How to deal with a partner that picks on your looks

picking on looks

Even the best relationships are never perfect and it’s important to keep that in perspective. After all, you’re both different people and there’s bound to be some conflict because we won’t always agree on everything. 

However, it’s important to understand the difference between an argument and a red flag. If your partner is constantly criticizing the way you look, dress, or express yourself through makeup, fashion, and hairstyles, that can become a big problem both for you personally and for the relationship you have. 

The Difference Between Positive and Negative Criticism:

The truth is that criticism can take many forms; some can be constructive and come from a good place, while other kinds of criticism can be destructive and harm your self-esteem, confidence, and sense of self. Not to mention, it can negatively affect your relationship. 

For this reason, you must understand the difference between the two.

Constructive or destructive criticism:

Constructive criticism is about what you’re doing right and providing suggestions on how to improve it. In other words, it’s encouraging and it builds you up while pointing out what you can do better. 

Destructive criticism is the exact opposite and it tears you down, while providing no useful alternatives or suggestions. It focuses on discouraging and even ridiculing the person, so it’s not based on good intentions at all. If you feel belittled, insulted, or bad about yourself, it means the criticism you’re receiving is not productive at all. 

So, if your boyfriend says: “I love that skirt! But can I tell you something? I think it’s too short. You look great, though!” This kind of criticism allows you to make your own choice about what to do regarding that skirt, for instance. You may decide to wear a longer skirt or put on a pair of tights, but you don’t feel bad about choosing to keep it on. 

That’s very different from: “Christ, do you have to wear that? It makes you look cheap…” or any other negative adjective. That’s not something you say to someone you care about and respect. This is the kind of criticism that you shouldn’t allow because you simply don’t deserve it. 

How to Stop My Boyfriend from Criticising My Looks

First of all, you must identify the intention behind the criticism. If they are looking out for you, are loving and respectful about it, and have useful suggestions for you, thank them and consider what they’re saying. If they are tearing you down and making you feel bad about yourself, there are a few things you can do before you stop to consider whether this is the kind of person you want to be with. 

Tell Them How You Feel

You know what they say about communication, right? It’s key. So, if your partner is constantly criticising your looks and it’s making you feel a certain way, you need to talk to them about it. Sit down and explain how this is negatively affecting you and how it’s just not good for you or the relationship.

Ask Them to Stop

This one is pretty straightforward. If you don’t like how your boyfriend criticizes your looks, ask them to stop and explain why you need them to respect your choices when it comes to self-expression. If they care about your feelings, they will either find a way to express their opinion healthily or stop doing what’s causing you harm. 

Take It With a Grain of Salt

We are not perfect, that much is clear. As such, we are bound to make mistakes and sometimes we say things in a way that wasn’t our intention. If it’s an innocent mistake and they didn’t mean to hurt you, you can just let it go. 

However, if you’ve made it clear that you won’t tolerate being criticised or pestered about the way you look and your partner still does it, then you may want to rethink the relationship. If they can’t respect your boundaries, that’s a big red flag. 

Bottom line:

Our advice to you is that you shouldn’t tolerate rude and mean-spirited criticism about your looks from anyone. If your partner is way too nit-picky about your appearance, they may be trying to turn you into something you’re not. In this case, it’s better to be with someone who appreciates your looks and sense of style.  

That’s not to say that there isn’t room for criticism in a relationship. Maybe you’ve let yourself go, maybe you’re not taking care of yourself and that’s worrisome because you’re losing or gaining too much weight, have poor hygiene, or are looking unkempt when that’s not normal nor healthy for you.

In that case, it’s good to have someone who cares enough to show concern and help you get back on track. But again, if your partner is constantly putting down your appearance, something about him needs to change, not you!

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