Doc Love Dating Advice

HOW DOES STEDMAN TELL OPRAH SHE’S PACKING ON THE POUNDS?
                          Women Don’t Lie - Men Don’t Listen
                                  Success Coach - Doc Love

Hey Doc,

I happened to stumble across your columns when I was surfing for love advice and I thought you might be able to help me.

Jeanna and I have been dating for several years. I’ve tried to get her to marry me on occasion, but she seems content with the way things are. I still nudge her about it from time to time, but since it never works, I’ve given up and now just accept our relationship for what it is. I’m 50, by the way, and she’s 46 and we’ve both abandoned the idea of having kids, so I guess it’s no big deal.

My problem is Jeanna’s weight. She’s a detective on our police force here in New York City, and her job is very stressful – it involves investigating homicides and other violent crimes. When her duties become particularly nerve-wracking, she has a tendency to overeat – donuts, pizza, pastrami sandwiches and the like, and to do it on the run with no thought for nutrition. Then she comes home and has a few drinks to unwind. On top of it all, she might not work out at the gym for weeks on end.

Lately I’ve noticed that her weight is spiraling out of control. Her belly and butt are starting to get very flabby and she can’t fit into her clothes anymore. I’ve tried to make very subtle suggestions to Jeanna about this mess but she doesn’t pick up on them, doesn’t care, or can’t help herself.

So my question is this: how can I deal with this? I don’t want a fatty hanging off my arm, and I don’t want the poor woman dropping dead of a heart attack or a stroke. Like most females, she’s very sensitive about her appearance. Furthermore, the last thing she needs is me nagging her after a long day on the mean streets.

What do you think I should do? What can I say to her that she won’t interpret as an insult?

Thanks for your help, Doc.

Gene - who’s starting to wonder if he should look elsewhere  

Hi Gene,

Whether or not you know it, your problem is right there in the second paragraph of your letter. It has nothing to do with what comes later. You’ve got an Interest Level problem here, pal – hers, not yours.

When a woman has 95% Interest Level, a guy doesn’t have to talk her into anything. You asked this girl a bunch of times to marry you and she rebuffed you. If she’s not saying yes, it’s because her Interest Level isn’t in the 90s. And that’s where your basic problem is with Jeanna.

That said, accepting your relationship with her for what it is, is fine in itself. Hey, if you guys get along and have a great time and she doesn’t want to get married, there’s nothing wrong with the arrangement. Just make sure your Interest Level isn’t any higher than 55% or you’re going to be continually frustrated by an unbalanced relationship – you’re into it, and she’s only half into it. But like my cousin Sal “The Fish” Love says, “Giving up on the idea of kids shows there’s something good about your relationship.”

Look, it’s okay for Jeanna to gorge herself as long as she’s doing it with carrots or broccoli, or she’s taking 10 strawberries to work in a plastic bag rather than a Hershey’s chocolate bar or salami and provolone submarine sandwich. Her problem isn’t overeating; it’s the types of food she’s eating. And you have to understand her problem, because there is an enormous amount of stress that goes along with being a police officer. It’s a rough, tough job. And you have to have a lot of empathy and sympathy for the sacrifices she makes every single day.

So you don’t want to make comments on her weight, Gene. That’s insulting. When she gets out of the shower and she looks in the mirror and it’s not wide enough to contain all of her body, she knows she’s overweight and she knows that she’s overeating.

But like I said earlier, there’s something else going on here. And what she has to ask herself is whether she’s overeating because of her lack of Interest Level in you. (Guys, you’ll never see this analysis in a self-help manual or a ladies’ magazine!) Maybe her Interest Level is only 45% and she’s too scared to go it alone, while yours is 89% and you’re hanging on for dear life. Again -- there are other reasons why she’s overeating.

Jeanna can’t help herself, dude. But you’re going to handle this situation by being supportive and keeping your mouth shut. And when you guys go out, you’re going to the gym. Whatever you two do together, it’s going to have the theme of getting and staying in shape (and shedding pounds). Whatever you do, you two are going to keep moving. Every time you see Jeanna, you’ll head to the gym or go running or bicycling together. You don’t do anything else with this lady. You don’t go and sit in a movie theater and polish off a bucket of buttered popcorn with a side of nachos. You don’t go out and eat barbecued ribs. Gene, you’re going to be your girlfriend’s coach. And if she wants to drop you because of that or she decides not see you, then fine – man up to it. But that’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to coach this woman to get on the right track as long as she hangs around.

To you Psych majors, nagging doesn’t work. It doesn’t work when women do it to men, and vice-versa. (Guys, you’ll never see this analysis in a self-help manual or ladies’ magazine!) So don’t even be tempted to pick at her, man. Keep your trap closed – no criticism or snide remarks or “subtle” suggestions. Keep it light and keep it funny. Your actions are going to speak for you. Every time you see Jeanna, this is how you’re going to behave.

Guy, you may have years in with this woman, but she still doesn’t want to marry you. I have to keep coming back to that harsh truth. Like the Reality Factor says, when she turns down your repeated offers to marry, it’s obvious that her Interest Level is a lot lower than yours. You want to get married, so your Interest Level is 89%. (Or maybe it’s even in the 90s where it shouldn’t be.) But hers is only what – 65%? 75%? Can you live with a woman who has 75% Interest Level? Now 75% Interest Level is decent, but it’s not in the 90s, where it should be. It doesn’t have that magic intensity.

Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “Her Interest Level is the real problem here, dude – not her figure.”

But you’re not going to bring it up. Instead, you’re going to be her personal trainer.

Remember, guys: if she eats too much, you have to take her to the gym or never see her again.

To hear my LOVE RADIO SHOW, send me your love questions or to find out more about “The System,” visit me at www.doclove.com or call (800) 404-2644. For the past 30 years Doc Love has asked thousands of women, “Why do you stay with one man versus another?”

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