Hi Doc, really need your advice about a sensitive topic –
So first things first, this is going to be a long one. A little background; I’m what you may describe as a “late bloomer” to the dating world. I’m a 29 year old woman who never went out on any kind of date in middle/high school, never even kissed a guy until I was 23 (b.t.w. still a virgin, but that’s a whole other topic). I’m extremely shy and introverted, preferring to spend my nights home watching my favorite anime shows, browsing the internet, going out for walks around my neighborhood, etc. I do occasionally go out with my friends on the weekends, but that tends to be the exception, not the rule.
So my question is, about a year ago, I was set up with a guy that some friends of mine thought would really click with me. He was a total geek like me, shy (i.e. he needed a couple of shots and a can of beer before I even arrived to be able to talk to me), hadn’t been serious with anyone for about a year since breaking up with his last girlfriend. Lo and behold, we did end up clicking that night! When we made plans for dinner for the following week, I was ecstatic; I felt like, finally, I was entering the dating world! Our next date consisted of dinner and later a really loud bar. We ended up dating for about 6 months, and I thought things were great for the first few months, but… then I realized, that I wasn’t sexually attracted to him.
To be fair, I didn’t have any initial sexual feelings for him when we first met, and nothing seemed to develop for the 6 months we dated, but I thought I would give him a chance, see where it would go. I wanted to see if I could look past the things that kind of bugged me, like how he was a chatterbox due to the fact that he was “nervous and felt like he needed to impress me”. Coo, I understand, but there’s nothing wrong with silence every now and then. About 5 months into our relationship, make-out sessions turned into what I would describe as “heavy petting”, but still no penetration. Truth be told, I’m still not entirely sure that I was ever ready for even going as far as we did, but I had a hard time saying no to him, since it technically wasn’t sex, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. However, I think that the main reason that I wasn’t attracted to him (and I feel like such a bitch admitting this) was because he was overweight.
I’ve struggled with body image issues myself (I was a loner in high school, never felt like I was good enough to go out with anyone), so I know how it feels to be the “fat, lonely loser” (his words, not mine). I recently lost about 20 pounds, and have adapted a healthier lifestyle (watching what I eat, try to get enough exercise, etc.). He, on the other hand, couldn’t cook for himself (I mean, he literally burnt microwavable foods on a regular basis), was content to eat out every night, and thought of gas station food as the main staple of his diet. Near the end of our relationship, I was afraid that our lifestyles would not mesh, and that I would end up adapting his lifestyle and returning to that person who I never wanted to be again. I was seriously depressed at my heaviest, which is part of the reason that I have that fear of regaining all that weight and then some.
With all the body-positive images that are so prevalent these days, it makes it even worse for me when my jerk-brain tells me that I’m heartless for dumping this guy just because we didn’t click sexually (which is a BIG deal-breaker, I know, but still), and that I wasn’t physically attracted to him. I know that movie/TV characters are/can be fan-service (for both female as well as male fans), and that the male definition of “perfection” is a lie fed to us by the media, and I feel that these messages are contributing to egging my brain on to drag me down into the dumps about not feeling it for this guy. Or am I really heartless who could’ve/should’ve let the relationship go on for just a little longer to see if my feelings would change?
I’d greatly appreciate any insight as to whether I’m really heartless or not over this.
Just Too Picky?