I’m an attractive (not to sound narcissistic, but you’ll understand as I continue) 26-year-old female and have been dating my boyfriend for five years. He never, EVER tells me that I’m attractive. Not in bed, not when we’re at weddings, not when we go out on dates. I have talked to him endlessly about it, and he says he thinks it but he just can’t say it. Sometimes he’ll try, and it’s pretty obvious that he’s only doing it so he doesn’t get yelled at later, but then he’ll stop until I have to remind him again. I need to be told that I’m attractive, not because I have low self-esteem, but because it makes me MORE attracted to him. I’m at the point where I don’t want to do anything in bed with him because he doesn’t make me feel sexy. Plus, it does hurt when I hear him talk about other attractive people (actresses, people we know, random strangers on the street). He also doesn’t do the cute things guys do, like send me a cute note about how much he loves me or get me flowers when I’m having a bad day. … Fine, I watch too many rom-coms, but still, he doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary to make me feel special. He seems to be happy with doing pretty much nothing and watching a lot of football. I love him, but I don’t know what to do. Is this something I should accept as his personality or a byproduct of being in a long relationship? Am I just overreacting, or is this a relationship deal-breaker and I need to get out?
You know what’s a good way to ensure that a man doesn’t find you attractive even if you are objectively very pleasing to the eyes? Actually, there are a lot of ways to do this, but a good start would be to nag him constantly that he’s not paying you enough compliments. It would be enough to drive off Pepe Le Pew.
Now admittedly it sounds like your boyfriend has gotten a little lazy and is taking you for granted. That’s not often a good sign. But I’ll tell you a stereotypical but true fact about guys: we don’t often like to vocalize our attraction. For one thing, modern mores tell us that a woman should not be judged on her looks. For another thing, years of Hollywood depictions have taught us to associate complimenting a hot woman with “hitting on her” or trying to get her into bed. In other words, it’s insincere. You just don’t see a guy saying, “You are so beautiful to me” nowadays without an ulterior motive, or at least that’s the way we’ve come to think of it.
Presumably, if your boyfriend still finds you attractive, his body language will do the talking, if you know what I mean. Otherwise, you may have bigger issues that you need to work out.
I am currently in a relationship with a great guy. He is sweet and caring, and we get along very well. There is, of course, one problem that has existed for quite a while but is really starting to bother me now. I am very ticklish, and I hate being tickled. He found out about this weakness when we first started dating, and since then, barely a day goes by when he doesn’t try to tickle me. Whenever we are lying on the couch or in bed together, he will start tickling me, and when I react he gets on top of me and pins me down so that I can’t defend myself. I have repeatedly told him that I hate being tickled, that it makes me feel vulnerable and no longer in control of my body, and when he continues to do it, it is disrespectful. He insists that because I laugh, I must enjoy it. He adds that I need to learn to master my mind, and once I “convince” myself that I am not ticklish, then I won’t panic when he tickles me. What should I say to him that gets my point across?
I am never going to understand these “my significant other is great, caring, kind, and wonderful but we have one problem…” questions. That one problem always seems to be a pointer for some really big, unrecognized issues.
Take this chap, for instance. Most of us have learned by second grade that when somebody tells you not to touch them, you shouldn’t touch them. But he likes to tickle you and then when you complain, he says that you need to convince yourself that you’re not ticklish. And sometimes he pins you down so you can’t defend yourself. Do you see a problem here? It’s a good thing you two are only boyfriend and girlfriend. That means you are under no obligation to put up with him or try to rehabilitate him.
So here’s a quick way to deal with this. Grab a rolling pin when he’s unaware and whack him on the balls. When he yelps in pain, tell him that since his expression looks similar to his O-face, he actually really enjoyed it. Then some other time when he’s sleeping, sneak up on him and tie him down. Then whack him on the balls again. Tell him that he really needs to learn to master his mind and that if he tries hard enough, he can convince himself that he doesn’t actually mind being hit in the crown jewels. If he can’t do that, tell him good-bye. Then whack him on the balls one more time just to make sure he won’t reproduce.