Recently I was catching up with a few of my male friends discussing the normal aspects of life, work, love and basketball, when the conversation went from lighthearted to serious. You see one of my friends, let’s call him James, had an issue that had been on his mind for some time, but he was hesitant to discuss it. James has a beautiful girlfriend, we’ll call Janet, and they have been together since senior year in college. Last any of us heard life was bliss in J&J-ville, they had the normal ups and downs, but nothing that would be cause for alarm.

James said the trouble began one night while he was watching a movie with Janet and paused it so he could grab a snack, that’s when he heard the words that crushed his ego, “Don’t you think you’ve had enough? You’re getting a bit round…just saying.” He couldn’t believe his ears. James’ woman, the woman he loved and is supposed to love him flaws and all, just called him fat!

But the conversation didn’t stop there.

James, confused since he religiously hits the gym at least twice a week and is about 6’4’ 180 lbs of former college football player steel, asked her to clarify her ‘round’ statement. In short, Janet feels James isn’t looking like the man she met years ago with the cut up abs and chiseled chest and arms. She’s upset that he ‘let himself go’ (Note: In actuality he might have gained 10-15lbs since she met him) and can’t see herself having a ‘fat boyfriend or husband’ in her life.

She offered to workout with him to help get him back in shape and start preparing healthier meals, but is insisting he needs to take this seriously because it could end their relationship. James, naturally, was shocked. Looking in the mirror he doesn’t see this ‘round’ person, no he’s not the same weight he was in college, but he also doesn’t play college football anymore. He couldn’t believe that she would seriously end their relationship over something like his weight. What happened to unconditional love?

As the lone woman in the group I told James I sympathize with him, men do it to woman all the time, most even before they’ve asked a woman her name. If the weight doesn’t fit, she ain’t it, and many men have no problem denying a woman because of how she looks on the outside. My personal advice to my friend was to find someone else who would love him and his newly acquired ‘grown man handles’ (he didn’t like ‘round’) just the way they are.

But, the reality is weight literally is a heavy issue in relationships. No we don’t want to stand by and watch loved ones kill themselves slowly with their weight, but isn’t it a tad unrealistic to think that as we age, have kids, etc, that we will keep the same taut bodies we had in our 20s. Yes there are a few people out there defying the laws of aging, but that’s not the case for everyone. Where do we draw the line between wanting our loved ones to be a healthy weight, and watching their weight because we’re superficial? And is a weight gain a reason to leave an otherwise happy relationship?


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  1. I would work with mate to lose weight and eat healthier. If they just don’t care, then I would have to eventually end the relationship. One problem I have is when you first start dating a person. If you have a problem with their weight, it is best not to approach that person at all. One of my girlfriends didn’t realize her ex-boyfriend had problems with her weight until he looked at her older pictures. He made a negative statements such as, “who is that girl?” By then, they were already cohabitating. For her, that was a waste of time.

  2. It sounds like his weight isn’t the problem; she’s looking for a way out. And I totally agree with Lisa!

  3. In an ideal world people would love others for who they are and in reality we all want to be loved for who we are. So I would not leave my mate for minor weight issues, but then again I would not allow him to let himself go to the point where I was no longer attracted to him. I once had a boyfriend who would make disparaging remarks to me about my weight even though I was trying my darnest to stay in shape and that really hurt me. And sadly it affected my self esteem, even to this day. I would not treat someone I care about like that and I try to be sensitive to other people’s struggle in that area. Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.

  4. i really don’t think that guy gained only 10 or 15 pounds. i just don’t believe that.

    i also believe that it’s the responsibility of both partners to maintain their appearance for one another. this is not shallow. it is awfully arrogant to assume that someone will continue to find you attractive when you’ve packed on the pounds. a man or woman can love someone who becomes overweight, but they may no longer feel physically attracted to their partners. i’m not saying people should be unreasonable – like a man wanting a woman with b cups to get implants. i’m saying keeping yourself attractive is important. people who act like it doesn’t matter are delusional.

    it’s important too to be with someone who is health/nutrition-minded. a lot of people aren’t. imo, it’s a value, living a healthier lifestyle, in the same way as wanting someone who is educated or honest. i wouldn’t be with someone who ate mc donald’s.

    • i wanna add that sex life can suffer when men gain weight because they often develop erectile dysfunction. it is often tied to clogged arteries.

      maybe his inability to have good sex also factored in…no stamina, unable to get it up…

  5. When I met my husband, he was trying hard to lose weight and came close to getting to his goal and then suddenly stopped working out. He then reversed position and began doubling his weight gain instead. I had our child, gained weight, and have been working hard to get it off. I eat healthy meals as well. I encourage him to lose weight, but not because of shallow ambitions, but because he’s becoming morbidly obese and has high blood pressure as well as a plethora of other health problems.

    I want him to be healthy. We have a young child and he should do it for her sake. He doesn’t have to look like a model, but I would like him to be able to go to the doctor and get a clean bill of health. But other than that, I don’t expect him to look like he did years ago. It just isn’t possible when you get older.

  6. He’s 180 @ 6’4″ and she’s complaining about his weight? He’s still on the slender side considering how tall he is and men tend to have a higher muscle mass. Like some if the commentators said she might be looking for a way out.

  7. WOW, this dude doesn’t sound like he is letting himself go, 6’4 180 is slim.

    On the topic at hand though, if folks workout regularly and together when possible, eat low fat and healthy consistently with a cheat day here and there, then weight gain should be minimal if at all.

  8. If you want the person you’re in a relationship with to lose weight you should be willing to support them by eating well and exercising with that person. It’s easy to point the finger if you’ve never had any weight problems. If you aren’t willing to sympathize with what it takes to lose weight, don’t complain to your significant other.
    I also agree with the other commenters about James’ gf. She’s being unrealistic, superficial, and hurtful. Her request isn’t a loving or realistic request.

  9. I agree with omfg. I don’t believe he only gained 15 pounds. But if he did and she wanted him to lose it, that’s her perogative. I mean, she felt comfortable enough to make the request, so we don’t know what he expects of her. And most men, if their gf just up and gained 15 pounds, no kids or anything, would have something to say too. Hell, after kids, many men expect you to snap back like Heidi Klum, so it’s not unreasonable for you expect a guy to stay fine. The OP is James’ friend, so she isn’t looking at him with the same eyes as the gf. In reality that dude may have packed on 20-30 pounds, at which point I believe you have a right to complain.

    Let’s be real. If you are young and fairly active, the only reason to be packing it on like that is because you eat junk. The gf was focused on improving his diet, so maybe she knows something we don’t. And in general I feel like you should make an effort to stay the way your partner met you. Yes, over a LIFETIME you will change, but it’s year one of the relationship and you have gone from Shemar Moore to Rick Ross….no.

  10. I wouldn’t leave a good man if he gained weight. However, my son’s father was extra mean and offensive towards me when I was pregnant. He called me fat names, ate my food when I was trying to nourish my fetus, he cheated on me. That’s enough in a nutshell to leave. The bittersweet aroma to this dish is I lost the weight, gained my self esteem. Me and baby are doing fine. However, he’s the greasy , butterball now, he’s 5’7 and 247 pds and he’s getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger.

    Karma has no mercy

  11. I find it interesting that it’s woman doing the nagging about weight. It’s usually the other way around. I would work with him. A man that I love deeply, his weight, alone, would not drive me away. Geez, I’d hate to know her reaction to him falling ill with a terminal illness. What if he developed a thyroid condition and ballooned bigger than what he is now.

    I agree – she’s looking for a way out. But men do this – ish all the darn time. I had a boyfriend tell me that if I were not skinny, as I was at that time, he wouldn’t want me. Clue, clue, clue – they don’t love you, son! You need to start looking elsewhere and make plans to royally dump them.

  12. Comment first…read other comments next…

    It was refreshing to see this story from a woman’s point of view. I’m a man…and I agree with the lady in the story. Yes…6’4″, 180 is super slim…and reveals weight gain much easier. Point? We can not have kids…what is your excuse?

    I’m one of those people that defy age…it’s genetic. I look for the same genes in women so they can be passed to the next generation that I help spawn. (Intelligence and a good heart are just as important). All these things work together to promote good health. That’s a part of the legacy that I hope to leave behind. This comes from a man that once was morbidly obese. Army basic training fixed all o that. As a civilian I let it get back on me for a few years. Impotency starts under these circumstances once older…no laughing matter.

    Get it together and keep it together. Men have no excuse…pregnancy wise…women have Mel B as an example.
    If the lady in the story gained a muffin top out of nowhere…dude would have lost his damm mind. Get back down to 165 homie or let ol girl go…dudes like me are looking for women like her. No double standards means I’m held to the standard too.

  13. What constitutes a “serious” relationship? Exchanging text messages? Sex? Living together? Getting married? Having a child together?

    Whatever your interpretation, if you dream of being a parent,one day, I strongly suggest you find someone who shares your views on health. Your child will adopt a parent’s lifestyle sure as the sun sets in the west. You wish to raise a pile of fat or Lebron James, the only thing that matters is that you are willing to accept the outcome, together.

    I did not have a serious relationship until I found someone who shared my ideas on how to raise a child. Why? Because, its hard enough to raise one baby. To have to raise two at the same time is a deal breaker.

    Unconditional love? There’s no such thing. Even my dogs return the love I give them…in spades. I promised my wife she has my love on one condition…she believes in us and if I’m unhappy, she’s unhappy (& vice-versa). That dude is an immature fool if you ask me. And, his girlfriend? She’s no better…

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