"She's Fit, Boyfriend's Fat" -- Any problems with that?

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Hot like sauce
Jan 30, 2008
On the way to my email, I came across this column. I'm already anticipating the wonderful comments this piece is sure to attract; I found some half-truths surprisingly. Please have at it Dimmers and thanks!

She's Fit, Boyfriend's Fat
Her boyfriend of four months has been told he's in danger of diabetes, yet does nothing, even when she nags him about his bad habits. Our expert explains that they both might need to change their ways…
By Sherry Amatenstein, LMSW

Q. I'm 44, never married, and in excellent shape. That fact comes into play because my boyfriend of 4 months is 50, has a beer belly, eats junk food, and rarely works out. This is particularly heinous because he's been warned he's in danger of developing diabetes. I find myself nagging him to eat decently, go to the doctor, etc. What's wrong with him for being so careless?
— Denni

A. Here is something to chew on while you're trying to snatch that candy from your beloved's mouth: His weight and wellness habits are not your responsibility. According to Dorothea Hover-Kramer, EdD, RN, "In my over 30 years of counseling I find women fall into caregiver roles much too easily." The author of Second Chance at Your Dream adds, "Men need to grow up and take responsibility for their health, looks, and quality of life."

Dr. Dan Ardebili disagrees with that assessment of his brethren. The author of How to Attract the Person of Your Dreams and Keep Them points out, "It's easy to think that most men are babies. But there are plenty who are not. Most of the time I see women attracting these 'babies' because they feel the need to be a mother figure."

Both viewpoints have validity. It's wrong to infantilize all middle-aged men even though there are those who seem not to pay attention to their health until something goes wrong. Still, ask yourself why you are dating someone who you feel shouldn't be allowed outside without a keeper. Linda Franklin, creator of therealcougarwoman.com, a social network for women over 40, says, "The nagging and cajoling it takes to get him to stay in shape comes with too high a price to pay. You will inevitably build up resentment, projecting his careless behavior as a reflection of how he feels about you."

Okay, warning heeded — but you love the guy, flabby belly and all. Would he feel the same about you if you let yourself go? Nancy Michaels, a 44-year-old Massachusetts divorced mother of three states, "Men have specific criteria about how their partner needs to look, yet I see women who are with men who are not their physical equivalents and never say a word unless it involves their partner's health."

Michaels is clearly channeling Cindy Tanner: Tanner, a 40-year-old New York banker, hits the gym three times a week and is a vegan. Her 44-year-old boyfriend has a gym membership card that's gathering dust, eats a large pasta dish each night at 11 before passing out on the couch, and hasn't been to a doctor in 10 years. His profession? Plastic surgeon. Tanner says, "He knows better but is too lazy to take care of himself. I love him even with his big tummy."

For those with less of a laissez-faire attitude toward their fitness-challenged man, try this: Cut back on the nagging and amp up the TLC. Michaels, founder of matchgonewrong.com recommends, "Don't say anything about his looks. He's already struggling with that." And opt for a team approach. Michaels suggests saying, "I'd like to eat healthier and get more exercise. Would you do it with me?"

If he can't or won't budge, either love him — love handles and all — or consider that the weight you need to drop is his scale-tipping 220 pounds.
Here's the source link: http://lifestyle.msn.com/relationships/articlemore.aspx?cp-documentid=16193878&GT1=32023

All of these points have been said and done, but the conflicting spins on "infantilizing" men hit a nerve. There's a topic: DISCUSS!


King Of The Robo-Sluts
Nov 3, 2008
Well, the way I see it, is that many guys fall into one of these two categories, while the rest settle in the middle:

Mamma's boys: Guys who built up an idealism of women based on their mom. The infantilized ones mentioned in the article are an example. Relationships where the woman is the primary caregiver usually occur if the man is of this nature. They do the home-front while the guy works and comes home to dinner or whatever. This is the "traditional" relationship.

Independants: Ones who are determined to find a woman the exact opposite of the woman they grew up with most of their life. May look for a very independant, outgoing girl to almost defy his stastion of life. In this relationship, she might be the bringer of the bacon, so to speak, while he takes care of the home. A preverbial role-switch of tradition. These guys don't objectify women as much, but also can take on a more "bitchy" role in the relationship, and drive away women who have that caregiver trait.

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