General Question

fibonaccisghost's avatar

What should I tell my girlfriend?

Asked by fibonaccisghost (7points) February 2nd, 2009

We’ve been together for three or four months now. We have a great past of communication and I know we can talk about anything, but right now I’m at a loss of what I should tell her.

Forgive me if this comes off sounding piggish.

I like my girlfriend’s physical appearance now, but she’s told me that she lost a lot of weight. I never knew her back then and I’m happy with her weight now, so I didn’t see any need to further the issue. Last night I happened to see some pictures of her on facebook from when she was heavier. My first emotion was repulsion and that kills me. I don’t consider myself a very appearance driven person and I really do like her for more than her current appearance.

I’m so ashamed that thats what I thought first and now I keep seeing those images in my head. She exercises a lot now and she’s said she likes the weight she’s at currently, so I don’t think she’s ever going to return to that weight

The question is, should I even tell her that I’ve seen the pictures? I feel like I need to say something because we’re pretty open about things and it’ll probably be clear that I have something on my mind. I’ve thought about telling that I saw them and that I’m proud of her for losing the weight… I just don’t know.

Any advice would be appreciated.

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20 Answers

Likeradar's avatar

I think telling her you’re proud of her would be a good idea. Ignoring the fast that you saw the pictures wouldn’t be helpful to your relationship, but expressing your repulsion even a little bit wouldn’t be even a little helpful either.

I’ve never been obese, but my weight has definitley gone up and down. The best motivation to stay in shape is a guy who ooohs and ahhhhs over your body and does NOTHING to make you feel bad about yourself if you gain a pound or two.

I’m glad you recognize that it sounds piggish.

People are attracted to what they’re attracted to- if you wouldn’t have dated your girlfriend at her former size, that’s fine. Just keep in mind who she is now, and love her not only for the physical parts of her, but for who she is as a person.

basp's avatar

I see it a little differently than Likeradar…

Sometimes things are best left unsaid. And I don’t think that is compromisng open communication.
I do agree, however, that it would be helpful to compliment her on how she works at staying in shape and encourage her to continue.
You might even want to start doing things with her that are good for keeping in shape like hiking or bicycling, or something like that.

dynamicduo's avatar

Agreeing with basp. If and only if she starts asking you why you’re being a bit weird or distant should you be honest with her, and make it clear that it’s completely not an issue with her but it’s simply something that is resounding with you and your mind. Otherwise, you should really get over what you saw and embrace your love for who she is currently instead of indulging in and being controlled by your feelings for a person who literally no longer exists.

She may or may not enjoy talking or thinking about the way she previously was. The fact that she told you seems to indicate that she has no problems with sharing and talking about this. At the same time, you really should not tell her that you were repulsed by what you saw – nothing good will come of this. Seriously. Think about it for a second. You’re complaining about a person who no longer exists. What good will come from that? It’s not something she can change or even help with, it’s your behavior and your thoughts that are the only things that can be changed.

Sakata's avatar

I’m sure you’re going to get a lot of answers on this question (most of ‘em long too) so I’m just gonna give you GQ lurve and step out of the way.

marinelife's avatar

1. Telling her you have felt repulsion about her at any point for any reason is hurtful and selfish (sort of you wanting to dump your bad feelings onto her).

2. Letting her know that you are appearance-driven and shallow (I am sorry, but the facts as you have recounted them speak for themselves) is probably a good idea so she knows who you are. You can do that without personally attacking her by saying something like, “I know you told me that you lost a lot of weight. I am not very proud of this, but I am not attracted to overweight people.” Withholding this information, which is critical to who you are, is not fair to her. She needs to have the chance to decide if she wants to date someone like you.

3. Go with Basp’s very sound advice and do active things and exercise with her and support her.

4. Avoid obsessing on this (such as watching evey bite she eats).

5. Consider working on your own issues. The woman in those pictures that “repulsed” you is the same woman you are dating now.

kevbo's avatar

6. Watch “Shallow Hal.”

MissAnthrope's avatar

I would say never say anything of the sort to her. Especially if you feel like she’s going to stay at that weight. As someone who has struggled with her weight forever, it’d be embarrassing and hurtful to hear my SO was repulsed by my past self. It’s who she was, which is only relevant in that it is a leadup to who she is now.

Telling her that is selfish in that you know it’s hurtful, but you want to do it anyway to unload your feelings so you’ll feel better. Just don’t.. it’s a bad idea.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@fibonaccisghost, what’s interesting in all this is that regardless of your girlfriend’s weight, you’ve realized something about yourself that’s not really attractive. You could tell her about seeing the pictures, and being repulsed, but I would only do that if you want to give her a good reason to dump your sorry ass. Because what she’s going to hear isn’t that you’re proud of the fact that she had the motivation and willpower do something extremely difficult, but that you think she’s ugly and unattractive STILL. The person isn’t any different; only the packaging. Perhaps you should tell her. She deserves a better boyfriend.

Sakata's avatar

As a man, it’s your job to lie to women when the need arises. Just remember that too.

May2689's avatar

Here’s an example:
In FRIENDS, Monica was HUGEEEEE back in college, and Chandler thought she was really fat and ugly. Then Monica lost all that weight and she had a stunning body. When Chandler saw her, he forgot all about the fat Monica and wanted skinny Monica.
Then they got married.
You shouldnt care about your girlfriends appearance BEFORE, because you were not a couple back then. You should care about how she looks now because now you are together. Let go of her past image!!!

Likeradar's avatar

I agree with what most people are saying (aside from the fact that I think it’s ok to say you saw the pictures and are proud of her, and some people don’t think you should say anything).

The difference is, I don’t think he’s necessarily shallow. People are attracted to what they’re attracted to- yes, you can surprise yourself with what you find attractive, but the OP just isn’t into heavy girls. And that’s ok. Marina has an interesting point though. If you really are that turned off by a heavier girl perhaps your GF should know that… I’m not sure how that could be brought up in a constructive, unoffensive way though.

gailcalled's avatar

@fibonnaci: Are you starting to notice that your hair is thinning? Does male pattern baldness run in your family. Are your older male relatives still the picture of the physical perfection they were when young? Are their partners?

KrystaElyse's avatar

I understand the fact that you want to get it off your chest and tell her that you saw the photos, but trust me, it doesn’t matter if you were “just being honest” with her because you feel like you can talk about anything. This is the time you’re supposed to be reassuring and tell her she looks absolutely beautiful. Don’t bring up the past. Have you ever heard of the saying “let sleeping dogs lie”? If you’re afraid that she won’t maintain her weight, then maybe you two can spend some time exercising together as a couple.

onesecondregrets's avatar

A road I’ve travelled down. I lost 60 lbs in the last year and I have had people who didn’t know me when I was disgusting, see evidence of it and tell me how repulsive it is. Worst feeling ever. But the best feeling ever? When people see what I was and congratulate me, and tell me they are proud, and impressed, and let me know how good I look now.

She knows what she was like, how she isn’t that way any more and her self acceptance and validation are the most important things. If she accepts what she was, and that that’s no longer what she is, and even moreso accepts her body now- do NOTHING to rattle that. You know your girlfriend better than any of us. If you personally think telling her you saw the pictures is a good idea then go for it but ONLY if you have positive reinforcing things to say to her. Do not let her know the negative feelings or thoughts you had, unless you want to lose her.

cwilbur's avatar

What do you expect the outcome of telling her to be? Do you think it can have any positive result at all?

If the answer to that is “no,” then don’t say a word.

cak's avatar

So…..who exactly are you dating? Girl from the past or girl in the moment?

I would wonder if you could really keep this piggish (but some credit for admitting it) attitude to yourself; or, are you going to blurt it out at some random moment.

chameleon's avatar

say however you feel it, me and my girlfriend are able to talk almost about anything about ourselves. Just don`t build up the tension. When you say it nicely she won`t be offended

Perchik's avatar

I think some of you are being a little hard on the guy. Physical attraction is important and none of you are perfect. If it’s not weight that repulses you, it’s something. Perhaps you wouldn’t date someone with a prosthetic limb or a lazy eye. I hardly believe that anyone here is completely oblivious to appearance.

That being said, I think people are right when they said not to mention that you were repulsed by her pictures. Maybe tell her you saw them and you’re proud of her for losing the weight, but even then, you’d have to be careful to say it in a way that doesn’t imply you like her better now.

Good Luck.

Loubylou44's avatar

I used to be a lot bigger and I keep a picture of my ‘bigger self’ in the kitchen as a reminder of where not to go. My bf back then told me that if I was that big now he’d not have looked at me! He lasted three weeks with me and I’ve NEVER forgotten how hurtful that remark was.

Don’t say anything abouther former self but tell her how great she looks today, as others have said, you’re dating the girl now, not a few years ago or whatever. Compliments are fantastic, insults are the pits!


Sakata's avatar

How about this…
If you say something now and she gains the weight back then you’re stuck with her knowing what you said…
...and she WILL bring it up…
...every 10 minutes…

if you live that long

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