Physical attraction is a big part of most people's relationships.
Because of that, people will go to some extreme lengths to measure up to beauty standards.
Some of those measures are not healthy though and can lead to lifelong issues like eating disorders. When a man was worried his girlfriend was headed down that path, he looked online for advice.
Rather than consult an advice columnist, he turned to crowdsourcing platform Reddit's "Relationship Advice" subReddit.
Redditor ThrowRAway82753902 took to the social media platform to post:
"My (26M) girlfriend (26F) drunkenly told me she was starving herself to be more attractive to me. I'm devastated and don't know what to do."
He gave a quick synopsis of the situation.
"...girlfriend got drunk and said she's been not eating so she can be petite like the girls I masturbate to. I'm not sure if she even remembers telling me but don't know how to bring it up."
Then he told the whole story.
"My girlfriend and I have been together for 6 years—classic college sweetheart romance. I love her and if she believed in marriage I'd put a ring on her in an instant."
"However, due to some trauma from her childhood and her parents' rough marriage she doesn't believe in it. Fine with me and we've resolved to build our lives together regardless."
"We've lived together for 3 years now and due to our sleep schedules we don't fall asleep at the same time. It's never been a problem for us and she's said she falls asleep better having the bed to herself anyway."
"We cuddle together every night though before I get up to play some games or watch TV in our living room. Our sex life is amazing and I genuinely think she's incredibly sexy."
"However, I still like to masturbate late at night because it's fun and a good stress reliever. The things I look at are just porn to me and have no bearing on how I feel about her. Just porn."
"Anyway, getting down to the crux of the problem, we were having a good time together last night and we're having some drinks and playing games together. We both got a little wasted (we're both off work due to [the pandemic]) and she told me while she was drunk that she's been purposefully not eating to look more like the girls I masturbate to."
"She said they were all petite girls and looked nothing like her. Now, that's true, but I love my girlfriend's curves and think she's incredibly sexy."
"I was shocked but also drunk and didn't know how to address it beyond telling her I think she's gorgeous no matter what. I had no idea she had even caught me masturbating but must have in the past. I do save pictures of other women on my computer but purely as a 'spank bank' situation."
"She HAS been losing weight and was overweight before so she's been getting down to a healthy weight. I assumed she's been doing it through diet and exercise but because of our different sleep schedule we only ever had dinner together and apparently that's all she's been eating while doing daily workouts."
"I'm devastated that she thinks she had to change for me and also don't know how to bring it up to her and not sure if she even remembers telling me that."
"What can I do to address this in a healthy way and also get her some help without her shutting down on me?"
Redditors had plenty of advice available.
Several pointed to his collecting and storing pornography as part of the problem.
"So, you definitely should bring it up, whether she remembers it or not, her starving herself trying to please you is not healthy or safe, as many people have pointed out."
"This is definitely more of a therapy subject, and if you're open to it, I would suggest couples therapy. Went through something similar and it helped a lot."
"Second, you really should think about what porn and your 'spank bank' is doing to your relationship, and consider the fact that it obviously upset your girlfriend to the point of starting an eating disorder. Seeing girls that look nothing like her, even if you do love the way she looks, messed with her head and her self esteem."
"I've been in her shoes and handled it much worse, but I would really look up how porn effects relationships and consider talking about that in therapy too so you're getting the info from a trusted source."
"If the two of you can sit down and have an honest convo that will lead to a solution you're both happy with, and she starts eating healthy and exercising and losing weight the right way (for herself, not to look like porn stars) couples therapy might not be needed, but it's a safe place to get your feelings out and might be what you both need." ~ throwaway282363d
Women were not the only ones to offer this advice.
"This, but as a guy I would add this genuine advice: don't f'king store pictures."
"Based on your post I think that is the core of this problem." ~ Arnoldthehawk
A lot of people could relate to the girlfriend.
"YES, when I went through something similar that was the core to the beef I had with it, the saving of pictures/videos and finding tons of them on my SO's phone. It's like, if you're gonna watch it or do that, look at it, do your thing and then move on."
"No girl wants to know that you're sexually fantasizing about other people when she's madly in love with you and doesn't think about anyone else." ~ throwaway282363d
Men and women had felt insecure because of a partners extensive collection of photos and videos of other people.
"This!!! Dude having your partner look at and especially save pictures of other people makes you feel like you aren't enough."
"This is a feeling I think most people are all too familiar with, even if they don't want to admit it. Unfortunately, a lot of times it's perfectly acceptable to do this. Hell and if it is brought up as an issue it is generally seen as being overbearing or controlling."
"When really it's just the partner trying to voice their feelings. WHICH IS WHAT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO IN A RELATIONSHIP." ~ flowernerd024
One Redditor, NZ-Food-Girl, really broke it down for him in explicit detail.
"Imagine her storing many, many images of men with penises much larger than yours. Now, these are hot, sexy men, with tight buns, six packs and smooth hairless bodies that all resemble greek gods."
"Their erections are longer and harder than yours and the oral sex they perform in their videos makes the women they are with have actual orgasms... not fake porn ones."
"You can see that your gf has a type and it's vastly different from how you and your penis look and act."
"She stores these images, these videos and uses them for masturbating to. She likes their Insta profiles, follows them on FB, likes their Tweets and has a folder with hundreds of close ups of large, hard erections that you can never measure up to. Literally."
"She thinks of these mens penises and their tongues, hands and hard bodies pressed on and in her while she gets off sexually. You know, for fun."
"She says she still finds your perfectly pleasant, normal body sexy. But are you sure she's not hoping for that really sexy guy to be doing those things to her while you're having sex with her?"
"She clearly has a type and it's not your body. Why would she want you?"
"This plays around in your mind for a bit, the images and the videos of men she finds sexually alluring... you find you can't escape what you've seen and it starts to affect your self confidence and you find yourself wondering if she's really getting off on what you're doing or if you're a stand in for her fantasy men... you become so preoccupied with it that your sexual performance and desire wavers..."
"So one day when you're drunk and vunerable you tell her you've been taking Viagra and working out three hours a day because you know the type of guy she's sexually attracted to and the sort* of penis she masturbates too... and you're not like that..."
"And all she wants to know is how she can convince you that she still thinks you're sexy... without giving up the big penis toting, six pack wielding, firm buns having, multiple orgasm oral sex giving men watching; because it's fun."
"Dude. You're going to need to give up the porn or the relationship. Some people are ok with it."
"She is not. This isn't a negotiation point here with her."
"Make a decision and be resolute one way or the other. This girl isn't OK with you watching porn and it's crushing her. Give her or the porn up and do it before her behaviour gets more entrenched and serious."
"Most obviously, begin this conversation with her as soon as possible. Communication is key and for whatever reason, she hasn't felt able to bring this to your attention before so please, you begin it."
Redditors were all very clear with their advice to the Original Poster (OP). The first step is him giving up his "spank bank."
As of now, the OP has not provided any updates.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the Relationship Advice link below.*