10 Reasons I’ve Stopped Dressing Up For My Boyfriend

I know dressing up for your boyfriend is nice, and it’s always good to put a little extra effort into how you look, especially when you’re going out on a date. However, I’m just not feeling it anymore. It’s not that I look like a bag lady when I’m with my guy, but I’m certainly not getting all dolled up when we’re together these days.

  1. I used to dress up because I was insecure. In the early days of our relationship, I felt like I always had to look amazing, otherwise, any other woman could steal my boyfriend right out from under me. I obviously realize now that if that happened, I would’ve been better off without him, but when a relationship is so young and fragile, it’s hard to be logical. I dressed up more because I thought I had to in order to keep his interest rather than because I actually wanted to.
  2. I got tired of being asked to change all the time. After I’d spent time getting ready for an evening or day out, my boyfriend would nonchalantly say, “Why don’t you wear (insert item) instead?” Or, even worse, “Are you going out like that?” Needless to say, that’s not exactly what I wanted to hear. To be fair, I should add that he likes to dress up and I like to be casual so he might’ve been right about some of my less formal attire. But I like my jeans and oversized knitwear, and after a while, I just stopped modifying my outfits for him. To be honest, I think he had more respect for me when I held my own in the wardrobe debate.
  3. I don’t dress up for anyone, including my boyfriend. Sure, you have to be aware of what’s appropriate in different social settings, but there’s a big difference between being respectful and being a complete pushover. I used to wear certain clothing depending on who I was with; I looked one way with some friends and completely different with my parents. Now, I just dress for me and my boyfriend doesn’t get special treatment.
  4. I just like to be comfortable with what I’m wearing. The thing is, I can easily dress up with form-fitting dresses and high heels but I’m never comfortable in these things and when I do wear them, I honestly can’t wait to get home and rip them off. If I go out with my boyfriend, I don’t want my feet to hurt or feel like I can’t breathe. I can only fake it ’til I make it for so long before I just crash. And it’s no fun going out with an attractive girl who’s obsessed with sucking her tummy in the whole time.
  5. I don’t owe it to him (or anyone else) to look sexy. I’ve noticed that some of my girlfriends will subject themselves to pretty painful attire because they think their boyfriends deserve this. Do they? I just can’t wrap my head around this. Do I owe it to my boyfriend to look a certain way for his viewing pleasure even if it means I’m uncomfortable? Nope. I don’t want to be objectified by anyone, even my boyfriend.
  6. Dressing up makes me feel happy and that’s why I do it. Call me selfish but when I dress up, I have one person in mind: me. I dress up because it makes me feel like I’m a part of this big, beautiful world. I dress up because it gives me an instant boost of confidence. I dress up because it helps me be more productive throughout the day. In short, I dress up for me.
  7. I don’t like to depend on my boyfriend for validation. If I only dress up for my boyfriend, it puts a lot of pressure on him to make me feel good about myself and to praise my appearance. What if he doesn’t like how I style my mom jeans? I could easily feel defeated and crushed. I’m not up for that kind of emotional roller coaster anymore. If I like it, that’s all the validation I need.
  8. I want to be a challenging woman. It’s true that when you dress up for your guy, it makes you a little more appealing to him… but for how long? At some point, placing so much emphasis on my outside appearance started to fell shallow. Instead, I started to think about thought-provoking conversations that we could have together. I wanted to figure out ways to challenge him intellectually. A pretty face is one thing, but if you’re not mentally stimulating, it gets boring after a while.
  9. I have more fashion freedom. When I was focused on dressing up for my boyfriend, I was always concerned with what he’d like. Here’s an example: I totally loved this graphic, pop-art skirt but he loathed it so I didn’t wear it much. His taste dictated my clothing choices. And while I don’t want to purposefully deter him from me, I also don’t want him to dictate my outfits. Dressing up for myself instead of him has given me a massive amount of fashion freedom and I love that.
  10. Now, I like every outfit I wear. My boyfriend has bought me shoes and clothing over the years and to be polite, I would wear them even if I didn’t like them very much. It kept me in this vicious cycle of wearing things I didn’t feel good in to make him feel good. Now, I only wear what I like and while that might sound really snobby, it’s a win-win for both of us. That’s because when I’m comfortable and happy with myself, I don’t feel insecure and catty towards other women. Plus, I’m just more enjoyable and confident. That’s always a turn-on.
Audrey Bea uses her life-changing but difficult experiences with anorexia and depression as the catalyst and inspiration for her work. As a writer and illustrator, Audrey creates empowering content to help women love who they are, and overcome the widespread illness of fear.