My girlfriend is no longer physically attracted to me. Please help.
March 9, 2006 1:56 PM   Subscribe

My girlfriend is no longer physically attracted to me. Please help.

(I'm male.) We've been together for over 3 years, living together for 2. I've gained about 30 lbs since we got together, bringing me to about 70 over. We love each other and cuddling and being non-sexually intimate isn't a problem. She has admitted that she isn't sexually attracted to me now that I'm heavier and we hardly ever have sex any more.

Since we love each other and I'd like to lose weight anyway, I'd strongly prefer losing the weight to breaking up. I'm currently losing 1-2 lbs a week, so it'll be a few months until I'm back to the weight she met me at. Any ideas to make this difficult situation better in the meantime?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (48 answers total)

In the meantime, you need to find new ways to excite and liven up the situation. Remember a relationship should be 50/50. Put in your percentage, work out, get on some supplements and you'll be fine. Be exciting, be different. You'll be fine!
posted by Gabe014 at 2:11 PM on March 9, 2006

(1) work out in the moring, do both cardio and weights (2) eat breakfast everyday after working out. Not sure what to do about the girlfriend. She must sometimes have sexual feelings for you. Find out, withoug asking, what does do it. Go to counseling too.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:13 PM on March 9, 2006

personally, i'd be working my ass off (no pun intended) every minute that i wasn't sleeping or working, and i'd be on the all-salad regimen and drinking a couple liters of water a day as well. that is, if i knew she was the one. there's nothing i wouldn't do to keep her.
posted by luriete at 2:14 PM on March 9, 2006

I recommend working out AND dumping her. Seriously. If she can't lovingly recommend that you lose weight and support your effort to do so, she has some maturing to do and isn't worth your time.
posted by frogan at 2:15 PM on March 9, 2006

Sorry to say it, but I agree with frogan. If this girl can't stick with you and still be into you (in all ways, including sexually), she's not worth the effort. You don't say how old you are, but it's not possible for most people to stay at one weight their entire lives. People's bodies change in a lot of ways as time passes, and three years is quite a long time. Expecting you to always look as smoking hot as you did at 25 (or whatever) is not reasonable. Knowing that if you don't maintain that smoking hotness, your girlfriend is going to stop sleeping with you is the kind of pressure that makes my heart break for you and tell you TO RUN SCREAMING OUT THE DOOR. seriously. run away.
posted by booknerd at 2:19 PM on March 9, 2006

Somehow this question feels dubious, in the "Hey, I bet those MeFites have a double standard, let's do an experiment" way.

I don't think it's fair to assume that your girlfriend isn't loving or supportive. I don't see anything in your question that would imply it. If you want to do this, you'll need her to be both.

The reason I'm not terrified about your future is that she met, and liked you, and was (apparently) sexually attracted to you when you were already 40 pounds overweight. Don't aim for that number, even unconsciously; tell yourself you want to be 0 pounds overweight. That will give you a lot of she-still-thinks-I'm-hot leeway as you age (although it would help to know your current age, but you're anon).

You sound committed to losing the weight, which sounds good. Since you're a guy, it may be possible to lose more than 1 or 2 pounds a week safely, but that depends on a whole lot of factors we don't have because you're anon. You may want to ask a doctor/dietitian to make sure you're doing all the right stuff safely and will stay healthy.

I think the thing to keep in mind -- for both of you -- is that whatever intimacy you're missing is only temporary. It may not be pleasant, but it's possible to make it through a few months. Can you talk with her about rewarding you? Maybe not as crass as "lose 10 pounds, get a blow job," but something that could express her enthusiasm, which should grow as you shrink. Like Ironmouth said, to get her interested, also work out the kind of stuff she particularly likes. Is she usually uninterested, but she loves it when you nibble the back of her neck or something? Work that, but don't take advantage of it way too often.

Good luck.
posted by booksandlibretti at 2:23 PM on March 9, 2006

If you're a fat ass, get thee to a gym! It's not the girl's fault, it is only your own.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:24 PM on March 9, 2006

I would also suggest that you make your target getting rid of the entire 70. That would give you a lot of wiggle room for any slight gains and make your gal ecstatic that you would do so much for her and, ultimately, yourself.

You may also want to increase your exercising to build up more muscle. Muscle burns lots of calories and will significantly increase your weekly reduction amount. Make sure you have also limited your caloric intake to what you need as opposed to just less than what you ate before.

You don't seem to indicate that your girlfriend is in danger of actually leaving you, so a strong effort here is going to go a long way. But, yes, until you loose the weight you can't blame her for not finding you sexually attractive. Losing it (and more if you can) will go a long way towards increasing her emotional attractiveness towards you.

Best of luck. You'll feel great about yourself if you manage to loose more than the last 30lbs!
posted by qwip at 2:27 PM on March 9, 2006

I recommend working out AND dumping her. Seriously. If she can't lovingly recommend that you lose weight and support your effort to do so, she has some maturing to do and isn't worth your time.
posted by frogan at 4:15 PM CST on March 9 [!]

Disregard this. It's illogical to expect someone to be physically attracted to you if you're fat. She hasn't dumped him, so she isn't being immature.
posted by cellphone at 2:34 PM on March 9, 2006

I have a feeling that were you female and she male the advice would be still more skewed towards the idea of you finding somebody new. But the situation is really the same.

Whether you decide to eventually stay with her or not it is still going to be a good idea to loose weight - both for your health and your self confidence. Consider the idea of registering for a marathon - or something similarly tough in 6-24 months time and then training for it (subject to medical OK).
posted by rongorongo at 2:34 PM on March 9, 2006

Let me add that at least she mentioned it to you - I gained weight once, and no one ever said anything, until 10 punds later I finally saw it in the mirror.

If you work hard, lose weight, and she still gives you a hard time, it may be time to ask out the gym bunny who always beats you to the treadmill. Until then, see the silver lining and chop chop.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 2:35 PM on March 9, 2006

If you haven't already, tell her that you are trying to lose weight and, if she's into it, get her to exercise with you.

In the meantime, move away from your normal sex regime. If she doesn't want to jump your bones just by looking at you then maybe you need to work her up to it. (Without pushing too hardd) talk about what would turn her on and be ready and willing for whatever comes up.
posted by kechi at 2:35 PM on March 9, 2006

Don't dump her. Her current diminished level of attraction to you may have very little to do with the way you look and everything to do with how you carry yourself knowing you're bigger than you'd like to be.

I second (or third) the reward system -- I think most girls would be happy to help in whatever way they could, sexually or otherwise.

Is she willing to help you exercise and keep moving? Playing basketball together or taking walks together after work might help you connect in an entirely new way. Cooking healthy lunches to take to work every day can be a great experience for you both.

Buy several pants in diminishing sizes, and trade down as you lose weight. I did this with dresses once, and it was so good to have a physical representation of my final goal.

Good luck!
posted by mochapickle at 2:46 PM on March 9, 2006

Everybody who is basically saying "why aren't you on a crazy crash diet/exercise overload program" can fuck off. First off, nobody who had serious problems with weight would ever say that. You are losing weight at a healthy pace and the science shows that people who engage in a steady, slow loss are more likely to keep it off, because they are adopting a lifestyle change and not engaging in the crash salad diet. Good for anonymous for making this difficult change (believe me friend, I know what difficult means in this context).

That being said, at 70+ pounds overweight you could probably lose a bit faster. If you are not recording calories and exercise and trying to calculate your net calories, this can really help.

Often when we do something obviously correct but difficult, like quitting smoking or losing weight, we feel like we don't need or deserve praise and encouragement and support, even from ourselves, because we are just doing what we "ought to." Try not to fall into that trap. If your girlfriend truly does love you, she should be supporting you and she should be excited for you to make a difference that is going to make you healthier and happier and look and feel better. Sometimes a drop-off in sex is not just sheerly appearence but the sense that the partner has stopped caring and is letting themselves go. If you get her engaged in the lifestyle change you're engaged in it might make things easier as well. Seek that support and reninforcement. You deserve it and it helps.
posted by nanojath at 2:47 PM on March 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

I would just like to commend you for taking charge of your health, regardless of it it's to keep the girl or not. You mentioned you are losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. That is the healthy limit so it sounds like you are already doing all the right things. Soon enough it will start to show and hopefully it will change her feelings. If not, well... f**k her! Don't kill yourself over this by doing unhealthy things to loose weight. That sort of quick weight loss comes back as quickly as it came off. 1 to 2 pounds per week is the way to go, and trust me, it will start to show and add up quickly. I've lost over 100 pounds going the slow and steady (and healthy) route and have kept it off going on 3 years now. Good luck!
posted by RoseovSharon at 2:54 PM on March 9, 2006

I wouldn't dump her, but I would think very carefully about what your middle age years are going to be like if she is the one.

We all get old and wrinkly eventually, and if her sexual attraction to you is based solely on your looks you could be headed for trouble.

In the meantime though, I would suggest keeping up the cuddling, and including her in your exercise regimen. Having her along for the ride should help cut down any resentment you have towards her for requiring this of you (let's face it, even if you want to be doing this anyways, nobody likes to have their sex cut off).

It's a very tricky situation, and I'm close to agreeing with frogan on it. You haven't said much about how she presented this to you, and if she has been kind and loving about it. If she hasn't, run for the hills. If she has, marry her :-)
posted by tkolar at 2:55 PM on March 9, 2006

It's illogical to expect someone to be physically attracted to you if you're fat.

You know what? You're clearly wrong. You think overweight people don't get sex? I'm sure a lot of fat parents would disagree. So would a lot of people who like rounded curves.

While I DO agree that being fit is better than being fat, making out like fat people are lepers to be cast aside is just stupid, offensive, and bigoted.
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:55 PM on March 9, 2006

If you do end up losing 70 lbs through diet and cardio, you will also lose a significant amount of muscle mass. It's important to do weight training as well as cardio. In the short term, weight training will make you look sexier by improving the way you carry the weight that's on you. However, it will also slow your net weight loss. You will continue to get skinnier, but it won't necessarily show on the scale, because you are replacing some of the lost fat with muscle, which is more dense.
posted by sid at 2:56 PM on March 9, 2006

I didn't get the impression that she was being nasty to you about it. It's silly to try to pretend we're going to be attracted to someone physically when we're not. 70 pounds overweight is what it is. Even if you lost half of that you'd look better, feel physically better, and feel emotionally better.

Ever thought about getting up half an hour earlier and just going for a walk every other morning? If you've put on 30 pounds it sounds like you're not really getting a heck of a lot of physical activity.

If you need structure, find an exercise class of some sort that you'll enjoy (someone in my tae kwon do club came in weigh about 225-250 or more, and a LOT of that was specifically on his stomach, but he came, pushed through, and tested for a green belt last week - I bet he's lost 40 pounds since he started).

Otherwise, just get out every day and walk. If you have an elevator at work, skip it now. Walk the stairs. It'll get easier. Even if you exercise just a little, you won't have to change whole heck of a lot about your diet, just the physical activity alone will start to make you lose weight. But, if you're eating a really unhealthy diet, well, yeah, might want to give that an examination too.

And if you need inspiration, look no further than Peter Jackson. :)
posted by smallerdemon at 2:58 PM on March 9, 2006

It kills me to say this but I must:

More exercise. Fewer tacos. Deal with the rest of it as you see fit.
posted by I Love Tacos at 3:01 PM on March 9, 2006

Lose weight and get healthy because it's good for you. I can understand why someone might lose their attraction to a lover who's gained weight, but it's still really hurtful.
posted by theora55 at 3:09 PM on March 9, 2006

You know what? You're clearly wrong. You think overweight people don't get sex? I'm sure a lot of fat parents would disagree. So would a lot of people who like rounded curves.

While I DO agree that being fit is better than being fat, making out like fat people are lepers to be cast aside is just stupid, offensive, and bigoted.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:55 PM CST on March 9 [!]

I was generalizing. There are always exceptions. I wasn't casting judgement, just making an observation about attraction. In the future, try to be more objective.
posted by cellphone at 3:10 PM on March 9, 2006

Introductory chapter to the amazing "Why Your Wife Won't Sleep With You."

Subsequent chapters include: Disgust | Discomfort | Distraction | Insecurity | Anger | Fat Wars | Misunderstanding | Boredom | Infidelity | Technique | Motherhood | Aging and Depression | Bad Company | Childhood Abuse and Sexual Fears | Counseling | When to Split | Being the Hero of Your Own Life.
posted by jasper411 at 3:16 PM on March 9, 2006

but it's not possible for most people to stay at one weight their entire lives.

I strongly disagree with this statement. both my SO and I wear the same sizes we did in high school and we're in our thirties. and we're not some kind of freaks either.

my dad still wears the same size jeans he did in college.

taking a good healthy approach to life, taking the stairs, putting down the eighteen cans of Coke a day, and NOT allowing yourself to rot in front of the television is the first step to throwing off the chains of an unhealthy lifestyle.

we have a TV in our house. I think the last time it was turned on was sometime during the Olympics.

we have a computer but the only time we log on at home is to pay bills or check our email. mostly we're out DOING THINGS. we both have 45-50 hour a week jobs. I do yoga, he skateboards, we both ride bikes TOGETHER.

the gym is NOT the ultimate solution and quite honestly I haven't had a gym membership in years. taking interest in *active* hobbies you both enjoy TOGETHER even if it's playing dodgeball, or walking the dog or playing frisbee is where it all starts.

please, people. stop thinking that middle age is an excuse to become a lazy fatass. please.

oh and I left my ex primarily because our life goals changed, but a significant part of that is because when he hit 30 he stopped being interested in anything beyond beer and internet porn and gained about fifty pounds in 2 years. we BOTH tried everything: counseling, couples activity groups, sex therapy, depression treatment. in the end what it boiled down to was he and I could not resolve our differences, and our continuing misery together was the contributing factor to his depression. we fell out of love and theres nothing you can do about that. shallow on my part? probably, but we both tried and tried and tried and went through lots of hell. in the end it just didn't matter enough.
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:18 PM on March 9, 2006

oh and one more thing: I bought a new car on September 14th, 2005 and I still have not yet put enough miles on it to warrant an oil change (I think it's up to about 2,600). Now not everyone lives in bike / ped friendly communities but ask yourself why you have to get in the car to go to the Dairy Queen up the block? Why drive when you can ride, or ride when you can walk?
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:20 PM on March 9, 2006

I lost a HUGE amount of weight last summer, 70 pounds in about 4 months.

What I did, was hit the gym almost every and burn 1,000 calories on the elliptical each time I went (or go less and burn 2k each time! by the end, I could sit there for three hours and burn 3,000 calories total! It was nuts!)

I also seriously restricted caloric intake. I still ate junk food, but I counted every calorie and put it all in a spreadsheet. I started out eating only a thousand calories a day, but gradually got up to about 1,500. Then the winter hit, and I stopped going to the gym and started eating like 2,000 calories.

But, I only weighed (and still weigh) 190 pounds. I had been at 270 when I started.

As for duping the girl, don't be silly. Lose the weight, all of it, and then dump her when you're really attractive to other girls!
posted by delmoi at 3:28 PM on March 9, 2006

She hasn't dumped him, so she isn't being immature.

Unfortunately, I've seen plenty, and have experienced first-hand, plenty of situations where someone wants to get out of a relationship, but doesn't have the guts to actually do it. So instead, they passively-aggressively push the SO out the door by withholding affection, in an immature hope that the problem will take care of itself without their actually having to do anything icky, like hold an honest conversation about a problem.

Withholding sex because of a weight issue? Classic passive-aggressive behavior.
posted by frogan at 3:31 PM on March 9, 2006

Withholding sex because of a weight issue? Classic passive-aggressive behavior.
posted by frogan at 5:31 PM CST on March 9 [!]

posted by cellphone at 3:47 PM on March 9, 2006

Guys, guess what? Depending on how tall he is, that seventy pounds can make sex UNCOMFORTABLE for her.

There is nothing wrong with stating a preference. I suspect that part of her speaking up was a fear he would put on even more weight.

(and I also recommend doing the weight training as well as cardio-and oh, I highly recommend Spin classes if you have access to them. )
posted by konolia at 3:55 PM on March 9, 2006 [1 favorite]

Withholding sex because of a weight issue? Classic passive-aggressive behavior.

amen. and guilty as charged. cheers frogan for being brave enough to say that. I think 99% of the relationship issues out there could be solved if people were willing to fight about the fact that they're scared and hurt because their partner was out till 3AM, rather than making it about how they always leave the cap off the toothpaste.

I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say that the OP and his girl sound as though they maybe somewhat young? or if not young, they've not been through enough relationship crap to be dealing with this stuff with the open honesty and maturity that comes through experience and learning, introspection and self-improvement. hell some of us never mature in this regard.
posted by lonefrontranger at 4:02 PM on March 9, 2006

I would dump her in a heartbeat. Is that right for you? Who knows.

Disregard this. It's illogical to expect someone to be physically attracted to you if you're fat. She hasn't dumped him, so she isn't being immature.

That's just an amazingly ignorant thing to say. Nothing to be objective about.
posted by justgary at 5:58 PM on March 9, 2006

Frogan & co: please try to answer the question.
That post doesn't leave enough information for you to analyse their relationship, nor should you try to in this thread. He says they love one another, and that's not for us to question here, nor is it what he is asking about.

anonymous, I think it's great that she was honest and loyal, and that you're doing something about it.
I'm seconding the recommendation to find some active hobbies you both enjoy.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 6:01 PM on March 9, 2006

I don't know, lonefrontranger... it strikes me as pretty mature of the OP's girlfriend to fess up to him. How many posts have been here, questions to Savage Love, whatever, about one partner suddenly no longer wanting to have sex, with no explanation, and at least half the responses ask if either partner had gained weight.

I will agree with konolia as well... I'm not a skinny gal, but I noticed when one of my ex's developed quite a beer belly, it would press against me in such a way that I literally couldn't breathe in many positions. Not fun.
posted by Kellydamnit at 6:08 PM on March 9, 2006

I'm going to beat my tired old hobby-horse here.

You need to lose weight, and I think you know that, which is good. There are some people who get off on fatasses but most people are turned off by them and sadly (for you) it seems your girlfriend is in that majority.

Low calorie diet. Forget Atkins and all that fad bollocks; weight control is basically down to two things

1. Reduce calorific intake

2. Increase calorific consumption. That means exercise.

Go to and search on "low calorie". There are some great, tasty, satisfying meals there which come in at 5-600 calories. There are other sites where you can find these gems. If you're interested I can send you a few recipes myself. Use lightly-but-brightly-dressed salads to flesh out your meals. Stop snacking between meals. Realise that yes, you will feel hunger's bite for a while. Be a man and put up with it. Grrr!

70 over is a lot, so you need to do gentle but regular exercise first. Swimming. An easy gym program. But do aim to step it up as soon as you can. You need to be exercising enough to raise your heart rate and maybe even break a sweat, and you need to be maintaining that for a reasonable amount of time. Look at joining a gym and getting a bit of training. Maybe get your girlfriend to join with you. Show her how serious you are about this. Make it a joint enterprise.

It will hurt for a while. You will ache. You will hate the idea of dragging yourself to the gym when all you want to do is go home and flop in front of the telly with a beer. But it really won't be long before you start feeling very good about yourself every time you finish another workout or swim or whatever.

Good luck.
posted by Decani at 6:15 PM on March 9, 2006

Frogan & co: please try to answer the question.

I believe I have answered the question honestly with my first post in this thread. Clearly the questioner is already losing the weight -- no help needed there. But he goes on to ask "Any ideas to make this difficult situation better in the meantime?"

My answer is tough love, but simple -- if your SO is withholding sex because of your weight, and you're already proven to be making the effort, with concrete results as the questioner says, and your SO is still not supportive of your efforts and your progress, then the questioner needs to consider whether this is a healthy relationship in the first place. Just on its face, the SO in this equation is displaying immature, passive-aggressive behavior (withholding sex).

My advice sounds drastic, yes. You may disagree with it. That's fine. But I've given an honest answer, IMO.
posted by frogan at 6:19 PM on March 9, 2006

Any ideas to make this difficult situation better in the meantime?

Your doing everything right. Keep getting healthy. But not for her. Never place your health or happiness on the approval of another person. Married or single. NOBODY else can make you happy. Nobody else can make you healthy.

Relationships ebb and flow sexually. However 3 years is still a honeymoon stage for most (younger) people serious about each other.

So what to do?

Try to find out if it is your physical appearance or not. Because frankly I doubt it. Often, when we are young it's not our partners looks that turn us off - it that they aren't somebody else entirely. Like Brad Pitt or Rachel Wiez.

Have good non-defensive sit down with this girl. Tell her the truth. That you are losing the weight and you will require her support. Tell her you still find her very desirable and want this to work out. But ask her straight out - is it really simply a matter of physical attractiveness or something else? Do not be wimpy. Be direct.

because once you become a cookie and IF she STILL wont hit it with you, you are going to crash and burn my friend. Especially if your simply doing it for her. You will get dumped. And you will feel like shit.

So become a cookie any way. Because let me tell you this - there will all sorts of hotties out there lining up for you.
If do this for you.

There is nothing wrong with asking your partner - encouraging them - to remain as attractive and healthy as possible. there is nothing wrong with losing your physical attraction for a partner based on a physical changes because likely those are merely manifestations of EMOTIONAL and character changes.

But making demands or holding out on sex is blackmail and manipulative. Sex is important for most of us. Educate her what light switches and creative visualization are for.
posted by tkchrist at 6:32 PM on March 9, 2006

frogan, what leads you to believe that she's unsupportive and unloving?
posted by Count Ziggurat at 6:41 PM on March 9, 2006

It's not necessarily the weight it's the fact that he's gained it so fast and seems to be letting himself go at a relatively young age. Every day she looks around and sees other men her boyfriends age who look 5 years younger. If someone was heavy and stable at that weight from when you met them it would be one thing but if they were just settled in the relationship and getting old before their time that's another. That freaks people out because they identify with their SO.

I wouldn't still be attracted to my SO if he gained 70 pounds and I don't think that makes me a bad person. A big part of our relationship is doing active stuff together and if he gained that kind of weight it would also probably mean we weren't doing those things together anymore, which would be a big fed flag, no?
posted by fshgrl at 6:47 PM on March 9, 2006

Point out to your girlfriend (as you're losing weight for all the right reasons) that sex is excellent cardiovascular exercise. Convince her of your point by committing egregious acts of foreplay that cause her eyes to roll backwards into her head while she hyperventilates.

My point is, don't let yourself get into the mental trap of feeling like you're broken or wrong or unsexual because you gained some weight. Not having sex becomes a habit, especially if you are happy and non-sexually intimate. Even if the weight fell off magically, you wouldn't be in the habit of chasing each other around the bedroom anymore. So you two may want to think about ways to get the twinkle back into both of your eyes while you lose weight.
posted by desuetude at 7:19 PM on March 9, 2006

I suspect your girlfriend doesn't really know why her interest in sex with you has diminished. It's understandable that she thinks your weight is the reason, and maybe she's correct. But don't be surprised if you take off the pounds and she's still just wanting to cuddle.
posted by wryly at 7:25 PM on March 9, 2006

frogan, what leads you to believe that she's unsupportive and unloving?

Hi, Mr. Derail, how you doing?

Fine, I'll play the game.

If the questioner felt loved and supported, do you think we'd even be having this conversation?

"She has admitted that she isn't sexually attracted to me..."
"We hardly have sex any more..."
"I'd strongly prefer losing the weight to breaking up..."
"...this difficult situation..."

Sounds like it's a not happy-happy situation to me.
posted by frogan at 7:43 PM on March 9, 2006

Dude, as someone who has both lost and regained a significant amount of weight, I have only this piece of advice: if you're going to lose weight, lose it for yourself alone. Losing it for someone else is, in the long term, a losing proposition.

(And for those saying fatties don't deserve sex: I truly hope you never find yourself/your SO requiring prescription drugs that induce weight gain. Ask Jerry Lewis.)
posted by Vervain at 7:48 PM on March 9, 2006

And for those saying fatties don't deserve sex: I truly hope you never find yourself/your SO requiring prescription drugs that induce weight gain. Ask Jerry Lewis

I wouldn't be attracted to my SO if he gained 70 pounds of muscle or lost 70 pounds off is current weight either. I like him how he is, and I've always been attracted to men of roughly that type. As for him if I came home one day with huge fake boobs and started dressing like a porn star I can pretty much guarantee he would lose interest in me but I doubt he'd notice if I gained a dress size. Everyone has a type, some of us are just more limited in who we're attracted to than others. It kind of sucks to meet someone who you really, really like but just can't work up any physical attraction to but it's not really negotiable.
posted by fshgrl at 8:44 PM on March 9, 2006

While I respect the comments made by frogan and booknerd, I have to disagree about dumping her.. from a woman's perspective. While I have no problem at all with the fact my boyfriend has gained about 30lbs. in the last year or two, I think that just because she does, doesn't mean she's automatically crappy and unworthy.

I think she probably has some intimacy issues, not unlike the ones I've been dealing with. I think in an attempt to hush the internal anxiety alarm, outward projections are made onto the partner. I've observed myself (ashamed to say, even though I feel it's part of life) doing this to my boyfriend... essentially projecting my insecurities onto him, telling him that some aspect of him is not good enough for me. Upon introspection I realized my own fears of rejection or not being good enough. This might just sound like psycho-babble to you, but I truly believe this is what people do. I hope you realize that even if your g/f is drop-dead gorgeous, it sure as hell doesn't mean she's readily secure.

In my case, I am die-hard committed to my relationship, to personal growth and to confronting my personal flaws and improving them where I can. If she fits that description, then I think she could be a keeper. If you don't think she fits that description, then be wary.

I think the worst thing that could be is that she is losing interest or attraction on some other level and just verbalizing it consciously as the weight issue. Have you become self-conscious? Maybe your self-confidence has gone down a lot? Most women will list confidence as one of the most attractive attributes in a man. For that matter, in the meantime perhaps you could work on regaining it and seducing her?

I know some of you disagree, but I just can't see weight as a valid issue in and of itself to warrant lack of attraction in a long-term committed monogamous relationship. There really has to be something else going on.

A few years ago I spent about a year in a relationship where my boyfriend was just never satisfied with my body .. I worked out about 10+ hours a week consistently for over a year, got a personal trainer who made me cry, etc. etc. I only wish that I could have that body again now.. But I was never good enough for him... eventually I dumped him for good when I realized the negative correlation between time spent with him and my self-esteem. Please don't turn yourself into that pathetic slave that I was, trying to please someone who really can never be satisfied.
posted by mojabunni at 10:10 PM on March 9, 2006

Something else I forgot is that the other issue really is health, not just weight. Personally, especially since my father died of lung cancer when I was 15 and he was 45, and he led a pretty horribly unhealthy lifestyle, health is very important to me in a long-term or marriage partner. I really don't want to be widowed when I'm in my 50s because my husband smoked a pack a day, ate mostly fried foods, guzzled beer several days of the week, etc. NO thank you!

I can imagine myself in bed with, say, a recently plumped-up 350+ lb. man who I've loved for years and feeling like I'm losing him slowly, or there's a distance, a wall of some sort, or otherwise I would just be worried about his health and him losing control (and me losing control) to the point where I'd feel turned off.

Anyhow, maybe it will help if she feels reassured and like you are committed to health. Just a thought.
posted by mojabunni at 10:45 PM on March 9, 2006

Even though this post is old, I had to throw in my comment. This is opposite for me. 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 in a way that neither one of us ever knew 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 when we have sex. He responds to me usually when I initiate, but I initiate 95% of the time. Sexually, I am satisfied by him. But our conversations about it revolve around whether or not he is willing to "compromise" sexual intimacy for everything else that we have. He said the "sexual fireworks" were better with previous partners. Our record is 23 days without sex, granted we were both working alot and he was EXTREMELY stressed at work, but nonetheless, 23 days is a long time. Yes, I counted the days. Believe me, I'm not a cold fish by any means and have done everything he's asked and enjoyed them! I have been open-minded and always willing and even have come up with my own HOT ideas that he has thoroughly enjoyed. 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. After a 3-hour discussion, 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. Thank God neither family is pressuring us. I hope someone reads this. ALSO, I'd like 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 freely and not just have intercourse. 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 despise and I've never taken off my shirt in front of him. During sex I wear a tank top and pull the straps down underneath my breasts so only 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 said 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 either of us ever finding this soul connection ever again. 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 5:32 PM on April 11, 2006

VegasAnna: why don't you post this question yourself? I would suggest rephrasing it though, into specific questions that people can answer, rather than merely venting - it just won't get you very good responses.
posted by mojabunni at 10:13 PM on April 11, 2006

Hi mojabunni,

I saw the great information here and the people seemed wise, so I joined specifically so I could post on this subject. You're correct in that I rambled. it was a particulary upsetting day yesterday. Anyway, as a new member I am not allowed to post for 7 days. I'm not the most patient person in the world. :-) Thanks for the advice. When I can post, I will post this in question format. :-) Have a great week!
posted by VegasAnna at 4:31 PM on April 12, 2006

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