Losing weight can be a wonderful thing, instilling self-confidence and a better self-image. Yet studies have shown it can be harming if you are in a relationship. Though seemingly contradictory, read below to learn why it might just not be.
The study was conducted using 21 couples who dated over 2 years. In that time, one of the partners had lost weight, either by diet, exercise, or medically. Most had lost about 60 pounds or more in the period measured.
Though the partner who lost weight was found to be much more communicative, especially in thinking in a health-conscious way and promoting healthy eating amongst themselves and others, the non-weight loss partner was not.
The partner who had lost weight also was more confident in themselves, yet their relationship was losing hope.
Many of the non-weight loss partners were irritated by their partner encouraging them to eat and live healthier themselves, leading to resentment. This caused less sex in the relationship and poor communication. Some partners were also found to be not supportive of the weight loss, feeling threatened and insecure about themselves. These partners were more likely to make critical comments, or tried to manipulate their partners weight loss by sabotaging their diets with unhealthy food to prevent their partner and the relationship from changing.
Overall, the study proved that in order to find success in a relationship where a partner is undergoing a lot of weight loss, there are few things to be noted. It changes the dynamic of the relationship, sometimes for good, other times for bad. In order for the relationship to stay strong, the partner who doesn’t lose the weight needs to be supportive of the one who does, without feeling threatened or insecure about themselves. Lastly, the study found that some who had lost weight during the relationship lost the weight due to an initial weight gain when first-entering the relationship, by approximately 14 pounds on average.
By Aisling Williams