Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Boyfriend Doesn’t Think I’m Pretty”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I live in India and have been going out with this guy for over two years now. I’m 23 and he’s 27 and we got engaged four months ago. I always knew him as a guy who isn’t very expressive, so I never thought that he not giving me compliments was a big deal. But recently I started wondering if he even likes my looks. Several times I’ve observed that he calls very average looking girls pretty. Sometimes they’re even below average.

I initially ignored it thinking maybe he’s just being nice and doesn’t want to judge or be shallow, but I’ve noticed that whenever he calls a girl pretty or good looking, they’re all of a similar type: he likes sweater-wearing sorority girls. You know, formally dressed. Whereas I, on the other hand, am a tomboy with piercings. But I’m good looking. Guys think I’m hot. I think I’m above average. My friends think I’m totally out of my boyfriend’s league and he never stood a chance with me.

So I asked him recently how he could like the girls who are opposite of me. I said that I’m clearly not his type and he said, “I love you for your nature, not because of your looks.” I mean, that’s what you say to an ugly person — or someone who you love despite their being ugly. I didn’t know if I should be happy or sad. Then he said: “You’re gonna be my wife. I’ll like you no matter how you look.”

Now everything makes sense. No wonder he never compliments me — he doesn’t like the way I look! He’s not expressive, but he should at least think I’m good looking inside his head. He’s shorter than me, but he’s always seemed pretty confident despite that, which I always appreciated, but now I know he was confident next to me because he doesn’t think I’m all that great.

I’ve been getting warning signs about this relationship since beginning but now they’re getting bigger and larger in number. Am I just freaking out for nothing? — Not a Formal Sweater-Wearer

***************

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

205 comments… add one
  • avatar

    csp June 19, 2013, 9:09 am

    I think you are over reacting. I think you backed him into a corner. He told you he loved you and that he would love you forever and you took it as “I am ugly.”

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  • avatar

    spark June 19, 2013, 9:12 am

    MOA! You’re out of his league and he’s treating you like he’s doing you a favor by accepting you despite your looks and dating you?! You can do better.

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  • avatar

    MissDre June 19, 2013, 9:19 am

    The red flag that I got from this letter is not what he thinks of you, but that you describe the man you’re going to marry and spend the rest of your life with as “this guy” that “I’ve been going out with”. Really? That’s how people talk about booty calls, or someone they’ve only been seeing a few weeks and aren’t really serious about, or aren’t exclusive with.

    This is the man you’re going to marry! You should be head over heels in love with him! You didn’t say anything nice about him. You say that you’re out of his league. You call him “this guy”. Why are you with him??

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    • avatar

      Anon June 19, 2013, 9:57 am

      She’s in India. Dating works very differently over there. People don’t really date casually there. Things are changing in the urban areas, but in general monogamy-heading-towards-marriage is still the norm (arranged marriages are still very common in urban areas, probably the majority of marriages in smaller cities/rural areas).

      ALso, she’s 23. She’s approaching “marriageable age” (if she’s not there already, depending on what type of family/geographic area she’s from). If she has a steady boyfriend that she’s been with for 4 years, everyone around her is probably seeing an engagement as a done deal.

      If she’s saying other guys think she’s “hot”, then she’s probably quite pretty, just not her boyfriend’s type. If she was “on the market”, it’s possible that her parents would be fielding offers right and left. THe fact that he’s saying “I love you for your nature, not because of your looks”, means that he’s got his priorities in order. He might find a different look more attractive, but he also knows that looks aren’t the most important thing to look for in a partner.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar June 19, 2013, 10:11 am

        Yeah – not everywhere in India is like that. I have friends in their thirties/forties who dated (dated dated – not chaperoned outings dated) when they were younger in India – and that was many years ago. It depends on where you live. If she has piercings and dresses like a tom-boy I’m guessing she isn’t traditional. And she is the one who said she was going out with him for two years. I think Ms. Dre’s point is valid. She is upset her fiancé doesn’t think she is “hot” but she describes HIM as not in her league. I get a definite contemptuous vibe…like she was doing him a favour and now if offended that the guy she lowered her standards for isn’t all that appreciative. Since she alludes to warning signs – but only mentions this one – she should break up and find someone who appreciates her “hotness” if that is what is important to her – and let him find a girl worthy of his time who doesn’t feel like she is slumming it to be with him.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 10:35 am

        I realize there are cultural differences, but if she’s considering breaking up with him because he’s not attracted to her, then it may not be super, super traditional.

        I’ve had friends who were expected to go into arranged marriages after college, and they were very clear on what that entailed. As in, they would have understood that you may marry someone for other qualities than looks. I know that this could be traditional without being arranged, but the LW seems to believe that attraction is needed in a relationship.

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      • avatar

        Lucy June 19, 2013, 11:45 am

        This in only true in certain segments of Indian society. Others operate on a more Western model. The LW wasn’t clear, but this doesn’t sound like the former to me.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 19, 2013, 9:22 am

    In a loving relationship that is going to last, each person should love the other for their nature/personality, not because of their looks. Looks fade. Someday you and all those “sorority girls”(do they even have sororities in India?) will be older with more wrinkles, bigger waistlines, and thinner hair. So really you should be looking for someone that loves who you are, not how you look. That being said, you should at least be attracted to the person you are going to marry so that you can have an intimate relationship. Are you attracted to your boyfriend? Do you feel that he’s attracted to you? I think you are kind of looking for a problem here. And you need to discuss what those other red flags are. Maybe you are looking for an out in this relationship.

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    • Diablo

      Diablo June 19, 2013, 11:42 am

      I know what you mean, but shouldn’t you find your love beautiful? I know my wife is not as hot, thin or young as Scarlet Johansen, but she is the exemplar of beauty to me, because of the love we share. Her smile, her eyes, her curvy body. Then again, I find lots and lots of women attractive, and I don’t hide it from my wife. But I don’t make her feel less than anyone.

      Part of this is that the guy is a dumbass rookie. If your girl asks if she is pretty, the answer is “you are the most beautiful woman in the world to me. I love you.” Dude, were you born on Mars? have you ever seen a movie? So it is a red flag that he is unwilling to give her the answer she is asking for. Why not make her feel good? If you don’t want to, then why are you in this relationship? Because you feel you HAVE to be?

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      • rainbow

        rainbow June 19, 2013, 12:14 pm

        I agree that not telling her she’s pretty when she asks if she is is a red flag (lie if you have to!). It sounds like the dude resents her for being hotter than him (in the mainstream way) and wishes she didn’t know it.

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      • avatar

        MMcG June 19, 2013, 12:41 pm

        I agree except she didn’t ask if she was pretty, she asked how he could be attracted to girls that were her opposite.

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      • avatar

        Mia October 17, 2017, 12:45 pm

        Oh my god now i know where my fiance got that line! So he thinks I am not all that. Boo

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  • avatar

    cdobbs June 19, 2013, 9:22 am

    WTF? Aren’t we striving towards people not being shallow and loving us for who we are as a person? Not superficial things like what we look like on the outside?….LW the issue isn’t your boyfriend….it is you and your shallow attitude….who says things like: “But I’m good looking. Guys think I’m hot. I think I’m above average. My friends think I’m totally out of my boyfriend’s league and he never stood a chance with me”….i’ll tell you who talks like that, insecure narcissist….this whole letter is immature, you are complaining about your boyfriend not thinking you are attractive, then turn around and basically point out his physical flaws like that is ok…..i don’t know what else to say LW you need to do some self reflection, realize that there is more to life than what a person looks like on the outside

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    • avatar

      muffy June 19, 2013, 9:52 am

      I think she’s just lashing out because she feels like he doesn’t find her attractive. I mean what is he doing going around pointing out people he thinks are attractive? It’s obvious that he is expressive with his feelings, he just doesn’t direct any of that towards her.

      There is more to life than looks but what about feeling like your partner desires you? That’s missing in this relationship and there’s resentment and contempt growing and unless it’s addressed/fixed she needs to break up with him.

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      • avatar

        mochamadness June 19, 2013, 9:57 am

        WMS. Obviously a relationship is about more than physical attraction, but if my partner didn’t call me pretty every once in a while I’d be bummed. Especially if he spends time complimenting others instead!

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      • avatar

        cdobbs June 19, 2013, 10:16 am

        yes….i do agree with you muffy….i think its just the way she is voicing the complaint…..”i’m so hot, he is so lucky to be with me, why doesn’t he tell me that”….also the fact that she kind of bashes her boyfriends looks as well….so why is that ok?….he never really calls her ugly, just doesn’t compliment her….judging by the tone of the letter the LW needs a lot of validation….that is my take on it anyway

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay June 19, 2013, 9:24 am

    Honestly, you sound shallow. You talk repeatedly about how attractive you are, insult your fiance’s appearance, seem to think he shouldn’t be confident in himself and are offended that his thinks women you’ve deemed “below-average” are pretty.

    Look, I can see why it would be disappointing not to get compliments from your fiance, and I do find it a little odd that he didn’t just say you were pretty, but he for sure didn’t call you ugly. It’s hard to side with you because you sound like you have such an awful attitude. I’d be curious to hear what the other “warning signs” you’ve found are, because you sound like you don’t really like him that much.

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    • avatar

      j2 June 19, 2013, 11:50 am

      That sounded odd to me, too. Maybe it’s the “being taken for granted” part that bothers her and she didn’t communicate well here.

      That is, she was giving various justifications for why he should not be taking her for granted.

      I agree that I sure wish she had shared those other “warning signs” and what she likes about the guy. There sure wasn’t anything positive about him in her letter.

      I would add one thing, though. If he’s taking her for granted during the dating phase, it will only get more so when they are married and there are young kids to manage. In that respect, this really could be a big “warning sign.”

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 12:29 pm

        Yeah, even if he does find her attractive, it’s clear that getting compliments is something that’s important to her. She definitely needs to address that now or this is going to be an ongoing dispute.

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  • avatar

    sarolabelle June 19, 2013, 9:30 am

    it sounds like YOU want a reason to break up with him but really you don’t need any reason at all. Break up with him if you want to!

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  • katie

    katie June 19, 2013, 9:32 am

    oh wow way to be the perfect female stereotype, LW. he says he loves you for you and you take it as he is saying you are ugly… wow.

    ok, so here is the thing about attraction: attraction means almost zero in terms of long term potential of a relationship, like, say, one that is headed towards marriage. there are TONS of people, and “types” that everyone is attracted too. we had a funny thread going on last week about “weird” (read: not conventionally attractive) celebrities we are attracted too, for instance. sometimes you are physically attracted to someone who is nothing like the person you would want to marry. sometimes someone who you werent initially attracted to becomes the perfect person to marry. sometimes the people who we are 100% spring-in-your-hotpocket attracted to are the shitty-est, worst choices for a partner.

    attraction does not equal long term potential.

    i think the bigger problems you are facing is that you are not confident in your relationship, you are threatened by your fiance being attracted to other women, you compare yourself to other women, you believe your fiance is with you because he looks better next to you by comparison (wtf?)… you specifically have a lot of issues, it sounds like.

    also: what are these other red flags that have been noticing “since the beginning?”

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 19, 2013, 9:35 am

      Definitely! A lot of my friends have a certain “type,” but very rarely do they actually end up with someone who fits that type. Doesn’t mean they aren’t attracted to that person, though.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery June 19, 2013, 1:44 pm

        Yeah, like LW’s boyfriend knows his physical type will turn out to be mindless bimbos, so he appreciates the LW for ALL her attributes (even her piercings and being taller than him, which maybe are things that bother him, but he can’t control so why mention them?)

        OR… he’s got a madonna/whore complex. I don’t think I know enough to say for sure.

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    • avatar

      sarolabelle June 19, 2013, 9:49 am

      and you know, if you show a middle aged guy a photo of his saggy breasted overweight 57 year old wife and a woman who is 20 and practically perfect and ask him who is more attractive, what do you think he would say? He’d pick the 20 year old, but that doesn’t mean he is going to leave his wife tomorrow for a 20 year old. It is all retaliative.

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    • avatar

      MMcG June 19, 2013, 10:41 am

      Word.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle June 19, 2013, 9:33 am

    It more sounds like this guy doesn’t believe that he ~should~ find his life partner to be “hot” or pretty? I’m interpreting it this way because of the comment you said he made, LW—““You’re gonna be my wife. I’ll like you no matter how you look.” He seems to be thinking far into the future, as you age, possibly become pregnant, etc. & maybe he doesn’t want to over-value you for your looks right now, since he assumes they’ll fade with time.

    Another thought: I once dated a guy long-term who was on the short & heavy side, & SO many people would make comments? (like, “good job landing her!” & stuff. Very rude.) If your looks really are so mis-matched, maybe he’s receiving similar comments, feeling insecure, & not wanting you to get a big head (which isn’t a valid line of logic, in my opinion, but some people do think this way)?

    OR, maybe he has witnessed you receiving compliments on your attractiveness so often, that he wants to set himself apart by ~not~ complimenting you? Same ex, wouldn’t tell me I was beautiful or anything very often, & once attributed that to feeling silly saying it when so many other people said it—to him, and to me. (And I realize maybe I sound obnoxious, but I’m just relating my experience as it was at the time, being in college with him, around theater people who were effusive with compliments, etc.)

    Of course, the possibility is that maybe you AREN’T his type. Not everybody can be everybody’s type. It’s up to you to decide whether this possibility bothers you to the point of breaking up with him.

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    • katie

      katie June 19, 2013, 9:39 am

      hmm, going from you first paragraph- maybe this guy is of the mindset that a “wife” is a certain person and a “hot lady” are another person? you know what i mean? like the woman he would “wife” needs to have certain traits, and of those traits looks is either not on the list or far down the list, and then random women who he finds attractive he ONLY considers looks, but would never get involved with them/marry them because all they offer is their looks?

      if that is the case (and like tech said- does culture play into this?), i think thats shitty. women are not divided into “wives” and “hot girls”

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 19, 2013, 9:42 am

        yeah, I think it’s shitty too (very madonna/whore complex-y), but I do think there’s probably a cultural aspect at play.

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      • avatar

        Anon June 19, 2013, 9:59 am

        Why on earth would you say something like that?

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      • avatar

        Anon June 19, 2013, 10:00 am

        Ugh, that was supposed to have a “/sarcasm mode” tag at the end of it.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 9:54 am

        I don’t really find that “shitty”. If you’re looking for a hook up/fling you’re going to look for certain characteristics- perhaps a hot body, bit of a wild/fun personality, someone who throws caution to the win. But when thinking about a life partner- reliability, responsibility, trust. It’s wanting different people to fulfill different needs.

        I don’t see why that is shitty- the “hot girl” could be someone else’s ideal wife the way she is or at a different time.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 10:10 am

        eh, like fabelle said, its very madonna/whore complex. like, “hot” women do not make good wives, which is bullshit, and “wife material” women do not enjoy sex and/or do not want to or understand how to look attractive- also bullshit.

        also, we arent talking about him looking for or needing someone to hook up with, we are talking about the way he views women in general and more specifically the way he views the woman he is going to marry.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:18 am

        I think you guys might be using that “complex” wrong- based on the Wikipedia description. I think stretch to say he has a “Madonna/whore complex” because he says a certain type of woman is pretty. I mean how does one jump from the guy saying sorority girls are pretty to “implies that women must assume subservient roles” per Wiki. What?

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 10:25 am

        no, its pretty on the mark: “this psychological complex is said to develop in men who see women as either saintly Madonnas or debased prostitutes”

        so women are either hot, sultry sex kittens, or they are saintly, motherly, “proper” wife figures, and a woman cannot be both. so your wife will never be “hot”, and the women you think are hot will never be your wife. its a pretty common thing, actually, especially if we are talking about parts of the world where arranged marriage and child brides are still quite common.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:27 am

        Yes, but I think GG’s point was that if you are looking for just a hook up, all you care about is looks. If you are looking for more, you are caring about way more than just looks.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 10:31 am

        yes, which is a good thing, up until the point you get to the madonna/whore place. as always, there is a balance that is needed.

        its a theory as to why he thinks other women are pretty but not his fiance, and i think its a pretty plausible one. it would certainly give me pause

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:34 am

        Sure, I just think there’s a big gap between madonna/whore and marrying someone who isn’t your hottest lay ever, but is perfect in many other ways.

        I definitely don’t think he said other women are pretty but not her. I know some of you guys are reading it that way, and I don’t know who is right, but I read it as him saying exactly what he should–I’m not with you because of your looks, I’m with you because I love you. I mean, isn’t that like the perfect thing to say? I’d rather my bf say that than just say I’m hot.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 10:37 am

        no i do agree with you, but like i said, it would give me pause. i would need to get to the bottom of his thoughts and intentions to figure it out.

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      • avatar

        MMcG June 19, 2013, 10:45 am

        I feel like if my SO was making a display of not being my type because of appearances, I would compliment something else than looks too, because I would think they were doubting the relationship, not their looks.

        Especially if they already think they are better looking than short ol’ me 😉

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      • rainbow

        rainbow June 19, 2013, 12:23 pm

        No, the perfect thing to say, IMO, is “you’re so interesting and kind i’d marry you even if you were ugly, and so hot I’d screw you till your brains dripped down your nose even if you were dumb and mean”. It doesn’t have to be one or the other.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 12:25 pm

        Perfect, rainbow!

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:32 am

        Still a HUGE jump in my mind. Saying I find guys with blonde hair and blue eyes more attractive does not equal a complex. Being attracted to your life partner for reasons bigger than their physical appearance isn’t a radical idea either.

        It’s like y’all are demonizing this guy when we know basically nothing about him. This complex has pretty negative connotations that I just can’t get on board with that based on like 3 sentences about his physical preferences. (Sure cultural may play in, but if he’s marrying a tomboy with piercings I’m guessing he’s more progressive anyways.)

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 19, 2013, 10:43 am

        Okay, well, I do agree it’s a leap, but I was quickly agreeing with katie’s opinion of my speculation (an opinion I share, when viewing it subjectively), & then smacking the madonna/whore label on it because that phrase simplifies, really, the entire phenomenon of seeing women only 2 ways?

        So that’s how *that* progressed. And I want to be clear I’m not DEMONIZING this guy; what I might view as a “madonna/whore complex” might have different cultural relevance for him—he might see it as having good values & priorities (and so might the LW, for that matter, which is why I left my opinion out of it at first)

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    • avatar

      Nadine June 19, 2013, 9:42 am

      ‘OR, maybe he has witnessed you receiving compliments on your attractiveness so often, that he wants to set himself apart by ~not~ complimenting you?’
      I think this is very interesting, and could totally be a cultural thing. In my family, we compliment looks. Its a way of saying how similar we all look (we have a very strong family resemblance thing going), that we are a family and a beautiful one. In my fiance’s, they just dont. They dont really compliment on anything except academic achievement. Both systems have merit, but it means my fiance didnt tell me I was beautiful very often (like after we’d already gotten together). Its a communication thing to be sure, but it is also loaded with expectations.

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  • avatar

    TECH June 19, 2013, 9:34 am

    Yikes. Yeah, this is kind of a big deal.
    This last sentence really startled me: “I’ve been getting warning signs about this relationship since beginning but now they’re getting bigger and larger in number.”
    Well, what are the other warning signs? The only thing you mention in this letter is that your fiance doesn’t find you attractive. Yes, that’s a problem. But there are other things? What are they?
    I know little to nothing about Indian culture. Is your boyfriend Indian, or do just live there? Maybe Indian men have different standards about beauty or what they want in relationships. I get the feeling that there might be a significant cultural difference that I just can’t speak to.
    But to address your question, you are not freaking out over nothing. Your future husband should be attracted to you. It’s obviously important to you.
    It would be one thing if he was normally attracted to say, brunettes, and then he saw you and you were blonde, and said something like, “My whole life I’ve only been attracted to brunettes, but then I saw you and you just blew me away.”
    Or, even if he doesn’t love, say, your hair. He could compliment your physical attributes he absolutely loves. Like, “You have amazing eyes.”
    If he can’t compliment you physically at all, it’s a big issue.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 9:36 am

    I don’t have an answer, but I do think the cultural differences are going to be a hurdle for others answering this question. India is very very different from the US (where most of DWers are from).

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    • avatar

      rachel June 19, 2013, 10:02 am

      Agreed. I don’t know whether they are in some some type of arranged relationship, but the dating culture as far as I know is very different there.

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    • avatar

      bethany June 19, 2013, 10:22 am

      That was my thought. I don’t think we know enough about what sort of culture they’re coming from (traditional/progressive/whatever). I’m not qualified to answer this one!

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  • avatar

    ebstarr June 19, 2013, 9:44 am

    “I mean, that’s what you say to an ugly person — or someone who you love despite their being ugly.” Are you SURE you’re 23? Because you sound approximately fifteen and a half.

    More seriously, you sound like you’ve spiraled into a giant conspiracy theory of your own relationship without ever really ascertaining how he feels. Why can’t you just, you know, ASK your boyfriend the direct question “Do you think I’m pretty?” and get a direct answer and tell him directly that you need to hear compliments on your looks to feel loved? That seems like the easiest conversation in the world to have, and you’re all “now I know why he does this and that” when actually, you DON’T really know because he never said any of that?

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    • avatar

      mochamadness June 19, 2013, 9:54 am

      Sometimes you can be too close to a problem, and even though to an outsider it seems like the easiest conversation in the world to have, it can be hard. I agree that she definitely should just suck it up and bring it up, though! Never try to read someone else’s mind. You’ll pretty much always be wrong.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 9:59 am

        Its not even a conversation though. Its asking 1 ridiculous question. If you can’t ask your fiance if he thinks you’re pretty, you should not be in that relationship. If you can’t tell your partner that you wish he would compliment you more, you should MOA too. This is the dumbest letter I’ve ever read. He responded with the PERFECT answer and all she cares about is looks.

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        ebstarr June 19, 2013, 10:31 am

        “Sometimes you can be too close to a problem, and even though to an outsider it seems like the easiest conversation in the world to have, it can be hard.”

        That’s true! I avoided saying “If you can’t say this why are you getting married,” which was frankly my kneejerk reaction; sometimes people need to just be told to do it because they forget that they have words and the ability to use them.

        That said this LW is not coming across well here by bringing up her friends’ BS about how she’s “out of his league,” so I wasn’t inclined to be overly kind either…

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      Morgan June 19, 2013, 12:50 pm

      Seriously. I feel like the poor guy was trying to be reassuring. I took his comment more as “I love you for who you are, not just because you’re pretty.” It seems like he knew she was fishing for reassurance but misinterpreted what kind of reassurance she wanted. If she wanted to know if he thinks she’s pretty, that’s what she needs to ask, not to flirt with the topic by talking about his type.

      I mean, my boyfriend isn’t 100 percent my type (for example, he is pale with kind of reddish blond hair, and I find dark skin super attractive. Probably a evolutionary drive…add some pigment to this scottish gene pool and what not. Although I’m also super into Prince Harry, so maybe he is my type after all. Not the point.), but I love him for him, not just whether he fits the check in the “type” box. And if that’s the sentiment the boyfriend was getting at… what an asshole, amiright?

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  • avatar

    muffy June 19, 2013, 9:47 am

    I’m going to ignore the part of the letter where you talk about being better looking than your boyfriend and therefore he should be grateful and complimenting you about your looks…

    LW: what do YOU see in your boyfriend? Why do you want to keep dating this guy if he just contributes to you feeling less than attractive to him? Feeling like your partner is sexually attracted to you is pretty damn important in a relationship and if you don’t have that then I don’t see how a relationship can work without resentment and hurt feelings growing over time. You need to address this with him and nip it in the bud or break up. Because this thing won’t just go away – it will fester. Maybe he’s trying to send you a message that he wants you to dress preppier – tell him that you won’t dress preppier (if you are unwilling to) and ask him to stop. And let him know you’d appreciate some compliments thrown your way.

    My honest opinion is that this won’t work out because you already feel like he’s just settling for you and I can tell you resent that and feel like you deserve more (whether or not you look better than him). So this either needs to get fixed and he needs to start telling you/showing you he’s attracted to you or you need to move on.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 9:48 am

    “I love you for your nature, not because of your looks.” I mean, that’s what you say to an ugly person — or someone who you love despite their being ugly. I didn’t know if I should be happy or sad. Then he said: “You’re gonna be my wife. I’ll like you no matter how you look.”

    What an asshole!

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    • avatar

      MMcG June 19, 2013, 11:02 am

      THANK YOU!! It’s like the LW is incapable of understanding the love and looks are not a direct correlation… and in some cases can work quite the opposite. Hell murderers can be attractive and some of the best, kindest most loving people in the world can have an ugly wart on their face. FFS.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 11:45 am

        And don’t you think that you would find a kind, loving person attractive simply because of their personality? I mean, that DOES happen, right?

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      • avatar

        MMcG June 19, 2013, 11:51 am

        The entire plot of Back to the Future is based on the premise 🙂

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 20, 2013, 12:33 am

        Yeah that`s how you end up married to some Really Nice Guy and bored out of your mind in bed and fucking John Redcorn.

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 20, 2013, 12:32 am

        Eh…

        Sorry but if my husband doesn`t think I am hot he is free to find someone else to wash his clothes and have his kids. Fuck that noise.

        I`ve married three times. Twice I married for Sensible Reasons, and overlooked the hot pants feeling. I insisted I was never ever marrying again unless it was the guy who finally got me to have a vaginal orgasm. (I was being sarcastic, never thought I`d have one). Hot sex, good financial brains, not an asshole. Any of those three are missing and for me the marriage won`t work. Obviously we all age over years, but that doesn`t mean I don`t find my partner sexy, and vice versa.

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  • Copa

    Copa June 19, 2013, 9:51 am

    LW, I think you’re looking toward ALL THE SHALLOW THINGS as a way of finding an “out” from this relationship. Couples should be attracted to one another, yes, but attraction isn’t always about looks. I DO think it’s odd that he doesn’t compliment your appearance at all — even if you were “below average,” someone who still loves you will find you beautiful, y’know? — but you’re jumping to the assumption that failure to verbalize that he finds you attractive means he thinks you’re ugly and feels confident in his shortness next to your ugliness. Not to mention, loving someone for who they are is more important than the weight you’re giving it…

    This whole thing read to me like you’re very insecure in your relationship, in your looks (even though you told us how pretty you are), in comparison to other women, etc. Had you focused less on superficial details of looks, I’d probably feel a bit more empathy.

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  • avatar

    mochamadness June 19, 2013, 9:51 am

    If your friends think you’re “out of his league”, do you think maybe he’s insecure? Honestly, complimenting strangers and not complimenting your partner is weird to me, and it’s definitely rude.

    I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt here, but if you’re to the point where you think you want to MOA, maybe at least discuss the problem with him. Maybe he has a low self esteem and needs to work through some problems. The worst thing that could happen would be that you learn the truth that he’s kind of a jerk, and then you MOA.

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  • theattack

    theattack June 19, 2013, 10:03 am

    I don’t think this LW is being shallow at all. You can rationalize it all you want and call her shallow or say she’s missing the big picture, but the truth is that we all want to feel attractive, especially to our SOs. I don’t buy for one minute that anyone here doesn’t care about being attractive because they’re “wife material” or whatever. I would never date or marry someone who didn’t think I was at least decently attractive because attraction feeds into the intimacy in a relationship, and because it makes me feel good to be desirable. If the LW feels that way too, she should leave and find a relationship that’s more fulfilling to her. I think a lot of people are being pretty unrealistic and hypocritical here.

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    • Copa

      Copa June 19, 2013, 10:14 am

      I don’t think she’s shallow for wanting to feel attractive to her partner (or even generally); I know that personally, I’d have a hard time being in a relationship where I didn’t feel like my partner was attracted to me or never told me I’m pretty. BUT, I think she’s shallow for putting down her husband’s looks in comparison to hers and focusing so much on what this discrepancy between their looks MUST mean. I also generally dislike when anyone says that they are out of their SO’s league.

      I think the issues they’re having are bigger than either partner’s looks, though.

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      • Copa

        Copa June 19, 2013, 10:16 am

        And by husband, I meant husband-to-be.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 10:18 am

        WCS.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:19 am

        I really didn’t think that was a big deal. I think she’s just trying to process it all and figure out why he might feel that way. She sounds flustered and emotional. We’ve all thought similar things at one point or another.

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:22 am

        Just to point out- she said her friends said she was out of his league, not that SHE thought she was.

        “My friends think I’m totally out of my boyfriend’s league and he never stood a chance with me.”

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      • Copa

        Copa June 19, 2013, 10:35 am

        I was going off the assumption that she included that because her friends are agreeing with her that she’s pretty. As in, “I’m so pretty that EVERYONE knows I’m out of my fiance’s league.” I could be wrong there.

        Even if I tossed that comment aside, I still have a difficult time with her other comments about below average looking women, her fiance’s height, etc. Like Lindsay said below, she seems to be associating worth with looks.

        I actually DON’T think she’s this focused on appearance in real life; she may not be a shallow person. But I do think her letter comes off shallow because of how everything comes back to looks.

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      • avatar

        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 11:02 am

        That’s exactly how I read it too. If she didn’t agree with her friends (even a little bit), there would be no need to mention that at all. Her other two statements about how pretty guys think she is and how above average she believes herself to be would be more than enough, but she wants to add in as many supporting examples as possible to be sure that we all understand just how much better looking she is.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 12:54 pm

        Yeah, she at least puts some weight in what her friends said. Like she believes that it means something.

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      • avatar

        ebstarr June 19, 2013, 10:37 am

        I feel like there are two basic ways this piece of information comes out in a letter though. One is the letter about how your friends are jerks: “For example, they think I’m out of my boyfriend’s league and they always say mean stuff about him!”

        Then there’s the letter about how you might want to break up with the guy: “We have so many problems in our relationship. Also I’m really pretty and my friends say I’m out of his league, not that I agree with them or anything…” *waits patiently for the internet to say she deserves a hot guy, or at least a less attractive one who is super duper grateful that such a superior being would agree to date him*

        This letter is definitely the second one.

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 20, 2013, 12:34 am

        I think she sounds angry and hurt and is lashing out.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 19, 2013, 10:15 am

      I don’t think the desire itself is shallow, but more the idea that her fiance doesn’t “deserve” her because he’s not attractive enough and she’s surprised that he’s confident despite his height. Or putting down other women and being surprised that he could find someone average or below-average attractive. Wanting your partner to find you attractive is one thing, but she seems to associate looks with one’s worth as a person.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:23 am

        I really don’t think the comment about her fiancé’s not being as attractive as she is has anything to do with him “deserving” her. I think she’s just saying that she thought her looks would be appreciated by him, and since they’re not, she’s confused and flustered.
        I also don’t think it’s wrong for her to think about the kind of girls he does find attractive. When her fiancé thinks an unattractive person (subjectively, of course) is pretty but she’s not, it’s obviously going to make her think she’s less attractive than that person. We all have a concept of where we fit on the scale of looks, and because of the culture we live in, we DO attach value to that. It’s a little jarring to find out you’re not as pretty as you think you are.
        Maybe she’s thinking imperfect thoughts here, but all of us do. She’s just being honest and trying to process it.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 12:01 pm

        I’m not convinced that he doesn’t think she’s pretty. I think she needs to ask him that before she makes assumptions. It could be that he misunderstood her question about why he found other women attractive, because his answers seem like they’re answering a whole separate question.

        I’m also not meaning to say she’s shallow and therefore a bad person. She just seems to put a lot of weight on appearance and uses it to justify her own worth and to classify other people a lot. She may find other things important, too, but her letter doesn’t portray that.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:17 am

      But we, and more importantly she, does not know if he thinks she’s ugly. Its important to feel attractive to your partner, but its more important to feel loved. He didn’t say he didn’t find her attractive, he said he’s with her because he loves her for who she is, not because of her looks. That’s like the best reply I can imagine. She should say, I love that you think that, but I also want to know you think I’m attractive and wish you would throw me compliments once in a while. Simple as that!

      I also can’t imagine someone being with someone that love but think is ugly. That may be a cultural thing though, I don’t know. Its possible she is “wife material” but he doesn’t think she’s pretty.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:27 am

        “I said that I’m clearly not his type and he said, ‘I love you for your nature, not because of your looks.'”
        and
        “‘You’re gonna be my wife. I’ll like you no matter how you look.’”

        These things sound like code for “You’re not pretty, but I like you anyway so it’s okay.” If he thinks she’s pretty, he should say that when she’s clearly concerned about it. She should assume that he loves her for who she is. That’s not really a compliment, IMO. That should be a given.
        And yes, there’s a huge cultural difference here at play. I don’t think “wives” are supposed to be as attractive in India, but I might be wrong.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:30 am

        They don’t sound like that to me AT ALL. I’m surprised you think that.

        If I am having a day where I feel ugly, and say to my boyfriend “don’t I look fat today?” his response is usually something like “I don’t care what you look like, you always look great to me because I love you.” I can’t imagine taking that and assuming he agrees I look ugly.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 10:32 am

        im surprised too… wow. i cant imagine getting “your not pretty” out of “i love you for your nature”- i just dont follow the logic.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:36 am

        Its immature/insecure logic, imo.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:38 am

        thanks?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:39 am

        Sorry, just realized what I said. Don’t you think it is a little insecure though? Would you really think your husband thought you were fat if he replied the way my bf did? I honestly don’t think you would. You really wouldn’t be happy if your husband said he loves you for who you are, not what you look like? Because that’s all that was said here.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:46 am

        Oh it’s definitely me being insecure. I don’t think it’s immature though. I’ve rarely met someone without insecurity issues. Most of us have them, so I just think it’s odd to be so rough on the LW when we all face these demons and have these thoughts, even if they’re wrong. Shaming insecurity or calling it names doesn’t get rid of it. It’s something to be worked through.

        My husband does say things like that to me, and it does make me feel bad. It usually takes me several hours to pull back and convince myself that it was just a poor choice in words and doesn’t mean he thinks I’m ugly/fat/whatever. So yeah, it’s a problem. I’m surprised I’m the only one here so far that does that. It feels just like if you asked “Am I pretty?” and he replies “Well, you have a great personality….”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:48 am

        Immature was not a good word for it, so sorry for saying it. Do you tell your husband it makes you feel bad and you need him to be clearer? I feel like that’s all you, and she, has to do to resolve this issue.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:54 am

        Yeah, it usually turns into a big issue if he says something like that, but it doesn’t stop him from putting his foot in his mouth again in the future. It’s not like it happens often though, FTR. These sorts of comments are patterns in communication that are hard to break and usually don’t come up that often.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:58 am

        I do the same thing TA. I can twist the nicest of complements into an insult. He can say “you look so cute and young in that dress” and I twist it into “you’re not womanly enough, you dress like a child, blah blah”. Everyone has crazy moments.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 11:00 am

        I should clarify something though. The difference between my relationship and the LW’s is that I have a basis for reasoning against my insecurity. My husband might make occasional insensitive comments, but he’s also told me I’m beautiful before. Maybe not as much as I would like, but he’s said it straight to me. I can reason that the insensitive comments aren’t malicious since I have a baseline that says he doesn’t believe that. It doesn’t sound like the LW has that. She’s trying to establish that he finds her attractive in the first place. It sounds like she’s really grasping for something to hold onto, but all she’s getting is static.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 11:57 am

        So TA & GG, do you think its your husbands’ faults for this, or do you acknowledge that its all you? Because I think it is all you. They haven’t insulted you, you twisted it into an insult, and admit that. So how can you say the LW’s fiance is at any fault here? Its the LW’s insecurity issue. She is the one that needs to overcome that. It shouldn’t be on him to change the way he talks and feels. He says he loves her for who she is. If that’s not enough for her, she needs to address her own issues, because it should be enough.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 12:04 pm

        I think it’s both of us. I have a responsibility to try to overcome my insecurity, but it’s been beaten into me since I was little. It’s part of our culture, and it’s nearly impossible to move past. I can try to overcome it, but because I expect him to be a loving husband who cares about how he makes me feel, I think he should try to avoid saying things in ways he can predict will be hurtful. I won’t emotionally take on 100% of the responsibility for it when I think at least half of it is cultural and not entirely something I’m at fault for feeling. I think it’s a team effort, just like anything else in a marriage. Likewise I try to be sensitive about things he’s insecure about even if it’s not my responsibility, just because I care about him.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:09 pm

        But you’re saying he has to predict that you will twist anything, even something very nice, into a negative comment. That’s almost impossible unless he stops talking.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 12:14 pm

        Nope, not what I’m saying. That’s why I tell him along the way “When you say something like _____, it comes across as ____.” We communicate about our expectations in this arena just like anything else. And ftr, I still don’t agree that what this fiancé said was “very nice.”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:34 pm

        Me neither, I think what he said was “extremely nice.” lol 🙂

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 2:18 pm

        LBH, I just saw your question. 95% of the time it’s all me. The other 5% it’s because he said something in a strange manner.

        I don’t really think the fiancé in this letter is at fault, per say. But he could probably do a better job too. To reassure her.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:35 am

        Interesting. No wonder we have such different perceptions of this. I would definitely take your bf’s hypothetical response as calling me fat. But I think it’s BS to give a response to a different question from the one that was asked. I don’t like when people avoid questions they’re uncomfortable answering, and I expect that truthful answers are straight forward and not sugarcoated.

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:38 am

        Lol, thank god you and I have different perceptions on it or I’d feel like an ugly slob right now 🙂
        I feel like it IS a truthful, straightforward answer. I mean, all she had to say was “great, but you also are attracted to me, right?”

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 19, 2013, 12:10 pm

        I have to laugh at this a little because I’ve tried it on my own husband, who also rarely, rarely says anything positive about my looks (but will be the first to point out if he thinks my outfit is dorky/bad). He has, like, zero tolerance for people who fish for compliments, so anytime I’ve tried to pull the “Do you think I’m pretty?” question, his bullshit detector goes off and he calls me out on it and refuses to play along.

        I mean, I know his type – super-pale skinny redheads with great asses. I’m only disqualified on the skinny part, but can check off the other boxes. So I know he’s attracted to me. But I can sympathize with the LW because it would just be nice to *hear it,* you know? He shows me his attraction through actions (he pretty much can’t keep his hands off my butt) and will say how much he wants me or whatever, but the words “beautiful, pretty and sexy” almost never pass his lips.

        Closest I’ve got? Twice in recent months he has commented, during sex, about the muscles I’ve developed from working out more often. “You’re so muscular” is going to have to be my “You’re so pretty.” 😉

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 12:24 pm

        You bring up a really good point. Some men (apparently both of our husbands) will not tolerate someone needing a compliment. It’s not helpful to ask them to tell us more often or for us to straight up ask if we’re pretty. That’s when we get answers that actually make it sound like we’re ugly because they’re so unwilling to give into that. Plus compliments don’t have much value for me if I have to ask for them anyway.

        And as an aside, this is why love languages are so important! I need verbal affirmation, and he still thinks that means saying “Good job” every now and then over stupid things like parking the car. It’s a work in progress, and I wish we knew about love languages earlier in our relationship.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ June 19, 2013, 12:35 pm

        Haha – Good job parking the car! Would you believe I’ve heard that one too?

        I still haven’t gotten mine to read the Love Languages thing or take the assessment, but I’m about 99% certain his language is Touch, because he gets so pouty if I don’t feel like cuddling, or sit on a different chair in the living room instead of next to him on the couch, and he’s always asking me to rub his back or his scalp. Mine is quality time, like I mentioned before, but I also scored pretty high on the verbal affirmation part too. What can I say, I’m a writer, I’m a words person, it doesn’t count if you can’t put words to it.

        And verbal affirmation is SUCH a foreign language to him. Sure, we say “I love you” about a bajillion times a day, but it’s like that’s a blanket statement that covers everything and no more need be said.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 11:59 am

        Its really sad to me that at least 5 of you think that means my bf thinks I’m fat. Like, really, really sad.
        I can’t believe how few of you guys really think this guy was wrong to tell her what he said.

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      • avatar

        MMcG June 19, 2013, 12:13 pm

        I’m with you lbh_such the same wavelength I’m surprised our posts haven’t created a jinx!!

        Here’s a slightly different take on why I am looking at the issue in the way I am… no where does the LW say that she explained to her bf how she felt, or expressed her needs and desires in a clear manner. She went from not thinking getting compliments from the bf was a big deal (hence we have no idea if this has ever come up in 2 years) to asking him “how he could like the girls who are opposite of me.” That’s not being honest with your fiance about your feelings – that’s a freaking trap!! He did like many men have done and tried to get some altitude and give loving comments and reinforcement. IF she had asked “do you think I’m pretty” and that was the response – well that’s different. THAT’s NOT WHAT SHE ASKED and I feel like TA and GG are misreading her intentions there.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 12:17 pm

        I don’t think your boyfriend thinks you’re fat, because that’s okay in your relationship. In the context of your relationship, that comment means something completely different than it would in mine.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 12:47 pm

        I wouldn’t have taken it that way, but it seems like most people just mean they’d interpret the words as that, not that he actually thinks you’re fat. I have friends who are really awkward and say stuff to me that sounds like an insult even though I know it isn’t.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:48 pm

        Isn’t it sad to you that that’s how so many would interpret it?

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 1:04 pm

        Yeah, and it’s actually a much more complimentary thing for him to say than “no, you don’t look fat.”

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:42 am

        I think it’s more about the delivery. LBH, your BF saying “You always look great to me because I love you” is different than the LW’s fiancé saying “Well I love you for your nature, not your looks.” So like, one is saying “you’re beautiful because I love you” and the other is saying essentially “I love you notwithstanding your physical appearance.” Different tones and messages, IMO.

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:46 am

        I guess? I think an insecure person would take it like that (notwithstanding your appearance) and a person who generally feels loved/attractive, would take it the better way.

        Clearly, LW is not being made by her fiance to feel attractive, and there’s a very simple solution to that. Ask again, and get a clear answer.

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:51 am

        I mean but if you look at the language coupled with who he is complementing (not the LW), it does make sense that she would reduce his statement to that sentiment.

        Also, everyone has moments of insecurity, especially about their own appearance.

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 11:00 am

        I know everyone has moments of insecurity. But interpreting his statement the way she did is much more than a moment of insecurity. It shows she is an insecure person, not a person who is just having a moment.
        I just don’t get it, admittedly, and I am not a very attractive person by any means. I’ve always considered my family and friends, and even bf (who yes, will say he finds other women who look nothing like me, attractive), to be WAY more attractive than me. Yet still I do not think that my bf saying he loves me for who I am to mean he thinks I’m ugly. That’s really, really bad and obviously she needs to work on her self-esteem, as well as simply asking him for a clear answer as to whether he thinks she’s pretty.

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 11:02 am

        I also think it speaks volumes to what she takes pride in. I’d rather someone say I’m smart than pretty. A good partner, than pretty. Etc., etc. All she seems to need to know is if she’s pretty. That’s just not ok.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 11:07 am

        It can either indicate what she takes pride in OR what she’s insecure in. I don’t have intense needs to hear that I’m smart because I already know that I am. I’ve valued and focused so much on my brain that my looks have taken a backseat, so for me it’s not about my values at all. I just want to know that I’m at least decently balanced.

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        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 11:07 am

        I just wanted to say that I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said in this thread so far. I’m stunned that some people can hear, “I love you no matter how you look” and interpret it as, “You’re not pretty, but that’s ok because your personality is good.”

        To me it sounds as though this guy realizes she’s insecure about her looks, and he wants to reassure her without making her think that being pretty is all he cares about, because he knows that in 50 years he’ll still love her, even if she gets fat and wrinkly. That’s real romance right there.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 11:18 am

        @LL, How is he reassuring her? If you say “I’m out of gas in my car” it’s not helpful to talk about the abundance of oil in the engine. He doesn’t address her actual concern, and that’s not helpful at all. It’s BS-ing.

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        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 2:57 pm

        @theattack She didn’t ask if he thought she was pretty, she asked “how he could like the girls who are opposite of [her].” I think his response of “I love you for your nature, not because of your looks” does directly answer that question. You seem to be criticizing this guy for not answer the LW’s UNASKED question about whether or not he thinks she’s pretty, which is awfully unfair to this guy.

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 11:03 am

        I dunno, I think you’re conventionally pretty.

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 11:09 am

        Aw, thanks GG! I mean, I don’t think I’m horribly ugly, I just think that out of my 3 sisters, I am def the ugliest and same for my friends. Like you said, we all have things about us we don’t like. I am not toned, I have a huge nose, big head, wrinkles, small boobs, and so on. I’ve never valued looks for me, though. Its really something I gave up on early, because I decided I would never be pretty or hot, so I’ll just focus on other things that I like about myself (all personality traits) and I guess because of that, I’m not insecure much about looks because they’ve never mattered much to me. Maybe that’s why I don’t get this issue.

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 11:19 am

        Hmmm. Interesting conversation. As someone who was incredibly insecure about their looks, and had it torment me until my mid-twenties- the subtle differences in wording can really make a world of difference. (I’m past the self image issues now baring the bad day here and there.)

        I think it’s kind of tragic you describe yourself as the ugliest.

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 11:54 am

        Yea, see it honestly doesn’t bother me in the slightest. My sisters are extremely attractive. They have a lot of guys going after them for nothing other than their looks. I’d never want that. I wouldn’t like it if someone said I was the ugliest, but I wouldn’t disagree. I just have other things I take pride in and would prefer those traits be noticed and complimented. I mean, I’m glad my boyfriend finds me attractive, but its really not that important at all to me.

        I just don’t think we can blame the guy here. Its clearly the LW who is insecure, and she is the one who needs to get over that. She should be glad he said that, not twist it to be a bad thing. She needs to work on herself, a lot, in addition to telling him ‘hun, I’m insecure and would like if you complimented my looks more.’

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 12:48 pm

        well, FTR, I’m not blaming the guy- but I don’t like that he’s being demonized either above. I just don’t think they are suited for each other!

        How would you feel if your daughter described herself as you do? Wouldn’t you be kind of sad? I’m not saying that physical beauty needs to be held the highest, but I think it’s important to love your appearance in addition to all the inside stuff.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:52 pm

        I like things about my appearance, I’m just saying overall, I don’t find myself to be the best looking. Not ugly, just not hot. And when I say I’m the ugliest of my sisters, that to me is like saying I’m the ugliest of the supermodels. Out of 3 people, there will always be one who is prettiest, one who is middle and one who is ugliest. Its not saying that 3rd one is ugly, its saying compared to the other two, she is less pretty/ugliest.

        I would want my daughter to have a good self esteem. If that’s accomplished with looks, fine. If its accomplished with other traits, also fine. I feel like you can have a great self esteem without thinking you are very attractive. I know I do.

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:53 pm

        Luckily, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so while I don’t think I’m super hot, I’m sure some people out there think I am. And while I may think Joe Shmo is hideous, I’m sure someone out there thinks he’s the best looking.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 11:56 am

        I think it’s also something to note that she didn’t ask if he found her pretty, but how he could find women attractive who looked different from her. That, to me, speaks more to her own insecurity than the relationship itself because why wouldn’t she just get to the heart of the matter and ask if he found her attractive?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:01 pm

        Right! No one only finds one person attractive, or even only one type. My heads spinning a bit.

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      • avatar

        MMcG June 19, 2013, 12:21 pm

        Exactly, what was he supposed to do – deny it and make up some elaborate story as to why he said something positive about a lady’s looks!?! Man is entitled to his feelings… tho Diablo might be onto something above about him being a bit of an idiot and not going instantly to “your the most amazing woman in the world” and/or having the common sense to not say complimentary things out loud as much in the future.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:47 am

        Yes, exactly!

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        MMcG June 19, 2013, 11:07 am

        I couldn’t disagree more… it’s like you want him to say that her looks are the only reason that he loves her! That would be so fucked up!! She was apparently harping on them not being the same physical type (i.e. What!?! I’m not the hot one in this couple – WAAAAAHHH) and therefore questioning the whole relationship and it sounds like the fiance was trying to reassure her that he loves her and wants to be with her forever. How one can take that wrong is beyond me…

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 11:13 am

        Definitely not what I said at all. That’s a pretty big leap. For me, the best answer is along the lines of “You’re beautiful, and I’m very attracted to you. I’m so lucky that the woman I love so dearly and can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with happens to be good looking too.” Both are necessary. It can’t be just one or the other.

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        MMcG June 19, 2013, 11:37 am

        I am just disagreeing with the whole thought process I guess… I can only see how someone would think poorly of this sentiment if they were really insecure, shallow or both. I mean telling the woman you love, who is clearly preoccupied with appearances, that you will love her forever isn’t a bad thing. It’s kind, generous, loving, and most-importantly reflects the fact that he wants to spend his whole life with her!

        Way to miss the forest for the trees LW… if you don’t like the guy or it isn’t working for whatever reason don’t marry him. It’s really that simple. Don’t twist him around for not saying the perfect thing to you when you have the really shitty things you think and say about him too. I can’t imagine gossiping with my friends about my future husband not being good-looking enough for me. Maybe a guy I went out on 2 dates with, but a long-term relationship where I’ve accepted his proposal!?! BOOOO. I’m throwing the shallow flag (would it be green? yellow??)

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 11:44 am

        And what if she is really insecure or shallow? No, really. What then? What is the next step? If you’re going to insult her for an issue she’s struggling with, at least offer some advice instead of just beating her down.

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      • avatar

        MMcG June 19, 2013, 12:03 pm

        Honestly, if this was a new relationship my answer might be different. But after 2 years I assume she accepted him being a less expressive person when she agreed to his proposal (she even says she did in her 1st paragraph!) and now she’s blowing shit out of proportion. She knew what she was getting, and it apparently didn’t even bother her until she noticed him commenting about the appearance of others. When did that start? Oh and then let me put my fiance down, repeatedly and with friends, and then casually reference all these other warning signs that have existed all along. WTF??

        Either her fiance has been really shifty and has been changing his behavior over the last 2 years, or he has been consistent and she is playing Lucy with the football because she doesn’t want to marry him but doesn’t know how to deal with it. She thought she would feel more secure in her relationship because she was better looking than him but that hasn’t worked out. Now she’s taking comments made towards others and making them about her (when my husband says that someone has a great smile I don’t think it means that my smile sucked. and if I did that would be my problem, not his).

        And I’ve been giving advice, that’s been in line with what others have said. I’m just not excusing her for coming off as shallow because she’s the one who wrote what she did…

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      • FireStar

        Firestar June 19, 2013, 12:48 pm

        She isn’t struggling with being shallow…I don’t think anyone *struggles* with shallowness…like it is something she has to get to the root of and work through. Being shallow is about priorities and choice. This girl? She is vain. Plain and simple. And she is upset her fiancé doesn’t worship at her alter of beauty. Fair enough. I find it aggravating that she puts down HIS looks in the same breath she is complaining he doesn’t appreciate HERS. And so the advice is to move on since they value different things. He – her personality and her – her looks.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:49 pm

        Your last sentence is just perfect.

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    • FireStar

      Firestar June 19, 2013, 10:21 am

      Would you date or marry someone you felt was not in your league? The lack of attraction seems to go both ways here. She didn’t say one positive thing about him other than he was confident – even though he was short – but now she knows why…it’s because he wasn’t in awe of her beauty anyway. I agree with you though… she should find someone else and let him do the same.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 10:32 am

        I’ve almost exclusively dated people less attractive than myself in the past. (Not true of my husband, by the way). I’ve always done that probably partially because I want to feel more attractive than I actually am. Yes, I know that’s ridiculously shallow. It’s just a subconscious thing I used to do to feel valued. Maybe I’m empathetic to the LW because I think she’s insecure and probably doing the same thing. Either way, I think she needs to break up with him and probably take a break from dating to work on her self-esteem.

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:36 am

        I dated guys who by conventional standards where “less” attractive then me. Part of it was my own lack of self esteem and self hatred so I settled. It was totally about feeling valued, because I wasn’t in a good mental state. (FTR, I totally think my husband is way hotter than me and I have spent a lot of time working on my self esteem/self image.)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 10:41 am

        See, you are saying its insecure!

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      • FireStar

        Firestar June 19, 2013, 11:24 am

        That is so interesting. I’ve had girlfriends that have dated guys ‘not in their league’ for that added ‘security’ and it ALWAYS backfired because the guy ultimately thinks “I got you, didn’t I?” and then the guys lose their damn minds. An attractive guy knows how to handle being attractive – it isn’t new and exciting for him to think he is in demand. He already knows he is – so he goes where he wants – where is a good fit for him – and ultimately values other things. The guys that ‘trade up’ to a pretty girl like stretching their wings – so to speak. And then the girl ends up putting up with nonsense because she thinks ‘what the hell happened here?’ She thought there was a particular power play at work and then got that flipped on her.
        I’m someone, in fairness, with a very particular type and I haven’t strayed far from it in my adult life. I figured if I couldn’t attract the type of guy I wanted then I might have to adjust my expectations but as long as the type of guy I liked, liked me, then I was the poster child for not settling on anything…even down to the shape of their eyes. Looking back I think it is a little odd that it worked that way but you can definitely tell what my type is! And I managed to escape the nonsense my friends got saddled with… There are always exceptions – some aspect of a person’s personality that can outshine something you thought was important but for the most part – I think relationships work best when you come to things equally…

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 19, 2013, 11:50 am

        I completely agree with this theory. Everytime I’ve dated “below” me (what an asshole way to word that – not sure how else to put it though) whether it was looks wise or career wise or fun factor – it always backfired. They either became controlling and paranoid that I would leave or they treated me like shit as some kind of weird way to gain the power back. It sucked. Now I like dating within my “range”. Although it’s funny I couldn’t really pin point what my league is if you asked me, I just feel like those people always find me and vice versa. You can tell if you’re equals because there’s no power struggles.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar June 19, 2013, 1:10 pm

        I’ve never dated anyone I had to settle for in some way but I’ve been friends with people because I felt sorry for them and ten times out of ten – those friendships were the biggest pain in my ass. A girl didn’t show up for her own birthday party that we planned for her- because she was studying for an exam…the same exam we ALL had but had taken time away from studying for so we could celebrate HER birthday. One girl who I felt sorry for because she had limited social skills and I thought hadn’t come out of her shell yet would be harsh and cold and mean…and then would cry when I would just walk away. You can’t be cold and super sensitive…you have to pick. And I’m not a crier, none of my friends are…what the hell do you do with a girl who is crying because you didn’t act the way she wanted you to? And then writes about 5 screens worth of an email about friendship that you can’t even wade through? Ten times out of ten – pain in my ass. Now I just don’t care – I feel eventually you will find your own tribe who acts like you do – and that is better for all of us…

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      • avatar

        Blitzen June 19, 2013, 12:44 pm

        Oh yikes.

        I agree with the attack. I would be bummed out if my SO didn’t seem to find me attractive or compliment me at all whilst continuing to point out pretty women to me. I mean, what gives? And then he says cryptic stuff that I would totally have interpreted the way the LW did.

        It’s great that he likes her personality and that is what counts in the long run but why can’t he give her a compliment if he in fact does find her attractive? Isn’t physical attraction an important part of a relationship? I wouldn’t wanna be with a guy who didn’t think I was pretty. Are people actually OK with this? Color me confused.

        I think the issue here is the LW’s choice of wording. There are something that you can’t stop yourself thinking but when you say it out loud or put it in writing, it’s just asking for a shtstorm.
        Basically, the LW and SO both have a terrible way of wording things.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 12:26 pm

        I think the big problem is that when a person is super conscious of the fact that someone is less attractive. I feel like in most happy couples who seem mismatched, the more attractive one doesn’t seem to notice it or at least won’t acknowledge it if it’s brought up. Not that it’s wrong to notice, but I feel like it sometimes signifies that the person hasn’t quite won you over in other ways enough.

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  • avatar

    sophronisba June 19, 2013, 10:16 am

    Would it be typical in your culture that some girls are wife material and others are for fun? In which case it looks like he’s got you stashed in the wife category where you might be destined to fulfill the image of center of the home, bearer of the children, comfy old wifey of any shape and size, appreciated for her nature but probably never considered (or lusted after?) as an attractive fantasy sex kitten. Does that resonate at all, when you review his actions and attitudes, your sex life in general, the kind of compliments he does pay you, etc.?
    If he is as unenlightened as he sounds, maybe he’s not the right match for your pierced, tomboy self?

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  • avatar

    lemongrass June 19, 2013, 10:24 am

    You need to take a step back. Maybe don’t leave him right away but at least postpone the wedding. If you aren’t positive that your fiancé finds you attractive then don’t marry him. Don’t ignore red flags and talk about all of the issues you have in your relationship. Marriage is a long long time and there are plenty of men out there, you need to find the right one. Not sorta-works or close-enough.

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  • othy

    othy June 19, 2013, 10:28 am

    My husband loves red-headed preppy girls, but that doesn’t mean I have to dye my hair and wear skirts everywhere for us to have a happy relationship.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 19, 2013, 10:49 am

    Odd letter. But I am chalking up much of the oddness due to English as a second language translation issues… All that aside, I certainly wouldn’t ever plan on marrying somebody who WASN’T attracted to me. Talk about a recipe for disaster… But how interesting that even overseas guys aren’t chopping at the bit to bang pin cushions…

    Ugh. It’s hard to say which is a more MEH fad. Bad piercings or bad tattoos. Eh, who cares. It’s all just so fucking trashy… Self mutilation just because it’a trendy… Blech…

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 10:53 am

      Surprisingly I agree with your sentiments in the last sentence. Not for me.

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    • theattack

      theattack June 19, 2013, 11:04 am

      There are so many people who are into the tattooed and pierced look (I’m not one of them, btw) that the LW should really find someone who likes it. Some people are extremely attracted to it, but clearly her fiancé isn’t, and that just can’t be satisfying for either of them long term. The argument that looks don’t last forever doesn’t really excuse this, IMO.

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      • avatar

        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 11:23 am

        I think that’s a bit of an over-reaction to this situation. I would say that’s good advice for lots of tattoos or extreme piercings, but this girl doesn’t have tattoos, and for all we know “piercings” could be a nose ring and an eyebrow bar, neither of which are permanent or really all that noticeable after a while. In that case, I don’t think that would lead to an unsatisfying relationship. I also think you don’t have to be “extremely attracted” to that look to be with someone who has a few piercings or a couple tattoos. My ex got a tattoo (and then another, even though I didn’t care for them), and honestly it really didn’t phase me as much as I thought it would. Now, if he had wanted to continue on to full sleeves or back work, that would have killed it for me. But a little bit was really no big deal on someone that I loved.

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 11:30 am

        I disagree. Any tattoo, even the smallest, would be a turn off to me. Any piercing, no matter how removable, would be a turn off to me. SOME people can over look it, other’s can’t.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:04 pm

        But if it were on someone you loved? What if GatorGuy came home with a tattoo? You’d stop being attracted to him just because you don’t like tattoos?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 19, 2013, 12:12 pm

        Okay, I know this is directed at GG, but as someone who also ~generally~ doesn’t care for tattoos* , I’ll answer as well: It’s not that I would be less attracted, necessarily, but I would definitely feel a pang of turned-off-ness & disappointment every time I saw that tattoo? Like, my ex boyfriend got a tattoo some point after we broke up, & when he took off his shirt (I was still sleeping with him…oops) I remember feeling, like, “gahh, no!!” And one of my FWBs has a number a bad, just really bad, tattoos. After a number of years, I finally got over his first (arguably worst) tattoo, & then he got another absolutely hideous one that made me cringe every time I saw it.

        *I do think it’s rude to condemn all tattoos outright as trashy and unattractive, though

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        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 12:13 pm

        I would be seriously pissed if he showed up with a tattoo and didn’t talk about it with me first! I wouldn’t stop being attracted to me but it would be a hurdle.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:31 pm

        It would be a hurdle to still be attracted to him? What if he all of a sudden grew big moles? Would it be a hurdle then?

        Or would it just be a hurdle that he got one without asking? Also, not saying I agree or disagree, but isn’t it kinda hypocritical to say that women should be able to do whatever we want with our bodies because no one owns them, but our partners better ask for permission before getting a tattoo? Ftr, I wouldn’t get one without mentioning to my partner that I was getting one, but if he said no, I doubt I would obey.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar June 19, 2013, 12:40 pm

        Obey? I laughed when I read that. Does anyone still obey?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:44 pm

        lol, is that not a common word anymore? Should I be brushing up on vocab? I guess I could’ve said I doubt I would listen, but I would listen, I just would end up doing what I wanted.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 12:44 pm

        Moles are different- a physical change that is not elective doesn’t count. I don’t think a woman or man should make a permanent change to their body (plastic surgery, tattoo, piercings are debatable) with out consulting their life partner (husband, wife, or committed spouse- not just a BF/GF with out the life long commitment). I understand a lot of people feel differently, but IMO those sort of permanent body changes shouldn’t be made with out consulting your permanent partner.

        And yes, I would find him less physically attractive if he went out and got a big old tattoo on his chest. It would be something we would have to work through (or I guess I would have to work through) because I do not find tattoo’s visually pleasing.

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      • avatar

        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 2:50 pm

        But that’s the whole point. I didn’t grow to love tattoos or change my mind and think it was a good idea, I just eventually stopped seeing it as anything more than another part of my partner’s body. We went through a difficult time, because he asked my opinion before getting one, was told in no uncertain terms that I was against it, but in the end decided that he needed to do it for himself. We weren’t married at the time (because I was still in school and wanted to wait until after graduating to get engaged), but we did consider ourselves long-term partners, and always made big decisions together. This one time it was his call ad my input didn’t end up swinging the vote, and yet we survived, and I grew to see it as part of him. It was no different than any of his annoying but tolerable habits that I accepted because I loved him as a whole package, not as just the sum of his parts.

        I was originally responding to the idea that one person not being into tattoos/piercings would inevitably lead to an unsatisfying relationship in the long term, and I just don’t believe that can be made as a blanket statement. And I don’t think it’s an automatic reason to leave a relationship with someone who is otherwise a good partner. Maybe not to start one, sure, but not to be a deal-breaker in an already solidified relationship. Your post seems to agree with that, at least.

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        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 2:52 pm

        Also, I don’t think this particular discussion has anything to do with this letter, since other than the mention that she has piercings, there’s no indication that it’s even been an issue to the fiance in question. At this point, I’m just responding to the larger thread happening here.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 19, 2013, 3:13 pm

        Yes I agree overall. Once there is a solid relationship it’s something that you could overlook, but someone who’s against tattoo’s would be silly to seek out a tattoo enthusiast.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 3:29 pm

        I think you just read a lot more into my comment than what was actually there.

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        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 3:47 pm

        @theattack, This last comment wasn’t really in response to what you wrote, just to GG’s other comments on the thread.

        My original comment to you was a direct reply to this statement: “Some people are extremely attracted to it , but clearly her fiancé isn’t, and that just can’t be satisfying for either of them long term.” I don’t see anywhere in the letter that implies that her fiance clearly isn’t attracted to her, and even if he is, it’s for this reason, so that’s what I was referencing as the “over-reaction” in relation to the letter.

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      • avatar

        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 3:50 pm

        Ugh, that should say, “…and even if he ISN’T, it’s for this reason…”

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 3:51 pm

        I’m w you LL. I have 2 tattoos (neither big) and my boyfriend had always said he’d never date someone with tattoos (or a smoker), then I came along…a tattooed smoker.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 19, 2013, 1:09 pm

        I wouldn’t expect my partner to ask permission, but I would find it odd if he came home with a tattoo and didn’t even tell me it was happening. It shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment thing, and I feel like you should think about them for a while before committing, so that would be a strange thing not to mention over the course of months.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 19, 2013, 11:34 am

        Not sure why you think it’s an over-reaction to say that she should find someone who’s more attracted to her, piercings and all.

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      • avatar

        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 2:38 pm

        Because we don’t know that he isn’t attracted to her, just that she doesn’t fall into his conventional type. There is not one shred of evidence in what she wrote that he doesn’t think she’s beautiful.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 2:41 pm

        thank you!

        him saying that other “types” of women are pretty and then telling his fiance that he loves her for her does not equal him saying that she is unattractive. if that is what she is fishing out of those compliments she has many more far stretching issues then just her relationship.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 June 19, 2013, 11:29 am

      Isn’t English an official language in India?

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        MMcG June 19, 2013, 11:40 am

        Yes, along with about 900 others and dialects I think 😉

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      oldie June 19, 2013, 12:01 pm

      It’s neither trendy nor trashy in India. It was the style of much of the old aristocracy and royalty. It’s not like LW just adopted a western fad. Western women adopted an Indian tradition as a new western fad.

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      • avatar

        oldie June 19, 2013, 12:06 pm

        Also, I’m not really sure what she means by ‘sorority look’. Is that Indian-speak for Indian girls who have adopted a less-traditional, westernized appearance. If so, his approval could be less an approval of a particular body type, as the western style could be adopted by young women of many innate physical appearances, but the sense of modernity or freedom that the look conveys. Or this could just be shorthand for skinny girls with large breasts.

        It is like generations ago saying one was drawn to ‘the flapper look’. Although the flapper archetype was almost young-boyish skinny, tall, and small breasted, many girls and young women adopted this new style. It was as much a statement of liberation and rejecting the old conventions as it was a singular ideal of beauty.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 2:14 pm

        i was also confused about “sweater wearing sorority”. weird.

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 2:13 pm

        yea, this is very true and something to keep in mind- other cultures have much, much more and different body modification that is deemed beautiful, and india is one of them. peirced noses, for instance, is something every (hindu) woman has because of the hindu religion. henna, which are tattoos, although not permanent, are worn at weddings, which could be argued is the day a woman is at her “most beautiful”

        body modification is one of those things that crosses cultural lines, like a lot of food, general religious stories, and other stuff. every culture has some type of it.

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  • avatar

    Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 11:16 am

    The vibe I get is that she’s doing him a huge favor by dating a less attractive, short guy, and he doesn’t appreciate her great sacrifice enough. Obviously if he did, he would never stop telling her how beautiful she is! I mean, he had the nerve to say something to her that UGLY people might hear! And ugly people and beautiful people should never have anything in common, amiright?

    Seriously LW, this is a problem. Just because you are not his usual type does not mean he thinks you aren’t pretty. My partner looks nothing like any of the other guys I’ve dated or any of the other men I tend to think of as hot. But I think he’s great looking and I’m ridiculously attracted to him anyway, because I love him. I never point out guys that look like him as being attractive, but he doesn’t take it personally because I’m not talking about him. You ARE taking a positive comment about someone else and equating it as being a negative comment about you, when there’s absolutely no evidence of that being the case. You need to take some time to work on your self-esteem, because that attitude will not get you very far in life. I think you should leave this guy behind, because clearly you think you can do better, and he deserves someone who realizes that he has great qualities to offer a partner (like not being shallow as fuck).

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    • FireStar

      Firestar June 19, 2013, 11:29 am

      I agree. It like no good goes unpunished as far as she is concerned.

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      • FireStar

        Firestar June 19, 2013, 11:36 am

        *no good deed…

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      MMcG June 19, 2013, 11:43 am

      “You ARE taking a positive comment about someone else and equating it as being a negative comment about you, when there’s absolutely no evidence of that being the case. You need to take some time to work on your self-esteem, because that attitude will not get you very far in life.”

      This x a million… regardless of culture or this particular relationship, this is not a trait or behavior that leads to happiness 🙂

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    • katie

      katie June 19, 2013, 2:08 pm

      WLLS

      this is not normal “everyone has insecurities” kind of stuff going on…

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    • avatar

      6napkinburger June 19, 2013, 6:42 pm

      Dude, I totally think you’re off-base! She said she was fine with everything (at least attractiveness-wise, that last comment at the end was vague as hell) until she felt like he explicitly told her that she wasn’t pretty.

      Now, we can argue about whether or not he DID explicitly tell her she wasn’t pretty, but regardless, she thinks he did. So she’s trying to figure out what to do when you are in a relationship with someone who isn’t attractive to you, when you’ve always thought you were pretty darn hot! She said that she didn’t really care that he didn’t ever tell her she was beautiful because she assumed he thought it.

      Now, I don’t know about you, but I like being complimented by my partner and being told I’m beautiful/pretty/sexy/boner-inducing. It makes me feel nice. She didn’t get that, but she didn’t care, because she had enough self-esteem not to have to hear it. Except when he flat out told her she wasn’t pretty. (again, it doesn’t matter if that’s not what he said, that’s what she heard). And honestly, you wouldn’t be offended/confused, LL, if your partner told you that you weren’t prettyy (again, see above) but that someone you didn’t think was attractive was banging hot. That’s enough to make a girl go, “wait, what? But I’m prettier than ‘she’ is!!”

      She has enough self-esteem to know that she’s attractive, regardless of what she thinks her BF said. Thinking that you are prettier than a particular person doesn’t (necessarily) make you shallow; it usually just makes you honest. Talking about it tends to make you sound like a jerk, but there is no way she could tell us the information without “talking” about it. She never said he was ugly. She said her friends told her she was hotter than him. Which, in the context of this particular issue, I would also tell me friend (though probably regardless of whether or not it was true), and I would probably say that she was “out of his league.” She’s not tearing apart another person and is telling us how much better she is; she said that she is prettier than someone her BF called pretty in the past so now she’s all confused.

      You mention that you think your partner is great looking because you love him. So if he asked you if you were attracted to him/handsome, you’d have answered with an honest and empatic HELLS YEAH! But her BF didn’t, he said that he doesn’t care about how she looks. That SUCKS. She’s not wrong — that’s how we say things that suck but are true. If you sucked at cooking, and asked your partner how he can like you even though you suck at cooking. He could lie, but he doesn’t want to lie and besides, its pretty freaking obvious to anyone who has ever entered your kitchen. So he’d say that he doesn’t care about your cooking ability, he loves you and he’s ok eating only your shitty cooking the rest of his life. Didn’t deny the premise. So if you had said that fishing for compliments about your cooking because you think you rock and you base a lot of your self-worth on your ability to cook, you’d be sad. Because maybe you aren’t so sure that he’ll be happy eating your terrible cooking (and only your terrible cooking) forever, especially when he does like other people’s cooking.

      Now she wasn’t fishing for compliments, but that doesn’t stop the fact that isn’t shallow for noticing that her boyfriend is shorter than he is or that she assumed her fiance thought she was pretty and isn’t wrong in being sad about it.

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        6napkinburger June 19, 2013, 6:44 pm

        So she’s trying to figure out what to do when you are in a relationship with someone who isn’t attractED to you, when you’ve always thought you were pretty darn hot!

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        Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 8:57 pm

        “Except when he flat out told her she wasn’t pretty. (again, it doesn’t matter if that’s not what he said, that’s what she heard).”

        This is where I disagree with you. It DOES matter that he didn’t say it. I don’t subscribe to the notion that people are allowed to decide that someone meant something they didn’t say, especially when they try to get the information in a discrete and roundabout way, which is exactly what happened here. She didn’t ask her boyfriend if he thought she was pretty and the he dodged the question, she asked how he could think women who don’t look like her are attractive and still want to be with her. His response answered that question exactly. She has to learn to explicitly tell him what she needs (in this case, it seems she needs verbal affirmation of his attraction to her), or their relationship is doomed anyway. It’s a fundamental skill that’s required for any long-term relationship to be healthy. She can’t spend the rest of her life deciding to interpret what he says in ways he doesn’t mean so that she can justify getting upset.

        And for the record, my partner does tell me when I’m bad at something if I ask for his honest opinion. Sure, he’s nice about it, but he doesn’t say it in a way that leaves any confusion when I ask directly. This girl can’t even ask her soon-to-be HUSBAND a direct question. You don’t think that’s a red flag?

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 10:00 pm

        WLLS, again.

        this is just like the emotions thing- yes, everyone has emotions. yes, most of the time people should “feel” their emotions. but just because someone feels something does not make it correct, does not mean it should be acted on, and does not make it a reasonable feeling.

        ill say it again- if that is what she hears from someone, she has issues that are way deeper and bigger then this relationship. that is not normal, reasonable or ok. and, like LL said, it does not bode well for the success of a long term relationship she is one half of.

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  • lynn

    Lynn June 19, 2013, 11:18 am

    Well LW, I’m mainly attracted to 6′ and taller frat daddies with SEC-style haircuts… doesn’t mean that I’m going to marry one… I may fall in love with some hipster guy but love him for who he is and am attracted to him because attraction is part of my way of falling in love (if that makes any sense at all).

    I know it sucks that he isn’t always expressive, but I wouldn’t write it off as him not finding you attractive… even though he worded stuff funny.

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  • avatar

    Amanda June 19, 2013, 11:25 am

    LW, why do you want to marry your boyfriend? I’m curious because you only mention some of his physical attributes and that he is not expressive. Why is he your ideal life partner? Why are you his? What are these other red flags that you casually mention? There is too little information in your letter, but if you can’t tell your life partner something that is bothering you about your relationship, then please don’t get married.

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  • avatar

    Lucy June 19, 2013, 11:51 am

    LW – I can’t from your letter figure out if you even like this guy, let alone why you are marrying him. It’s all you, you, you, what does he think about you? So to me, it sounds like you are looking for an excuse to break it off with him. But you don’t need an excuse. If you were truly in love with this guy, I think you would see his words as kind, generous, and loving.

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  • avatar

    Older and (hopefully) wiser June 19, 2013, 11:53 am

    LW, you said in your last paragraph that “you’ve been getting warning signs about this relationship since the beginning”. What does that mean? Is there something else going on?
    About the issue at hand–in order for a relationship to survive long term, there has to be a physical attraction between you. If he thinks you’re a great friend but doesn’t want to jump your bones when you look at him that certain way (or whatever), problem. If he doesn’t think you’re the prettiest girl around but is really turned on by you, it’s fine. There are plenty of men I think are good looking but they just don’t do it for me. And guys who I didn’t think were attractive but definitely had the hots for. Ask him. He owes you an honest answer before you commit to spending the rest of your life with him.

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay June 19, 2013, 12:15 pm

    After reading more comments, I’m just going to say that regardless of what the LW is like as a person and what kind of ways the fiance’s comments can interpreted, I think she needs to just tell him that she feels like he may not be attracted to her and ask him if he is. And while she’s at it, tell him that it’s important to her to hear that from him sometimes.

    Unless, however, she’s just unhappy with the relationship as a whole, as the last paragraph touches on, and in that case, she should think about moving on.

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  • AJ

    AJ June 19, 2013, 12:21 pm

    I think the LW thinks of her beauty as her strongest and her “one defining” trait, hence she makes such a big deal out of her fiancee not finding her pretty, as shallow as it sounds. I used to be a little annoying snob who thinks I’m smarter and more ambitious than everyone else, and I thought that’s why BF loves me. But then he told me that he never thinks of me that way, and that he loves me because I was, well, me. While I was a bit offended in the beginning (“how can he doesn’t think I’m smart?!”), I actually felt relieved. I used to think that if I am not smart, or driven, or if I don’t work hard and get promoted and super successful by the time I’m 25, I would just be plain old AJ and people won’t like me. The fact that my boyfriend loves me despite all that makes me think that there’s more to AJ than just being smart.

    So LW, I think it’s great that your boyfriend sticks with you despite not thinking of you as pretty, because he definitely sees more in you than just beauty, that he wants to spend the rest of his life with you. But if it is that important to you, you should tell him that and if he’s the slightest bit thoughtful, he’ll know that a little line of “yes, honey, you’re beautiful” would go a long way to making his GF happy.

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    • Miss MJ

      Miss MJ June 19, 2013, 2:26 pm

      I agree. The LW thinks the fiance should be with her because she is pretty and that’s what should draw him to her. In reality, he is drawn to her for reasons other than what she looks like. That’s not a bad thing, really, even if it’s not something that that LW is used to hearing. I think she should ask him to clarify that he finds her attractive. I also think she needs to ask him why he wants to marry her. It would do her some good to see herself as something more than just “pretty.”

      Also, for what it’s worth, I think the fiance may find a certain “type” or “style” attractive – the “sorority look” whatever that is – and it isn’t that he finds the women themselves more attractive than the LW, it’s just that he likes their “look” or whatever, and that seems like the opposite of how the LW described her “look.” In other words, it isn’t that he doesn’t think the LW is pretty; she probably objectively is. It’s that she’s not necessarily the type he would usually go for, but something other than her looks drew him to her. Again, not a bad thing. Especially since he doesn’t seem to be trying to urge or influence the LW to change her “look.”

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  • avatar

    AKchic June 19, 2013, 12:41 pm

    I can see this letter a few different ways. Yes, there are cultural differences, and then there are the fundamental “personality/looks” differences.

    So this guy normally finds another type of woman attractive. It doesn’t actually mean that he finds you ugly. It just means that you aren’t the normal type he would go for. Unless he comes right out and says that he is not attracted to you or thinks you’re ugly, I think you are overreacting a bit.
    Maybe you are because, truly, deep down, you don’t want to marry this guy.

    I get that family and societal pressure can make you feel like you have no other options. I married partially for the same reason my first time around. The rest was because I was threatened with some pretty heinous alternatives if I didn’t, and since I was young/naive, I did what I thought I had to do.

    What you need to do is communicate your issues with your fiance. He may not be expressive, but he certainly has ears with which to hear, and a mind in which to process. He may not be able to find the right words, but he certainly can try!
    Why are the two of you dating if you feel the way you do (like you’ve lowered your standards to be with him, as evidenced by the “I’m out of his league” comments)?

    It’s also time to stop worrying about looks so much. Being pretty on the outside means nothing if you have an ugly spirit.

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  • avatar

    MMcG June 19, 2013, 12:53 pm

    A psych or sociology or anthropology student could have a field day with our responses… which are clearly divided up depending on our own insecurities and projections. Although it’s probably for the best that DW doesn’t have that kind of analytic power, I would hate to think of the impression I would give NSA 🙂

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 12:54 pm

      Yikes, same here!

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    • FireStar

      Firestar June 19, 2013, 1:19 pm

      Anyone ever read the Puzzle Palace? I think it came out in 1982/1983. (This is what passed for fun reading in my house growing up – espionage or real life mafia stories – or you read political theory) It was about how the NSA monitors keywords/phrases in calls and collects data. I have no idea why everyone is up in arms now…it has been going on since TIME… so don’t worry MMcG – the NSA already knows all about you!

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      • avatar

        MMcG June 19, 2013, 1:34 pm

        I do want to know if I have an FBI file… I might be disappointed and feel unworthy if I didn’t though. Like c’mon – I could be a radical subversive. Really I could!!!

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        lets_be_honest June 19, 2013, 1:39 pm

        Stop making the paranoids freak out! 😉

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      • katie

        katie June 19, 2013, 1:59 pm

        haha, ok i heard a joke or something on the radio about that again yesterday, and i was thinking: i wonder if they have any of my phone calls/emails. like, im so boring, you guys. BUT- if i said something was “da bomb”, would i get flagged and that email saved? and then i was laughing about the list of words that they would have to put on ANOTHER list to be read twice for context, such as “da bomb”. so then “da bomb” goes on a list of words/phrases that some sad intern or something has to read over and decide if they meant it like a real bomb or like pop culture or whatever.

        i crack myself up.

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    Boosker June 19, 2013, 12:30 pm

    Oh yikes, why would you want to be with someone who doesn’t find you attractive? And why would he want to marry someone he doesn’t find attractive? You both can do better.

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    • avatar

      RacheyG June 19, 2013, 10:33 pm

      He never said he didn’t find her attractive. He wouldn’t be with her if he didn’t feel sexually attracted to her. He was just trying to be sweet and reassure her that even though their looks would change over time, he would always love her.

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    6napkinburger June 19, 2013, 6:17 pm

    Boo to everyone who jumped on the LW and called her shallow and egotistical/narcisstic! How in the world are we supposed to understand the situation if she doesn’t tell us about it!

    We always yell at LW’s for not giving us enough info, and then yell at them for providing the info, but not in the exact way we wanted it. Do we want them to have to say? “I don’t know for sure, and I usually wouldn’t mention it, but I seem to get hit on a fair amount and based on the feedback I’ve received from friends, family and the modelling agent trying to recruit me, I may be pretty. But I’m not sure, don’t quote me on that.” Then we’d be on her about not having enough self-esteem!

    There is some truth floating around there about whether or not this girl is generally seen by society as pretty and that has been relayed to her, whether or not she gets hit on often and whether or not her friends told her one day when he was being a jerk that she’s way hotter than him (possibly yesterday, especially after telling them that he said she wasn’t). Acknowledging truth so that you can impart information to a bunch of strangers so they can give you advice isn’t narcissistic!

    Also, her BF is shorter than her. That’s a fact. She liked that he didn’t make it a big deal. That is a fact (and an opinion). I’m 5’7″ and it is noticeable when you’re taller, and it really affects some guys, so it is nice when they don’t seem to care. That was praising him, not the weird backhanded compliment that some people are making it out to be.

    You can acknowledge a difference between yourself and others in terms of a positive trait without being a jerk — its being perceptive and honest. Not sure why we hold it against the LWs so much.

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    • avatar

      Liquid Luck June 19, 2013, 9:14 pm

      It may be nit-picky of me, but this line right here is why I took that stance: “I mean, that’s what you say to an ugly person — or someone who you love despite their being ugly.” Sure, you’re allowed to objectively rate your own attractiveness, but to recoil in horror at the thought of being treated like an “ugly person” is certainly vain. It’s wholly unnecessary for that line to be in there, as the overall point would get across just fine without it. To me, that line sets a whole different tone for the letter. And it’s not the only line where she judges other women of not being up to her standards of beauty. She’s free to comment on her own appearance, but to insult other women (especially ones that her boyfriend is attracted to) is where it becomes rude and shallow behavior.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 20, 2013, 12:14 am

        Agreed. That line bothered me, too. I also felt like it implied that she didn’t think personality was as important in a relationship UNLESS you’re ugly. It’s one thing to find yourself attractive, but it’s another to consider yourself to be in a whole separate category as person from someone who may not be as attractive.

        Overall, it was just the tone. There are many ways to convey a point, and I felt that the way this was written went a lot further than just stating the facts.

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    RacheyG June 19, 2013, 10:31 pm

    Obviously he finds you attractive, or he wouldn’t be dating you. He simply thinks your attractiveness is obvious and was attempting to be sweet and romantic when he said that he would love you no matter what. No man on Earth would commit himself to sleeping with one woman for the rest of his life if he wasn’t attracted to her. This sounds like an insecurity you have, rather than a fault in the way he views you. Sounds like you have a great guy there- one who was trying to be kind and romantic-not insult or denigrate you.

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  • avatar

    BreezyAM June 20, 2013, 12:36 am

    Look, guys, people in general actually, often say dumb shit that comes out wrong. Your boyfriend is a clod in the words department. MrAM is too. It`s because he (MrAM) never ever says something unless he means precisely that. So if I ask him “does this make my ass look big?” He will examine carefully, contemplate, and say “well, no, not really.”

    OMG! Right?! 😉 I get ya. Doesn`t mean he doesn`t find you hot though. He just isn`t so hot with words!

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  • avatar

    Kay June 20, 2013, 4:38 am

    Er…Have you thought of writing to internet advice columnists based in India? I think cosmo-India has a blog or forum that may be helpful. As of now, I can’t say anything because you haven’t made some things clear. How traditional is your family? Your SO’s family? And are you looking to get married soon? If the answers are no, then I’d say lighten up a bit. The fact that he likes you for your personality is actually a good thing.

    You say your SO finds ‘formal sweater wearing’ types attractive, so I’m kinda confused. I live in Delhi and I can only imagine wearing a sweater in December or January (maybe Feb)…how are these girls not cooking to death?

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  • avatar

    katkc June 21, 2013, 1:30 pm

    Ok, I know I’m late to the party and most likely the LW is done reading the comments, but if you’re still out there LW, this is in my opinion a HUGE red flag. The comments that reference superficiality and such are missing the point. It’s not whether he thinks you are pretty that’s the problem, it’s the fact that he won’t say anything nice about the way you look, that’s on purpose. This is the classic controlling man, from what you have written, and if any of the other red flags you mention are examples of controlling or withholding behavior, I would advise you to run. He wouldn’t be with you if there weren’t things about your looks that he likes but he didn’t mention one of them. Even if he doesn’t think you are pretty, which I doubt, and didn’t want to lie, he could have said something about your looks that he likes. Instead he said it doesn’t matter, KNOWING that it would make you feel ugly, and did so in a way that made you feel emotionally conflicted, feeling like maybe it was a compliment and you should be happy. My opinion is that this guy knows you’re hot, and knows that you’re out of his league, and is withholding compliments in an attempt to make you start to believe that you aren’t pretty and need to stay with him. Don’t let him succeed!

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