Artwork: Tess Emily Rodriguez
She’s made all the mistakes, so you don’t have to… Ask Erin is a weekly advice column, in which Erin answers your burning questions about anything at all.
There’s this girl I met on Bumble. At first, I was only looking to hookup, but I think I caught feelings a little.
She's a little overweight, which bothers me since I'm an athlete and I want to do very active activities. I could probably do them with her, but I feel like I would be annoyed having to slow down for her.
I enjoy spending time with her, but I feel like I'm leading her on since I don't see us in a long term relationship.
Even though I only see this as a short term thing, it hurts to let go of someone I like and who likes me back way more than I do her. She constantly sends me messages like "hope you have a nice day today" or " enjoy the rest of your night." I appreciate this, but we have only been together three times. I feel like she fell for me too hard, and I'm scared to hurt someone I like.
The worst part is I'm leaving for seven weeks. I'm really going to be wasting her time if I don't say something quick because I know she's going to wait for me. What should I do?
Do I keep seeing her in the hopes that I can look past her weight, or do I end things before it will really hurt her?
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Where do I begin? Let me start with a giant eye roll. And then let’s get into the assortment of issues here.
There’s a whole group of men like you, men who are attracted to fat women but ashamed of it. The bottom line is this—
You don’t deserve her.
This woman deserves to be with someone, even in the short term, who likes her for who she is, just as she is. If you think this can’t be long term because of her weight, please do her a favor and end this. How horrible would you feel if there was some physical aspect about you that made her say the same thing—I couldn’t be with this guy long term?
What’s even sadder about this is that you said you “caught feelings” too. But you can’t get past her size. Then why start this in the first place? I’m not saying you have to force yourself to be attracted to someone you are not, but you are attracted to this person, and you have developed feelings, even though this is pretty new.
So here we are. What to do now?
You need to be clear with her about where your head is at.
No, I’m not saying you should tell her that this isn’t going anywhere because she is bigger than you want her to be. That would be mean. Tell her you’re not interested in any sort of committed relationship with her.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep things casual (although your reasons are crappy), but be honest about it. Don’t be that jerk who leads people on, or tells people what they want to hear at the moment, so you get your needs met.
As a side note to your concern that she won’t be able to keep up with you because of her size...insert another eye roll.
Please don’t make assumptions about her health, her ability, her athleticism based on her weight. I know larger people who are amazing athletes and thin people who are terrible athletes. It’s pointless, and frankly dumb, to guess what she is capable of without knowing from firsthand experience.
And another side note, you also mentioned that you’re leaving for seven weeks. This is kind of pertinent information to give someone you are dating. It seems, from your email, that you’re not great at communicating honestly with people you date. Dude, you’ve got a whole lot of red flags, and I think you need to think about that before you date anyone.
You know what the right thing to do is. That’s why you wrote to me. That’s why this is bothering you so much. You have a conscience. Let that conscience guide you.
Let this woman go so she can find someone who wants to be with her and appreciates her for who she is today.
And the next time you meet someone on Bumble, be transparent from the start about your time constraints and wanting to keep things casual. No one benefits from this lack of clarity, not even you.
The information within Ask Erin should in no way be interpreted as medical advice because I’m not a medical professional. But I am here to help — to share the wisdom I’ve gained after years of making mistakes. If you have a question for me about relationships, addiction, dating, friendships, depression, parenting, sex, consent, what I’m watching, what I’m reading, what I’m listening to, Emerald, or anything at all, use the contact form below or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, your anonymity is golden.
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