Dating Diary Part Eleven - Does Love Make You Fat?

They say that love makes the world go round. They say that love is the key to happiness. They say that love is all you need. They say that love is this and they say love is that. But nobody ever says that love makes you fat! 

We’ve all suspected it, but never imagined it was a scientific fact. But a few years ago a study found that two-thirds of couples put on two stones after getting into a relationship. And now the most extensive study of the relationship between love and weight has just come out. After assessing 10 years’ worth of data from 15,000 participants, Australian researchers have come to the conclusion that couples pile on the pounds more than single people. And this despite having healthier lifestyles and eating more fruit and vegetables than single people.

Excuse me, but who eats more fruit and vegetables when they’re in love? Not me! I eat more of everything I shouldn’t eat: ice-cream, cakes, biscuits, cheese and pasta. And I’ve paid the price.

A woman I’ve been dating said to me recently. “When I first met you, you looked like Michael Douglas”

“And now?” I asked.

“You look like Elvis!” 


She admitted it was a bit of an exaggeration – I haven’t put on that much weight! – but I have put on about a stone since meeting her. (The thing is that I manage to hide my extra weight pretty well.) But if it wasn’t for her wake-up call I could well end up looking like Elvis. 

So why do we put on weight when we’ve found love and – in theory – are so happy not to be single? Aren’t you meant to pile on the pounds when you’ve lost love and are miserable? Isn’t that when we resort to comfort eating and drinking? 

My theory is that there’s comfort eating when you loose love, but there’s also what I would call comfortable eating when you find it. It works like this: now you are in love you’re feeling so happy and feeling so high, that you stop worrying about how you look.

And when you stop worrying about how you look, you stop worrying about what you eat. You can indulge in all those delicious things you denied yourself while on a diet to bag a mate. 

So what are you and your new found love meant to do after great sex? Share a stick of celery? Cuddle up together and munch on carrots as you watch your favourite box-set? Of course not! You indulge in the forbidden foods and delicious treats.

But then there comes the tricky point in the relationship when one of you will jokingly say to the other: will you still love me when I get fat? 

And you say: Darling I will love you fat or thin, rich or poor, hairy or bald.   

I once asked a girlfriend this very question and she said, “Of course not!” Though I was horrified by her answer I had to admire her honesty. But please don’t try this at home! 

My problem is that I may resemble Michael Douglas when I have my clothes on – but naked I worry that I’m Elvis. (Yes, men worry about their body image too.) The writer Dolly Alderton told me there’s nothing sexier than a man who carries his extra weight with confidence. And the same is true of women who are seen as “over weight”, but don’t give a damn. 

You might think it’s rather superficial to care about putting on weight and how it will make you look to the loved one. The theory goes that if they truly loved you, they wouldn’t care how you looked. What matters is what’s on the inside, right?

Hmm. Yes and no. Of course you will still love them and they will, hopefully, still love you. But will you find them as attractive as before? No way. And they won’t feel as attractive either.  

My current girlfriend is always going on about how fat she has gotten since meeting me. We sit in bed, woofing down ice cream sundaes watching Fleabag and complaining that we’re both getting fat! We are — and we’ve never been happier!

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