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Curious question: choosing a mate (and your influence if you already have one!

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Old 08-21-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Curious question: choosing a mate (and your influence if you already have one!

Earlier today, I had a long-winded discussion with a friend of mine about choosing a mate. She was trying to get me to date a friend of hers, who is admittedly quite hot, but does not care about his health at all. He drinks heavily, eats fast food regularly, and goes to the gym recreationally maybe twice a week to lift weights. That, unfortunately, seems to be common among most guys in my age group (20somethings).

I also went on to say I could not date a man who did not care about his physical appearance, nor could I date one who proudly rocked the beer gut (now, if he had a lil' beer gut but wanted to get RID of it, that's an entirely different story) which caused my friend to accuse me of being shallow.

This conversation caused me to think of everyone on this forum and made me wonder two things:

1. If you are single, COULD you date someone who did care to live a healthy lifestyle? Is the desire to be healthy and fit something you look for in a mate? Or do you believe other things are more important?

2. If you are coupled/married/in some sort of relationship situation, has your healthy lifestyle affected your partner's habits? If not, how do you feel about that?
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:28 PM   #2
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Those are good questions. I don't think you're being shallow (because I'd think the same), but that's my opinion.

To answer your questions:

A. If you are single, COULD you date someone who did care to live a healthy lifestyle? Is the desire to be healthy and fit something you look for in a mate? Or do you believe other things are more important?

When I was single and unhealthy, I DID date someone (very briefly) who was more concerned about health. He didn't comment on my weight, except for this one time and it was an offhand remark but it still hurt. Anyway, we had issues other than weight. I DO look for the desire to be fit and healthy. I think it's very, very important. Sure, they might not have medical problems now, but in the future when they're obese, the bills will get higher and higher and it will lead to problems between us. I would say the healthy lifestyle is my second priority. My first priority is our values. With my hubby, we had random conversations about children, money and career in between our convos about everything else. We had similar ideas concerning these topics, which is why I felt comfortable marrying him aside from the fact that he's my best buddy.

B. If you are coupled/married/in some sort of relationship situation, has your healthy lifestyle affected your partner's habits? If not, how do you feel about that?

My husband knows how to eat healthy, he has no weight issues whatsoever. Before I moved in, he was just too lazy to make his own food and cook healthy so he ate a lot of take-out. Since I moved in, I've taken over the cooking and diet, pretty much. One good thing was he loved fruits so his fruit intake has always been high. He does appreciate the healthy eating. Ironically, he pointed out that I was using too much oil while cooking. Just to prove him wrong (I thought if anything, *I* would know how much is right), I cut it down to 1/2 the amount of oil, and the dish came out the same or better so I was appropriately shamed. He is also my biggest supporter when it comes to working out. He was too lazy to do it before I moved in and I was too stressed/busy to do it before I moved here. Now we hold each other accountable for exercising. It's been great having a routine.

That was pretty long-winded. Hope that helped!
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Old 08-21-2009, 05:38 PM   #3
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My husband LOVES that I like to eat healthy and enjoys everything that I put in front of him. HOWEVER... he is about 30 pounds UNDERweight and is having trouble gaining weight. So, he tries to eat the snack foods that I consider forbidden, and that's often a point of contention in the house. Sometimes I get angry at him for being able to eat those kinds of things, even though I know it's not his fault. We've been able to compromise about food so that it's out of my sight/something that I totally do not like.

I don't think I could be married to a person who totally disregarded his health and treat myself right as well. I think I'd probably be morbidly obese.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:01 PM   #4
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Hmm, interesting question as I'm just dipping my toe into internet dating. Although I'd like to BE with someone fit and healthy, I skip past any profiles that seem to emphasize that phrase, as though I suspect these guys will be shallow. Will have to think about my reaction to that phrasing.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightengaleShane View Post
If you are coupled/married/in some sort of relationship situation, has your healthy lifestyle affected your partner's habits? If not, how do you feel about that?
DH (of 30+ years) and I seem to lose and gain together. Over the years, when one of us has made a commitment to get healthier, the other has tagged along as a way to show support. Both of us have started the journey at one time or another. But we both realize that - to really be successful - we need to support each other.

Because both of us are getting older, we realize that it is important to both be fit, otherwise it will affect the amount and type of activities we can do when we retire - it is a quality of life issue for us.

Honestly, DH started on this journey before I did. I was ready, but I hadn't convinced myself that I could really lose 80 lbs at this age. Two months after he started, I joined in. Thankfully I've shared much of what I have learned about maintenance with him, so we are both maintaining our combined 150+ lb. loss quite easily

Sorry for such a long answer, to a short question.

The short answer is - while it has nothing to do with appearance, and everything to do with health and fitness and quality of life - yes, we very much affect each other!
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:16 PM   #6
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One thing I liked about my husband is that we shared a common interest in hiking. He also shared an interest in good (versus crappy) food.

I don't think I could've dated someone who didn't care about his overall health or care about being active in some capacity. I love that my husband supports my food choices and is willing to follow them and that he likes to be active and do active things.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:44 PM   #7
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Sunnigummi and CountingDown, long answers are FINE!
See, Sunni, to ME, health/fitness falls under the "values" category. In my personal (probably not humble ) opinion, the way someone treats their body says a lot about what they value in life. Of course, I know someone can be very accomplished and successful with no body values, just like being overweight does not signify a lack of self control, but I feel that people who trash their bodies on a regular basis (regardless of weight/size/appearance) must not value the one thing they will have no matter what.

CountingDown... 150 pounds between the two of you? That is incredibly awesome! It is beautiful that your and your husband support each other like that (same with you, Nelie!) As you now know, it's never too late to start caring about your health.

My ex did not care about health or fitness AT ALL. In fact, I'd never met anyone who hated exercise so much, ate so much crap food in such large quantities, yet was naturally thin The difference in opinion on this matter (and many many others) caused us to finally break up after 3.5 years. Oh... and MrsJerseyben, having forbidden foods in the house all the time is so irksome... I hated it; I only wanted HEALTHY food in my house while I was cohabitating, but my ex insisted on having all kinds of junk... eventually, I just became desensitized. If I REALLY wanted some, I would have some and work it into my plan.
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:52 PM   #8
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As for me, I met my bf via the net almost 6 years ago. I was ashamed of how I looked and I sent him fake pics for 5 of those years. For 5 years he never knew I was morbidly obese. He is a thin guy, 170 pounds, 5'11". He does not try to eat healthy or exercise. For 5 years, I listened to him make jokes about overweight people. It was hard...very hard. We met July 21, 2008. I was at 330 pounds. He found that out the day before we met but he still came to meet me and pick me and my little doggy up and move us 1800 miles away to live with him. He has never once said anything about my weight since I have been here and for that I am thankful plus the fact that him coming to get me most likely saved my life.


So, affter that long boring story, I would answer that my eating and exercise habits have not rubbed off on him but I don't try to force anything on him as he does not on me.


Does that make sense? lol
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Old 08-21-2009, 06:55 PM   #9
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Interesting question.

If I were single, of course I'd be more attracted (sight only) to men who were fit/in shape.

As for my husband. He's in pretty good shape. He is a Special Forces Soldier, so I think that has a LOT to do with keeping in shape. He exercises daily and his workouts are not for the weakhearted. He has developed a *small* gut that he is worried about, but it doesn't bother me in the least.

When he is home, he eats what I prepare. He isn't picky at all. So (when he returns), I predict no problems maintaining my new cooking.

Saying all of that. I fully anticipate that his fitness level will lessen as he ages (and once he retires from the military). I will have zero problem with his "little gut" getting a little larger etc, as long as his blood pressure etc stay in the healthy ranges. My concerns about his body are only because I want the man to live to be 115! If he can carry an extra 30 pounds and not have it dramatically affect his health, it wouldn't bother me in the least. While I find the discipline to get out there and work out hard everyday admirable, the values that are most important to me in a mate have nothing to do with the physical body.*




*unless we're talking hot sex....but that's a given

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Old 08-21-2009, 07:05 PM   #10
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WOW onederchic... wow, just wow. He said nothing about your weight and you're still with him... that's... what a man. He is a better person than I am... I'm pretty sure if I met some dude online, thought he was some hot hunk of a guy, met him in person, and found out he was morbidly obese, it'd be bye bye time. I'd use the, "Well, I'm only human" bit as an excuse, but I would feel absolutely terrible about it... then again, if I had 5 years of emotional ties, maybe it would be different -- I think you never know what you would do until you were in that situation... STILL, he must be a keeper! And look how much weight you've lost! He must be supportive of that, no?
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightengaleShane View Post
1. If you are single, COULD you date someone who did care to live a healthy lifestyle? Is the desire to be healthy and fit something you look for in a mate? Or do you believe other things are more important?

2. If you are coupled/married/in some sort of relationship situation, has your healthy lifestyle affected your partner's habits? If not, how do you feel about that?
2. I was overweight when I met my husband and after having our son am ... ahem... significantly overweight/obese. Since I've embarked on my journey, my husband has been amazing. He does not mind healthy food so long as it tastes good. He's not one to scoff at steamed veggies, baked fish etc. It is no insult to his manhood.

He has shown more of an interest in losing a bit of weight (only by eating slightly better; exercise is still a no-go).

Overall, even if my husband doesn't want to lose weight I think he has been an amazing inspiration for me. To illustrate his support and consideration: One day he had a horrible chocolate craving so he went to the store, bought a milky way and ate it outside in the car before coming in the house. He didn't even want to bring the wrapper in the house.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:41 PM   #12
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I don't think I could get involved with someone whose health wasn't important to them. That doesn't mean they have to live exactly like me. But it just wouldn't work with someone who hated veggies and activity. It's just compatibility.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:59 PM   #13
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My Husband and I are compete opposite when it comes to food and body types.

He is super skinny. And he can eat anything and everything he wants and not seem to gain a pound. Unfortunately with him eating that way it hasn't been very easy for me, because of the junk food in this house but now I'm limiting the unhealthy food that he eats in this house because all it does is hinder my progress.

Back when I was dating I would obviously have to be attracted to someone but back then I wouldn't have cared at all about what a guy did as far as work outs and food goes. But now with my new lifestyle I do care and depend on it for my success as well.
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightengaleShane View Post
WOW onederchic... wow, just wow. He said nothing about your weight and you're still with him... that's... what a man. He is a better person than I am... I'm pretty sure if I met some dude online, thought he was some hot hunk of a guy, met him in person, and found out he was morbidly obese, it'd be bye bye time. I'd use the, "Well, I'm only human" bit as an excuse, but I would feel absolutely terrible about it... then again, if I had 5 years of emotional ties, maybe it would be different -- I think you never know what you would do until you were in that situation... STILL, he must be a keeper! And look how much weight you've lost! He must be supportive of that, no?

I do consider myself very lucky
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Old 08-21-2009, 08:53 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caryesings View Post
Hmm, interesting question as I'm just dipping my toe into internet dating. Although I'd like to BE with someone fit and healthy, I skip past any profiles that seem to emphasize that phrase, as though I suspect these guys will be shallow. Will have to think about my reaction to that phrasing.
i agree, guys that are health nuts strike me as potentially shallow...= /
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