“My Girlfriend is Too Overweight”

I have been dating my girlfriend for a year and a half. I am 47, divorced, no kids. She is 46, divorced, with a 6-year-old daughter. I am into fitness and am physically fit, and she is about 50 lbs. overweight. Having such a young child and being so overweight were two things right from the beginning that I knew would bother me.

But she is a wonderful woman and has such a big heart, and she treats me well. I decided to look at the big picture and see if I could look past her weight and the challenges that come with dating someone having a little kid. Since we always have a good time, I kept going out with her and now it is a year and a half later. Although I never dated anyone that overweight and with such a small child, which I always felt that could be a deal-breaker for me, I wanted to give it a shot. You never know until you try.

Well, my gut instinct turned out to be right. I am not attracted to her sexually (although we have sex, of course) and the issues that come with dating someone with a small child are bothering me. I feel like I have tried my best with both issues. I have gone with her to the gym, showed her different workout routines, encouraged her along the way, educated her about eating habits, etc.

I go to her 90% of the time (we live an hour from each other) so that we can spend more time together and so she doesn’t always have to get a babysitter. We do things together just the two of us, but I never have a problem when she wants to do things with the three of us. But these two things (weight/kid) are still keeping me from feeling totally happy. Maybe she just isn’t right for me. I feel like this relationship has run its course although she hasn’t done anything wrong. She tries to lose weight but not as hard as I think she could. That’s just her. And while I think she lets her kid call the shots and that she spoils her, that’s her way of parenting. I don’t have a right to make her change those things. All I can do is accept things the way they are or move on. For the past year and a half I have looked past it all and maybe the newness of the relationship helped me overcome it for a time. But that’s no longer the case anymore.

So how do I tell her that I am not happy? Do I just dump her and not be honest with her as to the real reasons? It seems unfair to break up with someone when she hasn’t been given the chance to address what was bothering me. But how in the world do I tell her I am not attracted to her and that her daughter’s behavior sometimes makes me cringe? — Trying To Do the Right Thing

You met a wonderful woman who is a single mom to a young child and, knowing there were things about her that would really bother you — things that are usually deal-breakers for you — you decided to go ahead and “give it a shot,” like you were ordering tuna on rye at the deli instead of your usual turkey on wheat? Like her feelings, not to mention the feelings of her young daughter, were no big deal? Like it wouldn’t matter if she fell in love with you and if she and her daughter got attached and you realized, as you have, that the issues you thought would be deal-breakers are, in fact, deal-breakers? How selfish.

While you have spent a year and a half trying to groom this woman into someone you could actually be attracted to, she has potentially missed chances with men who might already be attracted to who she is — men who might also accept and love that she has a young daughter. You’ve taken a year and a half of her life when you knew from the get-go you weren’t attracted to her. I could see giving it a date or two, but a year and a half? When you weren’t attracted to her and you didn’t want to deal with her young child? And then you have the nerve to talk about how the newness of the relationship helped you to overcome and look past those things? You have the nerve to ask how you can be both honest and kind to her now? You should have been honest and kind from the beginning and either accepted her for who she is without trying to change her into someone else or let her remain available for someone who was looking for a woman like her. But for a year and a half you weren’t honest and you weren’t very kind, and now you have not just one person to break up with but two. And one of them is just a kid.

You want to know how to tell someone that you aren’t attracted to her and that her daughter’s behavior sometimes makes you cringe? YOU DON’T. What you say is that it takes a special person who can be selfless and patient and compassionate enough to fit himself into the packaged deal of a single mother and her young daughter and you, unfortunately, aren’t that person. You tell her that you wanted very much to be that person and the reason you tried for a year and a half is because of how wonderful she and her daughter are, but you can’t make yourself be someone you aren’t. You apologize for taking 18 months to figure out what should have been confirmed and admitted much sooner. And you don’t tell her you think she spoils her daughter too much. And you sure as hell don’t tell her that you aren’t attracted to her. You give her enough of the truth that she won’t wonder why you don’t want to be with her but not so much that she questions whether anyone else ever will.

And maybe, if she is as wonderful as you say, she will be kind in return and give you just enough honesty in return and spare you everything she might really want to say.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.


  1. Do you know how much time and energy it takes to parent a small child? And how challenging weightloss is postpartum? Your gf has been spending energy on you when you’ve been giving her a trial. You’re an ass. Listen to Wendy, and be kind now.

  2. WWS! LW, when you break up with your girlfriend, and you should do so stat, please, oh please do not mention her weight, or her parenting style. She does not need to know that you’re not attracted physically attracted to her. If you do, you’re just being mean and possibly harming her. I’m sure it’s hard enough being a single mom. She does need someone who she possibly fell in love with telling her what’s wrong with her.
    Just please, be kind to her. Wendy gave you a perfect example of how you could break up her without harming her self esteem.
    I’m not going to jump on the you’re a jerk bandwagon because I want you to listen to the good advice of how to break up with her. Don’t retaliate against the people calling you out, it will only hurt your girlfriend. Not us. And not anyone else.

    1. I’m pretty sure ktfran meant “She DOESN’T need someone who she possibly fell in love with telling her what’s wrong with her.”

      1. Good catch. Thanks! And yes, you’re correct.

  3. You have shoplifted the pootie from a single mother, LW, and Cuba Gooding Jr is coming to get you…
    Seriously, you’re entitled to your feelings but you seem to be all about you and what you want and what you feel and appear to have little empathy or even affection for this woman and her daughter as you stand in judgment. Don’t waste another moment of their time and make the break today. You haven’t fallen in love and don’t see a future, etc. make it about you, let them go and let them heal and don’t ever bother them again.

  4. You ever notice how guys get chastised if they aren’t into a chick, but if it was the reverse situation, it would be like “you go find someone you deserve, you tried, blah, blah, blah”

    Honesty is the best policy, unless you are talking about single moms or physical attraction.

    Dude… don’t sweat it. Girls are just as shallow. Look at the millions of women all fawning over that “hot felon” photo despite him being a violent gangbanger who was running guns.

    Wendy, I’m a bit disappointed in your advice, your sexism.



    You weren’t as harsh to these women.

    1. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      I think a main difference is that in both of those letters you referenced the female LW were deeply in love and committed to their boyfriends and asking for advice on how to continue the relationship while letting them know they weren’t as attracted to them anymore. Today’s LW stated that he knew that her weight would be a dealbreaker before he even started dating her, but continued to do so for 1.5 years, knowing the whole time it wasn’t going to work out. Huge difference.

    2. I have never been a fan of being brutally honest if it will truly hurt someone. I don’t think there is any harm at all in letting a person down easy. This woman isn’t a jerk or abusive, she’s overweight. And he doesn’t like her parenting style. Why the fuck would someone need to tell another that?

    3. In the letter you linked to, we have a woman who is watching the person she fell in love with rapidly gaining weight – meaning, this isn’t what she imagined and/or could reasonably expect, heading into the relationship. Also, she didn’t even consider dumping him.

      In this letter, you’ve got a man who KNEW about the weight, who KNEW about the child, and knowing this, he still CHOSE to go all in. And now, he’s ending it based on things he knew all along.

      Do you honestly not see the crucial difference between these two?

    4. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      I definitely agree that women are just as shallow. Not ALL women, of course, and not ALL men. But you’re right, both sexes are equally capable of sucking. But what you seem to be saying is because a lot of women suck too, this guy shouldn’t worry about being an asshole too? I’m not a fan of that advice. Now, if you were to argue a double standard which is where I think you were originally going, I disagree; I think if a woman wrote in about how she’s been dating this otherwise wonderful man but she’s not attracted to his weight, you’d see the same advice – be kind and let the man go so he can find someone who will appreciate him for who he is and all of him.

  5. Yes, please be kind. How do you break up with someone who has done nothing to hurt you and instead remained exactly who they were (and who you knew they were!) when you first met? You don’t hurt them. Assuming the relationship was pleasant enough while it lasted, you let that person have the good memories even when it is done. This woman doesn’t need to know that you spent the last 18 months thinking she is too fat for you and silently judging her for not losing weight on your timetable. She also doesn’t need to know that you don’t like her kid and judged her parenting choices and find her lacking there, too. Telling her that you don’t think you can be the man she needs is the truth, anyway. She needs someone who loves her for who she is and loves her kid, and that’s clearly not you. So leave it at that. Your opinions on her weight and parenting are irrelevant and sharing them would only be you spewing your self-righteous judgment all over someone at the cost of causing them extreme hurt in the interest of them “needing to know” everything that you have deemed wrong with them. No. No, she doesn’t need to know.

  6. The things you mention that are deal breakers aren’t things that are easily addressed. You’ve tried with the fitness thing and she’s apparently not as interested as you. As far as the kid goes you knew she had one when you started dating her. In both cases telling her they are the issues isn’t going to help. She’s probably not going to change her parenting skills in order to stay with you. And if you’ve been encouraging her fitness wise and you say it’s something you’re personally interested in, she probably already knows that to. She’s telling you who she is, if you don’t like that, you have to leave. And you don’t need to tell her the reasons. Because, sharing those reasons isn’t going to help anything.

  7. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    When I read the letter and thought about how I might respond, what I was thinking wasn’t as critical as Wendy’s advice. It was more along the lines of “you gave it a shot; it’s not working out; don’t be a dick when you break up and just say you’re not ready to be a father. Moving on.” But the more I think about it, the more I think, damn, Wendy is so right about this. LW, you did string this woman and her child along for an awfully long time despite the glaring deal-breakers. It almost sounds like you feel you did the “right thing” by having sex with her “of course” anyway, despite her weigh. Gosh, how noble of you?

    1. Agreed. Except I just got angrier every time he brought up AGAIN that these two factors were typically deal-breakers for him. He sounds like he was taking pity on her or something, and that is the WORST motivation to date anybody.

      All said, LW, you owe her kindness for wasting 18 months of her time. If you’re the “good guy” doing the “right thing” then please extend that to the breakup.

    2. Yeah, it’s almost as if he feels she should be grateful that he gave her the stick for a whole year and a half. I mean, he gave til it hurts. And now he’s the bad guy? Because he fears she’ll be upset if he tells her that he was charitable enough to bang her, even though he wasn’t attracted to her? Look, I’m one of the people who (rightly or wrongly) has called DW out for its bias. But, sorry, that doesn’t mean that this individual guy is exempt from owning his squickiness. Perhaps the worst thing about this is how very thin his reasons are. He actually thought that he would, what, browbeat her into losing 50 pounds? And what’s wrong with the kid? She’s 6, so she can be demanding? But he wanted to take them on, albeit briefly, as his own little moral growth program? Sheesh. She should make a deal with him. She’ll drop the poundage if he can grow a little soul.

  8. Definitely DO NOT mention her weight. That’s not doing her any favours. #1. It will make her feel like shit and #2. Just because you’re not into bigger girls doesn’t mean other guys wouldn’t be. I know tons of guys that PREFER bigger women! So don’t make it sound like you’re doing her some favour, letting her know how she can improve…. That’s B.S.

    1. My husband doesn’t necessarily “prefer” bigger women, but when we were first dating I was much slimmer than I am now and he used to tell me that while he found me attractive, he really preferred a little meat on a girl. And now I’m… a lot more than that 😛 and he’s been just fine with it. We’ve had candid discussions about it because it’s important to us that we’re attracted to one another. Now that I’m working on getting healthier and in better shape (down 12 lbs since May 9!), he keeps telling me not to get too skinny. So chubby girls can totally have it goin’ on too! So there’s no need to make this girl feel bad about her weight. Especially since she had it when she came into the relationship.

  9. This one bothered me so I asked my “guy panel” — just five this time.

    They said that some pieces were missing for them to really judge. Top of their list was what the woman might have said or promised about getting fitter or losing weight. (One guy said, “Maybe she has been stringing HIM along, too.”) Another item was how the child interacted with the guy. A third was where were the woman’s ex (daughter’s biological father) and her family in all this.

    No matter what, though, their consensus was that 18 months was too long. I asked how long would not have been and they seemed to agree on six months.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      That’s a smart guy panel. Are they single?

    2. My fiance and I both talk about losing weight. We both have some to lose. And actively discuss our desires to do so with each other. BUT, that would be like a bonus. Not a requirement to stay together. We knew what the other person looked like when we started this thing and were attracted to them as they were. I think your friends raise some good points but also…he knew what he was getting into and has been dragging it out a year and a half.

  10. So, if you start dating someone who is overweight and has a 6 year old… did you expect that to change? Like suddenly she was going to lose a bunch of weight and her kid would magically grow up and be out of the house? I do believe weight is something you should be able to talk to your SO about if it is affecting attraction, but I don’t think that applies in the situation. She didn’t gain the weight while you were together. She was already overweight when you started dating her. So just tell her that this relationship isn’t working and move on. Don’t try to make her feel bad by commenting on her weight or her parenting style. And who the hell dates someone for 18 months who they aren’t even attracted to?! That sounds insane.

  11. zanderbobm84 says:

    I think some people are being a little critical of the LW here. How many times do we all, probably men specifically, hear that they should love a woman for who she is. The LW here tried. We ALL “test-drive” relationships. Is it any worse if someone dates another person for a year and a half who has a controlling parent? Not to mention the fact that if the woman really is 50lbs over weight with a small child, she should be trying to lose weight in order to make sure she is healthy enough to take care of said child in the future. And it doesn’t sound like the child is a problem so much as HOW she parents. And he doesn’t feel comfortable parenting her child, and there’s nothing in the letter to show that she has strong enough feelings about their future to encourage or look for his help to parent either. It seems like we’re all assuming this lady is head-over-heels with him as well. I don’t know about most readers, but at 46 with a 6 year-old daughter, I would have had some serious talks about future plans by now if I was serious with my boyfriend. He doesn’t write about any of those.

    I guess my final question for everyone is, what would your advice have been if this guy wrote in a year and a half ago? Hey, I met a woman who seems really great, and we have an awesome connection. Drawbacks are she has a young child and is around 50 lbs overweight. I think I want to see where things go with this, even thought these are normally deal breakers for me. Should I give it a shot?

    1. Honestly I would have asked how big of a deal the deal breakers were. If fitness and not having a child were high on his deal breakers list I would tell him to walk away. Or if he really wanted to try I would say give it a few more dates. But, I would not say give it a year and a half. That’s too long to stay with someone you’re not attracted to.

      1. Exactly! And if they are a big deal then cut it off NOW. Not in a year and a half. Don’t try to make it work so you can “test drive”. That’s one hell of a test drive. Everyone has deal breakers that end up not being deal breakers (I though not being a college grad was a deal breakers, he wasn’t a grad or in school when we started dating and that was okay with me. He went 3 years later, for the record, but I was ok with him never doing so) so giving it a few dates is okay. But we also have deal breakers that are true deal breakers and it sounds like these are true deal breakers for him.

    2. Who gets to decide that she should try to lose weight just because she’s heavier than the bullshit ideal? You can be overweight and healthy. I’ve been overweight for a few years and it was really hard for me to deal with and nearly impossible for me to lose weight (underlying thyroid condition that is now under control) yet my doctors have all told me that I’m healthy. I exercise regularly, eat ok (not great because I insist on my one soda a day and I do enjoy junk food sometimes) and have no other health issues.

      If he would have written in, I would have (like jlyfsh) asked how big of dealbreakers they were and if they were something he didn’t think he could get over, I would have told him to MOA. If he thought he could, I’d tell him to give it a shot but re-evaluate in a few months (not a year and a half).

    3. I understand your points, but your last letter example was written with a sense of compassion and open-mindedness. I think a lot of the comments on here are being influenced by this LW’s tone of selfishness, condescension, and like he should receive some sort of award for sticking with this gal for so long despite these ‘issues’. He had a distinct lack of compassion. Had he written in with a different tone, I’d respond a bit more nicely as well.

  12. AndreaMarie says:

    Definitely do not bring up her weight as an issue. But in regards to the weight…she’s 46…she’s pre-menopausal. That has a lot to do with your weight. You can calorie restrict and workout all you want but your body is going through a huge hormonal change that comes with all sorts of lovely things like weight gain and chin hair etc. All of this eventually subsides but if you don’t love her enough to overlook it than she’s not the one. And she’s treated you with tons of respect and you owe her that in return. Move on and let her find the right person for her.

    1. Oh man, I didn’t even think about the pre-menopausal thing but you’re totally right.

    2. I am a year younger than the LW’s girlfriend, and it’s not true that being “that age” has “a lot to do with your weight.” Yes, your metabolism slows down as you age, and your body does gain weight differently, especially after kids, but it’s not something that is out of the person’s control, unless there is a medical issue. Most people gain weight as they age because they don’t change their diet and exercise habits from when they were in their 20s.

    3. Yes, very big one! Even though men have changes in their body, a woman goes through it more it seems. There are a lot of changes that happen with us & our bodies in a lifetime. Ugh & the chin hair? Then the hedges start growing outside the property lines. We’re interrupting foreplay to “freshen up” in the bathroom :p. Our bodies start to pass proteins & medications can cause odor too. It’s not like when we were 17, could lose weight easier, & be crescent fresh all day long :p. Add a child to the mix & the battle of the bulge just got harder :p.

      1. But PFG-SCR is right too, though everyone’s different. However, things change in stages of our lives & we have to evolve. Either way, losing weight is not easy & too many are unfairly judged, especially if there’s a health issue. Those issues can be pre-existing or develop with age or during/after childbirth. Then we have to try different ways. But there is no crime in being a bit overweight…in fact, 50 lbs. isn’t horrible IF she has a taller frame. You can be a healthy & beautiful BBW or plus size. Though I want to lose weight, as I am not pleased with my current, I have never wanted to be super skinny, just healthy & a bit more toned. And I see no problem with that.

  13. Let me just get this out of the way. Your last sentence? That’s assy. There is absolutely ZERO need to bring that up. Be kind when you break up with her. Just say it isn’t working, and you can’t be what she needs. That’s the truth.
    As for the rest of your letter – good God, man. You could be the nicest guy on the planet, but the way you wrote reeks of self-righteousness.

  14. I don’t think the LW is a jerk for trying to make this work with someone that he wasn’t physically attracted to from the beginning, but was attracted to her personality. He was most likely hoping she would lose some weight (maybe she told him she was working on it), and he didn’t want to lose an opportunity with someone he felt a connection to on a non-physical level.

    To his question about what he should do now: It depends on how realistic he is about women’s appearances. Do others his age think his girlfriend is “around 50 pounds overweight”, or does the LW think women should be a size 2 and retain their 22 year old body, even when they are more than twice that age? If the latter, then it’s his problem, not hers, and he should not say anything about her appearance and move on to find someone who is a size 2 and has a 22 year old body. However, if most men and women his age would view her as being “around 50 pounds overweight”, then I think he should gently say something to her. If she is that overweight, she obviously knows it, but she might not realize the impact it has. Women often think, “If he loves me, he’s attracted to me,” but that’s not the case.

    She’s invested 18 months into a relationship that presumably is making her happy. I would think she’d prefer to know, so she could try to keep it, rather than not have a chance to do that. Even if this relationship isn’t salvageable, it’ll help her going forward in dating other men. But, the LW needs to be gentle, and he should not say that he’s not attracted to her, but instead, say something along the lines that he wants to be with someone who complements his fit and healthy lifestyle.

    1. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

      He shouldn’t say anything-he knows he wants to end it regardless of her weight at this point-honestly that seems almost like a scapegoat for feeling guilty about ending things even though there is nothing wrong with the relationship on the surface. I think it would just be cruel to say that he is breaking up with her and she should think about losing weight or include anything about wanting to be with someone who compliments his fit and healthy lifestyle-like wtf, no. I mean that would be really awful. He isn’t a jerk for dating her initially but he should have ended things after 3-4 months, maybe 6 tops not a year and 1/2-live and learn and hopefully in the future LW you know it is okay to walk away just if it isn’t clicking-you don’t have to stay in a relationship with someone you aren’t happy with just because there isn’t anything really wrong.

      1. If he truly wanted to end it, he would have just ended it, not written a letter to ask about telling her this to salvage the relationship. My take on this was he really cares about her as a person, and his preference would be to be physically attracted to her. But, he doesn’t know if he should hurt her feelings and tell her what he needs, or if he should just hurt her feelings and dump her. He’s between a rock and a hard place.

    2. Sorry, no. What’s he going to say, “I’m doing you a solid and pointing out that you’re so fat that no man will ever be attracted to you. I bet that as a 46-year-old woman in a culture that is saturated to the eyeballs with thinness obsession and judgment about women’s bodies, you didn’t realize that you’re overweight and that Men are Visual Creatures. No need to thank me.”

      1. I love this. No matter how the LW phrases the “you’re not me ideal” send off, this is how it’s going to come across to his girlfriend.

      2. I specifically addressed that he shouldn’t say anything like that, and if she is truly 50 pounds overweight, that is very different than a woman who is a size 4 being made to feel that she’s overweight because of what she sees in the media. If she is 50 pounds overweight, she is at risk for many things, and as a single mother to a 6 year old girl (that she had late in life anyway), it’s more of a reason for her to be focused on her health.

      3. I don’t disagree with any of that, but I think the issue is that she already knows, unless she has the IQ of a cricket. It’s like telling a smoker that they are at risk of developing lung cancer. It’s not his job to save her from cheesecake – she has to want to do it herself. If her child and relationship aren’t motive enough, then I doubt that a tactful kiss-off is going to do it.

      4. I agree, and I addressed that to his clarification comment below.

    3. “She’s invested 18 months into a relationship that presumably is making her happy. I would think she’d prefer to know, so she could try to keep it, rather than not have a chance to do that.” Even if she lost weight, would she really want to be with someone who would break up with her for not fitting into the mold of what he thinks she should be? God forbid if she got breast cancer and had to have a mastectomy, or something. It’s fine if the LW isn’t attracted to her (people have different things they are attracted to), but it’s very presumptuous of him to go into it with a plan to change her to fit his mold and then be upset when it doesn’t work. The gf is much better off if he does end the relationship, because then she can find someone who really does appreciate her fully.

    4. He should absolutely not say anything about her weight/health. I ended an eight month relationship about five months ago. During our relationship I was training for a triathlon and he made me feel guilty about the amount of time it took. After the race I stopped working out. Fast forward four months later he was treating me horribly, so I broke up with him. He said that one of the reasons why he had been treating me badly was because I didn’t take fitness seriously enough. This was his way of saying I had gained weight (I gained 5 pounds and weighed 130). This severely affected my self esteem and still does. Do not put her through this! Dealing with a break up is hard enough without also worrying about how fat your butt is.

    5. Very excellent points! Though I’d have to disagree with the last part…”say something along the lines that he wants to be with someone who complements his fit and healthy lifestyle.”

  15. This is the LW. Wanted to address something. Someone mentioned in an earlier comment that “Maybe she was stringing him along too in regards to her weight and getting fit”

    This is the basis of why I stayed so long. When we first met, she said she wanted to get in better shape. On her own when she saw the fitness level difference. She purchased Insanity and did it for 3 months. I didn’t actually see her do the workouts but she said she did them. But no results. So then she told me she would do P90x. Again, no results. So then she joined CrossFit. No results. So she joined a traditional gym where I showed her stuff. No results.
    She also claimed that she was eating better, stopped with the pretzels and the sodas and ate healthy foods. Since I don’t live with her, I cant be certain. When we would go to family functions or out to eat, she would most certainly have her pigs in a blanket, cheesecake for dessert or donuts. On those days I saw her eat that stuff, I didn’t say a word but it made me question how dedicated she was. She claimed it was her only indulgence for the week.

    So I stayed since I saw she was supposedly trying. I believed her when she said she only ate junk foods when we were at social gatherings. Can it be that I met the only girl who changed her diet, did Insanity, P90X, Crossfit and the gym and still got nothing? It seems so. I never met anyone who could do all that and not get some results. So she either lied about doing that stuff and stringing me along things would change or there is a medical issue. There are no medical issues as far as I know.

    Last year when she started, she said by Christmas she would be able to wear a sexy dress at her Christmas party. Then when it didn’t happen, she said she wanted to have a bikini body by the spring. Now she is saying she wants a bikini body by the end of the summer.

    So she is telling me all the things that someone would say when they are dedicated to getting fit. Is that stringing me along? If she never told me those things and if she didn’t supposedly work out, I would have MOA sooner. I had faith what she was telling me is true. In reality though, perhaps none of it was and I was kept strung along. When we first met and she saw the fitness level difference, she was the one who immediately said she wanted to get in shape and being with me was a great motivation when she saw my own dedication level.

    It wasn’t until the above commentor mentioned that perhaps I was being strung along that it shone a light on something I never considered. If she never had any intention of losing the weight but kept up the act that she would, then it seems I wasted a year and a half of my life too. I realized I didn’t mention this in my letter, but wanted to address it now that I see the responses. Probably wont change any minds, but wanted to clarify my thought process.

    Just think of how many times you stayed with someone when they promised to change something about their life or lifestyle. You believe them and give it every last shot. But you reach a point in time when the end result is just not there and the effort itself is no longer enough. While not as grim as gambling or substance abuse or felony charges, being overweight is a lifestyle choice. So when someone says they will stop gambling or stop getting wasted or stop being ambivalent about their appearance, you give it the benefit of the doubt.
    That’s the reason why I stayed with her for longer than a few dates or 6 months or whatever. I know that people don’t change their insides. But plenty of people change their outsides. I have seen it numerous times. And based on what she was saying and telling me, I wanted to be around for that. It may have all been just a ruse to keep me engaged waiting for something that was never going to happen. I will never know. But thanks Wendy and to the readers who gave advice as to what to say and what not to say. That part was stressing me out.

    1. I think in the future you and your significant other would be much happier if you just dated someone that you like as they are, not who they are planning to be. If you’re married and someone gains weight, then sure, work through it together and support each other. But we’re talking about dating. Why go in from the very beginning with someone who you are hoping will change? That’s just exhausting for everyone. Being nice is the baseline for any relationship, including friendship. It’s not a reason to date someone.

      1. Also on a side note- I am not overweight and I would hate to date a guy that fixated on my eating and exercise habits. All the guys I’ve been with would have actually loved a little extra weight, I’m sure. You know there are lots of guys out there that like girls that aren’t very thin. Imagine a guy out there who would not only tolerate but really enjoy your girlfriend for exactly who she is now, 50 extra pounds and all. Doesn’t she deserve that? Let her go find it.

      2. I could not agree more. Also, while the comparison to other issues (gambling, drinking, etc.) is apt as far as empty promises go, it’s not as serious an issue for most people. It’s possible to be somewhat overweight and still mostly healthy. It’s pretty tough to be a healthy heroin addict.

      3. “It’s possible to be somewhat overweight and still mostly healthy.”

        She’s not “somewhat” overweight, though. She’s 50 pounds overweight, and even if she has annual wellness checks and her blood work comes back within everything within the normal ranges, no doctor will tell her that she “doesn’t” need to lose weight.

    2. I really do hope you listen to some of the advice! And it does sound like she was giving you a little bit of lip service. And maybe she did have every intention of getting fit, but no follow through. I still think you should break it off without mentioning the weight stuff.
      But, like I said earlier, I prefer to error on the side of being kind, even when ending a relationship, and I hope others would treat me the same way. I mean, this is also why I’ve been able to remain friendly with my few serious exes.

    3. I’m kind of with you until this: “It wasn’t until the above commentor mentioned that perhaps I was being strung along that it shone a light on something I never considered. If she never had any intention of losing the weight but kept up the act that she would, then it seems I wasted a year and a half of my life too.”
      I’m sure she wanted to lose weight and meant to do it, but then in reality she couldn’t make it work with her lifestyle. But you’re right, if you actually do Insanity or P90X, you’re going to see results. Your body changes shape and builds lots of muscle (I do T25 and not even religiously and it made a big difference). She may also find she just can’t change her eating habits enough. BUT, I doubt she was deliberately stringing you along / lying.

      1. “BUT, I doubt she was deliberately stringing you along / lying.”

        She was telling him what she thought he wanted to hear, because she knew fitness was very important to him. Whether she intentionally said it to deceive him or she just never got fully behind fitness is irrelevant if you’re looking at it from his perspective.

    4. I am glad you commented with clarification, and it made me change my views of what you should do from my earlier comment: Just break up but don’t tell her why. She might lose a bit of weight FOR YOU, but it’ll be temporary, because the only way to be successful at any life change is to do it for yourself. She made you think she wanted to do it for herself, but it’s clear after all this time that she really didn’t want to do it.

    5. I don’t think that staying exactly the way she was when the relationship started can be described as stringing you along. For starters, I doubt she promised you a weight loss – at most she promised to put some effort into losing weight. Even if she had actually promised you to lose weight, I still think that relationships are essentially “what you see is what you get” – if you don’t like the situation at the beginning of a relationship, you don’t have any basis for a complaint if it doesn’t change later on.

    6. Now I have a dilemma. Do I tell that guy on “my panel” he was right? We’re talking a serious head swelling attack, here. I would never hear the end of it!

    7. Next time, don’t enter into a relationship conditionally. Her losing weight should have been a bonus, not a requirement for you to stay. If that’s the way you go into it, then it’s best to save everyone’s time and emotions and just don’t. When you enter into relationships, what you see is what you get (that goes for physical appearances, habits, and personality). Any positive change that occurs is a perk, and not to be expected or a given.

    8. I think that in some regards, you have been addressed rather harshly, but on some not. If she wanted to change for herself & health or being with a partner & having a kid, that’s great. Maybe she did try, but those programs might be too extreme for her, and there are a lot of factors to consider. She might have changed daily eating habits or she might not have. Perhaps food was not her issue at all & she only splurged on occasions or once a week. Many things are factors with losing weight, including body type, metabolism, exercise, medication, the list goes on. Maybe the pressure was too much, some set the bar too high. Instead of saying “I’m going to wear that sexy little black dress to the party in 2 months,” it would be more realistic to say, “My goal is to get into jeans that are 1-2 sizes smaller in 2-3 months.”
      That aside, she has a kid, and people with kids deserve a chance too. But if it’s a dealbreaker that’s not good. The daughter’s not going to disappear. If she’s too lax & spoils for parenting, that’s one issue. But maybe not, there’s too many unknown variables.

  16. Everyone is focusing on the LW’s opinion of his girlfriend’s weight, but it seems like the much bigger issue is he doesn’t want to date someone with a young child. Weight can change or not change over the course of a relationship, but that kid is FOR SURE going to be around for years more. It’s pretty crappy to spend a year and a half trying to chain someone to a treadmill, but jerking a kid around in the process – when you know you don’t want to be with someone who has a child!!! – is just downright shitty.

    1. The reason we’re focusing on that is because he’s asking how to break it off with this woman. We’re telling him not to mention the weight thing in doing so.

      1. Yes, that’s true. I guess I’m just stuck on the “give her a chance to address the things that are bothering me” and one of those things happens to be “having a child”. It seems that part of the issue is her parenting style, but I’m not sure what she could really do that would change the situation to his liking. Lock the kid in a closet? 🙂 (I have a 1-year-old daughter, so I’m prone to take umbrage at the questions that refer to kids as pesky inconveniences. he only one allowed to admit that my kid is a pesky inconvenience is ME!)

    2. The young child issue is something that will naturally work itself out over time since kids grow up (even though we mothers hate that).

      1. Yeah, but that’s a pretty long time to wait if you are not a parent or really into kids. (and sometimes it seems like a long time if you ARE a parent and into your kid!)

      2. I didn’t mean it’s an issue until the kid turns 18 and moves out. I meant that his issue with dating a woman with a child probably have to do with what life is like with a “young” child. I have three kids (all still at home), and the difference over the years is unbelievable.

      3. Avatar photo muchachaenlaventana says:

        yeah but he doesn’t want to date someone who has a child period. So regardless of how old the child is, it sounds like even from day 1 there were these 2 blaring red flags that have been more or less overlooked/not spoken about with his girlfriend. I don’t care how you slice it, the blame is on this LW for not communicating what he wanted and staying in the relationship. I don’t think that he is a bad person at all, or even a jerk-that is just his preference, but hopefully in the future he will not date someone who he isn’t attracted to and that has children, because those two things rarely change. He also is done with the relationship and wants advice on how to end it-so @John the advice is just be kind and break up with her the way you would want to be broken up with.

      4. Well, I don’t think the child was really the issue anyway, but he probably thought asking a question related to women’s weight at a female-dominated site was likely to get him treated harshly. Silly men!

  17. Yeah I’m with Wendy. It’s not that you’re not allowed to have “overweight” and “small child” as dealbreakers, it’s that you decided what the hay, I’ll “give it a shot!” on pretty huge/non-changeable traits you knew she had right from the get go. Obviously you can’t stay with someone you’re not attracted to, so break it off sooner rather than later to avoid dragging her “big heart” through the mud any further. And hopefully you’ve learned something from this. Don’t get serious with someone in the future who has traits you consider dealbreakers, especially if they have a kid.

  18. All I have to add to this discussion is that, so, I could stand to lose about 20 lbs, and my most recent ex started to get on me about my weight on our very first date – I just didn’t realize it because he was subtle about it. He started talking about an exercise program for me the FIRST WEEKEND we met in person (after meeting on a dating site). And he stayed on me about it until even now, when we are still “friends” but he continues to make comments. It was a “hangup” for him as well.
    His hangups about my weight (when he was nowhere near super attractive himself or even really fit, just on the thin side) continue to damage me even after our 8-month relationship has been over for 2 months so far. I wish we had broken up 5 months before we did. I wish I hadn’t wasted that time with him.
    LW, your girlfriend knows she needs to lose weight. In fact, she knows – KNOWS – every tiny little thing that might even be considered “wrong” with her, and many idiosyncrasies that wouldn’t even be. She KNOWS. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t care, it doesn’t mean she is apathetic about her weight; she is prioritizing her daughter, other things in her life, and oh right, YOU. I don’t even have a kid but working full-time and being a pet parent takes up so much time, I can’t imagine if I did have one how busy I would be.
    I totally agree with Wendy. Let her down easy – do NOT bring up her weight or her daughter, how selfish would that be?? what purpose would that serve?? – so that she can find someone who appreciates her and her daughter in a way you obviously don’t.

    1. Wow, only 20 lbs. & this guy had a problem with it? SMH. I know about those terrible first dates or pre-dates where the person starts making a huge list, then wants to change everything about you. I even had some douchebag ask me everything from my weight, measurements, cup size (started comparing me to his ex-wife nonetheless), hair, and so on. It was terrible & demeaning & I feel bad because he had 2 daughters…it’s possible they could grow up to be very insecure & some people develop eating disorders & bad social/behavioral skills from that type of parental behavior :(.

  19. Moral of the story: Don’t date someone you see as a fixer-upper. Your fixer-upper is someone else’s perfect fit.

    1. They both bear some responsibility in this, and just as much as he shouldn’t date someone that he sees as a fixer-upper, she shouldn’t have pretended to be someone that she was not. She wasn’t into diet and exercise, so she shouldn’t have pretended that she was committed to that, just because she knew he was.

      1. snow.angel says:

        I feel like saying that the girlfriend is “pretending to be someone she’s not” is a little harsh. Plenty of women (myself included) will make blanket fitness goals like wanting to fit into a certain dress for a special occasion, or have a bikini body by summer, and take steps to achieve those goals (e.g. trying new workout DVDs, joining myfitnesspal, etc.), but still struggle with sticking to it regularly or getting dramatic results. The girlfriend was probably talking with her boyfriend about her fitness goals and aspirations thinking he was supporting her, not realizing that he was waiting on her potential weight loss to determine whether or not he saw a future for the relationship. It’s not like when they met she told him she was a crossfit junkie and dedicated yogi, and then he found out she had never actually stepped foot inside a gym before. That would have been deceptive on the girlfriend’s part. He knew who she was when he entered this relationship, and it’s not fair to say she was “stringing him along” because she didn’t get as into fitness and working out as he would have liked her to. Honestly, I doubt that this woman is even as terribly overweight as he makes it seem. For all we know she could be 5’8 and 160 lbs which would put her within normal BMI range, and he would just prefer to be with a woman who weighs 110 lbs.

      2. Ooh, good call. I’ve been saying I want to do some core work and get in better shape for years. YEARS. Probably since high school. I’m now 34 and only started running two years ago and yoga this year. I’ve taken a class hear or there, but it took a long time to actually want to do those things and commit to doing those things.

      3. I agree with you, but not for the reason you state. They both engaged in unhealthy self-delusion here. He deluded himself that he could get past her child and her weight; she deluded herself that she was going to morph into a fit, skinny person.

  20. Bittergaymark says:

    Eh, you are all being harsh. NEWSFLASH! If you are 50 pounds over weight pretty much ANYBODY healthy isn’t going to find you attractive. And that’s the price of being fat. Don’t like it? Feel victimized? Move more! Eat less! Its REALLY that fucking simple.

    1. Sometimes it isn’t that simple. I struggled with weight (and still do). I was thin until I was about 20 or 21 and then suddenly gained a ton of weight. Part of it was because I switched birth control, part of it was that I didn’t change my bad eating habits but exercised less than when I was active in sports and part of it wasn’t diagnosed for another 6 years and that was a thyroid issue. No matter how much less I ate, not matter how much more I exercised, it didn’t help. I finally found a doctor willing to take me seriously and run tests and found out that my thyroid levels were extremely jacked up. I would give up from no results or the opposite result of what I was trying for. Now that I am on medication, I’m able to successfully lose weight.

      And overweight does not always = unhealthy. As I said above, I’m healthy despite my weight. And my husband is in the “healthy” weight area and he finds me absolutely attractive. “Healthy” people in bars have bought me drinks, asked for my number, whatever. Just because I’m not a tiny size 4 doesn’t mean the un-fat can’t find me attractive.

    2. SummerRose says:

      But she was fat BEFORE he started dating her. She had a kid BEFORE he started dating her. It’s not like she suddenly gained all her weight afterwards.

    3. SummerRose says:

      I haven’t read all the comments but i don’t think people are being critical because he doesn’t like fat women. We’re being critical because he wasn’t attracted to fat women, and then CHOSE to date a fat woman and is now bitching about it.

      It’s like when you tell women not to date someone with a kid who already has a kid…it’s the same scenario in this case.

      1. I didn’t get from his letter that he was bitching about it. I got that he was regretting talking himself into something, and was trying to figure out the least dickish way out of it.

    4. Yeah, the argument was never that he should find her attractive. I completely understand and am fine with the fact that he doesn’t. People are attracted to different things, and if he happens to be attracted to svelte, fit ladies then okay have at it. But for him to go into the relationship knowing she was overweight, knowing he wasn’t attracted to her, keeping it going for a year and a half, and then acting all surprised when she was still the same way she was when they started dating? Yeeeeeeeeah, not so much. Not to mention the part about young kids being a deal-breaker and then dating a gal with a young child, which we’ve barely touched on in the comments.

    5. I’m sure I’m not actually telling you anything you don’t know, but feel free to Google “FA.” People like what they like, and FAs are frequently lean.

    6. This country is full of people who are 50 pounds overweight and having lots of sex.

  21. quixoticbeatnik says:

    It’s hard to break up with someone because you aren’t attracted to them. It’s hard to break up, period, but it is harder when it’s because of how you feel, not because of anything they did. I had a really tough time working up the courage to break up with my ex-boyfriend – and I wanted to break up with him because I wasn’t in love with him anymore and didn’t see a future together. I knew he saw a future together and I knew that it was unfair of me to string him along. He deserved to find someone who wanted to marry him. And that’s what this woman deserves. If you honestly cannot look past these deal breakers (which you knew about, so that’s really on you) then break up with her. Kindly. Don’t bring up the weight or kid issue. Tell her that you’ve been thinking about where you see you guys going and you came to the conclusion that you aren’t the right people for each other. That’s what I told my ex. That’s all people need to know when you’re breaking up with them. Why add unnecessary detail?

  22. monkey's mommy says:

    LW, when I first read your letter, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that you might be a decent guy who gave it a shot since clearly her child is not the only spoiled one here, but your response above just killed it. I knew the moment I read that post from another reader about how maybe she was “stringing you along” that you were going to grab on yo that excuse and run with it. Glad to see I was right about something. I agree with you, she needs to lose some weight- some dead weight- you. You, John, are a massive jerk, and you wasted this woman’s time. I hope after you break up, she is motivated to lose that weight- so she can rub it in your face.
    I disagree with Vathena- I don’t think the kid is the problem, though it may be annoying to him, he seems fixated on her weight based on his response.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      What monkey’s mommy said. Also, I like your name.

    2. Well, her weight is obviously the bigger deal to him. I just think that the fact that he didn’t want to date someone with a kid, then proceeded to date someone with a kid for a year and a half, is what upgrades him from garden-variety jerk to massive jerk.

  23. monkey's mommy says:

    And good on you DW for ripping him a new one, even though all he heard was “ohhh, maybe I’m victim here… Yeah!! That’s it!!”

    Sorry, maybe I’m being too hard, but this kind of shit is ridiculous. If you know you don’t want her kid or her 50 extra pounds, leave her to someone who does!

  24. monkey's mommy says:

    Thanks!! 🙂 Guess it’s pretty obvious what my son’s nickname is, huh!

  25. I was surprised and disappointed at Wendy’s response. I have seen her be gentle to a lot of other LW’s who have worse complaints than this LW and have treated their partners far worse, including cheating on them. Could it be because they were mostly women? Not sure.

    I am friends with a lot of divorced women of this age (40+) who keep wondering why they are not able to find somebody to date and have a relationship. For *some* of them, if somebody pointed out that they are out of shape (30+ lbs.) and need to reduce, it would be doing them a HUGE favor. I have read comments above and realize that this is also going to be an unpopular post. But perhaps you can keep an open mind and try to accept that, from a man’s perspective, it is a big deal.

    I also disagree that LW wasted the woman’s time. That year and a half is not so important at 46-47. At 33, it may be a big deal. That is why, when I was 40, I never dated a childless woman of under 35.

    1. I don’t think a year and a half is a big deal at 46 due to pending reproduction (I think that’s what you’re implying with your comparison to a 33 year old). I think it’s a big deal because at that age, you should really have a grip on who you are and what your dealbreakers are, and staying in a relationship for one and half years with a woman who has not one, but two glaringly obvious, either non-changeable or difficult to change traits, just seems like you are enjoying the nice treatment and only considering your own feelings. It’s long enough for someone to fall in love with you, and more than long enough to decide that a kid and overweight are not for you. And you know, I personally don’t think I’d be attracted to a guy that was really fixated on weight/exercise/eating habits because I’ve always liked guys that were pretty open to girls of various sizes… BUT I do think it’s legitimate to want to date someone who is into fitness, if that’s what you want. Being attracted to someone is fundamental to a romantic relationship, and whether or not I think your dealbreakers make you superficial/hypocritical etc., I generally think that you are entitled to them.

    2. Where do people get this idea that you’d be doing a fat person a FAVOUR by pointing out that they are overweight? Seriously! Every day, all of us, fat or thin, are assaulted by marketing that shames us for not being twiggy enough. About 90% of the people you encounter have helpful suggestions like eat less and exercise (Thanks, I’da NEVER figured that arcane principle out with my fat brain). DD, those women know how they look. They have probably struggled with body image for a long time. Acting like losing weight is simple and easy is obviously not helping most of us. Lots of studies suggest that genetics play a huge role. But, hey, I don’t have a thyroid or other glandular problem. I eat too much and don’t exercise as much as i should. Guilty as charged. And if you don’t like me the way I am, you can actually piss off. This is my life. DD, I am not angry with you, but this is a huge cultural bias. Fat people know they are fat, and most of us are pressured to think we are lesser humans because of it. Fuck that.

      1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:


      2. Seconded.

      3. If you are mocking me, I’m not sure I get why. For overstating the obvious? Overly emotional response?

      4. I think AP was actually clapping for you!

      5. I wasn’t familiar with the term, but Urban Dictionary says it is sarcastically and disdainfully understated applause.

      6. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        oh whoops really? i was actually clapping for you. i should just be more direct: that was awesome, diablo!

      7. Urban Diactionary also says it is “Enthusiastic, but subdued applause for a job well done” or “A Sexually Transmitted Disease afflicting overpaid golfers located primarily on the scrotum.”

      8. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        Hahaha, the golf clap!

      9. You better stay away from pro golfers, Addie, I don’t want to be hearing that you came down with the golf clap…

      10. Is that when you get all those little dimples on your balls?

      11. Diablo, couldn’t have said it better if I tried. That was fantastic, thank you.

    3. Breezy AM says:

      Do you guys think they don’t know?
      Believe me, even the “plenty of men out there like some cushion for the pushin’!” Girls know perfectly well they’re fat.
      Every woman I know knows every flaw intimately. We lie, fake it, etc, because if we bitch about our bodies we are fat shaming not just ourselves but daughters, sisters, friends.
      Even when you dump us because your moon was in uranus, we wonder while simultanepusly telling ourselves this is crazy “is it because my ass is too big?”
      Trust me, she knows.
      And Jesus H i am feeling so blessed to have Mitzvah now……

    4. Also DD, I hope you are not saying that just because a woman is 46 & “past reproductive age” its OK to waste her time? Her 18 months is not as valuable as a younger woman’s. Because we all only have one life, & its the only one we get. She still can’t replace that 18 months. I would be angry, red hot furious if someone implied that to me.

      1. I guess I was trying to figure out what LW did that was so terrible. Time and again, Wendy says go ahead and date to find out if you are compatible. Well, that takes time, does it not?
        Oh well. Thumb away…

    5. I don’t think a year and a half would have been a big deal if she didn’t have a young daughter. But it was a year and a half she could have spent single and focusing on her daughter, or finding someone who wanted to be a part of the girl’s life instead of merely tolerating her when she was around. Yes, the girlfriend shouldn’t have introduced the LW to the daughter so soon, but she’s not the one writing in to Dear Wendy. If she was, I’d have plenty to say to her as well. But, since the daughter is in the picture, a year and a half is a long time and the LW should have moved on much sooner since he knew these things were deal-breakers for himself.

  26. Laura Hope says:

    Turns out statistically that a tiny portion of the population is able to lose a significant amount of weight and keep it off permanently. I forget what the number is exactly but it’s something like 3%. And these are the people who become obssessed with exercise. So all these people who think oh, if my SO only watched what they ate and went to the gym a few times a week, they’d be thin (or normal weight) don’t really get it. You need to accept the person the way they are (or not). Because it’s highly unlikely that the person will transform physically (or otherwise, by the way).

    1. “You need to accept the person the way they are (or not). Because it’s highly unlikely that the person will transform physically (or otherwise, by the way).”

      Absolutely. If you don’t like how someone looks and acts when you meet them, it’s incredibly unlikely you’ll like them more later on.

      That said, if you do like them and like how they look when you meet them, you’ll be fine with their looks fading over time (it happens to us all). You won’t even notice it, or they’ll look even more beautiful to you. But if you never really liked how they looked, you’ll notice every single change and dislike it.

  27. This the LW again. One last reply to all the commentors”
    Snow Angel said:
    “For all we know she could be 5’8 and 160 lbs which would put her within normal BMI range, and he would just prefer to be with a woman who weighs 110 lbs. ”
    My reply: She is 5’2″ 170 lbs. Considered obese on the BMI scale.

    MonkeysMommy said:
    “Sorry, maybe I’m being too hard, but this kind of shit is ridiculous. If you know you don’t want her kid or her 50 extra pounds, leave her to someone who does! ”
    My reply: The daughter was rewarded for bad behavior. Temper tantrum at the store because she is told she cant get a doll? Buy the doll, kid is happy. Gee, guess what happens next time we are at a store? Any wild guesses? Happens again and again and again. I have no problem with a kid. Problem with a non disciplined kid. And since I only know the daughter for 6 months (met her after a year) I didn’t know it would be that way until I spent time with them.

    PFG-SCR said:
    “They both bear some responsibility in this, and just as much as he shouldn’t date someone that he sees as a fixer-upper, she shouldn’t have pretended to be someone that she was not.”
    My reply: You have summed it up perfectly. Looking back on this 18 months, it was good while it lasted but not enough to take the next step so why bother staying. I agree we were both at fault for letting it go this long.

    DesiDad said:
    “I was surprised and disappointed at Wendy’s response. I have seen her be gentle to a lot of other LW’s who have worse complaints than this LW and have treated their partners far worse, including cheating on them. Could it be because they were mostly women? Not sure”
    My reply: I expected a scolding from Wendy. Her audience is women. Of course she will be much harsher to a guy dumping a girl due to weight than she will to a woman cheating on her husband. I knew what to expect but she gave great advice on how to phrase things. It’s worth the hit if I could come away with a good way to end the relationship.

    Honeybeenicki said:
    “Who gets to decide that she should try to lose weight just because she’s heavier than the bullshit ideal? You can be overweight and healthy. I’ve been overweight for a few years and it was really hard for me to deal with and nearly impossible for me to lose weight (underlying thyroid condition that is now under control”
    My reply: Every overweight woman blames the thyroid. Every.single.one. If you are dieting and exercising and you have no results after 3 months, get it checked. Everyone should know this. Waiting 2 years to get that checked tells me you weren’t really interested in losing it in the first place. Everyone knows the thyroid is the go-to excuse. You waited so long because if you got meds to fix it, then you wouldn’t have any other excuses. Unless of course, you trot out the hormone card .

    For all those women who said I was at fault for letting it go this long and stringing her along. I have a question. Does the woman ever have accountability? I never told her I loved her. She never said it to me either. Would you ask a guy after a period of time of him not saying the L word where he sees things going? She never did. She could have dumped me at any point along the way. She could have asked “where is this relationship going?”. She didn’t. So before your hamster wheels go into overdrive, consider the fact that I never said I loved her, never spoke of getting married, never spoke of going away on vacations. That would be leading on. But I never did that. If a girl never brings up the “where is this going talk”- then I perceive it as it is what it is until it isn’t. As long as there were no broken promises or any misleading statements, or questioning things by either party, then time frame isn’t as big a deal as you are making it out to be.

    I am done with replying. I thank you all for your candid comments.

    1. rawkmys0cks says:

      “Every overweight woman blames the thyroid. Every.single.one. If you are dieting and exercising and you have no results after 3 months, get it checked. Everyone should know this. Waiting 2 years to get that checked tells me you weren’t really interested in losing it in the first place. Everyone knows the thyroid is the go-to excuse. You waited so long because if you got meds to fix it, then you wouldn’t have any other excuses. Unless of course, you trot out the hormone card .”

      I’m sorry, I never comment, but HOLY SHIT ARE YOU SERIOUS? Who are you to think its okay to comment on anyone’s health like this? There’s so much male privilege in this statement that I don’t even know where to begin. I just thought I should point out that your ideas, while sadly common, are absolutely abhorrent.

      1. Abhorrent how? He’s right. Weight is very simply a matter of eating fewer calories than you burn. Period. There are a very few people who cannot lose weight without heroic measures, but for most people, it’s a matter of wanting to do so more than wanting to stick with their current habits. There are a lot of good, valid reasons why people *don’t* lose weight – depression, being overworked, lack of sleep, etc. – but no reasons why they *can’t*. And the mere fact that someone *is* overweight isn’t justification for *being* overweight.

        As far as male privilege: where is he doing that? Men in general are more visually oriented. Period. We just are. We notice excess weight more than, it seems, women do. Women are never obligated to lose weight for any man. But… if you want to be attractive to men, in general, your best bet is to not be very overweight. Not skinny. Not at your perfect weight. Just not medically obese. You can hate that, but it won’t make it less true.

      2. Sue Jones says:

        I work with a lot of women trying to lose weight. Midlife hormonal changes including insulin sensitivity can wreak havoc on a woman’s metabolism. Men lose weight so easily there really is no comparison. Once a woman’s hormones begin to change, it gets a lot more difficult, maybe 1 lb per week is a realistic (and healthy) goal. When you get to be my age, you also meet a lot of women who used to be able to “eat anything” and stay thin and then they hit perimenopause and BOOM! 20-30 lbs! And people think “What happened to her?”. It is not always as simple as eat less, exercise more. Often women that age have to COMPLETELY give up carbs which is not such an easy thing to do for a sustainable period without professional support.

      3. Sunshine Brite says:

        Lies. Everyone knows that it’s not a simple formula of in and out, there’s a lot that goes into it with a body trying to maintain homeostasis. I’m a Beachbody coach, plan to start T25 this week, and love the results I’ve seen with some of the programs. I deal with waxing and waning motivation. I hate all the “helpful” comments from people who succeed in making my self esteem go in the trash. I stand by that I was unhealthiest at my lowest weight. My high weight wasn’t good either but I was in a much better spot mentally and physically because I was doing things at my lowest weight that could’ve ruined my body.

        I know people see my excess weight. I’m a size 18 and still wear a bikini sometimes because I find it comfortable and get better tan. I have a beach body already. I’m still working to get stronger again for me but that’s my own choices. Not every overweight woman “blames” the thyroid. I was under stress and extremely strict budget which resulted in me making choices that were negative for maintaining a healthy weight. I do have to say that my healthy weight is about 10 lbs higher than what a BMI says, when I get down that far I’ve lost muscle.

        How dare you? How dare you question someone else’s medical journey? Clearly you have deep seeded problems with fat people and really shouldn’t be dating one. Especially one with a child. That’s not okay.

  28. SummerRose says:

    If you don’t want to date a fat woman, don’t fucking date a fat woman.

  29. I think the advice given to the LW was a tad harsh. From the sounds of it, the LW tried to make it work and it took him a year and half to figure out it wasn’t working. I don’t think there was any malicious or unkind intent on the LW’s part. I also don’t think he was stringing the girlfriend along. It just took him some time to figure out the relationship wasn’t working. It takes most people far too long to come to the realization that their relationship isn’t working. Heck, I stayed with my ex for close to 3 years when I shouldn’t have stayed with him longer than 3 months. But I only realized that towards the end. Sometimes it can take a while to figure everything out emotionally. You regret hurting people, but you try to make the best decision you can with all the information you have at the time. But haven’t most of us been there?

    But I will say that I don’t agree Wendy is harsher towards men when she gives advice. She’s been just as harsh with women seeking advice. When it comes to straightening someone out who need to wake up, Wendy is doesn’t discriminate.

  30. monkey's mommy says:

    Sorry John, you’re still an ass. And I think Honeybeenicki needs to beat you with a stick for what you said to her.

    As for the reply to me? I am guessing you have no children of your own, and if you do, you weren’t quite the hands on dad.

  31. I simply do not understand the harshness of Wendy’s reply. Yes, I agree that “Trying To Do the Right Thing” should break up with his girlfriend. Yes, I absolutely agree he should not mention her weight or how she raises her daughter, period. But… look, he found a wonderful woman who, yes, wasn’t his type physically, but he dated her, they enjoyed each other, he spent time with her daughter, and he tried to help her with her weight (look, I’m a guy, and whether or not women want to hear it, being overweight simply *is* a turn-off to most guys; it doesn’t mean you need to lose weight, that it *should* be a turn-off, etc. – but it is; it isn’t the be-all end-all of appearance, but it’s an important consideration). Anyway, my point is, he likes her very much as a person but just can’t feel an attraction for her, and the daughter situation just isn’t for him. What did he do wrong? Was he supposed to reject her initially purely because she was heavier than he’d like? Was he supposed to not try even though he liked her… because she had a daughter?

    He spent a year and a half in this relationship, and it didn’t work. I don’t understand castigating him for not being attracted to her. I don’t understand mentions of how she lost all that time, when he did as well.

    Relationships ALWAYS end. They end in breakups or they end in death. But they always end. In this case, he tried, she tried, and after a year and a half, he has realized it’s not for him, and he’s going to end it… but he didn’t do anything wrong. Yes, mentioning her weight or parenting style would be wrong, and he’s not done that yet. What he has done, so far? I don’t see the issue with that. I don’t see this being a particularly “bad” reason to end a relationship. It’s just honest.

    He doesn’t like her weight, and I see that bothers a lot of people here, but it’s just something he doesn’t like. It could be the way she dresses, or sleeps, or does nothing but watch TV, or shops too much, or talks too little, or any of the many other reasons people break up. It’s not up to us to dictate acceptable reasons to end a relationship. Also, in a year and a half, her daughter has grown significantly, and what was fun or at least not bad 18 months ago might very well be intolerable now.

    One thing he didn’t do was “steal a year and a half” from her. They enjoyed their time. It’s over now. That happens. It’s a known risk every time anyone ever enters a relationship. As I said, they all end.

    1. I agree with pretty much everything you said. It also irks me when people talk about how they “wasted time” or time was “stolen from them” in a relationship. If you didn’t go through that relationship, you wouldn’t know what you want now. It was an experience. It’s part of life. If I decided every time something didn’t work out that it was a waste of time, then I would probably say my whole life was a waste.
      Every job that didn’t work out, every time I moved to a place, every time I ended a friendship or started a new one. Just about every experience in my life that has ended, one could say was a “waste.” But hey, I am who I am today. Instead of people talking about the time they wasted in relationships, I think we should try to a practice a little more self-compassion.

    2. bittergaymark says:

      Yeah, I am baffled by the hostility here. He liked her, but he ultimately couldn’t get past some pretty big fucking hurdles. And for this he is thrown to the wolves? Oh, for Pete Campbell’s sake, it’s called DATING. And dating somebody you like for a year and a half isn’t some dastardly evil thing. It just isn’t.

      Oh, and sorry, ladies. But lets PLEASE be fucking real here. Do you all REALLY think this guy somehow stopped this woman from meeting the man of her dreams? Last time I checked, there WASN’T exactly a crushing demand out there for single mothers who are fifty pounds overweight. That may not be a nice thing to say. It may not be very kind. But NEWSFLASH! But there is the remarkable thing called reality which is neither nice or kind.

  32. Today’s column is pure click-bait. And I took it, and ran with it.

    LW, I know many of the comments are lambasting you (including my own). At the end of the day, I’d say follow Wendy’s advice in how to phrase the breakup and do it promptly. Hopefully you have learned your lesson that what you have previously known to be deal-breakers for you are, in fact, deal-breakers for you.

  33. Yeah, I really can’t say I see all the asshole-ish-ness here that a lot of other people are seeing…this guy dated a woman who was nice, who he had fun with, despite some obvious red flags. Clearly, he assumed he’d get over them and/or figured he was being “shallow”. There’s many mixed messages in the dating world—“have standards!” “…but don’t be picky!” “get out of your comfort zone!” “but don’t do anything you’re uncomfortable with!” “you know on the first date whether or not there’s chemistry!” “sometimes it takes a while to build attraction…” etc. etc. you get my point. So this guy seems as if he was trying to date outside his usual “type”. A year & a half isn’t THAT long, to me? Maybe he shouldn’t ended it sooner, but who among us ~hasn’t~ ever stayed in a relationship too long? It’s never an example of FINE behavior, right, but people make mistakes.
    I don’t know. I don’t think you’re an ass, LW. (Definitely don’t tell this woman the how & why, though. Go super generic—“I don’t think this is working for me anymore.”)

    1. Sunshine Brite says:

      I really didn’t either until his second reply to commenters and then I got all riled up. He’s just not right for his girlfriend and needs to break up with her.

    2. Well-balanced comments! Wish I could write that well… or that inoffensively!

    3. I’m just surprised that this still happens to people in their 40ies. I feel like “don’t ignore your own dealbreakers” is a lesson to be learned in one’s 20ies.

  34. I’m super late to this party but weight and single mom issues aside, no one should date a person who they ultimately want to and expect to change. A significant other shouldn’t be a project. You should like them for who they are at that moment, not who they could be in a year or two. It is such a dangerous route to take. I made the serious mistake of dating a guy when I wanted to change a bazillion things about him in order for him to be the guy I wanted. Inevitably I made a lot of sacrifices for him, sacrifices that now I would never make. In the long term we were definitely not right for each other even though I wanted us to be. My point, LW, is that you can’t date a person and expect them to change. Assume they will stay the same no matter what.

  35. !. The Mom was not a project for him. She took it upon herself to say she wanted to get in shape and gave all the signs she would go down that path. He stayed with her in part because of that as opposed to dumping her right away. I would have done the same thing if I liked her. She ultimately failed. Not going to say it was a “Bait and switch” but if you say things that people want to hear, you need to deliver.

    2. He never had a problem with the child. He had a problem with an undisciplined child. Huge difference, ladies. If you have a misbehaved child, that makes you more un-dateable since you are a package deal.

    3. Dating is all about spending time with someone to see if you are compatible for possible marriage. That takes time. Yes there is risk of lost time if it results in a breakup. That’s not unique to anyone. If you cant handle that, don’t date.

    4. Having a child does not give you immunity from being dumped. But apparently its enough to get a rallying cry from other females “How dare he dump her after a year and a half when she has a kid!” If you are afraid of how it will affect the kid in the event of a breakup, then don’t date until the kid is older. That’s on her, not him.

    5. There Is zero, if any, demand for a woman at age 46 who has a misbehaved 6 year old and 50 extra pounds of weight. Flame away all you want but that is reality. Any woman who takes issue with this is projecting her own insecurities about the realities of the dating world.

    1. So dump her. But, don’t mention the weight or the kid. That’s all there is to it. You don’t need to mention either to break up.

    2. Breezy AM says:

      I will confess I’ve ended a friendship over misbehaved children. And I have children. And really low standards. But I could not deal with one more minute at her house listening to her scream blue murder and control freaking on those kids. And yeah, we could have hung out Not At Her House… but I still had the taste in my mouth of her being such a witch to her kids, and her kids being so obnoxious. It just, didn’t work.
      I will point out tho, it took me a whole six months to figure out. That is all.

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