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Man upset at girlfriend's unhealthy lifestyle

DEAR AMY I've been dating my girlfriend for nearly two years. We live together and love each other. The problem is that we have very different ideas about fitness. While my girlfriend is a sweet and caring woman who means the world to me, she is very overweight. She does not yet have weight-related health problems, but I feel it is merely a matter of time. I care about her, and it is driving a wedge between us. I like to go to the gym and do active things, while her idea of a good time generally consists of being docile in various locations. I've tried several ways to change her lifestyle. I've bought us both gym memberships, signed us up for fun runs, suggested healthier cooking and recipe ideas and have tried to expose her to fun fitness activities like yoga, Zumba and spin classes. Nothing sticks! She seems to find any excuse to stay docile and has actually gained weight! It's beginning to affect my confidence. I'm beginning to feel that I'm just not worth the work it would take for her to get to a healthy weight and lifestyle. I feel so shallow that this is a concern for me, but I don't want to go through my middle years doing activities alone and dealing with the health problems a life of inactivity will bring to her. Do I need to end this relationship?

-- Healthy Boyfriend

DEAR BOYFRIEND Imagine if your girlfriend wrote to me and said, "My boyfriend will not slow down. He is too thin and fit for me. He will not be docile in various locations with me. I've tried everything I can think of to force him to become more sluggish, but he won't." I would tell her that she cannot change someone else. That's a simple truth.

Your only option here is to try to change yourself. One huge change would be for you to accept your girlfriend exactly as she is. Another change would be for you to slow down and become more like her.

Realistically, I don't believe you can do either of these things. Be honest with her about how you feel and ask her to join you in talking about this with a relationship counselor.

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