It's official, there is a third person in your relationship, and it has been identified as your growing gut. A new survey revealed that being in a couple is the top reason for weight gain among Brits (that's one victory for you, singletons).
What's more, the study also identified exactly how much weight you were likely to put on - around two-thirds of us were likely to pile on two stone.
However, although the findings have shown that being in a relationship supercedes 'traditional' reasons for putting on weight such as being unhappy, not exercising and eating a lot on holiday, these things are by no means exclusive, as you can still overeat for all of those reasons and still be in a couple.
Out of the people polled, the majority (62%) admitted to putting on at least a stone during their relationships, while 72% believed that their partner has instead put on weight. Collectively, 66% were willing to admit that the blame is equal, with both parties putting on weight.
A key pitfall was revealed - women attempting to match their boyfriends or husbands in portion size. Over half of women admitted to this. Another - rather obvious one - is the tendency to nest, in other words, shunning the company of your friends, locking the doors and sitting in front of the TV with a DVD and big dinner.
Story continues below the slideshow from HuffPost US:
Pick The Right Battles
Before you get angry and reprimand your mate for making a mistake or doing something you told him or her not to do, stop and ask yourself this one wise question: "Does this affect me?" If it doesn't, button your lips and avoid a fight. After all, your mate is the one who must deal with the consequence, not you.
Be A Detective
When your mate's mistake does affect you, what then? Rather than being hostile, find out what really happened. Ask neutral and respectful questions such as, "Can you tell me what happened?" or "I don't understand. Am I missing something here?" You might discover a good reason for the oversight or blunder, which could avoid a blow-up.
Complain With Impact
When you have a complaint, say what you do want, not what you don't want. For example, rather than saying to your child or mate, "Get off that darn computer -- you're so rude!" instead target your mate using a positive approach: "I miss your company. Can you join me in the living room to hang out?"
Skip The 'Whatever' Word
Being passive by often saying "whatever you want" might temporarily avoid a fight, but it could breed resentment because it leaves the majority of decisions to your mate, which can be stressful. Instead, have a real opinion and share it.
If your mate does something that affects and disturbs you, such as overspending or making plans for both of you without asking the other first, don't get sucked into the heated "How could you?" argument. Instead, focus on the future by creating policy solutions, as in, "From now on can we agree to make a budget for our personal expenses?" Or: "Can we agree to check in with each other before making plans for both of us?"
Show You Care
Forgetting to ask about what's going on in your child or your mate's daily life is a surefire way to erode a relationship. From now on, if you know that someone in your family has an important meeting, test, doctor appointment, or event that day, don't neglect it -- instead, respect it. Call, email, text, or ask in person, "How did it go?" This sends a clear message: I care about you.
Avoid Factual Arguments
Do you and your mate often find yourselves arguing about the name of a restaurant you went to, a certain address, someone's birthday, an historical fact, or sports figure? Then you are prone to having a dumb argument! Stop the conversation and do an online fact check, call a friend, or simply drive by the location.
Apologize With The 'B' Word
Quickly saying the words "I'm sorry" is a bad apology because it often comes off as insincere, and could trigger another battle. Next time you seek mercy, add the "B" word: Say, "I'm sorry because..." and share how you hurt your mate and what you will do to prevent the wrongdoing from recurring. Research shows that when you add the "because clause" your words are more persuasive.
Create Border Control
Are you ever angry with your partner for revealing something to others that you consider private, like a health issue, a child discipline issue, job insecurity, or a marital disagreement? If so, bypass the "How could you say that?!" argument. Instead, establish border control: Outline the topics that should remain private to insure that neither of you becomes an accidental traitor.
Give A Daily Dose Of Recognition
Most couples on the divorce path seldom compliment each other. In our online survey for <em>Fight Less, Love More</em>, we asked people, "Would you rather your mate compliment you for being kind or good-looking?" The result was that 84 percent of people said "kind." The lesson: Find daily opportunities to recognize your mate for something that reflects a character strength (you are such a wonderful mother/father, you are so thoughtful when you...).
Three of the main activities couples said they did together also crucially involved food - eating out, eating in together and going to people's houses for dinner parties.
Over a quarter of couples did say they wished they could be healthier with their partner, but only a tenth actually expressed a willingness to cut down on food.
The findings aren't exactly a shock - as married couples famously put on weight post wedding, following months of pre-wedding diets. Research conducted earlier this year also confirmed that fat, indicating a direct correlation between increasing body mass index (BMI) and those who have gotten recently married.
Comfortability in a relationship was also revealed by the survey - 40% of us don't mind have a good old burp in front of the other, while 26% would be alright farting in front of the other two. Perhaps you may want to rethink the last one on curry night, however.