My Boyfriend’s Weight Is Becoming An Issue But I Don’t Know How To Tell Him

Never one for super high-intensity workouts, I’ve found my zen in morning runs and the odd niche workout studio, but it seems my current boyfriend has no interest in being active. The problem is, he’s putting on weight and I don’t know how to tell him he needs to start exercising.

  1. I’m very active and want to be with someone who values working out. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself a health nut (trust me, I love happy hour specials and cheese fries as much as the next person), but I’ve always been active. Whether it’s swimming a few laps with my roommate or training for a half marathon with my sister, physical activity is a big part of who I am and how I like to spend time with those I love. I’d like to have a partner who motivates me to stay fit and embraces physical challenges.
  2. He’s become less active the longer we’ve been together. Shortly after we started going out, he bought a treadmill and I’ve seen him use it once in the year we’ve been together. Maybe he’s getting too comfortable with me and figures he doesn’t have to make as much of an effort now that we know each other better. I’m glad that we’ve become so comfortable around one another, but that’s no reason to stop taking care of ourselves.
  3. Motivation is a huge turn-on. I can’t help but associate motivation to work out regularly with motivation to work hard and achieve other personal goals. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I admire guys who are disciplined enough to wake up early and get their sweat on before heading to work.
  4. I’m not asking for much. When I say my boyfriend needs to exercise, I don’t mean he has to buy a CrossFit membership, get ripped, and start sporting homemade tank tops (ew, no thank you). I just mean he needs to spend 20-30 minutes a day jogging, biking, riding the elliptical—hey, I’ll even take walking. I know how hard it can be to fit a workout into a full work day, so I don’t expect him to drop everything to spend hours at the gym. I’m just looking for a little change from the status quo.
  5. I swear I’m not shallow, but physical attraction is importantI know I sound like a horrible person, but physical attraction is super important in relationships. Honestly, a great sex life can make all the difference when it comes to dating, and it doesn’t take more than a few too many beers to ruin the sex appeal. I’ll love my partner no matter what he looks like, but it feels good to know he’d make an effort to look good for me just as I do for him.
  6. He’s not living a healthy lifestyle. OK, I haven’t even talked about the health aspect of my guy’s inactive lifestyle and this is hugely important. More than anything, I want him to be healthy and feel good. There’s no way I’d make him give up beer (remember what I said about that happy hour?), but life’s all about finding a smart, healthy balance.
  7. I’m jealous of my friends who work out with their partners. Working out with a significant other is a great way to bond. I can’t help but feel a twinge of envy when my friends talk about hikes they’ve gone on with their boyfriends or how they’ve signed up for dance class or rock climbing with their partners. I wish I could do this with my guy, but he doesn’t seem to have any interest.
  8. He makes it even harder by telling me he’s glad I’m not superficial. I swear I’m not, but every time my boyfriend tells me he appreciates me for loving me as he is, it makes it that much harder for me to feel comfortable broaching the subject of exercise. I don’t want to change his opinion of me, but this is something that’s weighed on me for a while and I’m having trouble overlooking it. I feel like I’m now choosing between saving face and telling him the truth.
  9. Good partners should make each other better. Isn’t it the mark of a healthy relationship when two people can encourage one another to improve themselves? My guy has made me better by urging me to become more organized, learn to live in the moment and step out of my comfort zone. I’m so grateful for his positive influence and am optimistic that the two of us can go the distance if only I can find a way to talk to him about his health and the way his aversion to exercise is affecting our relationship.
Julia is a recent graduate of the University of Virginia where she majored in English and French language and literature. She's engaged in an on-again-off-again French love affair (with the country itself) and has been crushing on French pop star Jean-Baptiste Maunier for about 8 years. When she's not writing you can find her rereading The Wizard of Oz or trying to run away with the circus.