Am I wrong to miss my girlfriend’s curves?

My girlfriend has lost a substantial amount of weight. I’m delighted that she is happy with her new physique. However, I am missing the curvier version. Obviously, I would never say anything, and I feel guilty for even thinking it, but I just don’t fancy her as much.

You may have found your girlfriend’s body more appealing when it was rounder, but she clearly wasn’t happy with it. I’m glad that you haven’t said anything negative because, generally, anyone who has lost a lot of weight must have been a bit overweight to start with.

It is not easy to lose loads of weight. Besides the day-to-day discipline required, all sorts of psychological barriers have to be overcome too. For a lot of people being overweight, or “curvy”, becomes a kind of comfort blanket. Losing weight is a perpetual holy grail, and failure to do so, is an opportunity for continual discontent and self-flagellation. It takes courage to toss all that negativity aside.

Body-positive campaigns and plus-size models have done a lot to create a more balanced and inclusive understanding of what “normal” looks like, but it remains true that shedding excess weight makes most people feel much better about themselves. This can translate into greater sexual confidence too.

Presumably, the desirous curves you are missing include your girlfriend’s breasts. Dieting reduces body and bust size for women, but while you may miss her once ample bosom, your girlfriend may be pleased that they are less of a burden.

Heavy breasts are a pain for women, sometimes literally. Their weight pulls the upper body forwards, putting a strain on the neck, shoulder and back muscles. Breasts are objectified, many over-endowed women are willing to resort to surgery to get rid of them. Reducing from a DD cup to a C cup can take about half a kilo of tissue out of each breast.

Dieting can achieve the same results without surgery and can transform a woman’s relationship with her body. It can also have an enormous effect on her romantic relationship. The change can be positive if her partner is supportive, but sometimes weight loss causes conflict. In 2013 researchers at the University of Texas in Austin published the results of a study of couples where one partner had lost at least 13kg. Most of the “losers” were women and they found that weight loss generally improved communication and increased intimacy. However, in some couples non-losers felt threatened by their partners’ new-found confidence. It is worth asking yourself whether your unwillingness to accept her new body shape is linked to feelings of personal insecurity.

Is your real fear that she will now shed you too? If you raise these anxieties and your girlfriend reassures you that you are the one for her, you may begin to view her weight loss in a more favourable light. If the relationship survives, you need to be able to adapt to change because nothing and no one stays the same for ever.

Marriage, pregnancy, menopause, illness and stress can have a profound physical impact, so your girlfriend’s body is likely to change time and again as she ages. Fortunately, this rarely has an impact on relationship quality because personality and emotional connection matter so much more than physical appearance.

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