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My Partner Chose to Stop Exercising, So I’m Reconsidering Our Relationship

There are a lot of things you need to discuss with your partner in order to understand if they are really the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and deal-breakers vary from relationship to relationship. One of Bright Side’s readers sent us a letter, opening up about the ultimatum he gave to his girlfriend: either she loses weight soon or he’s going to break up with her.

Hi Mike! Thanks for your letter. The Bright Side team got together to prepare some advice for you. We sincerely hope that you will find it helpful.

  • Consider that there are more factors that make up physical health other than weight. We understand your family’s history with obesity leads you to believe that staying thin by working out can be a problem solver, but this is not true. Skinny people can develop heart disease if they have high cholesterol, for example. Staying healthy also requires a sustainable diet, among other things.
  • Your girlfriend agreed to get healthier, but give her the freedom of choice about how she wants to achieve this. You say that she has lost all her passion for fitness, so if you force her to go to the gym, it might make her miserable. At the same time, she can stay active by simply taking a walk, which can also be a good way for you 2 to spend time together.
  • Be supportive and create a positive environment. Your girlfriend might be demotivated to keep up a healthy lifestyle, and making passive-aggressive comments about how she “should not be eating that” or anything of the kind, is not helpful. Instead, it’s important to surround her with positivity. You can make an effort to prepare healthy meals you both can enjoy, and don’t forget to remind her that she is doing well.
  • Don’t suggest that she try any unsustainable diets or workout plans. If you truly want a girlfriend who is healthy and not just thin at the moment, then remind yourself that getting healthy can be a long process, and it’s a lifetime commitment. In order to make it feasible, both her diet and her workout routine need to be sustainable. Don’t encourage her to try any fad diets that can make her lose the weight she gained quickly, as they will be more damaging to her health.
  • Pay attention to your girlfriend’s mental health. You say she has lost interest in everything, which is not a good sign. She might be struggling with some mental health issues that you are unaware of, and mental health is as important as physical health. You can gently suggest that she go see a therapist, but don’t pressure her, just like with anything else.

How do you define health? What would you do in this situation?

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