I love receiving compliments just as much as the next person, but even I have a limit. When my boyfriend tells me I’m the most beautiful woman in the world, it bothers me so much I want to scream—here’s why.
It’s obviously not true. Look, I know I’m pretty, but I’m not Priyanka Chopra. It’s fine for my boyfriend to think I’m beautiful—I would expect that from anyone I date—but to say I’m the most beautiful woman in the world is hyperbolic at best and a blatant lie at worst.
I’m not insecure enough to need that kind of exaggerated affirmation. I know I’m an attractive person. I’ve never had any difficulty understanding or owning that. There’s no part of me that needs to be told I’m the most beautiful woman in the world in order to accept it. I’m not insecure about my looks and that level of exaggeration isn’t necessary to make me feel beautiful.
It’s patronizing. The fact that he keeps telling me I’m the most beautiful woman in the world indicates that he thinks I’m insecure about my looks and need validation. Does he really think he’s the only guy in the world who’s ever complimented me? Even if he was, he clearly doesn’t have as high an opinion of me or my self-respect as he should.
I’d rather he compliment me on other things. There are so many other qualities I possess that he could compliment me on, like my intelligence, or how good at board games I am, and yet he chooses to compliment me on what I look like? I’d so much prefer that he appreciate my kindness, my accomplishments, and the work I’ve put in to create the life I have. My looks are the least of my achievements.
It’s shallow. If he thinks the only compliment I need to hear is about my appearance, what does that say about his values? It makes it seem like he only cares about what I look like, which is definitely not what I want in a relationship. I want to be seen for the depth and nuance I have as a person, not just for what can be seen from the outside.
It makes me wonder what else he’s exaggerating for my benefit. Obviously calling your girlfriend the most beautiful woman in the world isn’t a crime, but it’s also an enormous exaggeration, meaning that there might be other things he’s blowing out of proportion. I’m not freaking out that everything he’s ever told me is a lie, but it does mess with my head a little and make me feel like I need to second guess some things in our relationship.
It makes me self-conscious. I genuinely never know how to respond when he tells me I’m the most beautiful woman in the world. It’s awkward and it makes me feel weird. In fact, I can’t help but feel a little embarrassed that he still thinks he needs to exaggerate like that after months of dating. Honestly, I’d feel so much better if he just complimented me in a reasonable manner and moved on.
I always feel like I have to correct him. I’m a stickler for being honest in relationships, and whenever he gets hyperbolic about my level of beauty, I always feel compelled to explain to him why it’s unnecessary, which makes him slightly offended that I won’t just take the compliment and be grateful. Honestly, I would so much rather we argue about important things. It bothers me that this of all things is what we get annoyed at each other about.
Beauty is so subjective. Possibly the most irritating part of this whole thing is the fact that beauty is within the eye of the beholder. There is no “most beautiful” anything because everyone has his or her own definition of what beauty is. If he’s arrogant enough to think that he can speak for everyone, I have a lot less respect for him than I thought I did. Everyone is beautiful. No one needs to be “the most beautiful.”
My physical appearance really isn’t an attribute I care about all that much. I love a lot of things about myself. I’m smart, I’m ambitious, I live my life with as much integrity as possible, and I show up for my friends. If you were to ask me what I like most about myself, my appearance wouldn’t even be in the top 10, even though I love my body and know I’m attractive. If my boyfriend really loves me for the right reasons, why is he always fixating on my appearance?
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