How Does It Feel To Be In One?
“A mixed-weight relationship is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a relationship in which there’s a noticeable difference in body size between partners.” Kasandra Brabaw, blogger
First I guess we need to talk about what a “mixed-weight relationship” is. It is exactly that, a couple of mixed weight, one is overweight and one is average or normal weight. And no this is not a fetish, I mean yes the fetish of this type of couple does exist but for the sake of this article that is not the target topic. Not all couples start off as “mixed weight” either. Our bodies change and grow with life and relationships and a strain can be placed on a couple that is new to this type of dynamics. No matter how you come into this type of coupling as long as you handle with compassion there should be no true differences than if you were the same weight.
Studies show that if a woman is overweight and a man is average weight then the woman receives more scrutiny from society than a man would if the roles were reversed.
“If we accept things as normal, we remove the fetish aspect and we just see people as people who love each other.” Gloria Shuri Henry, body-positive fashion blogger
A lot of body positive bloggers and Instagram stars have spoken out on the subject. Tess Holliday comes to mind when I think of mixed weight couples that work. Tess is a plus sized model and her husband is an average sized man. She is taking the world by storm and he is by her side supporting her and loving every bit of her. It is not a fetish for him, it is simply loving. From what I can deduce both her and her husband’s Instagram profiles they are in a committed, loving, and normal, mixed weight relationship. What is their secret then? How do they manage the obvious physical difference they face? Well, just like any mixed couple, whether it be race, religion, or size they love each other and block out the haters.
The Struggle Is Real
Not all mixed-weight couples have the glamour and praise that celebrity mixed-weight couples may have. An average mixed-weight couple struggles. Weight puts a strain on the relationship in more ways than just physically. It is emotionally tolling to be with someone that eats their feelings or chooses to indulge more than average. It is not so say everyone that is overweight is that way by choice, that would be a horrid generalization. What I am trying to say is yes, your mixed-weight couple loves each other but his or her lifestyles may not match up. This creates a wedge that would otherwise not be present if they were of similar sizes. The overweight member of the relationship will then feel ashamed of how they eat and may fear indulging in front of his or her partner. Anna, a woman that has always struggled with her weight would eat healthy in front of her husband but behind the scenes would shovel ice cream down by the pint when he wasn’t around. That is not a healthy habit to form. Binging is very dangerous. Therefore, if you are in a mixed-weight couple you must support one another and understand your differences.
Support vs. Criticism
The normal weight partner may put his or her foot in their mouth more times than not, simply from lack of experience. Your greatest enemy in a mixed-weight relationship is the microaggression. Microaggressions are little comments or facial expressions that you give to your partner that allude to the fact that their weight bothers you and they should lose a few or ten pounds. An example of this is, say you are at dinner with your partner and they suggest dessert. You make a simple comment about just getting the check to go home. This leads them to believe that you think they do not need dessert because they have already had enough to eat that meal. It may seem harmless to you and not offensive at all but to your partner, it is stabbed in the throat. Another microaggression could be a more obvious judgment of lack of exercise or lack of participation in a diet program. “I’m so glad we bought all those workout tapes you never use.” Now this is a more obvious “joke” but it is the furthest thing from a joke, it is outright mean and hurtful. You need to blindly support your partner and love them for who they are. As long as they are happy, that is all you need to worry about. Yes, health can be an issue but if you went into the relationship knowing who your partner is and the type of decadent life they lead, you can’t expect them to change overnight, or at all for that matter. We are who we choose to be.
If enough criticism is received from our partner then we will begin to believe all of his or her comments to be true. This will lead down a path of insecurity and generate issues of trust or quite possibly infidelity. Communicate with your partner about everything and be sure to do it with a positive attitude.
Just as you would with a normal or average sized person, you must respect your partner that is larger than average. If you love them, the greatest gift you can give is respect. To respect them is to honor their lifestyle and understand that they are happy with who they are and do not want to make drastic changes to his or her lifestyle in order to fit into a smaller size or be a picturesque version of themselves. Also, as the supporting and respectful partner that you need to be, you must understand that you may be giving off bad vibes without realizing it and sometimes the best comments are to just be silent.
“Mixed-race couples have to consider privilege and oppression as it concerns their respective races. Mixed-faith couples will have cultural differences they’ll have to work through in their relationships. And, mixed-weight couples, especially when one person is plus size and one is not, have to acknowledge microaggressions that plus size people experience.”Kasandra Brabaw, blogger [https://www.refinery29.com/author/kasandra-brabaw]
Don’t think too hard about your conversations with your partner because you may end up driving yourself crazy trying to be overly sensitive. The main thing you can do is when it doubt, “shut up!” Your silence is better than unintentionally saying or doing something hurtful. Follow their lead when it comes to weight loss or maintenance. It is like a tango, let them lead you and just follow their steps if your partner wants to actively begin losing weight, shop healthy and suggest activities that burn calories. However, you can’t expect life to change overnight. And for those of you with a partner that is content with his or her weight and does not want to change, you need to understand the experience that they live every day. People are cruel and may judge them or scoff at the sight of you together. If that happens, hold their hand, kiss them in public, compliment their appearance. Make your relationship “normal” in society so that they do not have anything to judge because a mixed-weight relationship is normal and should be seen as anything but what it is, a loving relationship.