My Fitness-Trainer Boyfriend Insults My Body and Insists I Wear a Shirt When We Have Sex. Is that Normal?

Trainer Boyfriend Insults My Body and Insists I Wear a Shirt When We Have Sex.

Dear Evan,

Your blogs and advice has definitely changed my life into a positive direction in regards to relationships, understanding men and myself. I just have to say I’m very grateful for the knowledge about relationships, men, dating, communication etc., that you have shared. Thank you so much!!

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for about a year now. He’s a personal trainer and manages his own personal training business, so his purpose in life is based on health and fitness. He’s told me the majority of women that he has dated/prefer have been “fit”- flat stomach, abs, etc. I on the other hand, am fit, 130lbs, 5’5, I believe I have a great body (great legs, arms etc.) except that I have some fat in my stomach. My stomach is not flat and I hardly have abs. He says I’m beautiful, I have nice legs and that I’m fit but I still need to lose some fat.

When we have sex I keep my shirt on because of the fat I have in my stomach and he says for now it’s a good thing to keep it on because he may get turned off, he says keeping it on will motivate me to lose weight but at the same time he supports me on my weight loss. He says he’s not going to just end the relationship because of my weight but losing weight will increase his sexual attraction to me. He doesn’t even prefer seeing me in a bathing suit and says he gets turned off, which does hurt and he’s aware of that and has empathy towards me and I appreciate his honesty.

I understand his purpose is health and fitness but is it wrong to be with a man where I don’t feel comfortable being naked around, who doesn’t prefer seeing my stomach, who prefers that I keep a shirt on during sex but at the same time supports me losing weight? He does give me nutrition advice and sometimes I’m afraid to eat a cookie around him because he’ll think I’m not serious about losing weight. I understand he’s a fitness trainer and a fitness trainer would most likely want a woman with a nice physique but I just feel like it’s wrong to not feel comfortable being naked around your boyfriend or accepted when naked. What is your opinion on this?

I appreciate you taking time to read and offer your advice.


This makes me furious.

Furious at him for being such an insensitive dick.

Furious at you for not even realizing that you’re dating an insensitive dick.

So listen up, and listen good:

You’re not his project.

You’re an independent woman of normal proportions.

You may want to lose weight for your own purposes.

I know, I know: Your boyfriend is into fitness. He’s “just being honest.”

Your boyfriend may even be a useful tool (word carefully chosen) to help you in that process.

But his demeaning treatment of you is completely unacceptable.

Love is about relaxing and being yourself, you cannot relax or be yourself if you are afraid of being judged or dumped.

I know, I know: Your boyfriend is into fitness. He’s “just being honest.”

But insulting your body and insisting you keep your shirt on during sex so he’s not turned off is completely different than not agreeing that you look like Angelina Jolie. And you should absolutely, positively, not spend one more second in this kind of relationship.

I know it’s a lot easier for me to say than for you to do, but here’s the quick script:

“Hey, Dick (I’m presuming his name is Dick),

I just wanted to tell you that I’ve been thinking a lot about the things you’ve said about my body. The way you always make me feel insecure. The way you always tell me to keep my shirt on during sex so you won’t lose your attraction to me. The way you seemingly threaten to break up with me because I don’t look like a personal trainer. I understand that fitness is important to you. But you know what’s important to me? Unconditional love and acceptance. I don’t want to walk on eggshells if I have a Coke or eat a cookie or order a steak. I don’t want to feel shame when I take a shower in front of you, or go in the pool with you, or undress during sex.

And so there’s nothing left for us to discuss here. You go find a woman whose body you don’t have to micromanage. I will find a man who accepts me as I am. For what it’s worth, I think I’m going to have a far easier time than you will.

Goodbye, and don’t contact me any longer. I only like to associate with people who make me feel good, not people who tear me down. No hard feelings, but I don’t have any room in my life for people like you.”

How about you dump his ass so you can both find what you’re looking for?

He will stammer. He will flail. He will apologize. He will backpedal. He will say he’ll never do it again. And you will not believe him.

He is a shallow and narcissistic personal trainer looking to mold you into his clone.

You are a normal woman looking for love and complete acceptance.

How about you dump his ass so you can both find what you’re looking for?

Join our conversation (93 Comments).
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  1. 41

    I had an ex who managed to get a job in the fashion industry. He was so insecure, I had to go shopping with him to pick out stylish clothes for him to wear for work those first few months. Shortly after, he began to reprimand me for my “hippy” clothes and shoes and said he would be embarrassed if I went to his office since even the receptionists were more beautiful that I was. (the receptionists were hired more for their looks than their abilities). Even though I was 5′ 11″ and weighed 135 pounds, I wasn’t stick skinny like the models he photographed and he let me know it. When he started talking about plastic surgery (I had been in an accident and had scars) I called it quits.  

    I now have a husband of 25 years who, in spite of being a fitness nut and having the same weight he did in high school, has never, never had one negative thing to say about my appearance. He loved the body changes I went through when I was pregnant. Even when I gained an extra 15 pounds, and kept it on for 2 years, not one complaint. I receive compliments daily from him. He tells me he cherishes all my scars because they signify that I am a survivor and braved all that I went through. I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to be loved and accepted unconditionally.  

    Amanda, run. Find someone who will love you just as you are.   

  2. 42

    Amanda: Run.
    He wants control- and it will only get worse.   The things he says to you are emotional abuse.   ABUSE.
    Put on those gym shoes and RUN.

  3. 43

    Woah…ANY PARTNER WHO DOES NOT WANT TO SEE YOU NAKED WHEN YOU MAKE LOVE NEEDS TO BE SHOWN THE DOOR….RIGHT NOW. You need to look him in the eye and tell him how he’s been treating you is unacceptable and that you are not going to tolerate it for one minute longer. Tell him that you’re going to find someone who loves your body, and can’t wait to get you naked in bed…starting today!!

  4. 44

    I find it appalling that commenter’s are defending him, claiming that at least he is honest and up front about it….

    Here’s why:

    When you love someone, their imperfections, which we all have, are meaningless.   We deal with them because we love them as a person.   Not having a six pack should not be a pre requisite for a partner.   What about when she is sick or doesn’t have make up on first thing in he morning, does he thibk she’s a disgusting pig then too?   Sounds like he wants a girl out of magazine who is always made up and air brushed….good luck to him, these women aren’t real

    I was at a Christmas party once and saw a similar display from a dick of a husband.    A few of us were having some of the party snacks and this beautiful, tiny woman (in width) approaches the table.   She clearly wants to eat something but she keeps looking over at her husband who shakes his head.   So she pulls her hand away from the plates.   I told her that she can have some chips, they’re delicious and she says to us: I better not, my husband told me my ass is getting too big.   I could barely see her if she turned sideways and thought to myself,   what an asshole.    He’s n prize himself!   I had a few drinks and went up to him and told him exactly what I thought of him and left soon after.   

    When I go on a first date, I always order a burger or steak.   If he can’t handle the fact that food is meant t be enjoyed and that I’m not going to be a stick figure then he’s not for me


    1. 44.1

      You go girl I do the same damn thing. Life is about enjoyment, not worrying about what you look like every second of the day.

  5. 45

    I bet anything this man gets a kick out of insulying people’s bodies.  
      I bet anything if he was with a girl with a flat stomach, he would
      find something else to insult- “oh honey, wear a push up bra during sex”

    typical narcissitic behavior. Guy needs a shrink.

  6. 46

    Yeah screw these guys. I remember when I was 25 and GORGEOUS, this older POS I was dating criticized me for having the most food on my plate for Christmas dinner. (I had actually filled up half the plate with salad, thank you very much)…At any rate as the relationship progressed he turned out to be abusive. I look for these signs now.

    Also…I ended up gaining a lot of weight which really affected my self esteem. I didn’t think I could attract the kinds of guys I wanted anymore. Well I have built up my self-confidence so much I’ve gotten some very hot guys. Also I have all these guys at work feigning interest (I think they don’t get out much)…and I am a plus size girl with skin issues and faded tattoos! My most recent guy I dated was super sexy. Hot body, charisma, amazing in bed, much younger than me, and he is nice and caring to boot. His recent girlfriends were young, skinny, and attractive. It didn’t work out with him, but not because I carry a little junk in my trunk. I have also received compliments my naked body on many occasions since I became plus size.

    Ditch those losers who would criticize you about your body! They don’t deserve your patience or kindness! Something is wrong with them to be so concerned about a little belly. He’s in for a world of surprise as his girlfriends age. Boobs sag, hips fill out, it’s harder to lose weight…this guy’s a moron and probably has many flaws himself.

  7. 47

    This reminds me of my own situation, I stll have a hard time coping after the breakup. My ex partner and I had a very strong connection (that’s what it felt like), he always talked about the “real values” in a relationship, like love, acceptance etc. Just before New Year’s Eve he turned emotionally cold on me, I had no clue he was already trying to get back his newly single ex-girlfriend. She always had an eye on him. He said he “needed space” to think about his feelings. and asked me to “be patient with him”. I didn’t hear from him for three weeks until I sent him an email. He replied I am not “his type” ,he will always be 100% true to himself and his dating preferences – no matter how I might think or feel about it and he hopes I will find the man of my dreams or that he will find me”. This is how he ended everything we had and shared over a long time.I am a woman of normal proportions, his ex gf is taller and skinnier than I am. It still feels very humiliating. The fact that it seemed like we had a strong bond doesn’t matter to him anymore. He moved on after two weeks to promise the world to his new (old) gf and gives me a very disapproving look when I see him. It is hard to get back my self-respect and self esteem, to love me and my body again but I am trying to focus on my myself and better myself for my own purpose by working out, taking on new hobbies and just keeping busy. I am not sure how it takes to to heal.

    1. 47.1

      You had value before you met him Sandra and you still have value now!

      He may have talked about values but he forgot two important ones that really count called honesty and loyalty….

      You deserve someone who values you for you and doesn’t use you as a “something better than nothing”.

      We’ve all made the mistake at one time or another in looking past the “clues” that someone was not who we thought they were because we loved them.

      Forgive yourself….wish him well in your heart so you don’t stay angry with him and grow bitter and poisoned inside….and surround yourself with a group of friends and family who love you….both enough to support you and pick you up and fall down AND to be honest with you when you need someone to set you straight.

      Good luck!

  8. 48

    This advice I agree with Totally!

  9. 49

    Tell him to grow a couple of inches maybe the sex will be better!! Lol!

  10. 50

    Thank you Evan!!

    Good heavens!   What if she got pregnant and she wasn’t one of those women who escaped stretch marks…and heaven forbid if their kid didn’t look like it came out of a Baby GAP commercial?   And let’s not even talk about the changes that occur “down there” if she had a vaginal delivery….

    He’d probably never want to go near her again….like her body was only “his” to do with he wanted to as he saw fit!

    You deserve better Amanda!   Love yourself and move on….a little pain now will be better than a longtime regret!

  11. 51

    I was married to someone who made me feel guilty, unattractive and even dumb whenever I put on weight. It was okay for HIM to be imperfect, but not me. Having discovered what a narcissistic and abusive pr*ck I was married to, I left him.

    Reading your message to Evan got me SO angry I could punch the computer screen, but won’t because I can’t afford to replace it lol!

    Girl, find a guy who loves YOU, not his ideal. Find a guy who thinks you’re perfect regardless of what you think is lacking. Listen to Bruno Mars’ song “Just the Way You Are” and find a guy who’ll sing that to you.

    And ditch this other a**hole before you end up with no self esteem, washboard abs, no self esteem, a perfect body that is acceptable without a t-shirt, no self esteem … you get the picture don’t you? Don’t bust your butt trying to live up to his lofty ideals.

    Do it now! Give yourself a life, and let that narcissistic Mr Perfect-According-To-Him get on with his picture-perfect lie, sorry LIFE.

    He’s a throw-away, not a keeper.

  12. 52

    Evan! Thank you soooo much! You’re so empowering! I love your you tube channel. I’m so engaged and you’ve helped my so much! I’m following you on Facebook and I just love your understanding about different situations. You’re an amazing person

  13. 53

    Yassssss! I would love to see his face after that statement lol

  14. 54

    Run. Just run. Do you want him to do this to any future children you have? You know he will body shame imperfect daughters, and likely will do the same to sons who don’t measure up. I was married to a guy like this. Not a personal trainer but had a lot of issues about women’s weight because his mother was obese. He made it my problem for a very long time. If I knew then what I know now I would have dumped him the first time he made a snarky comment about my body.

  15. 55

    Think about what this guy would be like as a parent.   Would you want him giving your daughter advice?   This is the type of guy that inspires serious eating disorders.   Run!

  16. 56

    We’re all entitled to like what we like–to be attracted to that which  we’re attracted–OF COURSE. (Goes without saying, right?)  And, it doesn’t really matter if anyone deems our likes/dislikes  shallow or not; such is the nature of  attraction. (I say this as someone who is also very fit; I get it.)

    So, while I’m totally *not*  surprised to learn that  TrainerBoy’s “thing” is body shape/composition, and that he  isn’t a huge fan of soft tummies, I *am* pretty gobsmacked by a)  how much his methods of “coaching” (as a few people have generously credited him with) completely SUCK (using shame, making someone he  supposedly cares about feel so bad about herself?!? has this guy never heard of POSITIVE reinforcement??),  and b) why, if a little squishiness is so repulsive to him (such that his own girlfriend of more than a year doesn’t  feel comfortable/sexy around him naked o.O ), he’s with her, at all… or, more importantly, why she’s still with *him*.

  17. 57

    Preach Evan! This guy is a first class loser (that’s being polite as my real choice of words are much more crude) and she is so much better off without him.

    I’ve dated men like him and they don’t change. They’re self-centred, egotistical and could care less about anyone else other than themselves.


  18. 58

    Screw him !!!! Find a new boyfriend !!!’

  19. 59

    I disagree that she should leave him. I think she should use him to help her lose that belly fat, then decide whether he’s good enough for her with her improved physique.

    If he’s that lean type of personal trainer (my favorite), he should be able to help. Lots of crunches and aerobic activity are great for losing weight around the middle.

    Anyway, if it’s abusive, I’d leave. It doesn’t sound that way to me. I wouldn’t want to give up a guy that was in excellent physical condition just because I was unwilling to aim for my best self. Give it a time limit like 30 days, do everything in your power to get your body in it’s best shape ever, and then when you feel great about yourself, take your shirt off and strut around. If he’s a dick then, he always will be and that’s when you break it off.

  20. 60

    I’m in a similiar situation.My boyfriend was honest and kind about it . Of course initially i was hurt.Health and fitness is his way of life. We have been together for a year and i was slacking in that department. we are both in our 40s and I’m 15/20 lbs over weight.It caused me to have insecurities.We had a honest conversation about it and he motivated me in a kind but brutally honest way. It’s exactly what i needed to hear.   I feel good about my self now…. I’m ready to kick ass and be in the best shape i can be. I want to be a Betty white and still a hottie at 90 😊 Sounds like they need learn how to communication their feelings. It takes alot of courage for the other person to tell us truths about our selves. come on ladies if we date a fit man…even if they do fall in love we our less then perfect body and awesome personalities they will expect us to be healthy, does not mean they are vien.

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