Steve Horsmon joins Heather Gray to tackle this one.
I have been dating this guy for a couple of months. Our sex life is a 6-7 on a scale of 1-10. He is a big guy (about 225lb) and he keeps his hair really short. He says it’s better for his work. He exercises every day but he just eats a lot of sugar and carbs.
I think he would be irresistible and our sex life would improve so much because he would look and feel so much better if he lost weight. I would find him so much more attractive.
I don’t know if I should say anything about this to him. I don’t want to hurt his feelings. I don’t even know if I have the right to say anything. It is his health and his appearance. I try to truly accept people for who they are regardless of appearance. But it’s going to be tough to take this to the next level, if that’s what we both want to do, with this in the back of my mind.
Is it beneficial and appropriate for people in a dating relationship to give opinions on these types of sensitive issues? And if so, how do I do it without being critical and judgmental? I like him very much but I could see his weight and super short hair becoming a problem at some point.
This is a tough question, for sure, and Steve and I will do our best to tackle it. Ultimately, though, our advice won’t work for everyone and you’ll have to decide what works best for you.
I know you were hoping I’d help you have a conversation with your guy but I actually think this is a conversation you have to have with yourself to find a resolution that will work for you.
Is your problem really just one of physical attraction?
How does this guy move through the world? What motivates him? What does he care about? What are his priorities? What’s his attitude and perspective about things? Do you see him as positive? Do you see him as capable?
Sometimes when people are talking about physical characteristics, they are actually talking about stories they are creating about the person because of those traits. Your observation about the discrepancy between his exercise and diet really sticks out to me.
What’s your story about his diet?
Are you imagining he’s lazy? Unmotivated? You seem to be pointing out a difference the two of you have in values and/or priorities. What are your values and priorities around food and exercise? Do you see them as similar or very different from his?
What kinds of things do you like to do? Do you lead an active lifestyle and do physical things? Does he? Are there things you want to do or are interested in doing that he doesn’t seem to have interest in?
You said he would feel so much better if he lost weight. How do you know this? Has he said this or are you imagining it? Has he referred to his weight as something holding him back? Does he seem satisfied with it or is he looking to change it? Losing weight feels good to the people who are trying to do it but if he doesn’t feel bad at the weight he is now, he may not.
I don’t think it’s so much about saying anything to him as it is about you coming to an understanding of where he is at with things, his self-perception, and his goals and whether or not they align with yours.
Dating is all about assessing a relationship’s potential for future success and a difference in values and priorities makes for a weak foundation.
If you can get past the values conversation with yourself, you can relax! Relationships have survived bad hair and fashion choices!
I totally think it’s ok to say “You know, I get that short hair is easier for work but I really think you’re doing yourself a disservice. You’d really look great if you grew it out a bit.”
Keep in mind that he may keep it short because he’s self-conscious about not knowing how to style it. I don’t wear skinny heels because I never learned to walk in them! You may need to offer to help but I don’t think asking could hurt.
The decision to move from dating to a more committed relationship isn’t about meeting someone you have a good time with. It’s about meeting someone that shares your vision for the future and who moves through the world in a way that you respect, admire, and appreciate. If you don’t have those things, you don’t move forward, no matter how good dating is going.
Steve Horsmon Says:
Dear Concerned Girlfriend,
Brace yourself for a reality check. I say this with respect for you, but I’m not going to pull punches.
How would you feel if your new boyfriend was rating you a 6-7 out of 10 in the sack? How would you respond if he said it will be tough going further with you until you changed your hair, lost some weight, and changed your diet and start rockin’ it better in the bedroom?
How inspired would you be to “take it to the next level” if he was already assuming that those issues will create a “problem at some point.”? You would hate it, that’s what. You might feel deflated, inadequate, or unattractive. You might wonder why he’s hung around for two months putting up with your challenging looks and eating habits.
You talk about taking things “to the next level”. What the heck “level” are you at right now?
To me it looks like you’re at -5 and you’re just trying to achieve level 0.
After two months, you’ve decided you’re dissatisfied with his personal choices in hair, weight and diet. He doesn’t turn you on like he could.
You’re not accepting him as he is.
My advice? Please do him a favor and allow him to find someone who loves him as he is and wants him as he is. It’s neither beneficial nor appropriate for you to give him your opinions at this point.
“Taking things to the next level” in a relationship is all about learning how to love and accept each other at a deeper level. It is not about how to change him to make you happier.
Want more from Steve? Grab his free e-book: The Hard to Swallow Secret to Saving Your Marriage. Want Heather’s take? Get her two cents here.