Six months ago, my boyfriend (twenty-something) left the area for four months to help his grieving mother, in another country, adjust after his stepfather passed away. Before he left, we had a great sex life. I (a 23 year old man) was in very good physical shape and he was also in good shape. We were a cute couple.
We FaceTimed almost every day and kept our relationship intact. I stayed in good shape and assumed he was doing the same. Towards the end of the four months, I noticed his cheeks were puffier when we FaceTimed, and he said it was just the sun that made him tan. I didn’t think anything of it.
When he finally got home and I picked him up at the airport, his face was still beautiful but his clothes were strangely tight. I tried to pretend, happy to see it. When we got to the car, he confessed to gaining 45 pounds on his mother’s food. He told me that he was determined to lose control, but two months later he has insisted that I skip the gym and binge with him too. I have gained a lot of weight now too. This has become embarrassing, when friends and family see us and we are in very tight clothes and eating snacks. He loves how I look, but I don’t.
I don’t know how to tell him that we have to stop puffing up.
You can’t make decisions for him, but you can change your own habits. I know it’s tempting to follow his lead with the new lifestyle, but do your own thing instead. Be honest about why. “I’m not happy with the way I look and feel.” End of conversation.
This is tricky, because if he doesn’t change his own habits over time, you’ll have to adjust (or at least try) to be a couple who are on different paths when it comes to food and exercise. There are plenty of couples who do their own thing when it comes to taking care of their bodies. It is doable, just a change.
I wonder if the time at home changed a lot for your boyfriend, including his level of exhaustion right now? He experienced some kind of loss, took care of his mother for months, and returned to a routine that may not work for him yet. Talk to him about how it feels to relax after months of supporting a loved one.
I’m projecting myself a bit, but I remember when I took great care of my mom when she was sick, 90 percent of my diet consisted of hospital muffins, and I was much more concerned with making her smile than taking a little walk. to clear my head. It may take time for your boyfriend to figure out a new routine.
For now, it’s about being honest. If you don’t want to snack, tell him. And if you’re less attracted to him right now, take him shopping. Get used to looking at him with clothes that fit. The wardrobe helps.
Readers? Give this time? Do you treat diet and exercise differently than your partner? How does it work?