Nudging boyfriend towards fashionableness?
June 1, 2011 9:16 AM Subscribe
How can I communicate to my boyfriend that I think he should make an effort to improve his appearance?
posted by fugitivefromchaingang to human relations (43 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend is hypersensitive about the way he looks, and reacts defensively to suggestions about clothes or other self-presentation suggestions. And, honestly, he does not have very good taste. It has always been thus, and I've always sort of gone back and forth on whether it's a big deal to me or not.
However, he came back from a job interview yesterday, and he was wearing the most gawdawful shirt ever. Shiny crayon blue artificial fabric grossness. I thought to myself, this is getting to the point of self-sabotage. Hopefully the interviewers were only considering his skills, abilities, and resume, but that's probably wishful thinking. This is an important job and it would help his career and if he got it I would be moving with him.
I want to talk to him about this, to maybe go shopping with him and help him pick out some new stuff, and just generally try to get him going in the direction of taking more pride in his appearance and making better choices. In the past, though, he's reacted very defensively to my comments. He claims a) Who am I to advise him? b) The choices he makes are fine and c) It shouldn't matter how he looks, what matters are his skills and personality and good inner qualities and all that. I think there's a d), though, behind all that: he thinks he's hopeless lookswise and doesn't even want to try.
Other things you might need to know:
-- We're a gay male couple in our late 20s, live together in Austin, been together almost 3 years.
-- I am not really fashionable myself and I hate shopping, but I like to look good and I'm also athletic, which I think helps (he's not).
-- We don't have a ton of money.
-- He has (has always had) the same pair of glasses that are just plain ugly. And while sometimes I don't care, there are times when I just resent him for not even trying. Maybe that's normal, maybe that's just a part of a long-term relationship, like the days when you can't stand that your boyfriend left dishes in the sink. But... it's something that I want to work on with him.