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My girlfriend has gained weight, but if I say something she'll hate me! How do I tell her?!

Tagged as: Health, Troubled relationships<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (26 January 2007) 50 Answers - (Newest, 1 July 2009)
A male , anonymous writes:

My girlfriend is gaining weight and won’t do anything about it. I need help with my communication. How can I help her?

I have a wonderful girlfriend whom I’ve been dating now for the past 13 months. Since the day we met she has slowly been gaining weight and is looking less attractive. I brought this to her attention and have even offered to help her develop a new workout that can suit her lifestyle. However, the problem is that every time I talk to her about it she builds resentment and feels as though I am attacking her and do not love her. I workout four to six times a week and I love to stay in shape. She however, says that working out is also very important to her but never does anything about it. She is always finding excuses not to workout and when I say something about it she treats me as though I am one rude, unloving A-whole who just wants to hurt her.

Now the fact is that I do love her and that I want the two of us to have a future together. However, appearance is important to me and being overweight is not only harmful to her body but it will eventually hurt her self esteem, reduce our intimacy and make me less attracted to her. The bottom line is that I would like to help her. However, I wonder how I can go about it without hurting her feelings or building resentment and sounding like an A-whole.

Please help!

View related questions: overweight, self esteem

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2009):

I am in the same situation, and i hate the fact that my gf has put on. I have told her the issue, but still dont see any action, which is bothering me.

What really anoys me though is where women think that if you can’t accept them the way they are, then your listed as a shallow person who makes their gf feel bad about herself. Well this is reality and you should so open your eyes. YOU have put on weight, why should i love someone who looks different to when i first had fallen in love with them. total bs.

I deserve the best i can get and if you’re ruining the relationship by damaging your health and your appearance, then deal with it asap.

Accepting the way someone is a sign of weakness, not love. It’s submission because the other person is too scared to admit a fault. Those who work on their relationships and want to be part of a healthy relationship will work on themselves. Fucksake it’s common sense.

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A male reader, LA423 United States +, writes (23 June 2009):

Wow, I understand where the poster is coming from with this thread, but are shocked by the scornfullness female responses. Yes, it IS A BIG DEAL for men AND woman. Let me give you an example. My girlfriend has gained almost 50 lbs the past 2 years of our almost 4 year relationsip. When we first met she was around 145 pounds, 5'-8" tall. Now she's pushing 200 and I am totally not comfortable with it anymore. I still love her, but the physical attraction is totally gone now, except when I'm crazy horny.

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At first I felt guilty about feeling this way, but then I realized this is not being shallow or selfish, its reality. All of these woman on here would be saying the exact same thing if there hubby gained 40-50 lbs. Thats not a small sum of weight for a woman, who carry a lot less muscle mass.

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I have tried talking to my GF about this but she never changes her habits. Her parents have even lectured her about being more active and walking, etc. in front of me, but she never makes the first step.

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That said I think it is completely unrealistic for your partner to love you unconditionally, when you gain that MUCH weight. Here I am a physically fit and my girlfriend has gained a ton of weight and gets a free pass? Its not fair to your partner and a sign of laziness to "let onself go like that."

.

I don't know the answer to this question for sure, but my own solution for my problem will probably be a breakup. She just won't listen or reason with me on this issue and as much as woman hate to hear it, attraction is a big key for any relationship.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2009):

The basic problem is that people can't face the truth about themselves.

Lemme start by posting truths about myself. I'm a nice guy, tall, attractive. I do fairly well in life, career, social life, etc.. I can be a downer sometimes and struggle with depression from time to time. I have dated both hot younger girls and older not as hot women. I was in a relationship with someone who was overweight for 6 years.

WOMEN MUST UNDERSTAND THE MALE EGO!

The truth is there are guy's who have a need to feel like "winners" or alpha males in this competitive world need to date someone who other males desire - i.e. a skinny, young, sexy, etc.. These are the guys that the women on here are screaming at as being "shallow a-holes". But these are usually also the same types of guys who excel in life and are more confident and end up having more in life. Let's face it, it feels great to be a winner and confidence and self esteem shoot through the roof when you have all the things that in YOUR mind make you a winner.. (trophy wife). So you can see that a guy like that would feel resentful over a partner with who might be less attractive because of weight issues.

IF YOUR STRUGGLING WITH YOUR GIRLFRIEND OR WIFE'S WEIGHT YOUR REALLY JUST STRUGGLING WITH YOUR EGO.

The problem is of course if you go by just that then your still stuck with who this person is, maybe they are hot but as a person they suck.

Then there are the guy's who are actually looking for a meaningful connection, personality, who they are, etc..

These are guys who give their wife / girlfriend love no matter what. These are the guys women are like "YAY, he's one in a million, he's the BEST, there should be more like HIM"!! Well, there are. Ton's of guys in the world like that! But maybe a lot of them aren't as attractive which brings me to:

WOMEN HAVE EGO'S TOO!

Women also want a lot of the same stuff guys do but then again, why be honest when you can have more power being emotional?

The bottom line is men have to make a decision as to what KIND of man they are. If you need to be alpha among other males then don't date someone with weight issues because it wont work out. And women who post that guys are shallow probably have weight issues themselves.

Can you face the truth about yourself??

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A reader, anonymous, writes (24 August 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Hello everyone. I am the person who posted this question and I see here where someone has asked me for an update, so in my appreciation for all your thoughtful comments I hereby give you the update.

I never left my girl. I actually ended up marring her. After sometime I decided to just drop the subject. She never workout and still doesn't. We have a gorgeous 3 month old daughter now and my wife is a super mom. She is also a great wife. After giving birth to our daughter, all the breast feeding helped her lose some weight and she looks a little bit better than she did before she got pregnant and is at least now conscious of her weight. The subject is one that I never brought up again. I have concluded that if a person doesn't want the lifestyle of fitness, there is nothing a spouse can say or do to make them take on that lifestyle.

As for me, I'm still all into fitness. I'm even more dedicated now then I ever was. I pretty much had to make a decision. Do I let go of a wonderful person simply because of the weight issue (which is a big one for me) or do I just deal with the weight issue in exchange for the beautiful wife and mother I got. I definitely did not feel that having a wife that looked like a 10 out of 10 but happened to be a poor mother and a poor wife would be a better deal. In my world, having a wonderful mother to my daughter and a respectful wife who is a Christian, honest, faithful and a part of a wonderful family weighed more to me.

I cannot thank you all enough for your comments. I actually still read them and should she someday decide to workout on her own, you'll definitely hear from me again. In the mean time, I'll answer any questions from any of you.

Thank you all again.

Very appreciatively,

Proud Daddy and Husband.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (24 August 2008):

Hello everyone. I am the person who posted this question and I see here where someone has asked me for an update, so in my appreciation for all your thoughtful comments I hereby give you the update.

I never left my girl. I actually ended up marring her. After sometime I decided to just drop the subject. She never workout and still doesn't. We have a gorgeous 3 month old daughter now and my wife is a super mom. She is also a great wife. After giving birth to our daughter, all the breast feeding helped her lose some weight and she looks a little bit better than she did before she got pregnant and is at least now conscious of her weight. The subject is one that I never brought up again. I have concluded that if a person doesn't want the lifestyle of fitness, there is nothing a spouse can say or do to make them take on that lifestyle.

As for me, I'm still all into fitness. I'm even more dedicated now then I ever was. I pretty much had to make a decision. Do I let go of a wonderful person simply because of the weight issue (which is a big one for me) or do I just deal with the weight issue in exchange for the beautiful wife and mother I got. I definitely did not feel that having a wife that looked like a 10 out of 10 but happened to be a poor mother and a poor wife would be a better deal. In my world, having a wonderful mother to my daughter and a respectful wife who is a Christian, honest, faithful and a part of a wonderful family weighed more to me.

I cannot thank you all enough for your comments. I actually still read them and should she someday decide to workout on her own, you'll definitely hear from me again. In the mean time, I'll answer any questions from any of you.

Thank you all again.

Very appreciatively,

Proud Daddy and Husband.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (24 August 2008):

Dear BF seeking help,

Am in a similar situation and as it is now a year and a half since you asked the question maybe you could help out by explaining what you did, and how it worked out?

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A male reader, penroof94 United States +, writes (13 August 2008):

For all the women who think that men are superficial for not wanting an obese lover/parnter, you need to be educated on one very important fact. Men are wired different than women. Our genetic makeup, for better or worse, makes us visual creatures. When we have sex, we need to be visually stimulated as well as the other senses. It's not a weakness of character, it simply programmed into our makeup.

On the other hand, Men have trouble understanding why most women aren't willing to engage in superficial, annonymous sex since its so easy for us. It's because most women are wired to need an emotional connection to have true sexual desire. Its not good or bad, it just is. So to judge guys for being wired the way we are and not bothering to understand why is superficial in its own right.

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A male reader, penroof94 United States +, writes (13 August 2008):

For all the women who think that men are superficial for not wanting an obese lover/parnter, you need to be educated on one very important fact. Men are wired different than women. Our genetic makeup, for better or worse, makes us visual creatures. When we have sex, we need to be visually stimulated as well as the other senses. It's not a weakness of character, it simply programmed into our makeup.

On the other hand, Men have trouble understanding why most women aren't willing to engage in superficial, annonymous sex since its so easy for us. It's because most women are wired to need an emotional connection to have true sexual desire. Its not good or bad, it just is. So to judge guys for being wired the way we are and not bothering to understand why is superficial in its own right.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (25 July 2008):

A sore subject indeed. I've always been incredibly fit but after starting university and working at the same time I literally havent got the time to go to the gym and when on placements I dont have time to sleep!

Needless to say I have put on some weight and my boyfriend told me I am not beautiful anymore! I now cant face having sex with him and have started wearing clothes that cover me as much as possible making me look like a frump. My confidence has been sapped!

Funny how I have never mentioned to him his bear belly and receeding hairline, both of which have grown since we first met! Difference is I really love him regardless, he however treats me like some kind of trophy! I'm still atrractive regardless of getting slighty out of shape. You guys should really only bring it up if it is a genuine health problem and if it isnt go and find someone as superficial as your good self!

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A male reader, jcruz United States +, writes (23 July 2008):

I can totally relate to this and tell you that if the weight bothers you you should mention it to her. My wife also started putting on weight and at first I thought it was cute and told her so. That was a mistake as she just started eating more. What can you say then? I thought you were cute when you were chubby but now you're too fat? 15 years after we met, she's pushing 300 pounds and stuggles to lift her bulk off the couch. Nip this in the bud.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 May 2008):

hehe First I wanna thank you for posting ur issue online and also all the guys who have posted their response cuz now I feel I'm not alone after all...

I'd say you shouldn't be expecting a female to understand your feelings. why? just take a look at the majority responds posted by females on ur subject... the thing about girls is that they always want u to care about how they feel, yet they dun wanna have to deal with ur expectations of them. As they say "a world with no men would mean a bunch of FAT happy women". Not that they can't but they DONT want to realize that BOTH personality and physical appearance matter; I mean how can you love someone who only cares about how SHE feels about her appearance and thinks you MUST be happy if she is happy, isn't that being selfish? I don't even believe that girls are more emotional than guys, guys are definetely more emotional and that's what's making girls taking advantage of us, they know our weaknesses, for example they know how easily we feel sorry about something we have said (regardless of right or wrong) if they start crying. Come on now if your girlfriend had a problem with you she wouldn't care if talking to you about it would hurt ur feelings or not, but u are concerned and careful not to hurt her by coming and posting ur feelings online and asking for advise.

anyways I'm not here to tell u wether leave her or stay with her (since me myself still haven't been able to make that decision on my own relationship), but I only wanted to give a bit of my perspective on how women's mind is (volunteery) limited so they can enjoy their life as individuals and not couples, wether or not they are in a relationship.

now for the females that are going to post a respond on my respond: I take 100% responsbility on my ponint of view, so please don't accuse all guys of being rude, stupid, crazy, or whatever u gonna call me... thank you

and good luck on ur decission making

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (16 May 2008):

I can't believe there's so many shallow people on here.

Look...the deal is...you cannot be in love with someone if you are not attracted to them. If her weight is an issue, then it's time to get out of the relationship. You don't love her. Move on. If you did love her, an extra 20 pounds wouldn't make a difference. I mean, if you guys get married and she gets knocked up, she's going to gain weight. Is that weight gain from childbearing going to bring up this issue all over again?

Look, I'm not advocating people going morbidly obese and you having to love them. I'm saying, if a little moderate weight gain is shaking your foundation in this relationship this much, then your relationship was shit to begin with. Best to cut your girl loose so she can find someone who really loves her, and so you can find someone that really appeals to you. The best place for you to find someone you can really love would probably be in healthful places- the gym, the park, hiking trails, health food stores, etc.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (2 May 2008):

Everyone in the dating pool should be fit and strong to the best of their abilities. It's as basic as having good hygiene, manners, and knowing how to dress.

It shows a huge lack of respect for one partner to slack off, stop caring about him/herself and get fat. Completely unacceptable.

I don't think there's really any point in talking about it. Get going, and find someone who cares about themselves. Being fit is a direct reflection of strength of character and discipline, and relationships fail without those qualties.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (25 February 2008):

Hey, just tell her that you think in order for yo to make a lifetime commitment, you'd like her to make a commitment to something that is a need for you. if she can't make that commitment then imo she's selfish and not the one for you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (31 January 2008):

I have been goin out with my fella for nearly 2yrs now....for the first couple of months everythin was goin well....then after gaining just a pound or 2 after been in the ''comfort zone'' the comments started...(i dont have to tell u) i lost wait then got happy again and gained it again... its like a circle-keeps goin round an round. Since xmas i have put the weight back on a little but bearing in mind i am still a size 8-10!!!!!!!! my boyfriend has now gone physco at me an started saying really hurtfull upsetting things cause im not model thin!! he thinks i should spend my spare time in the gym.... with a full time job, a 4yr old boy and a house to keep clean i dont have that much spare time!!! we are in the middle of buyin a house together an about to recieve the keys any day now but i now dont think this is a good idea an dont no if i can keep up a relationship with such a shallow person who doesnt think twice about reducing me to tears cause i dont have the body of an 18yr old model who hasnt had a kid!!!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (23 January 2008):

Man, there are some bitter women here. "Shame on you for caring what your girlfriend looks like!" What a load. You can be 100% sure that my girlfriend wouldn't find me as attractive if I started sporting a mohawk and got a giant, ugly tattoo and a few nose/lip/eyebrow piercings. Seriously, girls (or guys), if you've gotten fat and your man says he doesn't mind, he's either lying or gay. It'll come out sooner or later, whichever it is. And now they'll say, "But getting a tattoo isn't like getting fat, I didn't have a choice!" For 98% percent of people this is complete crap. Find something you enjoy doing that doesn't involve Oprah and Little Debbies and a couch and you'll be looking great in no time. And don't do it for your man, do it for yourself. Better appearance = More confidence = Better life.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (21 January 2008):

a question for you men out there with women who are "losing their appeal". did you ever make her feel attractive and appreciated when she was working to be pretty for you, or did you take it for granted and put her lower on your life's priority than other stuff? i spend a great deal of energy looking good for my man, along with taking care of household chores and work. and you can bet he's willing to drop everything for me in an instant, not because he's "whipped" but because i'd do the same goddamn thing for him. that's love.

it's not always the same to go to the gym and workout to motivate your girl to stay in shape. i couldn't care less if my man gained or lost 50 pounds as long as it doesn't effect his health. i care that he does other caring loving things for me on a daily basis, like being vigilant to my stupid feminine mood swings and really sitting down with me to cuddle and comfort me when i seem stressed out. i scratch his itchy back and listen to all his problems regarding family, work and friends. he shovels the walk way, takes out the trash and takes me out to dinner weekly. i cook separate meals for each of us, i work out daily, i eat a healthy fresh non-processed vegetarian diet while he eats a meat and potatoes type meal, i moisturize and shave daily, i perfected a light natural make up routine, i wear contacts, i buy and sew new lingerie and costumes to wear what he likes to see me in best. it's a lot of freaking energy to put into my appearance considering i'm a freaking stay at home full time, self-supporting artist and writer not a freaking porn star. but we take care of each other, without even having to ask because it's what happens when your a person who is always giving in a relationship with someone also loves to give. we just simply prioritize our lives around each other.

i won't ever let myself gain weight or stop polishing myself up to be seen with my man in public as long as i am HAPPY and he is constantly reminding me how much he appreciates every aspect of me, including my personality to my body. everyday he reminds me, which blew my mind early in our relationship. but you know what? i tell him also how lucky i always feel to be with someone who is as naturally considerate and unconditionally loving as he is. and the pride i take in our relationship motivates me to look good for him. i'm actually in better shape and dress sexier since we first got together because i'm so proud to be with him.

in my opinion women in HAPPY relationships with men who make them feel VALUED as a whole DO NOT let themselves "go". if she let herself go, something is wrong with your relationship and it goes deeper then the weight gain issue. whether or not it could be or should be salvaged doesn't mean you don't love her. but it may still be best to move on.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (17 January 2008):

Guys, what you say is so true.

Girls just don't understand that we men can have an emotional attraction to girls that is separate from our physical attraction to them. I love my girlfriend very very much and want to marry her. But she has gained alot of weight over the last year. I am sh*t scared that she is going to end up really big while I stay lean (I go to the gym 4 or 5 times a week and stay very active).

She tells me that if I love her then I should be with her and disregard the physical side. But how can I?? Our sexual intimacy has gone downhill over time. She still wants it all the time but I am just not as attracted so will come up with excuses not to do it.

Its really a sad situation because I truly love her and enjoy her company so much but it looks like it is going to end. I did end up asking her to lose weight, get in shape etc which she agreed to - but she hasn't really had a lot of success and now she resents me totally and says I have put her down, made her feel miserable, taken away her self esteem... the list goes on.

Anyway, I'm glad to know that I am not the only guy out there with this problem!

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 January 2008):

To all the female readers. Who are claiming you can love is much more then just appearances...Males aren't wired the same way. Biologically we are driven mad but the women around us. Biologically women seek men who can protect them and make for a good household. That being said physical attraction is very important to men. You are asking us to deny our very instinct and while some may try it is a losing battle. I am not saying you can not love someone who you are not attracted to, it's just not going to be the same type of love. In a mans mind it will be very different type of love if they can not be driven crazy but their spouse or girlfriend, much more platonic. Women while will lust after certain man are ultimately drawn to men who can make them feel safe and secure. That is why women are drawn to men with money,power and success. The original poster seems to have a genuine concern that he wants a full relationship with his girlfriend (emotional and physical). Women are much more emotional and tend to put emphasis on that so it may outweigh the physical. Not to mention I have met many women who will date a man because he can take care of her and her kids despite and connection. I have also met many men who date women they can't stand that look amazing. Original Poster I am sure this problem has been resolved by now but I think you genuinely love her otherwise you would have not resorted to seeking advice online and just had dumped her.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (16 January 2008):

Well, I have been in a similar situation for going on almost 2 years now. My girlfriend and I have so much in common and enjoy being around each other. I know I love her, but over the last year and a half she has gained weight which has led to depression, laziness, and really low self esteem. Whenever I suggest we go out to do something together usually it leads to cursing and crying in the bedroom as she attempts to find something to wear. During this time I only hear how fat she is and how she does not want to be seen in public.(girls this is really really a turn off to a man) I have always been in fairly good shape working out and eating somewhat healthy. (No brad Pitt just a young tone guy) I attempted to get her to come to the gym with me. I signed her up and told her I would workout with her and show her everything. This worked only temporarily and soon I was going alone again only to hear excuses. I would attempt to help her make better eating decisions but she would resent me for telling her which food she should probably avoid. As time passed I quit trying. I would ask if she would like to join me or suggest and alternate meal and leave it at that. I would then hear constant complaining about how fat she is and how I am so distant. I have found my self less attracted to her as a female and I do not want that for I really do love her. I see it spilling over into every aspect of the relationship. She is upset because I am not romantic and rarely initiate anything sexually or even small gestures of affection. As hard as I try I can not force myself to be physically attracted to someone who is overweight and constantly on the a self bash brigade, and this is required for those things to happen naturally. I have talked with her about it and she promises change but I only ever really see empty promises and short term commitments. She never reaches the final goal and I end up thinking there is something wrong with me for not being able to accept her for who she is not what she looks like. I can not help it as a man I think who she is is a big part of how she looks. I wish I know the next best step in the situation. It is not fair to either of us for me to waste her time with me if I can not provide what she is looking for and she can not be what I want...

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (6 December 2007):

In this post-feminist/PC times we men are all supposed to have instilled in us the idea that it what's inside that counts, that we love someone for who they are, rather than their appearance, and that the proper weight for a woman is that which makes her happy. This, for the most part ,is true. And though our brains are fully aware of and accept the rectitude of this line of reasoning, our penises, which make many of our more important decisions, like when or when not to cheat or when to abstain from intimate contact, are not convinced. In short, we cannot be conditioned regarding what turns us on, or more vulgarly put, what makes our collective DICK hard.

Yes, if my partner gains 20-30 pounds I will still love and accept her, but I will just NOT be as attracted to her physically. The lust will not be there and the sex will NOT be the same. The origin of this drive is subconscious. This, we men cannot change. Women, from what my female friends have told me, actually find men more sexually appealing as they grow to love them and become closer to them. Their physical level of sexual attraction or LUST can actually change and correlates (partially depends on / relates to) with their their emotional commitment. They don't just consciously overlook what at first they found flawed, but actually cease to see the flaws. There is a direct connection between love, closeness and the level of attraction. WOW!

For men this isn't so. The two are distinctly separate, except in that there exists the chance that we may grow to love someone to which we are initially attracted.

Loving someone doesn't in itself MAKE that person any more PHYSICALLY attractive to us. And though we can overlook physical factors about a woman that don't "ring our bells," and further, choose not to mention them, as far as our SEXUAL level attraction to said woman, these remain, and have an effect upon us -despite that we may still love the woman, regardless of the particular physical features that we don't find attractive, and may continue to stay with her.

That said, there remains one's options regarding how to handle the situation that exists. Do you lie and live a life of perpetual sexual dissatisfaction with someone you love, move on and give up on someone you love (and no girls, no longer being SEXUALLY, PHYSICALLY AS ATTRACTED to HER, DOES NOT mean you don't truly love HER as it does in your world), or tell them the truth in hope of bettering the sexual side of the relationship?

Girls, if you love a man who is not making you orgasm as frequently as you'd like, do you tell them so and how to change/do it better (perhaps more oral, or more foreplay) , or do you lie ifn fear of hurting them and live in SEXUAL misery, or do you break up with them and lose someone you love over something that can be changed? In short, If you love someone, but they are just not doing it for you physically, in some way that can be changed, why not tell them, and change it, and be happier sexually?

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (5 December 2007):

if you work out and stay in shape then she should too. If you are not fat then she should not be fat. period. Dont let all these people tell you that youre such an A hole for just wanting your girl to be in shape. You can love a person all you want but if your not physicall attracted to that girl then your intimacy level is gonna plummet and their goes your relationship.....I went through the exact same thing as you....So what I realized is that if shes gaining weight she will try to manipulate you and try to make it seem like somehow it is your fault...but let me tell you that this is WRONG. if she is gaining weight and then getting mad at you for saying that she gained weight when she asks you, then this is insane...she gained the weight, so its not your fault....my girlfriend used to make me feel this way until I came to this realization....so dont listen to these people who think you are a bad person. if you are in shape then she should be in shape too.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 November 2007):

oh yeah...... don't take girls' advices about this kind of stuff either. Men understand men, and if your type is the fit and trim type....what can you do? Surf the net.... there are plenty of single dudes out there that are hot for fat bottomed girls. Let her go to one of them and find yourself someone you're happy with.....cuz my friend, 13 months is too soon to be dealing with this. It'll just snowball and snowball....... like it did for me before a guy gave me this same advice. Never looked back since. Peace and good luck.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 November 2007):

13 months is nothing...... dump her. Seriously , if you REALLY work out 4 - 6 days a week......why would you be with someone who doesn't share your same interest in fitness and health? If you really do work out like you say, you shouldn't have problems finding someone else. Single girls are a dime a dozen and it ain't fair to them to be with someone you're not happy with. Being a woos and sugar coating your words is why america's divorce rate is over 50%....'cuz sooner or later it'll come out......and the longer you wait, the uglier it'll be.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (30 September 2007):

If you love someone, you love more than their superficial shell... This line of thinking is nothing but an excuse. Mens sana in corpore sano = "A sound mind in a sound body."

Love is not guaranteed to last forever, and outside of any religious notions, it wont last unless both parties work to keep the others interest. Yes it is natural for both parties to a relationship to eventually let their guard down, but dont let it down too much or you could end up in danger.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 September 2007):

Do you really have a problem with this, or are you afraid of what other people will think? There comes a time when you have to do what is best for you. If that means leaving a girl because she is getting fat, then you should. Staying with someone you are not attracted to, is not helping you are her. It actually blocking the both of you. However, you should remember that chances are you are NOT Brad Pitt. I'm not saying that to be cruel, its just to let you know that you (at least physically) are probably not her dream man, yet she is still with you. Just know that people change over time, and one day the fat person in the relationship may be you. Don't throw away a perfectly good relationship over weight gain. If she can gain it, she ccan lose it. Just lay off.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 September 2007):

No - really, if there's no medical/metabolic reason for you to be fat then you should'nt let it happen. Primarily for health. Then for looks. YOUR looks, YOUR self esteem.

If both partners enjoyed staying in shape and looking good at the start and now one doesn't, then something has been removed from the relationship. No different to any other common interest which brought you together initially. Sure other things have been added like closeness, sharing, laughing, crying. And they're all good, and that's love I guess.

Men are not desiring some skinny supermodel figure if they want their GF to lose weight - they are remembering a time when their GF looked more ATTRACTIVE in their own eyes. Beauty is more than skin deep and your man knows you have beauty in abundance. But attraction is about the way you look.

How to approach the subject?.... Dancing. Have not met a woman yet who disliked dancing. It'll keep you fit, it's a good excuse to dress to impress each other and it can be intimate.

Salsa classes, night clubs, what ever takes your fancy.

It's alot of fun for you both and your GF will never suspect that you think she's put on weight if you tell her you want to dance with her.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (18 September 2007):

my bf just sent me this page..yes ive gained a few extra punds....i know this....its not like im 200 lbs or anything...not that thats wrong...but..when you cheat on someone and poke fun at there weight...and cheat on them again..and possibly get your ex gf pregnet,and sleep with your ex's bestfriend...all when your "with" the love of your life an soul mate....duh...you stress me the hell out....im not liek you...im not going to go out and f**k guys till im happy again...exucse me for gaining a few pounds cus your ass has stressed me out and depressed me to no end...so maybe you should think about that one!!

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A male reader, Dren Drikes United States +, writes (3 September 2007):

Dude, you took the words right out of my mouth I desperately need help with the same issue!

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A female reader, BeHereNow United States +, writes (22 February 2007):

BeHereNow agony auntYikes! My ex-boyfriend had the same issue with me and it not only made me feel very insecure but made me wonder if he really loved me for me. I wanted to lose weight immediately, but because I was resentful, I only ended up gaining more weight, in a subconscious passive-aggressive kind of a way. It really pissed him off. Also the anxiety and the pressure of wanting to keep my ex's romantic love only made me sabotage myself even more. We broke up for other reasons, mainly because he was a d*ckhead.

My current boyfriend met me a couple of months ago when I was about thirty pounds overweight. We were only friends and weren't initially attracted to each other's body types, but ended up falling in love with each other's personalities. I was worried about the weight issue but he told me that he loves my body and I don't even have to lose any weight at all, and even though I wasn't initially attracted to his skinny physique (and had fantasized about him putting on some pounds and hitting the gym), I now think he's the most beautiful man in the world because I love him for his kindness, intelligence, sense of humor, etc, etc, etc, and I've never been more physically attracted to anyone else in my life (even though the ex-boyfriend was a Brad Pitt clone - and by the way girls, still available!). I love my boyfriend now for him, and he loves me for me, which is the greatest aphrodisiac in the world. This makes me feel so accepted, loved and at peace that I can eat right and exercise without worrying about who I am in his eyes. And another thing that helps is that he hates TV and the media in general. So he isn't constantly being brainwashed into being sexually attracted to that one image we've all come to lust for. He's not comparing me to model or celebrity images and has no desire for me to become one of them.

If you totally accept your girlfriend for who she is and remind yourself of all the many reasons why you love her, then she will probably end up taking care of herself when she's ready. If she feels resentful, she may only sabotage herself and gain more weight - or worse - lose weight just to please you. And as you both age, chances are that she will gain weight, and she will most definitely develop wrinkles, grow grey and sag. Would you still be attracted to her then, or want someone fitter and younger?

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A female reader, dollparts Canada +, writes (21 February 2007):

dollparts agony auntyou don't tell her simple as that

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A reader, anonymous, writes (21 February 2007):

telling her shes fat upfront is not the BEST idea, but it might have to work. maybe you can set up memberships at a gym, and say you wanna be healthy together. be like "i wanna spend the rest of my life with you, and being unhealthy wont make us last that long" or something like that. dont say "I wanna get fit together" cause then you'll be calling her fat.

if this doesnt work, then you might have to sit her down and talk to her.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (20 February 2007):

I had the exact same situation with my GF and it was tricky but I out right said what I thought.

She noticed I was becoming more distant and assumed I was falling out of love or something like that. Fact is physical attraction is really important for a guy and you lose a lot of intimacy and fun in a relationship with that goes.

What did I do? She was upset one night wondering why I didn't want to have sex (girls see sex as something so much more than physical) and kept asking me what it was and it went like this...

ME: "Don't you know?"

HER: "No..."

ME: "Oh cmon, you must know... I don't find you sexually attractive anymore so obvously I'm not going to want to have sex".

Basically her first response was to walk out the room and cry. She assumed all this was much deeper, much more about lack of love. So expect that.

In the end when we all calmed down she promised she would sort it out. Remember to make it clear that she is not doing herself justice to be overweight, she can look so pretty and if she isn't then it's being unfair on herself.

In the end I bought her gym membership for $250 with the deal that within 3-4 months she would be thin and back to herself. She has been doing pretty well and it will be a while yet till I know my money has been well spent.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (15 February 2007):

No doubt you must love your girlfriend for who she is - however what are you supposed to do if naturally you are not attracted to her? (due to her weight) I'm not saying sex is the end all and be all of relationships, but healthy sex is part of a healthy relationship. If you're not attracted to her, or if something is wrong with her mentally, guys cannot get it up. This is not a choice ladies, for guys its NORMAL AND NATURAL. In addition to that being overweight contributes to negative feelings physcologically. Its natural that we want a mate that will help us produce good offspring. If our wife/girlfriend is fat, we have that pre-coginition that our kids will be fat. Also being over weight and fat can lead to many health issues in the future. If you love your wife or girlfriend and she needs to lose weight, telling her to get healthy and to exercise is the BEST thing you could ever do for her. The best bet is not to say that you are less attracted to her, but that you are concerned about her health. Ladies, if your husband gained 60-70 pounds and was overweight, suddenly wasn't healthy, wouldn't you be concerned about your man? wouldn't you be less attracted to him? Do not lie..the same applies vice-versa.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (6 February 2007):

I am a woman who was put into the same situation that you put your girlfriend into. My fiance of 8 years told me that because of the weight I had put on that he was less attracted to me. Please understand the gravity of a statement like that. You are supposed to care for her no matter what....you just put a condition on your love. It not only makes her feel horrible, but it also will make her trust you less. Please consider if you should be dating her. If she is unable to take off the weight and meet your expectations you will continue to hurt her whether you say anything else to her or not. If you feel this way now you should let her go so that she can find someone less shovenistic and find a real man who will not make her feel bad about herself. You might ask why you need to have her look a certain way to make you feel good about yourself....honey-it's not her it's you.

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (28 January 2007):

willywombat agony auntWow female anon, You have inspired me as well! Seriously. I shall show your message to my hubby so he will 'prod' me when I get low about my weight....

I am not fat, but I am a bit overweight and yes it does make me miserable...and that shows.

Good luck and thank you fro being an inspiration!

x

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A reader, anonymous, writes (28 January 2007):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Dear female reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2007):

I never thought that I would read an e-mail like yours. It was very inspiring! Thank you so much for taking the time to write your story. I wish you all the best in the world of fitness. The determination that you have is definitely a great one. I have taken all your advice into consideration. Thanks for inspiring me and once again, I wish you all the best in your quest for fitness and remember, I support your decision.

Very appreciatively yours,

Loving BF seeking help.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2007):

Dear BF in need,

...Weird thing is I am glad you posted this question. I myself am a girlfriend who has gained weight, slowly but surely and I now feel it is out of control. My sex drive is gone, I do not want my bf to see me naked, I have a hard time touching him in general because I dont want it to lead to me being naked. I know this is really bad, and he is a great attractive hard working man. He is young, good looking, and he chose me because at one time I was the girl of his dreams. Now, I am fat and depressed because I am fat and being sad almost makes it impossible to lose weight. ALMOST! BUT,I know my bf loves me so much, but lately he has been withdrawn and I feel its because he is just getting sick of my laziness and excuses. I do love him though, and do not want to lose him. So I am in the process of revamping my life. I will diet and workout every day from now on.I want to feel sexy again and make him proud to be with me. So personally if you want her to lose weight be straight forward with her, it will hurt her yes, but that hurt will get her motivated if she wants to keep you! Take her on walks everyday for starters, you will have to initiate it but make her go no matter how grumpy she gets. Trust me once the walk is over she will feel happier and glad she went. buy her makeup. Tell her to buy an outfit so you guys can go out this will make her feel like she has an agenda to look good for. Talk about going to the beach this summer and wouldnt it be great to lay in the sun. Make her remember how fun outside life in shorts and a tanktop can be. get her new sandals and a manicure. Be honest, Be there for her, and if you really want this, be willing to be her motivator for the next 6 months or so. Dont eat around her unless it is healthy this is a big issue! Well good luck,from a gf who needs to lose weight for her bf aswell, dont giveup!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2007):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thank you so much for all your feedbacks. I can at least conclude from your responses that there is no polite way to bring this up. I liked maxsteel86’s suggestion of the Nintendo Wii which clues me to incorporate her in more active but still fun activities that we can do together. I know that she used to play tennis. Perhaps she and I could join a tennis club and play doubles as a team and make the sport fun. Who knows, something may workout just fine in the end. Thanks for the great suggestion max; that is an approach that I had never considered before.

I do want to acknowledge one thing. Most of the women seam to make the connection that when you love someone you should not care about their appearance. However, to say this is to simply deny an emotional need that I have for physical attraction. If your husband decided to quit working and just sat around the house and never helped out with the bills would you just assume the role of a family provider and keep loving him for who he is and never say anything? All of us have different needs in a relationship and it is not fair to say that some needs are more important than others. Obviously to women, physical attraction is not that important. However, something else is and that something else is just as important to them as physical attraction is important to me. I cannot change my likes and dislikes about relationships. I never even chose to make physical attraction important to me; God made me that way!

Bottom line, I realize that for some of you, the physical attraction is not important. However, all that matters at this point is that physical attraction is important to me and this fact should not be denied. I am not asking for your opinion on what you think about the fact that physical attraction is important to me. Instead, my question is, how do I help restore physical attraction in my relationship. So as we proceed, let us make one thing clear; physical attraction is very important to me and you may not deny that! The reason I have posted my question is that I am interested in knowing how I can go about restoring the physical attraction that was once present in my relationship. Maxsteel86, Vina_101, Willywombat and DeeDoc have definitely understood my question correctly. Dr Pete acknowledged the question by saying that we both have different priorities towards physical looks, which is a good suggestion. However, he concluded by saying that I need to think up a new strategy! Well, this is precisely why I have posted this question; I am looking for that new strategy!!!!

Once again, I thank you all for your feedback and I am looking forward to more advice on the subject.

Yours Appreciatively,

A loving boyfriend seeking help.

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A female reader, DeeDoc United States +, writes (27 January 2007):

DeeDoc agony auntTHESE ARE MY THOUGHTS: Wow! Such an array of advise. I see points in every single one of them. This is not an easy topic. First of all, we all know, she's gaining weight. But, remember, SHE KNOWS that you have noticed, and grant you.....SHE ALREADY KNEW BEFORE YOU DID. In my opinion, everyone should feel good in their own skin. There is obsolutely NO WAY you can tenderly tell the one you love that their weight is not as appealing. From what I can gather, she is not a whale. The only way I feel she would not be hurt beyond measure is that if a doctor would advise her of this due to health reasons. I do not feel that she fits into this scenerio just yet. Therefore, you have to let her lose at her own will. Not yours. Be her comforter. With all of the Agony Aunts advise on 'how to', I'm sure that between all of us, something you will read might just be something that you and she can work with. I liked the idea of Max's Nintendo Wii's!! That is a terrific idea! What fun...and also she would not know that she, as well as you, will be keeping fit. It should be a joint venture. I hope the both of you will do this together and have fun doing it! Good luck to the both of you. =o)

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A female reader, willywombat United Kingdom +, writes (26 January 2007):

willywombat agony auntI like Max's idea, bedroom aerobics!

On the whole it is nearly always difficult to address weight issues with either sex, as most of the time they are already aware of it. No matter how nicely you try to put things they will nearly always hear it as a criticism or an attack and not as a genuine concern for the other persons health.

Looks are imprtant at the beginning of a relationship. If more people took care of themselves and didn't 'let themselves go' as it where I think that a lot of relationships would be saved. People less likely to look elsewhere where the grass is greener (and the tummy is flatter, and the legs are always shaved). It is easy to become complacent in a relationship when you are with somebody for a while.

I am not completely sure how you go about addressing this issue with your GF. I ahve sat here and tried to think how I would react if my hubby siad this to me and i cnnot think of a single way he could put this sort of thing to me without me wanting to beat him round the head with a heavy blunt object...

**ho-hum**

Some suggestions....maybe get her and yourself a course of personal training, lie-tell her it was two for one. A membership to a swanky gym, a new bike. Aske her will she come running with you....Gawd, this is difficult.

You could always bit the bullet and let her read this forum???? Maybe look thru and pick up on this question and see if she reacts.

Good luck hunny!

xx

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A male reader, maxsteel86 United Kingdom +, writes (26 January 2007):

maxsteel86 agony auntAll this advice was totally crazy, you're all condemning a guy because he wants his girlfriend to be healthy and physically attractive. What's wrong with wanting someone to lose weight if they really have gained an unacceptable amount? If you think physical aspects are so unimportant, I suppose not a single one of you women own make up or wear sexy clothes for your partners? Continuing along this line, why do women complain if their guy has a BO problem? I guess you dont tell him to take a shower cos it might hurt his feelings? One more thing, when was the last time you looked at a fat guy (or girl) and thought, wow I would love to be dating that person!? I dont see whats wrong with wanting to have the same thoughts about the person you love. And we all know we find people less attractive when they're overweight (anyone who disagrees is a liar or overweight)

Dude I totally understand what you're saying and telling a girl she's gaining some weight is probably one of the hardest things to do. But thankfully, technology has come up with another gift;-) I dont mean one of those abtronic belts! Get yourself a Nintendo Wii!!! The games there work wonders! And the games are totally fun to play in a group of two or more. They do give you quite a physical work out (not as much as running but it does get the job done eventually) but trust me, it'll work. She'll be having some real fun while the two of you burn some calories!;-) If you like my advice, rate me up please! I'm gonna slated for sticking up for you!!:-P

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A female reader, Patient1 United States +, writes (26 January 2007):

Patient1 agony auntEven as a woman I can totally understand where you're coming from. CD206 has a good point, if you love her, you should love her no matter what she looks like. However, your concerns are natural. When I met my husband I was fit and looking great!!! After having our two kids my weight was constantly up and down. I ended up losing all my baby fat and was looking great again. When I went back to work after 4 years of being a stay home mother, I began to gain weight because my activity level dropped. I began feeling uncomfortable in my own skin and I didn't like the way I looked. I went from being a confident tiger in bed to an embarrassed little mouse, even though I was only 20lbs over weight. I have lost 7lbs and I'm already feeling better. You have every right to be concerned, but be concerned about her health, not her looks. Without telling her she is gaining weight, ask her to go for a brisk walk with you, or ask her if she'd like to join a gym with you or play a sport. If she asks why, tell her it's strickly for health reasons and that you'll love her no matter what she looks like. Good Luck!

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A reader, anonymous, writes (26 January 2007):

You've already stated what the real problem is... you both have difference priorities towards physical looks.

She will always think you don't love her, and you will always think she doesn't love you enough. Not much you can really do really. I can kind of see what you are saying, but I would probably be a little more like CD coz, i'm sure your girlfriend has put on a few extra pounds because she loves you and feels comfortable, safe and secure. People who feel this way tend to not need to pay so much attention to staying in perfect shape.

You are sounding a little like a a-hole, if you talk like this to your girlfriend it is no wonder she hasn't lost any weight. You need to think up a new strategy i think :)

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A female reader, vina_101 United Kingdom +, writes (26 January 2007):

vina_101 agony auntI see your point cd but I do disagree with you a little bit. I think he does love her but because he loves her he wants to see her looking her best. Very few like to admit it but appearance is very important. One of the main reasons for being attracted to someone is because of their appearance. For example if you saw a stranger with a particular hairstyle and you thought it suited them if they changed it you might not see them in the same way.

Anyway back to the question...Are you slim and trim yourself? If not them maybe you could both try loosing weight together that way she won't feel so alone. I don't think there is a gentle way of telling her but there is a tactful yet honest way to go about it. But you must first reassure her that you are not trying to attack her and that you love her very much. If my boyfriend told me anything like "you need to loose weight" no matter how he said it I'd still feel mortified. But if he made it clear that he really loved me and and cared about me then I wouldn't feel as bad.

I can't tell you the exact words to say but I can only advise you to make sure you make it clear that you are not rejecting her or attacking her and that you still find her beautiful.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (26 January 2007):

Dear: I agree with "cd026". I believe that you are putting a lot of emphasis on her weight because a great amount of your attraction to her is based on the physical aspect. This is not love. I understand perfectly that appearance is very important to you and I'm not saying she shouldn't be concerned about her weight, because of her health and appearance. But you've been with this girl for more than a year now, you should be having more deep feelings about her than her looks if you say that you love her. If she has a tendency to gain weight and doesn't care about it and you do, I suggest that you reevaluate the relationship. Because most woman gain more weight when they get married. I think you are being superficial but nobody should be telling you what you should like and dislike. I say sit down with her and explain your concerns seriously one more time being completely honest. You can't solve all the problems in a relationship with a smile. If she feels hurt well that's too bad you are only being honest (provided that you tell her with respect). If she doesn't make an effort you should go separate ways. After all she deserves to be with someone who accepts her the way she is. Just for the record I'm a very skinny woman.

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A female reader, Pink_Fairy234 +, writes (26 January 2007):

Pink_Fairy234 agony auntIf you really love this girl, you won't care what she looks like. And some people eat because they're stressed. Why don't you ask her if anything's on her mind.

I hope it works.

I know it's a cliché but you can't judge a book by its cover.

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A female reader, ***la belle vida*** United Kingdom +, writes (26 January 2007):

***la belle vida*** agony auntSHAME ON YOU! If you love someone you love them for the person inside not the superficial outer shell. You are been incredibly shallow, and unless your partner has become so morbidly obese shes a danger to herself (which i doubt, you should not say anything. If you still really can't stand to be around her i feel you should re-evaluate your relationship and consider moving on. Maybe then she will find someone with more emotional depth.

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A female reader, eyeswideopen United States +, writes (26 January 2007):

eyeswideopen agony auntYou had best keep your mouth shut about her weight from this point on. She knows how you feel so it's up to her to decide if she wants to drop a few pounds. Be loving and supportive and maybe she will but it will be for her sake not yours that she does it.

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A female reader, cd206 United Kingdom +, writes (26 January 2007):

cd206 agony auntI feel that if you really loved her you'd love her regardless of how fat or skinny she was. Love is about so much more than just appearances and if something as small as this can put you off this girl then I suggest it isn't love you feel.

CD

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