DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: When I see lovers holding hands in the mall I'm bitterly reminded of what I don't have because I'm fat. Nobody wants to get naked with a guy who's over 300 pounds and five-foot-eight. I lost about 100 pounds a few years ago and still couldn't get a woman, so I slowly gave in and put it all back on. Now my doctor tells me I have to take off 120 lbs, or I could die. I'm 37, with a high-pressure professional job. I already have diabetes and high blood pressure and kidney problems. The thing that kept me on the diet the last time was the possibility of finding love and marriage with a beautiful woman. But, nobody wanted me even though I stayed at around 200 for a whole year. Still, I was nothing to nobody. I dressed real nice and flirted online but when I would meet a girl I could see the disappointment in her eyes. Same verdict every time -- "Thanks for dinner, no chemistry." Don't tell me to become a chubby-chaser myself. Fat women only remind me of what I am, a big loser. -- So Lonely, Winnipeg
Dear Lonely: One of the happiest couples I know met online because he was happy to meet women with "a few extra pounds" -- the online expression for overweight. You, sir, equate heaviness with being a loser. He doesn't, and he's met a beautiful, larger woman he adores. She's bright, attractive, funny and lively. Because you view yourself as a bad choice, the expression on your face at 200 lbs was probably the "you-won't-like-me" expression you wore at 300 lbs. What you really need, while losing weight to save your life, is accompanying help with your feelings and beliefs and past problems. Start with Overeaters Anonymous (334-9008) in combination with a personal psychologist who specializes in weight issues. Make yourself the priority for 2011 and "looking for love" a project in 2012. Go at your problems with multiple resources -- a diabetes dietitian, a home treadmill (second hand and rental places have them), a personal trainer, self-help books. Get into hobbies you enjoy and charity work as an exercise in giving (note the joy it brings). Talk to your physician immediately about depression, and ask for referrals to many resources.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This is for Not His Possession, the woman who finds herself married to an old-fashioned man from the Bible Belt. My advice? She should get out of the marriage while the getting's good. She's another woman with a 12-year-old "man." And he's dishonest. He mentioned none of this BS about 'I'm the man/boss of the house/marriage before they got married -- because he knew she'd walk. And now he's all pouty and sulky when he doesn't get his own way. I'm surprised he didn't cry. But then he's OK when she cooks his favourite meal? Well, isn't that special! Does this woman seriously want to spend the next 50 years of her life dealing with this sooky baby? Send him back to his mommy (let her change his diapers) and find herself a real man. -- Run For It! Winnipeg
Dear Run For It: Whoa! This seems to have touched a nerve in you. Actually, it's surprising how many modern people snap back into old-fashioned parental roles from their families. Most often it happens unintentionally with one of the partners, but it ruins things just the same. The person who seemed egalitarian before the wedding morphs into an old-fashioned marriage partner and expects the other person to revert as well. Often counselling can save a marriage, if it happens early on, but new couples are embarrassed to end up in a counselling office so soon after the big splashy wedding. Still, it's the best time to go to nipw destructive behaviours in the bud.
Questions or comments? Write Miss Lonelyhearts c/o Winnipeg Free Press 1355 Mountain Ave. Wpg R2X 3B6 or email firstname.lastname@example.org