As you like it

Q: I’m a 21-year-old male living off campus. My problem is that I’m attracted to very heavy-set girls. I like really big girls. There is something about them that is so attractive. It just draws me to them. I know it’s not really a problem, at least for me. It’s just that I’m like way too embarrassed to bring my girlfriend around my friends, because I know how they will react to her (she is pushing 250 lbs). I have even gone so far as to have a petite friend of mine masquerade as my girlfriend, like when we go to football games and stuff, but the first chance I get I go running back to my big girl. She knows about the situation, and I know that it hurts her feelings. Lately she has been more insistent that I stop these shenanigans, but I’m not sure I could deal with the amount of ridicule that would await me once my friends found out my tastes in women. But I also feel that I can’t just dismiss my friends’ opinion. But I can’t keep putting her off. I don’t want to lose her or my friends. What should I do?

–Chunky Lover

Rosalind:

I am glad that you have the insight to see that this shouldn’t be a problem. Everyone has different ideas of what gets them going, sexually. There are many men that are attracted to heavier women, but I understand that in college especially, where so many people are narrow-minded, it is harder to stand up for something that you believe in that isn’t socially acceptable. You know how you feel, but it is natural to want to be accepted by your friends. That being said, if they are really your friends, they will eventually understand how you feel and respect your decisions. If they truly are your friends, you can say to them, “Look guys, these are the type of women I am attracted to, I am not ashamed of it, and it is cool if you bother me about it. I understand that you’re just joking, but don’t disrespect my girlfriend.”

As for your girlfriend, she must really care about you to put up with your embarrassment, immaturity, and overall disrespect. If you truly care about her, you shouldn’t act like you’re ashamed of her. With all the waif-thin women in the media, being heavy isn’t seen as beautiful. The average dress size of American women is 14, but that fact isn’t demonstrated in our society’s standards of beauty. The truth is that beautiful people come in all shapes, sizes, and colors; however, that isn’t what popular culture reflects. It is hard enough for a woman to be overweight; it is a whole new stressor for her boyfriend, someone who should care about her, to toss her aside in social situations. That does not constitute a healthy relationship.

Bottom Line: Prioritize. If you care about this girl, be with her. If you are more concerned with what everyone else thinks, you’ve got some maturing to do, and you should let her down easy. The truth is that the guys are always going to heckle you about something. Your girlfriend is a person, and you need to be sensitive to her needs and her feelings, not just your own. It must be really difficult for her to know that her boyfriend is ashamed of her. If you truly care about her, you need to show her. Stop being selfish, and instead of worrying about your reputation, think about what you’re doing to your girlfriend’s self esteem. She’s told you it hurts her feelings and that you should stop, so listen to her, or get out of the relationship.

Touchstone:

I feel for you CL. You’re stuck in the middle between your friends and your girlfriend, a tough situation. I can see the fat jokes when she’s not around and the intimate moments that you spend with her when you least expect your boys to be around. This situation, however, should not make you change who you are. Your friends should not control your identity and neither should your girlfriend. You choose both and they should be able to coexist in your life to make it better. If you get rid of this girl solely because you don’t think your friends or the person on the street doesn’t like her then you will regret it. If you like this girl, and you want this to work without alienating the guys, I suggest sitting down with your friends and explaining how you feel.

The whole fake girlfriend thing is a little sad, man. I mean you’re willing to take the rewards of being with the girl and yet you’re trying to deny it in public. That may work in a one-night stand or a friends-with-benefits deal, but not in a relationship. If you want to call her your girl then be a man about it and stand up for her. The thing that you’ve got to realize is that every person has different tastes in who they like; turn it around and think about the fact that she is with you. How would you feel if she was going out with her friends and taking a fake boyfriend along? I know I wouldn’t like it, and you’re a lucky guy ’cause she has put up with you.

In closing, just remember that anything in life has its consequences. They must be dealt with, so now is the time to figure out what’s best for you: being proud of your girl no matter what people may think, or giving into your peers because you aren’t ready to stand up for yourself. You pick.

Q: I recently broke up with my girlfriend of 3 years and I think it was a fairly nice breakup. The trouble is that I think I’m over her, but a couple of my friends keep telling me I’m not, solely on the basis that I mention her a lot. I think this is because we were together so much and everything I did during that time was with her. The other problem I face is that I still want to be friends with her because we were such good friends before we started dating. We have fought a little since we broke up and I’m trying to figure out how to be friends again, if it is even possible. How do I figure out if I’m over her, and can we remain friends after having dated so long?

— Lonely Lover

Rosalind:

I can see that you are truly a sensitive guy and I give you a lot of credit for trying to do the right thing. Three years is a long time for a relationship, and naturally, she is going to be a part of your memories from that time. Your friends may be right — you may not be totally over her, you may never completely forget those feelings, and that’s okay. Being “over her” doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve moved on to somebody else, and it also doesn’t mean that you’ve expunged her from your memories. Don’t focus on “getting over her;” instead, focus on getting on with your life. Spend a lot of time with your friends, concentrate on your classes and focus on beginning a segment of your life in which you don’t need her to be happy and feel like a complete person. It is more than okay to talk about her sometimes and reflect on your relationship…that is a healthy way to become at peace with the breakup, and begin a journey on the road to friendship.

She was a part of your life for a long time, and it is important to remember the “good times.” Regrets are a waste of time and thought, and it is wrong to bury your memories of the relationship in regret.

Give yourself and her some time to cool off and become comfortable with the relationship being over. It is a good sign that you want to remain friends. With the hurt that inevitably comes with ending any relationship, there will be fights. After the fighting is over and when all the feelings are out there, and when you’ve each had the time to rebuild your lives without each other, maybe then consider a friendship. Though it will be awkward at first, remember why you were friends with her in the first place. Take time to communicate, be honest, and come to peace with things.

Maybe you will regain your friendship, maybe you won’t, but give it an honest shot. Remember, regrets are a waste of time, so talk to her, see what happens, and see if you can do this. If you can’t, you know in your heart that you tried.

Good luck 🙂

Touchstone:

Dear LL,

Sounds like you’re going through what most people experience when they come out of a long-term serious relationship. This is what I like to call the “Letting Go Process.” It is when you learn to live your life without a piece of the puzzle you’re accustomed to having there. The hardest part is going to be the alone time: you will find your mind wandering and will probably ask yourself if you did the right thing. For these situations I will give you a piece of advice I got from a great friend: go out with your friends, have a great time, and see how you feel and what you think about the next morning.

The hard thing about being friends after you break up is that at least one of you will probably have some hurt feelings. You will find that you both may be inclined to say things that would go unmentioned if you were still together, and this is where it takes a lot of self-control to not take a cheap shot even if she does. In order to make a friendship work again you are going to have to work together. Remember: it’s a two way street, so split the walking.

If you do become friends again you may feel an attack of those old feelings for her. I’m not going to say they’re unwarranted, but remember why you ended your relationship and don’t cherry pick your memories.

Rosalind is a sophomore majoring in psychology. She’s been in relationships, and writes from experience, observation, and research.

Touchstone is a junior majoring in biology. He’s been in many different kinds of relationships and situations, and is truly able to write from experience and insight.

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