Dear V: Girlfriend letting go of her appearance

Dear V,

I’ve been dating my girlfriend for three years. I’ll be honest, I’m an attractive guy. I’m all about getting gains, I’m focused on my swoleness and I never skip leg day.

All jokes aside, I keep myself in tip-top shape. My girlfriend does too, or at least she used to. Lately, she’s let herself go.

I’m not saying I’m not attracted to her anymore – I love my girlfriend for what’s on the inside, not the outside – but the fact is, we first met each other at the gym. We’re both gym rats, and we both believe staying in shape is important.

That’s why I’m not sure why my girlfriend is no longer putting in effort. She doesn’t wear makeup anymore, she’s always in PJs or sweats and she’s gained about 15 pounds in the last two months.

Like I said, I love my girlfriend for who she is, not what she looks like. But it feels unfair that I’m putting in effort to stay attractive and she’s suddenly not trying anymore.

I’ve thought about asking her what happened, but I’m afraid of hurting her feelings. How do I bring this up the right way?


Swoleness McGainz

Dear Swoleness McGainz,

You’re not being narcissistic or superficial by expecting your girlfriend to keep in shape.

If she was in shape when you started dating, then there’s clearly been a change. Sure, you love her for who she is, but ultimately, it’s important that a couple is physically attracted to each other, too. If one partner stays in shape and the other doesn’t, that can lead to infidelity or resentment.

That said, it sounds like something’s going on with your girlfriend.

It seems odd that she’d suddenly get too comfortable and lose control of her appearance now, after three years. That kind of thing is usually a gradual change, but this sounds like a sudden shift.

Has your girlfriend’s mood changed dramatically? Could something with her family, school or work be causing this? There may be an emotional or medical issue.

Instead of asking her why she’s no longer maintaining her appearance, take a compassionate approach. Say you’ve noticed she’s not acting like her usual self and ask what’s up.

If it turns out that everything is fine and she’s not depressed, too stressed out or sick, feel free to mention keeping in shape. If it’s true that she’s gotten too comfortable, she might need a reminder to keep up with her squats and beauty routine.

Suggest spending some quality time together with a trip to the gym.