be found in plastic food packaging, artificial fragrances, food pesticides, cosmetics, and textiles. Who knew that going organic would be good for your love life?

3. Dating Dilemma: I’m Not In the Mood.

It may be that you feel constantly frazzled and tired. It may be that you’ve lost your rosy outlook on life. Maybe you’ve got an obnoxious stress acne pattern that can’t be broken. It may be that sex sounds more like a chore than anything else. Having an upbeat mood and a luscious libido will make your dating life about 100% more fun, and the good news is that the hormonal balance you need to be juicy and joyful is a few easy steps away. If your sex drive has all but disappeared, you may be facing a progesterone shortage.

Your Dating Dilemma Solution:

Balance your estrogen and progesterone. These two sex hormones need to be kept in a delicate balance, and too much stress or a wonky thyroid can throw them off track fast. When estrogen and progesterone are in balance, your skin clears up, and you feel happy, sexy, and sharp as a tack. Here are my favorite ways to restore your sex drive and positive outlook:

  • Low progesterone is commonly coupled with high cortisol, so incorporate stress management techniques into your daily routine, such as using the HeartMath Inner Balance app.
  • 75-90 mg daily of vitamin C
  • 500-1000 mg daily of Chasteberry
  • Maca–add this magical powder to your morning smoothie for a boost in sex drive and healthier cortisol levels

Hear my thoughts in every note, oh! oh!

Make me your radio! Turn me up when you feel low.

This melody was meant for you.

– Adam Levine, Stereo Hearts

How to Ace Your Hormonal Blind Date

Most of us are on a blind date with our hormones; we know they’re out there, but we know next-to-nothing about them. I suggest getting to know your hormones on a very intimate level (start by taking a self-assessment here), which can completely transform your body and mind. We’ve just scratched the surface of how hormonal balance can tweak your dating habits; if you want to go from blah to awesomesauce, I suggest diving headfirst into hormonal harmony and a happy love life.

For more details on balancing your hormones, purchase a copy of my first book, The Hormone Cure, right here.

About Sara Gottfried MD
Sara Gottfried, MD is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hormone Cure and The Hormone Reset Diet. After graduating from Harvard Medical School and MIT, Dr. Gottfried completed her residency at the University of California at San Francisco. She is a board-certified gynecologist who teaches natural hormone balancing in her novel online programs so that women can lose weight, detoxify, and slow down aging. Dr. Gottfried lives in Berkeley, CA with her husband and two daughters.