A guy shared an argument he had with his girlfriend that's been bugging him since before the pandemic resulted in self-isolation.
He had been appreciating how his younger brother's girlfriend dressed so much, he repeatedly suggested that his own girlfriend should shop from the same store to buy similar outfits.
Way to boost her self-esteem, bro.
Redditors gave "SubstantialHorror0" a rough time for his insensitivity and lack of respect.
"My brother is almost two years younger than me, but we are pretty close," wrote the Original Poster (OP).
"His girlfriend is his age and a nice person and she makes my bro happy. There are absolutely no feelings towards her or weird intentions from me."
"This argument between me and my gf happened a while ago (before quarantine) when we were still able to see each other, and she hasn't really brought it up since then and seems to be over it, but I'm wondering if I was in the wrong because I don't think I was at all and it's still bugging me."
He described his girlfriend's wardrobe with a non-compliment using words like "nice taste" and "decent clothing."
"So my girlfriend has nice taste and she has decent clothing, but she doesn't really shop at any particular stores. Most of her clothes are from amazon, and rather randomly selected."
The OP influenced her fashion choices before.
"She used to wear a lot of 'tomboy' kinda clothes, like graphic shirts that were too big, and baggy jeans, but that's changed now because I kind of called her out on it, and I think she's been able to find clothes that fit her better and kind of flatter her more."
"For context she is kind of short and petite so finding clothes that fit can be a challenge for her, since most outfits marked as 'S' or even 'XS' tend to still be too big on her."
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"This is relevant because my brother's girlfriend is about the same size as my gf."
"I think my brother's girlfriend's clothes look really nice, and I've asked a few times where she got that ouffit, or where she buys her clothes from, because I think they'd look good on my gf."
"Then I'd say to my gf 'hey, you should shop at X store because that's where my brother's gf gets her clothes. In fact, I'll take you there sometime' I did this maybe a handful of times."
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"One time we were all at my house and I thought the pants that my brother's gf was wearing looked nice, so I asked where she got them and she said X store, so I went to the living room where my gf was and said basically what I wrote above."
"This time she got kind of snappy and said 'I get it, okay?'"
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"I felt like something was wrong."
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"So I asked her if she was upset, and she couldn't really seem to explain why she was annoyed, she just told me that she felt like I didn't like how she dressed."
"I tried to explain that I didn't feel that way at all, but it didn't seem like she was buying it."
"Was I an a**hole? My friends seem pretty divided on the issue."
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to weigh in with:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
However, people weren't so divided on Reddit-land.
Most told the OP YTA.
"YTA I'm just curious how many other things you want to change about your girlfriend before she will finally be the person you want to date." – Damnbee
"YTA, understandably, you want her to have a bit more pride in her appearance."
But you're wording it wrong to the point where it sounds like you're wanting to change her, and comparing her to your bro's gf in the process."
"If you're going to do this, you need to show more tact."
"Don't go for the same stuff as your his gf. Look for similar stuff and buy one for her to see if she likes it. If she doesn't, drop it and move on."
"If she does then perhaps she will be more receptive and start wanting to incrementally change her wardrobe, but AT HER OWN PACE. I can relate but telling your gf your brother's gf dresses better than her ain't gonna give you brownie points." – RiagoMinota
"YTA - think of how silly you look questioning your brother's gf and then scurrying in to the next room to tell your girlfriend where to shop."
"I'm sure you don't mean to come off as badly as you do, but have you considered that your girlfriend is satisfied with the way she dresses and doesn't want or need your input?" – kimbybimby
A lot of the complaints stemmed from the fact that the OP kept making comparisons to other women.
"Most of the women who come here with situations like this are just trying to get their BFs to dress fancier, and they rightfully get their YTA votes."
"I would argue that what OP did was even worse though. He wasn't just trying to get her to dress nicer, he was actively comparing her to other women in his life, and then telling her how much better they looked than her." – ghozztz
"I'm a woman dating a man, and aside from teasing him rarely about owning an uncomfortably high number of Hawaiian shirts, I would never criticize the way he dresses."
"If I was repeatedly telling my partner he should dress more like [random guy friend] when I see him, he would probably also be annoyed/hurt after a while."
"It's ok for people of both genders to have opinions, but I think if the genders were reversed I would still feel like it's overstepping- the problem isn't that OP has preferences, but that he's repeatedly comparing his partner to his brother's girlfriend." – certified_mom_friend
Regardless of gender, the criticism goes both ways.
"It's gross when women do it and it's gross when men do it. Unless she asks for his opinion and help with her clothes he should STFU [shut the f'k up]." – Hypatia85
This person wondered why the OP would care so much about what the girlfriend wears if how she dressed was irrelevant in his pursuit of her.
"You started dating her when she dressed a certain way. You consented and were attracted to her appearance. Why has that attitude changed?" – sweetcampfire
"I feel so f'king bad for her. I frequently wear baggy shirts and pants because finding clothes that fit right is hard, but also because I enjoy the tomboy look."
"If my bf did this to me constantly I would snap too. He knew what he was getting." – brockbampton
"Well he was never ok with her style. He's successfully shamed her into changing from a tomboy, now he's trying to shame her into changing again."
"I wonder how amenable he'd be if she suddenly decided she wanted him to wear suits. No jeans, no trainers, no casual, a sports coat is as casual as he can go before she'll start dropping hints about how attractive other men are."
"Something tells me he wouldn't like the shoe if it was on the other foot." – LokiTheMischiefOfGod
This person cut the OP some slack and chalked his indiscretion up to youth and naivete.
"This answer is so unfair but probably exactly how his GF feels about the situation, so it will probably help OP see why his actions are being misinterpreted."
"He almost certainly is doing that annoying 'fix the problem' thing. In his mind he asked his GF why she dresses the way she does, and she replied that she can't get clothes to fit right because of her size, so he found a girl close to her size with properly fitted clothing and asked for store recommendations to fix the problem for his GF."
"In his mind he's doing her a favor not trying to make her into a different person because it didn't seem like she was happy with her clothes either."
"He totally misinterpreted her desires and overstepped, but he's probably just an enthusiastic BF trying to help out his girl. They sound like they're still young, and I think most of us go through some similar issue in our early dating years and have to get knocked back into place."
"He should apologize, listen to her feelings, and promise to do better, but he isn't necessarily an asshole for it just clueless and tactless." – Cairnwyn
What about what the girlfriend's feelings?
"People are downplaying how awkward it must be for the brother's girlfriend."
"I think OPs behavior heavily implies that he finds her attractive, perhaps moreso than his girlfriend. It sounds like 'I think you're hot, I wish my girlfriend looked like that too.'"
"I've done this exactly once. It went like 'hey, where did you get that top? My wife has been looking for one like that, but she can't find one that fits right.' Even that was awkward because I have nothing to do with the situation." – ahyeahiseenow
The OP updated his post after seeing some clarity from some of the comments.
However, he did add there were some responses that were uncalled for.
"To the people messaging me saying I must be gay for caring about clothes, I think that says more about how you view masculinity than it does about me."
"After the responses, I can definitely understand why I was wrong in this situation for comparing her clothes to another girl. However, some of you are absolutely nuts, including those who took it upon themselves to message me to kill myself."
Bullying of any kind—whether it was directed towards the girlfriend or the OP—is never a good look.
The book The Curated Closet Workbook: Discover Your Personal Style and Build Your Dream Wardrobe is available here.