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Boyfriend obsessed with ‘fitness’

By Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.

Q: My boyfriend is so into working out that I think he might have a disorder. He eats no normal food – only powders and shakes. My friends laugh it off and say I should be happy that he cares about his health. But I don’t think it’s healthy. When I talk to him about it, he launches into how most Americans are unfit and he’s happy to be abnormal in this way.

A: He could very well have a disorder, especially if his powder shenanigans and his workout regimen are getting in the way of his daily functioning, or putting his physical health in jeopardy. (They’re obviously getting in the way of his relationship.)

What you’re up against is that he doesn’t seem willing to reflect on himself and the issues that might be under the surface. Instead, he deflects your concerns with the old trope about what disgusting slobs the rest of us are. If this is affecting you, you deserve a conversation about it. His reluctance to address the issue could be both a symptom of an underlying problem and a bigger one in and of itself.

Q: For two years, I’ve been “friends with benefits” with a woman. We’ve dated other people, but keep coming back to each other. When I say I want to date her, however, she freaks out and says she doesn’t want that. Just as I decided I was wasting my time, I was hanging out with her and ended up having to go to the ER. She came with me and was so comforting and even got in bed with me while waiting for the doctor. I’m so confused.

A: She might view you as the love of her life, a perfect specimen worthy of his own wing in a museum, but if she doesn’t want a commitment, then that problem will always take precedence. Whether her reasons are about you, her or both, she is not willing or able to “date” you aside from some hospital TLC. How long are you willing to be miserable? I think after two years, it’s time for you to work on building a life outside of her.

Andrea Bonior is a psychologist and author of “The Friendship Fix.” www.drandreabonior.com
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