Home Featured Til Death Do Us Part: But, I’m no longer physically attracted to my partner

Til Death Do Us Part: But, I’m no longer physically attracted to my partner


We often talk about Love in a marriage in terms of “forever,” but we rarely talk about what that means. How do you get to forever? Many of us haven’t even been with the same car insurance company for over a decade, yet we automatically assume we all posses the loyalty necessary within us to truly Love someone unconditionally in sickness and in health, til death do us part.

This week on BadOnLineDates.com, I was asked to write about one such scenario where you might still Love the person you’re with but you you are no longer physically attracted to them. In this specific instance, I was asked to write about what happens when your partner, by choice or complacency, decides to let themselves go during the course of the relationship. What recourse do you have? How are you supposed to feel? When it comes to physical maintenance, what do you believe is your partner’s responsibility in the relationship and what is yours? Or do you believe that a committed relationship dictates that someone should love you for what you have on the inside regardless of how you begin to look on the outside? Please keep these questions in mind as you read the following excerpt from BOD, A Man’s POV: When the Woman You Love Gains Weight, and use the comment section below to share your general thoughts or personal experiences with similar situations in your own, friends, and/or family’s relationships.

Look, I know we all gain weight over the years. Thirty-year-old WIM is not as slim as twenty-year-old WIM and chances are forty-year-old WIM will be bigger than both of them, possibly put together. Many of us need travel no further than our favorite social media site of choice to see the shrinking hairlines and/or expanding waistlines of our former teenaged peers. But, who cares if the High School jock I never liked is now bald and overweight? I’m not dating that guy (although if you are the guy dating that guy, not that there’s anything wrong with that!). What I’m worried about is what happens when the person I decide to spend the rest of my life with is also the person people look upon with unflattering confusion on Facebook when asking themselves, “What happened to…?”

I’m sure we all have stories that begin like this but there’s this girl I almost dated awhile back. I can’t tell you why we never officially became a couple. Then again, you can probably relate. You meet randomly, decide to go on a few dates, you like each other but you don’t see yourself walking down the aisle together. Somewhere along the way, you don’t respond to a text or phone call fast enough and lacking the drive needed to pursue a serious relationship your dates grow longer and longer in between, until all of a sudden you’re “just friends.”

In this instance, since I only see her a few times a year, the superficial observations of our meet ups are exaggerated. For example, her “new” haircut might actually be a few months old but to me it’s brand new. Any other number of progressive changes she’s made to herself over the months are thrust together in one quick snapshot whenever our paths happen to cross. Maybe that’s why on one visit I quickly noticed she had put on some weight. At first, it was barely noticeable – maybe 10 pounds around the waist. Then I began to notice that almost like clockwork, she gained more and more weight between each visit, until during one visit in particular it was suddenly very noticeable. All those 10 pound increments had finally added up. In only a few years, her physical appearance had completely changed. I’ve spoken about the affect 50 pounds can have on a relationship before.

As we sat talking, I caught myself looking her over. She was still an attractive woman but the weight gain couldn’t be ignored anymore. Maybe things would have been different if I didn’t know how she looked beforehand. Still, if the history of our infrequent meet-ups were any indication, she wasn’t going to stop gaining weight anytime soon. While I could give her the benefit of the doubt since she wasn’t my girlfriend, I couldn’t help thinking that I might have dodged a bullet. Then I found myself wondering how I would have reacted if this weight gain happened within the confines of a relationship. I know love is supposed to be unconditional and blind but…read more.

Do you expect your partner to try to keep themselves in good physical shape relative to the state you met them in? Have you ever grown un-attracted to someone you were in a relationship with because they let themselves go? How did you handle the situation?


  1. As a man quickly approaching 30 and yet to see my hairline retreat, I'll have to let that go whenever it happens. Unfortunately, that isn't something I have much control over. On the other hand, weight is something totally different…

    We know that physical appearance is a huge part of what attracts a man to a woman and if the woman truly loves her husband, she should make an effort to stay about the same size as the day they said "I do." I've said to women I've dated that I had the right to walk away from a relationship if she was 25 lbs heavier than the day I married her–excluding pregnancy and the year after child birth. I've just seen too many dudes that marry some PYT, she pops out a couple of kids, and is now 50 lbs heavier than she was on their wedding day. Now dude is stuck with a woman that he doesn't want to bang and has to resort to middle of the night fapping sessions in the bathroom.

    This is something that should not have a double standard because men don't even have the excuse of child birth to let their bodies go. We should strive to not be more than 25 lbs heavier than our wedding day at any point in the relationship too.

    I'm always amazed when I look at pictures of my mom from when she married my dad and she's still the same size to this day. They got married 40 years ago.

    1. Well, at least you were honest. I have definitely had a man tell me he would walk after 15lbs……and constantly complain about every aspect of my "upkeep". "Where's dinner? Why do you have to leave your makeup brushes out to dry? Why aren't we eating potatoes? Do you REALLY have to put that mask on? Your hair takes HOW LONG? etc, etc, etc."
      I'm really not trying to be facetious, but I think you should also ask your FATHER how she stayed "tight" for so long. It was probably due to the fact that she had some major support. It is absolutely hilarious how many men expect us to keep up with what made us "hot"…..AND take on extra "wifey" duties. There is nothing wrong with fending for yourself 2x a week so she can go to the gym, spa, etc, or taking the kids for a few hours so she has some alone time..or stop complaining about the damn scarf that keeps her hair neat.

  2. I think the problem is two-fold; women (and men, gimmie a sec) stop doing what it took to "catch" the partner, and priorities shift from "attract male" to "keep house". For example, When I 1st met a man, my hair was always styled, and my skin was impeccable. Fast-forward to "living together", and my faithful weekend"spa" ritual was replaced with cooking for his sunday sports get-togethers. There is only so much time, and men grossly underestimate how long it takes us to do what we do. Spending four hours in the bathroom on a Sunday with a man in the house was next to impossible. Conversely, as the man got more "comfortable", my reasons FOR dressing up/looking "hot" greatly diminished. Gone were the walks in the park and weekend brunches where he carved out time to talk and I carved out time to look pretty. The more time I spent in the house, the more I looked like a homebody, until I didn't even recognize myself. This isn't an excuse, it's just a timetable, the slip is really easy to fall into. Hilariously, I have never been in a situation where a man fell off PHYSICALLY, mostly because they were all too happy to sacrifice "we" time to "keep it tight" (not a game, or time with their friends, but I digress)…

    1. Hilariously, I have never been in a situation where a man fell off PHYSICALLY, mostly because they were all too happy to sacrifice "we" time to "keep it tight" (not a game, or time with their friends, but I digress)…

      This is very interesting to me. There's a follow-up post here somewhere… *scribbles in notepad*

      1. I'll add another layer. I also find "we" time is the 1st thing that get sacrificed for ANY ambition (be it keeping fit, career advancement, etc), and part of the reason I understand when a man says he's too "busy" for a girlfriend. Men are just better at putting that on the backburner (or they find it easier because of my NEXT point). Women, conversely, sacrifice "friends" first in the pursuit of advancement (whether it be relationship, career, etc) and relationships LAST. A man can go away for whatever and trust his woman will be there when he gets back, but the reverse isn't as true.

        1. Interesting…and I welcome others to "chime in" on this…

          I would also agree. I've passed up any number of relationships to pursue other…well, pursuits. It was really only after that I got to a certain place in my life that I began checking for a serious relationship, not the other around. And mostly, serious relationships haven't derailed my first set of plans. I see usually see women comparing this to work – whereby they don't understand how men can make so many sacrifices for work or other goals/progresses but not their relationships. I think men do this because they believe – rightly or wrongly – they have far more control over the outcome of career pursuits than relationship pursuits (fellas, feel free to comment on that).

          My follow-up question for you/women: should a man push those women your're referring to away? I've had a few women hesitate to choose a career over myself (or friends) or whatever other goal/motivation they have. I've also seen women, usually, more willing to sacrifice other paths for the relationship path. Personally, I opted to push women towards their primary goals. I've been told – after the fact – this isn't the best strategy. But, seems weird to pass up your goals for a relationship. Perhaps I've been viewing this through the lens of a man though without proper consideration to how women see it…?

        2. This is true…but I am also curious as to why relationships are the "default" thing to cut off for men. I had an ex once flat out refuse to go out because he was busy…but when his homeboy needed someone to help him paint his new apartment he took a day off. He worked late hours all the time…but never missed a game when his team was in season. All you have to do is take a quick headline sweep on your favorite blogs to realize why women put relationships first- single women are "desperate/crazy/unworthy/fell off/have horrible box/bad breath/have crazy standards if we are single, so there is motivation to keep one up.

        3. it's because men are more selfish and women are conditioned to be selfless and to do what it takes to get/keep a man.

        4. I actually disagree; I think it may come down to conditioning. Women are more likely to sacrifice self for house. Men are more likely to sacrifice the members of the house in their pursuit to provide for it.

        5. I'm one of those women who push other women to FOCUS on their goal… I'm one of those who think that you need to be at a certain place in your life (taking your words) before even thinking of a relationship. Because relationship is work!!! If the right person comes along while i'm on the road to success i'm gonna ask him to keep up with the rhythm. I'm one of those who, they say, think like men…

        6. I think it is because there are 2 different things that drive a Man's and a Woman's happiness. For the most part Men get their happiness from their career. Women get their happiness from their relationship at home. A Woman could be the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, but if things aren't going good at home with her relationship she is ultimately unhappy. As for the Man, if things aren't going good in his career or job, or he is just unhappy there, it will ultimately make him unhappy. This will lead into things not being good/happy at home. So Men are more willing to sacrifice their relationships because this is not where they get their main source of happiness from. For Women this is the last thing they will sacrife because this is their main source of joy. They would rather quit the pursiut of a career than to sacrifice their relationship. Due to the differences of where Men and Women get the most happiness from, what they choose to sacrifce in regards to this pursuit will always differ. I know, off topic from the post, but relevant to the current points made lol

        7. I can't speak for All Men, but I want to reply to you and Amaris79 at the same time on both of your points:

          IMO, Men don't Physically fall off INTENTIONALLY because our health (outside of Prostate) is just ingrained in us from Childhood and Adolescence. Sports, Exercise, and other aspects that define Masculinity become Instinct even before we think about what Women prefer in men (the LL Cool J/NFL Body); Trust and Believe it's hard out her for guys like myself who have Track-Tined bodies but are still considerd Skinny and not the Ideal Type for the Ladies.

        8. As Far as Men sacrificing "We-Tme" for Career or "Me-Time", you have to look at what Expectations are set from the beginning of aRelationship: by Tradition, Men are the Providers and a Job Period, let alone a Job that Pays WELL, will take up the Most of Quality Time later on. I'm not saying Women are natually materialistc, but even Independent Women have No Respect or Love for a Man without ANY Means or Clout for Himself. Again, in My Opinion, a Man is his Own Critic and his Pride/Ego couldn't handle being a disappointment to his Woman and/or his Family as Provider, and if he had to choose between that and being a Disappointment as an Active Husband/Father/Boyfriend, he's gonna choose the former as motivation rather than the latter.

    2. I agree with this, and then some.

      While I understand a lot of the sentiment behind expecting a partner to maintain within a reasonable state of fitness/attractiveness, i think its one of those easier said than done situations. Mostly because aesthetics, in this case weight gain specifically, is rarely, if ever, the entire picture.

      It is exceedingly rare that weight gain sprouts in a vacuum. That is, that someone just puts on weight (or loses significant weight, for that matter) without other underlying factors. It could be the popular "nesting" situation that couples fall into, it could be an emotionally traumatic experience, a lifestyle change, or so many other things. So for most people (from what I've seen) the challenge becomes being understanding of the circumstances while admonishing his or her weight gain.

      **Aside: I'm over this whole women keep it tight to get married and let themselves go when they get the ring myth. In a society where a woman's value is still largely related to their s*xuality/attractiveness, find me a significant group of women that are totally okay with their s*x appeal diminishing to their husband or anyone else for that matter.**

  3. This is why my plan is to marry a woman that I feel is physically attractive but is even more beautiful on the inside.

    1. Yup…
      Men & women need to realize the TRUTH that time just happens… even skinny ppl gain weight.
      Its not a bad thing as long as you stay healthy (at least try!).

  4. Tough questions. You learn the difference between reasonable expectations, and unreasonable ones rather quickly in marriage. There will be weight gain; for most it happens. I was blessed because my wife actually lost some after we got married. That being said, it’s not unreasonable to expect a lil bit of weight control during the marriage.

    If I expect myself to stay around a certain standard, for my wife, it’s only fair that I can expect the same of her. The line of demarcation exists in whether or not it bothers a spouse or not. That’s to say if the weight gain is cool with one who gained it, then a problem may arise. Either husband or wife gains, say 30 pounds. If it doesn’t bother them, but it does their spouse then problems can arise. I’ll tentatively say that a man will let his wife know quicker than a wife will let her husband know that the extra weight is a turn off. Something else that has to be taken into account is feelings, how the message is delivered, etc.

    “Hey baby, your a$$ getting wide” isn’t the best way to relay that message. As with all of things in marriage, it comes down to communication and working to do what’s necessary for marital upkeep. Even if that happens to be working out.

  5. Do you expect your partner to try to keep themselves in good physical shape relative to the state you met them in? – I sure do! And I will do the same.

    Have you ever grown un-attracted to someone you were in a relationship with because they let themselves go? – No, but I have once I didn't like the person anymore.

    How did you handle the situation? – We got a divorce…but not for that reason, LOL!

  6. Why do we fixate on weight when we talk about people letting themselves go? Some people quit getting haircuts regularly (I know a guy who did that) or wearing makeup or dressing cute and what not. Just an observation. Anyway, I think this is fair to a certain degree. I'm fifty pounds heavier than when I met my hubs and around twenty to twenty-five pounds heavier than when we got married. My hubs had a method to his madness tho. I think he made a calculated effort to get with a skinny chick, knowing by the time I had kids, I'd be not too big, not too small but juuuuuust right, lol. He used to say when he saw the other guys talking about girls who "got the biscuits" that just give it a few years and that booty will be dragging on the ground. Welp. And didn't you mention before, WIM, that a man should look at his lady's mom too. Welp again. I'm curious if that's true because my neighbor's mom….. nevermind. I think it is a fair request that your spouse keep themselves up but you have to also keep your expectations reasonable by taking age and lifestyle into consideration as well.

    1. I would only clarify for the people at home that you met your hubs in High School lol

      To be clear: specific to this post, as is the case with allmost post, I was asked to write about weight gain; although I can definitely see how those other areas might lead to physical un-attraction over the years. It's largely an Internet fallacy to think that I can address all topics all the time within the confines of word limits and topics. BUT, I mean, gaining 50lbs from age 15 to now is a bit different than gaining 50lbs from age 30 to 40. Alls I'm sayin…

      I do like to look at my potential mate's mother just to get an idea. It's not definitive by any means as nothing is full-proof. As I discussed on Twitter – and as you brought up here – I do think slim-er women have a larger scale, no pun, to work with simply because they started at a smaller weight. For example, a 5'2 women @ 115lbs gaining 30 pounds looks a lot different than a 5'2 woman @ 145lbs gaining 30 pounds. This obviously isnt an exact science. At the end of the day, all you can do is pray on it. But I would be remiss not to say I have some friends with wives whom they still love but they express a little 'buyer's remorse' on the weight she's put on over the years…


  7. Well I see a relationship as a team situation. When I say this I mean if I see you are falling off, as a teammate I am going to be there to help correct the situation. So in other words, wifey is falling off, let's say gaining weight, well you know what we both going to go walking together. I feel as though if you are my lady, I need you to stay on point, but I also understand that things happen as well..That's why I would just be willing to workout with my girl. We both are staying in shape, plus spending time together.

  8. I am living this right now. Married 11 years and my wife is +40 pounds at least. She is 5'0" and there is no hiding it. My wife has definitely let herself go. She outgrew the clothes she was wearing when we first met, plus a whole new wardrobe the next size up and a set of clothes the size after that. The screen saver on my computer is all my photographs and the older the photo is, the smaller my wife is in the picture.

    The best way to describe it is she doesn't eat like somebody who wants to weigh less. I do almost all the cooking and I serve proper portions. The problem is that dinner is only one meal and most of the stuff she eats is at work. We joined Bally's together in the past, we both bought Shakeweights and she sometimes does exercise videos. None of that works without a proper diet. It's during a vacation when I realize that her eating habits are the issue. We are together 24/7 on vacation and that's when I notice that she eats more than I do and she gets hungry before I do. That adds up to a lot of overeating. BTW, I am +15 pounds since high school (c/o '86) and if I ate like she does then I'd be at least +50 pounds.

    The result is that she is now in a totally different weight class. I have never ever been attracted to 5 foot tall and Size 18. I have tried hinting at it a few times, but I know better than to just outright call her on it. The last thing I want is to have her knowing that I am eyeballing everything she eats.

    I don't know what to do. There is no good way to tell a lady that she weighs too much. And really, who loses 30 pounds in their 40s? It has been like four pounds per year. Like you said, after a while it can't be hidden.

    My wife is an AKA and I just kinda figured that she would do what it takes to stay in shape. Both my mom and my Grandma are AKAs. When I was a kid, OMG, all the AKA's my mom hung with were hot. My wife's chapter is full of heifers so I can't count on the same peer pressure from college to keep her in shape. Seeing a fat AKA is like finding out the girl who made fun of poor people is now on food stamps.

    1. Your wife was an aka so you assumed she would be hot? You sound silly. Being physically fit has nothing to do with sorority affiliations. You have to speak up and say something about how you are feeling. I suggest you frame it as, "I'm concerned about OUR health." Perhaps you both could do something like weight watchers,change up the food in the house? Encourage her to buy healthier meals and eat healthier snacks? Maybe ya'll could both go to the gym together. How many days a week do you work out on your own? Try to make going to the gym a couples thing or something if you think she won't do it on her own. But by golly, speak up. You are accomplishing nothing by complaining on blogs instead of talking to get about it.

      1. weight loss is about lifestyle changes. I was a chunky kid and my mother was always yelling at me for being fat. But what was she cooking? Fried chicken, canned veggies, take-out, and kool-aid. There is no way a child is going to be slim with a diet like that. You need to speak up to her with compassion about how you are feeling.

  9. ok has anyone seen pierce brosnans wife?seriously before & after.I think he should get a divorce.& run away with me.

    1. Um, I believe it was revealed that she actually has issues with her thyroid, so the weight gain is mostly out of her control.

  10. as an older woman, i can definitely tell you the METABOLISM changes in a woman. I still work out 4-5 per hours a week at planet fitness and i have a bump in my stomach, thick thighs and big breasts. i am working harder just to maintain and not to gain weight. IT IS HARD!! to criticize a woman and not know about estrogen loss and other body changes after child birth is irresponsible. We females have enough stressors in our life which adds to the body fat and now we have to worry about a man and his issues to our bodies when we have our own from childhood already.

    In other countries, Greek, Italians, Africans, Russians, Germans, Latinos Countries – you see many females big and happy after childbirth. But then in France and Pacific Rim you many of the older maintaining due to the diet of the country.

    I have grown unattractive to my partner due to his attitude and not his body…

    1. To me ignoring the issue as if the issue doesn’t exist is equally irresponsible. Taking the commenter about yours as a real life example, your solution is to say nothing? I can’t buy into that. Do you only want honesty in the relationship about topics that are easy to talk about? Sorry, I can’t buy into that.

      1. SMH iPhone helped me mess this comment all the way up. Basically I’m saying on the timeline of forever, there will be difficult issues that arise in a relationship. If we can’t discuss them in the confines of a relationship – blog aside – that doesn’t sound like much of a relationship.

        1. "SMH iPhone helped me mess this comment all the way up"

          Mmmm hmm….#TeamAndroid all day, son! lol

  11. In reading the comments, it seems a bit disingenuous for (some) women to say it’s not big deal if a man is no longer (physically) attracted to his wife. Since men are mostly more visual than women, would y’all be as sympathetic if: 1) your husband completely fell off?; or a more relative example, if your husband lost or quit his job thru means he has control of (like quitting, not showing up, etc)?

    I’m genuinely curious. If you expect your husband to be a provider and he could no longer provide, would you be as quick to brush it off as not that big of a deal?

    1. Sorry for the length in advance….
      Well, the converse to men and weight gain in their woman isn't a man losing his ability to provide- it's losing his attention (or his drive). And best believe we would complain.
      HOWEVER, what the women have been saying that it seems no man is getting on here is that "falling off" is a CONDITION, not the CAUSE, and for some reason me simply thing TELLING a woman they have gained weight will cure it as opposed to inquiring as to the CAUSE.

      1. For example, take the husband upthread that has noticed his wife's eating habits have changed. To ME (as a former weight-loss counselor) it sounds a LOT like an emotional eating problem-as in, she's eating to fill a void. He cares about her weight filling out, not filling in what she's missing.
        I've never "fallen off" in a relationship-untill the one time I DID- and best believe there was something HUGELY askew in the relationship that I avoided, and covered up with food. More often than not, it isn't laziness. Maybe she feels guilty for taking so much time to herself. Maybe she DOESN'T have time. Maybe she has been suffering from depression. Maybe she is so focused on cooking what you LIKE that she stopped cooking what was HEALTHY. All the women that you know that have maintained themselves have done so because they have COMMITTED to maintaining THEMSELVES- as in, they make every attempt to not lose their identity. All you have to do is look at Kim K- growing bigger by the day, mind you-to see what hppens when a girl gives her identity up for the sake of not cracking eggshells in her relationship.

    2. i understand that but what I want to know is when does the other shoe drop? As in, we all get old. So as an older woman am I expected to maintain my sex appeal into my twilight years? If I don't will he just be out there running the streets because I'm not keeping myself up like I did in my 20's? Is it ever more than about the physical appearance with ya'll?

      1. I know you asked a short question but I have a lengthy response…

        I was speaking to someone about this post off-line, and I'm not sure I'm in the best position to answer your specific question (I will, because you asked). However, I think what's really important – and I'll probably follow-up on this in another post – is level setting on what's important to you and your partner. I personally like keeping in shape. It occurs naturally to me, since I like working out, but I recognize this isnt the case for everyone. It's not difficult for me because it's more or less a hobby. I don't have to go out of my way to work out and (try) to eat right. It's just something I've always done since I grew up running track. Again, I think it's important to have this discussion with your partner. Maybe the same things aren't important to them as they are to me, a random writer on-line. They might have a whole other set of criteria they deem important in the relationship.

        However, I've been fairly consistent in saying I like pretty women. If that's wrong, I dont want to be right. I'm fairly certain this will always be the case. Whomever my wife may be, a random girl off the street or a super model, I will likely be drawn to her physically. I'm not saying nor have I ever said this will ever be the defining characteristic for our relationship, but it will be a characteristic.

        As far as "when does the other shoe drops?" That also depends. But to be clear, I wouldn't expect you to look like a 20 year old in your 40 – 80s. I would expect you to look like a healthy 40 – 80 year old or whatever age you happen to be. There's not much correlation, expectation, or fairness in wanting you to always look 20 when you will clearly not always be 20 years old. Can you be healthy irrespective of your age, I would say yes. Or you can at least make an effort to do so. In fact, making a concerted effort to be healthy in your 20s will likely make the road to a healthy life style that much easier in your 30s, 40s, 50s and beyond. Trying to suddenly become healthy later in your life, in my opinion, is far more difficult that seeking to live a healthy life style early on in life.

        1. I think your expectations are totally reasonable WIS. Most all of the women I know that are married or in long term relationships actually put in serious work to maintain their good looks to keep their man. Every woman in my family did. So I'm the type of woman who keeps myself up more when I'm in a relationship. If it's any time I "let myself go" it's when I'm completely single. But let me get a man, and I'm primping myself to look "top modelish" as much as possible.

  12. I absolutely expect my partner to keep themselves healthy and in shape throughout the course of our relationship…if I wanted an overweight dude, I would've gotten with one in the first place! My motto is keep it tight for me, and I'll definitely keep it tight for you. Maintaining our health and wellness should be something we engage in together. I understand that things happen (child birth, life problems that trigger weight gain, etc.), but its unfair to expect your partner to still be attracted to you when you look drastically different.


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