A while back, I started hanging out with this guy who was super funny and into all the same movies and books and random things as me. Our personalities totally clicked, and before you knew it, I had a new boyfriend.
It was pretty awesome because he was always really nice to me and we had a ton of fun together. However, I couldn’t help feeling really insecure around him. Why? Because he was way skinnier than me.
I really started focusing on it after how much he weighed somehow came up in a conversation. When I realized that not only was he skinnier than me in appearance, but in actual pounds too, it really started to play with my head.
Even though I had a pretty healthy body image, whenever the two of us were next to each other in front of other people, I’d get kind of nervous. And yeah, being uncomfortable when you are around the person you are supposed to enjoy dating is kind of a total buzzkill.
In my mind, I knew it wasn’t something I should care about it because it was superficial. The fact that I kept dwelling on it actually made me feel guilty for thinking that as a girl, I should weigh less than my boyfriend. Even though I told myself to let it go, it kept bothering me. I’d always crushed on bigger guys. So, while I knew in my heart it was a trivial thing to think about when it came to dating, I also didn’t think I’d ever be in a relationship where I would question my weight.
In addition to wishing my body was smaller, I was also worried that he secretly wished I would be thinner because he didn’t like that I weighed more than him. Somehow I felt like I was disappointing someone who I really wanted to impress. Now, he never actually did anything to support this thought, but I just convinced myself he was too nice to let his disappointment show.
For a while, it wasn’t really a topic we discussed, but eventually we did talk about the whole “weight” issue. Or rather, a non-issue that was kind of warped by us both into an issue. See, it turns out that I wasn’t the only one feeling insecure. As I worried I weighed “too much” for our relationship, he said that he was worried that he was “too skinny.”
Basically neither of us really cared how we looked until we started worrying how the other person thought we looked. We were comparing our bodies to each other and to some weird, stereotypical image of what a boyfriend-girlfriend pair “should” look like together. Not good.
Once it all got out there, I think we were more sensitive to each other’s insecurities. I stopped making defensive jokes about not wanting to eat around him – I’d only said things because jokes sometimes help me feel less insecure, but I’d actually been making him uncomfortable thinking it was a dig at his weight. That was in no way my intention, but can’t you see how that bad cycle would have kept going if we hadn’t talked it out?
The thing is we are both two healthy people who happen to have different body shapes. Honestly, I really don’t notice it anymore. Ending our relationship over those insecurities would have meant missing out on all the awesome stuff we’ve been able to do together all because we didn’t know if we looked “right” together. There’s no such thing.
Even though I knew that from the start, I just needed a little reminder in the moment. I hope my story can maybe be a little reminder for you to enjoy your relationship and not get hung up on those kinds of things nobody can control and that ultimately don’t mean anything about what kind of person each of you are.
Have you ever felt insecure about your body in your relationship? Have you ever talked to your partner about body image? Tell us in the comments!