Declining physical attraction

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 31
179 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

A big issue with these responses are the inability to see a difference or separation between romantic/unconditional love and emotional affection, and purely physical and sexual desire. One does not necessarily equal the other, even in the best of relationships. OP may truly love his partner and still think she’s amazing on an emotional/mental level. But the fact of the matter is, what causes a physical or sexual reaction or spark in him DOES depend somewhat on what his partner looks like…and if that has changed significantly in the last year, it’s realistic to admit that there might now be an issue. I personally believe that the couples that are able to weather these changes are the ones who find ways to discuss them honestly. And I say this as a woman who first gained and has successfully lost 30 pounds (and it was noticeable!). My husband, because he loves me, never verbally admitted or implied that he was less attracted to me when I was heavier. But I don’t think it’s coincidence that since losing the weight, our frequency of sex every week has doubled. I love him for not making me feel worse about myself, but I don’t blame him for noticing a difference and maybe preferring my thinner self. 

Post # 32
402 posts
Helper bee

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mahadewi :  a therapist? To train his brain to be attracted to his partner who is unhealthy and overweight? Gosh,  now I’ve heard everything!

Post # 34
634 posts
Busy bee

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Hunnibee88 :  Maybe she is not unhealthy and overweight, we don’t even know. All we know is she no longer fits into his idea of physically attractive. 

Post # 35
431 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I agree with

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mrspuppylove! I think a huge part of what you found unattractive could be her action — or lack thereof. If you find out in the end that’s what it is, it will make the talk with her a lot less hurtful.

Post # 36
4756 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Are you unattractived to her physical appearance or are you unattractived to her actions which have led to her weight gain? I think id an important distinction and working our where your issue with this lies, can certainly help you navigate this situation.

To be hobest, I never really see my husband 98% of the time. In my everyday interactions with him my mind plays tricks and in my minds eye and when I look at him I still see him as the guy I met when he was in his mid 20s. Sometimes I truly look at him and I get a little shocked that 12 years have passed and I’m like when did his eyes get laugh lines and when did he start sprouting old man ear hair! To be fair I get a shock too when I look in the mirror at myself and a woman in her 30s stares back at me instead of the hot 20 year old I think that I am in my head! 😂

In a long haul relationship physical attraction is very much tied into emotional attraction. I think our mind is designed to help with the process and it does play some good games to keep us attracted for the long haul. To be frank, I’m in my 30s and the idea of passionately kissing or having sex with a man in his 60s has me going

The idea of having sex with my husband when he’s in his 60s doesn’t give me the same horrors because he in my mind is more than just his physicality. To me, his desirability and attractiveness is tied in with my emotional attraction to him. He is still the same person I met 12 years ago and his behaviors and choices still follow the pattern of what he’s done in the time I’ve known him. He can age, put on weight and start picking his nose infront of me but because I’m emotionally attracted to him and he is still the same person with the same characteristics and traits and therefore is still physically attractive.

It sounds like to me that you aren’t so physically attracted to your girlfriend because you are finding her lifestyle choices, traits around health and pride in personal appearance, unattractive. Which in turn affects your emotional attraction to her and your brains ability to play those games where you see her but you don’t. 

I don’t know what the answer is but it sounds like you have very different ideas on health and on taking pride on personal appearance and putting your best physical self out there. If your Girlfriend was still exorcising, trying to be healthy and make good lifestyle choices but put on gradual weight over a lot of years. Do you still think you would be unattracted to her in the same way you are now or would you be OK with it because she is still someone who is trying to put her best physical self forward and values this ideal like you do and is still at her core who you fell in love with at the beginning. 

TBH, I think your girlfriend is really in a tough situation and any discussion you have with her on this will impact her and your future relationship together. It would be a long existence and quite a stressful one for her if you are together for the long haul. I can’t imagine how worried I’d be about changing bodies and the aging process if I knew it would greatly affect my partners attraction to me. It would seriously do my head in and cause massive insecurities for me. It also wouldn’t be nice to be you and to constantly worry that my attraction would swing negatively for my partner with natural changes to their body. 

I honestly think maybe you might not be 100% suited and value different thing. 

Post # 37
149 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Maybe I’ve missed something but has she mentioned that she is unhappy with the weight gain? I think you need to be 100% sure there is not a medical or mental healthy concern before you bring it up. Is she on an antidepressant and doesn’t want you to know? Does she have any mediciations that she is taking daily that cause weight gain? 

I’ve been the girl in the relationship that has a weight problem since I was 18. The relationship weight issue I had was when I was 18 and gained 10 pounds and my boyfriend at the time made a big stink about it and so did my family. I began yo-yo dieting and would lose weight every spring/summer and gain it all back in the fall.

When I started dating my husband we both weighed less. I gained 40 pounds from an antidepressant, underactive thyroid, and multiple steroid treatments. Also being with him changed my lifestyle choices as well. I left my physical job and had a desk job so I’m sure I gained from that. We started going to happy hour after work a few nights a week. We would always get dessert after dinner. He kept the best snacks at his place. Everything was a perfect storm to gain weight. I’ve lost weight by exercising and eating better but still have underlying health issues that makes it challenging to lose weight. 

I think you have to accept that the relationship could change or end if she doesn’t have any concern. Also imagine someday if she was pregnant and she gained weight how would you feel? If she gets sick and gains weight? 

Post # 38
302 posts
Helper bee

Reality check: yes, a 40lbs gain IS noticeable, unless you’re already obese.

Look at a BMI chart.

40lbs are more than enough to go from *underweight* to overweight (for the average height woman).

Post # 39
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Here’s the problem, say she loses the weight and you’re physically attracted to her again and you propose, get married and everything is great. Then you want to start a family, and say she gains 60lbs while pregant and only loses 10 after the baby is born, now as she gets older metabolism slows down and its harder to lose weight so she stays 50lbs heavier than what you find attractive. Then what? Your girlfriend might not stay thin for life even if she does start exercising and eating better. I think you have to have an honest conversation with yourself before you continue on with this relationship. Realize that it is possible that even if she does lose the weight now it might not stay off forever. If you honestly don’t think that you will continue to find her attractive through the years then it might be best to let her go. 

Post # 40
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2019 - City, State

I have to echo the PP’s – if my fiance mentioned my weight in any manner, I would be devastated and would seriously reconsider our relationship. 

Post # 41
2566 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

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asummerbridet7 :  This is really what the OP should be considering. Look around at the world… what percentage of 45 year olds are fit & slim? I’m guessing way less than 50%. Age, child-bearing, & just plain ol’ life get in the way. It sounds as if the OP really needs to find someone who is “naturally” thin & who also has a mind toward fitness. 

Post # 42
357 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2021 - British Columbia, Canada

Despite what some bees seem to be basing opinions around, I don’t think the OP’s point is related to finding your partner attractive decades down the road with all of the lovely bells and whistles involved with the normal aging processes. This is about a very significant weight gain in a short amount of time unrelated to understandable catalysts such as pregnancy/childbirth. I’m in the position right now where my partner has put on 25 pounds over the past two years – physically I don’t see much of a difference for the most part as it’s not noticeable in his face/arms/legs, but his midriff does impact his self confidence and the unhealthy habits that have impacted his cardio and stamina are starting to affect our love life and ability to enjoy hiking/sports together. I don’t love him any less, but he knows I didn’t fall in love with a couch potato and he’s taking steps to get back to his prime physical condition so we can enjoy our active lives together. He would never expect me to turn a blind eye to the person I plan to spend the rest of my life with wasting our young years together or shortening their lifespan with shitty eating/exercise habits.

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