Staff writer Kelly Fitzpatrick takes a personal look into the world of health and fitness within relationships. How do you mesh your goals with your significant other’s?

Health and fitness is hard. Though our goals are often similar, your goals are unique. Your story is different. Your journey is yours. Or so the Greatist Manifesto tells us. And while I agree with the sentiment, sometimes things just aren’t that simple.

Moving in with a significant other is never easy. Between the closet space power struggles and bickering over who should take out the garbage (“You’re still wearing shoes, can’t you just take it?”), there’s the inevitable meshing of two previously distinct and separate lives. And suddenly, your journey becomes our journey. Your goals, our goals, or else your goals may be left abandoned in the pile of health and fitness good intentions.

Perhaps it’s the fact that my own 9-to-5 necessitates examining health and fitness practices (my own, in particular) under a microscope, but I never realized just how ingrained my preferences, habits, and routines were until I moved in with my boyfriend. When it comes to the big things— eating, sleeping, exercising (or not exercising)— adapting is hard for me.

I love cooking and baking, and I’m extremely grateful to have a metabolism that forgives indulgences. I’d rather sleep late than hit the gym, and I don’t sweat. Seriously, I just don’t. My boyfriend, Alex, on the other hand is extremely calorie-conscious. If he’s going to indulge it almost always involves beer or Scotch, and he works out every morning, five days a week. His knowledge of strength training boggles my mind, and I research this stuff professionally. And thinking on these differences (and the guilt of pushing homemade goodies on him), I had to wonder: Does anyone have this down?

I’m planning to do a full-on exploration into the world of health and fitness within relationships, but I want to hear from you, too. How do you make things work (or not work) in your relationship? Have you pushed each other to live healthier, happier lives? Respond in the comments section below.

Photo by Cris Magliozzi