Dear Love Doctor

Am I Being Shallow Or Realistic?

Why not send former Kingston-resident Love Doctor your relationship queries? Use the form to submit your question(s).


I’m feeling bad because I’ve totally gone off my long-term partner. Although we’ve been dating for four years she’s done nothing, apart from pile on the pounds because of middle-age spread and subsequently drinking much more alcohol.

I’m deliberately spending less time with her as she’s getting so much bigger. This year I’ve totally avoided being intimate with her. She’s had to buy bigger clothes over the past year. They look awful on her as she’s not one to splash the cash. She’s totally let herself go compared to when we first met.

I don’t want to hurt her feelings. At the moment I feel obliged to still date her. Will I ever find her attractive again or do I cut my losses and move on?


Andre, Portland

Love Doctor MontiLove Doctor’s Answer:

Men are visual creatures, so naturally become shallow in terms of looks. Love is meant to be an uplifting experience, and in your case this has seemingly come crashing down.

This is because you are allowing so much importance of judging your partner on looks rather than her behaviour, character and personality.

Relationships are effectively a transaction, with most ladies losing their looks after a certain age. However, their trump cards tend to be the fact that they “won” a property through a divorce and the fact that they have learned from their previous mistakes.

Middle-aged men, on the other hand, are often forced to downgrade in terms of property ownership. Fortunately for men, many are like fine wine so they can improve with age in terms of confidence and looks, assets that will ultimately attract ladies.

Although looks do fade over time, character doesn’t. If you were enamoured by this lady for so long but no longer find her attractive based on her putting on weight then yes you are definitely being super shallow.

Your romantic interest in her has clearly waned, so surely she will have got an inkling about this — especially as you haven’t been intimate this year — but is probably playing it cool and waiting for you to break-up.


This means that you need to address this lack of romance in your soul, as you aren’t going to suggest that she loses weight or purchases attire that suits her.

Putting on weight could be related to her going through “the change” that women have to endure. There’s a reason why she’s turned to booze, which tends to be an escape route to mask an emotional problem.

Can you be supportive to her with what her body is going through and the fact that she’s drinking more than usual. A loving relationship is built on mutual trust, respect and support.

It appears that you haven’t put yourself in her shoes, and that you are preoccupied by looks. You will no doubt agree that she deserves someone who adores her through thick and thin, rather than you unless you can alter your attitude.

Ask yourself how you would feel if you split up, she lost weight and was soon in someone else’s arms. Would you be jealous or happy for her? If you truly love her then you should be happy.

You both deserve to find happiness, and obviously at the moment are not making each other happy. Going through the motions of dating her when you really would rather not definitely needs to be addressed.

It sounds like you are emotionally immature, so need to finally let her go. If you trade this love interest in for a younger model then the same biological problems of “the change” will resurface in time.

You can’t realistically spend your entire life going for an “upgrade” all of the time, because you’ll start to lose your looks and obviously the age gap can only cope within reason. I have found that, generally speaking, a 13-year age gap is the maximum if you want a long-term relationship to run smoothly.

You aren’t going to be able to cope with this current squeeze, you should definitely draw a line under this ailing partnership as neither of you are able to fulfil each other’s needs and desires. It’s not worth trying to rekindle this, as you are 100% in a doomed relationship.


Relationships can run their course for a number of reasons, and in this scenario it is because you are the one being shallow. Therefore it is best to end this temporary misery for you both, because it seems highly unlikely that you’ll find her attractive like you used to.

She deserves a man who can truly love her, warts and all. She may need time to get over a split and could turn to food and drink to cope with her heartache.

You, on the other hand, will easily move on because it doesn’t sound as though you actually love her so aren’t likely to be heartbroken. Seriously consider the sort of partner to avoid before you embark on another romantic journey, so that you won’t experience the same sort of dilemma.

However, if you want to find a meaningful long-term relationship then you need to stop being so judgmental in terms of looks, otherwise you’ll never find true happiness.

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