Your partner has gained weight and it’s putting you off, but you don’t want to hurt their feelings by bringing it up. Should you say anything?
Your partner has been busy putting on the pounds lately, and it’s putting you off! It’s only natural to want to be physically attracted to your partner, and so long as you’re reasonable in your expectations, a serious weight gain may have you turned way off. If you feel like your partner is putting themselves at risk with their weight gain, or they are on a destructive path, you definitely need to address the subject.
So, what do you do? There are some definite red flags when it comes to admitting to your partner that you’ve noticed their weight gain, especially if you say it’s making you less attracted to them. Still, you don’t want to say nothing – so, how do you bring up this especially sensitive subject without crushing your partner? Some may say this can’t be done, but I say with an open line of communication, anything is possible.
Why people gain weight
Before bringing up your personal opinions about your mate’s extra pounds, there are a couple of things to consider, such as:
#1 Are you newly married, or living together? Couples who are newly married or newly living together may find they gain something akin to the “freshman 15.” While you were dating, you were likely much more active than you are now, constantly in a state of wooing one another with enhanced sexual prowess and heading outside to go on dates.
Now that you’re living together, you might find that your typical Friday night is spent in front of the TV, not out skating or taking long walks together.
#2 Have you been partying extra hard lately? When there’s a party, there’s beer. Carb-heavy, calorie-filled beer.
If you’ve been heading out to clubs, or are spending a little more time drinking at home than you had been previously, this may be the culprit for your partner’s newfound gut. Alcohol packs a wallop of calories, and if you’re not burning them off through exercise, then you may want to limit your intake to weekends.
#3 Has there been a change in lifestyle or health? Menopause, depression, aging, illness, and other lifestyle changes may be the core reason why your partner has gained weight. If this is the case, you may not want to bring their weight gain up. Instead, see if their lifestyle straightens out and they drop those extra pounds.
Why it’s hard to bring up
If you’ve had enough and are determined to bring up your partner’s pounds, you may find it a little less easy than you’d hoped. But if the topic is really driving you crazy, why is it so hard to bring up?
#1 You don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings. Nobody likes to feel rejected, disrespected, judged, or unwanted, and these are, unfortunately, the rollercoaster of emotions your partner is going to feel if you mishandle how you bring up their weight gain.
#2 You don’t want to give your partner a complex. We already live in a world that is obsessed with image and perfection, especially for young girls. The last thing you would want to do is bring up your partner’s weight and find out months down the road that they’ve developed an eating disorder.
#3 It makes you feel like a monster. Bringing up the weight of anyone, whether your parent, sibling, partner, or friend, can be incredibly awkward, and may even make you feel like a bit of a monster. After all, looks shouldn’t be the basis for our love for our partner, right? You may keep asking yourself: Am I being shallow?
Important things to consider when bringing up your partner’s weight gain
There are times when a little weight gain should just be ignored. But if you’re not quite sure whether to ignore the issue or talk to your partner about it, here are a couple of things to ponder on.
#1 Do you have to bring it up? If you think you would feel bad for bringing up the topic of weight, carefully consider your reasoning behind wanting to bring it up. If your partner is a mere 10 or 15 pounds heavier than they used to be, then you might need to rethink your beauty standards. Don’t expect perfection from your partner’s appearance at all times.
This topic is going to hurt your partner’s feelings, and may be especially devastating to a female. If you can hold off bringing up this topic, waiting to see if they will handle it themselves, then that’s a highly suggested route. However, if your partner’s starting to be severely overweight or putting their health at risk, you are well within your rights to say something. [Read: 12 signs you’re being selfish in a relationship]
#2 You’re not a monster. Look, we live in pretty shallow society. You love your partner more than anyone and would do anything to make them happy, but if their severe weight gain turns you off or makes you feel less physically attracted to them, then that’s a reaction that can’t be helped. You can’t coach yourself to like a body type you simply aren’t attracted to.
How to take the plunge
Believe it or not, there are several ways to bring this up without coming right out and saying “Hey honey, you’ve gained weight!” With some charm and careful tact, you may be able to bring up this tricky topic without your partner even realizing.
#1 Pass the buck… onto yourself! One easy way to get your partner healthy and active is by pretending it’s you who wants to lose a couple of pounds. You may say “I feel like we haven’t been eating the best lately, want to be my work-out buddy for the next two weeks? I’d love you forever!”
Be playful with your wording, and let them know they’d be supporting you in your weight loss journey. Not only is this a great way to get your partner active and healthy again, it can also help you bond as a couple.
#2 Change your meal plans. If you’re the sole master chef in the house, try changing your cooking methods to promote healthy eating and weight loss. Start buying healthier foods that aren’t processed or frozen dinners. Make your meals rounded with some lean protein, a vegetable, and a portioned side dish.
#3 Buy a new scale. Men are curious creatures when it comes to new gadgets in the house. This method comes with the hope that your boy-toy will hop on the scale himself and notice a radical difference in weight. You may get away with not saying a word before your man’s on his way to the gym.
#4 Make a friend do your dirty work. Everybody has that one friend who will say anything at any time, no matter how inappropriate. If you have such a friend, why not try to coax them into telling your partner they seem to have gained a bit of weight. The point will get across, and your hands will be as clean as ever!
#5 Come out and say it. Note that this method should be used in extreme cases, such as in instances of obesity or rapid, unhealthy weight gain. If you feel like your partner’s weight gain comes from a place of depression, or change in life circumstances, bring up the recent change, and ask them if there’s anything you can do to help.
If it comes from a place of depression, getting active may actually help combat these sad symptoms. Otherwise, tell them you’ve noticed a bit of weight gain and are worried about their health. NEVER say you are no longer attracted to them or no longer want to be intimate due to their body. Remember, nobody wants to or tries to look unattractive. Be sensitive when addressing this topic. [Read: 9 ways to master the art of constructive criticism]
Weight is a tricky, tricky subject, no matter what age or gender you are talking to. Be absolutely sure you are ready for all potential consequences, before bringing up the dreaded topic of weight gain with your partner. The last thing you want to do is hurt your partner’s feelings, so be sure to choose your words carefully, and season your words with some sugar.