Thursday 10 November 2011

Does your partner think you're gorgeous?

What does your partner, husband, girlfriend, boyfriend… (I’ll use he here for the sake of brevity and continuity) think of your body? Does he think you are gorgeous? Does he always think you're gorgeous, whatever your size and however you feel about it? Whether you feel too fat or too lumpy, too bony or too flat or angular. Does he often tell you how beautiful you are or that he’d love you whatever your dress size? Or, is he the type who comments on how much weight you’ve put on, maybe uses it as an excuse not to get too intimate, not to have sex? Does it feel as if he watches what you eat? Does he comment on your size and urge or encourage you to lose weight?

Our partners all have such a different attitude to our body size and I am curious just how much this impacts us. I am blessed to live with a man who has always found me gorgeous, whatever my weight. He tells me so with regularity. He comments on the sexiness of my waist and the warmth and softness of my belly and tells me how he loves the shape and roundness of my bottom (which is particularly round and full). He doesn’t seem to mind that I’m getting older, that my skin is getting saggy in places, that I have wrinkles and dimples in various places. And I don’t honestly think he’s ever really noticed the cellulite on my thighs, in fact I don’t think the word cellulite ever even enters his consciousness!

When I hated my body, it felt as though all his appreciation and admiration didn’t make any difference. I didn’t really believe him and I would be busy contradicting him in my head before his sentence was even fully formed. It’s almost as though I was determined to hate my body, whatever he thought.

Today that I rather like the way I look myself, his admiration is very welcome, I love hearing him tell me how beautiful he finds me, I treasure those moments that, seemingly out of the blue, he says “you’re looking really pretty today” or “you look very sexy in that dress”. The compliments about my bottom and my shape feel like a loving hug.

We’d love to know what it’s like for you. Take a moment to complete our confidential survey. There are only a few questions so it will only take a minute and we won’t be logging your email address or any personal details. We haven’t quite finished writing Beyond Temptation, our new book, but I’m already planning for the next one. Not sure what the title will be yet (ideas welcome as ever) but it’s going to be about women and our relationship with our bodies… and we're just starting to gather some information so we'd love your help.


  1. - I feel fat again - I summarised frustration with work, anger about unfolded laundry, sadness of moving away, fear of going back abroad, coming loneliness, unwanted homesickness, ambitious plans that cause my insomnia, a sense of wasting time and talent, worries about future and the early stage of hypochondria.
    - Hmmm ..... and how much would you like to weigh? - asked my boyfriend with a deceit in his voice.
    - 10kg less.
    - My love, you're not fat. Simply you do not weigh as much as you want. Repeat after me: "I'm not fat."
    - .... I'm not fat .....- I repeated in uncertain voice, wondering how it is suppose to help.
    - I do not weigh as much as I want.
    - ... I do not weigh as much as I want .....
    - And what? It sounds different, isn't it?
    - Yhmmm .....
    - You're not fat. You're just 10 kg unhappy. You associate being fat with being unhappy. If we make you happy, you won't feel fat any more.

  2. I forgot to add that this is a true story for the beginning of this year. Enjoy.

  3. Not all of us have a partner either!

  4. My partner never comments either way. I think he works on the principle that if he doesn't comment when things are good, he won't have to when they're not so good. But I need support. I need compliments. I've asked for them. I even wrote it in a letter, requesting a compliment for my birthday. It changed nothing. He says if I don't feel good about myself, nothing he says will make a difference. I utterly disagree. In all other ways he is a supportive and loving.

  5. Hi Sophie,
    Being in the business too, I've admired your work for years.
    I too can relate to this plight. My husband has never made any bones about the fact that he finds me sexy at any size. But the problem for me was that until just a few years ago, I couldn't wrap my head around this concept.
    For years I would look at him and wonder what was wrong with him to think this way. I thought to myself "how can you love someone as flawed as me?" Feeling fat at every size, I lived in constant fear that he would leave me for another woman and that he really didn't love me as much as he said he did.
    During all those years I struggled desperately with dieting, and always sought to focus on what was wrong with me rather than what was right. No matter what size I was, I always focused on my fat thighs. And until now, the three of us have never quite been friends.
    One day feeling as fat as a house, I stood looking at myself naked in the bathroom mirror and I finally got it. I realized the piece that was missing for me was compassion.
    It was then that I realized that as long as I continued to speak to myself and think of my body so unkindly, I would never get out of the rut of constantly using food to satisfy my emotional hunger.
    Once I started to learn about the mind/body connection, and how our thoughts affect our bodies and vice versa, I discovered that the first thing needed to begin the process of losing weight without dieting is to come to a place of acceptance for your heavier, 'before' body so that you can move into a place of love when you have your thinner 'after' body.
    I've also realized that during the times when I fall back into my old ratty and fatty ways of thinking about my body and abusing food, that's my evidence that I've lost my focus because as you already know it's not what you're eating. It's what's eating you!
    Thank you for bringing this very important issue to light.
    Warmest regards,

  6. I have mixed feelings about this as it is unrealistic to deny that weight and size can have an impact on one's partner. When my husband gained weight (about 6 kg) I still loved him but did not find him as attractive as previous and it did impact on our lovemaking - I was much less keen and though I tried not to be critical it was evident from my behaviour and I was much happier when it was gone!

  7. Hi Anonymous,
    I am not sure what it is that you are suggesting is unrealistic? In my post I simply talked about what it is like for me, what my own experience has been and is today in my own relationship and am curious to find our what it's like for others. I am not putting forward any point of view or suggesting the way things should or shouldn't be... Or maybe you are responding to people's comments? It would be good to know what it is that you think is not realistic. They way I look at it, what is realistic for one may not be for another - we are all different and as such different things work for different people.

  8. I'm very overweight - my partner says he loves me as I am but takes just about every opportunity he can to tell me I need to lose weight - for my own good, he says. I feel he's always putting me down - and this hurts.

    After all, he's not exactly skinny himself.

    It may be time to ditch the partner :(

  9. My other half learned very early on in our relationship that comments negative or positive would result in him being verbally and emotionally shredded and he stopped making any comments for many years - however since I've been working with Beyond Chocolate he has tentatively discovered that if he offers me a mild compliment I will respond with a simple 'thank you', whether I agree with him or not. If anyone takes the time to offer a compliment, however mild, we should respect their opinion and just thank them.


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