Your girlfriend gained weight and you’re not attracted to her anymore. You love her, but things are changing. How do you deal with your feelings about your girlfriend’s body? You’re not attracted to women who are plump, overweight, or even obese. Worse, sometimes you feel disgusted or even repelled by your girlfriend’s weight. These tips are inspired by a guy whose friends tease him because of his “fat girlfriend.”
“My girlfriend is very interesting and funny, and I think I love her,” says Sam on 10 Conversation Starters to Help You Talk to Your Girlfriend. “My problem is that my girlfriend is overweight. I’m ashamed and embarrassed to say it, but I’m not as attracted to her as I was before. We have been dating for almost three years, and things are starting to become more serious. She was always slightly overweight, which I never had a problem with, but recently she has began to gain more weight. I can tell. Plus, all of her immediate family is extremely overweight and I fear that she may soon be obese as well. My friends already tease me about having a ‘fat girlfriend’ and I’m scared it will get worse. What can I do?”
You are not the only guy who dealing with weight issues in his relationship. Of course you aren’t alone; obesity is at epidemic levels in North America and other countries. That’s why so many magazines, advertisements, organizations and services are selling products to help women (and men) lose weight! Overweight girlfriends and wives – as well as boyfriends and husbands – aren’t just struggling with their weight, size, and shape. They’re dealing with body image issues, emotional health problems, and even spiritual struggles.
Here’s another guy with the same question:
“I’ve been seeing my girlfriend for about six months, and I am in love with her but starting to be not attracted to her,” says Fred on 7 Ways to Know if Your Relationship is Worth Fighting For. “Since we met, she has gained 25 pounds. I’m concerned about the long term effects of her weight gain. It’s not just that I don’t want a fat girlfriend, it’s that her appearance is decreasing her self image, her attitude, and our sex life. When I try to talk to her about her weight gain, no matter how kind and caring and sweet I am, she gets defensive. I am thinking about breaking up with her because our relationship is getting complicated. The other thing is that I often see her depressed because of her weight gain. Is there anything that I can do to help my girlfriend lose weight?”
How to Deal With Your Feelings About Your Girlfriend’s Body
The most important thing you can do for your own personal growth is to talk to someone in person or online. This is the perfect time to figure out if you’re struggling with your girlfriend’s weight because of what other people think, or because you just can’t be intimate with an overweight woman. In other words, is this a character issue you need to deal with? If so, working through this until you get to the root of your feelings will grow you into a healthier, stronger, more compassionate man.
The healthiest, most loving and helpful thing you can do for your girlfriend is to find ways to support her journey to health and wellness. Why is she gaining weight? There is a reason. It may be emotional (mindless eating or comfort munching) or psychological (an eating disorder or food obsession). It may be spiritual (disconnection from God, or even an attack from the deceiver) or physical (a health problem with her thyroid or digestion).
1. Don’t be too hard on yourself
You may feel like a jerk (or worse) for not being attracted to your girlfriend. Maybe you feel shallow, critical, embarrassed or even ashamed to say “I love you but I’m not attracted to you anymore.” Maybe you even hate yourself because you know how easy it is for some women to gain weight, and how hard it is to lose it.
Maybe you know that your girlfriend has an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia. You know that overeating can be an emotional health issue, and you feel terrible for not loving your girlfriend the way you used to. And, you may be struggling with questions that are very difficult to answer.
3 common questions boyfriends ask about overweight girlfriends:
- Should I tell my girlfriend I’m not attracted to her because she gained weight?
- What do I say when my friends tease me and say I have a fat girlfriend?
- How do I deal with feeling disgusted and turned off by my girlfriend’s body?
These are good, important questions. There is nothing wrong with asking these and wrestling with your own doubts, anxieties, and feelings. In fact it is good that you’re asking these questions! You’re a sensitive boyfriend who doesn’t want to hurt his girlfriend. You’re actually thinking about how you feel. And you are also a normal guy with attractions and feelings that are affected by your girlfriend’s appearance.
2. Find your “best tips” for dealing with your girlfriend’s weight gain
How you deal with (and love!) an overweight girlfriend will be different than how Sam or Fred are dealing with their girlfriends. Some guys simply can’t love an obese women. On the other end of the scale, other men just aren’t attracted to thin, “scrawny looking” women. This is partly a natural tendency that you’re born with and partly the result of social conditioning and media bias towards thin women.
Consider your relationship and when you’re figuring out how to deal with your girlfriend’s body – especially if you’re living together with children. Your responsibilities and role is different if you and your girlfriend are parenting kids. If you’re in a committed or common law relationship with your girlfriend, you can’t just break up with her because you don’t find her body sexy anymore. If, on the other hand, you and your girlfriend live apart and have been dating a few months, you have more freedom.
3. Talk to someone who can handle your heart and soul
Who can you sit down with and really talk to? Now is the time to dig beneath the initial “I’m not attracted to my girlfriend because she gained weight” problem. This is a great opportunity to get to know yourself better! Work through those questions above. How do you want to deal with feeling disgusted and turned off by your girlfriend’s body? Are you ashamed of how she looks? Be honest with yourself. Find someone you can be honest with.
As a sensitive guy and a loving boyfriend, your goal is to build a healthier, stronger relationship with your girlfriend. Your feelings of attraction to her – and your level of physical intimacy – isn’t the number one priority in your relationship. Learn what it means to see your girlfriend as a whole woman, a partner who will stand by you no matter what, a best friend who you share life with. Your girlfriend’s size and shape is part of who she is; it’s not who she is as a woman. Instead of making your girlfriend’s weight gain the focus of your relationship, concentrate on building a great relationship with her.
4. Be gentle with your girlfriend
I’m a woman who has struggled food addiction and weight problems most of my life; my tips can only come from my own perspective. I know that a woman’s self-worth is often tied in with her size or shape. If you as her boyfriend (or husband) criticize or even just talk about your girlfriend’s weight gain, she may feel like you are attacking her.
Do you want to talk to your girlfriend about how her weight gain makes you feel? Here’s is some helpful advice from Psychology Today:
“Try to think about an area of your own life in which you are especially sensitive—maybe it’s education, money or relationships,” writes Jennifer Kromberg in How to Talk to a Loved One About Their Weight. “How would you want someone to approach you about a very sensitive and painful topic? When you talk to your girlfriend [about food, exercise, or weight gain], offer lots of love and support. Speaking to girlfriend without true empathy and compassion for her struggle will only push her away.
If make your girlfriend feel ashamed or bad about gaining weight, it will backfire. Shame may make your girlfriend eat healthy or restrict what she eats in front of you, but it doesn’t create long-term change. If fact, shame can cause your girlfriend to gain more weight and feel worse about herself. Examples of shaming statements are “I’m not attracted to you because of your weight,” or, “You can’t even fit into your clothes; everyone calls you my fat girlfriend.”
5. Weigh your girlfriend as a whole woman – not a number on the scale
No matter how beautiful, slim, or smart your girlfriend is, you and she will go through rough times in your relationship. Sometimes you won’t be attracted to her – and it’s not because she’s too fat, too skinny, too this or that. All relationships are difficult, whether we’re fat or thin, tall or short, old or young. Every relationship goes through ups and downs regardless of how much each partner weighs. You can never be physically attracted to your girlfriend all the time, no matter how much she weighs or what she looks like.
Remember her most attractive qualities, which are more important than your girlfriend’s weight: her values, personality, how she treats others, who she is at heart, what she’s contributing to the world, and her connection with you. Your girlfriend’s size and shape isn’t as important as who she is on the inside. Her weight doesn’t change how you relate as a couple. If you love her thin, you’ll love her fat.
If your girlfriend has a sense of humor and wants to lose weight, read Did Your Vacation Make You Chubby? 13 Weight Loss Tips.
6. A practical tip for helping your girlfriend lose weight
If you want to help your girlfriend stop gaining weight, invite her to join you in something physical and fun. Get active together by swimming, dancing, hiking, biking, or skiing. My husband and I do fitness DVDs together, such as yoga and Pilates – and I love getting fitness-oriented gifts if they support the activities I love to do. Find ways to support the physical activities your girlfriend likes to do. Invite her to try new things with you. It’s a great way to spice up your relationship!
What sports or activities can you and your girlfriend do together? Instead of focusing on her weight gain, plan dates that involve hiking, skating, walking, playing sports or trying new physical activities. Don’t tell your girlfriend that you’re not attracted to her because she’s getting fat, or that you think she should lose weight. Instead, focus on health and wellness as a couple.
How you deal with your girlfriend’s size and shape depends on why she gained the weight and the reasons she keeps eating. It also depends on your own willingness and ability to be a boyfriend who loves her through thick and thin. If you think your girlfriend is overeating because of emotional problems, read Should You Tell Your Boyfriend About Your Eating Disorder? You’ll gain some insight into how food can become an unhealthy addiction or obsessive compulsion for some women.
What do you think? Feel free to share your comments below – whether they’re big and little, skinny or fat :-)