Carolyn Hax: her boyfriend keeps asking his partner about her recent weight gain

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Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyne: I’ve always been pretty thin, I was even tested for an eating disorder in high school, but I just had a high metabolism. My boyfriend of five years said I looked great and pointed out that it was better to be underweight than overweight. A while ago I got covid and ended up losing my sense of smell and even more weight. My boyfriend was very supportive, always telling me I was beautiful even when I wanted to die.

This year my sense of smell has returned, and it’s wonderful: food tastes good again and I enjoy it. My doctor was happy with my health and told me that I was within the normal weight range for my height.

When I got home, my boyfriend was happy to hear that I was okay. Then he asked me about my weight and seemed surprised when I told him. He said, “Wow, I never thought you weighed that much.” A few hours later, he brought it up again, asking if I was planning on getting heavier. I said no and that I’m fine where I am. He agreed but said about eight or ten pounds lighter would be better. I asked him why, because the doctor was happy and all my labs were great. He said he thought it was normal for me to be thinner and gave me a specific weight he thought I should be. I kept saying no, I’m running every day again and I feel good where I am.

The next day he brought it up again, asking if I was going to weigh myself once a week to keep track. When I directly asked him why he was so focused on this, he said he didn’t really care. I’m not convinced, because he always talks about it. This morning when I said goodbye to him, he asked me if I had weighed myself and tried to get me to check with him right away. What do you think?

On the thin side: I think, goodbye!

I don’t see what there is to interpret. He tells you (daily!) exactly who he is and what he values. “Better to be underweight!” » It’s as subtle as a wet T-shirt. But the effect of his bias on you was masked by the fact that you had never won until now.

Suggested scenario: “Hey, I’m glad you asked me about my weight, again, for the fourth time in a week, because I’ve been feeling better in years. Here’s my plan: I plan to get heavier at times and lighter at others, depending on changing circumstances – because I’m a normal person with a normal body. I plan to track my weight meticulously, except when I don’t.

“Speaking of the future: do you plan to continue being a total [glass bowl]?”

I suspect you’ll find that your colleagues are eager to help you bounce back from this breakup.

Re: Weight: It doesn’t get any better with people like that. They measure their self-esteem by the attractiveness of their partners. I know because I went out with one of these jackwagons. You are not a trophy. Put those running shoes back on and head out the door.

Anonymous: I post this for its truth, its effectiveness and its “jackwagons”. However, I hesitated to equate “thin” with “attractive”. Can we say “stereotypically “attractive””? Or does it kill the mood?

· Break up with your boyfriend immediately. I hope a flood of people write in to say this. That you don’t realize it’s scary, controlling behavior worries me.

· Your boyfriend says he values ​​your thinness more than your happiness or good health.

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