How much does beauty matter?
June 11, 2012 9:45 PM Subscribe
“You’re gonna like the way you look… I guarantee it..." My long term partner thinks he's better looking than me, and admitted it.
posted by kettleoffish to Human Relations (64 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Beauty is a weird thing. With the right person, looks don’t matter, or they aren't supposed to. But they can be nice to have and nice to be with. I’ve always really found my partner really beautiful looking as a human being, in addition to being really beautiful inside. So I just tell him that when I can. But my partner doesn’t do this to the same extent, and maybe he can’t.
Some background: Not long ago, we were watching that Louis C.K. skit where Louis C.K. is explaining how he’s not the kind of guy that women like for his looks alone, I turned to my partner and I pretty much told him how cute I thought it was when we first met and had our first date. He didn’t really reply or anything but when pressed, he said that he liked me. But the sense I got was that he wasn’t as impressed—which had actually been my impression during that first date.
By the same token, I’ve noticed that when I complain about looking bad, he never says, “you look great,” he just says, “don’t worry about it.” Which is technically the correct response—I shouldn’t worry—but sometimes I just want to know that he’s out there and he cares.
So I asked him about it, up front, especially since I no longer have time to do my hair and whatnot like I did when we were first dating, because I’m busy actually living my life.
To my horror, my partner confessed he tries to say he finds me pretty and beautiful, and he feels attracted to me, but it's not an important aspect of our relationship. He said that it’s not that he “definitely thinks of it” as “I’m not as objectively good looking as him. “ Thus it's hard for him to say how he feels about how I look. He said he is very attracted to me, reminded me of times that he has said I’m pretty. He asked me, if he were slightly better looking than me, would it really matter if he was still attracted to me?
There are two issues here. 1) The security that I felt that my partner was happy with me.... Sort of lessened now. Seriously, before this, I completely assumed that my partner was as into me as I am to him. I did not ever guess that there were issues like this—him liking me despite my looks instead of because of them.
2) I feel this is a weird element of unbalance that has been introduced to the relationship. It’s like if one of us had 20 more IQ points on the other or grossed 1,000,000 dollars more per year.
Is there any way I can let go of the anxiety and insecurity this is causing me? How do I talk to him about this? And how common is this?
Any thoughts would be appreciated.