A woman with the user name Toofat2wife is asking Reddit for advice over what to do about her long-term boyfriend's refusal to propose to her until she gets 'fit.' She admits in her post that she does want to get in shape, and also emphasizes that her man has absolutely no plans to break up with her if she doesn't. But the woman, who's in her late 20s, is wondering if his unwillingness to take their relationship to the next level should really be contingent on her weight, or if her "pride is getting in the way of [her] seeing the situation clearly."
She explains that they've been together almost five years, which is no small feat. They've been living together for most of that time, and they own a house and cars together. She recently realized that she didn't want to be "led on" if marriage and children wasn't something her boyfriend could see in their future, so she did the reasonable thing and asked him.
He replied that while yes, he wants both those things with me, he doesn't see himself proposing until I've become more fit. My weight is something I've struggled with over the years since I was pretty much a teenager. I'm now at more of a “normal” weight, although a bit bigger than when we first started dating. I've recently put on about 10 pounds because of a bad injury and I'm now able to start working out again. As a side note, he's put on some weight as well. Not fat, but more filled out. He's been attempting to work out so that he will be more fit and I'll join. However I think he looks fine. He's a good size for his height.
I'm not upset that he wants me to be more fit, because I agree and it's something that I want as well. What I'm upset about is that he is using being fit as a condition of marriage. That if I stay the same, we will simply continue dating. He says that he wants to spend his life with me and that he isn't going to break up with me but he really wants to see me more fit. Marriage is more important to me than him, he would be okay with staying common law for the rest of our lives.
She adds that she's "confused about how to feel" because on one hand, she does want to be in better shape, but on the other, if he ever does propose, she's worried that she'll forever wonder if she's met his "standard." Also, what happens if she gains a few pounds back, or if she doesn't lose baby weight immediately after having their theoretical future baby?
She ends by writing,
I don't want to make a bad decision by breaking up with him if I'm simply over reacting. He's my best friend and I really enjoy our life together.
Help Reddit, give me your thoughts!
TL:DR long term boyfriend wants me to get more fit. He won't propose unless I do, but has no plans to break up with me if I don't.
Well, she came to the right place for advice, because if there's one thing Redditors are happy to do, it's give their opinions.
Geenafalopezz had a very interesting, helpful story.
I have something to add.
I was married to my soon to be ex for many years. Throughout our marriage there was always a reason why he couldn't love me fully and connect. The first one was that I wasn't employed full time and he has always had to work harder (while I did lost of the caring of our two daughters and went to college full time.)
- I slowly faded away from college and behan working more than 40 hours per week while still caring for the kids.
The second major one was that I was gaining weight and beginning to resemble my sister, whom he is completely turned off by.
- I dropped from 200 pounds to 150 pounds in one summer.
After working full time and weight loss his reasons were that I don't dress sexy enough or act my age (24&25 at the time.) he claimed that he hated my wardrobe. He hated that I shopped at thrift stores. I asked him to go through my closet and help me get rid of what he didn't like. About 3 shirts in he says, "ALL OF IT!!!!"
- I grabbed everything out of my closet except for about 2 outfits and donated it all. I began slowly rebuilding my wardrobe and started dressing like a teeny bopper.
- the fourth and final thing was that I wasn't ambitious enough. His words were, "you grew up down here." Signaling his hand down at his knee. "You want to stay down here, and I want to be up here." (Putting his hand above his head.) "the only way we're going to have anything in life is if I do it because you're content selling almonds and cleaning houses forever."
A few days later I told him I wanted a divorce. That was in February. He moved out in June.
Everything has changed and yet, I am more me than I've ever been."
I was the only one who could put an end to the perpetual cycle of goal posting he put me through.
I was never good enough.
About a month ago he said, "you are now, everything I always wanted you to be." I smiled and nodded, knowing that my decision to start my life over was worth the temporary discomforts I've went through the last year, rebuilding my life as an independent single mom.
Eros_bittersweet felt the same.
You said it best through your anecdote, which perfectly illustrates the point. He's telling her his love will always be conditional, and that she's to blame if he withholds it from her because she's not good enough.
It's fine to want your partner to get in better shape! It's wrong to hold it over their head as a condition of fully loving them.
Ambyyy pointed out that love should be (relatively) unconditional.
Would we really say it's love if there's a condition to meet before it's given? When I met my wife and then became serious enough to be marry, we both agreed that we are marrying each other AS IS. With all the strength and flaws as of the moment we marry and any future development would be hand in hand, together.
JabberwockyJurist said the woman should only get fit for herself, not for anyone else.
Get fit because it's healthy. Get fit if it makes you feel better. Get fit if you want to get fit. Don't get fit because your SO is making it a condition of marriage. Is he going to conduct weigh ins monthly? How much weight can you gain when you get pregnant? Will he put you on a post pregnancy diet?
You have a weight struggle, he's known it. Apparently it's not enough to make him reconsider the relationship, but he doesn't get to weaponize it either by making weight loss a condition of marriage.
If I give him the benefit of the doubt, then he's horribly misguided and you should sit him down and talk to him. If I don't, then he's using this as an excuse to string you along on the marriage question. You need to figure out which it is. In the mean time, get fit for you, no one else.
But not everybody agreed. For example, throwitawaynow4004 saw things from the boyfriend's point of view.
I opened this thread because I have been the boyfriend in this story. My girlfriend and I are more than likely getting married in the next couple of years, but her terrible eating habits were a deal breaker for me. It wasn't because she wasn't fit; it was because she couldn't maintain a somewhat healthy lifestyle for more than a week. My biggest problem with it was the fact that I do not want my children to be raised by someone who sets this as an example.
I brought this up with her, and she has started improving immediately. For me the whole ordeal is no longer a dealbreaker even though she is still overweight: she has understood that taking care of your health is important to me, and now that she's living more healthily, I couldn't be happier.
Still, the majority of the comments were from people who didn't think Toofat2wife's boyfriend's plan was a good one. 0rca_wrote:
100% agree with this. If you're getting fit, do it for YOU not him...or you will never feel good enough or have any confidence/love for yourself. There is nothing more important than catering to the relationship you have with yourself.
MsLogophile pretty much summed it up:
Work on your fitness so you can run away from him.
Wanting your significant other to be healthy isn't wrong, but if you really love someone, a marriage proposal shouldn't have a weight limit.