Friday, April 19, 2024

Carolyn Hax: Sedentary Girlfriend’s Weight Gain Affects Their Relationship

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Adapted from an online discussion.

Dear Carolyne: I found myself tiptoeing around the issue of my girlfriend’s weight gain. When we first met, she was a healthy weight but wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle. She’s just not that interested in establishing a fitness routine. It’s okay and it’s his choice, and I accept it, but the significant added weight is starting to impact me and how I view our relationship.

For context, I am very fit and enjoy exercise and all its benefits. I’ve been struggling to find the right words to let her know that I love her and want to be only with her, but I’m worried about her long term health and how, frankly, her constant weight gain tells me it will continue. move forward in this direction.

I understand that I’m superficial, but it’s important to me that she stops letting herself go. Call for the firing squad!

On tip-toes : No no. No execution. Your error is not superficial; it is that you are confusing distinct and important issues. Her inactivity is the relationship problem; its weight simply made it visible. You are active and enjoy exercising. Maybe it’s time to recognize that this is a core value for you, so associating with a sedentary person is a bad idea?

It is also important to recognize that she does not “let go.” She is simply herself. K? It’s his lifestyle of choice, and it always has been, despite the effects of age. And for what it’s worth, “letting go” is so often used against women who don’t conform to, ah, “aesthetic expectations,” that it’s a good idea to put it aside altogether, thanks.

Certainly some partners who are mismatched in this regard do well. However, they must like that about each other, or at least not care about it compared to the much more important things that are well matched. Alas, you wish (badly) that it were different.

You don’t have to break down and force yourself to stay with someone incompatible because you’re afraid it will seem superficial to break up because of the exercise. You can love a person for who they are while recognizing that you’re not a good match for your long-term lifestyle.

Take an honest account of yourself. Decide whether you completely love it, as is, or whether you will always try to change it. Then tell her the truth with love in one way or another: “I love you and I want to be with you,” every pound of her, or “It bothers me that our lifestyles are so different and I do not consider love to be enough.”

· My husband has always been rather sedentary. He is also an introvert. I’ll probably have less time with him than I’d like because of his health, but I run/work out and he doesn’t, and we’re happy 15 years and three kids later. His stay-at-home personality is perfect for me because he doesn’t mind staying home while I exercise, go to the gym, or go on a marathon all day.

So: Don’t you like your hobbies to be different? Or that it is not a shape that you prefer? Or something else?

· It doesn’t seem like anything has changed, except for its weight; she just is who she is, and her weight is truly her business, not yours. One more thing: if that’s how you feel, then you’re not doing him any favors by staying. Don’t blame her for being who she is, and don’t claim she “cheated” on you when the only thing that has changed is her weight.

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