Post # 1
First off, this is partially my fault because I always told SO that if I can improve my body (within realistic expectations) then I’d want to know suggestions. (ie: if I’m getting too skinny/heavy, please tell me!)
However my boyfriend makes me a bit confused. He regularly compliments me. When we watched the VS fashion show he kept telling me how those girls were hot but if I were taller I could easily blow them out of the water (not true, but still nice to hear!) Just the other day he said “You know, I’ve dated fit girls before but you’re the only girl I’ve ever dated who truly had a truly great body.” He makes a big compliment about my body probably every day, which is lovely!
But other times he’s very critical! Just last night he said he loved how I looked, and then later said “Did you eat a lot of fat today? Your stomach looks bigger.” (I was gassy, which was why- but he thinks that if you eat a lot of fats then your stomach gets physically bigger in 24 hours, I keep telling him it doesn’t work that way and even if it did, I gain in my hips not my stomach). If I’m ever bloated, he tells me and seems disappointed. He tells me I have the best butt he’s seen, but then he’ll say “You could tighten it up a little.”
Anyway, I’m not upset or anything, but I’m more just CONFUSED. Why would he compliment me so often, and then say stuff like this? If I truly have a body better than a model (which I don’t, but he may think I do because of his tastes), why would he have ANY problems with it? Is there some weird psychological reason behind it? He obviously finds me very attractive so why does he feel the need to mention tiny little imperfections?
Then, the kicker is- when I start getting self conscious, he thinks I’m being “ridiculous” and I should have more confidence. Um…DUDE really?!
Any non-judgmental help is good! Why does he do this? Does anyone else’s SO/H do this?
Post # 3
@anon00: it sounds to me like your boyfriend thinks you are attractive. it also sounds to me like your boyfriend has a pretty strong fixation with superficial appearances.
if appearance is important to both of you (and there’s nothing wrong with that!) you are probably a compatible match… but if his criticism is bothering you remember that age is an inevitable part of staying alive.
Post # 4
@rawrrrrr: We both are a little obsessed with appearance- we’re also in our 20s so I hope we get over it as we get older. I know he’ll eventually go bald, and I’ll get more cellulite (I already have some) and he said that he’s aware of that, and all he wants is for me to look my personal best.
I’m not even bothered by it, but just really confused as to why he feels the need to mention these little imperfections if he truly believes I have such a great body? He has imperfections but they’re so minor I don’t see the point in mentioning them!
Post # 5
@anon00: This is kinda strange behavior on his part. But, it seems as though you may have been the one to have opened this can of worms by inviting his opinion on your body. So, now you need to close the can back up.
A couple of questions for you – do you compliment him/his body in return for the compliments he gives you? How does he feel about his body, is he in good shape?
Some of his criticisms may be more a matter of him feeling insecure about his own body than meaning to directly hurt you. It could be a deflection tactic.
To get him to stop this tell him you take it back that you wanted his real opinion about your body. What you really want are his compliments on your body, not his honest opinion. I get it! I’m the same way. Guys can be dumb about these things.
If he criticizes your tummy again, reach over and give his belly a pat and say the same thing back to him – “Looking a little bloated there, honey, eat too much salt on your french fries today?” Maybe that’ll shut him up. 🙂
My opinion – never, ever ask a man’s opinion about your body. Trust me, if he wants to have sex with you he likes your body. Leave it at that.
Post # 6
@anon00: I can’t imagine my FI making comments like this. He wouldn’t live to tell about it, that’s for sure. If you are both fixated on appearances, then I guess this can work for you. But if you don’t want to hear it – and it sounds like you don’t – just tell him. You’re not dating a personal trainer (or maybe you are, lol) and your partner is supposed to support you and make you feel good.
Or turn the tables – start pointing out things that could be better about his body. Sometimes people don’t get it unless you do it back to them.
Post # 8
@Sunfire: LOL! To answer your question, my boyfriend has an amazing body. He’s not perfect (who is?) but he has the best body I’ve ever seen in person- and even compared to Calvin Klein models, I prefer his (they are way too big/muscular for me- he’s lean and muscular but not steroid-esque).
He takes his body very seriously and works out very hard, so at least he practices what he preaches. I do compliment him but he’s said numerous times that compliments don’t do much for him, and sometimes they seem to make him uncomfortable, so I stopped.
Post # 9
@BoxerLady: True. He has imperfections but I don’t mind them nor do I mention them- maybe I should. But his comments don’t even hurt my feelings that much. They mostly just confuse me. He claims I have the best body he’s ever seen, so wtf does he want? lol
And no he’s not a personal trainer although he did help me develop my fitness routine, since then I’ve gained 15 lb of muscle so I’m not complaining!
Post # 10
I think you may just be being too sensitive… especially since you gave him the ok to give you his “honest” opinion. You can notice things about the person you love and their physical appearance without it jeopardizing how you feel about them (if you are not superficial). Just like you said you notice his but you dont mind them. I think he is just trying to communicate with you effectively. He’s complimenting you for your benefit, letting you know he does appreciate your body as is “…but since you asked, here is a tip if you want to improve this…” kind of thing. I could be wrong but thats how it comes off to me.
Post # 11
@anon00: it sounds like the attraction comes more from love and conbection then true physical attraction. He still finds you attractive because he fell in love with you as a person, but that doesn’t stop him from appreciating attractive women, and I doubt he would complain if you did get more in shape.
Post # 12
@BorealisP13: I also can’t imgine my man syaing things like this about my body. I know he loves my body and sometimes he has reluctantly agreed with me a little when I complain about having put on weight here and there. But he is always quick to add that he loves me no matter what and wouldn’t leave me even if I gained 80 lbs…and I believe him.
You man is being insensitive and he seems far too concerned with superficial things. Maybe he will grow out of it, maybe he won’t. If I were you I’d nicely ask him not to point ever flaw he sees (real or perceived) and then if it keeps up I would point out his flaws to him and see how it makes him feel.
Post # 13
@BorealisP13: I am notoriously sensitive 🙂 I’m not even that hurt, mostly confused because I’m not sure why he’d feel the need to complain if he also truly believes my body is so great. Unless he doesn’t actually think I have a good body, lol. I don’t think it’s perfect but I regularly hear good things about it from people other than SO so I can assume it’s not shit lol
Post # 14
My guess is he does this because he sees your body (and maybe his as well) as just an object, and probably one whose primary function is to look good.
It kinda reminds me of the way I’d talk about my lawn or something. I can think that my lawn is the greatest in the neighborhood, but day to day still bitch about how it’s a bit yellow or it could have a better grass mix. If I were insecure about my nice lawn I’d expect to be told I was being ridiculous. I’m invested in making it look good, but not emotional about its looks as a part of myself.
I can see how someone might look at a body that way. Definitely ask him to be more polite about it though, because it sounds like you (along with most people) don’t look at your body that way. I also think it’s really unhealthy to criticize your body for doing things like bloating – your body isn’t just there to look good, it needs to do weird looking things sometimes to protect your health. Like bloating. Very important bodily function, it would be unhealthy and scary if that didn’t happen when it’s supposed to.
Post # 15
I kinda find even the complements a little… weird? Idk, just too specific I guess. Like he views your body as an object to be analyzed rather than cherished.
I feel like if you are healthy and your guy is attracted to you, he shouldn’t be getting into specifics. I think that could create a ton of unnecessary insecurity and anxiety over very superficial things. Like gas?
OP, you deserve someone who thinks you are beautiful and sexy and amazing just how you are. Bloated belly and all.
Post # 16
@drummerbride: Well I’m not sure what exactly I could even do to get more in shape. I’m 5’6″ and 120 lb, 22% body fat, size 0. I work out 5x/week and I lift pretty heavy weights. I guess it’s always possible for me to get more fit, but my boyfriend also warns me against losing too much weight because he doesn’t want me to get too skinny. He knows I’m already doing everything I can do look my best, so it’s not like I need any nudging lol