SL Letter of the Day: Just The Way You Are

Comments

101
@100: Oh yeah, he should have been more upfront, and much sooner. Beyond that ... the way he's approached it so far has been obliquely complimenting her while also making his own judgment by personally choosing a different lifestyle -- one she's been trying to emulate. He clearly thinks it's good for him, yet when she does it, it's not good because it doesn't turn him on. Not laying blame for *his immutable preference* for big ladies, but he's been sending massively confusing signals here.

Hell, maybe if he had been more upfront with her in the beginning, saying straight-up that he wasn't just complimenting her out of blind duty, *maybe* she could have given up and saved herself years of misery. His too-late approach is human, but he could have easily realized that it would have been win-win for him -- she would remained his big girl, maybe even embraced it for the first time in her life, and they both would have been saved all her self-loathing.

"Should he persist in a relationship that can only end in misery and/or infidelity, seeing as he's no longer attracted to her?"

Did I say that? Naturally I can't expect you to have read every single comment in a 100-strong thread, but back @94, I say outright, "If you two can't come to a compromise after laying it all out on the table, then split up." No doubt there.

"Only" end in misery/infidelity? Christ. Are you hating on him, or me? At least I've given him the benefit of the doubt in that I still think that maybe he just doesn't know the extent to which he's hurt her, and maybe they can hash it out and talk about how they need to weigh her health and happiness against his sexual preference ... which may or may not be as strong as you're assuming.

I don't think anybody can *change* what they like or dislike if they don't want to. But I do believe that *the majority* of people will realize the value in looking at a relationship and balancing what they get out of it against some of their own needs. I like some things I might not get ever from my boyfriend -- and I just have to decide whether they're important enough to me to question our relationship together. Some are. Some aren't.

Personally, I'm obviously assuming that there's hope for compromise. Is this guy really *that* hard on for large women, or is he being a wee too stubborn? Maybe he doesn't realize how rough his request has been for his girlfriend -- maybe he'd even rescind it if he knew. Don't know.

I've been trying to make it clear that I don't disapprove specifically of what he likes -- big girls, thin girls, *whatever* -- and hey, maybe I'm not just eloquent enough, but I *have* intended to focus on how he's addressed the situation.
102
@100: And I still don't know why you're on about how fast/slow the weight loss was. She always wanted to be thinner. Always. He knew that. And he just ... hoped ... it wouldn't happen?

"Should he just dump her without giving her a reason, rather than 'crush her sense of achievement'?"

I don't see why it's "and/or." You can dump someone all kinds of ways. From what BARAAHP's told us (yes, POV here), it sounds like he hasn't even managed basic diplomacy.
103
@100: "He likes larger girls. He can't change that any more than you can choose whether to be gay or straight."

Probable, *but* you're neglecting here that he can choose how to deal with it.

Dan gets letters from people with all kinds of preferences/fetishes -- some people don't like having sex as much; some people want more. Some people are diaper fetishists and their partners aren't (or REALLY aren't).

We talk all the time to what extent people can compromise those for their partners -- and each case is different. Some preferences are incredibly strong to the point of being innate, and others are something people can push back in favour for something else they gain, because we're *people* and not just biological machines. Your argument hinges on the assumption that his is the former, and we've seen that it can often, all the time, be the latter too.
104
@101-103: Well, I think the timing matters because it may excuse his hesitancy to voice his concerns. He might have made an honest effort to appreciate her new, more slender body before deciding to speak up and "crush her sense of achievement." I'm not sure how long he should have tried to learn to love the new her before realizing it wasn't going to work, but I think a few months of effort would be reasonable. So if she only recently lost all that weight, then he's to be excused (or even commended) for waiting to tell her. If she lost the weight slowly but gradually, though, then he should have spoken up sooner.

As for how he's addressed the situation or his diplomacy... well, we don't know any of that. Maybe there were several tearful, tactful conversations over the last month leading to the "I'm not attracted to you" confession; BARAAHP may well have condensed several events to get to the point, and Dan may have edited her descriptions even further.

Fair point about the importance of her size to him: if it's a minor preference, then he should STFU. But I'm guessing that it's a huge preference because they aren't having any sex! If a guy prefers no sex to "vanilla" sex, then the fetish/preference must be pretty damn important.

I guess my overall point is that people shouldn't be so quick to judge. It seems like the logic of most commenters was "She's upset, therefore he's a jerk," followed by some pretty specious reasoning to back into the "he's a jerk" conclusion: his preference for heavy girls means he has control issues, he likes being the hot one in the relationship, etc. Now it is possible that he's been insensitive about a minor preference, in which case the "gut" conclusion of assholeness is justified. But it's also possible that he's been sensitive and diplomatic about an issue of huge importance to him, in which case the gut conclusion is wrong.
105
@ 94 and others, in cases where partners have gained weight, Dan hasn't said "if they want to change, support them, but if they're happy that way, they should dump you for undermining them." He's said the the now-heavier partner had a responsibility to maintain the body that their partner was attracted to. I'm not I'm agreeing or disagreeing with that advice (I think it has it's drawbacks and merits), what I'm saying is that there's an obvious double standard when compared to this advice.

@ 93, he sure did tell her he liked her how she was when she expressed a desire to lose weight, she just didn't believe him. I don't blame her for that, but I certainly don't blame him, either.

People are jumping to so many ridiculous conclusions about this guy to try to label him as some kind of monster, and it's pretty obvious that it comes from a discomfort with or bias against someone having a sexual preference for larger people.
106
Excellent advice, DTMFA.

[@34 I know the quote was sarcastic. However, all of us might be stupid, but not all of us like big boobs. I love small breasts. Sadly, however, our culture is so focused on large breasts that women with small breasts can often feel self-conscious about them, even to the point of shame. It is frustrating to not be believed when I tell a woman that her (small) breasts turn me on. Many women with small breasts think that I'm "just being nice" when I say so.]
107
@105, in those cases it was the unhappy partner writing in, not the now-fat girl. I sometimes wonder what he'd tell the now-fat girl, if she also said she absolutely loved the way she looked now and felt so much better about herself at this weight.
108
@104: Yes, only BARAAHP and her boyfriend can really know.

Thing is, as much as people are jumping to conclusions all over the place and offering their hypotheses and things and we're all getting offended about who's making what presumptions about whom, it's worth keeping in mind that BARAAHP does know what's going on for her and if she reads this, is reading all our advice as a giant mixed pot.

I mean, awesome that commentators are elaborating for both sides, but I'm guessing if BARAAHP read "Your boyfriend's a jerk because you lost the weight gradually!" she'd *probably* take it with that "oh wait, I lost it in a few months" grain of salt. Etc.

Not sure why you're still all quotey about "crush her sense of achievement." I think I made a valid point about boyfriend-girlfriend/etc. relations in general. She struggled for a long time to do something really important to her, and he basically kind of stepped on it, whether he meant to or not.

I'm too lazy to go back and read my exact words (freely admittted!) so I'll tag on this addendum: The point was to highlight the sensitivity of the situation, beyond the issue of sex. It wasn't meant to assign blame, but it *was* meant to make the point that unfairly or not, he had the burden here of being the more careful one in expressing his feelings. And note that "care" does not mean "lying." It means presenting his case fairly to his own sentiments but as fairly as he can manage to hers too.

Whether he did or not? I agree it's impossible to really conclude from her letter. But I'll admit that I'm leaning towards her side. Bias, oh well, humanity. I'm ready to recant if she or he steps forward with more that says otherwise.
109
I think you need to be with a person who will want to fuck you whether you gain or lose weight. Sex isn't just about a physical attraction, it's also about a personal connection and emotional attraction. A solid relationship should be able to withstand a few changes in appearance. After all, weight isn't the only thing that changes when you share a life together. You need to be with someone who loves you enough to be there, literally, through thick and thin.

My weight fluctuates- I've been chubby and I've been thin. I think that if you really love a person you love them either way. Granted, my weight typically changes up or down between the same 20 lb variation, so I don't know what it's like to lose that much weight. But I've dated some bigger guys and I can say that what happened in the relationship wasn't about the extra weight.

If someone really loves you, they want to have sex with you no matter what size you are. Love doesn't see a number on a scale, it sees the person that you are. Be yourself and if he doesn't love you thin, then he didn't really love you fat either.
110
@109: you say, "If someone really loves you, they want to have sex with you no matter what size you are".

you can love someone, and still fall out of physical attraction. You can care for someone, love their personality etc., but if they no longer turn you on, they no longer turn you on. You can stay together if the companionship means more to you than the sex, but if you want the sex life, then move on: love and sex can come hand-in-hand from many other people, not some mythical "The Only One".
111
BARAAHP,

I don't see any reason to think your boyfriend is a jerk or anything, but it does seem that you may not be compatible. He is attracted to big girls, and you are, and want to remain, a not-big girl. Don't DTMFA, because he's not a MF. But break up as friends, and date other people.

Good luck.
112
Just to clarify, fat acceptance doesn't say that making sustainable changes to your eating habits won't last your lifetime. But most diets are simply not sustainable.

If this woman's body has lost fat due habits that are reasonably mainainable over the course of her entire *lifetime*, then there's no reason she will gain the weight back. And if she feels healthier this way, there's no reason anybody would want her to.

For the record, *some* people's bodies retain fat, even when healthy sustainable eating habits are in place, and that's perfectly fine. Physical is not just about weight. It's also about cholesteral levels, blood pressure, heart rate, etc. If those stats are in good shape, the body is in good shape.