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Is this a very shallow reason for breakup?
February 25, 2014 12:14 AM   Subscribe

I have been dating my girlfriend for couple of months. I think she is caring and very smart. I have two problems with her that to me seem very shallow however it seems that they still matter to me.

When I met this girl I thought she was sexy and reasonably beautiful. I still think she is in a very good shape but I do not think that her face is that beautiful. Obviously if I want to rank her beauty compared to other people I dated before, she is going to fall at the bottom. Now this has not bothered me in the beginning of our relationship but now that I have seen her without makeup many times (after 6 months) I feel it influences my relationship with her. Another think that bothers me about her is her not using deodorant that much. She just seems to believe in her self so much that she believes her natural odors should be ok. For example she forgets to cleanup before I go down on her and I sometimes lose my erection when she does not smell good down there. I wanted to ask her to do it couple of times but I am afraid I might hurt her feelings. Dont get me wrong, she is in general very clean. I think because she is very confident she thinks she is so sexy that a little smell should not turn me off. Reality is it does turn me off. In the beginning it did not influence me that much but now after couple of months it does. Should I assume that I do not love her since I think like this? I had difficulties with my exes before her. However, there were completely different categories. I kind of feel ashamed about asking this question or even thinking about breakup for these reasons.
posted by mbn1455 to Human Relations (50 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You don't need permission or a logical reason to break up with someone, especially with someone you have only been dating for a couple of months and presumably have not promised the moon. If you think she's too homely and stinky to make you happy, that's good enough. Don't make a big production about it. Move on. Just be nice about it.
posted by pracowity at 12:25 AM on February 25 [12 favorites]


Think what you want to think. You can't control who you're attracted to or not attracted to. It's not a defect in you or her.

Move on. When you fall in love, that person is the most beautiful person in the world to you. And it's not just physical beauty. It's the whole person.

She deserves better. You should not get so deeply involved with someone until they've met your "sta ndards". Good luck with that, by the way. Your dating universe is now way smaller and you'll miss out on some quality people. But don't force yourself to feel what you don't feel.
posted by inturnaround at 12:41 AM on February 25 [7 favorites]


I am a bit confused. You asked a question about your girlfriend about two months ago where you were worried about your girlfriend's sexual past and whether she was trying to trap you into having children. Is this the same girlfriend?

I honestly think you should break up with her. I have a number of reasons why.

1. I don't think communication works between the two of you.
2. I don't think you trust her or like her. This is not how a healthy relationship works.

Another good reason why you should break up with her is that you need to figure out if you actually want a relationship. A healthy relationship is built upon respect and trust - and I honestly think you need to work on both those aspects.

So, yes, break up with her and start working on yourself for a while.

You write about her not meeting your standards. Unfortunately you will be judged in the same way by other people (and not just appearance standards - also emotional and interpersonal standards) - keep that in mind.
posted by kariebookish at 12:47 AM on February 25 [21 favorites]


Here's what it comes down to:

1. Talk to her about the stuff above.
2. Break up with her.


It isn't a crime to break up with somebody because you're not attracted to them. But please, whatever you do, do not tell her she has an unattractive face, or that you're dumping her for not being attractive enough. Don't bring attractiveness into it at all. That will only hurt her. My dad once told me that you never forget anything that anybody has ever said about your appearance, and the older I get the more I see he was right. She will get over you. But she may never completely get over getting dumped for having an unattractive face.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:15 AM on February 25 [82 favorites]


If you think she smells bad and has an ugly face, I don't think this is going to go anywhere. That's pretty basic stuff to dislike about a person.

If you were into her, she could smell and look the exact same way and you'd love it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc etc etc. I think probably you're not that attracted to her (maybe because of other things, like your personalities don't mesh) and that's turning you off when you're hooking up or even when you're just around her. That's not something to have a moral crisis about, there's no law saying you have to date someone you're not attracted to, and there's no law saying you have to be attracted to this particular woman. Martyring yourself on the alter of Not Being Shallow is a horrible reason to stay together, so I think you should break up.

When you do, though, I agree that you should leave her looks totally out of it. First of all, because you're not The Authority on looks anyway, there's no reason to think that just because you aren't attracted to her she's categorically unattractive. Second of all, you're already breaking up with her, no need to add insult to injury. And that's a pretty bad insult, to have your (ex-)boyfriend say you're smelly and your face is a turnoff. She'd never forget that, it would probably give her a complex. So, don't be an ass, don't talk about her looks.
posted by rue72 at 1:25 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]


Yeah, break up with her, that's ok, but don't tell her what you've told us here. No possible good can come of it. Make up another reason.
posted by modernnomad at 2:30 AM on February 25 [11 favorites]


I wanted to ask her to do it couple of times but I am afraid I might hurt her feelings.

Let me to start off a bit bitingly before I get to my point: You're going to dump your girlfriend to protect her from communicating with her? To avoid bringing up a delicate subject?

Getting another girlfriend won't fix this - you'll bring this lack of communication to your next relationship and it will consequently run aground on something else. It'll be something completely different, such as endless drama, or whatever, but it sounds like you don't (yet) have the tools to have a good relationship.

Regardless of whether you keep your girlfriend or not, you're not going to have fantastic relationships when you struggle to communicate. (And people are going to get hurt). The good news is, communication is a skill you can develop. Especially communication about uncomfortable or delicate topics. No-one is born with it. It will make your life a lot easier in so many ways the better you become at it. So; work on being better at this. It's a good investment in your future happiness (and the happiness of those around you.)

As to the current girlfriend, sure, it's shallow, but it's also important to be attracted, and when there are no higher obligations (kids, warring kingdoms to unite through matrimony, whatever) people should use that opportunity to find people to be with that they like, respect, and are attracted too. And people should be with people who like, respect, and are attracted to them right back.

Don't worry about what's shallow. Worry whether you want to be with this person (if you don't want to be with them, you won't be doing them a favor by staying and pretending something that is false).
Worry about how you were unable to handle a minor bump in a relationship, and about how to grow into someone more capable than that. Don't worry about shallow.
posted by anonymisc at 2:46 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]


The answer to your question is that yeah, your reasons sound a bit shallow, but so what?

I mean, If the internet decides your reasons are indeed shallow, are you not gonna break up with her? Why?

I think the problem is not that you are being shallow, the problem is that you are not attracted to her (or at least not enough). Do not stay because you don't want to come across as shallow. Don't stay because you feel your reasons for breaking up are somehow 'invalid'. If you're not feeling it, you're not feeling it.

I also agree that you shouldn't tell her you think she's ugly and smelly when you do break up with her. Or say that she's unattractive. Or imply that she is by saying you're not attracted to her. Just break up. You don't need to give a reason and sometimes not citing a (or the) reason is the more compassionate thing to do.

And for future reference: Stuff like washing up is something you can talk about. No big deal.
posted by leopard-skin pill-box hat at 2:49 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


Now this has not bothered me in the beginning of our relationship but now that I have seen her without makeup many times (after 6 months) I feel it influences my relationship with her.

I think you need to recalibrate your standards a bit here. Either you end up with the kind of 50's housewife who would wake up before you to slap her makeup on so you never see her with her naked face, or you will have to reconcile yourself with the fact that real women have pores and pimples and don't look effortlessly perfect without a certain amount of work. Not even actresses and models.
posted by sukeban at 3:01 AM on February 25 [61 favorites]


It is incredibly shallow. But, here's the thing, if you were really into her, you either wouldn't care or you'd be able to bring it up with her without considering dumping her over it. You're just not that into her. It's okay. Move on.
posted by heyjude at 3:05 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


Break up with her.

But one of the things that jumps out at me from your question is that you sound really negative about her self confidence. And that makes me change me answer to break up with her NOW before you give in to the temptation to damage it. It sounds like you're both really young, maybe late teens or early twenties, and a young woman who feels that comfortable in her own skin is a pretty awesome thing.
posted by instamatic at 3:19 AM on February 25 [90 favorites]


Your second reason is not shallow, though it's something that could be fixed with communication (awkward communication, but still). Your first reason is super, duper shallow -- seeing women look different without makeup is a fact of life you're going to have to get used to if you want long-term intimacy.

However, you have my permission to break up with her for these things. Or for anything else, or for nothing at all. Not every relationship is fate. If I were totally honest with myself, I'd have to say I broke up with some really terrific men for some shallow reasons -- one was too short, one gave me flowers after I said I didn't like flowers, one dressed himself like an idiot and went jogging in dress shoes, one had sweaty eyelids all the time. Like I said, not everyone is fate and not every relationship needs the drastic Hollywood sacrifice we're told is the norm.

You sound young and I suspect that time will help you accommodate your ideas of what women and relationships "should" be like. But whatever you do, keep women off pedestals and don't expect perfection because, if the woman in question is like me, she'll dump you faster than if you were short and sweaty and jogging over to me in dress shoes to bring me flowers. Good luck!
posted by mibo at 3:26 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I'm a little disturbed to be honest. Women are under such pressure that it kind of sucks when she is comfortable enough to show you her face and you're all you're ugly. Everyone is all if it's right you'll think she's beautiful no matter what but if you&re shallow I don't think that's the case or you watch too many romcoms. The second issue can be talked about. I'm not suggesting you stay with her but maybe you should try being a little kinder to the fact real women have real faces under the make-up.
posted by Aranquis at 3:53 AM on February 25 [11 favorites]


If you'd been seeing her longer, I'd say tell her your concerns about her scent. After two months, though, I'm not sure it's worth it. But, it's true: if you're hung up on her looks, she'd do better to find someone who isn't (no offense)!
posted by little_dog_laughing at 3:53 AM on February 25


While i feel that you need to disavow yourself of the idea that reasons to break up with someone need to hit some legal burden of proof type of "reasonable person" standard, i also think this is really weird nit picky stuff.

Like, is it completely unrelatable to me? no, not at all. But it's also the kind of thing that you'll only focus in on or nitpick with when it's a person you have utterly no attraction to.

So while i think the right thing to do here is break up(Yes, seriously, do it! rip the bandaid off!) i think some introspection is recommended as to why you let a relationship get half a year and some change in with someone that you were just really meh on, who you rank at the bottom of attractiveness of people you've dated and are attracted to and care about so little that you can write a big paragraph about how unattractive they smell.

Because, yea. Those are the kinds of things you generally just naturally drift away from someone and organically quit talking to them on after at most, a couple dates and maybe a couple fucks.

Someone whose time you would not be wasting by dating for the better part of a year, you wouldn't be thinking the sort of things your thinking about is my point. I'm trying my hardest not to be a wiener here, but i really hope some reflection on that is taken away from this experience.

Oh yea, and for fucks sake use mikos script or something. Don't bring ANY of this shit up during the breakup.
posted by emptythought at 3:53 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]


Break up with her. She deserves to have someone who thinks she's sexy as is, and who believes in her as much as she believes in herself.

Even shallow reasons for breaking up are valid reasons; if you don't feel it, you don't feel it. But if you want to be in a healthy long-term relationship, you need to grow up a bit about your expectations. Women smell sometimes. And even the gorgeous ones don't look hot all the time.
posted by Metroid Baby at 4:06 AM on February 25 [12 favorites]


All is fair in love and war

you don't need ANY reason at all - especially in a two month relationship.
If it doesn't feel right, for whatever reason - end it
posted by Flood at 4:19 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


I broke up with a guy once because I didn't find his face attractive.

We dated for several months and he was wonderful. Just a fantastic boyfriend and human being. But I just couldn't reconcile not being attracted to him with how I felt about him and I started to resent him. How dare he be so awesome and I can't even be attracted to him, right? I realized it was unfair of me to continue the relationship when I was resenting him for a completely asinine reason, so I broke up with him.

It sucks. It happens. You feel how you feel and you can't really help that. The best you can do is end it (nebulous reason, like "I'm not feeling as strongly about this as I'd like to") and BE NICE.
posted by phunniemee at 4:48 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


(For the people speculating about the OP's age, his previous question states that he's 35.)

About the "she's not that pretty without makeup" part - I'd recommend that you take a few minutes and watch a couple of full-face makeup tutorials from beauty gurus on YouTube. They'll quickly show you that even -- perhaps especially -- the women whose "finished product" faces you find to be nearly FLAWLESS look incredibly different before they put their makeup on. You mention that your problems in past relationships have been very different, so I'll assume that you didn't mind seeing previous girlfriends without their makeup... is it possible that your current girlfriend actually wears more makeup on a daily basis than your exes did, making the contrast between her made-up self and her bare-faced self more jarring?

About the second issue: I'll just say that even if you break up with your current girlfriend, I think you need to spend some time thinking about how to address issues like this from now on. It does seem like a pretty minor issue to choose as a near-dealbreaker when it's something you could address with a quick-but-gentle conversation.
posted by Pizzarina Sbarro at 4:50 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Nthing it's a shallow reason, but you're allowed to break up with her for any reason that you want. You don't need to grit your teeth and force yourself to be with someone.

But I would definitely suggest that you accept that what women look like without make up is what they're supposed to look like, because... that's what they look like.

(Didn't OP say it's been 6 months rather than 2?)
posted by Enchanting Grasshopper at 4:52 AM on February 25 [5 favorites]


Well, yes, of course you're hilariously shallow in your reasoning. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't break up with her. Shallow reasons are still reason enough. You're not doing each other any favors by trying to force a relationship with someone that it seems you don't particularly like. Frankly, you'd be doing her a favor (she probably deserves better), if that helps you justify dumping her. Just... you know... try not to be a jerk about it when you do. Telling her that you're just not as into her as you once were should be be enough.

And yes, what Enchanting Grasshopper said. Women without makeup look like... what they actually look like. If you're not attracted to women who don't airbrush themselves before stepping outside in the morning, well... yikes. Good luck with that.
posted by JimBJ9 at 4:57 AM on February 25 [6 favorites]


It is time to get on the next train- today preferably. Sleeping with someone you think is ugly and smells is not healthy for you or them.
posted by bkeene12 at 5:00 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


She deserves someone who thinks she's beautiful and sweet-smelling. Let her go.
posted by tchemgrrl at 5:11 AM on February 25 [15 favorites]


I kind of feel ashamed about asking this question or even thinking about breakup for these reasons.

If hygiene was the only issue in an otherwise good relationship and you chose breaking up without even attempting to address the problem, I would say you should go with those feelings of shame. Dealing with issues is part of the standard relationship package and you tanked the whole thing over a problem that might have been eliminated with one conversation. Why taunt the Fates?

Breaking up because you aren't attracted to her 6 months into the relationship is in another category, i.e., you have discovered irreparable damage during the shakedown phase. I hope it goes without saying that you do not make any reference whatsoever to not being attracted to her when you break up. Come up with a brief, reasonable "it's not you, it's me" explanation.

I think part of the reason you're getting grief is that you went into so much unnecessary detail. Physical attraction is a critical factor in establishing relationships and if desire fades before other bonds are in place, the relationship is probably doomed. It's such a miserable, hurtful process. Reading "her face is not beautiful", remarks about seeing her without makeup and how she "ranks" among your past girlfriends, reminded me of zoom-in shots of train wrecks.
posted by she's not there at 5:14 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


I don't think it is shallow at all, you are who you are and you like what you like. Physical attraction is a spectrum and almost all of us draw a line somewhere. To say that your line makes you shallow seems arbitrary. I suspect that maybe you don't have a real handle on what you want in a partner but at this point you know it isn't her. I agree with all who are saying move on, it is probably best for you and certainly best for her.
posted by InkaLomax at 5:22 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


You should probably break up. I don't think you really want to be with her, and you have my permission to break up now, be for this drags on further.

But. Learning to communicate about things is an important relationship skill that you don't have. Wanting her to wear deodorant could be one of those things.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:29 AM on February 25


When I met my now-husband, his looks barely registered on my radar. Once I got to know him, he became (and remains) the most gorgeous guy I've ever seen. If you don't find this girl beautiful, then she is not the girl for you.
posted by amro at 5:31 AM on February 25 [12 favorites]


The problem isn't breaking up with someone that you're not attracted to; the problem is getting into a relationship with someone you're not attracted to. You will not learn to find her attractive. End this quickly.
posted by spaltavian at 5:56 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


The whole "She deserves better" and pointing the "you are shallow" fingers are grossly unfair and just plain wrong. You deserve to be with someone who makes you happy, as does she. For whatever reasons, you are not happy. It doesn't matter one bit whether you or I or anyone else thinks your reasons are shallow. You are not happy. You deserve to be happy.

Frankly, the odor issue is a serious one. If it's a dealbreaker for you and you don't feel you can (or want) to talk to her about it, that is absolutely ok. There are probably people who will think she smells just fine. You don't have to pretend, and you don't have to feel bad about it.

If your feelings for her were really strong, if you loved her, you would find a way to communicate with her. You are not obligated to love her, but if you don't love her, you are obligated to break up so you can both move on and, with luck, find great relationships.
posted by Dolley at 6:14 AM on February 25 [4 favorites]


Yes you should break up with her - you're obviously not into her so stop wasting her time.

In addition, your reasons are incredibly shallow and if you want lasting relationships moving forward, you're going to have to reframe the way you think about women. If she is a little stinky, it's challenging but not that hard to find a way to gently and sweetly tell her that. As for thinking her face is the "bottom" of all the women you've dated, that's super fucked up. I have never compared the faces of my girlfriends and ranked who is on the top or the bottom, and frankly, if you want to get along with humans going forward, I recommend you work hard to stop thinking this way.
posted by latkes at 6:28 AM on February 25 [23 favorites]


Honestly, it kind of sounds to me like you're not into her, and you're sort of casting around for reasons to justify it. If it really was about the deodorant, I think you could address that. But she's not going to change the way she looks without makeup, and the whole thing about her thinking she's too sexy to care that she smells bad suggests that you've got some deeper issues with her personality. I can't evaluate whether those are reasonable issues or not, because I don't know either of you. But I think I can sense from this question that you're not feeling the way about her that someone should feel about a romantic partner, and you'll save both of you a lot of grief if you get out now.

I do think that it's worth asking yourself whether your standards are reasonable and whether they're conducive to a happy long-term relationship. But I think that's a separate issue from what you should do about this relationship.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:35 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


The odor issue is far, far from shallow. This would be a dealbreaker for me. That said, I do think it would be terrific for you to share your concerns re: hygiene with her if you can muster it. I know it will be awkward and uncomfortable, but you could be saving her a world of hurt down the line. Trust me: no one is going to think her unwashed, smelly crotch is appealing. No one.

The beauty issue sounds a bit shallow as you've framed it, but who cares? It's important to be attracted to your partner and if you're not to her, then that's that. (Of course, it is worth remembering that any woman you're in a long-term relationship with will sometimes be around you without makeup, but if you just don't think she's pretty that's perfectly okay.)
posted by schroedingersgirl at 6:35 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Since you directly asked in your title, I'll say that I do think it is very shallow to "rank" your girlfriends' faces (and I think that the bit about disliking how she looks without makeup sounds immature). You would be doing yourself a favor if you worked on not comparing people that way. However, like everyone else here, I still think you should break up with her, because you're allowed to break up for whatever reason and nobody wants to be with someone who thinks they're smelly and not beautiful (nor should you have to be with someone you think that way about!).

I'm kind of curious as to why you wanted our opinion on whether or not you were being shallow, though. Were you planning on staying with this woman if we all told you that you were? It seems fairly obvious that you're not into her either way, so why would you put yourself (and her) through that? You talk about this woman having a lot of self-confidence, but I'm wondering a little about your own levels - you deserve to be able to trust your own judgment enough to know that if something matters to you, it's okay to act on that. Maybe in addition to working on your communication skills as a few others have suggested, once you break things off with this woman you would do well to work on your own confidence and sense of self.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:10 AM on February 25 [3 favorites]


Shallowness is, I think, the wrong word, here. Absolutely, if you don't find someone attractive, don't be with them! That's fine. But I think if you need to look at anything, going forward, it's the fact that you can't just come out and say: I don't find this girl attractive, so I think we need to split up and I feel bad about that. The stuff about makeup and whatever starts to speak to the question of just what standards you actually have for women, and it doesn't matter at all if your standards are shallow--what matters is whether they're actually reasonable enough that you're going to be able to find SOMEONE who lives up to them long-term. If they aren't, then the trouble isn't that you're shallow, it's that you're going to be lonely! Are any of these things that have come up in previous relationships? That's what I'd look for. If you're regularly finding that you think less of women when you're actually seeing them the morning after, when you're dealing with morning breath and the prospect of having sex before showering first thing, then you might look into trying to actually get used to these things, broaden your horizons, and so on.

But if every other relationship has ended for totally different reasons and you meet someone else and have none of these same problems, then your standards are totally fine, even if they aren't the same as my standards, because they work for you. Only worry about them if they aren't working. Instead, you're way, way overthinking this. Most people who are attracted to women are not going to mind if they occasionally smell a bit more like themselves, it is not some kind of moral failing to allow that to happen, but it doesn't need to be a moral failing for it to be a thing that doesn't work for you. It's okay for her to just not be your type. She will be someone else's type, so let her go find that person.
posted by Sequence at 7:27 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I do not think the smell thing is shallow. Atraction is a a mystery and in some ways based on chemicals. I like the way my man smells to distraction. Sure he needs a shower at times but it is never a run the other way turn off.
posted by Playswithdirt at 7:36 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


I guess I'm in the minority here, but I think you should bring up the odor issue with her. She might not be aware of how bad it is. Despite what people have said above, bad body-odor or breath-odor will be a turnoff for the vast majority of potential lovers, and you'll be doing her a favor by gently (GENTLY!) pointing it out. Odor is a very fundamental, visceral sense, and it's hard to get around a bad odor no matter how awesome you think someone is.

As for the face, if the things you don't like are fixable, it's worth a discussion. Acne is curable. Moles can be removed. Etc. If it's something fundamental -- like the basic shape of her face -- then it's not worth embarrassing her over it, bcs there's nothing she can do about it. Chances are she'll meet some guy who doesn't care about the shape of her face, or who likes her particular shape.
posted by phoenix_rising at 8:08 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


Please please please please please please please do not give her a list of "flaws" for her to "fix" so that she is more dateable. Please do not ask her to undertake acne treatment or remove moles. Please please please just break up with this woman who, according to your question history, you have never for one moment liked or respected.

Then, when you have broken up with her, you need to start thinking about why you spent six months with someone you found fundamentally appalling, and start working on your feelings about women in general, because it sounds like you might have a lot of ... problematic... ideas about what a woman should be like. (Never have sex with anyone but you, never be friends with exes, never ever be without makeup...these are not realistic attitudes toward women, and in fact are highly damaging.)
posted by like_a_friend at 8:54 AM on February 25 [39 favorites]


Edited to add: even if this is not the same woman (it's unclear from the timelines you've given), it just means you've carried some troubling attitudes about women from one relationship to the next. Advice stands: break up with this woman and work on yourself a while.
posted by like_a_friend at 8:56 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


You actually felt compelled to ask about this and list all the things you find undesirable about her? Umm. You aren't attracted to her -- so dump her. You are allowed to reserve the right to date only people you feel attracted to. That doesn't make anyone a bad person. And she deserves a boyfriend who is actually attracted to her. Just break up with her, but for the love of god, do not tell her (or anyone else) the stuff you listed in this question. Keep everything you said here to yourself.

Also, you need to understand that women are human beings, not sex goddesses or whatever, and they look like normal people without makeup. Whether you're into this girl or not is irrelevant -- you shouldn't be disgusted by seeing a woman without make-up. Seems like you need to appreciate women more as people. Make some female friends or something.
posted by AppleTurnover at 9:03 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


I remember your previous question and I stand by my answer from that one: break up with this girl and make some women friends before you date again. Your problem here and your problem there seem to be rooted in Not Knowing Enough Women. Assuming this is the same girl, the problem with her isn't her face or her body - it's that she has a bizarro world timeline about relationships that is justifiably unpleasant to you but which you don't seem to feel confident in disliking. If you know more women, you'll have better parameters for normal dating behavior. Similarly, if you know more women socially, you will have a lot better sense of women as people - and presumably you'll see more women without makeup.

Don't hang out in social circles where all the women wear a lot of make-up all day every day - you need to spend some time around women when they are dressed equivalently to men, with simple clothes and basic grooming, to reset your norms so that you really viscerally understand that makeup goes on top, and how much work it does to change the appearance of the face. (You might want to goof around with stage make-up yourself if you have access to anything like that.) You need to understand that gender performance is work, not a default state. You're certainly free to date only women who put a lot of effort into a feminine appearance (I put a lot of effort into my appearance, but it's so that I can look romantically butch - effort isn't the same as femininity) but if you don't have a real, visceral understanding of this type of femininity as artifice, you're going to be first, disappointed and unsatisfied and second, a total asshole to the women you date.

It sounds like you have trouble being close to this woman - you are easily able to stand back and rank her features (which is creepy!) and you also seem to feel swept along in her inappropriate haste to get serious about the relationship. When you're close to someone, you're not sitting around ranking their features in some minute way - oh, you may idly compare people you've dated in a very trivial way, but not like you're judging cattle. And when you're close to someone you're not unable to tell them to put the brakes on with the marriage business.

This difficulty being close suggests to me that maybe you're not really good at being close to women in general? Again, I suggest working on your friendship mechanisms. I think that can be really hard if you're not socialized into it - it's difficult for me personally to be close to people, so I know it can take thoughtfulness. But just get to know some women - not in a "where is my next girlfriend" way, just "hey, it would be cool to have some women friends" way. Women aren't a monolith, of course, but I think a lot of guys fall down in relationships because they only ever encounter women as purveyors of sex/regulators of relationships. That's not what women are to themselves, and you might want to find out a bit about that.
posted by Frowner at 9:04 AM on February 25 [27 favorites]


When you meet the right person, you won't care about those little things. Not liking or being attracted to the person you are sleeping with is far from trivial or shallow. You deserve to be with someone you're drawn to, and so does she. You both also deserve someone who is into you. Do her a favour and move on so she can find that guy. (I hope that he will also find her confidence an asset rather than a drawback.) Just tell her that something along the lines of "the chemistry isn't right," rather than going into hurtful detail.
posted by rpfields at 10:30 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


You don't respect her AT ALL. I don't say that to shame you, but because you should be self-aware enough not to date someone you don't respect. That's something you should learn as you age. It's a positive thing to develop a sense of who you can respect in a relationship and to end a relationship early if you resent them for being too this or that, or if you're not attracted to them, or don't like the way they smell. Don't say she smells and she's ugly, just move on.
posted by stoneandstar at 10:44 AM on February 25 [1 favorite]


Do her a favor and walk away. There are plenty of guys out there who will appreciate her for who she is. . .she deserves to be with one of them.
posted by Danf at 11:44 AM on February 25 [2 favorites]


Yeah, break up with her... you don't seem like you like her? I can't even tell whether you think she's ugly because you don't like her or you don't like her because you think she's ugly.

Don't tell her it's because of her face or the way she smells. She can't do anything about her face, and if she's going to hear about how she smells it shouldn't be in the context of a breakup from someone who doesn't like her.
posted by mskyle at 12:00 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


Lisa Eldridge is a make up artist with great tutorials that illustrate just what can be achieved. If you Google her, her website will come up. I especially recommend the tutorial on covering blemishes.

Also, you kind of go from deodorant (armpits, right?) to her vag. If you ever have this convo, it needs to be clear whether you want clean/no odor, or you actually want things perfumed (douche) or flavored. The easiest option is 'hey before we play lets BOTH go shower/clean up' and then have fun washing each other as foreplay. I know I appreciate a clean dick.

'She thinks her natural smell is ok...' and you know, for someone else - the right guy for her - it might be! My husband likes a clean body with a little natural scent. It turns him on. Let her go. I would not comment on her looks or scent, just say something like she's a great girl but it's not the right fit for you.

And yes, for heaven's sake, get to know some women as people! Maybe take some gender studies classes at a community college... Will also help with your writing/phrasing, which is part of what made this question seem immature/shallow to me.

It's totally ok to break up with someone you're not attracted to and who has different hygiene standards (and you're just not into). It's the 'ugly without make up and sometimes doesn't smell like roses' that's shallow and immature.
posted by jrobin276 at 1:05 PM on February 25 [2 favorites]


Yeah, btw, I take showers and wear deodorant but I don't do anything special to my genitals, and neither do probably most women. If the smell of her genitals bothers you, you should frame it as something about you IMO (you just prefer a clean up down there before oral, for both of you), rather than thinking there's anything she can do in advance about regular body smells. (If she doesn't shower enough for you, the solution is probably still the same.) I have never dated a guy who asked for me to specifically wash my genitals before oral sex (and I have never asked a guy to do this), so don't assume it's just something about this one girl that is weird. But again I think you really just don't like anything about this woman, so probably just break up for you and her.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:33 PM on February 25 [5 favorites]


For example she forgets to cleanup before I go down on her and I sometimes lose my erection when she does not smell good down there

Do you perfume your balls before she goes down on you?

Thought not. I would never expect a guy to eat me out after a run, for example, or on a really hot day if I hadn't had a shower (although some guys are really into sweat oral sex, and more power to them), but beyond showering, I don't do extra clean-up presex. And I have never met a man who makes sure his junk smells awesome, either.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 3:39 PM on February 25 [7 favorites]


In a relationship, it's okay to say I want to lick you (use your favorite expression) and it's so much more fun when we shower 1st. and it's appropriate for both sexes (well, as many variations of sexy bits as imaginable).
posted by theora55 at 3:50 PM on February 25


I also just read your previous question about this person... friend, what are you doing?

I think I concur with other people that it sounds like you have very little experience with women socially, and this is leading to both you a) thinking you have to put up with bad behaviour (your first question) and b) not really grasping how women naturally look (this question).

I'm going to hazard a guess that you are both from a non-western culture where 'casual dating' with multiple people is not extremely common and there's huge pressure on her to get married now that she's 30. Even if that's the case, there's no reason for you to be with someone you are not happy with.

You've probably both made devastating errors in this relationship, and I think you'd both be happier with a fresh start with someone new. Learn from this, but go out there and find someone you don't feel the need to ask questions to the internet about.
posted by modernnomad at 4:32 PM on February 25


Should I assume that I do not love her since I think like this?
Um, sort of. The fact that instead of asking how you can talk to your girlfriend about things that bother you, you are asking our permission to break up with her is pretty telling. It doesn't really matter if it's shallow or not, because if the opinions of strangers on this subject is meaningful enough to you to sway you one way or the other, the relationship is probably doomed anyway.
posted by sm1tten at 5:13 PM on February 25 [1 favorite]


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