Unhealthily jealous of the attention my girlfriend gets from guys
August 31, 2009 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Guys are always hitting on my girlfriend and making it clear that she is out of my league, how do I stop being jealous MeFi?

(possibly useful background - those who have read my previous questions will know that I have just come out of a very long term relationship)

So I am now seeing a fantastic girl who - without meaning to sound massively insecure - is someone who I have known for just over a year and have always considered to be WAY out of my league. She is beautiful and more like the cheerleader type you always secretly had a crush on in school while I am a rather more scruffy ex skateboarder and I am completely aware that she fell for my personality before my looks. Her longest relationship so far has been two years while mine is eleven.

My biggest problem is that whenever we go out, prior to her introducing me as her boyfriend, guys are always hitting on her. She has done so much to reassure me that she isn't interested but I am having a hard time getting over it. Additionally there are a couple of her exes in her large circle of friends, which makes me slightly uneasy.

Eg one time this guy comes over (friend of a friend of a friend of hers, jock type who is more like the person people would imagine her with) and starts talking directly to her, within a few seconds he is putting his arm around her. She says "by the way this is my boyfriend", he looks at me disbelievingly (a very typical reaction from people who hear the news), and I turn it into a joke ("yeah, she's still recovering from the eye surgery" - true story) and secretly want to punch the guy's face off. Conversation goes stale after this and he moves over to another girl. Another night, her very drunk ex turns up, again not realising that she is with me, grabs her ass and leans in for a kiss. She walked away from him.

On top of this (sorry it's so long) she gets drunk. Like really drunk. I am worried that one day she won't have the strength to resist if I am not there, but at the same time I don't want to tell her not to get drunk as it is issues of control like this that lead me to break up with my ex.

Like i said, she has gone to great lengths to reassure me that I am the only one she wants and that she doesn't perceive a difference in our levels of attractiveness but I can't stop worrying.

I guess there are four problems: 1 my jealousy. 2 her drinking. 3 the way other guys see her. 4 my feelings that I am punching above my weight and that genuinely one day she will get over her eye surgery and leave me. Am I being a crazy jealous freak?
posted by plechazunga to Human Relations (70 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I think there may be a fifth problem in that she seems to not discourage this overly-flirty type of behavior with other men. Most of the women I know would have a huge problem with some guy who is not her SO grabbing her ass in public, ex-boyfriend or not.
posted by LuckySeven~ at 9:58 AM on August 31, 2009 [14 favorites]

1 and 4 are obviously something you can and should work on. Otherwise, it's going to re-haunt you in other relationships throughout your life.

2 you can try to talk to her about. I don't know if you've been dating recently and known each other a year, or dating a year... I also don't get a sense of how old you guys are.

3 you can do absolutely nothing about. You could punchasize their faces, but I think we know that's not going to end well for any parties involved, and really has more to do with 1 and 4.
posted by jerseygirl at 9:58 AM on August 31, 2009

Response by poster: OP here. I should probably add that my notes about her reactions to the two guys hitting on her in the examples are genuine - but my problem is, irrational or not, I wonder if she would have reacted the same way if I had not been there. Additionally I always see guys checking her out on the streets, and initially I actually feel something like pride, but then I feel angry that I am clearly with her and they think it is ok to look at her lecherously. I never had these feelings with my ex but without meaning to sound disrespectful she was not as eyecatchingly Attractive.
posted by plechazunga at 10:00 AM on August 31, 2009

One way to lose her for sure is to keep up with your lack of confidence. Your self-effacing joking is not helping anyone. Instead of the joke, you exhibit a confident look on your face and say nothing. You're practically talking her into seeing someone else.
posted by birdherder at 10:00 AM on August 31, 2009 [58 favorites]

She says "by the way this is my boyfriend", he looks at me disbelievingly (a very typical reaction from people who hear the news), and I turn it into a joke ("yeah, she's still recovering from the eye surgery" - true story)

One of the first things you should do is to stop saying things like this.
posted by ludwig_van at 10:04 AM on August 31, 2009 [22 favorites]

Seconding birdherder.
posted by cloeburner at 10:04 AM on August 31, 2009

Yes, you're being a crazy jealous freak - and you realize it, which is a step in the right direction. You don't trust your girlfriend when she's drinking - is there a precedent for your concern here? Has she cheated on others in the past? Or is this all in your head?

As far as the "she's out of your league sentiment," you need to realize that these people are just dickheads and you need to stop it with the self-deprecation. You have no need to justify the nature of your relationship to anybody.
posted by futureisunwritten at 10:06 AM on August 31, 2009

Seconding ludwig_van. The first thing is to not take the disbelieving looks. There are three words you should learn to these guys who don't believe you're her boyfriend. Repeat them after me. "Fuck off, asshole."
posted by paultopia at 10:07 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: In response to jersey girl - known her for over a year, been dating for about four months, I am 31, she is 28
posted by plechazunga at 10:07 AM on August 31, 2009

You can't police other people, but you can be confident in who you are and let that do the talking. At the end of the day if she wants to see someone else, she will, but don't lead her down that path by not being confident in yourself and your relationship. It's just one of those things that worrying about won't do a damn thing to improve. If someone is continually stepping over the line and she has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with them and has discussed mr. touchy pants with you and asked for you to step in the next time he crosses those boundaries, then you're in a position to break the nose of mr. touchy pants.

You're going to worry yourself out of a relationship about this, so cut it out. Work on your relationship with her and stop worrying about the wandering eyes of other people, and if she wants a little something from someone else and doesn't have the respect for you to call things off first then she's not worth the worry anyway.
posted by iamabot at 10:07 AM on August 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

You've not been with her very long, have you? Look, there's no way to know how this is going to end. Either she proves herself or she doesn't. It's an uncertain world.

If you stay together a good long while, people will recognize that you're together and the hitting on her will taper off a bit. You'll realize she's staying with you because you've got some redeeming qualities you're currently unaware of. You'll realize she's not going to leave you for anyone. She'll get older and slow the drinking.

Chill out and give it some time. Let her know you're jealous. Build an honest relationship and you'll be less worried about what's going on when you're not there.

FWIW, asking a partner to tone down the drinking seems pretty reasonable...I wouldn't want my wife getting completely hammered with strangers for lots of reasons. It puts anyone in a pretty vulnerable position.
posted by paanta at 10:09 AM on August 31, 2009

Girls get hit on. That's just a fact of life and not exclusive to your gf. You're going to have to get more comfortable with that happening, and (really and honestly) trust her to reject the passes, even when you're not around.
Also, there are no "leagues" in dating. Stop thinking she's out of yours.
posted by rocket88 at 10:09 AM on August 31, 2009 [11 favorites]

Also, there are no "leagues" in dating. Stop thinking she's out of yours.

Seconded. If she were out of your league, you wouldn't be with her.
posted by Jaltcoh at 10:12 AM on August 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

Okay, here's the main issue. You don't have the self-confidence to trust your girl. I've dated a number of guys who thought they were "out of my league" and made comments about it and the fastest way for them to get ditched was for them to continually talk about how they weren't good enough for me. Seriously. It's insulting to your girl to question why she's with you. She picked you, she digs you and unless she's made it clear that she doesn't know why either, it's rude and disrespectful for you to continue to question why she's around.

As to the flirting, honestly, there's not much you can do. Guys do this and it's something that she has to address, not you. The most you can do is remember that she did pick you and is going home with you at the end of the night, not these other guys.

But if you can't handle your girl getting attention on the streets, or getting randomly hit on, you may really want to reconsider dating this girl. I guarantee if you tell her you don't like her getting that kind of attention, you'll begin the end of the relationship.
posted by teleri025 at 10:13 AM on August 31, 2009 [9 favorites]

I dunno, dude. Seems like to me 4 is the only real problem. If you believed that she loved you and you were worthy of her love than you would trust her. I'm not sure how you talk yourself into realizing that she does love you, given that the fact that she is actually with you doesn't seem to be doing it for you. I mean, do you think you somehow tricked her into dating you? Or do you think she picked you because she liked you? Because you seem to fear that some sweet-talking hot guy will be enough to turn her head --- if that's how you got her, then maybe it would. But if, as you say, she knew you a long time before you dated and gradually became attracted to you as she got to know you as a person, then I don't think it would. All I can say is that you're girlfiend's going to continue to be hot. And if you freak the fuck out every time some other dude notices that, then you're going to destroy the relationship like Lenny with the bunny.
posted by Diablevert at 10:15 AM on August 31, 2009

The guys are hitting on her for superficial reasons. I would give her credit for seeing something in you that is less superficial. The guys are not interested in seeing that in you. If you want to fend them off at their own level, tell them with a straight face that you have an extremely large penis.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:16 AM on August 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

First of all: she is with you for a reason. She makes a point of telling these jerks that you are her boyfriend for a reason. That reason? She wants to be with you. Whether it is for your personality or your looks or your fine, fine self-deprecating skills, she's with you.

That having been said, if you keep up the self-doubt and deprecation, she might not continue to be with you for long. As a woman, it's infuriating to try and constantly reassure the man you're seeing that no, we wouldn't rather be dating that other guy, and yes, we really do want to date you. Here and there and on a light, playful level, yes, it's fine. Day in and day out and really trying to counteract the gentleman's anxiety? It's exhausting. So please, do yourself a favor, and try to focus on the fact that she's interested in and attracted to you, and not those other jagoffs. Instead of saying, 'oh no, why the heck is she with me?' and worrying about it, say, 'hey, self, you're awesome, you've got this wonderful woman who prefers you to those other guys she could be with!'
posted by alynnk at 10:16 AM on August 31, 2009 [6 favorites]

I'm reminded of something Billy Joel said when he was with Christie Brinkley, and someone asked him if he got jealous of the attention she got from other guys. "Not at all," he said. "My attitude is, 'you know what, go ahead, look all you want. You're right, she is hot. And you know what? That hot babe is going home with me. How awesome does that mean I am, huh?'"

Try telling yourself that now and then, for starters.

As for the guys who behave in the way you described -- hitting on your girlfriend and then looking at you "disbelievingly" -- are you certain it's "disbelievingly" and not "guiltily"? In other words, maybe they're not thinking, "she's with this loser?" Instead, maybe they're actually thinking, "Oh, shit, her boyfriend saw me do that? Crap."

If they're still being a dick about it, and you feel like you have to make some kind of a joke, I'd avoid making a joke about her eye surgery; instead, maybe something that hints at you having amazing sexual prowess. It's crude, yeah, but for guys who really ARE that crude, maybe that's all they understand.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:17 AM on August 31, 2009 [12 favorites]

This is her problem, not yours. Her social mannerisms are inviting to other men and she obviously has no problem with them initiating conversation and beyond. Neither of you can control what the guy on the street does, but she has full rein what the idiot friend of a friend of a friend does. And guess what: she likes the attention.

Right now she's trying to figure out where your boundaries are, what you'll let her get away with. She may figure that you'll put up with a lot of her bull because she's good looking. You're letting her step all over you because you too, in a sense, like the attention. This in conjunction with her excessive drinking are going to land you in a hell of a doozy if you continue milking it.

Her drinking and her flirting habits aren't going to change if you don't put your foot down now. Unfortunately it sounds like you don't have the self-esteem to feel like you have any say in what she does or the willingness to do this because of your ex. This will not bode well for you.

You should feel nothing but comfort and ease around your partner, regardless of appearance. If she isn't giving you that vibe, it's because it isn't there.
posted by june made him a gemini at 10:24 AM on August 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

Should have previewed, my statement is if you continue acting more like the burden and not the boyfriend.
posted by june made him a gemini at 10:26 AM on August 31, 2009

There's nothing to be jealous of. Those guys are being inappropriate assholes. Monkeys fling poo, it's what they do.

Also, there is nothing less attractive to the majority of women than that kind of idiotic behavior.

I am worried that one day she won't have the strength to resist if I am not there

"Resist" what? Guys slobbering all over her? That's really, really easy to resist.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:26 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

When some people look at you "disbelievingly" after learning you two are together, part of that is them reassessing you, realizing that there's probably more to you than meets the eye or more beyond whatever superficial idea they formed of you. You should continue to feel pride in the fact that you are someone she wanted to be with. Another thing that might help is at parties and other events to walk over soon after anyone approaches her and introduce yourself with a friendly handshake if possible. Sometimes just you walking over will give her a chance to introduce you before that person assumes she's single and unattached.
posted by PY at 10:32 AM on August 31, 2009

Nthing the notion that you need to stop being so self-depricating and just trust her. Jealousy is a bad road to go down and can quickly destroy relationships and the people in them for a long time (c.f. Othello). If she is with you and says she wants to be with you, just take her word on that. My SO is way more attractive than me, but I know she loves me and our relationship is about much more than how hot or not we both are.

Her drinking and her flirting habits aren't going to change if you don't put your foot down now.

I'd be really careful about this advice. If there is one thing you can do to drive her away quickly it will be becoming overbearing, possessive and generally the shovanist most women assume we are anyway.

Look, it's true that her ex grabbing her ass is totally unacceptable. On the other hand, men are going to look at your gf, and occassionally they will probably flirt with her. And she might respond in a way you think is 'flirty' - but she's probably just being polite and, often, this is just how humans interact. It doesn't really mean that much. Men (and women) check out my SO on the street all the time. Who cares? That's just what people on the street do. She comes home with me and that's all that really matters.

If she decides one day to leave you for some jocky dimwit, well, there's just nothing you can do about. Be happy that she wants you. Enjoy her beauty. And don't let her being attractive zap you of all your self-confidence.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:35 AM on August 31, 2009

Guys look at women all the time. It's amazing, from a female standpoint. Watch men, alone or in a group. Men look at women. All. the. time.

Guys hit on women in bars. Guys especially hit on drunk women in bars. I doubt it has as much to do with how hot you say she is.

All you can change is your perspective and behavior. Frankly, I think you could do better. Yall don't sound really all that suited to one another.
posted by vincele at 10:36 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't like how some comments want to blame her for the behavior of other men. She's not "discouraging" it, her "social mannerisms are inviting" it... it's not her responsibility to adjust her behavior for the men around her. If she likes the attention so fucking what. /rant.

For the poster - your jealousy is only showing and feeding your insecurity. You know this. You know you need to get a handle on it. Step one: stop trying to imagine what other's are thinking - this is a pointless habit that needs to be dropped like a burning hot coal in your hand.
posted by dog food sugar at 10:39 AM on August 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

I used to date a girl who was way more attractive than I am. I sometimes wondered why she was attracted to me and figured it was bound to end one day, but I figured I would enjoy it while it lasted. I saw how other guys looked at her and hit on her and realized that she would have plenty of other options, but she seemed happy enough with me. Last week, I realized that we have been married 22 years now and despite the fact that she is still quite a bit hotter looking than I am, I'm pretty sure she is going to stick around.

I can tell you that focusing on your fears is not the most attractive way to behave. You should concentrate on making the most of your time together -- whether it turns out to be 22 days or 22 years. Your concern with her drinking is probably a red herring. You believe that she secretly prefers to be with a "better" guy and you are afraid that being drunk will bring out her secret desire. That said, if she is letting guys grab her butt on a regular basis or flirting beyond a certain boundary, I would be concerned in your shoes as well. However, given the rest of your post my instinct is that you are seeing the world through an unhealthy prism so it is difficult to determine if you are overreacting to a one-off drunken ex situation or a regular pattern of behavior.

My advice is to forgot about who is whose league and be the best boyfriend you can be. If you both have enough fun, no one will ever figure out who got the worst end of the deal.
posted by Lame_username at 10:41 AM on August 31, 2009 [24 favorites]

Her social mannerisms are inviting to other men and she obviously has no problem with them initiating conversation and beyond.

I don't see where you get that from the original post. What I see in the original post is guys acting like asshats in ways that I, who am middle-aged, married, and the opposite of flirty, encounter all the time in bars, restaurants, on subways, on the street, at academic conferences, etc. I have ex-boyfriends who would think it was hilariously funny to grab my ass in front of my husband of almost 10 years (this is why they are ex-boyfriends), especially if they'd been drinking.

Some people are just really inappropriate and have no sense of boundaries.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:43 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

You should feel nothing but comfort and ease around your partner, regardless of appearance. If she isn't giving you that vibe, it's because it isn't there.

june has hit it right on the button. This is probably an unmanageable dynamic. There's likely nothing you can do to change her behavior and if you bundle all your self-esteem issues into this mix, it's likely to really ravage your self-confidence when the whole thing blows up.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:43 AM on August 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

Guys are always hitting on my girlfriend and making it clear that she is out of my league

Dude, this is also known as "a good problem to have."

Guys are hitting on your girlfriend? Awesome! You have a hot girlfriend. Good for you.

Guys are hitting on your girlfriend and she's turning them down? Awesome! You have a good girlfriend. Wow, you're two-for-two!

Guys are hitting on your girlfriend, she gets drunk and sleeps with one of them? Awesome! You learn now that your girlfriend is a doltish jackass, instead of finding out years from now after you're married and spending real money together. Wow, you get to dump someone, guilt- and lawyer-free.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:53 AM on August 31, 2009 [9 favorites]

...and I only mean changing her behavior in as much as whenever I've dated a girl and the dates have involved going to a lot of places where we'll run into her ex or have awkward interactions with her entire extended social network -it usually meant that she wasn't all too interested in pursuing anything long term with me.
posted by bonobothegreat at 10:55 AM on August 31, 2009

june made him a gemini: This is her problem, not yours. Her social mannerisms are inviting to other men and she obviously has no problem with them initiating conversation and beyond.

Unusually beautiful women get unwanted attention all the time. As a measure of pure practicality, they cannot go around dramatically slapping everyone who sidles up in an inappropriate manner. Blaming her for being "inviting" to other men smacks of somewhere I don't even want to go.

OP: Out of curiosity, what do you think when you see a stunning woman with an average looking man? What assumptions do you make, if any, when the genders are reversed or matched?

Regardless, you have a beautiful girlfriend. How beautiful she is is not going to change. The reaction she provokes is also not going to change, at least for another 15 years or so. How she manages that reaction may or may not change but that is entirely out of your control.

If people leer at her with you right there, they leer at her when you are not there, too. It's not about you.

The only thing you can do is change your reaction. I would suggest you greet the starers with a self-satisfied smirk. And the next time she says "by the way this is my boyfriend" and someone looks at you disbelievingly, raise an eyebrow and deadpan "She's only with me for the mind-blowing orgasms."

And for the record, the single most attractive quality is not money, power, looks or sex. It's confidence.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:59 AM on August 31, 2009 [5 favorites]

Some of this may be the kind of places you are going. It sounds like a bunch of singles pick-up bars from the type of behavior going on. If this is true you might want to think about trying to find places primarily occupied by couples rather than singles.
posted by caddis at 11:00 AM on August 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

At 31/28 you should both be well beyond the cheerleader/jock/skater dynamic. Hopefully you've developed a unique personality and have some accomplishments to be proud of in your roughly 13 years after high school. You might do better to measure that against your knowledge of the sorts of people grabbing your girlfriend's ass in bars rather than worrying about skaters v. jocks.
posted by rocketpup at 11:02 AM on August 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

Hey, it sounds like your real problem is that you don't believe that she could possibly like like you. Why not? They're are many facets to real attraction and visual is only one.

I am a decent looking youngish girl and I'm visually attracted to dudes that are on the grungy side. I'm sure I'm not the only girl like this.

Next time you get the "look of disbelief" you can use this DJ Dougpound line: "You know those condoms, Magnums? I wear those."
posted by WeekendJen at 11:03 AM on August 31, 2009

She says "by the way this is my boyfriend", he looks at me disbelievingly

At this point, you should allow yourself to wallow in schaudenfreud and smile like you just gave an enemy a wedgie. Because he deserves it, and, metaphorically, you just did.
posted by ignignokt at 11:04 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

You can't control what anyone else does, so worrying about it, while understandable, is ultimately futile.

She may or may not do the things you're scared. In the meantime, enjoy the ride as best you can.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:13 AM on August 31, 2009

So have you never dated any mediocre girls either? They get hit on a lot too. That "really?" chiding from the dudes in question? Also normal, has nothing to do with how short, fat, nerdy, etc you are.

I totally disagree with other posters who say she's acting inappropriately by being hit on and not flirting back. Being outside of the house and socialising is not an invitation--even if the person doing it is a girl! If she's blowing these people off and it sounds like she is, then you are being paranoid.

Trust me, there is no quicker way to get your night ruined by straight up ignoring some drunk dildo hitting on you. ESPECIALLY if you are out with your boyfriend. It's a lot more socially expedient to say hi and that you're taken.
posted by shownomercy at 11:13 AM on August 31, 2009

Response by poster: @darlingpup - actually this whole situation has forced me to rexamine some of my existing behaviour. Prior to going out with her I would look at girls, with boyfriend or alone, and now I find myself thinking twice.

@rocketpup - of course I am beyond this, I was just trying to find a shorthand analogy to describe the differentia I perceive. But you have made me think about my past, at 17 years old, when a girl I had a massive crush on rejected me for the captain of the rugby team. Consciously it is in the past but I do take the point.

Thank you all for you help so far and keep it coming. A lot of it is really helpful. I know she has been through some bad short term relationships/one night stands in the past with the kind of asshole "jock" I have mentioned and I suppose I should accept that this is In the past now and let this happen. Nb she has not revealed any of this willingly, only scant details after I have "interrogated" her about her past
posted by plechazunga at 11:13 AM on August 31, 2009

Response by poster: Also @rocketpup - I do know exactly how these assholes think and It is that that keeps me going. But in my darkest moments it is the thought that she would ever again willingly give herself to one of them that makes my heart ache.

I disagree with the posters who say she is bringing it on herself - I think somethimes she could do more but I appreciate that I am sensitive and that she is not coming into this new relationship with the same experience or expectations I have after 11 years in a relationship.

Sorry for spellig and random caps, I am posting from my iPhone and my fingers are too fat even in landscape.
posted by plechazunga at 11:21 AM on August 31, 2009

Trust me, there is no quicker way to get your night ruined by straight up ignoring some drunk dildo hitting on you. ESPECIALLY if you are out with your boyfriend. It's a lot more socially expedient to say hi and that you're taken.

Yes. "This is my boyfriend" is a shut-down, not a flirtation. And it's the only shut-down some inappropriate guys will accept. "Not interested, thanks" and "Please leave me alone" often end up in harassment.

Being angry with, or jealous of, your girlfriend because other guys behave inappropriately is not going to help anything.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:23 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Stop self-deprecating and asking for reassurance. She can reassure you until the cows come home but you'll still feel insecure inside. Start taking care of your own insecurities and negative feelings-- she can't fix them. It's not fair for her to constantly reassure you and it's not fair to "interrogate" her. She is going to do what she is going to do. You can't control her. You can't predict the future. You can only trust her, enjoy yourself and your relationship, and believe that she wants to be with you. Your confidence in yourself is more important than your looks. If your confidence falters, you'll just be ugly.

You are "the man" in her eyes. If you keep acting like the bitch that you are, you're toast. (Mr. Fairchild)
posted by Fairchild at 11:24 AM on August 31, 2009

The above posters are right - you need to stop meeting those disbelieving looks with self-deprecation. On the other hand, I think it's kind of a bad idea to reply with penisy comments; if I introduced my boyfriend to someone and his first words were "yeah, I've got a gargantuan dick, what's it to ya?" I think I'd spontaneously combust from embarrassment (especially if the guy was a coworker or my dermatologist or something).

If you do feel compelled to say something, you could say something along the lines of "What can I say? She's got sophisticated taste." Or just say "hi, how's it going?" because, honestly, you don't have to explain your relationship to anyone.

Also, on preview:

I have mentioned and I suppose I should accept that this is In the past now and let this happen. Nb she has not revealed any of this willingly, only scant details after I have "interrogated" her about her past

This is trouble. From this and from some of your previous comments, I get the sense that you feel the need to fight to keep her. Regardless of how secure your relationship actually is, you can't make someone stay with you - ultimately she will do what she wants. The best you can do is be someone she wants to stay with.
posted by Metroid Baby at 11:36 AM on August 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

Let me tell you this - I'm dating a girl that is so amazing that I frequently feel a little intimidated by how hot/smart/funny/everything she is, but I always keep those feelings to myself. She is amazing and I'd hate to lose her and it may not be forever and all that; but one thing I'm not going to do while we're together is dwell on how lame I am to the point that I miss out on being with such a great person. My relationship history has been shit too, which is even more reason to just shut up and enjoy the awesome hand I've been dealt while it lasts. READ: shitcan the self-doubt, if only out loud.

Second thing - My girl is also the type that gets hit on at parties. She is black (I am white), so she gets a lot of "Hey, girl - whatchoo doin' with a WHITE man?" bullshit, too. I can take her getting hit on in stride - the racism is lame but tolerable* - but the second some joker throws his arm around her there's going to be a problem. However, anyone who puts his arm around her without her permission has much, much more to worry about from her than from me; she's not down for being touched by dickheads who think they are that smooth. And a dude, ex or no, grabbing her ass in public? Hello orthodontist, dumb-ass. READ: She is the one who should be regulating her interactions with these 'A'-type jerks, with you there to back her up.

Third thing - If she's a big girl, she can drink all she wants. You can address it with her, but you cannot 'forbid' or 'instruct' her here. If her drinking is a problem for you, maybe that's an indication that she's not as perfect for you as you're making her out to be. Don't let your mental image of her overwhelm who she actually is (i.e., you cannot 'make' her conform to who you think she is). READ: If her drinking is a problem for you, that's YOUR problem. Yes, I know things can get out of hand and this kind of attitude is an 'enabling' one or whatever, but this is your new GF, not your frikkin' wife.

Good luck with this.

*A black fella on the street shouted at her the other night, "Why are all these black girls with all these WHITE motherfuckers?" I turned around and gave him a thumbs-up and said back, "'Cause we're AWESOME!"
posted by Pecinpah at 11:36 AM on August 31, 2009 [9 favorites]

Nb she has not revealed any of this willingly, only scant details after I have "interrogated" her about her past

the thought that she would ever again willingly give herself to one of them

These sound like controlling attitudes, watch out. Being interrogated about your past is not endearing or amusing at all. Try not to dwell on the past so much.
posted by clearlydemon at 11:40 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Next time you get the "look of disbelief" you can use this DJ Dougpound line: "You know those condoms, Magnums? I wear those."

Ew. I think this is terrible advice. I understand the spirit in which it is given but you want to be the bigger man in this case (no pun intended) and not sink to the level of ass-grabbing frat-boy behavior. Maybe some girls like guys to have a public pissing contest over her affections but let's assume this girl is not one of them.

she has not revealed any of this willingly, only scant details after I have "interrogated" her about her past

Oh, stop this.

Also, really agree with the above poster that perhaps the kinds of places you guys hang out contribute to this. Meat market bars are not the place for couples in love. Ditch the bars, develop some common interests that do not involve drinking, and have some sympathy for your poor girlfriend who has to manage unwelcome attention while simultaneously propping up her boyfriend's ego.
posted by amanda at 11:43 AM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ones self image rarely equates to what others think about you.

It's very likely that she finds you attractive and intelligent and that is completely different than every other guy she has dated. A sure fire way to fuck that up is to belittle yourself in front of her and other males.

Just roll with it man, and let the chips fall where they may. If she ends of getting drunk and cheating on you then it wasn't meant to be. If other guys looking at her make you angry, then either start choking the shit out of everyone or get over the whole process and be happy that she's wanting to be with you.

I used to get very nervous around pretty girls and/or people of "importance". I finally came up with a technique to rid myself of that fear. I'm not saying it will work for you, but....

I imagine said person sitting on the toilet, no nudity here of course. Imagine them experiencing an extremely uncomfortable #2 and the resulting expression on their face. That should alleviate any awkwardness or sense of them being above you or better than you.
posted by Gravitus at 11:46 AM on August 31, 2009

Best answer: I guess there are four problems: 1 my jealousy. 2 her drinking. 3 the way other guys see her. 4 my feelings that I am punching above my weight and that genuinely one day she will get over her eye surgery and leave me. Am I being a crazy jealous freak?

(1) Stop thinking of your jealousy as a problem. It's a feature, not a bug. It is designed to make sure that you are on your toes and that you are looking out for yourself. It is the reaction to jealousy can be a problem. Luckily for you, you seem to be handling it quite well. The key is to accept what it is--a feeling--and understand what it is not--a detector of your girlfriend's intentions. Our emotions are not mind-reading devices. So what I do is really let myself feel that feeling down in my gut, wherever it is. While doing whatever it is you are doing at the time, focus on the physical sensations of the unpleasant emotion, without engaging the mental aspects of it--no need to indulge those negative fantasies, because the only problem you are actually having at that time is one of fear. Make it a game and see how long you can stay focused on the physical sensations of the emotion without engaging the content. The content cannot be real because you are not seeing any betrayal. So acknowledge that the content of the fears is unreal because it is. You just need to get it out of you by feeling it.

(2) Re: The drinking. Do you have any evidence that she is drinking and fooling around? If not, you have to set this aside and again accept the feeling of fear you get from time to time. Again, focus on the physical aspects of the feeling without engaging its content.

(3) Other guys are going to see her in a million different ways. Some are going to want her, others won't. This is again, a feature, not a bug. In the end, how they see her and even how your girlfriend reacts to it is something beyond your control. The only thing you can control are your reactions to the feelings and your actions. Again, when you see a guy engage her, accept those powerful feelings of jealousy and focus on the physical content without engaging their content.

(4) Your feelings that you are punching above your weight do not represent reality. A little thought experiment demonstrates this nicely. If you could just point me to where the scales regarding your weight class are, that would be nice. Of course you cannot. Because there is no ultimate stone tablet with a list of who is better than who else that floats in space and which informs the universe. You cannot "punch above your weight" because there is no "weight" to punch above. Instead, your weight is the way you think about those feelings of fear of being hurt--and also those fears of suceeding with her.

I am completely aware that she fell for my personality before my looks.

Really? How did you figure this out? Apparently you have a mind-reading device for hot girls. Please contact me off list and we can get to marketing this device immediately. I think we can make a ton on this stuff.

Repeat after me, "I cannot read minds," "I cannot read minds," "I cannot read minds." The solid, known facts are this--you do not know why she fell for you. She must think you are cute, because you are her boyfriend. Usually when we use the technique of telling ourselves we can read minds, it is because we have feelings we don't want to accept and deal with. Accept and deal with those feelings and something else is going to happen. You will suddenly have a feeling of mastery over your emotions and over situations. You will suddenly find yourself being both anxious and confident at the same time. You will begin to draw energy from the anxiety, it will heighten awareness without interfering in what you are doing. That isn't cockiness, that is real confidence that comes from experience and strength.

Needless to say, the women will be all over you when that happens. It will then be your job to reassure your cute and wonderful girlfriend.

Remember, focus on the physical part of the jealousy and fear and don't engage the content of the fear.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:57 AM on August 31, 2009 [20 favorites]

When you make cracks about her just having eye surgery and things like that, you are imposing your insecurities on her and reinforcing them at the same time. Girls respond to confidence and when some guys is hitting on your girl, you walk over and give her a huge kiss in front of him. If that doesn't shut him down then he's an idiot.

You need to start realizing that there is more to life than looks and whatever you may think you are lacking in that department (remember, beauty is in the eye of the beholder), you more than make up for with your personality. So start being more cocky about that and don't be afraid to mark your territory so to speak.

Other commenters are dead on...the more you keep stressing about this and the more you make her aware of your insecurities, the sooner she may leave you. So stop worrying about this stupid shit and just be happy you are with her and live in the moment. She may be gone one day so enjoy it while it lasts and don't worry about what tomorrow might bring for your relationship.
posted by Elminster24 at 12:00 PM on August 31, 2009

I read your previous questions. You sound like a control freak, to put it bluntly. You can't force your ex to get over you. You can't make guys not look at your girlfriend. You can't make your girlfriend not get drunk. You shouldn't be forcing her to tell you things she doesn't want to discuss. In short, you need to stop worrying about trying to make other people be the way you want them to be and do the things you want them to do. Instead, put some energy into developing your own self-esteem so you can be more confident letting other people be who they are.

PS. Stop going to these lame sounding bars.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:03 PM on August 31, 2009 [4 favorites]

A long time ago, I had similar issues with a girl I was dating. She was hotter than I was, she got hit on a lot in front of me, she was less than clear to other guys about the inappropriate nature of their attention. A lot of this was magnified by the fact that we were both pretty young—she was 19 when we started dating, I was 21. It was "normal" behavior for her to flirt with older guys so they'd buy her booze, and she had an extended circle of friends that were, well, fairly skeevy and inappropriate (30-year-old guys who hung out at Denny's with high schoolers).

For a while I kinda let it ride, though I let her know it bothered me. But I'm a self-deprecating guy in person, she was my first really h-o-t-t girlfriend, and I didn't want to act like a jealous guy in public. After a while, though, something just kinda snapped in my head—I got really good at not only letting people know that she was my girlfriend, but being really humiliatingly cruel to these other guys. Like, moving past good-natured ribbing into looking for the soft points and pressing hard on them. As if to say, Fuck you, don't even think about it, you short, bald motherfucker.

While that was going on, she was also prone to drinking to excess, which at 19 I think is pretty understandable. It certainly concerned me more than it did her at the time, but that was probably because I had a couple more years of getting absolutely shitfaced, so by the time I was actually legal, my tolerance was pretty good and my binging was pretty minimal.

She went off to another school about an hour away, which cut down on her time spent at Denny's, and strained her ties with her girlfriends who still did hang out there. My being outright mean to some of her friends did get her to realize that hey, not only don't I like that behavior, I'm not going to put up with it. But it also reinforced a relationship dynamic that I can recognize now as unhealthy, where she'd flirt until she got me to pay more attention and sort of spar for her.

But what changed things more than anything else was her getting drunk and maybe getting raped. I found out months later that she'd gone out with her best friend, met guys her friend knew, and got blackout drunk. She wasn't sure whether or not she had sex or consented to sex, but a lot of that flirting behavior didn't seem as much fun for her anymore.

Later on, she went abroad for a year, started drinking more again and flirting, and ended up cheating on me with some Dutch guy. Conversations got distant, then I got the tearful confession call. Thus ended the relationship.

Now, obviously, a lot of that relationship doesn't apply to yours. But looking back, I'd say that the lessons I learned were to assert my feelings, but that in a healthy relationship you don't have to be an asshole to do so, that sometimes someone who's really hot still has a fair number of fucked-up emotional tendencies (totally armchair psych, but her parents had a weird divorce where they fought over her and essentially bribed and counter-bribed her, and I think that's how she expected all relationships to be), that a fair number of bad behaviors can only be changed by the person exhibiting them, and that sometimes relationships with really hot people just don't work out, just like dating the ugglos. Hopefully, you like her for other reasons than her smokin' bod.

Finally, when I first started dating my current girlfriend (who is also an order of magnitude hotter than I am), I was a dick to a couple of her friends who I thought were hitting on her. They weren't, and I've realized that this was my insecurity. Most of those friends, I'm friends with now, and the one who really was hitting on her? Well, she worked that out on her own, without my help.
posted by klangklangston at 12:06 PM on August 31, 2009

Response by poster: Thank you all, thanks for everything. But don't stop posting if you have something else to say.

Ironmouth, you are receiving best answer because you made me laugh out loud and because it makes sense. But thanks to everyone else as well. I knew I could rely on the brains at AskMeFi to give me a stern talking to.

Best of luck to all of you and thank you, thank you, thank you. She was out with her newly single friend today and called me just now that she loves me (not the first time, and for you US posters, it is a national holiday in the UK and about 8pm, not some midday drinking binge), and that, combined with some of the comments here, is enough to get me through the night. I appreciate it all.

But as I said, if you have some useful input or experience in this area, then feel free to share.
posted by plechazunga at 12:08 PM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

A couple of things:

I am a rather more scruffy ex skateboarder and I am completely aware that she fell for my personality before my looks.

Um, last time I checked, that makes you a SCORE when compared to beer-swilling jock types. Trust me on this, you are not a match for the types of people she hangs out with, but given who she usually hangs out with, this is not a bad thing.

Seriously. I can't emphasize this enough. You have a lot more on tap than you realize (in her view) just because you're not an arrogant prick and you have the skater thing going on. Suck it up and accept that she thinks you're awesome because you ARE.

I am worried that one day she won't have the strength to resist if I am not there.

From the way you describe it, you're not giving her any "strength to resist" when you are there; you act insecure around these guys. So she's "resisting" just fine without your help. Trust her. She'll either earn it or she won't, but if she couldn't earn it on her own, why would you want to be with her?

and I turn it into a joke

Don't do this. She's beset upon by jerks, she's rebuffing the jerks, and your job is to notice that she prefers you to jerks, so don't undermine her by suggesting she's made the wrong choice. Self-deprecation has its place, but not in that scenario. When he looks at you "disbelievingly", you're either projecting that on him (ie it's your own insecurity) or he's doing it because he has a view of guys like you that's in that very moment being disproved by you being her girlfriend. Reach out your hand, introduce yourself, say nice-to-meet-you, and then ask how he and your girlfriend know each other. You know, just be a person.
posted by davejay at 12:08 PM on August 31, 2009

Response by poster: Oh and oneirodynia, this is the kind of stern talking to I was expecting and the kind of thing you acknowledge to yourself but don't want to say out loud. I am trying to deal with this problem (the more it becomes apparent to me) and I don't want to fuck things up with this girl, or anyone else, friend, girlfriend, whoever, because of my own problems.

But right now I just want to hear what people think about this situation. And thank you(sincerely) for your comment, I appreciate it.
posted by plechazunga at 12:12 PM on August 31, 2009

(1) my jealousy.
Ask yourself: would you rather have a less-attractive girlfriend that nobody wanted?

(2) her drinking.
This is a real problem and the only thing in your whole post that seems worrisome.

(3) the way other guys see her.
You can't control this, but also see (1) above. And stop making jokes about how unattractive you are. You're just endorsing their behavior and showing her that you're okay with jerks being rude at you. Not good.

(4) my feelings that I am punching above my weight
This is probably the same as (1), they're both expressions of the same insecurity.

Be proud. Be happy that you have an attractive girlfriend.

For example, I LOVE when guys hit on my girlfriend. It makes me very proud. She's generally flattered but unimpressed, as it sounds like yours is.

Roll with it.
posted by rokusan at 12:13 PM on August 31, 2009

I keep seeing other comments making reference to her being overly flirty, but there's nothing of that in the OP. She introduced her boyfriend as her boyfriend and walked away from the drunk ex that grabbed her ass.

People are imagining things and placing blame upon the girlfriend when it seems pretty clear there isn't anything to blame her for and becoming almost as paranoid as the OP sounds.

That said, nthing it's your confidence. You just got out of an 11-year relationship and even though you were the one who initiated the breakup, you are affected as well. Your security has taken a hit, your sense of self, perhaps. And maybe you jumped into this too soon.

Anyhow, here you are, and if you have te desire to keep this relationship, you're going to have to start acting confidently. Self-deprecating jokes can be funny but these are not the right moments.

As for her drinking, that's your insecurity again because you're afraid she secretly wants these other guys. You have no trust for your partner. Your attitude is OMG HOT CHICK and then 100 reasons why you're not good enough, why she'll leave, she's not being honest, etc...

Then it becomes almost a mothering relationship if she has to reassure you constantly, and I can tell you that's not sexy. It is exhausting. And you'll make this a self-fulfilling prophecy and likely ultimately blame her for it and think you were right all along.

I know I'm being very blunt here, but these problems are all your problems, and if you don't start on your way to improving your confidence and to actually trust your girlfriend, this won't work.

Therapy could be of real benefit to you. Perhaps CBT, which will help you notice when you are thinking negative or insecure thoughts and help you catch and turn them around.
posted by cmgonzalez at 12:22 PM on August 31, 2009 [2 favorites]

"she has not revealed any of this willingly, only scant details after I have "interrogated" her about her past"


I think it may benefit you to consider counseling to help you manage relationships in a healthier way.

In general, in a dating relationship which is, by definition, a noncommitted relationship, it is better to focus on yourself and how you feel about the relationship ('do I feel happy in this relationship? do I enjoy spending time with this person?'), and less about how you feel the other person feels about you ('does she like me better than she liked her ex?', etc). If you're not happy with the relationship, why are you still in? If you really think she drinks too much, to the extent you don't feel she can control herself, then why are you with her? If the answer is that you're in at any cost, you're thinking about this the wrong way... you're thinking from the perspective of a desperate man.

Additionally, based on your description of the behavior, she isn't being inappropriately inviting to other men, you don't mention any instances of her being deceitful, and your interrogation of her is unmerited. In the end, you and she are just dating, and she doesn't belong to you... you're together for only as long as you both choose to be there. You need to let go and let things evolve in their own time.
posted by 2xplor at 12:31 PM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

To say that someone is "out of your league" is just bullshit. You sound like a great guy, better than any of the douchebags who are hitting on her.

If anything, you're out of her league. She's lucky to have a great guy like you. You are where it's at. Remind yourself of that.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:44 PM on August 31, 2009

Stop with the self-effacing jokes. They're not just insulting to yourself, but to her sense of judgment - if a guy I genuinely liked kept telling me, both directly and indirectly, that he didn't think I REALLY wanted to be with him, eventually, well, I'd stop wanting to be with him. No one likes to have their feelings about their partner second-guessed all the time, or to be subtly insulted - by said partner, no less! - for their bad taste in partners. This is really manipulative behavior.

Your girlfriend can't help being attractive. There are people here who are saying that it's her fault for not actively discouraging men - but as a moderately attractive women, honestly, when men I'm not interested hit on me it's just SAFER to smile, nod, and introduce them to my boyfriend as a subtle sort of "so back off, okay?" message. If I outright reject them, the negative reaction may include them calling me a bitch and being really shitty, and I like to avoid that - even if it means my partner has to reassure himself that I'm not interested in the douchebag who feels entitled to hit on me when I'm CLEARLY there with someone else.

A girlfriend is not a status symbol. She is not a medal or trophy that can be stolen away without her own active participation. Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to trust her without trying to manipulate or regulate her behavior or the behavior of those around her. Relationships are about people being together of their own free will - so let it go if someone hits on your girlfriend. Smile at them and be polite yet distant. Maybe make it a point to be affectionate with her in these guys' presences, so they know exactly why it is she's with you and not them - that way, both you and her get a positive interaction, and the men hitting on her are excluded.
posted by ellehumour at 1:45 PM on August 31, 2009 [5 favorites]

It sounds to me like you're learning more about yourself and what you're comfortable with, and you're going to continue to figure it out. You're dating this person who seems to have a different background and you're wondering why she acts differently than you're used to, whether her actions indicate something negative, and whether she's a reliable person.

She acts differently because that's what she's used to. You have to carve out a space that you can both feel comfortable in. If she wants to go to bars where the obnoxious guys come up to bother her, then let her know where you're comfortable and suggest those places. If you're tired of going out drinking all the time, then mention it. Not in the context that she drinks a lot, or that you question her actions, but by affirming what you want in the relationship. It's completely possible that she is tired of it all, too. Then again, maybe she's not, and she's planning on getting completely wasted at singles-type bars forever.

More than anything, stop referencing physical attractiveness like it trumps everything else. What is really more attractive, a hot woman, or a woman who treats you well and doesn't drink all the time? The way you've explained her beauty makes it sound more like a liability than a positive. Stop looking at this as an issue of control and look at it as an issue of preference -- if you genuinely want her to stop drinking because you disapprove of it, then it's a control issue. If you want her to stop drinking because it makes you uncomfortable and anxious, then maybe the relationship isn't for you and it'll eventually end because you're not living compatible lifestyles.
posted by mikeh at 2:15 PM on August 31, 2009

This is going to sound a bit out of left field, but bear with me: you might want to watch the documentary American Teen. It's supposed to be about what life for typical American teenagers is; they pick a handful of representative teens from a certain high school, follow them around for a year, etc etc. Of course they picked out kids who will represent existing cliches: the artsy chick, the popular girl, the nerdy loser.

You, my friend, are that loser.

What I mean by this is not that you are actually a loser. If you watch the movie, you will notice that there is absolutely nothing wrong with this kid that he doesn't bring on himself. (and a terrible haircut).

Nobody picks on him; he's able to go on dates with pleasant, good-looking girls; literally the only problem he has is that he can't stop describing himself as a loser. He literally can't seem to go five minutes without badmouthing himself, questioning why the people who do hang out with him would want to, reading way too much into other people's actions, and basically driving everyone away with his constant pessimism and negativity.

His excuse is that he was 15 and didn't know any better. You're 31; you're supposed to have figured out that there aren't "leagues", that your girlfriend isn't dating you out of pity, that physical attractiveness is less relevant than personality, and most important of all, that you are not who you were in high school.
posted by ook at 2:23 PM on August 31, 2009 [6 favorites]

It is exhausting to have to constantly reassure someone that you want them. Don't be that guy. She's turned down more men in her life than you'll ever know, she is an expert at it. Trust me.

You can't steal what doesn't want to be stolen.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 3:33 PM on August 31, 2009

I can't help but chime in: I was once in love with a gorgeous, lovely, charming, sexy, brainy, wonderful man. He saw himself as a skinny, weird-looking geek, and didn't believe me when I told him how much I loved him and how - tremendously - attracted to him I was, and would from time to time (particularly after a night out on the town together) tell me (morosely, occasionally tearfully) that he had no idea what a woman like me was doing with him. In the end our relationship fell apart because he never believed that I loved him - he never trusted my feelings for him. It broke my heart. Please trust her actions and words. Not everyone has the same taste in men. Or women, for that matter.
posted by pammeke at 5:18 PM on August 31, 2009 [3 favorites]

If she wanted THEM she'd be with THEM.

Look, for the record I am not and never have been attracted to conventionally handsome/hunky type men. What I AM attracted to is probably more like who YOU are.

Lots of us gals out there like that.

Besides, you probably don't treat your gal like a piece of meat. I'm betting a lot of those other guys do. She probably appreciates YOUR style.

So, get over yourself, and be good to your girl!
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:29 PM on August 31, 2009

Why are you hanging out at meat markets? These places are almost exclusively for singles, which makes it not entirely unreasonable for her to be getting hit on. Whoever grabbed her ass was a jerk, but just talking to her is normal behavior. I'm not even sure it's out of line to be somewhat suspicious if she seems comfortable in these types of places. My girlfriend would just be skeeved.

Do more date things. Movies, food, music, etc. Nothing wrong with getting some drinks or hanging out with friends, but if she's dragging you to some fratty club (full of people you don't seem to relate to) to get hammered every weekend, I'd wonder if you are really all that compatible. I went through this myself when I was younger, and looking back, I was only into it because she was smoking hot. We actually didn't have a whole lot in common at all, and of course she dropped me after a few months.

Anyhow, I'm making a lot of assumptions here and maybe projecting my own past situation onto it, so grain of salt and all that. But for the most part, bars are a horrible place for couples.
posted by cj_ at 6:40 PM on August 31, 2009

I've said this before, and I'll say it again: every time you're not sure what she's going to do, just trust her. Each time, she will either act in a manner worthy of that trust, or not. If she does, she's a keeper. If not, you find out she's not somebody you want to stay partners with. Either way, you win.

It's not up to you to tell her who she should and should not like.
posted by flabdablet at 10:19 PM on August 31, 2009

You're 31; you're supposed to have figured out that there aren't "leagues"

Most of what you said was at least reasonably valid.

This is not.

There are leagues until you reach the grave. There are "exceptions to the rule", to be certain, but there are leagues and anyone who disagrees watches way too many Hollywood movies or lives in a cave.
posted by twiggy at 11:08 PM on August 31, 2009

You're 31; you're supposed to have figured out that there aren't "leagues"

Most of what you said was at least reasonably valid.

This is not.

There are leagues until you reach the grave. There are "exceptions to the rule", to be certain, but there are leagues and anyone who disagrees watches way too many Hollywood movies or lives in a cave.

Respectfully, I disagree. Please show me where the list of what the leauges are and who is in what leauge exists. Did someone etch it on the side of a mountain on Mars? Because you cannot point to who is in what leauge. It is pure subjectivity. And that means it is just another way to express how attractive we think someone is. That isn't really saying much.

Indeed, my advice to the OP remains: The only leauges that exist are in your head. No one can point to any "leauge" or any list of who is in a leauge or not in a leauge. There are only people.

More importantly, ask yourself if this concept of "leauges" is helpful to you or not helpful to you. It says don't ask out people who might reject you because of your looks because you will get hurt.

I say so what.

You're going to get hurt in love whether you are asking out the beauty queen or the wallflower. A far better strategy is to learn to accept the pain of heartbreak and rejection as a part of doing business and find a better way to react to those feellings. That attitude draws mates in more reliably than any other.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:40 PM on August 31, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you are going to have a hot girlfriend, you are going to have to deal with the consequences.
posted by jasondigitized at 4:39 PM on September 1, 2009

I was talking about this a bit with my (hot) girlfriend last night, and I thought I might mention a couple more things:

First, I said that something to remember is that there are many, many more smoking hot women than there are men. I mean, you aside, the super-hot-chick-with-schlubby-dude is a cliché for a reason. Even below the incredibly gorgeous level, in nearly any couple, the woman is the hot one, and even amongst the single, the women are generally hotter. There's a far bigger supply of them than there is of hot guys.

I tend to believe this is in part because women have more incentives and disincentives based on their looks, which isn't really fair, but hey, it does mean that average looking guys end up with hot women much more often than hot guys end up with average looking women. So women are already used to dealing with a different pool, and won't discriminate as much.

My girlfriend then points out that I'm not a particularly good judge of male hotness, and tend to have a broader view of female attractiveness. Which, sure, I'll cop to. I am straight; perhaps a true 50:50 bisexual should judge the overall hotness scale. But you're straight too, I'm assuming, which means that you're likely also not a tremendously great judge of male hotness. You could have the same aesthetic blindness as pornographic casting directors, and think that six-packs trump mullets or something. Either way, your girlfriend (who picked you) is a better judge of male hotness than you are.

Finally, my girlfriend mentioned that while I generally look like a schlub (she was more diplomatic), I clean up OK. I can put a suit on and look pretty good. I can comb my hair and trim my beard and not wear that Tool t-shirt with the stain on it and my old plaid board shorts that only kinda fit, and wow, I go from creepy guy at the bus stop to someone who is reasonably presentable. I don't really see a huge difference, but she does, and y'know what? It makes me more confident. So, despite you saying that you're a scruffy ex-skater, I bet you can pull off some stuff that makes you look a little bit better, and knowing that you're looking a bit better may help you act a bit more confidently, which will both make you hotter to her and less likely to have other guys circling like buzzards. I mean, Tony Hawk cleans up OK, y'know?
posted by klangklangston at 5:20 PM on September 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

There are leagues until you reach the grave.

Tell you what: let's reconvene on this in about ten years and we'll see if you still feel that way.
posted by ook at 4:35 PM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

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