Can Weight Loss Ruin Your Relationship?

Can Weight Loss Ruin Your Relationship?

21 couples participated in research where one partner lost 30lbs or more and how it impacted their relationship. While many were happy and felt closer emotionally and sexually, in other couples, the weight loss caused complications and triggered fundamental insecurities.

“The thinner partners began nagging their significant others to hit the gym. People whose weight hadn’t budged became critical, disinterested in sex, and even tried to tempt their partners with fatty foods in order to derail their progress. The difference between happy and not-so-happy couples boiled down to the amount of support in the relationship. When both partners were on board with a weight-loss plan, they felt closer. But if one person resisted, their bond suffered.”

This is basic human psychology, but it doesn’t make it any less confusing or painful. The thin partner becomes evangelical about weight-loss and wants to spread that joy to everyone around her. The partner who is content being heavy feels left behind and resentful, as if being fat isn’t “good enough”.

She dumped me three times based on her belief that a guy like me would never be faithful to a woman like her.

“Weight loss causes relationship stress because it triggers people’s fundamental insecurities,” Bethany Marshall, PhD, a Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, tells Yahoo Shine. Some people interpret their partner’s healthy lifestyle as a sign he or she is focused on their own life, which can feel exclusive. It’s also possible that one person appreciates the other’s new, leaner body, but not the attention it brings from the opposite sex, says Marshall.”

Weight loss is a very personal issue for me, since I’ve had at least two girlfriends who lost over 50lbs prior to dating me. One of them, in particular, remained insecure about her body long after she’d gotten thin. She’d get upset when men looked at her in the gym (because they never would have done that before). She’d freak out if I looked at a model on the cover of a magazine (because how could I be attracted to my girlfriend if I also found models appealing?). While my girlfriend had dropped the weight, she still saw herself as the heavy girl with the chip on her shoulder. I felt sympathetic to her but was never able to make her feel secure in her own skin. She dumped me three times based on her belief that a guy like me would never be faithful to a woman like her. She was wrong, but I hope she’s happy, and doesn’t carry around her psychological baggage the way she used to.

If you have lost weight or dated someone who’s lost weight, please, share your experiences below.

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  1. 31

    Locutus, Gabriel,
    please understand that beautiful women have so much choice in dating, that they not only can get away with bad personality, they practically need to weed out some of the interest.
    How a person treats you is not only about whay kind of a person they are, but also about how much they like you and in what capacity you are meeting.
    Gabriel, you are not shallow for liking fit bodies. Most probably, you are personally attractive enough not to experience the sour grapes effect with beauties.

  2. 32

    I think a lot of people have come to have high expectations about what their partner’s body should look like. It seems that everyone thinks that everyone should look like an add for Yoga wear. I blame it on the high amount of visuals we receive on a daily basis of perfectly young, perfectly photoshopped bods. 

  3. 33

    So, I lost tons recently…I’m not in a relationship. I’m companiate w/ my ex, & I have female acquaintances & friends. The ex seems like he gets pissy at times & other times drools, BUT THE FEMALES OMG- it’s like they want to obliterate me. I had to end or back off of most friendships (they were really eating buddies) & make some new friends…BUT even the newer women seem to be looking at me w/ a weird eye & saying things about how I dress (nice, inexpensive stylishly but skirts & dresses-easier as I lose more weight) long blonde hair (why don’t u cut it or let yourself go gray) makeup (why do u wear makeup?-DUH!) & even nail polish/pedis! When I was the fat chick, all these acoutrements were admired, like I was no threat. Now that I am only slightly overweight, I am a terrible person for being groomed & coiffed! Too much of a threat!

  4. 34

    I remember when I used to think that being thin would bring me happiness. I wish society would focus more on learning how to be happy within your circumstances and your body type. It’s a shame to waste life on what you wish you were or living in fear that you aren’t good enough.

    1. 34.1

      Wise words GL.

  5. 35

    Well this  is a hard relationship topic, he’ll talking weight is a  difficult  topic.  like everyone else, I too have a story that’s still running it’s self out and have no solutions, answers or action. Me and my fiance as children both have the chubby thing going on. I in high school through power weight lifting, sports and a manual labor job knocked the fat off and got bulked up. Not like body builder muscles everywhere but got compliments. At that point on man I felt great, had confidence bursting out of me, for the first time in my life I didn’t feel shamed, different, shy, nervous and unconfident. My fiance similar story, her big weight loss came after a seperation. Been together for about 3 years now. We had a child within first year and that lifestyle change going from super active and having disposable time to home bound with my son we both gained weight. I was a toned healthy 210-215 pounds and I gained like 35. She gained Um I feel awful,  she gained more then I did. I love her, and would take a bullet for her, I’d jump into danger if it meant saving her. But after the weight Gane or sex life went from 60 to 0 in seconds. We both talked and was emotional that we needed to lose weight for self happiness, health and to set a food example for our children.  Eating right, being active not being couch potatoes. It got to a point I was depressed with my weight gain probably because child hood. But I just couldn’t have sex, we tried but I couldn’t achieve a hard on so to speak. I told her I felt gross within myself and didn’t have confidence to want sex. I’ve Been losing weight, my pants fall off my ass, I just tried on a size 34 pants I haven’t wore in 2 years, it felt great! On the flip side she tried for a week like times in 6 months and continues to sit around, she is hiding desert snacks when we both agreed not to buy that stuff anymore, he’ll I liked those too and I haven’t ate that junk. Just feels like I don’t know, she doesn’t care anymore. Really bothers me because of the talk we had in regards to making ourselves healthy and happy and setting a good example for our kids. Don’t know what to say to her about it anymore. I acknowledge we both work full time, she has the office job and I have a physical job, she will admit and acknowledge I’m more active with our 2 kids. I honestly feel like I’d be the one tired. I don’t know, I hope I don’t run anyone wrong with my story or situation, not trying too.

    1. 35.1

      We all have a couple of choices in these situations: make up our minds to accept someone as they are and where they’re at without complaining or end the relationship.  We can’t change another person or “fix” his or her dysfunction. She might need professional help.  She may have Dee-seated insecurities that cause her to fear losing you and she’s “self-medicating” with food. And if your are in great shape and she is not, she probably feels very inadequate and self-conscious getting naked with you.  She knows you’re not happy with her.

    2. 35.2

      Mike, I agree with Starthrower, you should talk to her again, but in a non-demanding or judgemental way. but tell her, that her weight is causing you to not want to have sex with her. Give her some time, but after a few months of her continual trying, I would leave her. Staying for the kids will only make both of you unhappy, and that unhappiness will turn into anger.

      Have you tried making it like a date night activity? You workout with her, then you two go out for a smoothie or something 

      1. 35.2.1

        I want to point out that he said he couldn’t get an erection because he wasn’t confident in his own looks. He said he felt “gross with himself” that is not the same as him saying he didn’t want to have sex with her because of her weight.

        Weight loss is difficult, it takes more than just extreme restraint, it really takes support. It can feel lonely having to limit one’s self so much. You also can’t deprive yourself completely, which is why she is hiding bad foods. I suggest that Mike and his wife come to terms with food, why we need it, why we want it, what it does for our bodies and make healthier choices. One doesn’t need deprivation, you can replace unhealthy foods with equally delicious and more satisfying foods. I can think of several recipes right now that someone who needs a chocolate fix can have, etc.

        1. starthrower68

          Julia, thank you for that.  One being overweight is not necessarily because someone is a lazy, gluttonous slob who doesn’t care.  Not that we can’t change it or we have no control.  We absolutely must take responsibility for ourselves. But it’s not always because someone is just a loser.  I know that slimming down must be a priority for me and I need focus and discipline to do it because it’s not easy.  That’s why I will not get romantically involved while working on it. Too much distraction and emotional disruption.

      2. 35.2.2

        I agree, Adrian. By the way, it’s a lot easier to lose weight nowadays with the healthy substitutes available–e.g. yummy low-sugar high-fibre hot chocolate drinks, which I’ve used before to lose a pesky 10 pounds that I’d gained since high school in 6-8 weeks. One doesn’t have to give up tasty foods while on a diet these days. These products cost a bit more than “normal” food since they’re specially-created to be diet-friendly, but I think it’s totally worth the cost! If people wanna lose weight or have a partner who wants/needs to lose weight, I’d recommend checking out various diet-friendly food substitutes to help in the process.

  6. 36

    Mike, did it ever occur to you that when u were heavier, maybe she did not want to have sex w/ you???

    Wow, I cannot believe  the way the last few posts went- u r not talking about some chick u just met online, but a woman who is ur fiancee & the mother of ur kids! 

    If u can’t get it up, why is it HER fault? 

    1. 36.1

      Jeannie, he said that they both gained weight, she just gained more, and it seems to me that he is trying to make it work. He did want to have sex, but he was just to ashamed of himself, so… he fixed it, she didn’t.

      Do you really think it is wise for someone to stay married to someone who they have no desire for? Aren’t you under estimating the kids? They will notice that both parents aren’t happy. He should work with her, but he shouldn’t just stay in a unhappy marriage, if she doesn’t change, leaving her is best. There will be plenty of guys who will not mind dating a overweight women, her husband is not one of those guys 

  7. 37

    One of my issues w/ the guy’s post is THIS IS A DATING SITE. He is/was in a committed relationship w/ CHILDREN.

    To post about the Mother of Your Children in such a cavalier manner…  

        “Do you really think it is wise for someone to stay married to someone who they have no desire for?” It seems to be temporary…I think he should give her some TIME…

    “There will be plenty of guys who will not mind dating a overweight women“—what does THAT have to do w/ this? The attitude is, let her be someone else’s problem, not mine? Absolve himself of any guilt bec. he thinks he can pass her off to some other guy, like a piece of pie???

    Just wait till he goes out there & finds the grass is not any greener (in fact it may be way worse) PLUS he will be shelling out child support on top of it…   


    1. 37.1

      Jeannie, I understand what you are saying and I never told him to just leave her, I just don’t think it’s smart to just keep nagging someone or to just wait for someone to change. Plus he never named her, many people use the anonymity of online to vent without harming anyone, he just happen to be on a site that will also allow him to receive advice as well.

      From what I was understanding about his post, he was saying that he has given her time. You are looking at it as if she is the victim… okay, but look at it also like this: Jeannie, how would you feel if the person you loved constantly nagged you about your body and let you know he wasn’t attracted to you? I’m sure instead of inspiring you to go to the gym, it would make you resent him… maybe even hate him and the kids will pick up on that.

      Or… he can go out and find that not only is the grass greener, but it’s has a better body, is better looking, and he will enjoy sex again… He will still see his kids and what good man doesn’t want to provide for them financially, so he doesn’t lose by seeking greener grass. 

  8. 38


    I’ve always been thin and in general had no insecurities about me/my body. When I met my future husband, he was starting to diet. He’d always been chubby. He lost weight, then gained it back. We met 8 years ago. This year he started running with a friend, she’s a runner and doing marathons. He lost a lot of weight and is now fit, eating healthy and running semi-marathons with her. I never sabotaged his program and always encouraged him, but I’m not a sports/fitness person (just like he wasn’t). The thing is that ever since he lost weight he’s been acting terrible towards me. On one hand, he’s more confident, going out with his female friends, people are telling him how changed he is and how good he looks. On the other hand, he’s become full of himself, egocentric, spending all his time doing stuff without me, on holidays with me he’s always cranky, at home he often get annoyed with stuff I say or do. This is like the dark side of your partner losing a lot of weight. Maybe it’s just the proverbial 7 years itch, maybe it’s this girl he runs with – although every sign shows they’re just friends and I actually like her -, maybe it’s just a phase, but I’m feeling frustrated and wondering if we are going to get through this or not.


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