Relationships, like any other all-around significant commitment, can bring about some major life changes.
From reaching a whole new level of comfort with another human being to learning how to comfortably fit two bodies into one bed in the ultimate game of Tetris, being in a relationship changes a person.
One of the most perceivable changes that one may go through while engaging in such a commitment, however, is the painfully noticeable physical one: the relationship weight gain.
We all know a friend — or ten — who gained an apparent amount of weight throughout the duration of a relationship. In fact, I gained a good 10 or 15 pounds over the course of my recent two-year relationship (which I promptly shed as the union started to deteriorate).
The oddest part about it, though, is that it’s not the sad kind of weight gain often brought on by stress and depression; it’s the happy kind. It’s like the people who this ailment plagues gain ten pounds of pure happiness (usually in the midsection).
Here are some of the reasons why relationships infamously make lovers plumper than they prefer:
1. You don’t need to attract anyone new.
Once you’ve persuaded someone into thinking that you’re worth such a large chunk of his or her time that you’re the only one with whom the person is allowed to be intimate, congratulations! You’re locked into a full-fledged relationship.
This means you'll have to impress no one other than this person (in an physically attractive way, at least — you should totally still brush your hair and shower).
With this pressure off your shoulders, pizza will start to look significantly more appealing and desserts will, too. Also, the gym becomes an unnecessary burden that you may grace with your presence, only when you really want to — not when you need to.
2. Nobody new has to see you naked.
Unless you’re a sneaky little cheater, once you have entered a relationship, only one person will have the pleasure of seeing your naked body in all of its glory.
You know that vulnerable, exciting, slightly fear-inducing, slightly butterfly-inducing feeling you get when someone new rips off your clothes for the first time? Yeah, that doesn’t happen anymore.
Your partner knows exactly what’s hiding under those clothes, and chances are, he or she will neither notice nor care if you gain a few pounds.
Since sex will undoubtedly die down in frequency or get less exciting (e.g. you don’t take off your bra anymore — or maybe even your shirt, for that matter), you’ll feel oh-so-free to pack on some pounds.
3. You skip the gym in order to spend time with your significant other.
If your significant other is on the same page about the gym, great! This does not apply to you because you can motivate each other to workout.
If this isn’t the case and your boyfriend or girlfriend works out either way more than you, way less than you or not at all, it may pose a problem.
If you lead a busy life, like most people do, spending time with your boo may not always be as convenient as you would like.
That being said, whenever you both have mutual free time, the pressure is on to spend it together. This can severely impede on your “me time,” under which category the gym undoubtedly falls.
Just remember, your significant other cannot comment on your weight gain if he or she pressures you to skip workouts!
4. The compliments are constantly coming.
Despite how low your self-esteem might be, most people get boosts of confidence upon receiving compliments.
And chances are, if you are in a loving, caring, healthy relationship, you’ll receive no shortage of them. When your partner thinks you’re the most flawless person in the universe, it’s hard to think of yourself in any other way. And that’s a good thing, right?
Well, to an extent, but it becomes way easier to lose track of your appearance when the person whose opinion you value the most puts you on a pedestal.
5. He or she influences your eating behavior in a negative way.
Eating — at a restaurant or at home — is one of the most popular activities for couples to do together.
Once you enter that super comfortable stage in the relationship in which you can be disgusting and bloated in front of each other, vanity is out the window.
There are so many new places to try together and you no longer need to give a f*ck that cheese might make you extremely gassy and drinking that extra glass of wine might make you vomit. You just don’t care.
6. Staying in on a weekend night.
When going out and dancing with your friends turns into shoving takeout in your mouth like it’s your final f*cking meal, your body will surely pay the price.
It’s great because zero effort goes into this activity. Throw on some sweats, roll into bed and call your bff: the delivery guy. It’s okay because you’re not in this sad, pathetic state alone; you’re with someone who loves you.
So, you sit there in bed, watching some TV, shoveling that pad thai or whatever down the hatch, just praying that you don’t have to wear anything tight anytime soon. Oh, are you drinking, too? Well it is the weekend!
Don’t forget to factor in a massive amount of calories for that and for the fact that you will not be moving an inch all night.
7. You’re too happy to give a f*ck about anything.
Your relationship is going well and you really don’t care about anything else? GOOD FOR YOU!
You don’t care about getting into great shape, you don’t care about what you eat and you don’t care about what other people think of you; you’re content.
This is truly the best excuse for the possible relationship weight gain. You stop obsessing over what your body looks like and you realize that you’re fine just the way you are. Isn’t a healthy body image what we all strive to have?
As long as your health isn’t rapidly deteriorating and you’re not putting yourself at risk, I say, take a breather and enjoy this judgment-free time. It’s so rare that we can feel completely comfortable in our own skin.
However, you should prepare yourself for the potential relationship failure and the “I need to lose weight right now because all of my nice underwear give me muffin top” phase.
Keep in mind that if you skip the “crying over pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream” post-breakup ritual, you’ll have a huge head start!
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It