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Dear Honeys on the Hill,

I’m seeing this new guy and he’s a cutie. Since we’ve started dating I’ve felt so much more confident in my appearances because he is always complimenting the way I look. He seems to really dig me and it gives me such a rush.

Recently, though, he’s been telling me he prefers some things that I do over others. For example, he will tell me he really likes when my hair is down or that he loves when I wear a certain style of clothes. He gets pretty insistent on me doing these things when I’m around him. I don’t like when he tells me what to do but I want him to be attracted to me. What do I do?

Sincerely,

Flattered but Flustered

 

Dear Flattered but Flustered,

I am glad you are with someone who has helped you feel more confident in your appearance. Ultimately, this confidence should come from yourself, but physical attraction is an important aspect of relationships and it can be nice to be affirmed in that department. However, your physical attractiveness to him should go beyond what you wear and how you style your hair. No matter how you spin it, it sounds like your new honey is being controlling with these remarks.

First, I would ask yourself: is this the only way he is controlling or is he controlling in other aspects of the relationship as well? It is possible he has internalized the message that women only dress to get approval or attention from men. He needs to unlearn that message.

You should have a conversation with him where you express how it makes you uncomfortable when he polices your clothing. Address how it might be making him feel and your willingness to discuss it, but make it clear that you are going to continue to dress in a way which makes you happy. It is great if what makes you happy and what makes him happy align, but try not to confuse his happiness with yours.

“It is great if what makes you happy and him happy align, but try not to confuse his happiness with yours.” – Honeys on the Hill

If he is controlling about more than just your clothes, then another conversation needs to be had that does not involve compromise. Do not make excuses for controlling behavior because it is not acceptable. The right person will accept and love you regardless of what you are wearing and doing with your body. That person should know that it is your body and your choice what you do with it.

It is okay if your partner has a favorite outfit of yours and it is okay if you wear it to make them happy if it also makes you happy. The line is crossed when they start telling you what to do. Keep being honest, and trust your gut.

Yours Truly,

Honeys on the Hill


Having trouble navigating the St. Olaf dating scene? Need help finding a date? Got more dates than you can handle? Or have a response to this week’s column? E-mail your questions to mess-ae@stolaf.edu and maybe one of our love columnists will answer them in next week’s issue. All submitted questions will remain anonymous.