How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Rafael M.T.Therapist Your Own Question

Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
65591635
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Rafael M.T.Therapist is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My gf and I were planning on getting engaged next weekend.

Resolved Question:

My gf and I were planning on getting engaged next weekend. However, over the past few months, I've slowly been losing physical attraction to her.

Before everyone yells at me saying how shallow, crass, and inconsiderate that is, please understand that when you truly fall in love with someone (which I did July, 2012), you fall in love with ALL of them (including physical). When I propose, I want there to be NO hesitation, no doubts, no inhibitions, nothing holding me back. I need it to be perfect.

Yes, I know that puts me as an insecure guy who needs his gf/fiancé/wife to look great, but its just the way I'm wired. However, it's better to have a non-pressured, non-hesitant proposal, than to propose when you're not 100% sure about making the commitment.

Anyway, enough about my disclaimer. We WERE planning on getting engaged real soon, , so I guess that pressure was getting to me, and so I told her a few nights ago that I wasn't ready to get engaged. I told her I needed more time to work on my heart, to try to mold it to not view physical attraction so important. I also asked that in the meantime, she try to help out from her end (by getting back to what she weighed when we first met (about 25-30 pounds less). Of course, this broke her heart. We talked all night, and then the next night, trying to work out a plan. Finally, two nights ago, she broke up with me. But the next morning, she calls me and tells me she made a mistake. We met up for lunch and talked about it for a couple hours. I, once again, mentioned my idea that we could either go on a break, or just stay together, until my heart was ready. I told her I would work on my heart, but that any significant change was unlikely...because personal preferences are always hard to change (i.e. could anyone easily change their preferences to be attracted to people that are in their 70's? Well, maybe, but it is unlikely to TRULY be able to changed personal tastes like that.) I told her that this basically left the change up to her. She said she was willing to lose the weight, unit, I re-found that physical spark that I need to feel 100% uninhibited about making a lifelong commitment.

So thought the day, I feeling quite satisfied with the situation, but then she calls me over last night to talk again. This time, she said that she couldn't wait for my heart to be ready, but that she needed a commitment to propose ASAP, or that we would break up. Long story short, I can't force myself to propose, I just can't. It's too large of a commitment to just propose without feeling 100% sure of it. So we broke up, again. But this time, she wanted to meet up in two weeks, so I can see the progress that she's made, and if we decide to get back together then, then that's great. But as of now, there's technically no intention of getting back together.

There are some other circumstances, such as her leaving the state for a 6-month military assignment 1200 miles away, on Sept 9. So that puts a time constraint. There's also the fact that she was diagnosed with a disfunctioning thyroid that was causing her to lose weight.

She just picked up the thyroid medicine yesterday, but since all these talks, she's lost 10 pounds already, trying to convince me that she WILL lose the weight. And last night at our talk, she did already show some progress, and I felt that spark coming back.

So my question is this: if I were to commit to a proposal NOW, would that be the same as waiting two weeks to see the physical change, and then committing? Because, if I commit now, I'm trusting that she will keep her word and lose the extra 15-20 pounds on top of the 10 pounds she already lost. And if I wait two weeks to see the progress, then I'm still committing to the relationship under her commitment to maintain that weight as best as she can for the rest of our lives. Does this makes sense?

The fact that she already lost 10 pounds and is already looking better, and that she told me she would maintain her weight for the rest of her life, now that she knows how important it is to me, is very encouraging to me, and relieves my hesitation that I voiced to her 5 days ago. But I'd also like to see some weight loss progress, due to her commitment to me, or maybe due to the thyroid medicine.

What do y'all think I should do? How long should I wait? She really is absolutely perfect for me, and the only hesitation I had was just due to the dwindling physical spark. But I feel that is guaranteed to come back soon, and is just around the corner!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about this challenging situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think you being totally truthful with yourself and honest with her is a necessary and assertive approach. it's obvious that being this way could lead to different situations where you could feel uncomfortable and the other person hurt, and what would make the difference is how you address it and how your actions follow your words and feelings of affection and caring towards her.

Customer:

Right, this is the first time I've asked on this site, so sorry to sway the conversation, but is there an "answer" to this question yet? Or just the three chats I see above?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am here to support you providing an answer through this dialogue if you want it.

Customer:

Ok. Yes I'm willing. So, regarding the two questions I asked at the end of my question, what do you think?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I believe you were not wrong when being honest and coming to terms with the fact that you do not feel confident and prepare for a serious commitment. At the same time I need to say that when it is true that the physical factor is very important, it is one that whether we like it or not, it would deteriorate with time as we get older, and what would keep a relationship healthy, fulfilling ad good is how good emotional connection, intimacy and compatibility both persons have shared with each other, getting truly closer and more one through their life experiences as a couple. There will always be more attractive bodies, but other areas which are much unique and hard to find compatibility with, get deepened with time, not weakened by it.

Customer:

Exactly. I couldn't agree more. I fully understand that through time, the physical attraction will not be NEAR as important. She is the absolute perfect girlfriend, and will be the best wife and mother I could ask for. We get along better than anyone I can imagine.

Customer:

BUT, FOR ME TO PROPOSE, I need to feel nothing holding me back. I'm 22. I'm young, but I'm also aware that I am more mature than the average 22-25 year old. I'm ready to make a commitment, but I just don't want to feel anything holding me back.

Customer:

And yes, I have an ego, not as large as others, but an ego that is slightly insecure when it comes to how other people view the physical appearance of my girlfriend (and of myself). So I really would like that to be solved before I make the lifelong commitment.

Customer:

Lauren has already lost 10 pounds in a week; she never knew how serious I felt about the physical attraction as she does now. She has promised that she will do everything she can to maintain her weight for the rest of her life, and I believe her. I'm just not sure what to do at this point.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I can see you truly care about each other, and she is willing to do what it takes to please your expectations around this area too, which is excellent, but just be aware that any situation, from her medical problem, to any other situation could and does affect a person's appearance, thus what allows couples to stay together happy and fulfilled, able to cope with such challenges and issues and remain together, feeling they are the best presences in each others' lives, is what they feel inside, how good their affection, passion and caring for each other happens to be. Yes, there needs to be physical chemestry and passion, but it could not be limited to or mostly dominated by a specific appearance, otherwise, sooner or later, the passion and "love" would banish and you would long for another more physically attractive person.

Customer:

Right, and there is a total amount of compassion and love for each other. I'm a VERY conservative person (not politics), but in general, and so I wanted there to be no hesitation in my mind. I'm aware that the physical attraction won't last forever, and that depending on that for chemistry is futile. That's what I'm trying to convey...I'm not in love with only her physical; in fact, it's the opposite. I'm in love with everything about her. I just wanted that physical attraction to be there when I proposed.

Customer:

ANYWAY, I think we're just confirming each other's thoughts... I want to focus on the current situation (which start 18 hours ago).

Customer:

Let me explain...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am afraid that setting that expectation as a core condition for you to commit and stay together is not a healthy way to work on and build a long term relationship, since as already explained, many things would happen at the physical level, from accidents to medical-health conditions, and if that affects the ideal appearance you feel your partner must have for you to feel secure, happy and committed, then the relationship would be extremely vulnerable to get wounded and end, because of multiple possible stressors and challenges that would appear.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I listen.

Customer:

She leaves for Virginia on September 9. This leaves 2 weeks and 2 days (16 days). She has a military training on the 14th and 15th day, and the 16th day will be moving, so this really just leaves us 13 days before a long distance problem could occur. The current plan is to meet on the 12th day for me to see the physical progress that she made. And I will make a decision there. But I'm also feeling confident because she's committed to losing the weight and maintaining it (as what allows within her control...i.e. having kids, age, health, etc, is not under her control) for the rest of her life. I could WAIT until the 12th day to let her know that I'm ready. Or I could commit before then. THAT'S my question...how long should I wait?

I UNDERSTAND what you are saying about "building the relationship built upon physical attraction," but my point is that it is NOT the foundation, but the icing on the cake. I know she's perfect for me, but just felt a slight hesitation because of the weight. Once that gets fixed, I'll feel no inhibition. And she's a great girl, and will work at maintaining her weight forever. I know she will. And if there ever is a problem with that, I'll just explain how it hurts me, and I know she'll fix it. If she gains weight out of her control, that's perfectly fine. I just don't want her to gain weight when it IS within her control.

Customer:

My only hesitation in not proposing RIGHT NOW (and what caused me to ask this question online to a stranger and not my family or friends), was that i just wanted another opinion. I'd like to wait a little bit (but probably not the full 12 days), just to see if the thyroid medicine takes effect. But idk...if she's committed to losing the weight no matter what, and the thyroid medicine DOESN'T fix it, then I know she'll find another way to do it. Therefore, I think I'm ready. But I'm still not sure...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then if you trust her this much as much as you love and care about her as a whole human being and an ideal partner I do not ses why it would not be the best approach to show her how much you care, love and trust her by committing as soon as possible since that was the only concern you had, and she now knows about it and has been this proactive and generous doing her best about it.

Customer:

Okay, really? So you see no danger in this commitment, other than the physical attraction dwindling, BEFORE I'm ready to accept it, right? But then that's the case with ALL girls, no matter how good they look now...which negates that argument, therefore there shouldn't be any hesitation...right?? haha

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

For example her very present situation is a very good scenario for you to assess our priorities. She is having a medical-health problem, where she needs to use medication to take good care of herself. This medical problem uses to affect people's weight, mood and other areas, and that's why competent professional support is so necessary. The first priority should always be about what to do to get and keep the best possible health, then about appearance. People with thyroid problems could get deeply affected by their emotions, while the medical problem also affects their mood, then for a woman to feel pressure around having to get and keep a specific weight as a core condition for engagement could become very overwhelming, and if suffering a medical problem of that nature, could become very damaging too. Do you see this concern? When you say you need to wait if the thyroid medicine works or not and then expect her to loose further weight no matter what, it shows how it is a top priority, even when aware of how tough it could get for her because of her medical condition.

Customer:

Yes, it is a top priority. I'm not denying that. I stated that it was a top priorty in the second paragraph of my original question. And I know putting pressure on her would make it harder for her. But I also would like to see her progress, in other words, how much she wants this to work. My point is that if she can get through THIS to make it work, then I have no doubt in that she will keep it this way for the rest of her life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you truly care and love your girlfriend as a mature adult, and you feel you complement each other, making each others' lives more meaningful, happier and more fulfilling, being reciprocal in what you offer and that you are the best for each other, then working on improving physical appearances is just fine and necessary but should not become a requirement to get and keep a specific weight no matter what for the rest of your-her life, in order for the commitment and love to remain.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see your point.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Everything you say about her depicts a person who truly cares about you and is willing to do so much because of you and your relationship, you should feel blessed for having somebody like her in your life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sure you do.

Customer:

Hmm, so improving physical appearances are necessary, but should not be a requirement. Okay, so if she's committed to losing the weight, and maintains it as best as she can, then wouldn't that result in 100% commitment? The fact that she's committed to maintaining it as best as she can kind of solves the issue of lack of physical attraction. BECAUSE, she was unaware of how important it was before, and now she is. Now she's willing to change. And so I know that she WILL lose it, unless there is an obstacle out of her control. So that means that there WILL be physical attraction, no matter what she weighs, because she will weigh the LEAST that she's able to weigh. Right?
And yes, we care about each other so much. It's unreal.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right. My concern is this: what would happen if for any reason out of her control, she does not get and or keep the weight that is essential-acceptable for you, then you will not feel physically attached to her. Would you be able to feel happy and fulfilled with that and keep caring and supporting her, the relationship and your life time commitment?

Customer:

See, that's what I don't know. But, my counter-argument would be this: that could happen to ANY girl. Any girl that I could meet after Lauren, that would be an issue. I could end this with lauren, meet the skinniest girl of my life, and in 10 years, she gains the weight. Then what? Then I have a girl who doesn't know how important physical atraction is to me, and I have to have this same talk with her that I did with Lauren. And I'm pretty sure she wouldn't take it near as well. The fact that Lauren knows how important this is to me, and has made a lifelong commitment to maintain her weight if I commit, shows me that she WILL maintain the weight, if it's within her control. If it happens out of her control, then that same situation could happen to any girl, and so that situation is of no consequence, in my opinion. What do you think?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Knowing that you feel this way and that this is a top priority for you, then I'd say it's better to wait for you to see what happens, then decide if she meets your expectations or not.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you are able and willing to take full responsibility and consistent actions following your commitment, then wonderful, I believe that would be fair, since you would be showing respect and support.

Customer:

Okay, I'll take your advice and wait. I'm just nervous that over the next 12 days, she'll realize that she shouldn't be waiting for a guy who needs physical attraction to make a commitment. Maybe waiting 6 days would be better, you think?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That would make perfect sense and could say that most women in her shoes would feel the same., but that's a risk you need to afford when having this approach.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You are the one who needs to decide what you want to afford here, assessing the pros and cons of your choices and actions. This is why I said what I said about it. Only you know how this person feels, thinks, her fears, vulnerabilities, core needs and expectations and depending on how well you consider and meet them, you would be able to develop a more or less healthy and fulfilling long term relationship together.

Customer:

Right, it is worth the weight. The risk/reward is worth it for sure. If I wait, and I'm 100% sure, the propsal/commitment/marriage will be that much more fulfilled in the long run, assuming this works out. Thanks for your help.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care.

Customer:

On a side note: I chose NOT to sign up for a monthly subscription, but I was reading some reviews online that said they were automatically enrolled in a monthly subscription, against their will, and could not get their money back. Please confirm with me that this will NOT happen...?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry but I do unknown about such issues. Any concern you may have about how this site works, please share them with the JustAnswer's staff. As an expert I unknown how that works and have no control of it either.

Customer:

Ok, well take care. Thanks again.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX Bye for now.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DE/deedeeham/2011-1-24_51523_408.64x64.JPG Dear Debra's Avatar

    Dear Debra

    Advice Columnist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1719
    I have been an Advice columnist for 14 years. My column is published weekly in local newpapers.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy's Avatar

    Kate McCoy

    Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    1235
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1215
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CO/CoachJenK/2012-3-9_31019_Jen.64x64.jpg Coach Jen K.'s Avatar

    Coach Jen K.

    LMSW, CPC

    Satisfied Customers:

    726
    Providing the utmost care and support.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    549
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    349
    Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SU/suzmsw/2011-9-2_184634_Thisone.64x64.JPG Suzanne's Avatar

    Suzanne

    Therapist, LCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    338
    Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
 
 
 
Chat Now With A Counselor
Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist
Director / Psychotherapist
914 Satisfied Customers
MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach