Is love making you gain weight? Are you upping the ante that you will be dumped be eating one too many Cheese Puffs?
For married and cohabitating couples, one of the proven side effects of romance is gaining weight. In fact, one study on featured in Obesity showed people who get married or live with their partners were in one of the fastest growing groups likely to become obese. For women, the sense of commitment equated to gaining weight within the first year after marriage or shacking up with their man. For men, the increase in risk of obesity occurs 2 years into the relationship.
Obviously, love and marriage as well as cohabitation – drastically changes the lifestyle and routine for many people. However, there is another psychological factor involved as well. Up until the big commitment, men and women are convinced that their personal appearance is key in landing a suitable partner. This is why single people tend to eat healthier, exercise more and remain in one of the healthiest groups in society. Yet when you remove the hook and line aspect, men, and women begin feeling comfortable and get rather complacent about their weight and lifestyle habits. Plus, many couples newly married or living together, make major lifestyle changes to accommodate one another, meaning the old routines of hitting the gym or taking spinning classes don’t fit in as well anymore.
So we all know that commitment may lead to weight gain. But is this weight gain, really grounds for breaking up with someone that you love? isn’t love based on something more solid than numbers on a scale?
Askmen.com in combination with Cosmopolitan.com ran a survey of 70,000 people to figure out if love really was contingent upon weight gain. The results, from this unmarried group of participants showed that around half of all men would break up with a girl for gaining weight, and 20% of women would do the same.
Even Queen Latifah, despite all of her ‘assets’ was dumped because her girlfriend felt like she was overweight. But her partner, brings a great point to the issue. She said in an interview that she didn’t dump the Queen because she was fat, but because she was unwilling to eat healthy and exercise, showing a huge lack of self-respect that she just couldn’t identify with. As a personal trainer, to her these issues were deal breakers that quite simply, drew a boundary line between their two personalities.
Sure, it’s harsh to break up with someone simply because they have put on a few pounds. However, if gaining the few pounds is because of a lack of self-esteem, motivation, or even self-respect, than it is only natural for this person’s partner to lose interest. Relationship experts, without a doubt, indicate that people are most attracted to members of the opposite sex who take care of themselves and have high levels of self-confidence. For many people, gaining weight, signifies a major hurdle in the areas of self-esteem and can even be a single of underlying depression or personality dysfunctions. Maybe while the offending partner notices the weight gain, the real turn-off is the personality or moral fabric that they no longer share.
It is important to consider however, that weight gain is often the normal progression of life. If you marry someone, you should expect weight gain at some point. Woman, gain lots of weight when they are pregnant, and may not immediately bounce back to the post-pregnancy size the minute the baby comes out. If the man in her life feels that weight gain is a deal breaker the relationship stands for some rocky times ahead. Will be leave his new bride and his new baby simply because his new wife has gained 20 pounds? More often than not, with married people especially as it pertains to childbirth, the answer is no. However, men have admitted that the extra cushion left by baby, can be a bit of a turnoff.
Dr. Gail Saltz, author of Anatomy of A Secret Life: The Psychology of Living a Lie, says that couples who lose their physical attraction in a partner because of their weight alone, most often have a secret, underlying source of agitation or anger that they are really upset with. However, it is easier to focus on what the eye can see, and to feel justified in being ‘turned off’ so to speak because of weight than it is to admit that something in the relationship is going wrong.
Still, dumping someone because they have gained weight is not an easy road to take, and makes appear to be shallow and heartless individuals, and can be a tough pill to swallow for the person being dumped.
The truth is that rarely, if ever do people’s appearances and weights get better with age. The person that you are with right now, will not look the same in 15 years from today and you cannot just trade in people the way you do cars. Setting a bar for a partner extremely high and not weighing in the effects of aging, is a shoddy way to make a relationship feel compromised and unsafe. However, if you are extremely sensitive to the weight and appearance of your partner, it is in your best interest to be honest with them about what your intentions will be, should the weight gain occur.
The reality of the situation is that it is best to find people who love you for who you are on the inside, despite what your outside looks like. Dating people who share the same ideology when it comes to relationships is important and who will you allow you to be who you are, with no strings or ultimatums in place. And yet, since physical attraction is so important in a health relationship, being honest about weight gain and the implications of it, is at least fair. In many ways in the long run, it would be worse to stay with someone you aren’t attracted to just to save face, then to break-up with them and be true to your own feelings.