Hax: Avoid man with weight conditions

The Washington PostMarch 1, 2014 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Hi, Carolyn: My on-and-off-again boyfriend said he loves me and feels I’d be the “perfect” woman for him — if only I were in better shape.

Part of me thinks, “Screw you,” and the other part acknowledges I could stand to lose about 30 pounds. We broke up, and I’ve lost about 12 pounds; now I’m stuck wondering if I should share my progress and talk about reconciliation (he tried to get back together already) or be happy that I’m getting healthier for ME and leave him in the past.

LOSING WEIGHT

What happens if you go through a stretch when you can’t exercise? Put on a lot of baby weight that you struggle to lose? Develop a health condition or take medication that involves weight gain? Or simply go back to this extra weight as your default body position?

“Off again” is where this relationship belongs, unless you think it sounds appealing to have someone’s love conditioned upon something no one can promise to control — oh, and, bonus! Conditioned upon your service to him and his preferences!

Re: Weight: Run! Yes — run, to find the person who will love you just the way you are. What you want is someone who can look at you with 30 extra pounds or no hair and say, “There is no one I would rather be with.” The bonus is, the person who will say that is much more likely to have your back, be compassionate and giving, kind and hardworking.

ANONYMOUS

Or demonstrate the quality that is at the root of all of those behaviors: humility.

Now, I often advise couples to talk about suggestions and changes each person can make to help them get along better — a la, “When I’m upset, I’d appreciate it if you gave me a little time to collect my thoughts” — but that’s about relatively minor, behavioral accommodations, and based on an understanding that not everyone can or will change even in these ways, or has to, because ultimately partners are an as-is business.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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