Before giving my opinion on this, let me share with you the post working hour conversation or maybe even debate some colleagues and I had about this subject.
Would not like her partner to mention anything about her weight. This would make feel insecure and question the core of their relationship. She feels women are under huge pressure from society and Instagram to look a certain way and wouldn’t want that additional pressure from her partner. That said, she is open to an indirect approach that addresses her overall wellbeing; something like “I feel like we’ve not been very active / not been eating very healthily recently, I think we should do something about it / go to the gym.”
Feels it is somewhat selfish for one partner to look how they want without considering how it affects the other person. He also said if one person is gaining weight, it should definitely be talked about as it’s both partners’ responsibility to deal with it.
Feels that the most important thing is the intention of the person (irrespective of gender) bringing up the topic. Is it an ego booster for them because they do not want to be seen with a fat person or are they trying to help the other person because there might be a deeper reason for the weight gain?
Was more direct, if it is an issue then it should be talked about because you should be able to discuss anything with your partner in a relationship. She has no issue being told she’s gaining weight. She admits it would hurt but that would push her to do something about it.
She feels that it’s important for partners to look good for another. If your partner met you at a certain size and over few years, the size increase excessively, then they should have the right to bring it up because it’s not what they ‘signed up for.’
I get that due to the sensitivity of the subject and its ties with self-esteem and confidence, people are reluctant to have or entertain conversations about their weight. In a relationship setting, like Cristal, I’m fan of relationships where we can be honest and open with one another regardless of the sensitivity. I would even go as far as saying a couple’s ability or inability to have a difficult and sensitive conversation to a large extent determines the strength of their relationship.
Thomas G and Nikita made a good point about looking good for one another. I feel it is important for partners to look as good as they can for one another. Physical attraction in a relationship is often overlooked, especially in long term relationships because people feel their partner should love them irrespective of how they look. I completely agree, true love should be unconditional and should definitely go beyond the physical because attraction alone is not enough to sustain a relationship. That said I feel there is a difference between love and attraction. Being physically attracted to ones partner brings excitement and maintains the chemistry in the relationship. I’d compare it to icing on a cake; although it’s not the main body of the cake, it beautifies as well as make the cake taste better.
Annabel made a good point when she talked about intentions; are you bringing it up for your ego or trying to address the other persons struggle?
About a year ago, my wife and I had an uncomfortable period following the birth of our son. She had form an eating habit over the course of her pregnancy, which she was struggling to break out of. Initially I was understanding of the fact that she had just given birth, but after some months I felt she was letting herself go and no longer felt looking good for me was important. So I brought up the conversation which didn’t go down too well.
I have to admit, my approach was not the best because I was in my feelings about her letting herself go and I put that ahead of the challenge she was having. So even though my intention was right, I still came across as unloving and unsupportive and that led to arguments, affected her confidence as well as the dynamics of our relationship.
I had to change my approach and this is where I agree with Libby. I started talking from the perspective of her wellbeing, such as suggesting healthier diet options, joining the gym and asking if she would like to come with me. She felt more encouraged and more importantly loved and cared for. She has since joined a fitness group and is now on her way to her body size goal.
So would I like my partner to tell me if I was gaining weight? Absolutely, because personally I would rather know the truth so I could do something about it. I feel that the issue of weight gain is not necessarily a question of whether it should be discussed but rather how it is put across. As long as it’s done in a supportive and loving way, I feel most people would be fine with it.
I would love to read your views and experience on this topic, please comment below. Thanks for reading