Dear Amy: I have been dating my girlfriend for three years, and I really love her. We get along in all aspects of our relationship. Our relationship stills feels fresh. I do think she is beautiful, too, but in the last year or so she has started to gain weight.
During this time I have been hitting the gym religiously, have lost weight and am back into my former athletic form.
I don't want to sound shallow, but it's becoming somewhat of a turnoff to me.
To add to that, I am attracting the attention of other (more attractive) females at bars and parties. I am not the cheating type and it doesn't even come into my head, but it can be tough sometimes.
I am not a shallow person, but sex is an important aspect of a relationship, and I really don't want to lose my drive. I am only in my early 20s so you can imagine how tough it would be to limit my sex life because of something like this.
I try to eat healthy when I am with her and attempt to get her to go to the gym with me, but it is hard to get her in the habit. However, I don't want to tell her, "You need to go to the gym" because I love her and don't want to lose her.
Please let me know what to do in this sticky situation.
— Not So Shallow Hal
Dear Shallow: You seem afraid that your awesomeness will so outstrip your girlfriend's attractiveness that you will be forced — forced! — to look elsewhere for companionship.
You don't love your girlfriend with your whole heart. Because if you did, you wouldn't compare her to other people and immediately start worrying about how her weight gain affects you.
Did you embark on your own weight-loss adventure for your girlfriend? No — you did it for you. Getting in shape is like that. It is an important pursuit that yields many benefits but it is ultimately self-serving.
You are shallow. Thin, fit and shallow. So tell this lovely woman that her weight gain is a turnoff and that you'd feel best if she was a female version of you.
She may then embark on a crash diet, suddenly losing an amount roughly equal to your body weight.
Dear Amy: Why is it that people who are enamored with their dogs think that all the rest of us want to be licked, jumped, shed, slobbered and scratched on by their precious pets?
It seems that increasingly people are imposing their pets on us in every venue of public life. They bring them uninvited to outdoor restaurants, open food markets, children's playgrounds and beaches. I have recently attended several private parties and even a wedding reception where guests brought along their uninvited dogs and then acted like everyone should be tickled to death to have them join the festivities.
It reminds me of the nuisance smokers used to be when they would light up anytime, anywhere, without asking whether their behavior was offensive to anyone else in the crowd.
Dog lovers just assume their pets are welcome when, in fact, many of us have allergies, or just would rather not have to put up with them.
When I go to a party, I go to be with the people, not dirty smelly animals.
Is there any sort of pet protocol that should be suggested to these inconsiderate pet people?
— Doggone Disgusted
Dear Disgusted: The only protocol I'm aware of applies to people with or without dogs.
Be kind. Be nice. Be considerate. Be aware of the effect your behavior has on others.
That goes for you too.
Dear Amy: In my opinion your answer to "Still Steaming" was all wrong. You advised this stepmother to confront her daughter-in-law about her drinking.
Stepmothers already have a hard enough time. This confrontation should have been left to her husband.
Dear Granny: "Still Steaming" was a stepmother and a mother-in-law. That's a real double whammy. Thank you for offering your perspective.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun