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Weighty matter


EternalOptimis

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I have a friend who has been going out with someone for 10 months or so. I’ve met her. She’s lovely; pretty face and very intellectual. I can see why they connect. But she’s not his “normal” type; specifically, she is quite overweight, and I’ve only ever seen him with thin to average women.

 

He is very reserved and only ever had long term relationships. He would never in a million years post on a public forum. But having got him drunk over Christmas, he confided that he struggles with how to end it with her. I was shocked but asked why, and he said though he was surprised by how long it had gone on, he was not physically attracted to her.

 

I find I have no idea what advice to give him.

 

I think he had struggled with this for a while and finally, deciding he could not, nor has the right, to ask her to change, decided he ought to end it for both their sakes. But now doesn’t know if he owes her the truth or lie about the reasons (“we’re not getting on”, etc). I get the impression they already traded "I love you"s.

 

My inclination is to advise him to lie. After nearly a year she is bound to know she’s not his type without him having to say it.

 

I think he has already made up his mind to end it. Any opinions how he could / should handle it? I’ve known him for ten years and I think he would be mortified to tell someone they’re too fat / he’s not physically attracted to them.

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You're right in that, if he's a decent person, he won't throw in a "you're fat" to top off the heartbreak. I think it's very unfortunate he's relented for a year despite not being physically attracted to her, but the best he can do at this point is not waste any more of her time and make it even more difficult on her later.

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Very touchy subject, and given the length of time together, it's going to be hard for her regardless of how he does it.

 

A simple "I've realized this will not be my forever relationship" should suffice. If she presses him, he can just say that he doesn't feel what he hoped he'd feel, at close to a year, which is true.

 

And leave it at that.

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It's fine to confide in you that he's not attracted to her. However he should use some diplomacy when ending it with her.

I think he had struggled with this for a while and finally, deciding he could not, nor has the right, to ask her to change, decided he ought to end it for both their sakes. But now doesn’t know if he owes her the truth or lie about the reasons (“we’re not getting on”, etc).

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What's he does don't call her fat in anyway shape or form. I put on a bit of weight due to a medical condition that nearly killed me. I was active and tried everything to loose weight but it's not that easy. In a row he called me a "fat slag" and trust me that's never left my head :-(

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He's hopefully learned not to involve himself to such a 'deep' degree with anyone he's not attracted to--where on earth did he believe that this would go?

 

We live in a land of mirrors, so it makes no sense to tell an overweight person something they already know. All relationships being voluntary, we don't 'owe' anyone a 'good enough' reason to exit a relationship that's not working for us. So that's what I'd say, "This isn't working for me, and it's nothing you've done or could have done differently. I'm unable to feel the degree of intensity that I hoped I'd feel by now, and I've come to realize that I'm not able to invest in a future together."

 

We all need to play the role of 'bad guy' in order to break up a relationship, so I wouldn't try to play therapist or mitigate another's heartbreak. That doesn't work, and it only makes things messier than they need to be.

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