I’ve been thinking about guys that say they aren’t attracted to their partners because their partner’s appearance has changed for the worse. I have always been uncomfortable with such a message, but why? Doesn’t such a statement reflect on the fact that men are more visual than women? Don’t women participate when they spend much time and energy on appearance?
I think such a statement makes me uncomfortable because it is the opposite of what I expect someone in a committed relationship to say. A committed partner should be motivated by caring. A caring partner wouldn’t simply not make such a statement because it would hurt their partner’s feelings although that also works for me.
Instead, I expect appearance to be something that fades in importance as a couples bond grows. When a partner focuses on appearance, then I suspect that there really is not much of a bond and caring has always been limited – even before the change in appearance happened.
So if your partner complains about your appearance, ask yourself whether he or she is concerned about your health, your pride in your appearance, or is the message really, “We’ve lost a connection we once had.” If it is the latter, then respond, “I’m wondering how you feel about our relationship in general?” rather than going on the defensive about your appearance. You may find that working on your connection improves your appearance – at least to your partner.