How Losing Weight Can Be Bad For Your Relationship
You might think that losing weight would spice up your love life - but new research suggests the truth can sometimes be very different.
Many relationships hit the rocks when one partner succeeds in losing a substantial amount of weight, a report suggests.
They break down because the partner who has shed the pounds starts nagging their other half to do the same, the research shows. (Read: Social Media Relationships)
The study, by North Carolina State University and the University of Texas at Austin, found there can be a ‘dark side’ to weight loss, if both partners are not equally committed to making lifestyle changes.
Some partners would make critical comments toward their significant other, be less interested in sex, or try to sabotage their partner with unhealthy food in order to derail their efforts and prevent the partner - and the relationship - from changing. (Read: How to Stack the Deck in Your Favour When Dating Online)
‘People need to be aware that weight loss can change a relationship for better or worse, and that communication plays an important role in maintaining a healthy relationship,’ said Dr Lynsey Romo, an assistant professor of communication at North Carolina State University.
One partner in each couple had lost at least 30 pounds in less than two years, with an average weight loss of about 60 pounds.
The participants were each asked about the impact of the weight loss on their relationship.
The researchers found that, after weight loss, the couples’ communication generally changed for the better.
The partner who lost weight was more likely to talk about healthy behaviours and to inspire their partner to make healthy lifestyle changes.
Couples in which both partners were receptive to these healthy changes reported a better relationship both sexually and emotionally.
Some partners who lost weight nagged their significant other to follow their lead, which caused tension in the relationship.
Other partners who hadn’t lost weight reported feeling threatened and insecure by their partner’s weight loss.
They would make critical comments toward their significant other, be less interested in sex, or try to sabotage their partner with unhealthy food in order to derail their efforts and prevent the partner - and the relationship - from changing.
‘This study found that one partner’s lifestyle change influenced the dynamic of couples’ interaction in a variety of positive or negative ways, tipping the scale of romantic relationships in a potentially upward or downward direction,’ Dr Romo said.
‘When both partners bought into the idea of healthy changes and were supportive of one another, weight loss appeared to bring people closer.
‘When significant others resisted healthy changes and were not supportive of their partner’s weight loss, the relationship suffered.
‘This study should not dissuade anyone from losing excess weight, but it should encourage people to be aware of the potential pros and cons of weight loss on their relationships. (Read: 10 Dating Tips to Make Dating Work for You!)
‘It is really important for the partner of someone trying to lose weight to be supportive of their significant other without feeling threatened by their health changes.
‘This approach will help people lose weight without jeopardising the quality of their relationships.’