Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Says He Likes Blondes, But I’m a Brunette!”

My boyfriend (28) and I (29) have been together for about 16 months, and we had an argument about a month ago. I had noticed that he seems to “check out” other women, especially women/girls with blond hair. I told him that I noticed he kept looking at the same blond-haired woman one day when we were out shopping and that I was upset by it, but he said he was looking at the advertisement that she was sitting next to. I questioned him further until he blurted out “I like blond hair.” He then went on to say that he’s interested in hair/had wanted to be a hairdresser when he was 17. But then at other times — because I still feel I’m not able to forgive him, I keep bringing it up — he says that he made that comment out of anger and because I kept going on at him.

I have dark brown hair and I keep feeling down about it. Was he lying when he said he was checking out the blonde woman because he’s interested in hair or was he lying when he said that comment was out of anger? It’s a month later now and when I bring it up, he says he regrets saying it and he definitely doesn’t like blond hair. But it’s come to the point now where if he puts a film on, I think he’s done it because there’s an attractive blonde woman in it. I never had this feeling before he made that comment about liking blond hair!

I feel there may be some truth in his comment that he likes blond hair. I’ve noticed his double glances at blonde women, after all. I have made him pay for saying what he did, making him write down the things he loves about me physically and then reading the list aloud to me. He is getting better at looking in the other direction when an attractive woman walks by (blond hair or not), so I am reassured. Or he will comment with something nice about me or what I’m wearing. But I just can’t get past his comment.

Thank you so much for your help! I really need it. — Not a Blonde

Your boyfriend wasn’t lying when he said he likes blond hair. Guess what? He also likes attractive women (blond hair or not). Most heterosexual men do. I don’t know how you expect a man to only be attracted to you and no one else – that’s insane. And while it would be disrespectful of a man to “check out” other women in the presence of the woman he’s in a relationship with, you can’t expect a man not to even notice other attractive women. Come on, now. You are being completely unrealistic and, frankly, incredibly insecure. I had to write you back and confirm your age because I couldn’t believe someone older than 14 would be jealous of actresses in a film her boyfriend chose to put on, worried that he was only selecting said films because the starlets have blond hair.

You have a confidence problem that isn’t your boyfriend’s fault, and if you keep pushing him in the absurd ways you already are — repeated questioning about a woman he glanced at a month ago, making him write what physical traits he likes about you, expecting him to look in the other direction when an attractive woman walks by — you are going to drive him away. NO man is going to want to put up with that shit. You’ve got to get it in check.

The person who needs to make a list of your positive traits isn’t your boyfriend – it’s you! You need to start focusing on your own value, and not just the physical stuff. Beauty fades. It’s also incredible subjective. What do you like about yourself on the inside? Are you kind? Do you care about others? Do you work hard? Are you loyal? Are you a good friend? Affirming your positive traits on a daily basis will go a long way to fostering the self-confidence you lack. (Here are some great tips I recommend). And if you’re feeling like you don’t present the best physical version of yourself, there are lots fo things you can do to improve that: exercising regularly, which will help you stay fit (and healthy! and it will release endorphins and manage stress and anxiety); updating your wardrobe with cute, trendy pieces; getting a haircut and going to a make-up counter and having a pro give you some make-up tips.

What’s most important to remember here is that the issue you’re fighting isn’t your boyfriend’s attraction to other women, but rather it’s your poor self-esteem and your projection of that onto your boyfriend. This problem will never go away — regardless of whether you stay with your boyfriend or move on to someone else — if you don’t take steps to foster some self-worth. For your own sake, take some responsibility and quit shifting the blame for your own insecurity. You also owe your boyfriend an apology for the lame way you’ve been treating him for the past month.

I’ve been married for 21 years and recently divorced two years ago. My ex is overseas but still pays the mortgage, car payments, and all other house expenses. We rarely communicate unless it’s about the kids. He seems happy because he gets to travel all over the world, but deep down I don’t think he really is happy. The man that I married loved his kids, but this person rarely calls them (though he does spoil them by sending money and gifts). My question is: Do I move on and let go or do I stand on God’s word? Our youngest son doesn’t know we’re divorced; he just think his dad is overseas working. — Still Hoping

 
You have not been married for 21 years. You’re divorced. You’ve been divorced for two years! I’m not religious, but I don’t think God would want you to continue lying to your kids – and to yourself! — about whether or not you’re still married! I have to imagine a loving, compassionate God wouldn’t want you hanging on to something or someone who has so clearly left you and doesn’t want to be with you anymore. Quit using your faith as an excuse to avoid moving on; your marriage has been legally over for two years and who knows how long it was emotionally over before that. You need to figure out a way to generate an income because I also can’t imagine your ex will continue paying all your living expenses forever, especially once your kids become adults. In every way, it’s time for you to MOA.

***************
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

34 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Allornone February 25, 2020, 9:25 am

    LW1- Girl, this is so not a thing. An example- I’ve always liked long hair on a guy. Always. My boyfriend of five years, the man I consider the love of my life who I’m wildly attracted to- bald. I will give you that he shouldn’t be checking out girls in front of you, That’s not cool. But the truth is he’ll always find other girls attractive because that’s human nature. It doesn’t shut off just because you’re in a relationship. It doesn’t mean he finds you less attractive and it doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you. Let this go.

    LW2- WTF? I don’t know what God wants (mostly because I don’t personally believe in him), but I’m pretty sure it’s not lying to your kids about a major part of their life.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs February 25, 2020, 9:47 am

    LW1 letter reminds me of my brother’s wife….she confronted him in front of me and my parents for cheating because when they were at Walmart he looked at a magazine with a woman on the cover….oh and she also made him quit his job because where he worked had posters of women hanging on the walls….i could go on with other examples….they are still married (10 years now)….but her level of insecurity was just beyond common sense
    not to say LW1 is to that level….just reminded me of that

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    • Copa

      Copa February 25, 2020, 10:54 am

      I think I’d burst out loud laughing if someone confronted their spouse in front of me… over a magazine. Omg.

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  • Miel

    Miel February 25, 2020, 10:01 am

    My boyfriend has a type. He likes tall, athletic blonde women with ponytails. I am a short brunette, the definition itself of “skinny-fat” and ponytails are one hair style that truly doesn’t look good on me. Sometimes I’ll spot a random tall blonde woman with a ponytail jogging near by and I’ll wiggle my eyebrows at him and be like “lucky you, look who’s there!” and he’ll joke “yes, if only you were taller and blonde… You should try working on that.” And I’ll answer “if only you were short with brown hair and a beard”, which he isn’t.

    We’re not each other’s type. That’s ok, it’s a running joke. It’s the least important thing in our relationship. We still love each other.

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    • avatar

      Allornone February 25, 2020, 10:18 am

      Ha! we don’t joke about not being each other’s type, but if I do spot a woman who’s particularly boobalicious (of which I am not) or has a nice ass (which actually, mine is quite decent), I am sure to point it out. He’s a good man; he gets to enjoy pretty things.

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 25, 2020, 11:07 am

      I married a hazel eyed brunette. My “type” is blue eyes with light brown/blonde hair. Nearly every person I dated before him fit my type (only one other was brunette, they all had blue eyes).

      My husband knows this.

      LW is crazy.

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    • avatar

      Ange February 25, 2020, 4:18 pm

      I always liked tall, slender guys with dark hair. My husband is tall but he’s also a beefy, muscular redhead. Doesn’t matter! I’ve dated my ‘type’ and it didn’t work out because looking the way you like isn’t enough to make someone a good partner for you.

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      • avatar

        Ange February 25, 2020, 4:20 pm

        Also here’s a thought: maybe stop encouraging the ogling of women who are just going about their business. They aren’t ‘pretty things’ they’re people just like us.

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      • avatar

        Allornone February 25, 2020, 4:25 pm

        If the ogling comment was intended for me, I only do it with celebrities on T.V. Maybe that’s wrong too, but for what it’s worth, I would never encourage it in real life.

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      • avatar

        Ange February 25, 2020, 4:34 pm

        More of a general comment. I hear of women doing it a lot with their partners. It’s fine to not be intimidated by men thinking other women are attractive, it’s not fine or cool to participate in objectifying behaviour.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor February 25, 2020, 10:15 am

    “I have made him pay for saying this, making him write the things he loves about me physically and then reading it out to me.”

    This is messed up

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    • avatar

      LisforLeslie February 25, 2020, 10:28 am

      Not on the list:

      “I love that you are so insecure that you make me write down the things I love about you and read them out loud”

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    • avatar

      anonymousse February 25, 2020, 10:30 am

      That comment stuck out to me as well. That is so messed up!

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    • avatar

      Fyodor February 25, 2020, 10:49 am

      It’s like something out of the Chinese Cultural Revolution

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  • avatar

    em February 25, 2020, 10:19 am

    LW1: you sound unhinged. I didn’t get the impression bf is being blatant or gross in checking out or flirting with other women around you. At the end of the day, all of us are surrounded by temptation; good looking people are everywhere in real life and the media. Stop emotionally torturing this man and work on your self esteem.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie February 25, 2020, 10:27 am

    LW #1 – everyone has this right – you are beyond insecure. Men and women are going to look at attractive people. That does not mean they reject their partner. If you make him bend over backwards to address your issues, he’s going to break. You need to wrangle your baggage on this trip, don’t expect anyone else to carry this for you.

    LW#2 – sure you were married to this person for 19 years so you do have a sense of when he’d be happy or sad. But he hasn’t come home has he? He’s still travelling the world and finding adventures. And he’s doing this without you and without his kids. And you’ve both been lying to your kids for 2 years.

    Did you think your husband would get his fill of adventure then come back home and you’d get married and live out the rest of your life? And you’d never have to tell your children about this “phase”? I suppose anything is possible, but stop lying to your kids. Stop assuming this is how things will work out.

    You’ve put your life on hold and your ex-husband may or may not come back. He may come back with a new wife. Stop pretending this is a phase, take action as if it weren’t.

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  • avatar

    CET February 25, 2020, 10:33 am

    LW1, you have to stop obsessing over this! Who cares if he likes blonde hair or looks at some woman.You need to let it go. Stop bringing it up with him. Stop being so insecure…it’s a little silly. Go get therapy to work on being less insecure.
    LW2, you are divorced with two kids and it’s sad your ex doesn’t spend time with his kids. Tell them the truth. Move on with your life. Good luck.

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  • Copa

    Copa February 25, 2020, 10:36 am

    LW1, the only clear solution here is to dye your hair blonde. (Kidding.) But really. Get a grip and get into therapy! If you can’t forgive your boyfriend for checking another woman out a month ago, end it already. Don’t make him “pay for it” (!?) by making him write a list of your attractive physical qualities (!!??). (That is SO messed up and pitiful.) It’s not his job to make you feel confident about your appearance.

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    • avatar

      Miss MJ February 25, 2020, 10:46 am

      Honestly, I’m surprised LW1 hasn’t already just done that. This is nuts.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse February 25, 2020, 10:37 am

    Yeah, it’s weird to be so obsessed with his idea that he has a thing only for blonde women. I mean, maybe it’s true but he chooses to be with you. Which could change considering you’re hounding him about this and probably making him feel really uncomfortable and guilty about it. Stop being so insecure. If this happened with me, I would have made a joke and teased him and that would be it. If you keep bugging him about this, he might decide to back off from a relationship with you because people don’t like to spend time with people who make them feel like shit.

    LW2- you’re divorced. Stop lying to yourself and to your kids, it’s not helping anyone. Your ex is not a good father if he just basically abandoned his kids.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. February 25, 2020, 10:39 am

    LW1: Your reaction is way over the top. If you don’t stop this, your boyfriend is going to walk. I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t already, especially after you making him write down everything he loves about you and read it back to you. WTH? Yeah, it was crappy of him to check out another woman in front of you, but guess what? Men like attractive women and they notice them. (BTW, women notice attractive men, too.) Most people have a “type”, but that doesn’t mean they are only attracted to that kind of person. Your boyfriend chose to be with you in spite of your dark hair, and that should tell you all you need to know. You need to get a hold of this insecurity or you will never be happy in a relationship.

    LW2: Your marriage is over. Move one and stop lying to your kid. He’ll find out one day and then what will he think of you?

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    • Copa

      Copa February 25, 2020, 10:44 am

      I’m also surprised LW1’s boyfriend hasn’t ended it. The boyfriend I had in my early 20s was insecure and it was truly exhausting. I’m only a few years older than these two, and was single/dating in my late 20s. I would’ve ran like the wind from this kind of insecurity.

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      • avatar

        Allornone February 25, 2020, 11:05 am

        Yeah, I had one of those guys in my early twenties, too. It was awful. Huge fight because I said Eddie Vedder was dreamy. Like wtf? You really think I’ll ever get a chance to sleep with Eddie Vedder? Because I won’t. So what are we talking about? Thank god those days are over. My current bf has no issues when I react to a celebrity’s attractiveness. Hell, he’d probably let me sleep with Eddie Vedder.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. February 25, 2020, 12:07 pm

        I dated a wildly insecure man when I younger. He was a ton of work. So glad when it ended.

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  • avatar

    Jennifer February 25, 2020, 11:01 am

    My husband is attracted to women that look like Penelope Cruz. I have blonde hair and look nothing like her. I am attracted to men that look like Jason Statham. He has red hair and a beard. We are pretty much the opposite of who we’d call out on the top of our hot list. My husband didn’t marry me because of the color of my hair! Think about this for a second. Picture the hottest celebrity or guy you an think of. Then picture him beside your boyfriend. Are they twins separated at birth? Did you fall in love with your boyfriend despite the fact he isn’t a spitting image of Denzel? We joke about this too like others posted above. If we’re scrolling through the guide and I see a Penelope Cruz movie is on, I don’t get all worried he will watch it and divorce me. I say, oooh your girlfriend is on! I am comfortable enough with myself to know that he can love me and still find other women attractive. I was young once too, and I get insecurity. If you have the means, I’d seek out some help.

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    • avatar

      Allornone February 25, 2020, 11:08 am

      My sister’s dream guy is Jason Mamoa. Her husband of over 20 years? Chubby bald math professor.

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  • avatar

    jilliebean February 25, 2020, 11:30 am

    LW1: I had my mouth open in shock reading that entire letter. That is terrible behavior on your part. Your poor boyfriend – I have no idea why he is putting up with this. “I still feel I’m not able to forgive him”…for liking a certain color hair????!!! He didn’t even say he ONLY likes blonde hair, or hates brown hair (obviously he doesn’t or he wouldn’t be with you…).

    “It’s a month later now and when I bring it up, he says he regrets saying it” ….yep, I am quite sure he does.

    Therapy, please.

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  • avatar

    brise February 25, 2020, 12:30 pm

    LW1: yes, you need help, professional help. I can’t believe you wrote three long paragraphs about blond hair.
    LW2: the aim for you is not to hope for his return as a husband. This ship has sunk with your divorce. His paying family expenses is a legal consequence of the divorce, not a proof of his care for you as a wife. The aim, for you, is to move on on a romantic level, and to embrace co-parenting in a more pragmatic manner: these two issues work together. Do communicate more with your ex as a co-parent. It is a shame that he doesn’t see his kids. It is not enough to pay for them: their childhood won’t last forever and like all kids, they need their father. Do talk with him about his children, their life, their achievements, and ask him point blank to attend their important functions as a co-parent, not as a husband: concerts, theater plays, sport competition, birthdays, all occasions when parents are supposed to be there for their children. Do ask him to own his responsibilities as a father. And have your kids communicate with him as well. But don’t use it as a mean to have him back. Make it explicit to him.

    It is certainly very difficult to renounce a long marriage. But now, you live in denial and a lie. No! It is none of your concern wether he is happy or not. He has certainly an other woman in his life. Embrace your new reality, explain the situation to your youngest son and do your best to make it work as exes and co-parents.
    Lastly: engage in your professional future. Have a personal project for your sustainment.

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  • avatar

    Suki February 25, 2020, 3:33 pm

    LW1, this is just sad. Please focus on your self-worth, and other more meaningful attributes than hair color. The fact that you had your boyfriend make a list of your best physical traits is ridiculous and unsustainable. What happens if you gain 20 lbs, cut your hair, need glasses, or whatever? Real love and connection goes so far beyond looks, it’s almost irrelevant.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy February 25, 2020, 5:08 pm

    From LW1: “It crazy how I emailed this last week and Monday my husband returned home from overseas and we are working on our relationship. The God I serve is awesome and it was my faith that carried me those 2 years.

    All the best
    My God is Awesome”

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    • MaterialsGirl

      MaterialsGirl February 25, 2020, 5:24 pm

      Insert Eyeroll

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    • avatar

      Allornone February 26, 2020, 12:17 am

      Nothing about any of this makes sense

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark February 25, 2020, 6:05 pm

    LW1) It’s amazing to me how the batshit crazy somehow never end up alone.

    LW2). Oh wait. Occasionally they do only fail to realize it.

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  • avatar

    mellanthe February 25, 2020, 7:35 pm

    LW1:

    There’s nothing wrong about a person noticing attractive people, as long as they are neither creepy to the observed, nor disrespectful to their partner. A quick look might barely go noticed, whereas ogling is disrespectful to the partner in front of you, and the person treated like meat. If you truly feel he’s ogling women, then explain that it makes you feel cheap and embarrassed to be with him, and it is no fair to those women. But the problem shouldn’t be ‘you noticed a woman was attractive, once’.

    It sounds like he made a lot of excuses for his actions – he likes just hair, he likes ads. It’s hard to say if he was really being obnoxious and ogling ,here, or whether you might just be sensitive that he glanced at a woman for a couple of seconds longer than you’d like. He reacted defensively here, but that may be because he knew you’d turn it into a big thing – and you really have. To the point where it consumes you months later. By repeatedly bringing up some woman he glanced at once, a month ago. Until he got mad and started to change his story or blurt things out to get you to move on. You shouldn’t have to ‘forgive’ him for liking blonde hair or make him ‘pay’ for it. He shouldn’t have to look the other way; as long as he isn’t ogling her! You’re punishing him for a few seconds of looking at a random woman he’ll never meet again, for months. That’s not healthy.

    Everyone who experiences attraction likes some things more than others, generally. But we’ve all liked people who are not like our type at. And type doesn’t matter past the attraction phase. Once you’re attracted, whether someone is your ‘type’ becomes irrelevant. Look at all these posters telling you about happy relationships where ‘type’ has nothing to do with it!

    But everyone notices attractive people, even those in relationships. Have you never seen another guy you thought was hot, even for a second? Happened to me today, in fact. Not gonna cheat, and nothing to do with how hot I find my BF. So what if there’s an actress in a film who happens to be blonde? You expect him to never look at an actress in his life? Frankly, I don’t care what my guy’s ‘type’ is, because what matters is how he treats me. And what matters here isn’t whether your guy has ever found another woman sexy, it’s whether you are a good couple, and he treats you well.

    You will make yourself and him miserable if you continue like this: making him look the other way, not believing compliments because you fear they can’t be genuine. You need help to get past the issue, here. Professional help to work on your trust.

    LW2: You aren’t married. The time to decide whether to move on was *before* you were getting divorced. Since you and your husband decided to part ways, that’s it. He’s gone off to travel the world, and you are free agents, to do as you wish. Whether you’ve been honest enough to tell your kids or admit it to yourself is irrelevant.

    It might be hard for you to admit, but it’s over. He divorced you 2 years ago and has been enjoying his life without you for two years. It’s a done thing.

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