(The Frisky) -- Dear Wendy,
I have been in a long-distance relationship for six months with a guy I've known about two years through work; we've seen each other in person for what amounts to a month during vacations and we talk daily via Internet chat and video.
I'm in my late twenties; he's in his early thirties. I really care for him and thought I was falling in love. Things were going really well on our last vacation up until the end of the trip when I asked him was there anything in the relationship bothering him, and he told me that while I had a very pretty face, my weight has been an issue for him.
I have dropped some weight since I've first known him and currently wear S-M shirts, U.S. size 8 in pants. He soon apologized after seeing how much it hurt me, but I know it's honestly what he feels, and is a factor in his attraction to me.
He said that while it was a factor, it wasn't a "dealbreaker." I can't stop thinking about it and my self-esteem has taken a bruising. I was working on losing more weight, and this could be a kick in the butt to get on it, but I wonder what it could mean long-term.
I sometimes want to end the relationship because of this and because he doesn't seem to be as attached as I am, but a part of me wants to see what happens next year. Perhaps I'm moving too fast anyway. What do you think?
-- Weighty Issues
Dear Weighty Issues,
In the past I've gotten flack for saying it's not totally inappropriate for someone to express concern over a partner's weight gain or to ask his or her partner to lose weight for the benefit of their physical relationship. I know that's a controversial viewpoint, but it's how I feel.
There are certainly exceptions, but in general, if a couple is in a loving, committed relationship and one partner has let him or herself "go" to the point that it affects not only his health, but the other person's attraction and sexual enjoyment, I personally think it's a little selfish for that person not to make an effort to get in shape (unless, of course, there's a physical or medical reason he or she can't).
However, yours doesn't sound like a particularly loving or committed relationship, and this isn't an issue of you letting yourself go; this is an issue of your boyfriend wanting you to change before he fully commits to you. Forget that.
You are not a custom-made object your boyfriend can order to his particular liking. If he isn't attracted or interested enough to accept you exactly how you are now, you shouldn't waste any more time investing in a relationship that will probably have a short shelf life. Move on and find someone who doesn't give your self-esteem a beating.
TM & © 2010 TMV, Inc. | All Rights Reserved