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Health/fitness nut and boyfriend is opposite

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  • #51908
    Simone
    Participant

    I’ve always eaten healthy (lots of fruits and veggies) and been pretty active (salsa dancing, hiking etc) but the past couple years I took it to a new level: started cooking a lot more, eventually started cooking/eating paleo a little over a year ago, and dove head first into CrossFit, which is now my biggest passion. Enter my boyfriend, who I’ve been seeing since October and official with for a couple months. The first few times we ate out he was super conscious of choosing a place that would enable me to keep with my eating style. First dinner he cooked for me too, he was super thoughtful in that way. Also, he went running with me once. In turn, I changed to be more 80/20 witn my diet so I wasn’t a complete party pooper at all times.

    The past couple months though, I’ve realized how opposite his diet/lack of exercise are to me. And example of his diet: he’ll eat a large pizza to himself and drink half a liter of pop or sugary ice tea at 10 at night. We’ll go out for karaoke or pool, and I’ll limit myself to one drink some nights because I have to be up early, and instead of support, he’ll be trying to get me to drink more. And I just stress out about it, I don’t want to nag him so I just get quiet and try to distract myself. But it bothers me SO much. He doesn’t have the best body, but I told myself (and him!) that I’m attracted to him, but truth be told, I’m 26 and he’s 40 and with the habits he has, he’s not going to go anywhere but down hill. A couple weeks ago he had a jealous outburst when he viisted my gym’s competition and said he felt like he wasn’t good enough because he wasn’t athletic. I told him I’d love for him to join my gym if he wanted to, but didn’t mind if he didn’t. But it DOES bother me. What do I do? I don’t want to nag him and make him feel like he has to become someone else in order to be with me, but I’m stressing out and going crazy! 🙁 And I feel shallow for it, but I can’t help. 🙁

    #51916
    Mark
    Participant

    I can identify Simone on wanting to have a partner who reflects the same values and life orientation as myself. I don’t consider such values as shallow.

    Social psychology research shows that if we are with unhealthy people then we tend to entropy that way as well.

    It is not for anyone to decide but yourself on what kind of person you want as a romantic and activity partner.

    There are certain non-negotiables for each of us on what we absolutely need to have in a partner.

    It may be a good exercise for you to write down those core values (besides being physically active and eating healthy) so you know yourself better and better guide you in any type of relationship.

    Mark

    #51917
    mary
    Participant

    I’m kind of the same way except been with my bf for 5 years now. Sometimes I feel like his habits really affect me negatively, like watching lots of tv and eating poorly, but he’s also very rational and responds best when I present him with a reasoned argument for or against, say, cooking meals at home vs going out to eat (for him is often fast food). I think it comes down to whether you can communicate what you’re feeling without making him feel defensive. I’ve already made up my mind and communicated to him (I can be rather blunt) that as things are, I don’t want to get married and I don’t want to have kids. As long as that’s not my game plan I can live more in the moment (vs. planning ahead and worrying about the future), and I can be more independent and not be too affected by the decisions of others. Probably not the most mature way of dealing with things, but I’m a control freak so that’s how I’m currently dealing.

    #51918
    mary
    Participant

    I think Mark’s response is spot on. Reminds me of what my dad told me when I mentioned being frustrated by my bf’s habits.. “no one is perfect and everyone will have faults, you just have to decide if those faults are ones you can live with”.

    #51919
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hello Simone,

    I hope you aren’t too hard on yourself. You need to understand that this one small bone on contention. There is nothing shallow in this. Its simply a clash of life-style choices. However, if he doesnt respect your life-style and forces you, thats where you need to absolutely draw the line.

    Now lets consider the present case:

    You happen to be more health conscious and he isnt. He seems to be quite troubled with how glaringly different your approaches seem. Nonetheless, I do believe that at the age of 40, he needs to be taking better care of his body. The reason shouldnt be because he has to catch up with the the “younger, hotter” girlfriend who is totally surrounded by gym hotties. Try to consider why he is not taking better care of himself. Is it laziness, lack of concern for health, stubbornness. Maybe he’s already feeling pretty bad about his body because of how fit and attractive his partner seems. Who knows? Even you started your healthy ways over the years and realize it takes time, doesnt it?

    Make sure to gently find ways to spend time with him and get him out of the house more, minus junk food or alcohol. He doesnt have to a health nut but perhaps needs to be “indirectly nudged” to make slightly healthier choices. I am sure you would do that even if you weren’t his girl-friend. That is something a concerned friend would also do. Either the nudging route, or you can completely accept his ways and make sure he doesn’t go anywhere near your gym -_-

    Lastly, please ask yourself whether you are attracted to him for what kind of person he is, rather than simply his looks? There is no judgment on you at all beyond what you choose to take in. If he isnt suitable for you for whatever reason, admit that to yourself. Be honest about your feelings or you’ll always feel like you are compromising somehow.

    Give this a thought and consider which approach is best. Be sensitive and dont worry, you guys have just started the relationship. It will get figured out. I am sure he is a great guy and figuring this out will bring you closer!

    #51932
    Simone
    Participant

    Thank you guys. I’ll write down my core values like Mark suggested. Also Jesse you’re right: I’ll try to “indirectly nudge” him to make healthier choices. I know I can be obsessive about diet/exercise but I am genuinely worried abou him too …. and because health is such a big part of my life I wish I could share it with him besides just telling him.

    #51934
    Mark
    Participant

    Simone,

    To supplement what has been said already, to communicate what bothers us with our partners can be a challenge. To stereotype women versus men comunication styles, women tend to be more indirect than men therefore most men don’t “get it” or cannot really read in between the lines on the message you are trying to convey.

    Your posting is open, direct, and honest… something that maybe your partner should read in order for him to know how strongly this affects you and so he can make a conscious decision based on that.

    I have been in too many relationships where something bothered my partner and broke up with me about it that was a complete surprise to me. I felt resentful because I did not get a chance to change that before it got to the point of her breaking up with me.

    Mark

    #51935
    Kelly
    Participant

    Simone,

    I can sympathize with Mark’s experience of a relationship ending without knowing what was bothering a partner until it was “too late”. Don’t let it fester. I think it’s wise to evaluate your core values and “must haves” in a relationship. It sounds like fitness and health is very important to you, while it is relatively unimportant to your partner. Is this a deal breaker? In my experience, all the gentle nudging in the world might not yield the results you’d like if he doesn’t want to improve for his own reasons. A quote from a fun novel to ponder: “If you really love someone, you have to be prepared to accept them as they are. Maybe you hope that one day they get a wake-up call and make the changes for their own reasons.” (The Rosie Project) If he doesn’t change, are you ok with this? This may be a pessimistic view, but I find that people don’t typically change who they are very much, particularly after a certain age. There is nothing “shallow” in my mind about it, because it is important to you. You should never feel like you’re “stressing out and going crazy” in a relationship. It may turn out that the two of you are not compatible. But I think you owe it to both of you and your relationship to explore it further by having a conversation with him.

    Nobody should pressure you to drink more when you have set a limit for yourself. That’s pretty inconsiderate if you ask me. I don’t know if it was done in jest, but in any case it would be nice if he was more supportive of you and your choices. I think people generally egg others on to drink more when they want to excuse their own sometimes overindulgent behavior. But that’s just my two cents worth.

    I am a very direct person in my relationships so I’d offer one warning: depending on how direct you are, he may respond in a defensive manner. A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down 😉

    #52018
    Hibiscus
    Participant

    I consider myself “health conscious”, but I would never date someone who was into the whole Crossfit/Paleo thing, because it truly is like a religion. I don’t say this to be mean, but you need to understand that there is a cult sort of mentality at work there and outsiders are looked down upon. Don’t date this guy and try to change him. He is focused on enjoying his life in a way that is different from the way you do, and that is okay. Let him go to find someone who won’t judge him for who he is.

    • This reply was modified 10 years ago by Hibiscus.
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