What would you say if your boo made one of these statements to you? How would you feel? would you “comply”? Does a significant other have the right to ask you to change your physical appearance or anything about you for that matter? Does your response change if I reframe the question to ask, “Is a person obligated to love you as you are”? Are tweaks a bad thing?
In my relationships, I’ve actually had men say things like this to me:
Him 1: Don’t lose anymore weight. You looked more womanly about 10 pounds ago.
In my head: (Did you really say that? And aren’t you rocking a muffin top?)
Him 2: I like it when you wear heels. I think they go well with everything.
In my head: (I’m not wearing heels all the time or while you wear sneakers!)
Him 3: You wear a lot of makeup. To me, natural is best.
Me (aloud): You know what I do for a living, right? I was rocking my favorite drag queen look when I met you!
I can’t ever answer the questions I posed to you. I’m stuck! On one hand, I think it is perfectly fine to make a request; however, the very fact that you bring up the request has the potential to make the other person feel insecure. I mean, look at some of those statements above! Regardless of what you said, I heard, “You’re not attractive enough.” Then, I also ask, “Can you confidently decline?”
Consider this: I have my preferences for what makes a guy attractive to me. In general, I try not to date anybody who SEVERELY offends my idea of attractiveness. Further, I also ask myself if the person stays as they are whether I would be unhappy. If I can’t honestly say that I’d be happy with the person, I keep it on push. For example, there is no dating a guy who smokes. I think it is disgusting, and I don’t want to get to know you to support you while you wear the patch!
Now, here is the real problem: what if the person develops the offending characteristic after we begin dating? Is it a “break up over this” offense? I don’t like smokers; but is that something you break up over? What if my issue is weight and he gains a noticeable amount during the relationship? Is that shallow or selfish? I hesitate to call it that because I don’t like to label people, but what if you’re really unattracted to that quality and it repulses you? Do you try to ignore it? If you do, what happens if the quality you hate intensifies?
How do make someone else happy and maintain your own happiness?