So we were talking with some friends a couple of days ago, and the topic of weight loss came up, as it often does. One of the sub-topics that was very much debated was whether you should ask your partner to lose weight, or not.
And that’s a big one. There’s proponents for both sides; asking your partner to lose weight could be just your opinion, and could be rude, or it could be something your sweetheart was thinking of anyway, and really just needed a gentle nudge.
We will make this clear right here. We’re aware this is a sensitive topic and can wreak havoc in a relationship if approached with no tact, which is why empathy and support is something we’ll insist on here.
But just to make things clear, we do encourage asking your partner to lose weight, as long as there is a reason for your asking. Your partner can take your request into account or not, but you do have the right to ask, if it’s something that bothers you.
So how do you ask your partner to lose weight, without being rude ?
There’s a few ways to do this, and we’ll go through them real quick in a bulleted list here. We’ll go into more detail in the rest of the article.
So here’s the main ideas to guide yourself by:
- Show some empathy and patience. Ask nicely, explain your intent, and relate to them. Be gentle. How would you like to be told this ?
- Have a straight talk with them, if they’re the undisciplined and lazy partner. Guide them through the process.
- Frame it as a couple-thing. Actually do the exercise and diet with them. Having your support will mean the world to them.
- Highlight the benefits of the benefits. If they lose that extra weight you’ll be able to conceive a baby easier, or have way more energy for that 2 week trip to Bali they want so much.
But before you start talking, there’s some things you really need to think about or take into account, before you ask your S.O. to lose weight. Mostly because this is a topic that can be very sensitive and can be taken much too personally, and viewed as a hurtful thing to say. Best to be prepared.
So, make sure you’ve gone through this mental check list before talking to your partner.
What to consider before asking your S.O. to lose weight
It might seem obvious that your partner needs to lose weight, but maybe it’s not so obvious to them. It’s easy to get lost in your own thoughts and feelings, so make sure you get a serious grip on exactly how it is that their extra weight is affecting you, or your investment into the relationship.
1. Is it an attraction thing ?
Are you attracted to skinnier, more slim partners ? Was your sweetheart slim when you started dating, and as the years went by, the extra weight came ?
This is a change that happens in many comfortable relationships, when the partners don’t feel judged and are truly comfy with one another.
But it can also lead to ‘letting yourself go’ and becoming too comfy, with not looking presentable and put together even when you’re around.
Figure out if the weight gain is part of a trend of becoming too comfortable, and bring that up when discussing the weight loss.
2. Was your partner overweight to begin with ?
This will be harder to tread, since you entered the relationship with kind of false hopes. Maybe you love everything about your S.O. but just can’t get past the extra weight, despite thinking you could just ignore it.
When discussing with your partner, be sure to tell them how you entered the relationship, but gave it some time and thought and realized this is bothering you.
Take into account that they might be very offended anyway, no matter how nicely you say this. In their mind, once you started dating, you pretty much accepted them as they are, and now you ‘suddenly’ want them to change ?
You can still have this conversation and make it work. But tread lightly.
3. Is it more for their health benefit, or yours ?
It might sound silly, since losing weight is always better for your health. But the question here is whether you’re asking your partner to lose weight because you’re looking after their health, or because this is just your concern.
As in, is this so that you feel more comfortable with your friends when you’re discussing partners (as we all know happens), or because your partner is getting into some serious cardio-vascular disease territory ? Or you’re trying for a baby but the pregnancy can’t be sustained because of the extra weight ?
Whatever reason you find, make sure it’s true, because lies do have a way of unfolding right when you don’t want them to.
If there’s any health risk your partner’s being exposed to, then make that a priority to discuss with them. If you can get in touch with a doctor for some tests, it might be even easier.
4. Is it impacting your sex life ?
It’s actually one of the most important things that can be affected when one or both partners is overweight.
While relationships are not entirely about sex, it’s something to think about seriously when going through the reasons you might want to ask your partner to lose weight.
Lack of attraction, lack of satisfaction, and even pregnancy troubles can become part of the picture.
Sex is in fact crucial to maintaining and even strengthening the bond between partners. It’s not the be-all, end-all of relationships, but it’s important enough to affect everything else.
So make sure you think about this topic as well. Has your sex life changed since your partner gained weight ? Or, if they were always a little chubby, was it always up to your standards, or was there something missing ?
If this is one of the area in your life that’s affected by your partner’s weight, then make sure you discuss it as well.
5. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes
Is your partner aware that they need to lose weight ?
Is this something they’ve discussed with you in the past ? Or their family or friends have said to them every now and then ?
In other words, would it be complete news for your partner to hear that they need to lose weight ?
If this is something that’s never been discussed, ever, then it will be a harder and more sensitive talk to have. Still doable, but it requires more attention to body language and anything that could be misinterpreted.
Also, think about it from your S.O.’s point o view. You’re sitting there, just minding your own business, everything’s normal. Suddenly the love of your life sits down to tell you that you two really need to talk, and, there’s no easy way to say this, but you kinda need to lose some weight because it’s off putting. No offense tho !
Well. Try not being offended by that. How can you go about your side of the talk to be both transparent about your reasons, and also gentle ?
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Now that you’ve thought about all of that, and compiled a clear set of reasons and benefits for your partner losing weight, you can go ahead and ask them. Just keep these 4 points in mind, because things will go much smoother:
1. Show some empathy and patience
Asking your partner to lose weight is never an easy talk, and needs to be done gently. Let your partner know that you’ve been thinking about this for some time now, and have discussed it with yourself before even opening the topic with them.
Your love and support will always be there for them, and make it very clear that you know their situation. Maybe they’re the partner who has no time to eat healthy and ends up at a fast food joint most of the time. There’s a few things you can do to help your partner with that, read up on it here.
Or maybe your partner has too much of a sweet tooth and would really need help laying off the chocolate. You can help them with that, read up on it here.
Take into account that this might be something completely new to them, and they’re unlearning years and years of bad habits. They need help learning new, healthy habits.
Whatever the case, make sure you give your partner support and patience. Weight loss is a serious thing, and takes time to happen.
It might take a few months, or even a few years, depending on how much weight there is to lose. But it can happen, and you’d love it if they were supportive with you if you were the one losing weight.
2. Have a straight talk with them.
If your partner is especially lazy or unmotivated, still be gentle with what you say, but have some serious intentions when you open this discussion.
If you know your partner’s rather passive, and does well with following directions but is pretty poor to sticking to a routine or discipline, take that leadership role upon yourself.
Be the energy and drive your partner needs, and you’ll see them tag along wonderfully, and with great results too !
Of course, this can go a bit into manipulative territory, so it really depends on the type of relationship you two have. If it’s a healthy one, with open and clear communication, and one of you is more assertive while the other is more comfortable being lead, then go ahead.
Have some ideas planed out for them and help them go through them. Set some goals, even just minor ones, and celebrate the little things, like the first 5 lbs or their first week without soda.
3. Frame it as a couple-thing
And actually mean it. If you’re constantly on your partner to eat this and do this exercise and don’t drink that, and so on, even with the best intentions ever, things can go bad.
After a while it will seem like they’re doing all the work, and you’re just sitting on the sideline. Even if they’re the only one who needs to lose weight, and you’re slim enough.
People get attached to the most random things, and this might be one of them. Do some exercises with them, even if they’re not as intense as your partner’s. Be there at the gym for them.
Eat what they eat, or at least very similar to what they eat.
Make it look and feel like a joint effort, since their weight loss is meant for the benefit of the couple in general.
Besides, you’ll find some new perks to working out and eating healthier for yourself as well.
And, it becomes much more fun when you’re going through this together, tightening the bond between you and your sweetheart.
4. Highlight the benefit of the benefit
In that, losing weight is a benefit in and of itself. But, there’s further benefits as well, like improved health, which may allow your partner to take up that dancing class they like but gets them tired too easily.
Or, they can get more energy to try surfing in that place they’ve always wanted to try, or maybe there’s something in the bedroom you two have always wanted to do, but was impossible because of your partner’s body or flexibility.
Another thing to consider, if this is something you two are after, is that pregnancies become easier after weight loss. It’s easier to become pregnant, the pregnancy has a higher chance of actually catching, and the baby will be overall healthier because the parents are healthier to begin with.
Best to check with a doctor about this, since it can be something that affects your lives in the long run. But if your partner hears from a doctor as well, that they need to lose weight in order to have a baby, then they’re more apt to start losing that weight.
Whatever benefit you find, always frame it for them, or at least in the couple’s best interest.
We hope this article was useful to you, and your talk with your S.O. will go smoothly.
Even if it’s a sensitive topic, with lots of love and care you can discuss this like adults, and come to a reasonable conclusion.
Feel free to look around our site some more, you might like our other articles as well.