SpaceManAndy’s advice for Hungry in Beantown

Dear SpaceManAndy,

There’s this cute girl at work, and I think she likes me but I’m not sure. Growing up as a nerdy Jewish boy, the whole reading of these situations went to hell and never really developed. Anyway, she stops by my desk almost every day, even when it doesn’t seem to be in the path of where she’s going. She brings me food, and we chat a lot. I was kind of getting the idea that she likes me (I think) when she casually mentioned that because of her food addiction, her overeaters anonymous group suggested she take a no dating pledge until Christmas 2013. It seems odd since she isn’t overweight. But I believe that she’s in Overeaters Anonymous, but I don’t believe she’s actually addicted to food. I see her eat normal portions and, like I said before, she brings me food. Do you think she likes me and wants to wait until Christmas 2013, or do you think it’s a blow-off?

Hungry in Beantown

Dear Hungry in Beantown,

Um, that question definitely took an unexpected turn. When I started reading it, i had all these ideas in my head of how to figure out if someone likes you. Most of them come from sitcoms, like “Tell a joke you know is not funny and see if she laughs.” But then things got a little weird. The way I see it, one of 4 things is going on here.

1) She is one of those girls who thinks that not being a size zero means she is fat and eating more than a lentil means she is an overeater.

2) This is an excuse to cut you off before you get any ideas about her. A pre-emptive strike if you will.

3) She is a compulsive liar.

4) She is has a legitimate problem and is seeking help.

I’m telling you right now, Hungry: IT DOESN’T MATTER WHETHER SHE LIKES YOU OR NOT. You don’t want to be involved with a girl in any of these situations. Allow me to explain.

1) That Girl

Note how thin that girl actually is.

This girl says she is a food addict in the same way other people say “OMG, my room is a mess. I hate messy things. I’m totally OCD.” This girl isn’t an addict, she’s just obsessive. Let me paint you a picture: You go out to dinner. You’re going to have to listen to her talk for an ungodly amount of time about what she wants to eat. “Well, if I get the chicken and just take off the skin, then maybe I could get the Mashed potatoes if I ask them to not add butter or cream. No. I’m gonna be good and just get the grilled chicken and broccoli. Ugh, but I’ve been so good this week. I deserve some potatoes. Oh, but if I don’t get the potatoes, I can maybe get some skinny cow no fat frozen yogurt later.” And no matter what she orders, you will continue to hear about it throughout the night. Even if she doesn’t finish her meal, right after dinner it’s “I can’t believe I ate so much. I feel so full! I just feel gross!” then later that evening, she won’t feel full anymore, but she will feel “bloated,” which I’ve heard is worse. I’m not really sure. But what I am sure of, is if the girl you’re talking about is That Girl, you’re going to have That Future. Trust me. I dated That Girl for like 3 years. If she is That Girl, it’s hard to say whether or not she likes you. Usually these girl will talk to anyone and everyone about their diet hoping for the day that someone will tell them that they don’t need to diet. Either way, she’s probably not good for you.

2) It’s an excuse

Normally I would not feel the need to explain myself here, but out of respect, from one awkward nerdy Jewish boy to another, I’ll spell it out:

If a girl doesn’t like you romantically, she will often come up with excuses why the two of you cannot date instead of just telling you the truth, that she just doesn’t want to. This is what she considers “letting you down easy” which it is not. Because it leads you to try to fix whatever issue she has cited. 9 times out of 10, the girl doesn’t want you to overcome the excuse-obstacle. She wants you to stop asking her out. Which you should take the hint. Please don’t ask this girl out.

3) Compulsive Liar

Get it? Cause Pinocchio?

She’s doing it for attention, she wants to talk to you about something, but she doesn’t want to date you. So this is a story that seems interesting and can be expanded upon, but doesn’t invite you to ask her out. Please don’t.

4) Legitimate problem

If this is a legitimate problem, then she is on a good road to recovery. Some people genuinely do have an overeating problem. I hate the term “food addiction” because we’re all addicted to food. We need it to survive, but some people are compulsive eaters. Even if she isn’t overweight, it could be because she has been in recovery for a long time and is better. Even so, relationships and dating complicate life, which is not something an addict benefits from. It would make sense that she should stay away from dating. You should respect that. Even if she does like you, you should respect her recovery, in the event that it might be true. The other option here is that she has an issue called Body Dysmorphic Disorder where when she looks in the mirror she doesn’t actually see herself. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor and I have never met this girl, but BDD comes to mind here. She may see herself as fat when she actually isn’t.

Now, I should point out another option. This is actually the only positive one, but it is also the least likely. She is legitimately trying to diet, but food has become her forbidden fruit, and thus has become a fetish for her. And in being unable to actually eat the way she wants, she feeds you and it turns her on. I think I saw it on Monk or SVU or something, so you know it’s a real thing.

Totally reliable source.

IF that is the case, she totally likes you AND wants to feed you, which is honestly, fucking awesome. Go for it!

Seriously, though. I’m getting a lot of red flags from this. This girl probably needs a friend, but I would caution you against trying to date her. Even if she does like you, it’s just not a good idea.

I don’t know, I guess that could work. Maybe?


2 thoughts on “SpaceManAndy’s advice for Hungry in Beantown

  1. The constantly bringing him food thing could actually fit in with explanation #4. People with control issues around food sometimes “test” themselves by cooking delicious foods for other people and not eating it themselves.

    Still, as to whether or not to avoid this girl altogether, I think that honestly depends on how well they click and if this girl has shown any other warning signs, even minor ones. Everyone has baggage… sometimes it can be better to go for someone who is up front about theirs. So if this is her one piece of baggage, and they have a great connection otherwise, and she doesn’t seem even remotely sketchy in any other way, it may be worth waiting for. But if this seems more like just scratching the surface of crazy, then I agree with Andy’s advice.

    Just my two cents.

    1. Good point. Dan Savage talks about the “Price of Admission” in that when you want to date someone, some things you just have to deal with. Hungry in Beantown should ask himself is this is a quirk or a symptom of major issues. And how much is he willing to live with.

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