How bad is it to dump someone because of how they previously looked?
June 4, 2007 5:57 AM   Subscribe

How bad is it to dump someone because of how they previously looked?

I dated a fairly attractive girl a while ago, and things were going pretty well until she showed me her drivers license. In the picture on it, she was obese. She told me that since the picture was taken she had lost 200 pounds.

To be honest, I couldn't get the image of the obese her out of my head. When we were intimate, I thought that I could detect folds of skin which were left over from when she was overweight. This disgusted me.

Soon after, I dumped her. Every time I saw her, I couldn't help but think of the picture and wonder how she could have let herself get that far out of control.

Now, I think about it often, and I'm kind of concerned that I've been a totally insensitive jerk. It's not like I let her know that her former obesity was the reason I dumped her though. Do I have a right to some shallowness? Just how wrong was I?
posted by dkleinst to Human Relations (60 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Are you entitled to be shallow? Well, of course. That doesn't make it any less shitty.

But if you threw this girl away over something so Seinfeld-esque, probably a good thing you ended it now anyway.
posted by Roman Graves at 6:01 AM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]

No. You did the right thing.

She's way better off without you.

Now maybe she can find someone who sees her for what she actually is, not what she used to be. Everyone deserves that.

Well done.

(Better hide all your yearbooks when you get a new girlfriend. She might get turned off by that bad complexion you had in the eighth grade. Karma is a bitch).
posted by purplegenie at 6:01 AM on June 4, 2007 [34 favorites]

How long had you been dating? I tend to think that all is fair when it comes to love. If you didn't want to date her anymore, you didn't want to date her anymore; what were you supposed to do, keep dating her out of charity? That would have been more wrong. And if you had only been dating a short time, it's very possible some other reason would have caused a breakup in the future.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:04 AM on June 4, 2007 [4 favorites]

Bad is relative. The fact is that you obviously weren't comfortable with that part of her past. Now it's perfectly normal to suffer from guilt after instigating a breakup, and also normal to seek confirmation from others that the decision you made was a good one, but again that is also relative. Maybe it wasn't a good decision, but it's done, and hopefully you can draw from that experience in the future to make decisions that don't wrack you with as much guilt.
posted by furtive at 6:04 AM on June 4, 2007

dkleinst, if you had never seen her fat picture do you think you'd still be with her?

If the answer is yes, then you probably were being a little obsessive about her appearance.

That said, this sort of thing isn't really a problem until its a problem. If you find yourself obsessively ending relationships over what some will point out are completely shallow reasons, then you should probably explore that character flaw further.

I bet even if you hadn't seen her fat pic you probably would have found something else to break up over.

[She really should get her id updated.]
posted by wfrgms at 6:05 AM on June 4, 2007

Um, I hate to break it you but you were an insensitive jerk. She obviously got "it" under control, showed what a strong person she is in dealing with "it" and not just letting things be. She changed her life and that takes power and strength. If you can't see that or respect it then you are a shallow a jerk and she's probably better off without you. Sorry to be so harsh. The fact that you realize what a jerk you were shows that you're not a total dick and perhaps there's hope for you yet.
posted by LunaticFringe at 6:09 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

This smells a little bogus to me; I don't see a lot of girls losing 200 pounds and then not getting a new license photo taken.

That being said, it's a free country and you can break up with whoever you like.
posted by myeviltwin at 6:11 AM on June 4, 2007

Around here you can't just go in and tell them to please take a new photo for a license. If you lose one or move, they use the old photo until your renewal date comes up, period. Perhaps if you changed genders they'd make an exception.
posted by wierdo at 6:18 AM on June 4, 2007

You're kidding right? Because if you're kidding, it's crass and stupid and funny about how shallow people can be and I'm laughing.

If you're not kidding, I'll echo what purplegenie said: It's good you broke up. She deserves better.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:19 AM on June 4, 2007

What are you looking to get out of this discussion? You're not going to find much affirmation here. The act itself was clearly for the best (in that she is now no longer stuck with you and can find someone better). As wfrgms points out, the question is whether this is a chronic problem for you -- because you're unlikely to run across someone in precisely this situation again.
posted by lorimer at 6:20 AM on June 4, 2007

You did the right thing, because you clearly don't deserve her.


An appropriate analogy, and the thing to remember is that they were all insufferable shits on that show.
posted by mkultra at 6:22 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Bad enough that you really shouldn't tell anyone else about it.

It's fine that you dumped her for irrational reasons. That's nothing unusual. But don't expect people to understand your irrationality.
posted by smackfu at 6:22 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Maybe you should go rent "Shallow Hal".
posted by briank at 6:23 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Just imagine how great she's going to feel when she finds out about this post.

I'm on the "you did the right thing because she's better off without you" train, and I'm glad you recognized your shallowness.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:27 AM on June 4, 2007

There's an easy way to figure this out:

What would you think of someone who dumped YOU because she discovered why you dumped that girlfriend?
posted by gnomeloaf at 6:31 AM on June 4, 2007 [4 favorites]

All is fair in love or war. It was shallow of you, yes, but it was well within your rights to dump the girl.

I also don't think your response to her I-used-to-weight-over-300-lbs confessional is that unusual. I think many of us who are now calling you shallow would have similar responses in the same situation (and it would be shallow of us in turn). And while we may all strive to be better, less appearance-focused people, it is nonetheless a natural human response to be repulsed and repelled by certain things, and morbid obesity can be one of them.

She will be much better of with someone who understands her struggles with weight and respects (and admires!) the strength and determination it took for her to get where she is today. Obese people suffer a lot in this society, and I would be surprised if her past has not made her a much deeper, experienced, and insightful person; she should be with someone who is going to appreciate that.
posted by bluenausea at 6:33 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

People undergo radical transformations in their lives, physical and otherwise. Sometimes it's fair to be judged based on our former incarnations, sometimes it's heinously unfair.

In this case, well look. She went through the intense pain of being obese in a culture that makes pariahs out of such people. Somehow she found the strength and willpower to turn things completely around and lose the weight, something that many people never achieve. But being hot and thin is apparently not enough; it seems that now she has to hide the fact that she was ever obese, for fear that people will look at her and still see what she was, not what she is now. I'm sure she already views the time in her life that she was obese as a total nightmare; when is that nightmare allowed to end?

I can understand why you were disturbed, but that seems like the sort of feeling that would have faded on its own if you had given it time or just laughed at yourself for being a weirdo. At least you did have the decency to cover up the reason. But if you can't handle something like this, how are you going to handle the past of ANYONE you date? What about the abortions and illegitmate children and disgusting exes and promiscuities and abuses and nose-jobs and miscellaneous traumas and diseases that most people have in their past? As you get closer to anyone, they begin to share these things with you, and almost everyone has them: ugliness and misfortune in the past that we have (hopefully) transcended.

And now you have one too, because if you ever get close enough to a woman to feel comfortable unburdening yourself about how you once dumped this girl because you found out she had at one time been fat.... well is it shallow of her to not want to date someone who at one time was a "totally insensitive jerk"?
posted by hermitosis at 6:38 AM on June 4, 2007 [18 favorites]

As far as skeletons in the closet go, having a weight problem is hardly the world's biggest sin... or even uncommon.

Its bad enough to dump or disregard someone you like because they're overweight but to dump someone because they used to be overweight is beyond shallow.

I agree with others here, she's better off without you. She's overcome her problem, that's in the past. Your problem is in the present.
You're shallow and obsessed with appearance... and not just current appearance. Its probably going to be a lot harder for you to change that about yourself than it was for her to lose 200lbs. That is of course if you even want to.
posted by missmagenta at 6:40 AM on June 4, 2007

Are all these shallow dating questions part of some larger social experiment?
posted by samsara at 6:41 AM on June 4, 2007

I don't get it. She used to be fat. She's not fat any more. But you dumped her because of what she used to be. Fucking lame.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:46 AM on June 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

dkleinst, I have no idea how old you are. It's pretty normal for people to date casually when they're young. But many of us want something deeper and longer-lasting when we get older. You may want to ask yourself this: what if I start dating a beautiful girl and she gets in a horrible, disfiguring accident. Or, less dramatically, what if I date someone, fall in love, get married, and one day wake up and find that time has passed, you're both middle aged, and your wife's looks are gone. What then?

I'm not chastising you. I'm suggesting that rather than waste time worrying about whether you're right or wrong, deep or shallow, you might want to meditate on how you're going to manage the rigors of a long-term relationship. Or IF you're going to manage them. In a long-term relationship -- even with a beautiful girl -- most people find that attraction isn't constant.

Maybe they're not for you. Maybe your goal is to one day be like Hugh Hefner. If that makes you happy, good luck to you. Me: I want someone I can grow old with. Someone with whom I have a ton of shared history.

If you're too young for that now, but think you might want it someday, don't do what most people do. Most people think, "someday I know I'll want to settle down, but for now I'm going to sleep around and when I find my soulmate, I'll magically morph into good-husband material." I'm not telling you not to explore and sleep around. I'm suggesting that while you're doing that, you do some internal work. You don't morph into a mature partner by magic. And people find this out the hard way as they're going through ugly divorces.
posted by grumblebee at 6:57 AM on June 4, 2007 [12 favorites]

If it bothered you to that extent it was the right thing to do. Why stay in an uncomfortable situation and pretend you don't have the reactions that you do?

If you're asking whether it says something not very flattering about you, then yes, it does in a big way. In the Metafilter Fat vs. Skinny war, I'm on the side of the Skinnys. Still, I recognize that losing weight and keeping it off is hard. Dropping 200 lbs is a major accomplishment, it's something to be proud of. If you are ever in a similar circumstance and want to change, consider that aspect of it and see if it doesn't change your feelings.

Many of us have pasts where we were a long ways from the conventional ideal. Being stuck with a stigma for life when you have put in a lot of work to change is a heavy blow. Brutal world, eh?

Mark me down as another one who is wondering just how many girls are out there that wouldn't get a new driver's license after losing 200 lbs.
posted by BigSky at 7:02 AM on June 4, 2007

Gezz, I can't believe all the hate thats being thrown at this guy.

If you were dating someone and then discovered that they were a recovered junkie, or used to be a car thief, or (heres a good one) had sex with like 90 other people, you'd have second thoughts about continuing the relationship.

Now, its a jump to compare obesity to being an excon, but the OP has made this jump and just couldn't deal with it. I think everyone has a threshold for this sort of thing.

Some people may feel uncomfortable if they learn their partner has been with a member of another race. Some people will end a relationship if the other person has bad credit. Some people will be turned off if the other person comes from a bad family... the list goes on.

We each have these hangups and we shouldn't condemn someone else just because their threshold is less than our own.

He wasn't attracted to her any longer, he ended the relationship. He admits that his reasons are maybe shallow or selfish. He did what was right for both of them.
posted by wfrgms at 7:04 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Is it that you're afraid that she might get fat again?
posted by amro at 7:08 AM on June 4, 2007

Do I have a right to some shallowness?

Sure. Don't expect people to love or like you for it though.

Just how wrong was I?

Would you rather date someone who was never fat or someone who had the strength to lose 200lbs?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 AM on June 4, 2007 [5 favorites]

Yeah as Brandon Blatcher says a person who managed to lose 220lbs is an impressive person indeed. Were you shallow? Yes. Should you have split up? Yes. Frankly anyone who has the strength to lose 200lbs probably has enough strength to deal with breaking up with you.

Frankly, like others I do smell bullshit here. As a guy if I had lost 200lbs you'd better believe that I'd get a new license/passport etc and I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of people would do the same. Something isn't quite right with this picture.
posted by ob at 7:30 AM on June 4, 2007

Recent studies have shown (no linky-heard it on NPR), using almost any diet, many people do lose weight, and no matter what, they all tend to put it right back on within two years. This study indicates that humans have a natural weight, one that we tend to want to come back to whenever we lose or gain. Trying to maintain what the body feels is an unnatural weight seems to be near imposssible. Perhaps you felt the truth of this, as amro said. It should be no crime to prefer one body type over another. Don't we all?
posted by Hobgoblin at 7:36 AM on June 4, 2007

Let me join the chorus: wrong in an existential sense? Of course not. There's no rulebook for love. You are free to hurt someone as badly as you want to.

But you're the one with the serious problems here, and I mean that with all due respect. I echo what someone said upthread: you did her a favor by letting her find someone with a heart, and character.
posted by spitbull at 7:40 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

This has to be a fake question. And if not, yeah, you were being shallow. Maybe she'll meet someone that doesn't care that she was fat at one time.
posted by chunking express at 7:47 AM on June 4, 2007

myeviltwin, I lost 150 pounds and didn't get a new dl picture. It is a reminder of how far I've come. I have to renew in August and I have to figure out how to keep the picture. To the OP, I agree that you were a jerk and I have to say that the girl is much better off because of it!!
posted by pearlybob at 7:48 AM on June 4, 2007

Recent studies have shown (no linky-heard it on NPR), using almost any diet, many people do lose weight, and no matter what, they all tend to put it right back on within two years. This study indicates that humans have a natural weight, one that we tend to want to come back to whenever we lose or gain. Trying to maintain what the body feels is an unnatural weight seems to be near imposssible.

I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that 300+ lbs. is not a "natural weight" for anyone except possibly Samoan men.

I don't see why this is assumed to be fake. If AskMe has taught us anything, it's that there are plenty of folks out there who are oblivious to their severe character flaws.
posted by mkultra at 7:51 AM on June 4, 2007

I don't understand why people think the fact that she still has her old ID is "suspicious."

Maybe she keeps her old ID to constantly remind herself how far she's come.

Maybe it is just a minor detail to her, and not worth the $20 it would take to replace it just to get a different picture.
posted by purplegenie at 7:53 AM on June 4, 2007

no matter what, they all tend to put it right back on within two years.

(emphasis mine)

So you're saying that no one ever loses weight and keeps it off for more than a few years? Because I think we all know that this just isn't true, even if most people do go back and forth for years. I know plenty of people who have lost tons of weight years ago and stayed slim for keeps.

NPR, eh? So in other words some "expert" was promoting a book they wrote?
posted by hermitosis at 7:59 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think some degree of "shallowness" in a relationship is forgivable, if only because physical attraction is a hit-or-miss chemisty kind of thing -- it's either there or it isn't -- and it's just practical to acknowledge that. So no, you weren't wrong to break up with her; it's not really fair to stay with someone you're no longer attracted to.

However, you might want to consider why it was that you lost your attraction to her. As others have pointed out, getting from two hundred pounds overweight down to a size that is considered "attractive" and staying that way is quite a feat of willpower and determination. Why did you focus so much on the getting out of control (as you put it), rather than the getting back under control? Did her past lack of control perhaps represent to you something in your own life over which you fear losing control? Then figure out what you need to do to get that part of your life in order. Did you perceive her attractiveness (and your possession of it, by way of her being with you) as a status symbol, and fear losing it if she were to let herself go again? Then you might want to find some other way to empower yourself that is not dependent upon another person. And so on.

Yes, on its surface, breaking up with someone for having been fat at one point in their life is an asshole thing to do. It becomes much less so, however, if you learn from it.

And as an aside, I'm pretty sure everywhere I've lived you have to wait until your driver's license expires to get a new picture.
posted by AV at 8:02 AM on June 4, 2007 [2 favorites]

As a guy if I had lost 200lbs you'd better believe that I'd get a new license/passport etc and I'm pretty sure that the vast majority of people would do the same.
I lost 100 pounds and like pearlybob I actually like the picture in my passport. It reminds me of how I was then, and makes me realize I want to stay how I am now. But I am also not ashamed of who I was, I feel no need to hide it. I never even considered changing my passport because of this and I am surprised to read about that here. I was already broke enough because I had to buy new clothes again and again. I don't have to show my passport that often, but when I do, I only hear positive reactions. Maybe it is good to continue to show people that losing weight and keeping it off is possible, because, like in this thread, many people still do not believe that. It is unusual indeed, but it is not at all impossible to lose lots of weight and keep it off. See the national weight loss registry for some success stories.
posted by davar at 8:35 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Ok so I'm wrong about changing the ID, but still this question doesn't quite ring true to me. It reads like research.
posted by ob at 8:39 AM on June 4, 2007

posted by myeviltwin at 8:54 AM on June 4, 2007

Dude, you're an shallow ass. So you'd prefer a partner who emerged perfect into this world without a cloud in their sky, someone who never knew hardship, to someone who had developed the strength of character to pull themselves out of the shit in their past?

Yeah, thanks for breaking up with her. She doesn't need someone like you.
posted by Anonymous at 9:02 AM on June 4, 2007

I sort of agree with everyone and sort of don't.

If he is indeed "disgusted" and cannot get the image out of his head, continued dating is just an exercise in futility for everyone involved. People like what they like, and until we're assigned sex partners of random age, weight, height, gender, and race, I suspect people will continue to like what they like.

Once you have a reaction like that, and it continues, it's over. Hence, a breakup is reasonable, given his reaction.

Now, if he wanted to some personal work, well, he could spend a lot of time examining his reactions and seeing if he could not alter them. If he feels that his reaction was something irrational, where one part of him disagrees with another, it would be worth sorting out. Perhaps he fears that his SO would one day return to the previous weight. Perhaps his mom might have been heavy and he wants to avoid that. If there's an irrational reaction that makes the OP uncomfortable, he should definitely take the time to examine it and at least understand its origin, and either become comfortable with it or exterminate it.

It would be interesting to note people's reactions (and the original poster's) if he found out that his significant other had been a man at some point previously. Been in jail. Been a Hari Krishna. Etc.
posted by adipocere at 9:15 AM on June 4, 2007

I don't tend to hold people's sexual desires against them, so I don't think you should feel bad about what you did.

The way I read your question, the main reason you broke up with her, you couldn't stop picturing her as her former fat self or imagining rolls of skin that were left over. I don't think this was something you can consciously control, so there is no reason to feel guilty about it.

If you had posted that you broke up with her because she used to be fat, and fatties are bad people, that would be a different story, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

I know people with very narrow sexual desires and fetishes and those people would have a very hard time dating someone who didn't fit into their mold of what they found sexually attractive. You found yourself dating someone you didn't find sexually attractive, and you shouldn't feel bad about that.
posted by andoatnp at 9:20 AM on June 4, 2007

In love, both parties have veto power, and they don't have to have a rational reason why. But if you can't accept a partner who is less than physically perfect, then don't be surprised if you can't find someone to accept you in 20 years when you are bald with a beer gut.
posted by happyturtle at 9:58 AM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Would you rather date someone who was never fat or someone who had the strength to lose 200lbs?

This is the root of the issue, I think. Are you, dkleinst, irrationally afraid of strong women? Perhaps the fact that she lost all that weight is a sign that she doesn't actually need anything from you.
posted by kindall at 10:03 AM on June 4, 2007

i wouldn't say shallow, so much as silly. you had an attractive girlfriend and now you don't.
posted by lgyre at 10:17 AM on June 4, 2007 [3 favorites]

You did the right thing by breaking up with her. She deserves to be with someone who isn't disgusted by her. You deserve to be with someone who doesn't disgust you. And if she started to gain it back - very possible - you'd bail anyway, so best to do it now and let her find someone who will love all of her, past, present, and future (and someone will.). If you recognize that your reaction was irrational and want to try to change that part of yourself, then great. Good luck. But in our culture the disgust toward, and contempt for, the obese is so deep-rooted that it'd be an heroic achievement to rid yourself of that. Almost as heroic an achievement as losing 200 pounds.
posted by granted at 10:17 AM on June 4, 2007

I side with ThePinkSuperhero. If you don't want to date someone, don't date them. We are all irrational, we all have things that set us off. I don't really get your decision. But it's within your rights.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:42 AM on June 4, 2007

In many places, you can't just waltz in for a replacement ID just because your picture has changed. I lost a good amount of weight in recent years, and am still using a passport picture from 1999. It's up for renewal in two years, and then I'll deal with it.
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:50 AM on June 4, 2007

That should read because you want your picture changed
posted by cmgonzalez at 10:52 AM on June 4, 2007

I think if you had really been into her, you wouldn't have cared about how she looked in the past at all and you wouldn't have let loose skin, real or perceived, get in the way. It just wouldn't have mattered.

It's good you moved on and are not wasting her time or yours. Hopefully you can find someone you can genuinely connect with. You'll have to examine what really matters to you.
posted by mistsandrain at 12:01 PM on June 4, 2007

It was very bad, but you have a right to be a shallow jerk. Since you are a shallow jerk it is for the best that you dumped her, since she obviously has depths (losing 200lbs is an awesome feat) you will never appreciate.
posted by RussHy at 12:49 PM on June 4, 2007

This smells a little bogus to me; I don't see a lot of girls losing 200 pounds and then not getting a new license photo taken.

I dated a guy about 3 years ago who lost almost 100 lbs in about 9 months. He went from 5'7" /260 to 5'7" /175. He showed me the "before" pics and I was truly shocked that this guy ever had 100 lbs to lose. I think I loved him more if only because he decided to take charge of his health and be more disciplined.

Of course, the flipside was that he broke up with me after a few months because he didn't have time in his triathlete schedule for a FT girlfriend. (sigh)
posted by Carnage Asada at 1:50 PM on June 4, 2007

You may be shallow but I don't think this is evidence of it. This seems a bit more...pathological. Obsessive, you know? It seems to me to have less to do with how she looks or has ever looked in her life, and more to do with...well, I don't know, I'm no professional, but it seems to require more mental acrobatics than basic shallowness.

(I'd hazard that true shallowness would allow the brain to skip right forward to "I've got a hottie in my bed!" rather than thinking about her as a greater whole, with a past. Shallow, as is implicit in the name, shows lack of depth - immediacy. Lack of prolonged thinking seems inherent in its definition to me. I realize "depth" has a positive connotation, just choose to agree with my less than positive one in this usage.)
posted by birdie birdington at 4:07 PM on June 4, 2007

It's almost as bad as continuing to date someone who totally repulses you without telling them about it.

Move on.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:20 PM on June 4, 2007

Is it shallow break up with someone because they used to be fat? Of course. However, are you sure that was the only reason? Sometimes, when people get close to the breaking-up stage, the strangest things become the catalysts. Eg couples in endless fights about how to push on the toothpaste tube. It's entirely likely that you would have found some other reason to break up had she not once been fat.
posted by fermezporte at 4:34 PM on June 4, 2007

dkleinst, I am going to be the one person here who doesn't say something like, "Yes, dump her, she deserves better than you.

Yes, you're within your rights to dump her.

No, you're not reprehensible for dumping her for that reason.

You can't help what you think about, when you look at her. The fact that you can't stop thinking about her obesity isn't your fault. Maybe she looked really repulsive in that photo.

Sexual attraction is complex, and not very well understood. Nobody is able to choose what they are attracted to (except those people who go through fundamentalist Christian sexual-orientation-changing therapies, which are very effective). It's a bit strange that you can't stop fixating on her previous weight, but if you can't help thinking about it, I don't see how you can be blamed for something that you can't help thinking about that torpedoes your attraction to her.

(See, you thought this was going to be a thread where everyone was against you, and one nice person stepped forth.)
posted by jayder at 4:35 PM on June 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm with jayder, and totally against all the "you're a shallow prick" comments.

Sexual chemistry is important in a relationship, and it can sometimes happen that it disappears overnight, for seemingly illogical reasons, or for no reason whatsoever.

All the responses (that I read - they became boringly repetitive & self-righteous) saying that you're shallow etc seem to assume that attraction is some kind of rational mathematical calculation.

Your change of heart does indeed seem irrational, and that's the whole point. You really can't rationally control who & what you do or don't find attractive, even if you might be able to take steps to try to understand or correct your unconscious decisions.

Perhaps you ought to have paused for a while to try to understand the deeper reasons & thereby override your sudden revulsion for her, or maybe this was just some kind of Taquito Moment (wapo, reg reqd), in which something seemingly illogical or trivial serves as just a convenient explanation for something too subtle for words.

The Taquito Moment is more interesting. It reveals as much about the person who despises taquitos as it does about the one who keeps them close to her heart. Often it reveals, in shorthand, something we can't quite pinpoint about the other person, or ourselves. It's a proxy for taboos, or regrets about past failed relationships. It's a proxy for class concerns or cultural differences, because most people want someone who looks and sounds and smells as they do.

The Taquito Moment comes to represent a moment of clarity, the thing you fasten onto later when explaining why you could never go out with that person again. So you broke up with a girl because of her arm hair? Fine. Love, like mayonnaise, is a texture thing. But maybe, on some essential level, the girl just didn't do it for you, because if she had, those would have been the arms of the girl you loved.

posted by UbuRoivas at 9:10 PM on June 4, 2007

I remember reading something about a guy in China that got a divorce because his wife "lied" to him about her appearance. I guess she had a ton of plastic surgery and when he saw her old pictures he freaked. Kind of reminds me of that.
posted by m3thod4 at 11:04 PM on June 4, 2007

You're not in control of what makes you feel grossed out. Having emotions doesn't make you a bad person. Because you were grossed out, you pretty much had to break up with her. Perhaps you should have or could have gotten over it, but it's not like you started screaming at her or dumped her while she was pregnant or something.


So you're saying that no one ever loses weight and keeps it off for more than a few years? Because I think we all know that this just isn't true, even if most people do go back and forth for years. I know plenty of people who have lost tons of weight years ago and stayed slim for keeps.

Well it's true for over 90% of people who lose weight, empirically speaking. 5-10% do manage to keep it off.
posted by callmejay at 9:45 AM on June 5, 2007

I think you were right to dump her. She used to be fat and then dropped all that weight, probably to find a man. What would more than likely have happened in the future, is that she would have reverted back to her fat self having secured a long-lasting mate.
posted by Lucy Phi at 5:49 AM on June 6, 2007

"Nobody is able to choose what they are attracted to (except those people who go through fundamentalist Christian sexual-orientation-changing therapies, which are very effective)"

... and jayder joins the OP in "either satire or just made up" territory...
posted by lorimer at 8:03 AM on June 6, 2007

"Nobody is able to choose what they are attracted to (except those people who go through fundamentalist Christian sexual-orientation-changing therapies, which are very effective)"

True, but this doesn't solve the basic-human issues of losing attraction. Unless you're amazingly lucky, if you date someone longterm, attraction will wax and wane. Hopefully, it won't wane for good, but it might wane for several months. What are you going to do, break up each time this happens?

If so, I don't think that makes you a bad person, but I can't see how you'll have a happy life.
posted by grumblebee at 9:12 AM on June 6, 2007

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