Whether your reasons stem from long-term health concerns, or more simply from a dip in attraction, conveying your message can be difficult without hurting your partner’s feelings because they threaten self-esteem and potentially shatter a long-held illusion.
In general, most people tend to want to approach the topic from the shadows, tip-toeing around the issue for fear of offending. But there is a risk with this approach that I feel needs addressing, namely, that your partner will slice through the subtlety and be offended twice. Firstly because you are pointing out that he (or she) is overweight, and secondly because you are playing with them rather than being as honest as you could.
Directness Hurts But It Works
Being blunt is a better long-term solution because at the very least you will have treated them with respect. Despite the potential for initial denial and defensiveness, they will ultimately respect your ability to treat them with dignity. Obviously, even if you do resolve to being transparent, encoding your message in a positive way is an immensely important way to reduce the initial awkwardness and resulting self-consciousness .
Secondly, the connection between partners is such that even if up until now you have not openly raised the point, they probably already know how you feel. Or at the very least have suspicions in that direction. Finally knowing what has been weighing on your mind may actually prove something of a relief!
Consider also the fact that you are establishing an honesty policy that works both ways from here on out. If they can take it, they will feel freer to dish out their own pent-up frustrations, improving communication and helping the relationship reach an equal footing.
Keep It Simple And Positive
There are many ways to tell someone you’re not okay with their weight, and most of them are wrong. Think of it this way, they are under no obligation to change. While it may cause distance, or even cause a breakup if you don’t see change in that direction (that is your right), asking your partner to lose weight is an appeal, not a commandment. Because of this, it is important not to demand change in a negative way, rather, to motivate them to do so instead — of their own free will. Offering people a choice, and not an ultimatum, is a proven way of obtaining results.
Tell them it is important to you, why and leave it at that. If the message is stripped of judgment it will sink in, and the fact that your intent was in no way spiteful should make the message less hurtful.
If Brutal Directness Isn’t Your Thing
Nobody is ever as in shape as they should be, use this to your advantage to lessen the self-consciousness they will feel by including yourself in the same category (if you are relatively in shape it will be a white-lie, but so is indirectness to start with). Some examples might include doing exercise together, thereby using a potential hurtful scenario to bring you both even closer.