I met a guy online, and we’ve gone on four dates. Our first time out was so great that I somehow missed the fact that he’s about 50 pounds overweight. (I realized it as he was walking toward me on the second date. Men can be pear-shaped?!) I want to say “Fine, whatever,” because I’ve struggled with my weight and body image my whole life. But two years ago I stopped dieting, started hitting the gym regularly, and lost 20 pounds. I’m no skinny girl—I could stand to lose another 20—but I do pay attention to the kinds of foods I eat and the amount of exercise I get. My mom survived a stroke, and I want to avoid having one myself. His dad died from a stroke, but he told a waitress to hold the salad that came with his deep-fried entrée. In fact, I’ve yet to see him ingest anything resembling produce.
I’m not in the business of changing anybody, and it’s too early to tell if we have a strong-enough foundation for a relationship, but he’s a good guy, and good guys are hard to find. But it’s important to me that the guy I’m with is willing to try to live past 50 (he’s in his 40s). So it’s a catch-22: You don’t bring up a sensitive issue like weight/health unless you’re deeply involved with someone, but if you think you might be on the road to Deeply Involved, you want to make sure you both know where you stand so you can call it quits or make a go of it. How and when do I go about bringing up this issue?
Woman, how drunk were you that you missed 50 pounds when you met him? Not 10, not 20, but 50? That’s about what a second-grader weighs. That’s five 10-pound bags of sugar. Two of the 25-pound boxes of cat litter I have delivered because it’s too heavy to carry. Fifty pounds is a lot to overlook, Sweet Cheeks. He’s either one charming motherfucker or you really need to adjust your beer googles.
You’re right—it’s way too soon to have a deep discussion about the junk in his trunk. Think how mortified you would’ve been 20 pounds ago if some guy had told you that while you were a great girl, your saddlebags got in the way of his feelings. I know firsthand how shitty it feels, because I dated a jerk who kept telling me I needed to be more like Kate Moss and I could only do that by making less of me. Like most mortals who dine on solids, even at my scrawniest, I was bigger than Ms. Moss. His bitchery didn’t make me eat less, either; in fact, I think my french-fry consumption actually peaked during that relationship.
So no, you’re right—you can’t really talk to him about it, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring it up. What I would do is plan the next date carefully. Do something healthy. Not spin-class-level healthy, but maybe a hike. Or ask him if he wants to try kayaking or rock-climbing or something else a little taxing.
It could be that he’s a physically fit chunky monkey. Would you be interested in him then? (Though a refusal to eat vegetables doesn’t bode well.) You need to decide whether or not you like him as he is right now, because he’s a man, not a project. If you can’t get past his fat, throw him back—plenty of ladies love a bulky boy.