Should I be upset if my boyfriend wants me to lose weight?

There’s a lot of pressure on women from society to have the perfect body (whatever that even is?!).

That’s bad enough.

But what if the pressure to lose weight is coming from the very person who is meant to love you no matter what?

This is exactly what happened to me.

If you suspect your boyfriend wants you to lose weight, this article will share with you the signs that he does, and help you to decide what to do about it.

When a man comments on your weight it hurts

So here’s my own personal story:

We had been dating for around 2 years. I’ll admit that I had rounded out a little bit during that time.

I think that can happen in any relationship. You get more comfortable. You spend a lot more cozy nights at home watching Netflix and ordering takeout.

At the same time, I was far from overweight.

At first, he didn’t say anything outright, but there were still some obvious signs he wanted me to lose some weight. And let’s face it when a man comments on your weight, it hurts.

I’m going to run through some of the signs that you might notice if you suspect your partner wants you to lose weight.

Does my boyfriend want me to lose weight? 7 clear signs he does

1) He “teases you” or makes “jokes” about your body

Making jokes about someone’s weight is never funny. In fact, it’s incredibly personal and insulting.

You might find that your boyfriend starts to tease you about your weight or any weight gain, under the guise that he’s only joking and it’s harmless.

In my case, my boyfriend would say things like:

“Don’t forget to leave some food for me, these days a guy has got to eat fast around you”.

Even though he protested these kinds of comments were just a joke, really they felt like (and were) a dig.

2) He talks about other women’s bodies

If your boyfriend isn’t happy with your weight, he might start commenting on other women who are slimmer.

It’s about reaffirming his preferences. He wants you to know that is his ideal body type.

Understandably if your body doesn’t fit the bill, you’re going to feel like he wants you to lose weight to look like that.

In my opinion, when you’re in a relationship with a guy, he shouldn’t be drooling over other women’s bodies in your presence.

It’s disrespectful and it is bound to make you compare yourself.

3) He makes snide comments about your weight

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Snide comments are often more overt and to the point than “jokey” comments.

But ultimately it’s another passive-aggressive way of trying to manipulate you into feeling bad about your weight.

It can include name-calling or telling you things like you’re getting a little “chubby” — one of the actual comments my boyfriend made towards me.

Basically, snide comments are anything unkind that makes you feel self-conscious about your weight.

4) He talks about how you looked when you first met

One thing I noticed was how my boyfriend kept going on about how I looked when we had first met two years earlier.

It made me feel like his attraction towards me was historic rather than current.

I started to notice the absence of any compliments about how I was looking now, but plenty about two years ago when we’d just started dating.

The reality is that people will change in a variety of ways during the course of a relationship — physically included.

Complimenting the “old you” is a very backhanded compliment.

5) He seems less into you sexually

After the honeymoon period, a lot of couples find that their sex life can start to fade a bit.

I think that’s kind of normal, so at first I didn’t think much about our decreased bedroom activity.

But when combined with some of the other observations in this list of signs, I started to suspect my boyfriend was feeling less sexually attracted to me.

He seemed way less touchy-feely and the physical intimacy started to slide.

6) He tries to manage what you eat

I am a grown woman. I don’t always make the absolute best diet choices, but largely I know I have a decent diet.

Ultimately though, it’s for me to decide, not someone else.

My boyfriend had started not only dropping little comments about my weight, he also talked about food.

I felt like he was trying to steer me towards low-calorie options — even though he himself wasn’t choosing these.

It’s like he became the food police and would quickly pick up on whenever he thought I was eating too many carbs or sugar.

7) He tells you he loves you no matter what, but he’d be more attracted to you if you lost a few pounds

At the time, this comment made me feel kind of bad, but I also felt like I had to accept his feedback because it had been packaged with the precursor that he loved me no matter what.

But the more I thought about it, I realized it’s a pretty manipulative thing to say.

If he really did love me no matter what, why would he care about my weight? Why wouldn’t he tell me he loved me regardless of whether I lost weight or gained weight?

Surely a man who loved me would understand that bringing up my weight in this kind of way is only going to strip away my self-esteem?

Is it okay for your boyfriend to ask you to lose weight?

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Now I see these signs laid out in black and white, in my particular case, the answer seems clear. But I’ll be honest, for a long time I grappled with the question:

Is it wrong to want your partner to lose weight?

And that’s because I don’t think it’s always a straightforward answer. It depends on:

  • Your particular situation and relationship
  • Your boyfriend’s intentions and motivations
  • How they deal with the topic

I don’t think it’s always totally wrong for your boyfriend to want you to lose weight. But only a very small set of circumstances.

  • You have a loving and supportive relationship and he makes you feel special
  • He is genuinely concerned about your weight for health reasons (your health, your mental health). It’s not about his own shallow motivations that he would find you hotter if you were slimmer.
  • Sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Such a delicate conversation needs to be handled incredibly sensitively.

But here is what is never ever ok in a relationship in my opinion:

Part of me wondered if I lost the weight that would solve the problem. But then I really asked myself:

Does losing weight help your relationship?

And the conclusion I came to was that there were far bigger issues in my relationship than a few extra pounds.

Relationships are a complex mix.

Physical attraction is an important part of that for many people. But a truly loving relationship should stand on far firmer foundations.

Respect, shared values, common interests, genuine affection — all of these things should matter in a long-term committed relationship far more than slightly fluctuating weight.

Preferences are ok. Most of us have them, and often we can’t help them. Some people like blondes, others go for brunettes. I get that.

Similarly, some men prefer a slimmer frame, others love curves.

But whatever our personal preferences (which we are all entitled to) it’s never ok to make someone you say you care about feel bad for who or how they are.

Should I be upset if my boyfriend wants me to lose weight?

I think the real question here is:

Are you upset that your boyfriend wants you to lose weight?

Your feelings are what is the most important guide in your situation.

If you are upset, then know that this is valid. You’re not being “overly sensitive”. It just signals that your expectations of what you want in a partner haven’t been met.

And that is worth digging deeper into. Because I think the red herring in this whole situation is that this is about your boyfriend — when it should be about you.

What do you want? Are you happy with your weight and your body? That is the most important thing.

Why would you stay with someone who doesn’t treat you how you want to be treated or deserve to be treated?

These are the questions I started to really consider. For me, the real shift happened when I started exploring the relationship I have with myself, not the one I had with my boyfriend.

If you’re dealing with a boyfriend who wants you to lose weight, have you considered getting to the root of the issue?

You see, most of our shortcomings in love stem from our own complicated inner relationship with ourselves – how can you fix the external without seeing to the internal first?

I learned this from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê, in his incredible free video on Love and Intimacy.

So, if you want to improve the relationships you have with others I found that the most empowering thing to do is to start with yourself.

Check out the free video here.

You’ll find practical solutions and much more in Rudá’s powerful video, solutions that’ll stay with you for life.

In my case, healing my own inner wounds, self-esteem, and ideas about what love is led to some profound changes.

I saw the toxic patterns with my (now) ex-boyfriend and knew I wanted better. I’m happy to report that is exactly what I found.

Now I’m with a man who loves me for me — curves and all.

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Tina Fey

Tina Fey

I've ridden the rails, gone off track and lost my train of thought. I'm writing for Ideapod to try and find it again. Hope you enjoy the journey with me.

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