I have a BIG problem. The woman I love is 26 and I'm 28. We've been together for about four years, and in that time she's gotten really fat. I tried to approach her about her weight in a gentle way (women and weight is a bad chat to have), and she cried and said she thought our relationship was past "that." Not only is she fat, but she also isn't taking care of herself at all anymore. If we go out to dinner, she won't do her hair, she just puts it up in this one fucking clip that she wears EVERY FUCKING DAY. When we first got together, she used to run track. She used to take care of herself and her looks. Now, even when I buy her something nice--clothes, jewelry--she refuses to wear it and accuses me of "trying to change" her. When I ask her to exercise with me--to go biking, running, SOMETHING--she refuses. Lately she's been accusing me of looking at other women, but she isn't doing anything to keep me looking at her. I'm frustrated. I love her, but my attraction to her is almost gone. Please give me some advice, because I feel guilty about how I feel and I just don't know what to do.
--Call Me Shallow
Dump her--and don't feel the least bit guilty about it. If the two of you were in your 50s and had been together for 30 years, yeah, then you should feel guilty about dumping your woman for getting fat and frumpy. But four years into a relationship? And still in your 20s? At that stage the both of you should be at least maintaining--if not improving upon--your pre-relationship looks. Male or female, gay or straight, letting yourself suddenly and prematurely go to pot demonstrates a hostile disregard for your partner's feelings. It also shows that a person takes his or her partner for granted, and nothing murders attraction with more dispatch than feeling taken for granted.
So what's up with your fat and frumpy girlfriend? I'll get a hundred e-mails from amateur psychologists diagnosing your girlfriend as suffering from some sort of clinical depression the day this column comes out. They'll scold me for telling you to dump your fat and frumpy girlfriend and insist that you're obligated to stand by your fat and frumpy girlfriend and love her regardless of her size and see the beauty within and blah, blah, fuckin' blah. Fuck that. When you met your girlfriend, she was fit and attractive and took care of herself. That's the person you fell in love with, inside and out. But it's clear now that your girlfriend presented herself to you as someone she's not. She lied to you--she's not a fit person who takes care of herself, but a fat and frumpy person who isn't the least bit interested in taking care of herself. She deceived you, and deception is grounds for a guilt-free breakup.
And if the amateur psychologists are right and your girlfriend is depressed, well, then maybe getting dumped is the kick in the ass she needs to go get some help. And if she's not depressed--if she's happy being fat & frumpy and doesn't want to be nagged about it--then she needs to go find a man who's attracted to fat & frumpy women. Those men exist. Unfortunately for your girlfriend, you're not one of them.
Here's the sitch: I was married for 4.5 years; for 3.5 of those years, I had a dog who gave me no trouble. However, now that I'm a single girl again, my dog is incredibly jealous of my lovers. It began with him breaking into my room during intercourse and making an embarrassing ruckus. He growls menacingly at my lovers as well. Lately my dog has been picking through my laundry basket, retrieving my underwear, which he proceeds to destroy and/or eat. This isn't so funny when you're dropping $14 on a thong. So my dog (a precious terrier-heeler mix) is the jealous type, and I don't know what to do to reassure him.
-- Doggie Comes First
P.S. He's fixed, but he still gets hard-ons.
Oh, Lord. If I wasn't already feeling queasy after I read your letter, that P.S. sure would've done the trick.
Anyway, advice: Despite the fact that your dog is doing you a favor when he destroys those $14 thongs (butt floss is now and forever a fashion don't), you can solve your problem by having your dog destroyed. It's a drastic step, I realize, but the Godlike power of life and death is one of the thrills of pet ownership. Good luck.
Do I have an obligation to come out to my parents? I'm a polyamorous bisexual college student whose parents already think I'm a slut. They've seen me with various boys (and close female "friends") since high school, but I think that explaining the ins and outs of my sexual orientation, while it might be good for me, might also be more trouble than it's worth. I caught an STD last year and had to rely on my mother's insurance to fix the plumbing. Imagine how unpleasant it was to be told by her that it was a "tough price to pay," with the implied codicil, "for being a ho." Plus, the situation as it stands is quite manageable. Do you think that I ought to come clean?
-- Pragmatic? Or Proud?
Spare your parents the coming-out speech. The overwhelming majority of girls who identify as polyamorous bisexuals in college wind up in conventional marriages by the time they're 30. While you may be the most adventurous, tough-price-paying, polyamorous slut on campus right now, come middle age, odds are good that you'll be someone's boring, Target-shopping, monogamous spouse. When you settle down, you're going to feel mighty silly about any too-much-information/coming-out speeches you subjected your long-suffering parents to back when you were a ho.
A girl I was sleeping with but not dating just informed me that she is pregnant and plans on keeping the child. I ended our sexual relationship, since I have no intention of marrying her. But the possibility of this woman having sex with other men while my child is inside her disgusts and disturbs me. Am I justified in not wanting her to have sex with other men during the pregnancy? And how do I broach this subject with her without making things worse than they already are?
-- Don't Do My Baby's Momma
You're really in no position to tell your ex who she can or cannot do while she's pregnant. If she wants to have a three-way with O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake, well, that's her absolute right. Of course, you have an absolute right to ask her politely not to have sex with other people during the pregnancy, though I'd suggest you end your request with this statement: "And if you do have sex with other guys while you're pregnant, please don't tell me about it, okay?" But if I were pregnant and the man who knocked me up and dumped me had the nerve to ask me not to have sex with anyone else, well, I wouldn't just have a three-way with O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake and tell him all about it, I'd send him the videotape.