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7 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2008 - 12:18AM #1
Blood_Bound
Posts: 14
Here's the deal; I would like to see my boyfriend put a little effort into his looks like maybe shaving a bit more often so his face doesn't look as hairy, taking a little more care of his skin etc. But I want to do this in a way that doesn't seem offending (if possible). And my looks aren't perfect, no, but I do the best I can to keep myself "presentable" so it's not like I expect him to do something that I don't bother to do... So if anyone could give me some advice on how to get my boyfriend to take better care of himself without sounding like a jerk that would be very much appreciated. Thanks.
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2008 - 2:48AM #2
Hatman
Posts: 9,634
BB-
If you frame this by stating how his appearance affects YOU, without using the "you" word toward HIM, this may give him a chance to see what it is you would like, without giving him cause for taking offense, or for reacting defensively.  There's a process that you may find helpful in communicating; if interested, let me know, and I'll direct you to a DG wherein you can learn about "impact statements" and "tracking the resistance."  In the meantime, you might pick up a clue or three by reading "What Shamu Taught Me About A Happy Marriage."

It's akin to someone with terrible B.O..  How do you tell someone that they stink and make it unoffensive?  Leave soap and deodorant in their cubicle/locker?  Take up a petition, so he can see it's not just you as has a problem?  Physically tackling the offender with 4 or more allies and scrubbing him with scrub brushes?

Sometimes you have to do what's necessary, not what's kind or expedient.

But I hope that the first paragraph may give you food for thought.

Warmest regards-

Hatman
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2008 - 9:18AM #3
KatherineOrthodixie
Posts: 3,689
This kind of thing is always tricky. My grandmother had an excellent method, however (which I didn't figure out for years - lol!). When you were wearing something that she approved of or looked nice (to her way of thinking) she would lavishly compliment you. When you didn't, she never said a word.
“The Law of the Church is to give oneself to what is given not to seek one’s own.” Fr. Alexander Schmemann
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2008 - 9:48AM #4
ArnieBeeGut
Posts: 1,407
Blood_Bound,

You have received some great advice from Hatman and Katherine (whose grandmother's technique is essentially the "Shamu" one in Hatman's reference).

If there is still a desire to be more direct, it is effective to get clear on which parts of the appearance have a tangible impact on you and which are simply differences in taste.  To make sure that you stick to things that are seen and observed, and not what are judgments.  Maybe you would be willing to express what it is about the hairy face that is not acceptable.

Blessings,
Arnie
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 25, 2008 - 1:51AM #5
red_verge
Posts: 73
Hmmm... I don't know about this. Only because when I was younger, I was in a similar situation. I had a boyfriend who never, EVER gave a thought to how he looked AT ALL. And he really needed to. He'd wear ripped clothes, and pants that were way too short, and he was always clean, but he was just CARELESS about grooming, with this really natty beard. Not to mention that he smoked like three packs a day, so he always smelled horrifying. I, on the other hand, would spend hours, HOURS, getting myself ready to go study at the library, let alone see him. We're talking straightening my hair, curling my eyelashes, very carefully coordinating my outfits down to the last detail- everything you imagine a terribly insecure crazy girl might do. And like the original poster, not that I thought I was so devastatingly gorgeous (in fact, I thought I was hideously ugly), but I learned how to work on myself enough that I could look amazing when I made the effort. And as much as I really loved and cared about this guy, it was always such a disappointment to me, after I'd spent about four to five hours getting myself ready from start to finish and tried to look really good for my boyfriend, to see this slovenly guy who had taken no similar preparations for my benefit. It was disappointing, and further, it was embarrassing. My family and friends couldn't believe that I was breaking my ass to look beautiful for this guy. My mother barely let me invite him for dinner because she said the cigarette smell was so nauseating she couldn't be around him for more than a few minutes. Several of my friends told me that he looked like a hobo. I myself noticed that when we were out together, we would get strange looks, because from outside appearances, the two of us together just didn't make sense.

And the worst part was that there was no subtle way to let him know. I told him that I didn't like the smoking because I was concerned about his health. He gave me some BS excuse about why he didn't want to stop. I would always be telling him, "You have cream cheese in your beard," or "You're going to burn your facial hair with your cigarette," and he'd just be all, "Oh, honey, you're so sensitive" and LEAVE THE F-ING CREAM CHEESE OR CIGARETTE ASH IN HIS BEARD UNTIL I PHYSICALLY WIPED IT OFF. I went so far as to buy him a couple of new things I thought would fit. I don't think he ever wore them.

Finally, I had to sit him down one evening while we were at dinner at a restaurant and talk to him straight up about this problem. The final straw was that I had tried to alert him that the seal from the butter packet was stuck to his shirt sleeve, and he told me to stop being so sensitive, as he usually did. So I just came out with it. No fake concern. No subtlety. No hints. I said, "You know, I'm not sure if you're aware, but it's very important to me that you find me attractive, and as such I spend a very long time making myself look pretty so that you'll notice. And frankly, it makes me feel really insulted and disrespected when I've spent about five hours exfoliating and lotioning my skin and shaving all my body hair and straightening my hair and curling my eyelashes and making sure my make-up is perfect and that my sweaters are soft enough and match my pants which match my shoes which match my bag and making sure I look PERFECT for you, and you show up having made no effort whatsoever and you look like someone else's ass. You need to show me a little more respect by showing me that you want to make yourself look as nice for me as I do for you."

Needless to say, he was stunned. After a while (by which point I had already taken the butter seal off his shirt), he said, "Honey, you don't have to do all that for me, I think you're beautiful all the time" which another girl would have been like, "Awwwwwwwwww," but I immediately saw it for the excuse it was. I said, "But the thing is, I want to. I'm making the effort because I care about how I look for you. I'd appreciate it if I could see that you cared about how you looked for me. That you WANTED to look better for me." What followed was a very strange dinner.

But yet, the following week, the beard was gone. From that time until the time we broke up, he started to slowly look better. (Of course, we broke up for other reasons, namely that he was CA-RAZY, but it was good that the appearance was less of an issue. And just for the hell of it, I looked him up on Facebook a few moments ago, and OH MY GOD. He looks WORSE THAN EVER. JESUS ALMIGHTY.)

So the point of that long-winded saga was that sometimes, if something is upsetting to you, you have to just say so. Especially with appearance. It might sound shallow, but the truth is, men are allowed to nitpick and criticize women's appearances all the time, leaving women to feel like they need to look a certain way in order to appease a man and never feeling like they have the same agency to have their own physical preferences. Women are expected to age gracefully and mirror airbrushed photographs on a daily basis. Why the hell can't you tell your boyfriend or husband if his boobs are getting bigger than yours, or if his hair looks stupid? You can. And you should.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 27, 2008 - 8:17PM #6
BethK
Posts: 286
How about just upping and asking him?  My hubby was not messy but was odd.  One simple conversation and it was fixed.  He had an overbearing mom that over- dictated how he needed to be presented. So now, when he didn't have to, he didn't.  One short conversation about me enjoying him in my favorite outfit for him which included my favorite cologne and a baby-butt-smooth face every now and then solved half the problem.  The other half was solved by me readjusting my expectations.  He's a great guy who loves me like crazy and treats me like a queen.  The rest is all just secondary.
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 28, 2008 - 4:24AM #7
bethanygm
Posts: 29
[QUOTE=Blood_Bound;583225]Here's the deal; I would like to see my boyfriend put a little effort into his looks like maybe shaving a bit more often so his face doesn't look as hairy, taking a little more care of his skin etc. But I want to do this in a way that doesn't seem offending (if possible). And my looks aren't perfect, no, but I do the best I can to keep myself "presentable" so it's not like I expect him to do something that I don't bother to do... So if anyone could give me some advice on how to get my boyfriend to take better care of himself without sounding like a jerk that would be very much appreciated. Thanks.[/QUOTE]


Why does this illicit such a strong response from you??? I recently learned that when something cause me to react strongly to it, I probably needed to look into a figurative mirror. What bothers you so much about this?? What do you hate about his lack of .. grooming>?
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 28, 2008 - 10:28AM #8
Willowsmith
Posts: 40
I fear I agree with the above post, a relationship is all about compromise. If he is not a health hazard but is not polished is that simply a problem with how you see him or is it that you feel he is lazy and that is the problem? Take a step back and figure out exactally what you have a problem with then if it is something you feel is a real problem that you will not be able to overcome then just be open and honest with him avoiding the YOU when referring to him. Make it about you, do not accuse or state it is something he is not doing. Point out what you think he would look good in or that you like certain guy scents on the market when you shop with him. He may get the hint, or not, but it really shouldn't matter too much if he doesn't because it should be more about how you feel about each other deeper then appearance. Of course this is all IMHO ;).
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 29, 2008 - 4:20PM #9
TiwazPaladin2
Posts: 51
[QUOTE=Tolerant Sis;653062] And nothing sends him running to the bathroom to shave like "Wow, hon, you have quite a few more grays in that beard than you did last time I looked."[/QUOTE]

Ouch. Dirty pool, that. :)
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7 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2008 - 10:12AM #10
DAH54
Posts: 3,318
Obviously I don't know you are your boyfriend but many men have a condition called pseudofolliculitis barbae, this makes shaving daily painful for them. The only sure cure is not to shave daily, perhaps this is why he does not?

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