Girlfriend has Facial Hair - what should I do?
December 18, 2016 1:52 AM   Subscribe

I've been with my girlfriend for 5 months but am finding it hard to get past the fact that she has noticeable facial hair. I'm looking for some helpful advice.

Ok, so here's a bit of background.

I'm in my early 30s and my girlfriend is in her mid 20s. We've been together for nearly 6 months.

We have quite a few things in common and enjoy each other's company. We both have our flaws as everyone does but, unfortunately, I'm finding it tough to get past one of hers - her facial hair.

To give this some context, I'm not talking about a slight moustache that can only be seen in certain lighting - I'm talking about several fairly long hairs on her chin that I can see at all times.

I imagine a lot of people are going to call me shallow and hey, maybe they're right. The thing is, because I enjoy her company, I've tried to look past this and told myself that the more time passes, the less of an issue it will be, but it doesn't seem to be the case. I can't stop noticing the hair.

We haven't talked about it, but in my opinion there is no way she hasn't noticed which has led me to believe it must be one of two things:

1) she knows and doesn't care.
2) she has tried many things to get rid of it to no avail, and has had to accept that she has some noticeable facial hair.

If 1) is true, then it would kind of bother me that she doesn't want to look her best for me and that she isn't comcerned enough about her health to get checked out (I have a feeling some people won't like this comment, but I try hard to look as good as possible for her).

If 2) is true, then I would have a new level of respect for her, and may even be able to get past the issue as I'd know nothing can be done about it.

I'd really like to discuss the issue with her and get it out in the open. I realise she may well have a health conditon that is causing this, but I think she ought to let me know about this if it is the case. I told her of a health condition that could be considered embarrassing so, logically, I think we should be able to talk about this. Realistically, I know it's going to be a hard one to talk about.

I'm not sure if this makes a difference, but she has made it clear that she wouldn't date a man with a micropenis and that, if I had one, she would have dumped me. To be honest, this made me feel bad for guys with a micropenis, but also made me think that if she can think like that about something someone can't change, surely she'd be able to understand my issue with her facial hair, something she potentially can change? Just a thought.

Sorry for the long message. I know this is a sensisitve issue, and I'm looking for some advice on how to approach it. I really like this girl and think we could have a great future together, but the sad fact is I'm not sure if I can get past this, but feel it may be a fairly simple thing for her to take care of if I bring it up...but bringing it up could end the relationship immediately!

Any (helpful) comments and advice would be much appreciated!
posted by Coolcatjc to Human Relations (89 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
A question for clarification: you have tagged this with PCOS. Is this because you know she has PCOS, or because you are wondering whether she does? The responses you get might differ a bit depending on which of those it is. (Because if she does have PCOS and it is being treated with medication, the hair might go away on its own, in which case she IS treating it, or this might be less than the amount she used to have, in which case she's might be overjoyed that it's only a few hairs now, or she might be keeping the hair unplucked as a way of telling how well the treatment is working.)
posted by lollusc at 2:05 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Thanks for your comment lollusc. I don't know if she has PCOS, but I know of the condition and realise that it is a potential cause of the excess facial hair. Good point about that being the potential reason for her not removing the hair.
posted by Coolcatjc at 2:09 AM on December 18, 2016

Since giving birth I have a very noticeable hair that appears on my chin; which is to say, it could be hormonal even without an official diagnosis.

Why on earth would you not just give her the benefit of the doubt and assume #2, and move on happily assuming she's a badass? I think once you're traveling or moving in together and sharing a bathroom you'll have a much better idea of whether it's 1, 2, or some 3rd option and how to go about saying something if at all.

Also, how good is her eyesight? My mom and a close friend both have terrible eyesight (very different issues), neither can wear contacts, and neither wear makeup. Which is to say, there's a good chance neither would notice something like this, though both know so and are willing to consult very very close friends (if you're dating that's unlikely to be you - yet).

Lastly, while I do pluck this stray hair there is an unavoidable period of stubble until it's long enough again. Also, I can attest that it is harder to see than one would think.
posted by jrobin276 at 2:22 AM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]

then it would kind of bother me that she doesn't want to look her best for me and that she isn't comcerned enough about her health to get checked out

You know you're going to get called on this, but perhaps you don't know why. It is COMPLETELY NORMAL for healthy young women to have some facial hair. What you're describing, 'several' - by which I'm imagining a half dozen or so? - longer, darker, thicker hairs on the chin is normal. It is by itself absolutely no indication that she should go to a doctor. So, however, you tackle this, do not add in the 'health concerns'; they have no basis, and sound like concern trolling.

tbh, I admire your girlfriend like woah for letting them grow. I wish I had had the confidence in my mid-20s to let my couple of stragglers do their thing instead of obsessing about plucking them the minute they appeared.
posted by AFII at 2:25 AM on December 18, 2016 [81 favorites]

Speaking as a female with loads of facial hair, including those chin hairs you mention on your girlfriend, it isn't as easy to remove as your question seems to believe. You can remove it with hair removing cream, but that has chemicals which can leave your skin itchy and red. You can wax it or thread it, but that fucking hurts and can also lead to rashes especially if you have sensitive skin. You can shave it but then it grows back spiky and itchy. (At least in my experience.) You can get it lasered, which is very expensive and painful.

When you say you try to look as good as possible for her, what does that entail: wearing nice clothes, working out? Those things aren't actively painful or bad for you: in fact you're really doing yourself a favour.

But for some women, especially women with very sensitive facial skin, removing facial hair can be a no-go. I have a relative with really heavy facial and body hair but she just can't do anything about it that won't leave her sensitive skin a disaster area.

I think it's unfair to resent your gf for not doing something when it isn't that easy or painless or cheap to do, and for what? It's not like it's harming her in any physical way to have a few hairs on her face, nor is it harming anyone else!

I admire other women who have the courage to rock significant facial and body hair when bombarded by social messages that tell us that's unacceptable. And for no logical reason other than society seems to hate it when we don't look a certain way. Good for your girlfriend. I hope she doesn't change. And I hope you can get past this.
posted by Ziggy500 at 2:29 AM on December 18, 2016 [84 favorites]

Or perhaps 3, 4, 5) she hasn't really noticed, doesn't realize it's such a monumental issue for you, has noticed and was planning on getting to them at some point?

Honestly, you sound like you have more empathy for some (entirely imaginary) dude with a micropenis than for your girlfriend, and if you're so scared of your inability to bring this up without potentially ending the relationship, I would say your communication skills need some work. If you must bring it up, definitely do not phrase this as 'Honey, do you think you might have PCOS? Those chin hairs of yours really concern me. No, really, I'm just worried about your health!'
posted by and her eyes were wild. at 2:32 AM on December 18, 2016 [40 favorites]

Another reason for having long dark facial hair is just being a human that is alive. It can be perfectly normal, even for a young woman, particularly when it's just a few hairs like this. I know many women with the same thing, some that remove it and some that don't. So your assuming she has a health issue because of this one thing is misguided and you should probably stop that. Trust that she knows enough about her body to realise when something may or may not be a problem worth discussing with her doctor.

My husband has really large hairy moles in visible places on his body (arms being the main one). The big clumps of thick, long, black hair that grow out are like nothing else on his body, they're quite impressive really. I decided early in our relationship that I would not let myself be grossed out by it since he doesn't seem to care. So instead every time I started to think about it I just moved my eyes to something else. It took some doing because man, those hairs are in your face and they did make me feel a little nauseous to start with. But it seemed like a silly thing to get upset about when he's really nice otherwise and it was worth the effort. Now they don't bother me at all. So this is one option for you, just look up at her eyes or whatever and make a decision not to think about it.

Personally I find option one the one that makes her a badass. Why should she care about what society says about her looks? Particularly when Western beauty standards are based around a blond, white lady and somehow expects all other complexions and colours to keep up with that. It feels off to me that you only consider her worth respecting if she has tried to fit into society's standards and failed, rather than just deciding to love herself as she is. So that's also something you can think about for yourself.

If after all that you do decide to talk to her about it then just ask a simple, neutral question then wait for the answer. Something like 'what do you think about how this hair grows?'. Don't give your opinion or judgement because it's her face, her business. But find out her thinking and go from there. I have hair growing in non-standard places -since I'm not blond and all- and had small discussions with my then boyfriend about it when our relationship was relatively new and it was fine. The reason it was fine was because I was able to laugh and say 'yeah, I don't give a shit' or 'oh god, trying to remove that is so painful I've just decided to live with it' (depending on which bits we're talking about) and then we moved on to other things.

Lastly, she knows they're there. She can feel them. So trying to think that you're giving her useful information or something is just not true. Don't use that as justification for judging her. Talk to her to find out her thinking and opinions, sure, that's part of getting to know her. But as some kind of trying to help thing, no. She doesn't need your help in this matter.
posted by shelleycat at 2:36 AM on December 18, 2016 [19 favorites]

Did you not notice this when you first starting dating her?
posted by bearette at 2:38 AM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]

Look, relationships are built on physical attraction as well as emotional connection. If you're turned off by a few stray hairs then god knows how you'll cope when your partner starts to visibly age. As someone who has some visible facial hair (and body hair and body fat and smile lines and psoriasis and big ears) but has never struggled to find men who fancy me please, I ask you to please let this woman go find a partner who isn't a ticking self-esteem-destroying bomb.
posted by dumdidumdum at 2:40 AM on December 18, 2016 [156 favorites]

I have a female friend who hated her body hair (bikini, chin). Her boyfriend was also super hairy (shoulders and back) and hated his own body hair too. They had both been shaving but found it too stubbly. So he bought them both full body laser for Xmas. It's kind of expensive but you can find good deals. It worked for this couple I think because the woman mentioned it first and the guy also endured pain on an even larger body area. Your mileage may vary.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 3:17 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

I get chin hair. I don't have PCOS.

I don't let it grow, because it annoys me (I can feel it). I'm sure if I did I'd endure some dumbass judgment from society. I've gotten dumbass judgement on the softer hair I choose to leave, and frankly those people can go jump in a lake.

I tweeze mine off with some Tweezerman tweezers, and I keep a pair at home and at work. I don't find it to be a huge pain, but it is a pretty much constant low level drain. I am willing to put in effort because it annoys me, not in order to please someone else.

So your health concerns are wrong (and kind of bullshit, you're trying to dress up your appearance concern so it's more acceptable). You think young women don't have any facial hair because beauty standards require its removal- it's not a sign of health trouble (on its own). And I think you might be underestimating the effort involved here too.

If you do decide to bring it up, do not make a big deal about it. Do not try to hint at it. Just be simple and direct and say "I'd like it if you did this for me." Be sure to indicate your ability to get over it in case it's something she isn't able or willing to change. After you bring it up you might give an opening: "is there anything about my appearance that I can change for you?"

Oh and pick your moment. If you do this while you're gazing lovingly at each other or you're unclothed, it might not go so well. Might not anyhow, but you've got to decide if a few stray chin hairs are worth being seen as judgey about her appearance (because you are being judgey). You don't get to change her appearance while somehow pretending you're better than that.

My upshot: I think your GF is a badass already. I think if you want this minor aspect of her appearance to change, you have to own up to wanting exactly that and be willing to make changes for her, too.
posted by nat at 3:44 AM on December 18, 2016 [37 favorites]

Oh, also, order matters here. Have the conversation first, before you go buy her tweezers/laser session/whatever. Offering to defray the costs if she decides freely to remove the hairs is one thing; assuming beforehand that she will do so for you would be stupid on your part.

Also stupid would be if you ask for this and then complain about the time her beauty routine takes.
posted by nat at 3:48 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

I'm a woman, and I'm totally understanding the answers above- a woman's physical appearance is something that can trigger heaps of self doubt and general 'not confident-ness' - at the same time society feels like it's cool to dictate what a woman "should" look like. (Screw that.)

That said, I totally get that one of the reasons you dig this woman is because you dig physical appearance. I've had conversations like this with my fiancé along these lines- I know that he has a preference for shaved legs, for instance, and I'm happy to oblige there (sometimes). He has also expressed a preference for longer hair (what, it should all be on my head and nowhere else??) and I prefer to keep it short. These can be hugely tricky conversations to have- it's OK for you to have a preference, it's OK for her to not agree with that preference when it comes to her own body.

In the wrong moment, these conversations can be hugely crushing for me- However, we have had positive conversations about this- mostly, though, when I bring it up. I think making loving compromises for each other is something that makes a relationship- he doesn't eat seafood when he is with me, because I have an allergy. I shave my legs more often than I did when I was single. I don't feel like this is a huge imposition on my life. (On the other hand I keep my hair the way I like it- ultimately I have to be happy with it.) On the other foot, he's currently growing out his facial hair because I like it- I know lots of women with quite strong opinions on facial hair!

So, what is my advice for you, someone who wants to bring up something quite personal about a person you like very much?
Pick a good moment- perhaps when you are having a conversation. Maybe "so what is your opinion on facial hair?" (we have lots of these conversations about lots of things- so this phrasing isn't weird for us.) Step 2: listen. What is her opinion on facial hair for you? If she mentions that she has them for a reason or likes them or whatever, you can continue on, knowing what she feels- you could let the conversation wander away. If this conversation is going well, maybe say "so I've noticed that you've got some hairs on your chin" - this is neutral. not "so can you please deal with those gross whiskers" - and see what happens. Maybe she will get hurt- maybe she will be open.

It's a massive thing to comment on a woman's physical appearance- especially in a close and trusting relationship. Choose wisely how you proceed!
posted by freethefeet at 4:10 AM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]

I would just talk about to her, she will probably start removing them once you do- she may have just been trying to ignore them or not noticing them anymore. I think the above comment is very good but I would be more direct- as the indirectness sometimes gets lots or misinterpreted and then that makes it even more awkward. If it's a tactful and respectful conversation, then either the situation will be fixed or at least you will understand it better.
posted by bquarters at 4:36 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Be prepared that if you do bring this up, it may make a small but real difference in the relationship. I well remember the only relationship I was in - back when I dated dudes - where the guy made little remarks about my appearance, and it just....gave me a feeling like he felt he was entitled to micromanage my appearance, which I would never, ever have done back to him. I remember pretty much every one of his remarks. I'm sure he didn't mean them unkindly, they were all pretty trivial (except the one haircut I liked and he did not) and I generally went along, but it did not contribute to a climate of equality in the relationship.

Me, I'd let something like this go (and I pretty much always have).
posted by Frowner at 5:05 AM on December 18, 2016 [38 favorites]

I get these sometimes, and it's 100% possible she doesn't notice - I don't spend much time looking at my chin in the mirror. You can talk to her about this it it really bothers you, but tone down the concern trolling/the whole, "Oh, she must feel so embarrassed!" thing. That would feel so patronizing that it would be hard for me to get past.
posted by superlibby at 5:32 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

It would not bother me at all if somebody I was dating turned to me while we were sitting on the couch or whatever and said casually, "Do you know you have a little chin hair there?"

If I didn't do anything about it, and then, later, the person I was dating said, while I was getting ready to go out, "I know this is insanely shallow, but those little chin hairs kind of bother me, did you ever think of plucking them?" then tbh if I wasn't that into the relationship, that might serve as the reason to break up with the guy; if I was, and I otherwise trusted his genuine affection & attraction for me, I would do it.

For what it's worth, I was in a relationship for a long time where the length of my boyfriend's hair had a huge impact on my level of attraction to him; I talked about it, just basically being like - I really, really love it when you have shorter hair - and he mostly kept it short; sometimes he let it grow longer and it wasn't that big of a deal. That said, in retrospect, I feel like one of the major issues in our relationship was that my attraction to my boyfriend was relatively fragile: I had to try to be attracted to him. That may be what's going on here - your ambivalence about the relationship is surfacing in your brain fixating on these smaller things. It's possible that you're a shallow asshole who wants to micromanage his girlfriend's appearance because of SEXISM (those dudes exist!) but it's also possible that if you found someone you were genuinely passionate about, you'd find a few stray hairs on her chin kind of cute and not nearly this big of a deal.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 5:54 AM on December 18, 2016 [24 favorites]

I realise she may well have a health conditon that is causing this, but I think she ought to let me know about this if it is the case.
Why? Why is it any of your business? Just because you shared an embarrassing medical condition with her, she owes you now? Its probably not medical, its a completely normal thing that happens to loads of women. Trying to make this about her health is just more bullshit people use to try to impose their aesthetic values on others without sounding like judgemental assholes. If you want to be shallow and/or judgemental, that's your choice, if you don't want to date a girl with a hairy chin, that's your right but own it, don't hide behind faux concern for her health.

I have chin hairs and I do have PCOS and just FYI, even if she does have undiagnosed PCOS, there's no cure, they can only treat the symptoms and depending on your health care system, they may only be interested in treating the infertility, which isn't a major issue if she's not trying to get pregnant. As symptoms of PCOS go, a few chin hairs is nothing! Does she have any other symptoms? When I notice the hairs I remove them, but that's because they annoy me when I touch my face and they can get quite long before I notice, some are dark, some aren't - you don't say which her are but of they're the clear kind, she may not have noticed. I have 2 follicles that sometimes grow insanely long hairs, we're talking 2-3+ inches before I notice them because they're clear.

There is so much judgement in your post its unbelievable and there's no way you can bring this up with her without that coming through. If she's tried to remove them and it hasn't worked, you'll respect her more but if she's just accepted it without exhausting her hair removal options, she's a bad person?

I'm just gonna put this out there - I don't think this is about the chin hairs. I think your relationship has deeper problems if you're obsessing over this small aesthetic detail. IMO, if the chin hairs were the real problem, you wouldn't have made it 5 weeks, let alone 5 months. If you really love someone, you don't care about chin hairs or weird moles or any of that superficial crap. I'm about to go visit my partner in hospital, where most of his bodily fluids are attached to him externally via tubes and bags and it doesn't bother me or gross me out at all because that's how much I love him (we're together 15 years, I don't expect you to be at poop bags and catheter love yet but at 5 months, you should be past facial hair, if she's really the one)

Everyone gets to decide where their line is, and what their dealbreakers are - she's chosen micropenises (I'd really love to know the context in which that came up, personally its not something I've ever even considered!) , if facial hair is yours then so be it, just break up with her, otherwise, stop staring her chin so much - that's just plain weird ;)

There is one thing you could possibly do - you could get her a spa day/pamper experience gift, including a facial. This is something a sensitive beautician may be better placed to bring up with her if she genuinely hasn't noticed - this assumes she's into those kinds of beauty treatments. There's no guarantee the beautician will mention it and if she does your girlfriend may choose to leave them and you wont know which but I still think its better than trying to bring it up yourself
posted by missmagenta at 5:57 AM on December 18, 2016 [27 favorites]

We both have our flaws as everyone does but, unfortunately, I'm finding it tough to get past one of hers - her facial hair.


Any (helpful) comments and advice would be much appreciated!

Facial hair is not a flaw, and you do yourself a disservice by allowing yourself to remain convinced that it is.

In your situation, I would be taking a long hard look at the reasons why I thought that appearance "flaws" were even a thing, and then getting mad as hell at whoever it was* who influenced my thinking in such a way as to dent my relationship with my beautiful facial-hair-having partner.

*Clue: it was Gillette, and they did it for no better reason than to sell more razors.
posted by flabdablet at 5:58 AM on December 18, 2016 [42 favorites]

I have a couple of these hairs and they tend to sneak up on me - it's very hard to see them in the mirror even when I *know* one is there. Sometimes they get horrifyingly long before I notice and evict the dang squatters. I'd want my partner to tell me. "Hey did you know you had a hair there?" as pretentious illiterate suggests, would be fine.
posted by bunderful at 6:02 AM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

I have facial hair and frankly I think it's sexy. I know this isn't the dominant opinion, and I know lots of men probably disagree with me, but it's also a litmus test: I'm not interested in dating people who feel entitled to police my appearance along gender norms. I don't have PCOS, and it would take me a less than a minute to shave these off, or pluck them out, but I don't give a fuck: I'm hot in other ways, and my chin hairs complicate my appearance like, oh I don't know, kintsugi.
posted by tapir-whorf at 6:16 AM on December 18, 2016 [21 favorites]

As you think about this more, I'd focus on your response. So it's not "Her hair is a problem," but "I can't get past the hair, which is a problem." Since she might decide to keep it, and she gets to make decisions about her body, this way of thinking gives you a good lens as of what you can actually control.

So, you can bring it up to get more information. Then you decide to work on the problem of you getting distracted or giving weight to minor physical characteristics. Or you decide that minimizing hair is a requirement if you're going to keep going out.

If you really think the relationship could end because you find it hard to get past the hair, then you have little to lose by bringing it up.

I'm not sure I'd bring it up to her explicitly as a relationship dealbreaker. It would depend on the dynamic.

I disagree she owes you a revelation about her health just because you shared one with her. It may be just as logical for her to withhold (if something exists), because she has her own timeline and her stuff may be different from your stuff. I'm not saying she has anything healthwise related to hair--that's quite a leap--but in general I think looking for less of an exact, precise reciprocity might help. Reciprocity comes in many ways. So, I'd stop thinking about it that way.
posted by ramenopres at 6:46 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

You seem to be asking for advice on ways to communicate your judgments and sense of entitlement to your girlfriend's body and appearance that will most benefit you -- i.e., that will result in the outcome you desire, and not in your girlfriend realizing that you judge her and feel this sense of entitlement because you've...earned it? After five months?

I don't think this is possible. Based on how you've presented yourself here, I agree with others who say that your actual feelings and attitudes will come through.

This is not to say that I think it's impossible to have good conversations about appearance and attractiveness with one's partner. But it does not seem possible, to me, with the attitudes you've revealed so far.

I also agree that it seems like you should probably do some deeper thinking about this before you consider bringing any of it up with her.
posted by schadenfrau at 6:47 AM on December 18, 2016 [24 favorites]

You know, maybe part of why she likes you is because she is under the impression that you're not bothered by minor things like her facial hair.

Either you've seen them since day one, or they've grown in. If they've grown, then she'll likely take care of them at a certain point. In this case it might be okay to gently point them out. However, making it about her health is manipulative. Don't do that.

If they've been there the whole time, I'm not sure why you've been dating her if it bothers you so much. If this is a deal breaker, then do her a favor and move on.

A few hairs is not in the same ballpark as a micropenis, by the way.
posted by blackzinfandel at 6:50 AM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]

This is entirely your issue, not hers. Lots of women have a few facial hairs without having any medical condition.

I think you should approach this as "how can I stop obsessing over this insignificant detail on this otherwise lovely person?" Do you make mountains out of molehills in other aspects of your life?

You're reading all this meaning into the existence of these hairs that is not there.

If you force her to talk about this with you, you're forcing misogyny on her. The idea that she doesn't love you enough to look good for you because she won't remove a few hairs is a deeply misogynist idea.
posted by hyperion at 6:51 AM on December 18, 2016 [31 favorites]

In a good relationship, it should be possible to talk about things like each others' appearance (hair, clothes, etc). The big red flag to me in this question is not the hair, it's that you can't seem to find a way to talk about it with her, and in your question here you keep trying to duck behind invented health concerns. I would focus first on learning the skills to communicate openly and lovingly, and only then try discussing something potentially sensitive like this.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:54 AM on December 18, 2016 [9 favorites]

I think they're sneaking up on her, and she's just not noticing. Because guess what, if you're looking at your face straight on, with normal 60-100 watt overhead light, you're just not going to see anything going downstream from your check or neck if you're not awared you have to look there. If they're long, they're going to be extra sneaky (bc they reflect light differently than cut hair). She's not going to think to check there in day light.

I say this because no offense, I somehow doubt she's both dating a person with your concerns and so radically self accepting that she can move past a very deep and widespread social norm.

I don't think you should tell her. Because even if you don't suck at it, she'll be mortified. You're the absolute last person who should tell her.

One way to go would be to set the stage for her to discover it on her own. This would involve changing the lighting in your bathroom and having a large 12 x magnification mirror located at a little lower than face height somewhere in there. (Eg in shower on suction cups.)

Lighting should be just really bright, and well distributed. And/or - have used this trick to catch small eyebrow hairs - red light eg from a heat lamp will turn any dark hairs *quite* dark. Even the length of a hair that's still under the skin will be made visible.

Anyway you could try those. There's no way for you to bring it up and be cool. Mentioning it to a friend will make you look like an asshole.

It's true that hair removal is a horror for most women, and is a function of patriarchy, you're completely shocked and grossed out because you've been led to believe chin hair is unnatural in women. And women aren't exactly rushing to tell you they pluck. OTOH hair is a thing that s been controlled in different way since old Egypt, so...

Anyway try to be decent, here, it's not her fault. Just don't look. If it bothers you *enough* that you can't stand it, break up rather than tell her why, imo. Honestly too painful unless it's delivered with absolute love, acceptance, and humour.
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:10 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I have had one long hair on my face since puberty apparently. I have didn't notice it until my twenties. It was just one hair at a strange angle and I didn't see it until I bought a magnifying mirror and family and friends never mentioned it. Even if she does know they grow very fast.

Welcome to the world of people, we all have bumps and lumps and weird hairs. Mention our to your girlfriend in a none judgemental way, do not mention your feelings on the matter. She either knows and doesn't care for what ever reason just hasn't noticed them. Her response will tell you how you go forward.
posted by wwax at 7:11 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

1) she knows and doesn't care.
2) she has tried many things to get rid of it to no avail, and has had to accept that she has some noticeable facial hair.

Consider option 3:

Your girlfriend is an awesome, fabulous person who knows that she is beautiful and attractive without being what current beauty standards consider perfect, she thinks your relationship is based on mutual trust, understanding, and shared interests, and that you both love and accept each other as you are.

Your attitude is unreasonably entitled and judgmental, and this is far more of a problem for your relationship.
posted by bile and syntax at 7:17 AM on December 18, 2016 [21 favorites]

These responses reaffirm that this is a very sensitive issue indeed, but as a woman who tweezes a few chin whiskers regularly & does some facial waxing, I understand where you are coming from & don't think it's an unreasonable thing to broach with your girlfriend. I think it's important to acknowledge that you would be hard pressed to find a woman who doesn't have naturally occuring chin hair, & we don't all have PCOS. It may be less noticeable on others because of their hair color or grooming rituals, but, trust me, we all have it. While this is a charged topic, I also know a lot of women who have problems with hairy men & strong opinions about what type of facial hair is appealing, & they aren't quiet about it. Is it a problem for me? For the most part, no, but, while I don't care if a guy has a hairy body, I find unibrows & moustaches incredibly unappealing & wouldn't feel bad about mentioning that in a caring, loving way. I wouldn't go so far to say it's a dealbreaker, however, if everything else was great.

Everyone who says you should proceed carefully & choose the right time is spot on because, yes, conversations about our appearances are difficult. I like the above suggestions of beginning the conversation with a question, but since you're eventually going to get there anyways, I think it's best to be direct. Something along the lines of, "I noticed you had some chin hairs. What are your thoughts about facial hair on women?" or "I noticed you had some chin hairs. Do you want me to let you know when I notice them or should I just butt out?" might work.

I wouldn't get into the "if you cared about me, you'd put the effort in" thing. While I understand that thinking & believe most people regardles of gender try to look nice for both ourselves & our partners, everyone has a different idea of what that entails. Also, certain topics are button pushers. For me, it's my weight. I'm currently overweight, I'm not happy about it, want to change it, &, when I feel like it, have discussed it at length with my partner, but if my partner identified that as an issue for him or tried to monitor my efforts to lose weight, unless I asked for help, I would shut down very fast. There are some medical issues that are barriers to my losing weight, but, even if there weren't, my weight in no way reflects how much I care about my partner or our relationship. Facial hair could be a button pusher for her, so pay careful attention to how she responds and adjust your approach accordingly. As mentioned above, it's important to keep in mind that there are going to be times when we don't put a lot of effort into our appearances because life happens. If either of you are sick or dealing with a stressful time, you may not have the energy left over to do your usual thing appearance-wise, but still really want to see each other & probably need each other even more than usual. If your relationship is a good one, appearance will not matter then.

Basically, start the conversation gently with a question and let her lead. If she asks for your opinion, then be honest, but in a caring way (probably the most neutral thing you could say is that sometimes it is distracting). Also, asking if there's anything she'd like you to do differently is a good way to demonstrate that this is a two-way street & if she's willing to cater to your preferences, you are happy to do the same. Best of luck!
posted by katemcd at 7:20 AM on December 18, 2016 [15 favorites]

If you really think the relationship could end because you find it hard to get past the hair, then you have little to lose by bringing it up.

But she has a lot to lose. You're not the only person in this relationship, but by micromanaging her appearance, you're putting your own preferences over her bodily autonomy.

I dated a guy who thought I should "look my best" for him. It started small, he didn't like my thick eyebrows. I plucked them. He didn't like my pubic hair. I shaved it, every day. This escalated into managing my clothes, my hair, my makeup, my diet, my weight. By the end, when I finally got up the courage to leave, I weighed 88 pounds. And I felt like I was two inches tall. He did a number on my self esteem.

And he started small. He started chipping away at my autonomy and my control over my body by being really bothered by my eyebrows and by deciding to tell me he was bothered. And that he just wanted me to want to look my best for him because he tried to look his best for me. This was a common refrain from him. And it implied something: that by being myself, I wasn't trying. That he knew better than I did what looking my "best" was. That I needed him to teach me how to train my body to be as attractive as possible. This is deeply misogynistic, I'm sorry to say.

This is not about the chin hairs. This is about control. You can tell yourself all day that you'd never get that bad, that you'd never make her lose weight, but here you are, asking people for advice on how to control your girlfriend's appearance.

Talking about this with her has the potential to do serious damage to her. When you're with someone you don't think about whether you have nothing to lose when you want something. You think about both of you. Honestly, the kindest thing you could do is break up with her, kindly, without mentioning this. You're not attracted to her, and you have some work and self examination to do before you date.
posted by sockermom at 7:25 AM on December 18, 2016 [114 favorites]

Yeah I think the way you worded this question is gross. "...[I]t would kind of bother me that she doesn't want to look her best for me and that she isn't comcerned enough about her health to get checked out..." you have to accept that some people are going to look the way they want to look and everyone else can go suck a duck.

However, I, too, have a dark chin hair that recently started growing. I don't have PCOS, it's just regular hormones. I didn't notice it at first and I don't think anyone else did either (or if they did they didn't say anything). My preference is to pluck the hair, and if my husband had said "oh looks like you've got a chin hair just there," I would have been happy he pointed it out, mildly fascinated/disgusted with my body for a moment, and swiftly plucked it away. Alas, I found it first.

I don't really get why people are suggesting this big sensitive speech about the hair. Just turn to her on the couch and say, "oh, looks like you've got a couple hairs there." If she says, "Yeah, that's Curly, Moe, and Larry," then you're SOL and you have to rethink whether you can be ok with dating someone with chin hairs. If she's thankful you pointed them out and plucks then, you have no problem.
posted by ancient star at 7:43 AM on December 18, 2016 [9 favorites]

I guess in the early stages of a relationship this is important info. I think I would talk to her about it because she has a right to know that the guy she's dating has a tendency to obsess about some hair she has on her face, having bought into a view of the world that gives men latitude to choose how they deal with hair but tells women there is only one acceptable level of body hair, and she can decide whether she wants to have to deal with that for life or not.

From the vantage of 22 years of marriage, I have to say I am getting to the stage where I'm aware that one day one of us will be gone and that I would miss every single hair. If you can't get there that's ok but do let her know.
posted by warriorqueen at 7:49 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

Just ask her why she does not pluck them. In a nice companionable moment, when you're sharing stuff about yourselves, ask her why. Maybe she doesn't care; maybe it's too ouchy, maybe she can't see them, maybe she's making a political statement.

Then maybe you can turn the conversation to how it's less than sexy for you. It's true, we all have things that our partners find less than sexy. How you navigate them is with love and respect for your partner and an awareness that you might be unreasonable or that it might be worth getting over to stay with someone awesome.

I will agree that this "[I]t would kind of bother me that she doesn't want to look her best for me and that she isn't comcerned enough about her health to get checked out." sounds like patronizing, internalized structural misogyny. You have no idea what's going on in her head (and are expressing little concern for the demands on the psyche the whole "Be Attractive to Your Man" bullshit creates in a person) and the "why has she not seen a doctor for a few chin hairs??!?!?!" is a bullshit cover story, whether you know it or not
posted by crush-onastick at 7:55 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Sorry for the long message. I know this is a sensisitve issue, and I'm looking for some advice on how to approach it. I really like this girl and think we could have a great future together, but the sad fact is I'm not sure if I can get past this, but feel it may be a fairly simple thing for her to take care of if I bring it up...but bringing it up could end the relationship immediately!

It sounds from the way you lay this out that what you need to do is bring it up, and risk ending the relationship. I have dated people who would call something like this to my attention, probably by looking at the area repeatedly and then reaching out and touching it and saying something like, "Oh, that's a hair; I didn't know what that was." (Not sure what the exact words would be; with me it was my feet always looking kind of busted and un-pedicured. So it was like, "Wait, you don't cut your toenails?) To be clear, I think that's absolutely buffoonish behavior, but if that is how you roll, she might as well know.

I do agree with others that from here on out, you shouldn't date people who have big deal-breakers in their appearance, and certainly not for five months with exclusivity.
posted by BibiRose at 7:59 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

To me, an issue with the "just point it out" thing is that body hair is a huge source of shame for women in a way that it is not for men. There's certainly some "men's body hair ew" discourse out there, but nothing like the whole "normal, real woman are naturally hairless, you should work hard to conceal your deviation from the norm, and if you don't you're disgusting" routine that women get.

I say this quite seriously as an AFAB person - there are many entirely normal and average things about my body that I thought were freakish anomalies until well into my thirties. There are several things about my body where I nearly match the beauty ideal, in fact, but because I did not match porn, I thought I was deficient. Women, especially but not exclusively straight women, are not only taught to be ashamed of the natural state of their bodies but very often are taught that they and they alone are disgusting, hairy, etc, and that they need to be very careful to cover up their deviation from the norm.

It's also important for men generally to understand how much work goes into the cultural narrative of "men and women naturally look extremely different". We construct these bodies where women's bodies are smooth, women's hair is long, women wear make-up and do all kinds of things to keep their skin supple and even-toned, women take care of blemishes, women wear clothes that make the body look as small as possible, women wear shoes that make the feet look small, and men leave their skin alone, cut their hair short and pay little attention to it, wear bulky clothes and shoes, do very little hair-removal, etc. And then we pretend that the natural state of things is that men and women are extremely physically different. It's not natural. It's constructed, and it results in men who feel that when women do not do every little thing to emphasize how "not man" they are in appearance, then those women must be somehow physical failures.

Think about this: your girl friend is never, ever going to say "you have a tiny physical anomaly, literally the size of a few hairs, and it's an appearance deal-breaker for me". Your girlfriend will not do this not only because women are socialized differently than men but because we all grow up with the idea that men's bodies are "natural" just as they are and have a sort of "natural" right to exist in their original state. It is for this reason that you equate "my girlfriend thinks she would break up with a guy with a micropenis - an imaginary guy who she's never met, so really she might change her mind if she really clicked with this theoretical guy with a rare condition" with "I should be able to tell my girlfriend that a couple of chin hairs render her unattractive to me". Men's bodies are, on average, granted a right to exist that women's are not.
posted by Frowner at 8:00 AM on December 18, 2016 [195 favorites]

Having read Frowner's response-- with which I agree, by the way-- I wanted to add that your decision shouldn't be based on any projection about how she is going to react, or feel. Certainly not on how she should react. You may feel it wouldn't bother you in her place, and people may say it wouldn't bother them, but that doesn't prove anything about how it's going to affect her. It is very likely that it will bother her and she will break up with you because of it. If she doesn't, then great, but she really may and you can't control that.
posted by BibiRose at 8:19 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'm in my early 30s and my girlfriend is in her mid 20s.

oh jesus. I would have said yeah, tell her, it'll give her a good reason to break up in all likelihood and you didn't want to be with her anyway. plus everything Frowner said. but I missed this part, or didn't dwell on it. Yeah, when she's young enough that this is still probably one of her formative relationships and you're nearly a decade older? when you're attracted enough to significantly younger women to date them, but unable to be swept away by the physical passion of new love that eroticizes every weird thing about the person? some guys love women in their mid-twenties because they consider that age the peak of physical perfection, but the other great advantage of a young woman is that an older man can more easily convince her he knows what's normal and what she should do. this is so unsavory.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:23 AM on December 18, 2016 [65 favorites]

You can ask her about it, directly. It may not really be as big a deal as others are suggesting. I do care about what my boyfriend thinks of my appearance--his opinion is second only to my own. We have had discussions about things much more serious than our looks. Also, in general, we are not very sensitive about our appearances, so whether we like or dislike something, we roll with it. I always wanna know what he's thinking, even if I don't like it, even if I disagree strongly, at least I know.
posted by girlmightlive at 8:32 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh my goodness. Just tell her. Life is busy and it is hard to see your own chin. Like sometimes I'll find a hair on my chin and think Jesus how long has THAT been there?? Just tell her.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:34 AM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]

I've had a little bit of facial hair since I went through puberty, and as I've aged it's increased a bit. The medical condition that causes this is called being a human being -- every woman I've ever met has had some amount of facial hair. I used to tweeze these hairs off but as someone else mentioned upthread, doing so is a constant low level of work that ends up being pretty draining. Not having the kind off money required for laser or electrolysis, I started shaving.

I dread returning to dating because I dread having a boyfriend like you. I don't want to trust my heart to someone who will make weird judgements about my attractiveness and make assumptions about my health simply because I am a human being.

My advice is for her to dump you.
posted by palomar at 8:34 AM on December 18, 2016 [41 favorites]

For what it's worth, it's possible that a casual and neutral, "hey, not to be awkward, but did you know you have a couple long hairs on your chin?" could be easy. The answer could be "shit, thanks, I had no idea, and while we're talking about it, the end of your nose is growing some fuzz." Or "yeah, I've made my peace with them." Or "FUCK YOU," I guess. I think there is a large percentage of women who would appreciate the heads up, if done politely.

If she's working on fulfilling her potential to be bearded, then that's cool but maybe she's not the one for you.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:35 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

If you believe that a normal body function is less than the "best" she is required to look "for you", you should break up with her.

Women die from this kind of critical pressure to conform to impossible beauty standards, especially as wielded by men who consider them an entitlement.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:41 AM on December 18, 2016 [43 favorites]

also even when I was young and eager to please, a guy could have requested that I modify literally any other part of my body, from waxing my head to tattooing the soles of my feet, and I would have said Oh sure or Fuck off, depending how I felt about it, with no angst or hesitation at all. but if they had asked me to shave my face I would have died of shame and exploded of horror and never gotten over it my whole life long (so OP, if the worst happens and she does break up with you over it, you will be That Guy in song and story for as long as she is in the bad-boyfriend-storytelling phase of her life. which for some people is their whole lives. maybe that is fine with you but be prepared.)

Anyway, nobody ever did say a word about my face which I think is because I didn't need ("need") to fix anything about it. but it could have been because they were just too tactful to ever bring it up, and you know what? that is just fine. that is exquisitely fine.
posted by queenofbithynia at 8:51 AM on December 18, 2016 [11 favorites]

Serious question: If these chin hairs are visible to you at all times, and if you consider this a flaw that you're finding it tough to get past, then how have you gotten to the point that you've already been dating her for 6 months? Were you so smitten with her in the beginning that the chin hairs didn't bother you? Because if that's the case then you should consider whether your problem with the chin hairs is the result of waning interest in her, and not the cause. If that's so, then bringing it up with her will only hurt her and ultimately not help your feelings about her anyway.
posted by HotToddy at 8:55 AM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]

Just ask her about it. Jeez.

At five months it isn't unreasonable to state minor, achievable aesthetic preferences. If you were a woman and you told your boyfriend of 5 months you preferred the clean shaven look no one here would be flipping out. In no way should you expect she feels obligated to take your preference into mind when she grooms, but it isn't "controlling her appearance" by mentioning it.

As for how to do it- make it low key. While watching a movie look closely at her and say "Hmm, you seem to have a chin hair. Want me to pluck it?" If she is an emotionally healthy woman, this will not destroy all of her self worth. I promise.
posted by KMoney at 8:55 AM on December 18, 2016 [5 favorites]

Thanks for taking the time to answer and give me your opinions. There have been many great answers that have made me think about myself and the relationship.

I probably haven't worded things too well in certain areas which may have caused some of the more negative responses which, again, makes me think I'd probably suck at bringing this up with her.

I should point a few things out.

1) I don't think it's misogyny to think that someone may want to look good for their partner. She can expect the same of me, and if there was something changeable about my appearance, such as trimming body hair, that she would rather I do, I would want her to tell me. I've been in such relationships, so it can work both ways. Don't misunderstand me though, I am not saying men trimming body hair is anywhere near as sensitive an issue as women with facial hair.
2) It isn't just a couple of hairs. When we first met there were a couple that I didn't think much of, but there are many more now and they have gotten longer which has led me to think it may be a health issue - I'm not just looking for excuses with that.
3) People can have their opinions on how much physical attraction matters, but I think most people would agree that it does play a role.
4) I really am concerned about her health, but society has moulded me to think women tend to be pretty hairless on their face. I didn't realise that so many women do have hair on their face and have no health conditions, so thanks to those who have pointed it out.
4) I don't think the 6.5 year age difference is such a big deal, so the few who focused on that, well, I disagree.

I understand that I may come off as an ass in some of this, and maybe I am. Unfortunately I do live in a world where too much pressure is put on people to look good, which does suck.
posted by Coolcatjc at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

That you don't think it's misogyny to expect a woman to police her body to please her man does not mean that it isn't. That is quite a different thing than acknowledging that sexual attraction is part of a relationship and quite a different thing than both women and men having preferences in a partner.

What is the result of structural misogyny is not that you find chin hairs off-putting. The result of misogyny is your framing this as disappointment that she is not prioritizing her appearance to you by letting the chin hairs grow.

Sounds to me like you have not got the right mindset to have this conversation, yet.
posted by crush-onastick at 9:06 AM on December 18, 2016 [68 favorites]

If something bothers you, bring it up. But not as a "why wouldn't you look your best for me" framing which is a put down and unhelpful, but something that acknowledges that you have the issue and are asking for a favor, which is "I am kinda obsessed with the hairs on your chin, would you be willing to pluck them?"

Though better, if you have an awesome partner, is to learn to be at ease with the small things.
posted by zippy at 9:07 AM on December 18, 2016

I think the "just bring it up, short sweet and casual, and it'll be no big deal" approach would only work in relationships that are a lot more respectful and equal than yours is coming across.

Women are mammals, we're covered in hair. Most of us do a lot to remove it but expecting a mammal to present as hairless every day is pretty strict.

Bluntly, I don't think you can manage to ask this of her without telegraphing the entitlement, resentment, misogyny, and ignorance that comes across in your post. Also, if you are concerned about her health that is TOTALLY not going to come across if you bring it up as a criticism of her face. I don't get your update at all-- if your concern is her health and not her sexiness, why is the question all about her looks?

If you can throw the attitude that your girlfriend "owes" you a level of physical attractiveness--to be determined solely by you--in the garbage, that might help you get over this, or get to a place where bringing this up isn't going to be so loaded.
posted by kapers at 9:07 AM on December 18, 2016 [18 favorites]

I don't think the 6.5 year age difference is such a big deal, so the few who focused on that, well, I disagree.

OP I would urge you to consider which 6.5 years you're talking about. I briefly dated someone (another woman) who was 26 when I was 32, and HOLY SHIT do those years matter. This is not to say that those relationships can't work out, but in my own personal experience (including friends' relationships, and others I've been in a position to observe), those are some key life-learning and self-actualizing years, and that difference in experience seems to lead to serious power disparities. I would be really, really wary of this, because when someone doesn't have the experience or the self-actualization or the confidence to either stand up for themselves or assert healthy boundaries, by definition you have no way to know that that's what's happening until it blows up in your face.

(Unless other behavior sets off your "hey this might not be ok" alarm and you get out real quick, as I was fortunate enough to do.)
posted by schadenfrau at 9:08 AM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]

I don't think that you having a preference for women with no facial hair is a problem in and of itself, but it is problematic that you assume that (a) it's easy for her to meet your preference and (b) that her not doing so means she's not "trying her best".

If she's not managing her chin hair...then there's probably a reason. And I say this as a woman who routinely plucks and waxes and all that jazz. When I've been in a relationship, it's something I partly did for my partners, but paradoxically the level of labour involved is something that men in my life have treated me like garbage over. Like, how dare I make space for grooming rituals that keep you attracted to me? Especially if a woman can't meet that beauty standard consistently despite effort (which might be true of your girlfriend if she's particularly hairy), they open up the possibility of being derided by men close to them for trying so hard but not being hot enough, which seems a lot funnier to men than simply not trying at all. It's not just jerks who do this - it's men who want to stick it to women they claim to care about. Maybe she just wants to avoid going down that rabbit hole?
posted by blerghamot at 9:11 AM on December 18, 2016 [16 favorites]

[A few deleted. This is not the place to argue with each other or the OP or start a wide ranging discussion / rant. Answer the question if you have suggestions. Try to be helpful with realistic advice, and "you may not have considered X" is fine, but this space is not for debate and discussion.]
posted by taz (staff) at 9:18 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

As a human being and therefore a mammal, I have facial hair on my upper lip and chin. Dealing with it is, as someone above said, a constant source of low level stress. I tweeze regularly but the chin hair in particular is difficult because it's hard to see to tweeze, if that makes sense (I have to like, scrunch in my chin to access it but then it's hard to see). The upper lip hair is tough because I can see it at the corners of my upper lip but it's hard to get closer to the middle of my upper lip. If I tweeze at all, then get the facial hair waxed (which costs $25-50, takes time out of my day and mental bandwidth to schedule an appointment or remember which waxer is open after work, who did a good job last time, who did a lousy job last time, etc.), it grows back at random intervals so even if I get waxed once a week and try to keep up in between with some tweezers, I will miss some. I don't want to shave because I'm worried that will make the situation worse - if I miss a day tweezing, I might have five hairs that go rogue but if I miss a day shaving, I worry I will actually look like a dude. And I tried laser hair removal on my upper lip and it grew back. As a result of having constant upper lip hair, I never wear lip color because even though I think I'd like how it looks, I worry about drawing attention to my hairy upper lip. I haven't had my face waxed in months and I feel worse about my appearance as a result.

When you want to talk to your girlfriend about her facial hair, that's what you're signing her up for. It's not just like shaving your face every other day or getting your hair cut every six weeks. And mind you, my husband doesn't seem to care whether I wax or not. That's all me projecting my own insecurities onto my face. So yeah, if I was your cool girlfriend, I'd probably rather dump you than deal with that nonsense. If I could dump the part of my brain that makes me care about my facial hair, I totally would.
posted by kat518 at 9:35 AM on December 18, 2016 [11 favorites]

Also, since you say you didn't know women naturally have facial hair, you might not know that if she gets it waxed, it has to be a certain length to do so, so you periodically will see it longer. Maybe she's between appointments?
posted by kapers at 9:38 AM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]

OP, if the worst happens and she does break up with you over it, you will be That Guy in song and story for as long as she is in the bad-boyfriend-storytelling phase of her life. which for some people is their whole lives. maybe that is fine with you but be prepared.)

In case all the cogent arguments about patriarchy, misogyny and sexist expectations haven't convinced you (and reading your update I can see you still don't quite get the level of inequity in this area, between expectations for men and for women), at least consider what queenofbythynia says above. Because from the way you've carefully presented this question, it implies you really, really want to be perceived as a Nice Guy Who Cares. If you mention this, and she's mortified and you break up, you will be forever known to her circle of friends and possibly beyond as the Insensitive Jerk Who Brought Up the Chin Hairs.

I have an ex who did something really mind bogglingly insensitive and egregious (way worse than this) and believe me when the bad exes storytelling competitions come up, the story I have about him is the prize winner. I never fail to tell that story because it's hilarious (now) and a great example of bad ex behaviour, but dude, you probably don't want to be that guy.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:48 AM on December 18, 2016 [11 favorites]

I don't think the 6.5 year age difference is such a big deal,

It doesn't have to be. If you don't interpret her physical maturity and hormone levels as potential indicators of her respect and affection for you, it's no deal at all.

It's not that it's good for a guy her own age to make the same comments, it's just that it's easier for her to wonder if maybe you're right, if you're older. You don't seem like someone who thinks of himself as using his greater age to pressure and bully, but that is the thing that's a pain in the ass about dating a younger person, is you are obligated to wonder about that every now and then. That willingness, and being the kind of person who thinks of it as a possible issue in the first place, are the factors that make dating younger not a problem.
posted by queenofbithynia at 9:51 AM on December 18, 2016 [9 favorites]

OP, if the worst happens and she does break up with you over it, you will be That Guy in song and story for as long as she is in the bad-boyfriend-storytelling phase of her life. which for some people is their whole lives.

Yup. I had a big crush on a guy for a while. Then we started dating and he made me feel badly about my body hair. Guess what I remember about him. On the plus side, he made my husband seem that much more amazing.
posted by kat518 at 9:53 AM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]

Maybe the hostility in some of the other answers here comes from the the wording of the question rather than the content? The standard AskMeFi relationship advice is talk to your partner. Still applies. She might not know about the facial hair; everyone has blind spots. And of the people in her life, you may be the only one willing to have that awful conversation.

The long-term alternative is that you break up with her and never reveal to her why. To me, that's a. gutless, and b. more damaging. Appearance does matter, especially hygiene. Which, culturally, is where this falls. If you've noticed the hair, then other people in her life have too.
posted by pot suppeck at 10:08 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

[One deleted. Sorry, Coolcatjc, moderator here -- taking a detour into the larger quasi-philosophical question of "what is misogyny" or related big-picture questions is really not going to work here. AskMetafilter questions need to be focused on practical answerable specific things, like "what should I do", so they don't turn into free-ranging discussions. At this point, you've asked your question, now just let folks answer and you can mark as "best" the ones that seem most useful to you.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:20 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

It's typical for women to grow more of these visible and dark hairs on their chins (and necks and upper lips) as they age--and I mean starting in their 30s-40s. So keep in mind that even if you wind up moving on and start dating a different woman who appears to have no significant facial hair, there's an extremely good chance that she will eventually.
posted by wintersweet at 10:32 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

I think she doesn't know and doesn't want to have visible chin hair.
Since it bothers you, you should tell her. Do not cage your conversation as concern about "her health." Erase that angle from your mind. As dozens of women have told you in this thread, all people have facial hair. She sounds like she has very normal facial hair and far, far less hair than someone with PCOS would have. (And if she did have PCOS, the idea that not "treating" it is some kind of moral failing on her part is insulting. There's very little treatment for PCOS available).
I disagree with the above posters who suggest planting mirrors at chin level or bringing up facial hair in some kind of casual conversation. I think those kind of tactics may sound like they are sparing her feelings, but she will know that you noticed and didn't tell her directly, she will still be embarrassed, and she will be insulted by the manipulation.
Tell her, "Hey, I know this is a really normal thing for women. I notice you have a few hairs on your chin. Do you know about that?" Maybe you could do this when you're at your place and you have a pair of tweezes in your bathroom. So if she says she's embarrassed about it, she can take care of it.
Jeez that does sound like an embarrassing conversation, but I think avoiding it and dumping her or resenting her is far worse.
The women I know who purposely avoid removing their body hair are women who I would never question their motivations or awareness of the hair. Does that make sense? I think if she was someone who refused these kind of gender roles, that you would know that about her. And from what I can tell, you probably would not be the best partner for that person. Facial hair is a highly volatile and emotional social standard for women. I greatly admire the (very few) women I know who don't remove their facial hair. They don't have PCOS. They do have mustaches and small beards. These are women who live as social activists and are very vocal and passionate about their beliefs. Their facial hair is by far the most radical statement they make, and they would not be shy about talking about it with a partner.
So that's a really long-winded way of saying she doesn't sound like someone who actively chooses to have visible facial hair. She will probably be very embarrassed when you tell her, she will probably eventually remove it. The removal will be something she'll then have to keep up with on a daily basis.
I hope this question and the dialogue you started has helped you learn about the high level of standards women have to reach just to live and be considered "acceptable."
posted by areaperson at 10:33 AM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

Suffering Jesus, just talk to her. It's ok if you can't get past it, that doesn't make you a bad person. We like what we like.

I can't say that it's ok to judge her negatively, or place some kind of moral or psychological or physical pressure on her, so, you know, don't do that.

Far better to get this out in the open now instead of when you have been married for five years.

Just bring it up, and deal with it instead of stewing about it in your head. Be sensitive, but be honest.
posted by Ecgtheow at 10:43 AM on December 18, 2016 [4 favorites]

does she wear makeup? i ask because it seems to me that if she's applying makeup every morning and cleansing at night, that's probably enough mirror time to notice something like that (barring short-sightedness, which could also be a factor, i guess). how likely do you think it is that she hasn't noticed, given that you have noticed, and given that you've described the hairs as being pretty... well, noticeable?

more broadly, i think what's so 'off' about your initial post (and you may not have intended this) is that it's worded in a way that is a) shaming, and b) suggests a sense of entitlement to her body and presentation. you have framed this as you wanting her to "look her best" for you, but why is it that you should get to be the arbiter of what her best is? where is her agency in this? this might seem glib or mean but i honestly, sincerely advise you to reflect on this, and to think really hard about how you might separate your feelings of repulsion from your concerns about her health and about your relationship - because while obviously social conditioning is a thing and you feel the way you feel, having her be privy to that repulsion is going to hurt her so much. it's coming across so strongly in the way you've worded things in your initial question, and she just doesn't need to deal with that.

(this is my first ever post after about a century of lurking - i hope it's okay!)
posted by the north sea at 10:45 AM on December 18, 2016 [24 favorites]

[Coolcatjc, check your MeFiMail--I've sent you a link re: your question in your deleted update]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:01 AM on December 18, 2016

FWIW I don't think it was the most right for your girlfriend to pressure you about your back hair either and there's probably a reason you're not still with her.

It's not that I think it's terrible to talk to each other about appearance. But I think if your image of what she should look like is trumping your appreciation of what she does look like, to the point that you're posting about it and considering it a deal breaker, then there's something wrong. I have sympathy that you are operating in a world that doesn't see women with facial hair as one option for them, so to you it feels basic. But it is prioritizing that view over the person in front of you. You're not like hey, whatever you do is cool but I'd love your face hairfree. You're like oh my god what is wrong?? Is it PCOS?? Do something.

Also, dealing with facial hair is really public. If your back is waxed and grows back or you have laser treatment on it, you can cover up during the off times. But on her face if it's red or blotchy or she gets ingrown hairs, it's all public.

Finally as we get older our bodies do all kinds of fun things. I had a hormonal reaction in pregnancy that didn't go away afterwards and the skin around my eyes is all mottled. I would never, ever want to be with a partner who could not handle changes in my appearance...I would consider it a given that he would trade me in for a younger model one day.

Men do this because it is societally acceptable for a whole whack of economic and social reasons and you are basically saying you are one of them...because you are not making the effort (yet! You may start today!) to realize that your taste is malleable and that your view that if she were worthy of your love she would look a certain way is in fact a pillar of sexism. It is the same "just reality" that kicks great saleswomen out of jobs at midlife, etc. etc. If you want to come out of that view you do need to be able to put hairs in perspective. It's just's just removing it...they are equal choices; you could adjust your view instead.
posted by warriorqueen at 11:04 AM on December 18, 2016 [6 favorites]

For those wondering how she might miss it if she wears make- up, these chin hairs can be very stealthy, and grow at angles you don't see straight on in the mirror. I would just mention it with the least amount of fan fare and apology. If I had a small cut or blister or something on my neck, my partner wouldn't hesitate to mention it to me; he'd assume Id want to know so I could choose how to handle it. If he mentioned a few chin hairs in the same way, Id be a little emvarassed but that would pass quickly and Id be glad he'd made me aware. That's just my point of view.
posted by Rapunzel1111 at 11:06 AM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Is your GF generally meticulous about her appearance? Hair and makeup, fashion conscious clothes? If so, this hair non-removal should be assume to be deliberate -- something you decide to live with, or not. If she's more casual about her appearance -- ask her to remove it, but be prepared to be dumped if you do!
posted by MattD at 11:08 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Everyone has body hair. I'm frankly shocked that you've never noticed this in other people you've dated or even just spent time with.

I, like literally 100% of other human beings, including women, on this planet, have body hair. I had one previous boyfriend who asked me to remove some of it which he found displeasing during sex. I did so, because it was a serious relationship and honestly, if this is a thing he finds important enough for sex to ask for, that's fine with me. (Also let's be honest, I also enjoy sex.) My current partner has never brought it up. After a reasonable period of time I asked if he had any preferences about it. He said it didn't matter to him. So now I have both body hair *and* a heterosexual relationship. I know, women really can have it all nowadays, right?

In your girlfriend's position, I would probably be waiting for you to bring it up. At which point I would consider whether I felt like complying with your request or not. If I did not want to pluck my chin hairs despite good reasons supplied by you ("I think it's important to keep yourself up for your partner" is not a good reason), I would continue not doing so.

Oh, and fun fact? The guy who didn't have weird hangups about the fact that I'm a human being with body hair? Reader, I'm about to marry him.
posted by Sara C. at 11:28 AM on December 18, 2016 [13 favorites]

I think the safest strategy here is to honestly be curious about her but without judging. Something like, hey can I ask you a super-personal question? I'm sure you've thought about removing the hairs on your chin?

But you'd have to really, really just be interested in what the answer IS, and be able to say, huh, that's interesting. WITHOUT any unstated "because I think it's weird or you're doing it wrong". I'm not even sure it's in the way you ask, you just have to have that kind of relationship where her assumption is you're doing the former and not the latter. Do you?

Maybe she has no real preference and will ask you what you prefer. Maybe her answer will make clear to you that you'd better just drop the subject and decide if it's a deal breaker or not. Maybe you'll get to have this philosophical body-policing/sexism discussion with her. You'll have to listen.
posted by ctmf at 11:34 AM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

When we were first dating, my husband's long nostril hairs squicked me out. As we became closer and more sexually involved , I mentioned it. He trimmed them and has done so ever since. If he considered this to be some terribly draining chore, it's never mentioned it in over 30 years together.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:45 AM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]

> When we first met there were a couple that I didn't think much of, but there are many more now and they have gotten longer which has led me to think it may be a health issue

How many people need to tell you it's common and normal before you lose the "health issue" angle? I really feel like telling you you need to get over this, because mammals are weird and they just get weirder as they get older. Have you got ear hair yet? No? You probably will. How do you plan on removing that? That's a hella painful area to tweeze, not an easy area to see to shave... This is why you see older dudes out in public with ear hair: their barber takes care of it when they see the barber, but between visits, it grows. Are you planning to be a man who has electrolysis on his ears in middle age for the sake of your partner...? You are maybe a decade away from new bodily maintenance issues presenting themselves. Will you be Minoxidilling it up when you get a thin spot? Plucking those odd non-beard upper cheek hairs? Grooming the non-eyebrow brow hairs?

Anyway, the "couple...more...longer" makes me wonder if she goes for a periodic waxing, because there are enough to merit waxing, and it's not a thing she's at ease with doing herself, and professional waxing isn't free, and it makes sense to go when you actually have a bunch of stuff you want waxed.

Also, in re. the impressive amount of interest in the extent to which your GF should maintain herself to please you: YOU CAN'T EVEN TALK TO HER ABOUT CHIN HAIRS! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT SHE DOES OR DOES NOT DO!

Early on, my partner was surprised, and quite mortified when he realised he was wrong, to find out: I do not dye my grey. He is very grey in his 40s; I'm not, something like 70% of women here dye their grey, it was a reasonable assumption to make, that it was dye and not genetics. It's been 2.5 years, now, and we both have a pretty good idea of what the other does and does not do cosmetically, and the only requests made have been: I'd prefer if you had a beard as you have in the past; even freshly shaved the stubble scratches me up, and, please keep on with the red lipstick; I find that hot. He's often been bearded and I am nearly never without the lipstick, so they read more as compliments, I think. Mostly it's just nice if we're clean. Gussying up is for going out.

But he has ear hair, and I offered to have a go with tweezers. At which he winced terribly, so, I used clippers with no guard and mowed it down that way. If you do not have a pile of hang-ups invested in these things, it really isn't that hard to say "Hey, you have hair here, did you know?" And if she is open to it -- you're the one with the better view -- tell her you'd be happy to tweeze.

But it sounds like the problem is more the pile of hang-ups. The idea that her not minding her COMPLETELY NORMAL chin hair is somehow disrespectful to you. That you are not close enough to cheerfully and kindly say "Hey, did you know you have a few hairs on your chin, can you even see them? Don't worry, it's not, like, a beard!" The insistence on a "health concern" when you've had a pile-on about it being normal. I would do a lot of introspection here, and THEN ask. There is probably something you are doing "wrong" in her eyes -- do you want to hear she's tired of snagging her nails on your cheap acrylic sweaters and you should switch to wool or cotton? Everybody knows your "Rolex" is fake so throw the silly thing out already? Find a better barber as this one doesn't know how to deal with your boatload of neck hair? Use conditioner/oil on your ultra-wiry pubes? Everybody's got something.
posted by kmennie at 11:48 AM on December 18, 2016 [14 favorites]

Another thing: Think about whether you're likely to make another big appearance ask. To my mind - leaving questions of gender aside - making a big appearance ask (about something that is under your partner's control without dramatic life-changes) is probably okay in a relationship. Maybe you find your partner's new hairstyle really off-putting, or you get hair in your teeth during sex, or you are overwhelmed by how hot they are if they grow a beard, etc. Making a single ask in a good relationship about a modification that your partner can readily make, and being willing to take no for an answer - that seems reasonable. Making a lot of asks all the time and constantly nit-picking their appearance, or asking for something that is basically "you have a beard and hate shaving, could you be clean-shaven instead even though you hate shaving" or worse....that's morally bad and the death of a relationship.

So I guess another question for you is - looking into your heart and being honest with yourself, do you feel that this is the ask? Like, you're not going to start asking her a bunch of other stuff? If this is the ask, then ask politely. If it's actually NBD, just work on learning the mental trick of getting used to it. That's a good trick to know in the long term, for one thing.

For me, I actually did ask a partner to change an appearance thing once and I don't regret it - but it was once, and forever after in that relationship, I was done. I made one request that was important to me for what I felt were good and sufficient reasons, and that was it. If this is "it" for you, then go ahead - but be sure that it is.
posted by Frowner at 11:49 AM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]

Also a lady with facial hair, and I think for all the wide-ranging answers here, your final paragraph is what matters most. Are you willing to lose her over this? Yes, it is quite possible she will be angry or upset. Yes, this is a sensitive subject for a lot of women and a bellwether for whether or not you will be nitpicky about her appearance. Yes, it is quite possible *I* as a lady with facial hair would break up with someone who asked this, because I would feel insecure knowing our relationship hinged on some hairs.

So if you're willing to lose her, then fine, it's OK to ask. If you feel like you'd rather have her with the hair than not at all, I would keep my mouth shut.
posted by nakedmolerats at 2:13 PM on December 18, 2016

I'm going to be generous here and take you at your insistence that you really are concerned about her health. You can stop worrying. If the chin hairs were a symptom of a medical problem and that medical problem was bad enough to be concerned about, she would have other symptoms, much more concerning symptoms than a bit of facial hair.

Maybe there are more now because she's between waxing appointments, maybe its just because she's at the prime age for these sorts of changes or maybe she's just growing them out because she's comfortable enough with you to do that now. This looking your best for your partner is fine in theory but, at least as a woman, its not practical to keep up 24/7/365, I'm at the age/relationship security level that all that hair removal and make up etc is for special occasions only now!
posted by missmagenta at 2:22 PM on December 18, 2016 [3 favorites]

They are longer because that is what hair does.

I have some chin, neck, cheek, and boob hairs. I pluck them for my own sake and my partner never gives a shit. He will pluck the ones on my back if he remembers. I poke the odd shoulder hairs, and we generally keep an idea in our head of each other's body hair pattern.

He has never once mentioned the health aspect (no PCOS, indeed I have the ovaries and uterus of a healthy textbook example) or that I should do something about them (or the belly stripe - again normal for women - or my pubes). He has said he prefers my hair long but still is attracted to the buzzcut-me, and similarly for me and the beard (although he looks significantly younger without it which can be more offputting than just aesthetics).

Your position is one that ignores what is normal for women and tries to claim a better access to knowledge about women's bodies than you have.

But chances are she missed a waxing appointment and you just have no idea on her grooming rituals because you haven't even realised they exist.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:52 PM on December 18, 2016 [8 favorites]

I would say, "hey u got a chin hair," in the spirit of idle discovery.
posted by rhizome at 3:14 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Pointing out chin hairs=pointing out zits. Nthing MYOB.
posted by brujita at 3:30 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

>I disagree with the above posters who suggest planting mirrors at chin level

Yeah as the person who suggested that, I also now disagree. (I think you could probably pass it off as part of your own routine, and anyone concerned about chin hair might benefit from some aspect of it but in this context it is just crazy [post Xmas party] advice that should be ignored.) Still agree that you should not discuss this under any circumstances. Deal with it or don't
posted by cotton dress sock at 4:05 PM on December 18, 2016 [2 favorites]

Hair on her chin isn't a problem. (I fell off a cliff and split my chin open, and now have long, thick, dark hair that grows out of the scar, despite being light-haired. The scarred area is delicate, and it's painful to tweeze, so I shave it off when I feel like it, and don't when I don't. It's a thing many women have.)

Your sense that she should be concerned with correcting anything you don't physically like about her IS a problem. There's nothing wrong someone dressing up occasionally/wearing something they know their partner likes to please their partner. There IS something wrong if they're expected to regularly/permanently alter their appearance to their partner's specifications.

The fact that you're dating her doesn't make her body yours.
posted by ElizaDolots at 6:08 PM on December 18, 2016 [12 favorites]

I agree that attraction is important in a relationship, but I also don't think her grooming decisions are really your business...

One way to go about this social minefield:
- Could you maybe start by asking her what HER physical preferences are in you?? E.g. what haircuts does she like, does she like you to have stubble or clean shaven? Does she want you to work out more? You said that attraction is important in a relationship, so you should want to please her, you should be prepared to make changes, too!
- And once she has given her feedback, and hopefully she will ask for feedback too, you could point out the things that you prefer in your partner? This requires a great deal of tact, because if she's dating you, she probably will feel hurt if you imply that anything is her fault. Maybe start by saying, you look good in [outfit]! Your hair looks nice when [ ]... And I also prefer it when girls have no stray facial hair?

Hm this sounds like a challenge in tact LOL - good luck!
Also you should be prepared to make changes with her! The patriarchy is stupid and unfair, but you don't have to be!
posted by Crookshanks_Meow at 7:19 PM on December 18, 2016

If you ask her this, you need to offer an equal (and equally entitled) trade.
posted by fritillary at 8:10 PM on December 18, 2016

I'm very fair, and my hair is fair, and I had one chin hair. However, it was a good 2 inches long before I noticed it. (I hit that area with the IPL on the regular now.) I was out with some girlfriends a few weeks ago and ALL of us had a story that was something along the lines of "This weird hair was like a million inches long before I found it. WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME!" Based on that I think it's entirely possible that she doesn't know.

You've taken a lot of heat about this question, but I'm not sure any of us can command ourselves to be attracted to someone - no matter how much we like and respect that individual. There are lots of people that we like as friends but don't pursue as partners. As much as we may want to smash oppressive beauty standards, attraction is difficult to command. If this chin hair business is a real issue for you, then be an honest partner and ask about it. If she says, "Yes, I know about my chin hair, and I'm good with it," then you can make a decision about whether it's a deal breaker. If she says, "Damn are they BACK?!? Let me grab a tweezer," then that's okay too. She may also decide that they don't bother her, but she'll pluck them because they bother you.

The other thing is that you have an assumption that partners stay attractive for each other. That's not always the case. I know plenty of people who got married and immediately stopped doing the extras. I know other people who consider primping and pampering to be for themselves and if a partner benefits, well fine, but that's not the objective. (I'm in this camp.)

If you have a problem, then be an adult and have a conversation about it. Don't hint or hope. Communicate.
posted by 26.2 at 8:27 PM on December 18, 2016 [7 favorites]

Personally I think a lot of the answers here are pretty harsh. For many people, it's not just possible to turn physical attraction to someone one and off at will. And, like it or not, physical attraction is also important to people in romantic relationships -- especially at just a few months in!

From my own experience, though, when little physical flaws start bugging me in a way they have not before, it's usually a sign that the relationship is on the downturn. Obviously this issue was not such a dealbreaker early in the relationship or you would never have had a second date. That this is now bugging you so much says to me that perhaps you should do some thinking about whether fixing this one small issue would really solve all your problems with the relationship.

If you really 100% truly believe that if this one issue were solved, it would really change things, then it may be worth it to bring up (gently/kindly!). Otherwise, I think 5 months is soon enough that it's fine to say -- look, it's just not working out, let's go our separate ways.
posted by rainbowbrite at 9:26 AM on December 20, 2016

I'm not sure if this is just an AskMF thing, but there seems to be a great deal of diving down OP's throat about misogyny over this. Or maybe it's just a guy thing. If my (female, 9 years younger) partner wanted me to change something about my appearance I would do almost anything within reason. She is insistent that I don't dye my grey hair (and changed its style slightly), she prefers more hair downstairs, she prefers my stubble shaved very regularly and brow/ear hair very tidy. Of course I am more than happy to do any of those things and if she were to change her mind I would change things like that because they don't really cost me anything nor do they change who I am. Similarly, she has asked my opinion about her hair and I've expressed my preference and she's gone with that happily.

I do remember a previous girlfriend who had slightly mad spiky red hair (for red, read purple). This was her "quirky thing". It was fun, if perhaps a little on the mad side for her age. Occasionally she would ask me what colour she should choose before going for another salon session, and occasionally I would suggest that she tried a different colour for a change. But it always came back purple. Not really a massive thing I guess. Interestingly, a while after we split up she had it done in a similar style but blonde, and it looked great.

The point is that in a relationship that's working well I believe that both parties should be happy to do these relatively simple things for each other without questioning why the other likes them. I'd be fine to do anything that didn't require immense pain or make me look daft to the rest of the world.

I think OP would like some help with the phrasing of the question rather than a dressing-down about its validity. It's a relationship, and OP doesn't need a reason to break it off (as we're told so often), and so logically it follows that even the weakest reason in the world is at least as good as no reason at all.

More importantly, it reflects the mutual commitment within the relationship. If OP asks (and I agree that it should be a straight ask with a side of "I just prefer this, sorry" rather than any kind of fake health concern) then the answer should be taken at face value. The answer might be "sure, I'll get it sorted, I just haven't got around to it". Or it might be "I had no idea", or "it's really hard to do, because of X reason". Or it might be "stop trying to tell me how to look, I don't think this relationship is important enough for me to be bothered doing something that's your preference and not mine". Or any number of other responses. He can then take it from there. Not from the resulting hair, but from the position taken by his girlfriend.
posted by tillsbury at 10:27 AM on December 20, 2016

My sister and I both have visible facial hair. We inherited (inhairited?) it from our extremely hirsute father; when he hits the pool, it looks like he's wearing a fuzzy brown sweater. Sis cares not in the slightest about hers. I shave and pluck obsessively. The difference: I dated a guy who was bothered by it. He was "worried about my health." He made me go through a thorough gynecological exam because he was so sure there was something wrong with my hormones. I had nightmares for months. Guess what? Nothing wrong with me. I'm just a mammal.

I don't shave my pits. I don't shave my legs. I'll go months without touching my eyebrows. (It's not political, I just don't care.) But my face, it's smooth as a baby's butt. If something happens that I can't get a shower for a couple days (because Reasons), I'll spend hours at my desk with a mirror and a pair of tweezers, plucking as much as I can get to before my arthritis and peripheral neuropathy take away my ability to do so. The handful of times I've been forced to leave the house without having shaved (ER visits, etc.), I've had an extra level of anxiety on top of everything else, because I have five o'clock shadow.

The kicker? I was with that guy 20 years ago. Twenty. And I'm still fucked up about my facial hair. No matter how caring you try to be, no matter how much you want to be a nice guy about this, you have the potential to have a serious and long-lasting effect on her self-esteem and self-worth over something that is absolutely normal.

Something else to consider: When my parents first married, my mother would do her best to get up before my dad, and go to sleep after him, so he'd never see her without makeup on. She wanted to look her best. These days, she sleeps in, because she wants to BE her best. She's comfortable enough, both with herself and my dad's love, that she doesn't have to look her best at all hours. She's confident that he loves her no matter what she looks like. Maybe after living with you for five months, your girlfriend is secure enough in your relationship that she doesn't have to look her best all the time.
posted by The Almighty Mommy Goddess at 1:52 PM on December 20, 2016 [9 favorites]

Thank you all for your comments. Even the potentially overly negative ones have helped me realise the bottom line - I love this girl and don't want to lose her, regardless of some hair on her face. She is the nicest, funniest, prettiest girl I've ever met and I'm done with being silly about this.

I'm not going to bring it up with her, as it may cause irreparable damage to her self esteem, it may hurt the amazing person that she is, and it may end a relationship that I realise is the best thing that has ever happened to me.

Again, thank you all for your comments - you've helped me realise how silly I was being and I should just let myself be happy for once.
posted by Coolcatjc at 2:24 PM on December 20, 2016 [26 favorites]

Yay! Gosh that was a satisfying resolution! Good for you, may you have many happy years together. (Also just want to confirm yet again that facial and body hair is as normal for women as it is for men, and that almost every woman you know has spent untold hours and thousands of dollars on it, and if your girlfriend is cool enough with herself not to have to put herself through all that, then damn, she is lucky and so are you.)
posted by HotToddy at 3:08 PM on December 20, 2016

I'm done with being silly about this.

Well played, that man.

All the best to both of you.
posted by flabdablet at 9:33 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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