Am I being Really shallow?

Discussion in 'Relationships' started by reg, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. reg

    reg New Member

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    So its my first time posting on After Ellen, though I've followed the site for years. And I have a feeling I'm about to make myself very unpopular. But I am in desperate need of advice so I thought I'd ask anyways.
    A little background... I've been in a long term relationship for the last 4 years, we met online and immediately hit it off personality wise. At the time I remember being a little concerned about her being overweight, not so much from a appearance point of view but because I am expremely active and always pictured enjoying my passion for activity with my significant other. However We REALLY clicked in every other aspect and I wasn't un-attracted to her because of her weight. She also regularly spoke of her goal to lose weight and be more active so she could join me on some of my activities. This of course was all without me pushing her, although I did encourage her when she spoke of losing weight and offered any help I could.

    Soon the relationship began to get more serious and we did eventually meet. It did take a while as we were quite a long distance from each other. By this stage I was head of heels in Love with her and although slightly unsure whether I found her attractive physically, I knew it was mostly only to do with her being overweight and thought that as she lost weight that would no longer be a problem.

    So four years on and we moved closer together about 2 years ago, after getting to know each other better and dating exclusively in all that time. We're going to be moving in together next month. I Still love her to pieces, she's my best friend and I love everything about her EXCEPT... that rather than losing weight she's put more on.

    And I don't know what to do or even how to approach the topic with her.
    And I feel awful and like I'm the shallowist person in the world but its really starting to bother me more and more. I'm finding it harder to be sexually attracted to her, so much so that its affecting our sex life.
    I also worry about her health as I'm sure she's going to start having issues because of her weight.
    The other thing is, it effectively makes us polar opposites physically, I'm tall and lean with an extremely athletic build and she's short and... umm well overweight, and all our mates and friends are always commenting on it, to Both of us... which then sends her into a spiral of depression about her body image. I've told them off already and asked them to be more sensitive. But in a way its just made it harder to talk with my Gf about the matter because she completely shuts me out when I broach the topic no matter how sensitive I try to be....

    I know she's not happy with her body weight, and She'd love to just lose it all with a click of her finger but the problem is she can't seem to control her eating and she HATES exercising. I'm just worried that this will start to affect our relationship more and more and with us moving in together I really want to feel like we're at a completely Solid point in our relationship... which if I'm honest.. well we're not in that regards.
    HELP!
     
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  2. TreeFruit

    TreeFruit Member

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    I've had similar concerns going into a relationship with a girl significantly heavier than me. From my experience I can say it will continue to be an issue as long as it's not fully addressed. Physical appearance is just one of the numerous faculties we appraise when seeking a partner, to wish to have your desires met is not a vain thing. That being said losing weight is probably the hardest feat universally. I think all the situation requires is a little intimacy and sensitivity. Come to her with your concerns voicing them to her so she understands exactly where you're coming from and what it means to you, and offer her support. Maybe help her set up a plan of action, and inquire as to her personal hopes and dreams for her physique. It will be an embarrassing topic of discussion for her so you will have to be patient but get her to open up to you and trust you with that piece of her heart and things should work out.
     
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  3. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Hi Reg, oh goodness I feel your problem. First off I don't want to label you shallow for the reasons you mentioned. One can be physically not attracted to someone and it could be for any reason. She could be too thin, short, tall, heavy on the top or bottom, anything. The only thing that you assumed wrong probably was that she would change. Well you really can't count on that. You can only count on how you would feel if you know she may never change. That if her problems with weight is from bad or compulsive eating can you be this person's partner?

    I think however painful it is. She needs to know if the answer is no. It will come out in one form or another. And I would not subject her to your friends anymore, it was just downright cruel that they would make such comments. You love her, you know that and you will do anything to emotionally support her during this time.
     
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  4. reg

    reg New Member

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    Hi Tree Fruit,
    Thanks for your speedy reply... I guess in a way we've been through a few, what I call WAVES of addressing her weight, her understanding, and saying that she was now movitated and then a few months later it being put aside and her gaining even more weight. The most difficult part for me is that I'd be at her doorstep every morning to go for a run if she was actually interested in that approach. But she's just not...
    I've never though ACTUALLY said to her that It's affecting my sexual attraction to her, because I worry that it would cause her to doubt my feelings. Or give her even more self confidence issues..
     
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  5. TreeFruit

    TreeFruit Member

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    While in all seriousness and likelihood it could cause her to feel insecure, when it comes down to it you can't hold yourself accountable for her self confidence. That is something every man builds however fast or slowly himself. You seem like an absolute sweetheart and I don't doubt you gf is lovely, the two of you might just not be "perfect" and it could be solely for this reason. The need to lose weight might not be as pressing a matter to her, she might just be somewhat comfortable with herself in one form or another, as is, and to change may just be a future endeavor for her. You really must seek the truth to her ultimate life long wants and desires in all the aspects that would effect and include you, especially if you two are considering moving in together. Let it be a move out of freedom and celebration of a bond built on a steady foundation, rather than quick fix. Your sexual attraction to her would only suffer more blows being in close quarters, and she would eventually notice your apprehension. You guys might not be looking to the future in the same direction
     
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  6. reg

    reg New Member

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    Hi Greylin, wow thanks for replying... I guess thats the hardest part to all of this... I do love her, and I want this to not be the problem it is for me...I guess if I ask myself your question, as to whether she can be my partner... most of me wants to scream "Yes!!", but the other part is worrying about the effect of our diminished sexual activity is having on both of us...
    She asked me the other day if I only viewed her as friend... which almost broke my heart. But honestly in some senses its easier to just think of her as my best friend than my lover. Which I know would destroy her if she knew.
    Also actually it was her friends who made the comments...Well they're now "Our" friends... and I guess they felt entitled because they knew her from before we met. I don't think they realised how sensitve she was towards the subject... but I put them straight on that point of view.
     
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  7. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say that's shallow at all...
    Few questions, has she been to a doctor about her weight? (is it because of a medication or medical condition?) is it leading to diabetes?

    Is she into anything? Walks to see the sunset? Doesn't have to be running, or biking... But there has to be some sort of activity she likes doing, take a dance class together? Volunteer to walk shelter dogs?

    It's fair if you're concerned about her health, but you also can't just expect somebody to change if they don't want to change themselves. I've got a few friends on the bigger side who wouldn't change it for anything, which is grate and all, more power to them... But it's effecting their health, and there's nothing that will ever get that threw to them until they're ready to change.

    If it's not a medical condition causing the weight, and you can't see yourself being with somebody you can't go on walks with. You're going to have to be honest with her and tell her that her weight is bothering you if you want a relationship. It might be what she needs to hear in order to change.
     
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  8. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    My first, gut reaction to this thread: God, what an awful friende! You are shallow (not because you're not attracted to her, but because you care what you look like when you're out with her). And I'm really glad that I'm not dating anymore.

    I'm sorry if that sounds harsh; this comes from a place of experience, and of pain. For those of us who aren't thin, this is a perpetual fear - that this thing we cannot control, something that we have been shamed and harried and lectured for our whole lives, something that people have talked to us about out of "love," but just as often out of disgust and superiority, will cause us to be unlovable. If you would like to hear it, I will tell you about my eating disorder and the ten years I spent controlling my body; the pathological way I counted and restricted calories; my exercise regimen. I can tell you that all that hard work barely got me into the very top of the "healthy" BMI range, that I still got the lecture from my doctor about being "overweight", and that I all that trying made me sad and tired and sapped of energy for anything else in my life. I can tell you that 95% of women who lose weight are like me, and either have to progress to more and more restriction to lose weight - or gain their lost weight back within 5 years. That makes long-term weight loss a statistical abnormality, and it's not because we all have such terrible self control. I can tell you that I gained it all back, and still exercise and eat at what are considered "normal" levels, and I'm going to tell you that (even though it galls me to have to justify myself this way) that my health - my blood pressure, my cholesterol, my stress test, etc - is pretty normally healthy too. Not all fat chicks are unhealthy (but we all get told to lose weight "for our health").

    The reason your girlfriend "can't control her eating" and "HATES exercising" is not some moral failing, it's because she has probably (like all us fat chicks) spent her life trying and trying to do what we know we are supposed to, and it never works. At the very least, she has spent her life being told that she should try harder, that if she would just do better she would not earn the scorn she lives with. It is exhausting to live this way, and at a certain point many of us stop. Some of us stop with guilt and resentment, some of us with hostility, some of us with data and life philosophies to back us up. And when we stop, sometimes we gain weight; sometimes we lose it. Sometimes we find that actually, cottage cheese is pretty good when you're not pretending it's ice cream, and that dance classes are pretty fun when the goal isn't to become someone smaller and more acceptable.

    If you cannot love her as she is, you should not be in a relationship with her - but not because your concern-trolling about her size and weight and health is fair, but because you cannot offer her the honest love and support she deserves. She's not happy, and much of that is located around her weight; trying to lose weight probably won't help though. Understand that she might lose weight, but she will probably never be or stay thin. Understand that you are the last in a long line of people to express concern that masks your aversion, and that you are not telling her anything she has not heard before (and did not already know before anyone told her at all). Understand that she hears all those comments about how you're the odd couple, and while you feel embarrassment, she feels shame and rejection and like she shouldn't be with you. Understand that you bringing it up every few months just underscores a lifelong narrative of failure located around her body, and of course she acquiesces, she doesn't want to lose you.

    If you want to help her, try to divorce your concern for her health from the fact that you're not attracted to her size, and deal with them separately. Your lack of attraction is your problem, and you have agency to deal with it (there are legit ways to do this!); her health is hers, and it's her choice to address it (if she is even medically unhealthy! studies have actually shown that being overweight is more protective than being "normal" weight or underweight). You can offer support, a nonjudgmental buddy to take walks with - if she wants that. You can offer to help her find some way of getting exercise that she enjoys. You can let her know that you will support HER goals, not yours - and those might not be losing weight. Maybe she wants to be able to lift weights, or feel fit enough to go shopping in the city, or eat more fruit. I think you should listen to her, what she wants and needs, and become the safe haven from a frankly mean society.

    It sounds like you care for her, but if you want this to work you will both have to shift your thinking to make your relationship a place of safety, love, and real support.
     
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  9. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    I don't think that you are being shallow. I do think that you are being unrealistic, however.

    So here is the deal, we are attracted to what we are attracted to. Some people really like blondes, some like tall women, some are into curves and others aren't attracted to women who are overweight. You can't pretend that you are attracted to someone who is overweight, or short, or is very butch - when that is just not your thing.

    If she has gotten heavy to where it has killed your sex drive, then it is what it is. Desire isn't something we can logic ourselves into. So you have to make a choice - be in an ltr with less than optimal sex, talk with her about her weight, or break up.

    But here is the part about being realistic. And understand that this is my perspective as someone who has had weight issues and has dated women with weight issues.

    1) it sucks being told that you are fat. No matter how nicely someone tries to say it - being called 'heavy' or 'I'm concerned about your health' or 'a little plump' - all mean "hey, you look really fat."

    2) It is hard to loose weight and harder to keep it off. Loosing weight means making big changes - diet, exercise, even social activities like dinner out, or coffee breaks with the girls. (I've lost a lot of weight).

    3) The first step in loosing weight is to actually want it. To want it bad enough that you are willing to diet, exercise, change your habits, and the like. Examine why you compulsively eat, why you cheat on your diet, etc.. Right now, your gf hasn't shown that level of commitment.

    4) You can try talking to her again. But she is probably going to see through the health talk and get that she is no longer attractive to you. Which is going to hurt. I don't see any way around that.

    5) If she feels like she has to loose weight to save you gals' relationship, she could wind up feeling very resentful. Because she wouldn't be doing it for 'her' - she'd be doing it to not loose you. And it is a lot of pressure, in a society that already puts a lot of pressure on women to be thin and fit.

    6) if you do get through to her, she is going to need real help. Like working with a nutritionist, getting an exercise plan and lots of support. Without those kind of things it is very hard to loose weight.

    I do think it is unrealistic of you to say "well, I really love her, but she just needs to change her weight." Honestly, if she has always been an overweight person with some poor habits, she is likely to stay overweight. Yes, people do change - but you can't count that they will. You can try talking to her, but you can't count on her changing.

    You are in a legitimately tough position. I'm sorry.
     
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  10. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    I agree with most everything L said except for the part where I did not feel that the OP was embarrassed to be seen with her, just that comments from friends have made the gf feel worse about herself. Also, to the OP if you really want to support her in a healthier relationship with food and body image you need to know more about it than try to help her control what she eats and help her with her habbits. It is like teaching your gf or teenage daughter how to drive, you should not be the person who does it, period. If you still feel like you are a love match you can just cheer her on for being happy and tell her the things that you are attracted to, inside and outside. Those are the seeds that help a person to be and to love who they are supposed to be. Don't be the person who tries to cheer the weight loss and gets upset if she goes for unhealthy foods. I agree with L, your feelings about her is really your problem and you need to figure out a way around it or just be her best friend.

    I have seen a lot of women who are supposed to be "pretty", like people who coulda have just walked out of a magazine or a billboard. But some way or another I don't feel attracted to them, they can be total bores or they just don't like themselves too much. To me, give me a woman who is at peace with herself anytime and she would be on my mental billboard when I think "pretty".
     
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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015
  11. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to throw a different spin on things....from one who's always been athletic in life and put on weight as a result of some sports injuries (losing those last few pounds now)....It's a battle but if she wants it, it can be done.

    The real issue I see isn't the physical -- physical we can change. The mental should be addressed -- many people sort of hide in themselves with weight issues. I know I stress eat, which has been a big factor in losing the weight that I did put on..crappy day, I go for pizza and wine. What is going on beneath the surface that's causing her to face obstacles -- because it sounds like she's not happy with herself for whatever reason. Whenever someone brings up the issue of weight, it probably pushes her more into that world. The point is, she knows that it can cause health problems and she knows its an issue for her, I'm sure...

    This then brings me to what could be the real deal breaker. For instance, I've always been into martial arts, tennis, and in the past few years I've gotten really into cycling. I couldn't imagine being in a relationship with someone who didn't share the love for certain activities I like to do. It's a big part of who I am. You said you're active and like to do things...and you want to share your passions with her...but if your interests and hers are diametrically opposed there's going to be problems. You might resent her for not taking part; she might begin to resent you for leaving her behind when you do these things. Is it really the weight --- or are you struggling for other reasons? If you focus less on the weight and more about getting her involved (if she wants) in things you like to do...you might find that the weight will find a way to come off.
     
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  12. rac

    rac Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I read the part where you mentioned if this is affecting her health. Like the other guys said, some people are healthier than they looked so no big deal. But if it is, e.g. diabetes or cholesterol is out of control, then I would be worried and maybe insist she does something about the weight. Because if it's someone I love, I want them healthy.

    You kept saying you love her despite the weight issue and yet it is affecting your sex drive, maybe this is bothering you more than you care to admit? Maybe that's what you need to figure out before you guys move in together if this is a deal breaker or not. If it is, I think it would be fair talking about it now than later.
     
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  13. MujerLoba

    MujerLoba New Member

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    I don't think you're being shallow, you're probably just being unable to hide the truth from yourself... I once fell in love with a friend who I wasn't attracted to the slightest bit. We got into a relationship anyways and although she was a really good friend and I definitely had love feelings for her, I wasn't incredibly attracted to her during the relationship. I was giving myself a hard time, too, because I also considered myself incredibly shallow. The thing with her was her teeth. They were in a horrible state and the expression on her face/mouth always looked tight, sour and bitter. Also, her posture was always kind of ugly, she stopped over. It actually repulsed me. I practice yoga, and having an upright posture, an open face and a friendly, joyful expression on it is second nature to me. She was a very kind, very warm and sweet person. Yet, the longer I tried to put my feelings for her above the fact that I wasn't attracted to her, the more desperate I grew. At the end (and I'm not proud of this) I could only sleep with her if I had had something to drink, after dinner out or a party.
    So when I was seeing that the relationship was coming to an end I promised myself to not settle down for less. I promised myself that I would only be with someone who I was incredibly attracted to. And I decided that I wasn't being shallow, I was being honest with myself.
    I also hoped that my ex would get her teeth fixed, and I wondered why she didn't want to. I think that was the point when I understood that her problem wasn't her dental issues, but the reason behind her not taking care of it, what repulsed me the most: Her lack of self esteem, self respect and self love. Now I am with someone flawed, she isn't perfect either. But she takes care of herself, loves herself, honors her body, and I am crazy for her. You deserve to be with someone who drives you crazy. And she deserves to be with someone who's crazy for her.
    What you could ask yourself is: What does her weight issue stand for? Is it really the weight or is it the fact that she is not interested in physical activity that bothers you? Is it the weight or is it the fact that she is insecure about herself?
    There is little more unattractive than someone with self esteem issues.

    I hope you find a way to make a decision about your relationship as soon as possible.
     
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  14. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    I see you're promoting a new site for click bait today @johncarrol

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Just Me

    Just Me Well-Known Member

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  16. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member

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    Bravo
     
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  17. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    oh @Emm you've gotta see this.
     
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  18. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    So things didn't go so good with the Russian Bride? Aw, if you crazy kids can't make it, who can?
     
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  19. Spygirl

    Spygirl Well-Known Member

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    What? true love just....just....just....*lip quivering*.......was eviscerated by, what appeared to be feelings akin to a nuclear bomb? gahhhhhh!

    My whole world view is ruined now. Perhaps I shall become a cynic if this kind of love doesn't make it.
     
    #19
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  20. Emm

    Emm Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so even though I got pinged to make fun of the douche who tried to sell you a new wife (nothing like being pimped a new woman to solve all your problems) I'm actually gonna behave and be helpful (calm down everyone, it's only a side gig :p)

    I don't think you're being shallow and I don't think you're necessarily hiding the truth from yourself either. I do think you're being practical about it.
    @Spygirl is on point with the mental side needing to be addressed and @rac with the sex drive being something that may be bothering you more than you care to admit.

    My gf and I are total opposites. I work out, she slays video game baddies. I eat super healthy, she eats..a lot...

    And it's a cyclical thing, occasionally she will get into doing more exercise or changing her diet but the first sign of stress...exercise pants become lounge wear and out come the chips. Or the physical changes take toooo long and it's not worth the effort to her

    We come from 2 different environments and to her it isn't a huge deal, she's not happy about it but she's also not motivated enough to really honestly want to change it. Reminding her of it...Even coming at it from a health perspective, its still a hard thing to do and it's not exactly the easiest thing anyone carrying extra weight wants to hear.

    The other thing is how it plays out with you guys when you're living together. Working out and maintaining a good diet is a whole lot harder when you're the only one in the house doing it, especially if you're taking time away from quality time together. I'm not saying trade the dumbbells for the Xbox controller so you see her more, it's doable but it takes more motivation and determination to do it when it's just you who sees it as a priority.

    Whether it's a deal breaker for you depends less on whether you're being shallow and more on whether you're being realistic about the reasons behind it.
     
    #20
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