So, I've been dating this wonderful fox, and he's sweet and caring, and just about everything I could have asked for. Sounds great, right? He also has this bad habit of being shallow, and seems to consider it a badge of honor that he, quote, “Stayed with me when he saw what I looked like,” even though he constantly says he thinks I'm beautiful and pretty. I'm only two hundred pounds, but he can make me feel like I'm two thousand. Other than this one thing, he's nearly perfect; neither he nor my friends seem to understand that it hurts ... a lot, as I have tried to discuss my feelings with them. Am I just being insecure or what?
Rose (age 20)
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There is a difference between being “insecure” and being offended by an insult. Insecure people find fault with themselves even when nobody is saying anything bad about them, but if someone deliberately insults you, you are permitted to get pissed off. You were insulted in a very passive-aggressive way that is quite infuriating and reveals your fox to be a shallow git. We have a bit of a contradiction here in that in one breath you describe him as sweet and caring and, in the next, shallow and insulting. You can’t be both. He has a serious character flaw.
Now, as I’ve said before in this blog, no one is perfect. We all make mistakes and say stupid things. But it sounds like fox does this on a pretty regular basis, and you have tried to explain to the fox (and friends) that when they belittle your appearance it hurts your feelings. Yet, they keep doing it. Why? If fox is really a good (and halfway intelligent) person, he would feel bad for what he’s done and stop insulting you because he cares about you.
Now that I’ve told you you’re not being insecure, you need to go to him and demand a straight answer: “Which is it? Do you think I’m pretty or not?” If he says not, then you have your answer and you should probably find a new boyfriend. If he says you are, then ask, “Then why do you make me feel bad about my weight?” The answer you will likely get is something lame such as, “Oh, I was just teasing you; I didn’t mean it.” Then you come back with, “If you don’t mean it, then why say it?” If he repeats that it was a joke, tell him you don’t find it funny and he needs to stop it now. Or, if he just gets tongue tied and makes no reply, tell him to get back to you when he figures it out, but in the meantime you don’t want to see him.
If I were to make a guess, judging by your letter, I would say fox is keeping you as a girlfriend until someone skinnier comes along, and then he’ll dump you. He flatters you on the one paw to keep you (have you had sex with him? that’s a motivation on his part, as well), but he insults you to keep the door open for when he decides it’s time to find someone else. This is highly manipulative and reprehensible behavior, I hope you will see.
If I were you, I would give fox two choices: either the insults stop, or the two of you need to break up. You deserve better.
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