A Little Overweight
March 15, 1999 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
Okay Dr. Love here it goes.
I think I am in a relationship with a wonderful man. You see He and I are best friends and I have fallen in love with him. He on the other hand says that he loves me but is not in love with me(whatever that is supposed to mean). We spend all of our time together and yes we are sexually active with each other only.
I am a little overweight and he says he has always had a complex about overweight people so I guess that is why he is not 'in love' with me. other than that we seem to be soulmates. we think alike, like the same things, read each others mind and do those 'little things'that mean so much. .
So what do you think am I wasting my time on this young man? By the way I forgot to mention that I want to get married and he seems to be confused about what he wants at this time.
I am very distressed to see that you turning this man's problem against yourself. ('I am a little overweight so I guess that 's why he is not in love with me. ') When you take the heat you protect this man from facing the real issue that he is struggling with: He has a deep fear of intimacy and commitment and he is using your weight as a smoke screen. As long as you are overweight, he can say that you aren't marriage material, but, the fact is that he chose a woman who is full-figured so that he could have an excuse not to marry.
What is most disturbing here is that he is disowning his real issue and projecting the problem onto you (if you were thin I'd love you. ) Basically, he needs to own his own issue. He also needs to see that his fear or reluctance to marry has nothing to do with your weight. If you lost weight, he'd still be scared to marry.
We also need to discuss your piece in this equation. I am sad to see how low your self-esteem is. You wouldn't buy into this guy's explanation of why he doesn't love you if you weren't already feeling pretty crummy about yourself. The fact that you don't feel loveable is the really important issue here. If you don't feel worthy of love at whatever size you are, how can you expect to find a partner who loves you? He merely echoes how you feel about yourself.
My point is, you need to work on how you feel about yourself. Find out where your low self-esteem comes from. I am sure it doesn't originate with your being overweight now. This kind of feeling goes way back. Perhaps mom or a dad made you feel unworthy of their love. Perhaps you were abused. Abused children often blame themselves for their parents'mistreatment of them and think, 'If I were a better kid, mom or dad would love me.' Can you see that this is what you are doing with your lover when you say, 'Well I guess he doesn't love me because I'm overweight.'
You need to see how this relationship recreats the climate of your childhood. You need to see how angry and disappointed you were with your parents and you need to stop directing blame at yourself. Your parents were supposed to love you no matter what and this man is supposed to love you and commit to you even if you are overweight. If he has such an aversion to heavy women then he shouldn't be with you at all.
You deserve someone who loves all of you, every inch and pound. When you feel more deserving of love, you will be in a much stronger position to put your foot down with him and make him face his issues. When you feel better about yourself, talk to him about his need to face his real fears and resolve them. When you no longer feel undesirable and defective, you will not allow him to deflect the focus off onto you and you will press him to face himself. If he refuses, you will have to decide whether you want to remain in a relationship that makes you feel defective.
Let me know how you do. And, keep in mind, you may need to do some of this self-work with the help of a therapist.
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