Get expert help figuring out whether to mention your girlfriend’s weight gain, and how to go about it. Click here to chat online to someone right now.
There aren’t many topics of conversation more awkward than weight gain, especially with your girlfriend.
Men have been taught that the typical “Do I look fat in this?” question should always be met with a resounding and instant “no,” no matter what they truly think.
But what do you do if your girlfriend has put on weight and you think it’s starting to affect your relationship?
It’s not a problem many men would talk about for fear of being called sexist or accused of body shaming.
So should you even try?
The most important thing to keep in mind is how this topic could make your girlfriend feel, and the long term impact your comments could have on her and your relationship.
Think about what it is you want to achieve by talking to her about her weight. Is it for your own benefit or for hers? Why does it matter to you so much?
If you’re not quite sure how you feel right now and you’re worried about how to approach the situation, keep reading to help organize your thoughts and decide if this really is a conversation you want to have.
1. Don’t feel guilty for noticing her weight gain.
The very fact that you’ve noticed and are thinking about your girlfriend gaining weight might be making you feel guilty.
You’re wondering what this means and whether you don’t love her as much as you thought you did… because this type of thing isn’t supposed to matter, right?
Focusing on weight is vain, you think, and you should love her for more than just how she looks.
Well, that is true. But at the same time, you’re not a bad person for noticing a change in her physical appearance. It’s how you react to it that counts.
Are you noticing for selfish reasons? Do you want her to look better for you, or are you worried what other people might think when they see you together?
Or are you noticing because you’re worried that she’s not happy and there’s an underlying issue that’s causing her to put on weight.
Couples should be able to be honest with each other, but you should always put her feelings first. You’re not a bad person, but think before you mention it and decide whether you’re acting for her benefit or for yours.
2. Make it an ‘us’ problem, not a ‘you’ problem.
If your concern about your girlfriend’s weight comes from a genuine place of worry for her health or state of mind, then tackling the issue as a team could be the best way to go about it.
Instead of focusing on her, try suggesting that you both start eating better or getting more exercise. You could begin by planning dates that involve more physical activity, like hiking or sports.
Try helping by taking charge of the weekly food shop and cooking more, so you can make sure you’re improving both of your diets.
By doing this, you may not even have to bring up the fact that you think your girlfriend has put on weight.
Make a healthier lifestyle a priority for you both and no one has to feel targeted. Instead, you’re working to encourage and uplift each other to be the best version of yourselves.
3. Make sure she knows you love her.
If you’re going to comment on her physical experience, and particularly on the sensitive subject of weight, you need to make sure your girlfriend feels as secure and comfortable in your love for her as possible.
The minute you mention her weight gain – even when done in the most sensitive way – it will likely affect her self-confidence and her trust in how you feel toward her.
Anything you say to her needs to be prefaced by the fact that you love her no matter what, and that as long as she’s happy, you’re happy.
Don’t wait to start dishing out compliments. If you do this, anything nice you say will come across as insincere if it’s softening the subject of her weight. Worse than this, she might find it hard to trust any compliment you give her in the future, associating them with this negative conversation.
It’s always important to make sure your partner knows how much you care about them, so don’t wait to remind your girlfriend you love and appreciate her.
If you’re going to bring up a difficult subject, then at least make sure your girlfriend feels loved and knows you’re not leaving her because of it.
4. Pick the right moment to have the conversation.
There never seems to be a good time to have an awkward conversation, and in reality, there isn’t. But that’s not to say that some moments aren’t better than others.
For example, choosing the moment your girlfriend has just tucked into a large or unhealthy meal is not a good one. Neither is a time when she’s feeling particularly sensitive or self-conscious.
Try to avoid bringing up difficult conversations right before you’re about to go somewhere without her, or go to bed. Otherwise, you’ll leave her stewing on the information, and unable to discuss it with you.
If you want to bring the subject up, try to mention it casually when it’s just the two of you. Don’t go straight in with, “so I’ve noticed you’ve put on weight.” Try to be subtle.
More importantly, think about how you’d feel in that moment if she said to you what you’re about to say to her. If you think you’d be hurt, consider waiting for a better time. But there may not be a better time, so don’t put off having the conversation forever if it’s one you feel you need to have.
5. Check in on how she’s feeling – there’s more to weight gain than food.
A lot of the time, weight gain or loss is as much about a person’s mental health as it is their physical health.
Over-eating or comfort eating can be a sign of stress or self-destructive behavior, which in turn can be brought on by a number of different issues.
Before you mention her weight, check in to see how she’s feeling. Is there anything she wants to talk about or needs support for?
If she’s under a lot of stress, either from work or home, comfort eating may be a way for her to cope with her heightened anxiety, lack of confidence, or low mood.
As her partner, it’s your job to be there to support her through the good times and the bad.
There could even be elements of your relationship that you haven’t realized are contributing to her behavior. Knowing that you’re there to listen to her and support her with whatever she is going through will be much more beneficial than bringing up her weight as another problem for her to focus on.
6. Bodies change over time – get used to it!
We all age. It’s a fact of life. And we also all age at different rates and in different ways to one another.
Hormones can play havoc with our bodies and will have different effects on men and women. As a society, we fixate on holding onto our youth for as long as possible, but getting older is something none of us can avoid and should try to embrace.
If your girlfriend isn’t the shape of the 20-something you remember from when you first met, that’s because she’s not that person anymore.
As we age, it can be much harder for some people to keep the weight off and maintain their body shape as their metabolism slows. Injuries sustained when younger can also make it harder for some to keep up the level of exercise they once enjoyed.
At the same time, life might just have moved on for your girlfriend. She may be under more pressure in her job, or busy looking after children. It can be increasingly difficult to maintain a regular diet and exercise regime when there are constant distractions and responsibilities that come with age.
Make sure you’re not holding your girlfriend to unrealistic standards. We all age, life goes on, and as a couple, your main priority should be enjoying all the time you have together, not watching each other’s waistline
7. Think about what she’s given you.
If you’re focusing on your girlfriend’s weight and she’s the mother of your children, then you need to rethink your priorities.
It doesn’t matter how big she was before having kids, if she’s put on weight since and been unable to lose it, or not cared about losing it, then you certainly shouldn’t either.
It’s hard to even comprehend the incredible change a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy and after giving birth. Just because people have babies all the time doesn’t make it any less of a miracle.
She’s given over control of her body to grow your child, and for that you should only be grateful. There are already so many pressures on mothers to ‘bounce back’ and be the perfect parent while also being successful in their own right. She’ll already feel the weight of all this pressure without you adding to it.
If she’s gained weight since having your children, then the only thing you should be focusing on is the family you have together. Love her for what she’s given you and celebrate the body that made it happen.
8. Is your attraction only skin deep?
Of course we expect to be physically attracted to our partner. Without attraction, the sexual chemistry to keep that spark burning bright is harder to come by.
But how important are your girlfriend’s looks to you? Why do you care so much if she’s put on weight? Why would your relationship be different if she was another size?
Ultimately, whatever size she is, your girlfriend is still the same person she always was underneath it all. If you’re worrying about how her weight is affecting your attraction to her, are your feelings for her shallower than you realized?
If you are truly in love, physical appearance should only be a small part of why you’re together. All our bodies change as we get older – including yours – but it’s a person’s personality and heart that remain the same.
Falling in love with who someone is as a person is what will keep your relationship alive, not how well she applies her makeup or what dress size she is.
Make sure you’re not letting your own vanity get in the way of your relationship, otherwise nothing good will ever last.
9. Don’t be a hypocrite.
If you’re going to take the plunge and have a difficult conversation with your girlfriend about her weight, then you need to make absolutely sure that you are irreproachable in that department yourself.
You can’t expect your girlfriend to take an interest in her diet and exercise if you don’t take any interest in yours. Even if you’re lucky enough to be in naturally good shape without much effort, it’s unfair to hold your girlfriend to the same standard that you’re genetically fortunate to enjoy.
Unless you are taking an active interest in looking after yourself, then you have no right questioning your girlfriend’s habits. Don’t be a hypocrite and take a good look at your own lifestyle before you start questioning hers.
10. She already knows she’s put on weight.
Women are not stupid. She might be acting as though nothing has changed, but there is not the slightest chance that your girlfriend does not already know that she has put on weight, even without you or anyone else mentioning it.
She knows her body better than anyone else and she’ll have known the instant that she went up a size, most likely before you even noticed.
Keep this in mind if you want to bring up the topic with her. There’s nothing worse than being told something you already know and it could come across as patronizing and make her defensive.
What you should be focusing on, rather than telling her she’s put on weight, is why she hasn’t mentioned anything about it. It could be that she’s feeling like she’s lost control of the situation and needs some support from you, mentally or physically, to start feeling better and more in control of her life and body again. It could also be that she’s happy with how she is and doesn’t want to change.
She doesn’t need to be ‘told’ she’s put on weight; she just needs to know that you want the best for her, whether that’s supporting her to make a positive change in her lifestyle or letting her stay exactly the way she is.
11. Don’t leave it too late to say something if you have to.
It’s always going to be a tricky subject, and more often than not, the best thing to do is not to bring up your girlfriend’s weight gain.
But if you love her and want to be with her, and the change you’re seeing in her is worrying you and creating distance between you, don’t wait until it’s too late to say something.
It might be that you just need to know if she’s happy in herself or if this weight gain is a sign that she’s upset and needs support. Until you know, the uncertainty will weigh on your mind and affect how you act around each other.
Even if she hasn’t said anything to you, she’ll notice if you’re pulling away from her and could be worrying that there’s a much worse reason for your behavior.
Lack of communication can be the end of a relationship, so if you have something to say, then come out with it before it becomes a bigger issue than it ever needed to be.
12. Can you be happy if she is?
Whatever it is you’re feeling about your girlfriend’s weight gain, ultimately the main thing to remember is that it’s her body.
You may be in a relationship with her, but you don’t own her, and it’s her choice to look and live in the style she wants to.
The real beauty of a person comes from their confidence and positivity. You can be the most aesthetically pleasing person in the world, but if you’re full of negativity, you’re never going to be beautiful inside and out.
Yes, your girlfriend has put on weight. So what? Does her personality still shine through? Is she confident in flaunting her curvier figure?
Body positivity is one of the most important messages to promote in modern society, so if your girlfriend is happy in her skin, then you should only be building her up, not tearing her down to fit in with your idea of what her body shape should be.
Everyone is beautiful if they love their body, and if she loves hers then you should too.
13. Are you willing to lose her over this?
There’s no getting away from it, weight is a touchy subject, especially when it’s directed at your girlfriend.
With the best will in the world, even if you mean well and bring the subject up as gently as you can, she might still react badly – and how badly you can never know for sure.
If it all goes south and what you mean to say doesn’t come across in the right way, or the issue becomes a sticking point between you, it could push your relationship to the point of no return.
Before you mention anything, think about whether you’re willing to risk losing her over her weight gain.
Is it time you got used to the fact that life has moved on since you first got together and your bodies have changed?
Can you stop worrying about her being a smaller size and appreciate that she looks good whatever shape she is?
Are you really willing to lose this amazing person and the future you could share together over her size?
Think carefully and try to put your feelings into perspective. Yes, she’s gained weight, but is it a deal breaker for you? And if it is, then is what you have together really as strong as you thought it was?
Unrealistic body expectations are a very real pressure for women of all ages around the world. Beauty standards still promote unattainable ideals for most women and it’s a subject many girls grow up obsessed with.
You’ll never fully realize the pressure women put on themselves on a daily basis because of unfair social expectations. That’s why weight is such a tricky issue to bring up, and it’s why you need to be certain you’re coming from the right place if you choose to broach it with your girlfriend.
Are you genuinely worried that she’s okay or could you do with being a little more body positive yourself?
Whatever size she is, she’s still her, and you should be able to love and appreciate her for who she is if the relationship you have is genuine.
If your concern is about health, then that’s not something to feel bad about; we could all do more to make sure we’re keeping our bodies and minds in the best shape possible.
But you have to both want to make a positive change if it’s going to happen. You can’t just expect more from her alone. Your goal should not be for your girlfriend to ‘lose weight’ but rather to make sure you’re both looking after your bodies in the right way.
If you really love your girlfriend, then her size shouldn’t be a make or break issue. It’s her body and her life to live as she likes, and the most important thing is that she feels confident in herself.
If you’re not sure how to react to her weight gain then take after her lead and try educating yourself on having a more positive, body-inclusive mindset. Our weight does not define who we are, so try not to get so caught up in the aesthetics, because it’s the person inside that counts.
Still not sure if you should bring up the topic of your girlfriend’s weight? Delicate subjects such as this can cause even the healthiest relationships to fall apart if not handled correctly. So why not chat online to one of the experts from Relationship Hero who can help you figure out if and how to raise the issue. Simply click here to chat.
You may also like:
- 19 Ways To Make Someone Feel Important, Special, And Loved
- 10 Tips If You’re Not Attracted To Your Spouse Anymore
- How To Stop Body Shaming Yourself (And Deal With It From Others)
- Why Body Positivity Isn’t Just An “Excuse To Be Unhealthy”