My Weight Changed… and So Did My Relationship

Losing weight changed my relationship illustration by Jason Hoffman
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

Weight changes can affect your hormones, energy levels, and mental health -- so it should be no surprise that dramatic weight loss or gain can also have serious effects on your relationships. A lot of people assume the pattern is "get in relationship, let self go, have less sex;" and certainly, the correlation between happy marriages and weight gain has been the subject of several studies. But sometimes, the weight goes the other way -- and it seems like no matter how the scale tips, relationships evolve in the process.

And not always in the way you'd think.

Changing sizes can change attraction levels

"My ex-girlfriend was in great shape when we met. Over the course of our relationship, she gained around 50lbs. I tried to encourage and inspire her to get back into shape -- I'm a personal trainer! -- but nothing did the trick. I still loved her, but I was not attracted to her anymore. It would be one thing if we were in our 30s and married, but we were 22! Was I just supposed to stay in this relationship forever?" -- Andre, 28

"I noticed my boyfriend and I had been having sex a lot less frequently. When I asked him about it, he said that he had gained about 30lbs and was self-conscious about my seeing him naked. I hadn't even noticed! I mean, I guess I knew he had gained a little weight, but I didn't see why that should stop us from having sex." -- Lana, 25

"Both my SO and I gained some weight and our sex life dropped considerably… to zero. She lost weight first and had at least one affair. Then, I lost even more weight and had my own affair." -- Jackson, 42

"I gained 60lbs while pregnant with my daughter, and around 40 of that stayed put for over a year. My husband hardly touched me, but since I did not feel very sexy at that weight, I was kind of OK with that." -- Lydia, 33

Woman who has lost weight
Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Losing weight can be a turnoff, too

"I was dating a heavy girl who I was really into. She was sexy, and we had a great time together. Then, she got weight-loss surgery. She could no longer drink, and she had to eat teeny-tiny meals. Losing weight seemed to make her happy, but our relationship dissolved because we couldn't go out and have fun together anymore." -- Leo, 34

"I lost 60lbs in college (I'm 5'5"). I had been hooking up with a guy off and on for about 18 months, and he stopped returning my texts. When I confronted him about it via text, he said sorry but he was only really into BBW (big beautiful women). Since I had lost weight, he was way less attracted to me. I had to Google BBW! I didn't even know I had been one." -- Alisha, 24

"I was excited when my boyfriend committed to weight loss, but I didn't know he would be at the gym every single day. He works out after work, so forget doing anything together on a weeknight. Even when we do go out for dinner or drinks now, I can feel him calculating the calories in every bite I eat." -- Samantha, 29

Motivations for supporting weight loss aren't always health-related

"My wife was so not on board with my new fitness regimen at first. Then she realized it meant drinking beers with the guys a lot less and staying home eating salads with her more often. Now, she is really happy I'm doing it." -- Blake, 32

"We had sex and she liked the fact that I did not have a big gut anymore when we did it. But it did not make her want to have more sex with me like I hoped it would. I think she was most excited about the fact that I looked better standing next to her in pictures." -- Owen, 39

And sometimes, it's not about the weight at all

"I used to think my husband didn't want to bang me because I was 40lbs overweight. I got in shape, and we still aren't doing it. Now I am wondering whether he is just not attracted to me, or if he is having an affair." -- Lydia, 33

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Elizabeth Walker is a freelance writer who has never lost weight and had an affair. Find her on Twitter: @hydeyourfyres.