Dating someone who doesn’t exercise: 10 important tips

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Being in love with someone who doesn’t exercise can be tricky.

And if you are the kind of person who takes fitness seriously and values a partner who shares the same passions, having a non-active partner might seem like a deal-breaker.

But it doesn’t have to be, don’t worry, I am here to help you out!

Read on, and you will know how to handle the situation in a way that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable or resentful of their lack of physicality. 

Here are 10 important tips to continue dating someone who doesn’t exercise on a regular basis:

1) Be realistic in your expectations

Reality shows, TV commercials, and magazines are full of unrealistic images of what a man or woman should look like.

And it is influencing how people see the ideal body type, and how they feel about their own bodies. 

If you expect your boyfriend or girlfriend to exercise just to want them to be perfectly in shape, then, there is a high chance that you are going to be disappointed.

Believe it or not.

The images you see on TV and in the media are unreal, making people often have unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a man or a woman physically.

Men aren’t just all about being muscle-bound and ripped; therefore, they don’t have to be masculine in order to be considered attractive.

There is no need to strive to be the idealized “Macho Man” or “Playboy” figure, especially when there are so many other things that make someone manly. 

Like so:

Women aren’t just all about being in hourglass body shape, looking thin or beautiful to be recognized as ideal girlfriends.

In fact, there is no need to be a supermodel to become a “normal” person.

If your boyfriend or girlfriend never exercises but still seems healthy, you should lower your expectations and try to accept their body as it is.

2) Be grateful for what you have

Are you always bothered by the fact that your partner doesn’t exercise at all?

If so, why don’t you try to appreciate the things they do instead of complaining about what they don’t?

I am sure they still have other qualities that are attractive to you…

  • Perhaps they are smart?
  • Do their care and kindness catch your attention?
  • Because their soulful eyes make you fall in love with them?
  • How about their sense of humor?
  • Or even their wallet? I’m just kidding! 🙂

But whatever it is, it is necessary to make your own list of the reasons why you chose that one to be your boyfriend or girlfriend.

You will realize they have more than you think (what I really mean here is more than just their physical appearance)!

Like so:

You should ignore the fact that he or she doesn’t work out and be grateful for what you have from who they really are.

But remember this:

It’s not fair to just complain about something that doesn’t live up to your expectations when all those sweet attributes of theirs make you happy as well.

3) Don’t constantly complain about their lack of physicality

I am pretty sure your lover knows that he or she doesn’t exercise at all. 

Pointing it out to him is not going to achieve anything constructive.

Chances are, they are probably getting tired of the same thing and even get bored of you eventually!

You are definitely not the first or last person to tell them that. They probably want a break from what they hear every day.

Complaining just makes them feel heavy and bad about themselves.

And of course, no one wants to feel awful about themselves, right? 

If you do that, you are going to have a hard time dating your partner. 

They may not feel appreciated or respected and might start thinking they are not good enough because you are always complaining about their lack of physicality.

If this happens, chances are that he or she will get closer to changing their lifestyle because of the anxiety and self-doubt caused by your complaints.

Sounds negative, doesn’t it?

Instead of complaining every time they see you or talk to you, show them how happy you are being with them regardless of their imperfection.

This will finally ease your two’s stress and intensity in the relationship.


No one is perfect, and YOU as well!

Here, an understanding, compassionate, yet strong attitude is required. You had better replace your complaints with constructive comments.

Just try to be more positive and show appreciation for their existence without always resenting their physicality.

While this article will shed light on the main tips of dating someone who doesn’t exercise, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.

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4) Communicate often and openly

Sometimes people don’t realize how important it is for them to be physically active because they are so busy thinking about other things.

If you want to encourage your partner to exercise regularly, you must make them know why you want them to exercise?

There are many ways to do it, but my tip is to briefly talk to them.

You may have heard this advice a million times,

But trust me, communication is always the key in every relationship, especially in romantic ones.

No matter how you do it, just make sure that your partner knows you care about them.

You can do this face-to-face by talking in person or indirectly by texting.

Here are some options for you to initiate the talk:

  • “Why do you think you don’t need to exercise regularly?”
  • “How do you feel about starting exercising on a regular basis?”
  • “How can I help motivate you in this area of your life?”

Just make sure you communicate openly and yet, softly.

If you want your relationship to continue, you have to open up about your opinions and views on a daily basis. 

Yes, it is not easy, but it is worth a way to get the point across without seeming angry or upset.

And it is a nice way for your feelings about them to be transmitted as well!

When you truly express your feelings to your partner, it shows that you want them to be healthier by exercising regularly, so they can reach the goals you both have.

5) Help your partner find their love of exercise

You see, it is not that difficult to convince someone to exercise.

It is all about having the right kind of motivation at the right time.

If he or she doesn’t want to exercise, you can help them develop a love for it.

You can make them want to exercise as much as your motivation pushes them to do so.

Here’s all you have to do:

  • Show them that exercising is necessary to keep their body and mind healthy.
  • Make them realize how conditioning their body is.
  • Let him or her know that being active helps them bond with other people, especially when they are already motivated to go out with friends.
  • Make sure he or she feels proud of his or her physical appearance.
  • Exercise makes them not only healthier but also happier.

In this way, you can make sure that they see exercise as beneficial and not as a chore.

They will start to see how great it is for their health and how wonderful it is to feel a sense of accomplishment when they accomplish something physical.

6) Be patient and understand that change takes time

Sometimes, it is good to take your partner’s health and fitness slowly.

If they aren’t willing to exercise yet, that is totally normal and fine. They might need some time to think about this or to make their schedule.

So, you should make it clear that there is no pressure!

There is nothing wrong with taking a break from exercising for a little while as long as they are still determined to continue their workout routines.

You can let your partner do everything they want to do, but try not to get discouraged and be patient.

It is not a race. You have plenty of time to show them how beneficial exercise is for the body and mind.

If you are patient and kind, they will realize that exercising is not something they have to do all by themselves but for yours as well.

They need to find out what fits them best in the long run.

But what if you are an impatient person in love?

So how can you deal with impatience in a romantic relationship in a practical way?

I know just the thing – the free Love and Intimacy video by the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. 

While watching it, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find love (and keep it) for the first time – and finally offered an actual solution to impatience in dating someone who doesn’t exercise.

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7) Encourage them by using yourself!

Just follow your routine and keep exercising. Your enthusiasm for exercising will certainly somehow motivate and encourage them.

If you do this, your confidence will be contagious, and your love for fitness can get through to him or her as well. You will be able to physically motivate your partner to exercise.

When they see how happy you are, they will have no choice but to start trying to join you.

You can tell your boyfriend or girlfriend that it is easy and actually not that difficult because you are doing it too.

And of course, you two can encourage yourselves and be each other’s motivation when you are doing something together as well.

If you do this, your partner will look at you as an example of someone healthy and active on a regular basis.

Can you imagine what it would feel like if your motivation got through to someone else?

It’s great!

It is also absolutely necessary for a happy relationship because you will be able to spend more time together when exercising.

I know it sounds like a small thing, but believe me, it really will make a difference in the end.

And that is how you start helping them become physically active.

I am sure that it will help them become physically active and also makes you two both happy in your relationship.

8) Help your partner find activities they enjoy and feel comfortable with

Firstly, as I have told you, you can try to help them see exercising from a positive perspective. 

Then, you should let your partner know that there are many different types of activities they could try.

Some of them are so easy, and some are harder than others. The best thing you can do is to help your partner find out what is suitable for them that they may like. 

Certainly, you can encourage him or her to try some physical activities that will make them feel comfortable and confident about their actions.

Here are some activities you can recommend to your boyfriend or girlfriend:

  • You can use activities that are more fun and less strenuous, such as riding a bike around the block or going to the park to play basketball or soccer.
  • Maybe, your guy is not that interested in exercise but prefers to play with his friends. Suggest him play team sports like basketball, soccer, or volleyball.
  • Or you can invite him or her to the gym together.

It will be a good opportunity for you to do something together. 

All you have to do is give them a few appealing options and tell them that they can try different activities until they find one that suits them best.

9) Stop worrying about what others think!

You don’t have to worry about what others think about your boyfriend or girlfriend not exercising. 

I mean, after all, it is nobody’s business except yours.

You just have to stop worrying about what others think and instead, be happy with who you are and the person you love.

Believe me! This will make a huge difference in your and your lover’s lives. 

At least, it will help you get out of your own head for a while and enjoy the time you spend with your lover.

And when that happens, exercise will start becoming more fun and comfortable for them.

All you have to do is remember that:

Exercise is for your partner’s health and wellness but not about impressing other people!

You don’t have to be out there showing them off.


You should just encourage him and be positive about him being healthy.

No matter what happens and what other people think, at the end of the day, all that matters is helping your partner and building a good relationship with your lover.

You will be able to have a great time just being together, solving problems, getting to know each other better and having fun.

10) Try new things together

You both have so many things to do together instead of exercising.

You can choose to do something you both enjoy, something that will make both of you feel good and happy such as trying a new activity or going to a new place.

Getting out of your comfort zone will motivate you to keep going and not give up.

Think of how fun and exciting it will be to do something you have never done before TOGETHER. It will be a great experience for both of you.

Don’t just pressure your partner to exercise regularly!

They will enjoy it more when they are there with you and doing something they like together with you. It is a great thing for your relationship and for you two not to forget to have fun together as well!

Accordingly, if you try new things together, you will have a better chance of encouraging your partner to join in other activities with you.

In conclusion

Dating someone who doesn’t exercise is not the end of the world. If you love him or her enough, you can make it work!

It can be difficult to accept someone you love might not share your same values, but with enough communication and an open mindset, everything will be much easier.

If you feel upset or resentful when your partner doesn’t exercise, remember that they are probably more focused on their mental health than their physical appearance.

Keep in mind that you can love and support your partner both physically and mentally!