Hot or Not
November 26, 2005 10:39 AM   Subscribe

She's not sexy.

I've been seeing her a little over 3 months. She is great, she's smart, witty, sweet, and an all around good person. Bonus 100 cool points - she's an athiest. And she's really, really "in love" with me. I thought I could get over the weight thing, her little double chin, her belly, ... but it's killing my sex drive, and sex is quite a chore for me -- it's not enjoyable to me. If she lost about 40 pounds I could probably change my mind.

I really like this woman, I believe she would make a perfect partner. Just this silly weight thing or my problem with the weight thing. So I see a few solutions to this little dilemma:

1) Move on.
2) Get her to loose weight.
3) Change my idea of what is sexy.

1 would be the easy way out.

2 is just a temporary solution.(this would be hard because in her job she's around good food all the time and I know she is very sensitive about her weight.)

3 seems like an extreme mind fuck.

I'm sure that there are other solutions to this, I just don't know what they are.
posted by the giant pill to Human Relations (97 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

you're being shallow. if you like her, get over the issue. But from what you wrote, it doesn't sound like you can.
posted by smithmac_99 at 10:50 AM on November 26, 2005

move on.

you can't force someone to be who you want them to be, and it's incredibly insulting to that person to: pretend you're hot for them when you're not, and to ever ever say something like that to them. You're hurting both of you by staying together if it's not right.
posted by amberglow at 10:54 AM on November 26, 2005

I dont think he's being shallow. I dont find big girls attractive/sexy. No matter how awesome a girl is around/with me if shes not my "body type" I'm not going to find her sexually attractive.

He's not saying he doesnt love her. He's saying the physical attraction isnt as good as it could be.
posted by lemonfridge at 10:56 AM on November 26, 2005 [2 favorites]

Well, sad but often true, we need to be physically attracted to someone in order to have a romantic relationship. This doesn't mean that we should only date fashion models or anything of that sort, but just realize the human mind likes pretty things. Here's my caveat though: I've had a few relationships where I was not initially attracted to my partner. What would happen is we would become friends, grow close and one day I'd look and see this physically attractive person. It's weird, but if you really become interested in someone they tend to become more interesting (physically and mentally.)
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:56 AM on November 26, 2005

Don't listen to people calling you shallow - that's just unrealistic and rude as hell.

If you wouldn't talk to her or be her friend because of her weight - you'd be shallow, and you could rightfully be called a jerk.

However, you're not shallow because you cannot force yourself to be physically attracted to someone. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You cannot force yourself to find a girl "hot".

If the sex isn't there, the relationship won't last long term. It's possible that over time you could grow more and more physically attracted to her, but it seems like you're pretty hung up, so it doesn't seem too likely.

2 is not an option at all - it's just not right to get someone to change for you, or to make her feel that terrible about herself.

Good luck in whatever you do.. my guess is it's going to have to be 1.. don't let idealistic hypocrites tell you you're shallow for it.. surely there's plenty of people you could sit them in front of and they couldn't get frisky either.
posted by twiggy at 10:56 AM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Wow pill, this is a tough situation. You don't mention your current level of physical activity...I am thinking that perhaps if you guys are a pretty sedentary couple you might be able to suggest activities that involve exercise. This would benefit both of you, and perhaps, lighting the metabolic fire a little would benefit the sex drive of both of you. Of course, if you are both already active types, that suggestion is not too helpful.

I do think that to some extent, we are wired to what we find attractive. I once dated a girl who had a very boyish build - a thick waist and no hourglass shape at all. I found it very hard to be attracted to her physically. As it turned out, she was kind of a nutjob as well, so it wasn't something I had to try to "get over"...

Good luck, it sounds like it would be best for you if you could find a workable solution.
posted by Richat at 11:00 AM on November 26, 2005

Could you perhaps put together a workout routine that the two of you could do together? You could both lose some weight.

Other than that, I think the relationship is doomed. It doesn't make you shallow, it's just one of those things.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:01 AM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

you're forgetting about option #4 -- waiting until you get older and put on 40 pounds yourself.
posted by mattwatson at 11:02 AM on November 26, 2005

Response by poster: We go on walks together sometimes, it's difficult with us both going to school and working full time to have anything like that.
posted by the giant pill at 11:02 AM on November 26, 2005

I think you should talk to her about it. I she really loves you and if you really care about her, you should give her the opportunity to say, "yeah" I think I should work on my weight, or "no" I think I am fine the way I am. If you two are really into each other, honesty would be a big deal for later. Then it is a bit up to her as well, give her the chance to do something about it. Saying your shallow is a cop-out from those unwilling to be up front. If you dig this chick, then just tell her, gently, but at least give it a go. Otherwise, you might regret this later when she is banging hot, because the next dude stepped up and addressed it!
posted by Saku at 11:03 AM on November 26, 2005

Even if he were being shallow, which he isn't, that isn't what he asked. And if I were going to accuse him of being shallow, which I'm not, I'd hit the atheist nonsense before criticizing his sexual attraction.

(3) isn't viable. I'm the first guy to advocate changing yourself rather than changing others, but "changing your idea of what's sexy" isn't going to happen. The alternative is (4) Accept the compromise, that you've got a great person who loves you rather than a beautiful girl who would nail your best friend and sell your baseball cards for a Chanel purse.

But yeah, (1) is probably what you're looking for.
posted by cribcage at 11:06 AM on November 26, 2005

I don't think you should be together. She deserves to be with someone who thinks she's beautiful, and lots of people will think that. I think a really basic part of having a successful relationship is that the other person thinks you're really really hot.

If you have her lose weight (which you may not be able to do, either because she can't or doesn't want to) you set yourselves up for a lifetime of misery. I know that probably sounds like I'm being over dramatic, but I've seen it happen, my Grandparents had a life-long battle over my Grandmother's weight and it made her feel unbelievably shitty. Also, if she loses those 40lbs now, what will happen if she puts them back on, or if you worry that she will? Making her feel that she was just about acceptable, and watching every mouthful she ate would be a horrible way to live.

Lots of people do change their ideas of what's sexy, and if you could do that I think it would be the best (only) option. But I think those people's ideas generally change because they meet someone who's wonderful and sexy but doesn't fit their previous criteria. If that hasn't already happened for you with this girl I don't think you can force it.
posted by crabintheocean at 11:06 AM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

You have appropriately summarized your options. I would caution against option 2, and unfortunately option 3 is probably beyond you.

Forgive me for saying so (this doesn't answer your question), but how did you get yourself into this mess? Whatever you decide, I would suggest that in the future you don't lead people on. By continuing this for months, you've really created a setup for emotional trauma, when you probably knew long in advance that it wouldn't work out.
posted by drpynchon at 11:07 AM on November 26, 2005

If a woman is not sexy to you, then it is not going to work.

I had a similar experience with someone who was perfect for me except for the fact I was not sexually attracted to her. I tried to conjure up sexual feelings for this person for a long time, but it proved to be impossible.

Move on. Sooner rather than later. It will be better for both of you.
posted by MasonDixon at 11:09 AM on November 26, 2005

Yeah. Move on. It sucks, but it's part of being human.

And shallow? Oh come the hell on. I guess I'm being shallow for not wanting to fuck my cat, too. Jesus.
posted by zerolives at 11:11 AM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

I don't think option 2 is necessarily a temporary thing. Maybe you both could join a gym together or take long bike rides or cook dinner together making low fat foods, etc. You didn't mention whether she exercises or eats healthy now. Perhaps a change of lifestyle will help.
posted by gfrobe at 11:12 AM on November 26, 2005

Also, I think the shared exercise routine idea is terrible. Sure, that's always a good thing to do, but she'll see right through it, and it will be worse (sneaky, presumptuous, patronizing) than if you'd told her flat out to diet. And what if it doesn't make her skinny? If you wouldn't find her hot if she was able to run 3 miles and still big, the 'lets exercise together' idea isn't a good one.
posted by crabintheocean at 11:13 AM on November 26, 2005

I don't know if this is true about your situation, but I have often found that not finding someone sexy is rarely due to a single factor...what I mean is, are you SURE it is only her excess weight that is turning you off? Or is it possibly just an obvious flaw that you can use as the focal point for some vague discomfort you have with the relationship as a whole? Maybe the fact you're having a hard time getting over the weight issue is symptomatic of a more fundamental incompatibility in your relationship. Or maybe not. But it's something to consider.

Oh yeah, and make sure that the you're not using her extra weight as an safety mechanism to escape the possibility of a long term committment...the old excuse, "Oh, I would marry her if she'd JUST lose 40lbs", often takes on different form for different relationships. Next time it might be, "Oh, I would marry her if her nose was smaller...or her boobs were bigger..." or whatever. If you want out, that's totally fine...just don't lie to yourself. (I'm not saying you are, just to be clear...just sayin'...)
posted by johnsmith415 at 11:15 AM on November 26, 2005

Response by poster: ok, I supose that I wrote this question wrong. I do really -- dare I say -- love her. It is just a sexual problem. I don't want to be with someone else. I just want us to work.
posted by the giant pill at 11:17 AM on November 26, 2005

What ThePinkSuperhero said. Work out together, so it won't be all about her losing weight.
If you don't have time to do that, make time to do that.

If you won't, then you have a few reasonable options as I see it:
-Confront her about it. Be prepared for her to be hurt, and for there to be a hard long battle over it, which your relationship might not survive.
-Put up with it. Maybe after years of hints she'll take the point.
-Break up. You might prefer to break up with her than confront her about it, because you can remain friends after a breakup.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 11:19 AM on November 26, 2005

If it's 'just a sexual problem', then a sexual therapist is probably your best bet to make things work.
posted by Jairus at 11:19 AM on November 26, 2005

Call it shallow or not, that is just an after-the-fact pejorative label assigned to the way your feel and really doesn't make a difference.

Take it from me, staying with a woman you are not attracted to can seriously hurt her feelings. If you end the relationship now, after 3 months, she will live. But if you spend the next 6 months rejecting her and imprinting body issues all over her self esteem, you won't be doing anyone any favors.

If you're not attracted, you're not. As a last resort, try throwing yourself at her sexually, just pull out all the stops and go for broke. Who knows? Perhaps you'll break on through to some plateau you didn't know was there. It's worth a shot if she's really that great. If I were you I'd at least try some things before giving up. You might just get over this once your current goosebumps die down. Perhaps not.

I'm not that much into junk-in-the-trunk myself, and it really stinks. I would love to somehow accomplish #3. I have only one suggestion on that score, and that's to find some heavier women you still find sexy. There will certainly be some exceptional women out there whose style or persona is just irresistible to you, regardless of their weight. If you can have a relationship or two with such a woman, and they show you a good time, sexually, who knows, your taste might actually change.

As an initial step, try some porn from the other side of the table - this is one of the nice things about the suicidegirls website. They have a knack for finding seriously hot women, and not all of them are rail thin. You might head over there for a small dose of esthetic de-programming.
posted by scarabic at 11:21 AM on November 26, 2005

request for clarification:
sex is quite a chore for me -- it's not enjoyable to me

Do you mean you don't enjoy sex, generally? And now it's even more difficult?

Or do you normally enjoy sex more, but find that with this particular woman, it's a chore?

This could be an important distinction. Could you comment?
posted by scarabic at 11:24 AM on November 26, 2005

Hmmm... first things first: the fella said she needs to lose 40 pounds, not 5 or 10, so that's not going to come off overnight or even in a few weeks. If she went on a regimented weight loss programme tomorrow, it would still take about 4 months minimum to work that much off. And that's how long it will take for her to change to what he considers sexy.

It's probably not a good idea to drag this relationship that long.

That said, if you're not physically attracted to her, I'm left curious how your relationship has progressed 3 months. Did you find her hot the first few times you went out? She couldn't possibly have put on 40 pounds in 3 months, right? So you either a) didn't find her that attractive but persisted anyway or b) found her attractive then but don't do so any more. Which one is it?

If you don't find her physically attractive, there's not a lot you can do. You should move on.

(Er, if you're breaking up, may I suggest that you don't tell her it was because she was overweight? At least don't put it so bluntly. You could say something about you not feeling chemistry or some such. You will spare her some agony.)
posted by madman at 11:25 AM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Do you mean you don't enjoy sex, generally? And now it's even more difficult?

Or do you normally enjoy sex more, but find that with this particular woman, it's a chore?

Yes, I like sex. It just seems with her we aren't clicking. She's insatiable. She could have sex 5 times a day if I was able. She seems to click with me just fine however. I just have a hard time maintaining and finishing.
posted by the giant pill at 11:28 AM on November 26, 2005

Response by poster: Ok, how it started... I have read so many times about people eventually becoming attaracted to someone that was great I decided to give it a go. She is *great*. She is definately worth waiting for. She's attractive to me on every level except sexually. That doesn't mean I can't have sex with her, I just find it difficult.
posted by the giant pill at 11:32 AM on November 26, 2005

I second (or third, fourth...whatever) the idea of confronting her with your dilemma. If you decide to break it off, she deserves to know why (even though it might hurt her feelings)...or if you decide not to break it off and not discuss the issue, this problem will likely cause you to resent her on some level. OR there's always the possibility that, in an ideal world (or rather, YOUR ideal world), she might even agree with you and decide to make a change.

Just make sure that if she decides to make a change, you HAVE TO put an equal amount of effort into the wouldn't be fair for her to lose the weight, only find out you STILL don't find her sexy. Maybe this involves you working towards a perspective change or maybe losing some weight or putting on some muscle, but you have to do SOMETHING to equalize the process.

And I think the idea of sexual therapist was a really good one...
posted by johnsmith415 at 11:36 AM on November 26, 2005

Ooogh, that's tough.

I'm fairly sensitive about my 20-30 lbs overweight body, and even I couldn't tell you how I'd react if someone I was dating told me I wasn't sexually attractive. Honestly, I'd agree with them! It might motivate me to lose weight more, but something about that doesn't feel very healthy.

I don't think you're being shallow, though - you don't necessarily get to choose the body type you're attracted to. And you don't come across as the "no fatties plz" type.

If you do choose to break up with her, don't mention its over her weight? A simple "the chemistry is gone" will suffice, and won't be as painful for her.
posted by kalimac at 11:47 AM on November 26, 2005

Look, at a fundamental level, if you objectively think this woman is 40 lbs. overweight, then I don't see why you can't advise more exercise, if not a better diet. Hell, my g/f nags me about it all the time, and I'm barely overwieght.

If you've got that kind of weight to lose, you'll be healthier for losing it. Period. Don't think about it in terms of "lose 40 lbs.", but a series of small steps. Take walks together. Skip dessert and the snacks. Don't eat so much damn pasta.

You love this girl- I think you know how to find the right moment to tell her these things. She'll drop a couple pounds without much effort. Notice it. The ball will start rolling, because now you've got positive reinforcement.
posted by mkultra at 11:52 AM on November 26, 2005

I've had a few relationships where I was not initially attracted to my partner. What would happen is we would become friends, grow close and one day I'd look and see this physically attractive person. It's weird, but if you really become interested in someone they tend to become more interesting (physically and mentally.)

This rings very very true for me. Once I am attracted to someone's mind & heart their exterior becomes a thing of beauty in a million tiny ways. It is a lot easier to let this alchemy happen over a long period when you are just friends, however. It's very difficult to force it to happen quickly, when you are already dating and have expectations to satisfy today (5 times, today, apparently). Not to mention the fact that friendship means some physical distance, and longing tends to ripen these kinds of feelings. the giant pill is already over-saturated with the person in question, so I don't see this delicate magic happening.

you should give her the opportunity to say, "yeah" I think I should work on my weight, or "no" I think I am fine the way I am. ... Otherwise, you might regret this later when she is banging hot, because the next dude stepped up and addressed it!

You know, this is fair. It won't work. It won't benefit you. And it will be one bitch of a conversation. But it is fair.

Conventional wisdom tells us that you can influence someone to make a change like losing weight. Or growing their hair. Or whatever. But they will only listen to you after you're gone, so as to spite you by giving what you asked for to the "next dude." I'm kidding about attributing it to spite, but the effect is the same. In my experience, people don't change much within the bounds of any single relationship, but they change quite a bit in the transitions between them.
posted by scarabic at 11:52 AM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Ok, I have been married for a long long time and my husband is more than 40 pounds overweight (I won't say how much more. )

Just because I don't find his body "sexy" anymore does not mean that that part of our life has to stink.

The truth is that "sexiness" may or may not last in the long term. You have to decide what the tradeoff is. IF the person is the right one in all other respects, I think the relationship is worth working on. It isn't gonna hurt her any less if you just break it off now. At the very least she deserves to be able to make a choice. (And let me throw in here for free that I believe sex should be just for marriage. But you knew that already seeing as it's me answering.)
posted by konolia at 12:05 PM on November 26, 2005

I'm sorry but there really isn't a way that you can continue in a relationship where there is no sexual attraction at the outset and expect it to be a healthy, happy relationship. This isn't just costing you; I would find it very hard to believe she hasn't already started to suspect that there's something not quite right between you and started to question if she's the reason you have a hard time "maintaining and finishing" in bed. Especially when you've acknowledged her existing insecurity with her body.

You've been together three months? Consider what it will be like for her when there's real commitment plus years invested and you're exhausted from trying to make a physical attraction happen and it hasn't. She's in love with you. You won't have to blame her. She'll blame herself. I'd advise you not to compound a painful situation with even more time and investment than is already there.

I believe that you care for her based on what you've written, which is exactly why I have to point out that while this is hard for you it's going to be even harder for her and I don't think you want that. Don't wait to resolve this or you're going to find yourself painted into a corner, resentful of your misery and injuring someone you love.
posted by nuala at 12:12 PM on November 26, 2005

On option #3 (since no one else seems to be addressing it): people change their idea of what's sexy all the time. If you've ever been attracted to someone because they remind you of someone you used to date - then that person redefined "sexy" for you.

Also, sexiness is a lot more than appearance. I dated two women who were quite plain but one got me hot through incredible conversation the other had a voice just made me melt. Now I find anyone woman who remotely resembles these two "plain" women extremely attractive.

If you're not attracted to your girl, you're not attracted to her and that's that. But if you are attracted to her, just not visually, give some of her other qualities a chance to work their magic on you.
posted by zanni at 12:29 PM on November 26, 2005

I wonder if the people calling "shallow" and advising the giant pill to, essentially, just get over it, are thinking of the woman in question as a person rather than as an expression of his enlightenment and sensitivity.

I can't speak for her, of course, but my personal could-stand-to-lose-20-pounds two cents is that I would choose singledom over having someone grimly set out to appreciate me, as though I were opera or single-malt Scotch, any day. Keeping her around, trying to learn to love what you clearly don't, is just preventing her from finding the guy who loves and respects and laughs with her and can't keep his damn hands off her, and that's not fair.

It's certainly not a bad idea to learn to be attracted to character, rather than physicality (after all, that slender gorgeous creature you want to spend the rest of your life with will surely undergo some physical changes by the time you grow old together). But I implore you not to experiment on a human subject.

I'm sorry to say it, but I have to go with option 1 here. Let her go, try to remain friends, and maybe that attraction will develop naturally, and maybe she'll be available if it does. But trying to force it will probably make you both unhappy.
posted by hilatron at 12:30 PM on November 26, 2005 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: hilatron: I do love her.
posted by the giant pill at 12:35 PM on November 26, 2005

You love this girl- I think you know how to find the right moment to tell her these things. She'll drop a couple pounds without much effort. Notice it. The ball will start rolling, because now you've got positive reinforcement.

That's ridiculous. Very few people manage to lose that much weight and keep it off. What you're advocating is an agonizing period—months? years?—of her trying desperately to match his sexual needs, and failing, and failing again...

No, I'm going with option #1 here. Be friends with this woman if you can make that work, but she deserves someone who has the hots for her just as she is, and you deserve someone who makes you want to spend all day in the sack. (Just as a data point, I too dated an overweight woman I liked a lot and who was very into me, but I quickly realized there was no way I was going to talk myself into being sexually attracted. You people who think it's just a matter of willpower or something have no idea what you're talking about.)
posted by languagehat at 12:40 PM on November 26, 2005

Jaded though I may be, I think that couples counseling might be the best choice. Not sex therapy per se but more relationship counseling. If the two of you are to make a go of it, there's plenty of other baggage yet to be unearthed and learning to cope with that stuff now is better than letting it compound over time. Frankly, there's not enough premarital/moving-in counseling going on in this country. Somehow we expect people to blindly stumble into a perfect relationship with what many times amounts to no coping tools to deal with things.

Go the counseling route and failing that move on. If this relationship is worth actively changing your idea of sexual attration, you should do it together. You never know, that birthmark or whatever may the most disgusting thing she's ever seen and you'll be surprised that she's having to ignore it making sex a chore for her.

Good luck with this, regardless. Relationships are hard work.
posted by shagoth at 12:42 PM on November 26, 2005

I just have a hard time maintaining and finishing.

When I see that the first thing I think is "ok, stop trying", regardless of the reason. Don't worry about getting off, don't even worry about having intercourse, just concentrate on having fun again. Figure out what your and her kinks are and build on that. Build up comfort levels again. Experiment, and accept that some experiments will just make you feel silly.

Especially if you haven't had the problem since day one, it sounds like it's as much a case of being in a rut as anything else, and if nothing else you probably want to rule out that possibility first.
posted by mendel at 12:46 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

And shallow? Oh come the hell on. I guess I'm being shallow for not wanting to fuck my cat, too. Jesus.

You know, maybe if there was an advertising industry run by dogs and making billions off of countless bits of media convincing you that you don't want to fuck your cat, then maybe that analogy would make a lick of sense.

That said - not actually knowing either Pill or his girlfriend, and whether she is genuinely of an unhealthy weight, or just "not skinny," I've no inclination to call him shallow, and think that yes, he should break up with her. Option #2 is really fucked up, and #3 is absolutely a possibility - I can attest to having my physical tastes change over time - but it's not something you can just make yourself do in a month.

Stay friends.
posted by poweredbybeard at 12:51 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Go the counseling route and failing that move on.

I am speaking without the experience of having gone through couples counselling, ever. But I can't see how therapy is going to introduce sexual attraction. Read the thread closely. There has never been any sexual attraction. This is something that has never worked.

I can see how therapy could help a relationship that has potential but has gotten off track somehow. But therapists can't play the matchmaker, creating a bond where none exists. The only reason to go through therapy at this point would be to achieve a sense that no stone has been left unturned, so that you could feel better about ending it.

OR - possibly to discover some angle that you never thought of. I don't know. You're dating a woman you never had any attraction for. What's drawing you to her so powerfully? Is that something which directly conflicts with your sex drive? Something must be going on. It's an odd situation and perhaps a good therapist could shed some light.

But I highly doubt it's just a little bit of counseling before this relationship turns hot and heavy.
posted by scarabic at 12:53 PM on November 26, 2005

Three months? If you've only been together for three months then I have to say move on. The first three to six months are meant to be the most passionate; the months during which you don't notice her little imperfections. I don't think it would be appropriate to go to counselling after just three months. And counselling is about the least sexy thing on earth. You will meet someone else who fulfils your criteria and who is also physically attractive to you.
posted by skylar at 1:04 PM on November 26, 2005

hilatron: I do love her.
posted by the giant pill

Sorry, that was poorly written. It's clear from your post that you do, but you don't love the sex. That's what I was addressing.
posted by hilatron at 1:05 PM on November 26, 2005

speaking as a larger woman, i'd say move on. everyone wants to be cherished and desired, and there are plenty of people who will desire, not just tolerate, your girlfriend's body. even unspoken, your feelings in this matter are going to be clear to her, and potentially hurtful. if you love her as much as you suggest, you'll want to avoid that.
posted by judith at 1:13 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

You said that she "could go five times a day" ...any way that's the real problem?

Sometimes when someone becomes too available sexually, it's just a turnoff. I've experienced this from both sides of the fence, and it's not fun.
posted by eileen at 1:26 PM on November 26, 2005

If she's too fat to be sexually attractive (to you) but you still want to continue to have sex with her (because she loves you and you love her), try getting her to lose some weight through exercise and diet, and try doing it without her knowing what you're up to. If you can pull that off (it won't be easy but it isn't impossible), you'll be doing her a lot of physical and mental good.

You could join her in adjusting your diets (maybe you need to cook more often) and in going out together for walks, runs, rides, swims, or whatever is best for you. You could try to change little things that make her fat: is there a certain snack she won't stop eating or maybe a frying pan that needs to be swapped for a steamer? Think about how she puts on the pounds.

Assuming she doesn't like being fat, and that's a pretty safe bet, she will love you (and herself) even more than she does now if you manage to help her lose weight and stay happy at the same time.

Meanwhile, close your eyes and pretend she's her skinny sister. [jokejokejoke]
posted by pracowity at 1:28 PM on November 26, 2005

I agree with languagehat. I'm also curious: does she have any idea that you're not attracted to her, or even that sex is less than satisfactory for you? Or does she think that you're just as game as she is when she blithely paws at you five times a day?

Either way, I have to disagree with talking to her about it. I foresee only one positive outcome: it sparks some previously absent motivation in her, she embarks on a strict weight-loss regime, and in four-or-so months' time, she's 40 pounds lighter and you're suddenly attracted to her. She keeps the weight off forever and you spend your lives in sexual bliss. Hooray!

But it's not going to happen. I guarantee that it's not going to happen. What will happen is that she'll be devastated that somebody she loves isn't attracted to her, despite all her wonderful qualities. Even if she agrees with you - and she probably will - she'll be devastated. I don't think men can ever truly understand how women - especially overweight women - feel about their own bodies: how painfully aware they are of their flaws, how much they long to be physically "perfect," and how terrified they are of this very scenario - that somebody who loves them won't find them sexually attractive.

Disclaimer: of course I'm generalizing, and if there are women here who genuinely love their bodies, I congratulate and envy you. But you are in the minority, and the giant pill admitted that she's already sensitive about her body.

Losing 40 pounds and keeping it off is impossible for most people (especially women), and I think if she could have done it, she'd have done it already. Anyway, it's really not her problem - it's yours. And I don't mean to say that you're shallow - it really is just one of those (societally influenced) things. I believe that you love her. But she deserves somebody who will love everything about her, not everything except her body. And he is out there, and if you're sure he's not you, then I think you need to let her go. Not breaking up with her when you know she could do better is quite selfish, in my opinion.
posted by granted at 1:29 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Y'know, if she can go five times a day, she'll drop the weight if you actually go for it five times a day. I speak from experience being on the other end of the equation.
posted by solid-one-love at 1:40 PM on November 26, 2005

Are there things the two of you could try to inject some spice into your lives without ending the relationship or asking her to lose 40 pounds?

Maybe try to have sex a little less often, so you're not as sated. Ask her to dress up in sexy clothes -- not everything looks good on a fat chick, but there are outfits that do. Act out fantasies you have. If getting kinky still leaves you limp, I agree with the general consensus that your relationship is doomed and you should end it now, before you fall any deeper in love.

If you drag a doomed relationship on, eventually you'll be tempted to cheat with someone you are attracted to. Or you'll end if after the two of you are even more deeply entwined in one another's emotional lives, and the breakup will be that much more difficult.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 1:40 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

If it's only been three months, how "in love" could she be? Does eileen have a point- is she too available?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:44 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

You might get something out of this previous question, and I'll just cite my answer there, since I think it's still applicable here. Maybe email ludwig_van and see if the resolution he came too (breaking up) was the best for him.

Personally, I don't know how completely I could love a person if I didn't love them physically as well, or be comfortable with someone who wasn't as attracted to me as I was to them. I consider my physical body very much a part of me, as are my physical responses to other human beings. I guess that makes me shallow too? but I don't think so, because it emcompasses loving what society would have us believe are flaws.

You both deserve better if you truly don't find her physically attractive...and I mean under the extra weight too. If her face doesn't make you smile now, 40lbs might not make a difference.
posted by nelleish at 1:59 PM on November 26, 2005

People don't lose weight and keep it off? I beg to differ. It's entirely possible. I lost 40 lbs between the age of 15 and 17, and though there have been fluctuations I've been in the general -40 lb range ever since (Currently working toward -55 as my long-term sustainable goal).

It does take exercise and eating less. Also, she simply will not look the same as someone who had never been that heavy - she's never going to have a tight little belly or perfect thighs, and neither of you should have those expectations.

If you want your relationship to work, and you say you do, AND if you decide that weight loss is the way to go, then you should redefine the way you look at your life and incorporate her exercise into it. You say she doesn't have enough time to work out? Do some chores for her while she's out walking around the block or taking a jog or whatever. It will need to be a joint effort to avoid making her feel like she has to do this thing on her own in order to please you. Kind of reminds me of the issue some women have with hormonal contraception (myself included) - it's one sided, and that in itself makes us feel lingering resentment about the whole thing.

But whatever you do, DO talk with your girlfriend first. I'm thoroughly in favor of communication, and if your gf is as great as you say, then why wouldn't you want her input and why not come to a conclusion about how the relationship will go together?
posted by lorrer at 2:35 PM on November 26, 2005

(ps I'm 24 now so it's been 7 years without the extra weight, and as an added bonus I'll be much more aware of my weight as I get older, hopefully avoiding the slow creep into obesity that many adults suffer)
posted by lorrer at 2:37 PM on November 26, 2005

You didn't ask a question. You did say, "I'm sure there are other answers to this question," and I'm actually not so sure I agree with you there.

I'm going to give you my opinion on the situation anyway. Essentially you've been proceeding under false pretenses. We'll assume you knew she was heavy before you had sex with her; i.e., you're not blind or something. We can also safely assume that she thinks she's overweight, because nearly all women seem to think they're overweight.

Given those two things, let's dip into your gf's mind for a moment. "He can see that I'm heavy, and he has sex with me! He must think I'm sexy anyway!"

This is dishonest. You should get it out into the open as fast as you can, because dishonesty poisons relationships. Your relationship, which sounds like it's pretty good, is getting poisoned.

My guess is that a relationship that's based on real love, long walks, and true intimacy can survive the revelation that you need to make: that you think your girlfriend would be sexier if she lost 40 lbs.

Also, you should listen to this live track by New York-based blues singer Ray Schinnery. Even if you don't come around - and he's very persuasive - I hope it'll at least make you smile.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:42 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

Leave her. NOW.

Either you'll come to regret your decision and try to win her back (which may or may not happen) or you'll wind up being happy breaking up with her and realize you don't like dating heavier women.

Either way, you'll learn and grow into the person you are.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:58 PM on November 26, 2005

Break up with her, but try not to let her know it's about her weight. Depending on her level of self-esteem, she may never forgive you (worst case) or be temporarily furious with you (best case). Try to ease your way out of the situation as gently as you can. Most, if not all, overweight women have a hugely complicated emotional relationship with their bodies; don't make anything harder for her if she's already insecure about her looks. A breakup is bad enough without being told that it's about your body. (About losing weight? I've taken off 25 pounds this year, and it was a long and difficult project that required a lot of time and mental energy. It's doable, but it's work, and it's not the kind of thing that anyone should do for someone else, or because they've been manipulated into it-- which would certainly be the case if you start getting after her to slim down.)

And I somehow find it difficult to believe that everything else-- besides her weight-- is fine. I think that this issue may be covering for other kinds of ambivalence that you are feeling. I'd recommend that you look closely at your feelings here.
posted by jokeefe at 3:02 PM on November 26, 2005

Best answer: Fat Girl Answering here:

Two answers above ring true with me:

"She deserves to be with someone who thinks she's beautiful"


Once I am attracted to someone's mind & heart their exterior becomes a thing of beauty in a million tiny ways

I, frankly, don't think that its a case of changing your idea of what is sexy so much as it is a case of clarifying to yourself what is most important to you in a long term relationship. You've said several times that you really do love this girl. If that's true, then the question you need to ask yourself is "Am I willing to make a compromise in this one area if everything else is right". And don't kid yourself - everyone makes some compromises in relationships in order to make them work. I've never met anyone who has a partner that is their "dream mate" in every way, but I have met lots of people who are so in love with their partner that the little compromises they made didn't really matter.

I'd also wager that if she's as "insatiable" as you say she is, there are some other issues going on in your bedroom life ... its hard to find anyone sexy if you're under a lot of stress to perform - you end up feeling a bit like a trained monkey, who is appreciated and loved for only one thing. If I was going to advise you to talk to her about anything, I'd advise you to talk with her about that -- just say that its hard for you to enjoy sex when you feel pressure to do it all the time, and don't mention anything about her weight.

And so, about the weight. Asking your partner to lose weight because it will make them healthier, or because you sincerely want to change your lifestyle and your partner is part of that lifestyle -- I'm all good with that. Asking your partner to lose weight simply because you don't like the way they look seems to me, in the best case, as rude, and in the worst case as very controlling. Imagine a relationship where a man asks a woman to dye her hair or have plastic surgery in order to make her more attractive to him -- would you classify that as a healthy relationship? A relationship based on all the right things?

I am about 90 lbs overweight, and will be for the rest of my life. (Weight gain is a side effect of medication that enables me to continue to breathe). I am very fortunate enough to have spent the last dozen years with a wonderful man who thinks that I am beautiful even when I, myself, do not. If she's really 40 lbs overweight, she knows it, and either she cares or she doesn't care. To say to her "I love you, but I can't be with you because you're too fat" (no matter how kindly you phrase it) is going to be amazingly hurtful, and is also going to make you sound like a shallow jerk who is interested in only the base physical things. As others have said above, if you really love your partner, the things that turn you on about them aren't normally things we associate with physical appearance -- her sound of her laugh, the warmth of her breath on your skin, the scent of her hair, a certain twinkle in her eye, her voice on the phone ... these are the things that drive erotic love in the longest lasting relationships.

I often find myself contrasting my own relationship with those of our friends - in particular one couple who are going through a very messy divorce about two years after the wife gave birth to twins - she was on bedrest, and gained weight that she's found difficult to take off. Because of the changes in her body, her husband decided she was no longer sexually attractive to him, and is ending their relationship. My experience is that relationships where sex is, for one or both partners, the most important thing, often end this way. If one partner gets old, or changes shape, or (heaven forbid!) becomes ill, is this going to be a relationship that endures? It is if the basis of your life together is romance and shared interests ... if you feel the joy rising inside of you when you hold her hand or if you see a wonderful thing and your first thought is to share it with her -- that's love.

In the end, if you really do love her, everything we tell you here is going to be moot, because the very thought of being away from her forever is going to cause you physical pain -- make you sick to your stomach with longing and loss.

Sexual compatibility is a learned skill for almost all couples. A combination of true love and super hot sex is much more rare than you'd think by reading the internets (the modern version of the Penthouse forum, in many cases). Read some books, watch some movies, take time to learn what turns her on and you may find that you're more turned on. Do talk with her about the whole "insatiable" thing -- because when one partner wants sex more than the other partner in any relationship, the imbalance is going to cause problems somewhere along the line. If there are things you love about her body, concentrate on those. Touch her more, by candlelight. Encourage her to touch you. Go slowly. Snuggle. Giggle. Take a month off from penetrative sex and do everything but. Forget what you thought you knew about what is sexy, and let the love between you drive your desire. I think you will surprise yourself.
posted by anastasiav at 3:10 PM on November 26, 2005 [4 favorites]

She deserves something better than you trying to learn to tolerate her body. And who knows? Maybe after some time apart then you'll realize that 40 pounds isn't such a big deal. Maybe it is, but if I knew that my husband was so not into my body that he couldn't even come, I'd be devastated.
posted by sugarfish at 3:11 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

I couldn't begin to say it better than anastasiav, but to me - love is acceptance delight in who your partner is, as they are.

If you're holding back a part of yourself in the hope that she'll change into who you want her to be, you'll end up resenting each other. I'm sorry, but it sounds like you're incompatible.
posted by Space Kitty at 3:25 PM on November 26, 2005

If you love her, set her free. I was the woman in a relationship where I was pretty and my personality was just fabulous but my body was "all wrong" for someone (it was the other side of the coin--he would've been crazy for your girl's curves; I have a hollow leg/borderline thryroid issues, and can't get above 125). If she doesn't know yet, she'll figure it out, and then she'll eventually resent you for being dishonest about it and delaying for her the happiness she will find with someone who is hot n'heavy on that primal sexual level for HER shape. She may or may not develop some sort of complex (however short-term) as a result. Every woman has the right to be with someone who is in love with her body as well as her spirit. There's plenty of fish in that sea (particularly for someone with a heart of gold and a high libido like you describe!).
posted by availablelight at 3:31 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

I'm not sure whether you should leave her or stay and try to make it work (and I don't think it's possible to answer this in a generally way, without being in your shoes, dating your specific girlfriend). I also don't think you're shallow. But I do think you should ask yourself the following question: what will you do if you marry someone (or get into some marriage-like relationship) with someone really HOT, live with her for ten years, and then find you are no longer attracted to her?

I ask, because people here are acting like a relationship can't work without sexual attraction. I realize most people mean that it's important at the beginning of the relationship, but (having been married for close to a decade), I don't buy that it ever stops being important. Yet in most relationships, attraction comes and goes. And you either become one of those people who skips town as-soon-as it wanes, or you learn to weather it out (and enjoy other aspects of the relationship). Or you have tons of affairs.

Another thing to think about. Most of us men are ... um ... fairly simply to arouse if the woman knows what she's doing -- regardless of how she looks. Looks definitely help with instant arousal, but if the girl has some talent, she can often overcome a deficit in this department via good technique. So I wonder if you and she have explored creative kinkiness together. Since she seems to be into sex, she might welcome some exploration/constructive criticism in that department (whereas she'll be hurt if you imply she's too fat). Do you have any fantasies, fetishes, etc. that she can help you explore? There are a million books and videos and classes and web sites to help you. People always assume mind-blowing sex should come naturally. For most of us it doesn't. It's like dancing -- it takes work and, if you do your work right, it LOOKS natural.
posted by grumblebee at 3:44 PM on November 26, 2005

The problem is with you, not with her. That's not to say that you're shallow, but that it's only your expectations that are wrong here. How do you change that? I don't know.

I really don't think there's any way to tell her she's so fat that you can hardly get hard, without making her miserable.

I don't think you can take that direct approach, so if you love her - and you must, it's obviously not just lust keeping you trying, right?

So, you can try the sneaky approach.

Start cooking yourself. Don't talk about the food as low fat, or diet, or anything like that. Don't be obvious. You need to find something really nice that you both like that will help her lose weight. Then after dinner, go for a walk.

It probably won't work.

You're lucky to have found a girl that is so into you, it's a shame your brain won't let you enjoy it.

I don't know how you'd change your brain, maybe you could gradually change whatever porn you sneakily look at while she's not around so the 'model' is slowly fatter and fatter.

If that works, and I have no reason to believe it will, please, whatever you do, don't go so far that you become a chaser or a feeder.

This girl is obviously happy with her body - at least happy enough that she enjoys sexxing up a lot - so if you do break up with her, you simply can't be honest with her. You might ruin that for her, and for the next guy - the guy that can appreciate her for what she is, awesome, fun enthusiastic, and a little bit tubby.
posted by The Monkey at 3:45 PM on November 26, 2005

How old are you? When I was younger I had very specific tastes in body types. I'm in my thirties now, and my tastes have broadened considerably.

Break up. Explain that it's a lack of chemistry (vague). Maybe you'll be lucky and remain friends. If your tastes change down the road, maybe you'll have another chance.

ps. She can tell that you're not attracted to her. That, or she thinks you're an awful lay.
posted by furvyn at 4:02 PM on November 26, 2005

Leave her. Going to an extreme to fix a three-month relationship that isn't based on natural attraction would be silly. There are plenty of pretty, thin women out there - why waste your time and hers?
posted by zadcat at 4:04 PM on November 26, 2005

Best answer: The older I get, the more convinced I become that the only true answer to these type of questions lies within two words: It Depends. And thinking about what It Depends on usually gives you a good look at your answer.

anastasiav has put it very well, but here are some additional thoughts:

1) How important is sex to you? Think about that for a good long while. Because if sex is really very important to you, then you need to break it off with this woman. It's doubtful you will change your ideas of what's sexy, and asking yourself to do that is no more fair than asking her to lose the weight (which I don't think you should do, either). It sounds like sex is very important to her, too, although you never know. She may be attempting to make up for her less-than-perfect body by offering sex to you continuously; she may just love sex. I don't know her, so I have no idea.

2) How important is companionship to you? If you're naturally a loner who prefers his own company to that of others -- and many do, to varying degrees -- than what she's offering you isn't as prized as it may need to be. If, however, you agonize over the nights you spend apart from this person, then -- taking into account how much sex means to you -- you need to decide how the equation nets out.

Movies, songs, books, advertising, and pop culture in general have given us some very romantic ideas about love (imagine that). Chief among them is the belief that there's somebody out there who's going to flip every one of your switches, and, absent the occasional and passionate blow-out, you'll live more or less happily ever after. It's more likely you're going to run into this problem time and again but with variables. There's the one who's great in the sack but can't hold a conversation. There's the one you adore but doesn't get along with a single one of your friends. There's the one who's amazing in every way, everywhere but the bedroom. That's where you find yourself today. People have their pros and cons. The idea that unconditional love means a person is perfect to you in every regard is, at best, unrealistic and, at worst, the cause for a good deal of heartbreak and anguish.

No one here is going to be able to give you an answer that makes total sense. My sense is, you're asking this question because you already know the answer -- that it's better to let her go, to find someone for whom her weight is not an issue (which she will, and if she's as fabulous as you say, perhaps sooner than you think), but you don't want to let a good thing go, so you're afraid to pull the trigger. Do some thinking on what's meaningful to you, and then look at her through that lens -- she may look 40 pounds thinner. It just depends.
posted by mrkinla at 4:14 PM on November 26, 2005

There's the one who's great in the sack but can't hold a conversation. There's the one you adore but doesn't get along with a single one of your friends. There's the one who's amazing in every way, everywhere but the bedroom.

Thanks for summarizing my 15+ years of relationships in three short sentences. Great advice, mrkinla, IMO.
posted by vaportrail at 5:50 PM on November 26, 2005

Leave now, ASAP. Don't try to "change your definition of sexy." Don't ask her to lose weight. Don't try to trick her (!!) into losing weight. Do not continue to leave her with the impression that your equally return the attraction that she has for you. It will only make things worse the longer it goes on. A 3-month relationship is just not worth it. Don't slog on through hoping things will get better.

If you're not attracted to her then you just aren't. Tyring to change you or her is not the right way to deal with it. Move on. You can tell her simply that you just don't feel the chemistry any more.
posted by Rhomboid at 6:46 PM on November 26, 2005

1) Anything is possible. Likely is a different matter.

2) Realistically, you are not going to change your sexual tastes any time soon. Further, the chances of her losing 40 pounds pronto are slim.

If you chose to bring up the real issue, suggest going to a bariatric physician. (a fat-doctor). Don't bother if you are just breaking up with her, though.

About the only thing that actually works for severe obesity over the long haul are certain surgeries. 40 pounds may be a bit light for that kind of surgery, but it's time for her to work on the diet thing if she want to change. Age tends to exacerbate weight problems. (you didn't mention if she wants to change things. It's obvious that you do...).

Not Medical Advice. For Entertainment Purposes Only.

Thomas Meacham, MD
posted by INFOHAZARD at 7:31 PM on November 26, 2005

(3) isn't viable. I'm the first guy to advocate changing yourself rather than changing others, but "changing your idea of what's sexy" isn't going to happen. The alternative is (4) Accept the compromise, that you've got a great person who loves you rather than a beautiful girl who would nail your best friend and sell your baseball cards for a Chanel purse.

This should be in the Bible. Book of Cribcage.
posted by hoborg at 7:40 PM on November 26, 2005

And also? Because it's bugged me every time I scroll past it on AskMefi: It's not 'She's not sexy'. It's "I don't think she's sexy."

Not everyone's attracted to the same thing you know.
posted by Space Kitty at 8:09 PM on November 26, 2005

As a former fat girl, I'm going to project here:

Leave her. Make it a nice clean break. Hell, tell her it's because she's too heavy for you. It will make her stop loving you but fast, and help her get over it quicker. I once had a guy break up with me because he really liked "dancer bodies" and I did not have one of those. May he rot in hell for all eternity.

You say she's sensitive about her weight, so she probably has some self-esteem issues surrounding it. And she can probably tell that you don't find her attractive and this makes her feel like utter shit. But you seem to like her other qualities, so because of the low self-esteem, she's going to hang in there because being with someone who thinks she's ugly is better than being alone, right? Because as a fat girl, she's lucky to have any attention at all, see?

And making sneaky little attempts to get her to eat better or be more active is just going to come across as these sub rosa messages that she's no good and you don't like her much. Not good for her in the least.

So just make a nice clean break, and like crabintheocean so beautifully put it, "She deserves to be with someone who thinks she's beautiful, and lots of people will think that."

I found someone who loved me and found me sexy as I was, and I married him, and I lost not 40 but 80 pounds and then he lost weight, too, and we are now fit and healthy and have awesome sex and the last I heard about the Dancer Fan, he was living in a tent on some hippy enclave in Oregon with a junkie (probably a dancer!) and had lice.
posted by jennyb at 8:43 PM on November 26, 2005 [1 favorite]

If she's too fat to be sexually attractive (to you) but you still want to continue to have sex with her (because she loves you and you love her), try getting her to lose some weight through exercise and diet, and try doing it without her knowing what you're up to. If you can pull that off (it won't be easy but it isn't impossible), you'll be doing her a lot of physical and mental good.

This is the worst advice ever. Don't attempt to control and fucking emotionally manipulate this woman just because she's too fat for you. That's gross and disrespectful of her as the intelligent, beautiful human being that you claim to think she is.

Also, again going to project as the former fat girl, she might be giving it up five times a day because she can sense that you don't really like body so she's using sex to reassure herself that you do want her. As in "I get this feeling that's so vauge I might not even be admitting it to myself that he doesn't find me attractive, so I'm going to keep trying to have sex with him because he wouldn't have sex with me if he didn't like me..."

It's possible she's not oversexed, but just desperate for your approval.

Man, please just leave her. She'll be crushed, but she deserves someone who will love her as she is. Not just deserves but needs it.
posted by jennyb at 8:52 PM on November 26, 2005 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: But you seem to like her other qualities, so because of the low self-esteem, she's going to hang in there because being with someone who thinks she's ugly is better than being alone, right? Because as a fat girl, she's lucky to have any attention at all, see?

First of all I am aware that this is *my* issue. It's not her issue. There is nothing wrong with her. I acknowlegdge that it's my head that's fucked up here. And she's not fat, she's a little overweight. And she sure as hell isn't ugly, I don't know where you got that impression. I don't date fat or ugly girls.

Man, please just leave her. She'll be crushed, but she deserves someone who will love her as she is. Not just deserves but needs it.

I already do love her as she is.
posted by the giant pill at 10:52 PM on November 26, 2005

Ex Fat guy here. I've lost like 50 pounds in the past 5 1/2 months.

Sorry, I don't agree with anyone who says don't ask her to lose weight. Weight isn't a person. Its a choice, just as smoking is a choice, cheating is a choice, and dreadlocks are a choice. If you discriminate against a totally awesome girl because she smokes, is that ok? Even if you love her but her smoking disgusts you? Weight can easily be changed, barring an extreme medical condition. You are not fucked up in the head because something extremely unhealthy and naturally unattractive is affecting you.

If she is sensitive about her weight, if she doesn't believe she is attractive now, if she is not totally happy with herself, then there is absolutely no reason why you should not be able to talk to her about this. If she is on the other hand completely happy with herself as she is, and has no desire to change, its probably not fair to try to encourage her to change.

I think the proper approach to this is from two sides:
1) On one side, you address the issue with her, because honesty is supreme in a loving relationship. Be as sensitive, understanding, patient, and loving as possible, but also be firm in conveying how YOU feel. Make sure you listen very attentively to all she may have to say.

2) Prove to her that while you feel this way, you WANT to be with her, you love her, and you believe in her. Talk to her about taking a cruise, talk about further commitment to the relationship, moving in together (if you already planned to discuss this with her). Show her that you're not ready to run for the hills. Show her that you'll be there because you believe that she can make this positive change. It may also help to discuss any problems she may have with you. She cannot be the only one improving herself.

I've encountered no less than 2 girls who I may have dated, had I been the slightest bit attracted to them, but I wasn't because they weighed more than I did. Personally, the idea of holding a woman that is my size or bigger is a little disgusting, unless of course the reason is because she is carrying my child or something, then thats completely different.

One of the two I talked to about it, after she mentioned that she was going on a diet the next Monday, because she was tired of not being able to wear nice clothing, short sexy skirts, and looking the way she did etc. I told her how I felt, that my father will probably die of morbid obesity, that I feel that my partner should have a health level somewhat comperable to mine, that essentially a lifestyle that fosters weight control is essential in my future(I'm not saying be a health nut. I eat chocolate, go to buffets). We didn't go anywhere and as far as I know, shes still her same weight.

On the other hand, my brother has lost 20 pounds because hes been motivated by my success and I believe my ex went on a diet because she found out.

Good luck, and whatever you decide, remember, if you're going to work as a relationship, you both have to be of the same mind about important stuff like this. WEIGHT IS A CHOICE.
posted by mhuckaba at 11:50 PM on November 26, 2005

Be proactive and start a workout program yourself. Invite her along.

Not to get Freudian on you but be the carrot, not the whip.

If that fails, and your core mindset has not changed, then the relationship has failed. But each of you as individuals have not. That's key.
posted by raider at 12:12 AM on November 27, 2005

And she's not fat, she's a little overweight.

40 pounds overweight is fat, unless she's really tall. It's 5'6" and 195 pounds, 5' and 160 pounds. Are you sure she's 40 pounds overweight?
posted by croutonsupafreak at 12:18 AM on November 27, 2005

Could you suggest changes to her eating habits?
posted by Cranberry at 1:17 AM on November 27, 2005

Man, please just leave her. She'll be crushed,

Hmmm... I think people are looking at this backwards. GP is staying in a relationship he's not happy wiith because he's afraid he'll never find anything as good again, not the woman he's seeing. People are making a lot of assumptions about this woman just because she's overweight- that she is desperate for a LTR, that she returns the GPs intense feeling and most importantly that she is the type of woman to be "crushed" when some guys she's been dating for a few months moves on. We don't know any of that- she might be like "whatevas" and dating someone else in a week. I think the GPs dilemma here is that he really likes her but thinks the relationship won't last and he's going to be alone and he'll miss the good things about her so much that it's killing him and he'd do anything to make it work. Everyone's been there. I know I have- several times.

FWIW I think that chemistry is just that- chemistry, pheronomes, scent, whatever. If you're not attracted to her now, you won't be particularly attracted to her if she loses 25 pounds either or 40 pounds but that's just IMHO.
posted by fshgrl at 2:39 AM on November 27, 2005

I already do love her as she is.

Could you please stop repeating this? Every time you say this, I (and I suspect I'm not the only one) think "Then why did you waste our time with this stupid post"? We get that you love her; when people talk about "letting her find someone who will love her as she is" they mean love in that special "I want to drag you home and fuck you right now" way. Don't be so defensive, champ. We grasp the situation and we're trying to help.
posted by languagehat at 5:00 AM on November 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

I don't blame pill for being defensive. He's in a really tough situation. Whenever anyone brings up a similar issue here, the majority view is always "end the relationship." When I hear this chorus, I can't help thinking about my lovely wife. What if she got in a horrible, disfiguring accident and I found her physically repulsive. I would still love her.

Some people -- and I'm not judging them -- are in a "dating" mindset. They feel that if a relationship ends, it's a little sad, but you move on and find someone else. Others are in a "marriage" mindset. Moving on is either not an option, or it's an agonizingly painful option. If my relationship with my wife ended, "moving on" would mean being completely alone. Maybe I would one day find love with someone else, but it would probably take years. I've never enjoyed casual relationships and it takes me forever to fall in love. I was almost 30 when I married, and my wife is the first/only girl I ever loved.

I may be extreme, but if I understand pill correctly, he's saying he loves his girlfriend in at least a somewhat similar way. And he's sorry he suggested the "move on" solution. Maybe mentioning it was what made him realize that it's the wrong solution for him -- or at least a deeply painful one for him.

I will freely admit that I have a hard time understanding the move-on/dating crowd. And I think they have a hard time understanding the "married" crowd. Perhaps these two groups simply can't be helpful to each other. To some extent, it may be an age thing. I wonder how many of the "move on" people are young. I'm 40, and the whole "for better or worse thing" makes a lot of sense to me.

Again, I ask the move-on crowd to explore what they would do if they were in a long-tern marriage and their partner suddenly (or gradually) became unattractive to them? Let's say the relationship was 15 years old. Isn't mind-blowing sex still important at that stage? What do you do when it fades? Leave? What if there are children?

I am NOT saying he should stay in the relationship. And I doubt there's a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too solution, but I urge people not to blame pill for repeating that he loves his girlfriend. He's repeating himself, because some people here don't seem to understand.
posted by grumblebee at 5:30 AM on November 27, 2005

I am surprised that, if you love her romantically, you don't find her attractive. Love makes a person beautiful to me. My husband is not really like what I thought I would find attractive (more muscles for one), but I look at him, and I see him, and he now defines beauty for me. And he sees he as much more beautiful than I am because he is biased by his eyes.

It may be that you really care for her, but that it isn't that kind of love. You're not going to love everyone sexually.

Smell can be a huge thing - there have been perfectly attractive guys who did nothing for me, if they didn't smell right. But everyone I've ever been seriously attracted to has a very nice smell to me.
posted by jb at 5:34 AM on November 27, 2005

jb, I think you're encountering a common male/female difference. (Of course, I'm generalizing -- there are men and women who don't fit this pattern). We men can be pretty simple when it comes to physical attraction: she's pretty, we're attracted; she's not, we're not. And "pretty" can mean she has certain specific physical features. Like women, we're quite capable of feeling deeply for all sorts of people, but those deep feelings (alas) don't always translate into physical attraction. Again, I'm generalizing, but in my experience love-->physical-attraction works much more easily for woman than it does for men.
posted by grumblebee at 5:45 AM on November 27, 2005

Smell can be a huge thing - there have been perfectly attractive guys who did nothing for me, if they didn't smell right. But everyone I've ever been seriously attracted to has a very nice smell to me.

I think this is also a common male/female difference. Smell affects most women more strongly than it affects most men. Men tend to be more affected by sight.
posted by grumblebee at 5:46 AM on November 27, 2005

I will freely admit that I have a hard time understanding the move-on/dating crowd. And I think they have a hard time understanding the "married" crowd... To some extent, it may be an age thing. I wonder how many of the "move on" people are young. I'm 40, and the whole "for better or worse thing" makes a lot of sense to me.

I'm 54, I'm married, and I believe deeply in "for better or worse." I'm having a hard time seeing the relevance here. The poster is not married and has been with this woman for "a little over 3 months." Three months! Do you start applying "for better or worse" after the first date? And let me remind you that the poster is not sexually attracted to this woman. We're not talking about the fading of desire after years together. Am I wrong to assume you found your wife sexually attractive when you first met her? I still remember the thrill I got when I met my wife, my amazement that someone that gorgeous and sexy could be interested in me. This is not about making allowances for the ravages of time or keeping faith with someone after a tragic accident. This is about the desireability of committing yourself to someone you don't find sexually attractive and probably never will. (She's not going to lose a significant amount of weight, and I don't believe in the mind-control stuff.) Is that really a good idea?

Look, grumblebee, I think you're a real mensch and I respect what you're trying to do, but I think you're putting too much weight on the poster's current feelings. A three-month relationship simply cannot be equated with a years-long marriage. I guarantee that if the poster breaks it off, he will go through a wretched period, get over it, and almost certainly find someone else he'll be much happier with. This is not his one chance at romance; this is a failed relationship, of which most of us have had quite a few. I dated a lot of women I liked, I lived with several, I thought a few of them were the Love of My Life, and I'm really really glad I didn't wind up settling for any of them, because then I wouldn't have had what I have now. The unfortunate thing is that it's impossible to think clearly about these things when you're in the middle of it. The poster can't, so we have to do it for him.
posted by languagehat at 6:29 AM on November 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

Well, we're definitely both against settling. I'm really glad that I didn't settle for some of the girls that I DID find attractive -- but only physically. What a farce it would have been had I married one of them. I don't think not-settling means only accepting perfection. I don't believe perfection exists. To me, not-settling means not staying in a relationship that makes you (and possibly the other person) miserable, just because you're afraid of being alone. If this is pill's position, I'd agree he should move on.

Is three months still "dating" or something more serious? Who knows? I definitely knew my wife was "the one" after a couple of months. I had simply never clicked with anyone like that in nearly 20 years of searching and trying. She and I clicked right away.

Yes, I was physically attracted to her, but not in a seeing-stars kind of way. That came later.

Again, I'm NOT arguing that he should stay with her. I'm just arguing that we should take his stated feelings for her very seriously. He may not be judging them accurately, but he's still the best person available to judge his own feelings.
posted by grumblebee at 6:44 AM on November 27, 2005

As others have said, it's incredibly thoughtless and plain wrong to dismiss your concerns over appearance as "shallow". Appearance matters, where sexual arousal is concerned - certainly for most of us, anyway. Perhaps there are some saintly people in this world who can get turned on entirely by someone's mind and not give the slightest damn about physical qualities, but I suspect it's more likely that there are people in this world who have hangups about their own physical shortcomings and translate those into a fervent desire that people should love and lust after them without the slightest concern for those things. Take a bow, Andrea Dworkin, if you can bend that far. Sorry, that was a cheap shot and entirely irrelevant to the question.

I'd say you're probably on a loser here. I mean, you could try telling her that you find her weight off-putting but... well, wear an abdominal protector if you decide to go that route. Maybe if you keep seeing her you'll reach a place where you realise that her weight really doesn't matter as much as you thought, but it doesn't sound too hopeful.
posted by Decani at 7:42 AM on November 27, 2005

In order to answer your question, first let me describe myself. I am an extremely overweight tomboy. I have no significant other. My wish is that I will be able to find someone who will love me for who I am... but, more importantly, that this somebody will sincerely want to encourage and help me work toward my goals. I want the relationship to include honesty.

So, to answer your question, my suggestion is to find the right time to have an open and honest discussion with this woman. Base your decision of what to do as a result of opening up to her and hearing her ideas and thoughts. She deserves to be included, because it sounds like you and her have a strong emotional connection.

If it was me... I would be hurt to hear the truth, but I would also leap at the opportunity of having someone interested in being my mentor/trainer/supporter in the task of making my body healthier and more attractive.

Although, I suppose I would be a bit angry that you let the relationship become sexual in the first place. Maybe an apology and forgiveness needs to be considered if the relationship continues?

You can't pick 1, 2, or 3... until she weighs in. (that's a really bad pun, but I'll leave it, because technically that's the major factor here.)
posted by chase at 10:59 AM on November 27, 2005

Speaking as a woman, if I found out you were covertly engaging in a routine to get me to be skinnier to satisfy your sexual needs, I would kill you, and then I would find a man that didn't behave like a dick.

If she's fine with herself the way she is, then you need to be fine with it or move on, period. If she wants to lose weight, then you need to support her in that. However, if you are being full of crap and it's not just the weight that's off-putting, then you need to move on anyway. If it is truly the weight, and you do truly care about her, then you need to make it about your concern for her health, not your concern for whether or not you're getting off.

I'm married, for what it's worth. But, when I was dating (which was about three years ago), I would have been well and truly insulted by this. Have you thought that she's so sexually available to you because she can sense that there's something off, and she thinks that making herself more sexually available will somehow fix it? And do consider, by the way, that you're not the first person in this waif-obsessed world that's given her the cold shoulder over her weight. At this point, it's NOT about you, Giant Pill. It's about whether or not you're going to hurt her by trying to make this work for you. You can either exit gracefully or you can make a worse mess of it, but if after three months you're in this soup, then I can't see it improving.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:18 AM on November 27, 2005 [1 favorite]

At this point, it's NOT about you, Giant Pill.

It might be more accurate to say that it's not just about him.

Understanding potential female perspectives in the relationship is helpful (and I agree that covert plots to manipulate are the wrong choice), but it's not the whole story.
posted by namespan at 1:17 PM on November 27, 2005

As I repeatedly disclaimed, as a former fat girl who has dated at least one man who thought I was just great and smart and beautiful, etc., but too fat, I was projecting my feelings onto the woman named in the post. I'm sure it's very likely this woman is an extremely confident and lusty lady who could care less what a man she is "really 'in love'" with thinks of her body, and her feelings shouldn't come into the equation at all.

And Giant Pill, if you don't date ugly or fat girls, what the hell is this post, in which you say you are not sexually attracted to a woman because she's 40 pounds overweight, all about anyway? By your own description you are dating a fat girl whom you find so unattractive that you can't easily achieve orgasm during sex. And if you really loved her as she is, you never would have posted this in the first place. Loving someone as they are means NOT considering dumping them because you find them sexually unattractive. I would argue that it means NOT finding them sexually unattractive in the first place, but I recognize and concede this is a touchy subject and one with many legitimate viewpoints that differ from my own. (and I am talking about initial attraction, per languagehat's comments, not hanging in with someone you love through changes or tragedies.)

Hopefully your defensiveness and revisionist tendancies signify some insight into your true feelings for this woman that seeing your words on screen and others' reactions to them might have sparked, and you realize that you do love her and are getting upset that so many people are unfairly calling your beloved insulting names. That would be cool.
posted by jennyb at 1:36 PM on November 27, 2005

Response by poster: Thank you everyone for your candid opinions and advice. I feel like I misstated things in my original post that I hadn't completely thought out - or felt out as the case may be. Sex, emotions, and our cultures influence make for some very confused kids sometimes, as well as adults.

I apologize for wasting your time languagehat, your posts were very helpful as well.

I am going to stay with her, I enjoy who she is too much, I enjoy who I am around her too much, and I enjoy us very much. We are good for each other.
posted by the giant pill at 2:26 PM on November 27, 2005

FWIW, i know for a fact that it's possible to change your personal taste for the right person. my boyfriend is about 200 pounds overweight and i wasn't attracted to him at all for the first few years i knew him. it took quite a while for me to be really, truly attracted to him, and even now i don't find fat guys attractive at all... it's only him, and only because of how much he means to me and how great he is.

the problems with your sex life might not even have anything to do with her weight. i've had awful sex with some of the most attractive people i've known.
posted by booknerd at 2:59 PM on November 27, 2005

I am not being sarcastic in the least: TGP, that's a very classy response, and I'm glad that you are going to stick with your lady.
posted by jennyb at 3:26 PM on November 27, 2005

I apologize for wasting your time languagehat

Aw, come on, I'm just in a bad mood 'cause there's half a foot of snow on the ground, and it's not even December yet. You do what feels right to you, and good for you. A classy response indeed. Mazel tov!
posted by languagehat at 3:33 PM on November 27, 2005

I know I'm sounding in very late and there's a good possibility this won't ever be read, but if you're going to stay with her giant pill, I think you owe it to her to let her know you're not all that sexually attracted to her and you find her attractive in every other way and that you want to continue the relationship for the reasons you stated above.

I don't think you aren't attracted to her because of her weight. I have a hard time believing if she shed 40 pounds you'd suddenly be hot for her. Chances are, no matter what shape her body takes, you're not going to be physically attracted to her. As others have said, as time goes on and you become more mentally attracted to her, your brain might trick your body into being physically attracted to her. But again, I think if this happens, it won't matter how much she weighs.

She might be fine with this - fine with continuing the relationship like this. Or she might not be fine with it. She might want to be with someone who finds her attractive physically. Just like you've made your decision, she should have the option to chose as well. Don't mislead her.

I also agree with others in that her sexual appetite might be a huge turn off for you. If she was what you consider a perfect 10, would you appreciate her sex drive, or would you still feel pressured? My husband and I have mismatched libidos and try to compromise with one another. I have felt at times like maybe I'm not physically attracted to my husband, but when I examine these emotions closer, I find that I just need sex less often and the anxiety I've feel leading to sex drives away any physical desire I might have. The first year of our marriage was really rough because of this among other things, but everything's slowly getting better.

If you're sure you're not physically attracted to her and your brain isn't playing tricks on you, she deserves to know.
posted by lynda at 6:05 AM on December 6, 2005

Even though this post is old, I had to throw in my comment. I am the girl...just so you know. I am completely in love with my boyfriend. In fact, we are living together. We are early 30's and have great communication. BOTH of us are very sexual (we're both Libras) but physical sexual attractiveness has been an issue for us since the very beginning. We both knew it. We are still dealing with it. EVERY OTHER aspect of our relationship is PERFECT...I mean it. We are connected ina way that neither one of us felt possible. We lay together on the couch every evening and cuddle. We ride bikes together, we work out at the gym together and both of us say we are each other's best friend. Sexually, we're okay. he has no trouble getting it up or maintaining or anything and I am satisfied. But our conversations about it revolve around whether or not he is willing to "compromise" sexual intimacy for what we have. He said the secual fireworks were better with previosu partners. Our record is going 23 days without sex. Believe me I'm not a cold fish by any means and have done everything he's asked. We are both attractive people. I am about 20-30 pounds overweight, but I wouldn't say I'm "fat". I even ran a marathon last year. But I asked if I lost weight if it would make a difference and he said he didn't know. He says he doesn't want to break up. He wants to see if things change. He is the love of my life and I can't imagine life without him. This SAME ISSUE came up only about 3 months into our relationship and we broke up. I started dating another man (my heart wasn't in it but I was trying to move on) and he couldn't take it and BEGGED me to come back to him. I did and neither of us can imagine the other with anyone else.

I don;t know what to do and am crying while I write this. Not only the two of us our in love but both of our families adore each other. They're just waiting with bated breath for our engagement. We've told no one about this issue and we have decided we won't take that step of engagement until we are sure we'll be okay. I hope someone reads this. ALSO, I'd liek to know what happened with the issue above. One last item. In our discussion, his exact words were that he wanted to be able to explore each other and not just have sex. I am insecure about my body BUT ONLY because I know he has an issue being attracted to me. I have a scar on my stomach that I depsise and I've never taken off my shirt in front of him. During sex I wear a tank top and pull the straps down so about 5 inches of my midriff is covered. I told him I'd try to get to the point of being naked with him and he honestly aid to me...that he was worried if I did that it may wipe out the small amount of sexual attraction he DOES have for me. I'm not mad at him for saying that. I'm just so sad. I want better for him...and frankly for me. but I can't imagine finding anyone better than him. I never did before him anyway.

Thanks to anyone that may respond. :-)
posted by VegasAnna at 5:11 PM on April 11, 2006

Response by poster: I'm not a Libra.
posted by the giant pill at 11:04 AM on April 21, 2006

you crazy kids!
posted by cellphone at 5:19 PM on July 11, 2006

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