Social Question

Facade's avatar

Is it a "no no" to point out things that make your SO unattractive to you?

Asked by Facade (22847 points ) December 17th, 2009

If your SO has habits or says something or has certain opinions that make them unattractive to you like literally turn your stomach, should you not say anything?
Should you just keep those thoughts to yourself?
Is it acceptable for them to be upset if you do say something?

Examples: defending sexist people, being selfish, etc. Things that show their character.

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57 Answers

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It’s a ‘no no’ to NOT point out those things…at least in my relationship…that’s the only way to go, imo…

avengerscion's avatar

Maybe you shouldn’t be with someone whose opinions or actions literally turn your stomach enough to warrant you ‘tapping the collective.’

Jude's avatar

Oh, I speak up.

I feel okay in confronting my partner. We’re in a relationship, and if about their behavior bothers me, I’ll definitely say so. Now, whether they decide to do anything about or change their ways, that’s up to them. I have no control over that.

colliedog's avatar

It all comes out eventually anyway. You can only postpone the truth in a close relationship.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If you want him to stop, you probably need to pick a time when you SO is not in the process of doing/saying it, and approach it delicately in the form of a question, “I noticed that you___. Is that something you do often? or How did you come to have that opinion?” Otherwise it could turn into an ugly argument.

Asking why 5 times usually picks most things down to the bone.

Facade's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Sounds good to me

@avengerscion Are you going to actually answer the question?

@jmah So you’re ok with them not trying to be better?

@colliedog I agree

@PandoraBoxx What do you mean by “Asking why 5 times usually picks most things down to the bone.”?

dpworkin's avatar

There is nothing we can’t talk about. In fact, if I don’t tell her when I react badly to something she says or does, I feel insincere. She’d much rather know how I feel so that we can discuss it.

nikipedia's avatar

Are you kidding????? I would never let that stuff slide. Really, those things would make me re-evaluate the whole relationship.

I thought this was gonna be about like, nose-picking.

chelseababyy's avatar

I point them out if they’re important enough. If it’s something small, I can get over it. Sometimes there are things that make me say “Really?” so I’ll tell him. I would want him to tell me if I was doing something unattractive or just plain annoying.

lillycoyote's avatar

If he’s managed to get to SO status, haven’t you already made your peace with all that stuff?

casheroo's avatar

I was going to say, I’m constantly telling my husband how gross his nail/skin biting is…but you’re talking about a much bigger issue than something like that.

If we didn’t share a lot of the same views, I honestly don’t think we could work as a couple. I often wonder how people who are polar opposites work (like a conservative with a liberal). Defending sexist people? I would definitely need to know the entire story, but I’d be really upset and want to talk about it.

chyna's avatar

Point them out. You need to know how he will react to your criticisms now, before you are married and if you can get beyond the things that are bugging you. You need to know if he will be open to your suggestions, or just shut you down.

Kelly_Obrien's avatar

Your SO is unattractive to you?!?!?!

avengerscion's avatar

Depending on the severity of the issue, broach the larger things. Don’t forget that you can’t change everything about a person. For example, if your partner blows his or her nose a lot and that makes you queezy, it’s a bit ridiculous to ask them to go into the other room. Yes, it is perfectly acceptable for the person to become reasonably upset with you telling them their actions are unattractive. Quite frankly, it can lower that person’s self-esteem and put them on guard around you. Still, if someone’s actions literally turn your stomach, why would you want to continue the relationship?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

I think it’s ok .. but being too nit picky is annoying.

holden's avatar

I guess I’m really lucky because I can’t think of anything that my SO does that makes him unattractive to me.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

@Facade, The Five Whys a the technique to get at the root cause of a problem. Based upon the examples you gave of defending sexist friend, being selfish, etc. it would probably be helpful for you to know whether or not he deep down agrees with the sexist friend. You really want your SO to tell you what the real reason, and not jump to conclusions.

dpworkin's avatar

I am so sleepy, but I want to see what Gary’s going to say.

whatthefluther's avatar

Sherry and I are both very open and honest. I’ll say sensitively honest (as opposed to brutally honest) in that the point is always clear without any added baggage intended to cause hurt. It seems a reasonable course and works for us. See ya….Gary/wtf

Merriment's avatar

There is a fine line to be walked here.

If my s/o is expressing an opinion or performing an action that is sickening to me. I tell him.

If it is a quirk of his personality or physical habit that is unlikely to change, I chalk that up to different strokes and let it go.

He does the same for me, I’m sure, so it’s fair enough.

whatthefluther's avatar

PS: Good evening @pdworkin….thanks for staying awake…..it was nice seeing you. See ya.,....Gary/wtf

sndfreQ's avatar

When married you become, comments like those you will not say, unless sleep on the couch you want.

dpworkin's avatar

who was that masked man?

Shemarq's avatar

Neither one of us is perfect. He doesn’t make a habit out of pointing out my flaws and I don’t do it to him either. If we feel its important, we’ll say something or if one of us asks a question to the other, we’ll be honest. My husband is a good man. The last thing I want to do his hurt him.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@sndfreQ what a sad view of marriage – that’s not how it should be

sndfreQ's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir c’mon…A joke you cannot take?!?

I guess it’s sometimes hard to play humor through text…guess I didn’t realize the gravity of the thread ;( Take it easy guys…it’s not that serious, it’s not a crisis hotline here…

Facade's avatar

@sndfreQ Go somewhere else with your jokes.

Shemarq's avatar

@sndfreQ I loved your comment. I just told it to my husband and we got a chuckle out of it.

sjmc1989's avatar

Yes you should point it out, but I don’t know how much good that will do if you say that it is their character coming out. I was with someone that would say racist and sexist remarks and I would point it out. He said he would work on it, but it never got any better. Eventually we ended it because I could not be with someone like that. My advice if you think it is his true colors coming out, ask yourself if you want to be with a person with those traits for the rest of you life.

deni's avatar

If it was really bothering me for a while and i felt like i couldn’t ignore it anymore, i would say something. its nothing they want to hear, but sometimes honesty is good. maybe they dont realize they do it. but it can sometimes cause some hostility, which is bad, but its better than bottling it all up and erupting on them one day.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I’m not sure it’s a “no no”, but it might be (has been in the past for me) an “uh oh”.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@sndfreQ didn’t know you were joking – i wasn’t upset or offended by your comment

sndfreQ's avatar

@Simone @Facade My intention was neither to offend nor to be offended; apologies for any misunderstandings

Facade's avatar

@sndfreQ Sure thing.

Response moderated
Facade's avatar

@ all most: Thank you very much for your input. I have some thinking to do.

Oh, and I am no longer following (if that matters)

SeventhSense's avatar

@Facade
He’s not a woman. Don’t treat him like one.

SeventhSense's avatar

You removed that answer! You bigoted sexist.
Let the cowardly mod show their face

Jude's avatar

@SeventhSense lay off, Facade. Please.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

huh. what an odd thread. so not what i expected when i clicked on it.

SeventhSense's avatar

I just answered the question honestly and that’s wrong!!
So my opinion is not to your liking and you would squelch it. That BS and proves my point that this is just intolerance under the guise of Feminism.

DominicX's avatar

You mean like my boyfriend’s tendency to stand 1 inch away from you when he talks to you?

I need some damn space! I’ve never pointed it out; it’s not like he does it all the time, but he does it to other people too. And he doesn’t always smell like mint gum, either…

But he’s so cute I almost don’t mind it. :P

SeventhSense's avatar

The problem with that censorship is that it makes it somehow more lurid and titillating. The answer simply pointed out some of the Rules. A well received book by women, Oprah included, who have been in successful long term relationships and found what works and not the knee jerk reactions of leftover feminist rants from the 70’s-women who were having difficulty and projected their own rage upon men in frustration and did great damage to a generation of men as a result.

@sndfreQ
I just thought that was a wimpy backpedal. There was nothing wrong with your statement but more in the PC environment which would jump on it like rabid cats on a mouse.

Another great book by her “He’s Just Not that Into You”.

sndfreQ's avatar

@SeventhSense thanks for the explanation and closure :)

SeventhSense's avatar

@sndfreQ
I’m just a little rough around the edges sometimes.

“But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high.
Wave on, wave on
Fall mountains, just don’t fall on me..

lonelydragon's avatar

You can point them out, but do so tactfully. For instance, instead of saying “You are a sexist pig”, tell him how the sexist comments make you feel. This approach will allow you to open up a discussion and prevent him from getting defensive. Try not to sweat the mall issues, but if certain behaviors are deeply offensive to you, and he will not change, then he obviously has no consideration for you. In that case, you should find someone else.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@lonelydragon—Yep. You’re on pretty safe ground if you start any discussion like this with “this is what I feel” and then say what you “feel”. (I don’t mean to use this as a synonym for “this is what I think”, as in “I feel that you’re a sexist pig” instead of “I think that you’re a sexist pig”. No.)

What I mean is to describe your own attitudes, emotions, sensations and pains—and let the other person do something about making those “bad feelings” go away. The minute you think you can divine what the other person is thinking, or why he’s acting in a certain way… say, by accusing him of not caring about your feelings, or being ignorant, insensitive, mean, etc. (he might be all of those things, but you need to stay out of his head) your discussion is headed off the rails, and you’re going to be in an argument / fight faster than you can imagine. And each thinking that the other is “wrong”. (And in a sense both being right about that, and “wrong” in terms of where the relationship is headed.)

lonelydragon's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Exactly. My grandmother always said, “Never assume malice when stupidity will do.” What she means is that people who hurt our feelings usually aren’t being intentionally mean, just careless. So if someone says something offensive, s/he probably wasn’t even thinking about how you’d react.

sndfreQ's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Yes…making “I” statements are always good tactics for constructive feedback. GA

AnonymousWoman's avatar

I make it a rule for myself not to date people I would want to change. That helps eliminate those problems. As for pointing them out, I think that you need to make a judgment call as to whether or not it’s worth it. I had a boyfriend who would tell me I was beautiful. Then he’d criticize the way I dressed, who my friends were, and so on. He wanted me to change my hair colour and the way I spent my time. He wanted me to get rid of certain friends just because he didn’t like hearing about them and they didn’t matter to him. He wanted me to wear slutty clothes for him in public just so that he could show off that he had a girlfriend. All of this was rather hurtful. I kept giving him tons of chances because as at least one of our mutual friends told me, I WAS, after all, his first girlfriend. Anyway, he’d try to change my sexual orientation. (I was straight and he knew it. He badly wanted me to be bisexual or at least bi-curious). He later cheated on me and later suggested a threesome with the girl he cheated on me with after I found out. I felt incredibly uncomfortable and I pushed him away when it came to him kissing me and cuddling with me and all of this stuff because I felt like I wasn’t even important to him or even necessary other than my body. After all, I was a girl who wore modest clothing. I also tried to be sweet, understanding, kind, forgiving, loyal, and so on. I defended him so much to the point that I ended up pushing some of my own friends away from me. His reputation when I was with him was more important than my own. I was extremely blinded by him when I was with him and thought that his criticisms were for my benefit. I made any excuse I could think of for his behaviour because I wanted so badly for it to work. He’d get mad at me/frustrated with me for the littlest things. He’d get mad at the way I talked. He’d get mad at the way I didn’t like to have extreme displays of affection in public. This is a guy who wanted to grope me in public and when that would offend me, he’d get mad at me as though I didn’t care about him. It took so long to see him for what he really was… an insecure, lonely person. These aren’t the things that made me stay, though. Apologies and reassurances that he loved me were. Among other things: He knew how to make me feel better and I felt protected when I was with him. I felt obligated to stay with him because he was my first when it came to physical things. His friends kept telling me “he wasn’t like that” when I’d say I felt like he only wanted sex. And so on. And so on. He’d also tell me things I wanted to hear. I wanted to believe he was telling me the truth. I so badly wanted to believe he was a good guy that I so desperately hung onto anything that proved to me that he was. Anyway, my point in all of this is, make sure you have a very good reason to speak out against something your SO does. There are times when it’s just not worth it and isn’t even constructive criticism. There are times when it’s just you being judgmental. Make your call. If it’s not worth it, forget about it.

SeventhSense's avatar

@AnonymousGirl
Commendable and mature.
“Women marry men hoping they will change, men marry women hoping they will stay the same.”

AnonymousWoman's avatar

@SeventhSense Thank you. I’ve seen that quote before. Einstein said it, right?

SeventhSense's avatar

I don’t know…I don’t think he was that smart..:)

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I think it’s good to speak up about things that you find offensive so long as you do it tactfully or without malice. It grosses me out to no end when my bf chews tobacco, even more when he would do it while we were in bed watching tv but as much as my impulse was to say, “can you please get over that disgusting trailer park habit?!” I would wrinkle my nose and give him my cheek to kiss instead. He’s asked if it really bugged me that much and I said yes so now he doesn’t do it around me.

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