Anti-flab man has gut feeling about his girlfriend

Q: I'm very particular about my looks. I work out regularly and eat right. It's like a religion to me. But when I'm in bed with my girlfriend of two years, I'm turned off by her belly - which is huge. Okay maybe not huge but she's not very toned in that area. It kind of looks like a beer belly. Otherwise, her body is fine. I try to get her to go to the gym with me but she always makes an excuse.  We've been talking about marriage but I am very concerned that once she has a kid, she will really let herself go.  She's a really nice girl and we get along great in every way except for this. But like I said, appearance is really important to me. What should I do?

Mia: Sexual attraction is an important part of a relationship, so if you're not feeling it for your girlfriend's beer belly now, what about 20 years from now after she's pushed out a couple of kids and piled on even more pounds. Your current situation is not going to work over the long haul. You need to find someone who's into working out and clean eating as you are. Even then you don't know what will happen down the road. Breasts sag. Women get stretch marks. Guts get even bigger.  Please let that girl down gently. Explain to her that the breakup is due to your hang-ups and it's nothing she did or didn't do.  Let her find someone who will love her, jelly belly and all.  

Steve: Appearance is more important to you than the fact that you get along great with your woman in every way except this one? Would you choose a woman who was great working out but horrible in everything else? This makes no sense. Reality is more important than appearance. You should be thanking God for having someone who's right on everything except one, meaningless thing.

Q: Within the next two weeks, I am going to see the man who was my favorite teacher in college. But that was 30 years ago! I know he looks and acts older, but I think I've grown a lot older because I was in my early 20s back then. He was a grown-up guy in his mid-30s and hasn't changed much. I remember him being very impressed with my mom (she was in for one class that focused on her 1950s TV stardom as a singer.) Now, here's the thing: Has he looked at my career? Or is he some guy stuck in the 1950s who will be focused on my mom without having looked at me at all? As I said, he was my favorite teacher and I hope he thinks about what I've done the past 30 years.

Steve: It is true that some teachers get stuck in place the older they get, but most don't. It wouldn't be a bad idea if you dropped him a message telling him what YOU have been doing over the past 30 years. If he's smart, he'll look at you as kind and respectfully as he did your mom. And he'll tell you that your career is even better than your mom's.

Mia: Whoa! Are you trying to compete with your mother? Is that what you're getting at? I don't understand what the problem is. See the teacher and move on with your life. What's the big deal? I suspect you're over-thinking this catch-up visit with an old professor. 

Between them, Steve and Mia have logged more than a few decades in the single-and-dating world. They're also wise to the ways of married life. They don't always agree, but they have plenty of answers. Contact them at S&M c/o Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107 or steveandmia@phillynews.com.