Love Letters: He Has Some Extra Pounds

Hi Meredith,

I have been single for about a year with some relationships for a few months here and there but nothing that had future potential. Recently I met a guy who seems to have everything I've been looking for in a partner. My only concern is the physical. He is not overweight by any means, just tends to hold some extra pounds in the stomach area.

I work out a few times a week and that's important to me, but he has clearly stated that he is OK with his appearance, and I can appreciate that he is confident with who he is no matter what. I am starting to wonder whether I'll be able to accept this. Will I feel awkward if we are at the beach? I do not want to be superficial in any way but I can't help how I feel.

Do I walk away from someone who could be an ideal match because of something that would be a minuscule problem to some people but is a big deal to me? Please advise ...

– Trying Not to be Superficial, Needham

Are you attracted to this guy? Do you want to sleep with him? If so, keep dating him. Remember that as we age, our bodies change. You won't be able to find someone who looks good at the beach forever.

But if you have no physical chemistry with this man and find yourself staring at his stomach wondering how many sit-ups he'd have to do to make it all go away, please end the relationship, because he is not an ideal match.

Your complaint does sound shallow. But ... it's possible that what you're really saying is that you need to find someone who shares your priorities when it comes to health and exercise. Maybe that's more important than the other qualities on your checklist.

If you're still fixated on the belly after a few weeks of dating, you're not going to be able to get around it. Superficial or not, that's just the way it is.

Readers? Should she learn to deal with the waistline? Is the belly a symbol for something else? Is this more about lifestyle differences? How much time should she give it?

– Meredith