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I’ve been with my girlfriend for about two years. Everyone around us has noticed that we’ve both put on quite a bit of weight. I chalked it up to the constant kain of a new relationship, but I’m starting to feel weird about it. Do people actually think we’re miserable because we don’t look as attractive as we once did? Is the weight gain just because we’re happy together, or are we actually already unhealthy?
Let’s rephrase that question of yours, buddy. There’s no "or" here. It’s either you’re happy and healthy together, or happy and unhealthy. Getting fat while in a relationship seems almost like a given—all your throwback photos proving there was once an existence of a discernible jawline and even a hint of abs where there is now only the beginning of a dad-bod proves it—but it reflects not your state of happiness, just the fact that you just got…old.
Besides, the truth is, you are probably unhealthy. Unless you are part of the small percentage of weird couples who did a major glow-up together health-wise, trading in nights out drinking for early mornings biking or running—you know, those annoying ones you see on your Newsfeed showing off matching finisher medals from whatever run was on this weekend—chances are, you and your girl have settled into the semi-domestic bliss of ordering in as you go on nightly Netflix binges.
Unless you make an effort to actually exercise, all your free time is probably spent on the minutiae of coupled life—commuting or driving home together (often grabbing a bite or a beer), attending weddings,
You’ve probably given up your weekend pickup ball games in favor of running errands together. The money you spent—or wasted—on your expensive (unused) gym membership has probably been redirected to your travel fund. And that’s perfectly normal. After the frenetic, exhausting pace of singlehood, it’s nice to put your feet up, metaphorically pat your (growing) belly, and laugh at all your friends who are still frantically spending money in the pursuit of what you already snagged.
Sure, you’ve let go a little. You’ve settled in nicely. That’s what happens when you’ve found someone you love spending time with, binge-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine and wondering if it’s okay for both of you to have a crush on Andy Samberg. There’s no need to resist it—why stand in the way of your own happiness?
But that’s only if you’re actually happy. Because some guys love this stage in their lives. They love the hibernating, the uncanny resemblance to sloth-like living. They love their girls affectionately poking at their pudgy middles but still having sex with them anyway. They know that eventually, they’re going to snap back together and hit the gym in the frenzied
So, yes, being unhealthy—even for some bits of your long relationship timeline—is inevitable. Choose to focus on if you’re happy or not. Make sure you are. Don’t give up on that, even as your girlfriend bemoans the fact that her old clothes no longer fit, and you complain about your belly being in the way of you bending down to lace up your shoes.
Work on your coupled-up happiness the same way you would commit to a new fitness scheme. Go all in, support each other, push each other when need be. Be each other’s coach in your quest to be happy and content, both separately and together. Who cares if you’re eating sisig for dinner the second time this week if you’re both contentedly de-stressing from work together, or planning your next travel adventure? So what if your tummies are bigger in this year’s anniversary photo, compared to last year’s—as long as your smiles are bigger, too?