Man Admits to Keeping Girlfriend a 'Secret' Due to 220lbs Weight Difference

A man who used to keep his girlfriend a 'secret' due to the 220lbs weight difference is now prouder than ever of his size 24 beau.

Alin Ionesi, 22, admits there was a 'mental barrier' at the start of his relationship with Maria Schönleitner-Laus, 21, as he worried about what others will think. But now, the couple from Vienna, Austria, openly share their love for one another in a bid to prove "love doesn't judge."

Ali said: "Some people can't believe we like each other and some think I am weird. But the reality is, I have always liked bigger women but I have never been in a relationship with one.

"So at the start, it was hard for me to accept the relationship. I knew I liked Maria but I didn't want to show her off as I feared judgment. There was a mental barrier for me as I thought people were going to be rude about Maria.

"But actually, it was all in my head as our families and friends were accepting but trolls cannot seem to get their head around us. Our story isn't picture-perfect, but it is now a healthy and stable relationship."

Mixed weight relationship
Alin Ionesi, 22, and Maria Schönleitner-Laus, 23, want to normalize couples who "go against the norm". Maria Schönleitner-Laus/Maria Schönleitner-Laus

Alin kept Maria secret for almost a year but she insists it "wasn't a problem" as she was used to it.

She said: "Over the years, I have realized a lot of men like bigger women but they wouldn't commit to a relationship as they didn't want to be judged. Alin and I met in January 2021 and instantly liked each other but we decided to take it slow.

"He didn't tell anybody about me until December but weirdly, I didn't have a problem with being a secret. I guess, I am used to it so it didn't affect me much.

"I never thought my weight would hold me back from love as I knew there would be someone out there who accepts me for me."

Now, they proudly refer to themselves as a 'mixed-weight' couple. The term is regularly used on social media to describe couples with a noticeable weight difference.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, roughly 500 million adults around the globe are obese. That's almost 10 percent of men and 14 percent of women and it's nearly double the rate of obesity in 1980.

Maria weighs 396 pounds and is aware of the health risks such as diabetes, cancer, and even premature death.

She said: "I think people have an internalized fatphobia, it's socially accepted to fat-shame people.

"But nobody is harmed by my weight apart from me, however, society act like fat people shouldn't exist because of their weight. People can't understand why a "healthy" guy should date an "unhealthy and unhygienic" girl like me."

Alin Ionesi, 22, admits there was a “mental barrier” at the start of his relationship with Maria Schönleitner-Laus, 23, and he didn’t want to “show her off”.

Maria admits feeling less affected by the negative comments as she has been subject to cruel comments since a young age due to her weight.

She said: "Unfortunately, I am used to nasty comments from strangers but that doesn't mean they don't hurt my feelings.

"I'm not always strong enough to deal with the negativity but having Alin by my side definitely helps. I like Alin always cares how I feel; he is super careful and considerate about my feelings."

Alin refers to Maria as a 'real sunshine' and hopes others can see how happy she makes him too.

In their spare time do "regular couple things" such as the cinema, festivals, and dinner dates. Maria said: "We may look 'different' to your average couple but we are normal.

"Our relationship isn't any different from one involving two people who are the same weight. I hope our story encourages other people to accept there are people that love each other regardless of appearance. Love doesn't judge."

Dating expert Emyli, Lovz, who is based in San Francisco, encourages people to "challenge" their beliefs when it comes to dating and question why they ever had a "type" in the first place.

She said: "For people who are perhaps dating someone who isn't "stereotypically" their type I recommend that they become confident in their relationship. A relationship without 100 percent authenticity will not flourish or last.

"When we can't live authentically we also do ourselves a huge discredit. It's opening a door to unhappiness. When we 100 percent own who we are including whom we choose to have a relationship with we create better relationships and inner peace. Work on gaining inner confidence and letting go of what others think. When you do this you'll create the inner peace and confidence to date someone outside of your "norm."