Dear Dr. Darcy:
HELP!! My Girlfriend of 7 yrs used to be super cute.. She is like a size 0 with huge boobs.. awesome green eyes... like everybody’s idea of "the ideal girl"... BUT... Lately she has let herself go.. like completely. I'm talkin jungle eyebrows... bad hygiene all around. Her hair is starting to dread because she doesn’t shower enough.. I love her, but.. Come on! I'm not trying to be shallow. But I'm very conscience of my appearance and take good care of myself and when I take her out I want to be proud of what's beside me... How do I tell her that without getting my ass kicked or cried on?
I’m getting hives just thinking about this – not the part about your girlfriend, but the part where I have to come up with a solution to this mess, so you’ll forgive me if at the end of this post you still do not have a beautifully wrapped answer as this may be the toughest question I’ve ever received. Unless you are a hetero male or a gay woman, it’s unlikely that you can ponder the delicacy of the writer’s dilemma. Trying to give a woman this sort of feedback is literally like choosing your poison: Violence or Tears, and I’m not sure which is worse.
I suspect that this is a physical manifestation of how she’s feeling internally. The ‘hygiene’ issues that you describe above are completely within her control to perform or not to perform. It’s not as though she got a sudden onset of adult acne or gained 15 lbs, both of which could potentially be things that are a challenge to reverse. But not showering / grooming indicates a level of apathy or even stubbornness that communicates something that she’s unwilling to verbalize.
Bottom line is this: Looks count. Let’s not go into a pious argument for why your complaints are superficial. You’re human. And she used to resemble an attractive, self-confident human. And the discrepancy between who she was when you began dating her and who she is today is significant. I vote for couples counseling. Let someone qualified address the whys of her transformation / transgression. Let me know if you need some names.
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