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Need advice about dating an overweight person...

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So obviously I am overweight and have been losing. My health has become an important part of my life and I think it should be important to anyone I date seriously.

I have a close friend who has romantic feelings for me. (I won't bore you with the details...suffice it to say I'm old enough to know.) This relationship falls under the "it's complicated" category for several reasons, so it's not surprising that he hasn't asked me out. I think he probably would if I was a little more direct with him. And I would love that. Except for one thing...

He is very overweight, and, from some comments he's made, unhappy with this. He isn't doing anything about it however (he eats poorly and doesn't exercise, and hasn't been to a doctor in many years.) He's young, but obviously I'm concerned about health problems he'll have later in life.

I could really see this relationship being "it", but I can't date someone who doesn't have shared priorities with me.

My question is this ... is there ANY way for me to communicate this to him without making him feel awful? I don't have a problem bringing up the idea of dating, but it's going to be hard to bring it up only to turn around and say, "I won't date you unless you start taking your health seriously."

I know that he's the only one who can make that decision, and maybe I should take his lack of initiative as a sign that I should not pursue this. But we have a great friendship and I can't help but wonder "what if" every time I think of moving on. Also the fact that he's expressed dissatisfaction with his weight makes me think he does want to get healthier.

I guess I just want more of a yes or no so I know whether to forget it or not.

Thoughts? Advice? I'll take anything.

Thanks, guys.

Replies

  • farmers_daughter
    farmers_daughter Posts: 1,632 Member
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    So obviously I am overweight and have been losing. My health has become an important part of my life and I think it should be important to anyone I date seriously.

    I have a close friend who has romantic feelings for me. (I won't bore you with the details...suffice it to say I'm old enough to know.) This relationship falls under the "it's complicated" category for several reasons, so it's not surprising that he hasn't asked me out. I think he probably would if I was a little more direct with him. And I would love that. Except for one thing...

    He is very overweight, and, from some comments he's made, unhappy with this. He isn't doing anything about it however (he eats poorly and doesn't exercise, and hasn't been to a doctor in many years.) He's young, but obviously I'm concerned about health problems he'll have later in life.

    I could really see this relationship being "it", but I can't date someone who doesn't have shared priorities with me.

    My question is this ... is there ANY way for me to communicate this to him without making him feel awful? I don't have a problem bringing up the idea of dating, but it's going to be hard to bring it up only to turn around and say, "I won't date you unless you start taking your health seriously."

    I know that he's the only one who can make that decision, and maybe I should take his lack of initiative as a sign that I should not pursue this. But we have a great friendship and I can't help but wonder "what if" every time I think of moving on. Also the fact that he's expressed dissatisfaction with his weight makes me think he does want to get healthier.

    I guess I just want more of a yes or no so I know whether to forget it or not.

    Thoughts? Advice? I'll take anything.

    Thanks, guys.

    I've had similar thoughts... but here's my two cents worth I think.

    1. If there isn't a spark of attraction, you can't force one. If you've given it time and it's just not there. Don't force it, you'll regret it.
    2. I may just be a wussy, but I wouldn't have the balls to bring the topic to him, I would though use it for motivation for my self, to improve myself, and if he doesn't follow....then you have a choice to make.
    3. Is it that your (and his) health is what you want the priority to be, or in the slightest way, do you want him to be smaller. I absolutely don't think it's being shallow to say the latter. Guys usually have no problem with telling women they aren't attracted, women on the other hand, throw all kinds of other crap in there, and "what-if's", and such...if women could treat it as easily as some men do....problem would be solved.

    I'm sure I've offended someone with my comments, they aren't meant that way, but you said you'd take anything.:smile:
  • adiostrasero
    adiostrasero Posts: 127 Member
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    Thanks for your reply! I'm not offended in the least :)

    It's really not an attractive or being attracted issue. I am attracted to him. I just know that if I compromise on what is important to me now, I will regret it later. (The whole, "Don't date/marry someone and expect them to change" thing.) However, I know people who have made positive changes in their lives in order to meet the standards of the guy/girl that interested them. "Standards" makes it sound really snobby, but by that I just mean what they require in a mate. (Examples might include giving up smoking or stopping drinking.)

    The other issue besides health would be the physical fitness. Like, I'd like to be able to jog with someone I'm dating and not worry about having to stop and give them CPR, lol!
  • jesusHchris
    jesusHchris Posts: 1,405 Member
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    If I was really into a girl and she said something direct like "Man, wouldn't we make an awesome thin couple? Let's give it a shot." then I would jump right on it.

    Or maybe he will kill himself. I'm not good with this stuff.
  • lacroyx
    lacroyx Posts: 5,754 Member
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    Be direct and tell him you are concerned.
    "Hey I like you but I am worried about your weight/health." No need to sugar coat it. Most men can take it and you'll be able to stop beating yourself up with the "What if"s

    I personally was never told by anyone anything regarding my weight. A few hundred lbs later a few girls I know said to me that they were glad I have lost all this weight. They were concerned for me but never said anything afraid I would be hurt. I found it funny they think my feelings would be hurt and laughed. I told them that I actually would have appreciated if they said something to me and would not have been offended.

    Basing on what you've said, I would not compromise either. Sure it maybe fun and exciting at first but after a while it likely won't work in the long run with the way you currently describe the situation and your opposite lifestyle differences.
  • AnnaPixie
    AnnaPixie Posts: 7,439 Member
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    I dont think there's a problem suggesting to him that he could get fit. However, I wouldnt expect someone to change their interests for you. I exercise, but I wouldn't go jogging with my ex, for example, as I can't run long distances.

    Being healthy and fit is one thing. Expecting a built in work out buddy is another! Partners dont necessarily share the same interests. But yeah, if he's a friend there's no reason why you can't tell him to get off his *kitten* and lose some weight if he's moaning about it.
  • Prahasaurus
    Prahasaurus Posts: 1,381 Member
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    Be direct and tell him you are concerned.
    "Hey I like you but I am worried about your weight/health." No need to sugar coat it. Most men can take it and you'll be able to stop beating yourself up with the "What if"s

    I agree, be direct with men. However, I wouldn't include "I like you" in the same sentence as "worried about your weight," at least not at the start of the discussion.... These are two very complex topics and you need to first address them separately, then combine. We men are direct but we struggle when we have to process two complex issues simultaneously.

    Spend a bit of time discussing your feelings for him, not mentioning his weight/health (unless he brings it up). Once you both agree there is the chance of a serious relationship, bring up the weight issue. It's actually an easy discussion, since (a) he apparently wants to lose weight himself, or at least he's not satisfied with his appearance; and (b) it's a great way for both of you to spend time together and to help each other.

    Men are not women when it comes to weight (or other sensitive issues). Among friends, we guys can say, "Man, wtf, I haven't seen you in months and now you're fat as hell. What are you doing to yourself? Mix a salad in their, Jesus." And we don't take offence. If it's a friend, he can say that, no problem. Same is true with women we care about, so long as you are already friends. Men even appreciate this level of honesty and transparency. However, the key point here is you must already be friends before lovers (which seems to be your case). If you meet a man and become lovers without developing a close friendship first, you have to be more careful in how your phrase things...

    Good luck.

    --P
  • Matt24442
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    tell him to get off his *kitten* and lift weights
  • JanieJack
    JanieJack Posts: 3,831 Member
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    I agree with those that said "be direct" and also agree with those who said not to tell him you'd be interested but for his weight. Make it two separate things in your mind, because the reality is you're NOT wanting to settle down with him the way he is at present moment. If he loses weight or makes an effort thinking it will lead to a relationship, it could ruin your friendship when (if) either a) he doens't follow through or b) he does but either HE is no longer interested or you still aren't for other reasons.


    I was really hurt when people told me about my weight but I appreciated it. This happened twice: When I was married, I'd put on some weight after steroid shots and some surgeries kept me out of commission for about 6 months. My ex told me he was no longer attracted to me and it motivated me to really drop. I hadn't realized how much I gained. Last year, I was really angry that my coworkers were so bold in pointing out how much weight I'd gained while I was on vacation. I didn't think it was that bad, at first, because it was gained in a couple weeks. I was even more angry that it seemed like my extensive effort to drop it was not working! When I look at the pictures now, though, I'm very glad my coworkers lit a fire under my behind to really work hard. I don't think they were "trying' to be mean; rather I think they were just being guys and my feminine spirit wasn't used to being around honest marines and army dudes.
  • christine24t
    christine24t Posts: 6,063 Member
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    I dont think there's a problem suggesting to him that he could get fit. However, I wouldnt expect someone to change their interests for you. I exercise, but I wouldn't go jogging with my ex, for example, as I can't run long distances.

    Being healthy and fit is one thing. Expecting a built in work out buddy is another! Partners dont necessarily share the same interests. But yeah, if he's a friend there's no reason why you can't tell him to get off his *kitten* and lose some weight if he's moaning about it.

    Anna is right!

    Frame your discussion as "I'm worried about your health." Not "I want a workout buddy."
  • Fithealthyforlife
    Fithealthyforlife Posts: 866 Member
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    People say I have an inspiring, kind, and patient, yet confident way about me when I'm discussing things I love. So I'll run through what I might say.

    How about when he says "What'd you do today?"

    You say "I worked out!!".

    And he says, "You really take it seriouslty, huh?"

    And you say: "I'm extremely into fitness, and it's a huge part of my life. I can't live without it. What about you? Is it something you'd like to get into?"
  • Prahasaurus
    Prahasaurus Posts: 1,381 Member
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    I dont think there's a problem suggesting to him that he could get fit. However, I wouldnt expect someone to change their interests for you. I exercise, but I wouldn't go jogging with my ex, for example, as I can't run long distances.

    Being healthy and fit is one thing. Expecting a built in work out buddy is another! Partners dont necessarily share the same interests. But yeah, if he's a friend there's no reason why you can't tell him to get off his *kitten* and lose some weight if he's moaning about it.

    Anna is right!

    Frame your discussion as "I'm worried about your health." Not "I want a workout buddy."

    Actually, as a guy, I really don't like when a woman says she's "worried about my health." Why be so melodramatic? Especially from someone I don't really know too well. On the other hand, I love it when they suggest working out together. That sounds like fun. And it's great when the woman suggests joint activities.

    --P
  • adiostrasero
    adiostrasero Posts: 127 Member
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    These are GREAT replies! Lots of food for thought. Thanks so much, especially you guys who are telling me to be direct. It does CRACK ME UP how men talk to each other. So mean! Women would be at each others' throats if we were that direct with each other! Lol.

    When it's come up, I have been pretty direct with him about why he should lose weight. (Other than the part about my feelings.) I've made suggestions about what he could do. He makes a lot of comments indicating he doesn't care, but he's also told me in other conversations that he does this as a defense mechanism. Yet, when I try to have a serious conversation about it, he turns back to the joking/acting like he doesn't care.

    I can't shake this gut feeling I have that he needs a push to get started, and that if he knew how I felt, that could be the push. Yet, at the same time, I totally agree that you can't have an "I like you" conversation at the same time as a "Lose weight, fatty!" conversation. (Sorry, really not trying to be mean. That is how we talk to each other. You know, the whole hate = love thing. It makes our friendship all the more confusing.)

    Part of me believes that if he likes me as much as I think he does, and sees that it's important to me, he should do it on his own. And that if he doesn't, I should take that as a sign that he's not all that interested, or not that committed, and move on.

    If you can't tell, I have a habit of over analyzing things. But, I also have a habit of jumping into relationships too quickly, so in this case, thinking too much might be a good thing :)

    Anyway, thanks!
  • meshashesha2012
    meshashesha2012 Posts: 8,326 Member
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    tell him you like him and tell him that you need a spotter in the gym with you and you want it to be him.
  • JanieJack
    JanieJack Posts: 3,831 Member
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    He makes a lot of comments indicating he doesn't care, but he's also told me in other conversations that he does this as a defense mechanism. Yet, when I try to have a serious conversation about it, he turns back to the joking/acting like he doesn't care.
    .....

    Part of me believes that if he likes me as much as I think he does, and sees that it's important to me, he should do it on his own. And that if he doesn't, I should take that as a sign that he's not all that interested, or not that committed, and move on.

    Two separate reasons for moving on:

    1 it's not as important to him. Defense mechanism or not, there is something stopping him. He needs a push, sure, but you can't base a relationship off being the one to push him. You'll be tired of that after a few years because I suspect this won't be the only area you discover he "needs a push." The "needs a push" personality type often grates on the self motivated personality type after awhile.

    2. I can't tell if you mean "he's not all that interested" to mean his health or a possible future relationship with you, but don't let his lack of attention to his health mean anything about his lack of care for you. That said, whether he wants more with you or not (and maybe unhealthy habits are part of an unconscious defense mechanism to push you away and avoid the responsibility or fear of failure that comes with a relationship - yeah I overgeneralize too) his feelings about his health can divide you later.

    Besides, am I the only one who has noticed that when these big guys on TV lose significant weight, they kick to the curb the woman who motivated them and has been by their side the whole time because now they can "do better?" You lighting a fire under his behind might backfire on you if he really goes for it, gets healthy, and drops weight. I haven't seen this IRL with weight, only on TV, but IRL I've seen it in other areas where my girlfriends push the man they are friends with but secretly love and he improves his life financially, improves his relationship with his kids, improves on the job etc and then he gets another girl.

    I'm not saying don't be a friend, don't work out together, etc. I am simply suggesting remove the romantic aspect and look for romance with someone who doesn't need extra motivation to be the kind of partner you need.
  • JanieJack
    JanieJack Posts: 3,831 Member
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    meant to say "yeah I overanalyze too"
  • psmd
    psmd Posts: 764 Member
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    Don't get in a relationship with this guy!!! I dated someone for a few months when I was a little overweight too and honestly, he was the nicest guy and fun to be with, etc... but he just did not care enough to get fit, even though he would talk about it. AS time went on I realized that he was like this about his career and other things too... Anyway he would have been someone great to have a friendship with, but when you're getting in shape you need someone to inspire you, or mutually inspire each other. Doesn't sound like he would be inspiring too, more like a project you will constantly be working on. That is not how a good relationship should be. He needs to do this on his own, he does not need a push from you, and it will be years before he has changed as a person to the type of person you need in your life.