Hi, Nao Mih,
This is Andy. My boyfriend, whom I’ve been with in a relationship for three years, told me that she wants me to have the body of my best friend, who goes to the gym. He says I am too fat and she would be proud of me a lot if I were petite. In a way, I feel that he is losing interest in me and is indirectly telling me that he is becoming attracted to my friend. Or is he just being honest?
I’m really sorry this had to happen to you. For sure, relationships are hard sometimes, and it can be challenging to interpret the signals your partner is sending your way.
Regarding your matter, it is true that many people try to fix their self-confidence through working out or finding ways to alter their natural appearances. This is because physical appearance largely contributes to the dynamics of a relationship.
Sadly, the most affected are women. This arises from men’s demands about what we should look like, which are quite exaggerated. This is largely because men can have wild expectations of the beauty of a woman, you know, and this is largely due to exposure to popular culture depicted in magazines, television and websites.
For example, many men think petite women are more beautiful compared to plump women, as widely showcased in Western media.
Andy, nobody has the right to make you feel bad about your body. A person who really loves you will appreciate you for who you are and not the type of body you wear. So, before focusing on the type of body your partner desires, figure out what you want to look like.
If your partner wants this shape for you, what effort are they putting in? If you start hitting the gym, will you be doing it for him or yourself? Does it bring you joy? You need to establish your “why.” You have to establish a solid reason why you want to be physically fit.
Again, understand that our bodies evolve. They are expanding, shrinking, birthing, aging, and that is okay. We need to stop putting harsh demands and expectations on our bodies if they don’t look like they used to. Our bodies are amazing and deserve our due respect. Accept yourself the way you are. If you aren’t comfortable, work out, but not because of what your boyfriend said.
Remember, in a relationship, we are supposed to grow together and be flexible with all changes. A partner who doesn’t appreciate you for who you are doesn’t deserve to be in your life. If he is not comfortable with how your body is changing, he should suggest ways to help you but not compare you to your friend.
As for whether he is attracted to your friend, I can say that is quite honest of him, but it doesn’t necessarily mean he wants to date her, only that it is rather insensitive and immature of him.
Naomi Makassi from Kitale, Trans Nzoia County, is a graduate of Rongo University who finds passion in helping young adults build successful relationships through writing.