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(Slate)   "Dear Prudence: My boyfriend of 6 months is kind, thoughtful, a good listener, has a great work ethic, smart, creative, funny, practical, and a feminist. But he's not conventionally attractive; he compliments my appearance. Should I compliment him?"   ( slate.com) divider line
    More: Facepalm, Interpersonal relationship, Daniel Mallory Ortberg, time, white lies, coffee cup, relationship, boyfriend, Q.  
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494 clicks; posted to Discussion » on 11 Jul 2018 at 2:20 AM (17 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



29 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2018-07-11 07:24:14 AM  
I estimate the house sparrow that pecked that out took thirty minutes to do so. Keep the window next to your computer closed, folks.
 
2018-07-11 07:48:32 AM  

August11: I estimate the house sparrow that pecked that out took thirty minutes to do so. Keep the window next to your computer closed, folks.


I think that could be real. We'll put some context in.

I'm a hottie. I only date other hot people. Hot people apparently are arseholes. On the rebound from Chad from the gym (no not that Chad, the one who always wears the tight shorts) I started dating someone who isn't pretty enough for Love Island, but he's nice. I'm ashamed to be seen in public with him. Tell me it's ok to dump him.

/hell I'm submitting that one
 
2018-07-11 08:16:14 AM  
No need to compliment him. Hummers work better.
 
2018-07-11 08:17:50 AM  
Most of us ugly people know that we are ugly.  It's kind of patronizing to call us "attractive".  Just BE NICE TO HIM...
 
2018-07-11 08:41:11 AM  
I was once on a first date that was going alright, but at one point the woman started giving me this rambling explanation about how looks weren't that big a deal to her but personality was "super-important," and how her last couple boyfriends were not that attractive.

I obviously thought "Excuse me?"

She actually wanted to go out with me again, but I wasn't exactly eager to date someone who more-or-less called me ugly less than an hour after I met her. (That, and I'd gotten indigestion from under-estimating portion sizes at the restaurant and didn't think I could recover from that bad impression.)
 
2018-07-11 09:33:54 AM  

Martian_Astronomer: I was once on a first date that was going alright, but at one point the woman started giving me this rambling explanation about how looks weren't that big a deal to her but personality was "super-important," and how her last couple boyfriends were not that attractive.

I obviously thought "Excuse me?"

She actually wanted to go out with me again, but I wasn't exactly eager to date someone who more-or-less called me ugly less than an hour after I met her. (That, and I'd gotten indigestion from under-estimating portion sizes at the restaurant and didn't think I could recover from that bad impression.)


My wife was a hottie twentyfive years ago. Her prior boyfriend did a little modeling when he was right out of college, really handsome. But he had the personality of a banana. Back then I looked like George Will's younger, less handsome brother. When we were first dating, my wife explained that she wanted someone who could talk about books. Having a huge phallus was also a plus, I guess.

And you gotta remember, looks are a blend of math and personality.
 
2018-07-11 10:02:20 AM  
                     
s15-us2.startpage.comView Full Size
 
2018-07-11 10:07:51 AM  

bigfatbuddhist: Most of us ugly people know that we are ugly.  It's kind of patronizing to call us "attractive".  Just BE NICE TO HIM...


People tend to equate beauty with attractiveness. You can be attracted to someone who doesn't meet accepted criteria for beauty. It sounds like she's very attracted to her boyfriend, and sad that he's hung up on his looks.

I also noticed that she was very particular not to go into specifics about what bothers him, but she mentioned "body image." Is that code for fat? Because you can't change ugly features, but you can definitely lose weight and get in shape.
 
2018-07-11 10:14:23 AM  
Dear Uggo, if he can find a way to tell effusive whoppers about how you look, you can at least meet him halfway. Or polish his knob after a compliment, he'll know what you mean and your mouth will be full.
 
2018-07-11 10:25:07 AM  
What constitutes domestic violence?: Was it physically abusive? Perhaps not, but physical abuse isn't the only form of abuse: this was clearly done to terrorize you, and that certainly counts as abusive. I can't tell you whether or not to leave outright over this, but it's certainly a red flag. At the absolute least he needs to get his anger under control before things turn even darker, and you are well within your rights to demand that he seek professional help for that.

Are you in danger? If he refuses to get help, yes. If this ever happens again, yes. If he actually stops and makes some attempts to change, then that's a judgment call only you can make, but in that case I urge you to watch like a hawk for signs of backsliding. This is precarious.

Compliment conundrum: Don't lie. It doesn't work in the long term, or even in the short term when the person is already keenly aware of the truth. But that doesn't mean you have to be tactless or brutal.

There was an interesting linguistic experiment published in the 1960s called E-Prime. It's essentially English, with one constraint: you cannot use the verb to be in any of its forms. I do not recommend using this in everyday speech, but I've found it surprisingly useful when coming up with ways to compliment someone for something they don't believe about themselves. The difference in phrasing makes it harder to argue against.

Grief-stricken abroad: I am sorry for your loss.

Cut the trip short. I wouldn't say there's a moral obligation to do this in any objective sense, but it's eating you up inside, and you need to put a stop to that. People grieve in their own ways, at their own rates, and your psyche is trying to tell you that this isn't the way it wants to grieve. Let it do what it needs to.

Is it ever OK to disclose someone else's miscarriage?: You were told this in confidence. Nobody is in any danger from your mom not knowing, and I'm not seeing any other reason to claim your mom has a bona fide need-to-know, so I'm not seeing a reason to break confidence either. Ask permission first, or urge your sister-in-law to say something. It's not for you to do this, at least not right now.

Is cheating the only way to be happy?: No, it's not. You may, however, need to get more creative about what you do.

Friend overstays welcome: Explain that you get "peopled out" sometimes, and need to retreat for a bit, but everyone else can keep going. Especially in this day and age, more people understand this than you might think. "Social introversion" is a thing now.

Mom takes my chronic illness personally: Unfortunately, this is something that I don't really know how to avoid. The time it takes people to adjust to a loved one's chronic illness is always frustrating and painful for the ill person. Having been in the position of the loved one, I'm just as guilty.

I'm glad to hear you have a good neuro tough, and that you're exploring treatment options. Have you talked about the sequence of botox injections yet? My wife found the medicine very effective at reducing her migraines, and being able to say "yesterday I went to the doctor and got 30 shots in the face" was just as effective at taking people who think you haven't done enough and shutting them right the fark down.

Seriously. Dead silence.

And she's needle-phobic.

I'm farking proud.
 
2018-07-11 10:26:56 AM  
The LW answered their own question.

"I'd rather see (your) face when I open my eyes in the morning than anyone else."
 
2018-07-11 10:29:03 AM  
Let's jump into prudie.  It's going to be a good one, I just know it.  "Help!  my boyfriend threw a coffee mug during an argument.  Am I in Danger?"  Well, did you dodge the coffee mug, or is it cartoonishly dangling in the air as you type this into the computer waiting for an answer?  And that wasn't even the question that was picked for the greenlight.  Alright, let's play.

1) Well, you resolved the issue in the moment and you are two homosexual males, so butt stuff was obviously involved (So no one is allowed to use that as a valid answer here, NO FREEBIES).  Make him give you a "Rusty Venture" and call it even.

2) Go to a costume store and buy a variety of mustache kits.  Then set your alarm to vibrate (not for THAT reason, sicko).  Wake up two minutes before him.  Quietly apply a different mustache to him when you wake up.  Then when he wakes up just snuggle up to him and say "good morning handsome" and snuggle up before he says or does anything.  Act like this is normal.  Eventually he will grow his own mustache.  Now if you need to add a George Clooney (or Matt Damon, your call) mask, you have some facial hair to attach it to.

3) Mama Mia that country.  Three guys.  One Month.  One Pregnancy.  It's the ONLY way.

4) I call them "flapjacks".  Flapjacks.

5) Take your mom out to a PUBLIC Brunch.  Tell her she went to a public school.  When your mom doesn't understand, explain it was an "Abstinence Only" education program.  When your mom still claims ignorance, tell her that your sister-in-law thinks that Babies will magically come from the stork now that they are married, and no one can convince her otherwise, she is abstinent, just as she was taught.  Then sit back, enjoy your Bellini and have a great brunch.

6) Five years with tentative "plans to marry"?  He's older but can't afford medications? (Viagra costs $20 at Walmart, I *JUST* googled it.  My wife's birth control costs $35 WITH Health Insurance, see this is why Women get so pissed off at men.)  Couples Counselling, but again he can't afford it?  Sweetheart, jet from this relationship.  Your boyfriend is holding you back, he is a leach.  If he really cared about you, he would have dialed in with fingers, worked out with his tongue, or bought a quality dildo.

7) Get a gas can and burn it to the ground.  It's the only way to be sure.  Make sure you have a new place lined up, and put the empty gas can in "Emily's" car, so she doesn't end up crashing at your new place.

8) Oh, you poor, naive, naive college kid.  The greatest pain in the ass you have to deal with right now is just your mother.  I have migraines and epilepsy, and I am telling you it's going to get exponentially worse from here on out in your life.  The insurance companies are going to start denying claims on doctor visits, tests, and medications.  Even something as simple and stupid as a dosage change (say, changing from 2 50MG tablets twice a day to 1 100 MG tablet twice a day OF THE SAME MEDICATION = DENIED, followed by a three month appeal process that ends in final denial, then two weeks later magic approval from the insurance company doctor).  Oh, you haven't had to deal with that shiat yet, you just have to deal with your mother.

9)  What's wrong with just complimenting someone and saying "I like you, you make me feel like doing butt stuff?"
 
2018-07-11 10:31:03 AM  
Just based on the headline she sounds like a terrible person.
 
2018-07-11 10:37:35 AM  

rzrwiresunrise: Just based on the headline she sounds like a terrible person.


Essentially despite being the best thing that ever happened to her his great sin is being unconventionally attractive and being sensitive about it.

Prudie manages to make this his problem and goes all Randian on compliments.
 
2018-07-11 10:41:40 AM  

Fano: rzrwiresunrise: Just based on the headline she sounds like a terrible person.

Essentially despite being the best thing that ever happened to her his great sin is being unconventionally attractive and being sensitive about it.

Prudie manages to make this his problem and goes all Randian on compliments.


Wow. They both sound like terrible people.

This reminds why I prefer Dan Savage.
 
2018-07-11 10:52:20 AM  

rzrwiresunrise: Fano: rzrwiresunrise: Just based on the headline she sounds like a terrible person.

Essentially despite being the best thing that ever happened to her his great sin is being unconventionally attractive and being sensitive about it.

Prudie manages to make this his problem and goes all Randian on compliments.

Wow. They both sound like terrible people.

This reminds why I prefer Dan Savage.


Prudie starts out with "white lies don't go over well in intimate relationships" which is bullshiat right from the start.
The letter writer just wanted to know how to tell him that she didn't want to look at anyone else's face in the morning, evidently whatever she had said before sounded like a clumsy lie. Prudie then basically said "reciprocating compliments is for chumps" and "just be there for him" which sounds like "grunt and tell him you love him, but don't engage."

As usual Prudie has difficulty with goose/gander issues.
 
2018-07-11 10:54:58 AM  
You need to keep the compliments simple, like "nice hump"
 
2018-07-11 10:58:56 AM  

Fano: rzrwiresunrise: Fano: rzrwiresunrise: Just based on the headline she sounds like a terrible person.

Essentially despite being the best thing that ever happened to her his great sin is being unconventionally attractive and being sensitive about it.

Prudie manages to make this his problem and goes all Randian on compliments.

Wow. They both sound like terrible people.

This reminds why I prefer Dan Savage.

Prudie starts out with "white lies don't go over well in intimate relationships" which is bullshiat right from the start.
The letter writer just wanted to know how to tell him that she didn't want to look at anyone else's face in the morning, evidently whatever she had said before sounded like a clumsy lie. Prudie then basically said "reciprocating compliments is for chumps" and "just be there for him" which sounds like "grunt and tell him you love him, but don't engage."

As usual Prudie has difficulty with goose/gander issues.


I just read the section. This current Prudence has issues, and should think about a career change. Like a weekly column on pet poop or recurring fungal infections.
 
2018-07-11 11:06:52 AM  
Re Compliment conundrum:

She answered her own question in her letter: I can't think of a better compliment than "When I wake up, yours is the face I want to see."

Then of course the hummer.
 
2018-07-11 11:08:56 AM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: You need to keep the compliments simple, like "nice hump"


img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-07-11 11:19:15 AM  
It's hump day, let's get over the shiat Prudie's shoveling today...

1) The proper response to a partner giving the silent treatment is not to throw things. The proper response is to head out to the bar, down a few, and maybe even fark somebody else.

2) Wait... you told a "white" lie? As in, white lies are good and black lies are bad? THAT'S SO RACIST. As a matter of fact, while you're busy endorsing white supremacy in your relationship, you really ought to realize that this is intersecting with your lack of adherence to feminist ideals. What has your boyfriend put off is not your poor ability to compliment him, it's your latent racism clinging to your closeted self hatred due to the sexist patriarchy oppressing you. Get woke, sister.

3) Therapist. Now.

4) Let this be a lesson. When somebody throws cooking mix at you, get out of there real Bisquick.

5) If people are stupid enough to entrust secrets to your mother and her huge mouth, that's their problem. Keep out of it. And tell that mouthy woman NOTHING you don't want everybody to know.

6) You've been together for five years with no wedding yet, so may as well ditch that "plans to marry someday" bit. Not going to happen, especially if he's old enough that the ol' man meat isn't working right. So you may as well audition others for the role, it sounds like that relationship isn't going anywhere.

7) At what point did we suddenly become responsible for knowing all about the mental issues of farking everybody and then having to pussyfoot around them because they finished higher in the victim Olympics? Let me tell you something about being an adult: you don't have to apologize for how you are when you're in your own home. It's one of the fun things about being an adult. Your home is your castle and the rest of the world can fark right off if they don't like how you do things in there.

8) Well, I'm sure the rest of us have NO FARKING IDEA why you get headaches around your mother. I'm betting others do as well. Your mother is a carrier of headaches- everybody around her gets them in short order but she's blissfully unaware of what she's doing. Just start telling your mother about all the essential oils you've been using. Every time she complains about the slightest thing, suggest an oil for her. She'll quickly leave you right the hell alone.

9) Whatever.

10 (Vintage Prudie): Dude's farked up. Call the cops.

Well, hope you all have a lovely day!
 
2018-07-11 11:20:49 AM  
I'm a guy and I got into a heated argument with my boyfriend a few days ago. I became silent and nonresponsive, and out of frustration he flung his coffee mug in my general direction, though quite far away from me.

Translation: I gave my boyfriend the silent treatment to provoke him, and succeeded.

F*ck off, you were both being childish. He apologized for tossing the mug, now you should maybe apologize for being a passive-aggressive coont. Then the two of you can maybe do a bit of growing up.
 
2018-07-11 11:39:43 AM  
Is he a French model?
mix96buffalo.comView Full Size

/not conventionally attractive
 
2018-07-11 11:50:54 AM  
Dear My Boyfriend's an Uggo,
There's nothing about his appearance that you like enough to sincerely compliment? Dump him. He deserves better. If you stay together, you'll just end up riding the non-stop train to pound town with a personal trainer, that hipster artist you met at the coffee shop, your boss, and the guy who inspected your fireplace, and that's all before the end of the year. You'll justify it by telling yourself that your boyfriend gets you the rest of the time, and he should be super grateful for that because a '2' really can't expect to be with a solid '6'.

Dear Coffee Mug Target,
Have you considered poisoning his coffee? That would require getting him to drink it instead of throw it at you, so stop being such a pouty little fark. Whether you're hoping to mend the relationship or lull him into a sense of complacency so he ingests the arsenic every day, you'll have to talk to him.

Dear Grief-Stricken Abroad,
Christ, you're such a Debbie downer! You're on the front end of a long overseas vacation with loads of opportunities to meet guys, and you're worried about the dead one back home. If I keep getting letters like yours, I'm going to start farking cutting myself, and it'll be your fault, you and the other sad sacks who are always writing me. Fark off!

Dear Mom Wants Grandbabies,
If you really cared, you'd take it upon yourself to pop out a couple more grandkids for your mom. That would take all the pressure off of your sister-in-law. Get to it!

Dear Soon To Be Cheater,
You thought telling your longtime boyfriend about the co-worker you want to fark was a good idea? Hahahahahahahahahahhaha. Oh wow. If you'd carefully brought up the idea of an open relationship in general terms, that would've been tricky enough. But bringing it up to your perpetually limp and likely very insecure boyfriend by talking about the younger, hotter co-worker you want to fark? That's great... lol... Now your boyfriend can spend his time brooding about how you probably see this co-worker every single day at work and have plenty of opportunity to act on that desire. Good times!

Dear Friend Practically Lives Here,
Does your home have a dungeon? Can you build one? You can lock "Emily" up there. Since she wants to be at your home ALL THE FARKING TIME, she should love it! Don't forget the lotion for her skin!

Dear Migraine Sufferer,
Oh, admit it. Your mom is the biggest migraine trigger in your life.
 
2018-07-11 12:30:11 PM  
"Should I compliment him?"

No. You should let him do butt stuff to you.

Duh.
 
2018-07-11 12:36:40 PM  

bigfatbuddhist: Most of us ugly people know that we are ugly.  It's kind of patronizing to call us "attractive".  Just BE NICE TO HIM...


I regret that I have but one Smart to give you.
 
2018-07-11 01:27:31 PM  
He may not have aimed it directly at your head, but he certainly didn't throw that coffee cup to reassure and peacefully engage you-it was an act designed to startle and threaten you into talking to him.

Oh fark yourself Prudie.

I don't think I have it in my to do a question by question reply like I do occasionally (and akula and tdyak do regularly and so well) but seriously Prudie, go fark yourself.

You don't get to simply declare what was going on inside someone else's head.  Sure, it might have been as you say, but it's equally likely he threw the cup out of frustration, not "intentionally in the direction of his partner" but "in the direction he was facing at the time"
 
2018-07-11 03:53:28 PM  
Wednesday Prudie! From the airport (for me, at least...)

1. Well the obvious answer here is bu...

tdyak: 1) Well, you resolved the issue in the moment and you are two homosexual males, so butt stuff was obviously involved (So no one is allowed to use that as a valid answer here, NO FREEBIES).


Dang it.

I'm out.
 
2018-07-11 08:26:16 PM  
The weirdest thing is that I've had 3 different women confess to me in the last few years that they were dating a guy for the first time where they weren't attracted to their looks first.

I swear I must be the only woman who first goes for personality? Almost every guy I've crushed on (or dated) didn't catch my attention at first until I got to know him.

And it's easy to give an honest compliment to someone that's insecure that you're dating and attracted to. They get better looking as you get to know them, just focus on their positive features. I had a friend with a great smile. He hated it, he thought it made him look goofy. But it was such an amazing smile, it lit up a room and when he smiled you couldn't help but smile too.
 
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