Let's be real—everyone knows what they find attractive.
But it's also every person's responsibility to be open about those preferences with their significant relationships.
Reddit taught one guy that lesson when he threw his girlfriend's insecurities about her body in her face.
After two years of dating, one guy suddenly shared his preference for smooth skin in the face of his girlfriend's inconsistent shaving habits. His girlfriend was hurt and did not have the reaction he was expecting from "being honest."
The boyfriend explained first the reasons behind his girlfriend's shaving habits.
"My (m[ale] 22) girlfriend ([female] 23) of two years isn't exactly the hippie, free-spirit, 'my hairy body is beautiful' type but she definitely never developed the habit of shaving consistently."
"She says it takes a long time (she's very tall so that makes sense for her legs), her skin is sensitive so she's prone to bad razor burn, and she always manages to nick herself and bleed a lot. She pretty much only shaves when the hair is physically irritating her skin."
"It doesn't necessarily bother me because I love her for who she is, but I do have a preference toward smooth, silky skin. Who wouldn't, right?"
But his promise to love his girlfriend no matter what created mixed expectations.
"Earlier this evening we were enjoying a shower together and she mentioned how she thought it was time to shave her underarms. She said the hair was starting to get on her nerves and she wanted it gone."
"Once she finished that up, she turned to her legs and said something along the lines of 'I think these are gonna be up next soon. That hair is starting to bother me too.' Now her leg hair was LONG, and even the lightness of the strands couldn't cover up how much was there. It was bad."
He finally voiced his expectations, quite to his girlfriend's surprise.
"So, a bit harshly and sarcastically I will admit, I said 'yeah, you think it's time to shave your legs? How long has it been?'"
"She looked at me for a moment then started getting weepy-eyed, so I asked her what the deal was and she said 'I thought it didn't bother you that I don't shave. It hasn't been an issue this whole relationship and now I feel like I'm being shamed.'"
"I explained to her what I explained above, that I don't care that she doesn't shave but i still prefer touching smooth legs and underarms. She remained pretty quiet, so I started trying to coax her out of the shower so we could finish up and be done."
Despite trying to emphasize his love for her, he had hurt her feelings.
"She refused, saying that she was gonna go ahead and shave her legs. I just left the bathroom. A WHOLE A** HALF HOUR later she emerged, presented her smooth legs to me, and has been sitting quietly since then."
By the end of the ordeal, he was angry with his girlfriend's reaction and wanted to move on.
"Right now I'm frustrated that she just spent 30 extra minutes making a point. I'm frustrated that she's acting mad at me for agreeing that she should do something she already said she wanted to do. I just have to know if I should feel bad and say sorry or if I should just let her get her moping out then move on."
Noting this guy's confusion over what he did wrong, Reddit was ready to let him know.
They pointed out to the guy not only that it was her body he was talking about, but he also was undervaluing her comfort.
Not to mention the fact that he should have been open about this from the beginning if it was really that important to him.
"Every time I read stories like this I'm amazed at how men who are supposed to be in love with their girlfriends still manage to prioritise their preference for a certain body type or certain grooming habits over their girlfriend's own personal preferences and physical comfort."
"Even if you don't care about the trouble and pain shaving causes her, have you ever stopped to think that because her legs grow hair means it's supposed to be there? That it's natural? That you shouldn't be such a spineless idiot and try to make her think that it's gross to have hair on her body?"
"Good God. I'm also pissed off by 'she's acting mad'. Dude, she IS mad and she has every right to be. Apologise to her and pray that she ever lets you touch her again. YTA (You're The A**hole)." - lorelorelei
"Yikes. He literally said 'I don't mind it BUUUTT'"
"And then told us how he told his girlfriend in the worst way possible making her feel bad and then proceeded with the worst kind of apology he could make the 'I am sorry you feel that way but I am right'"
"And when she finally did what he whined about he was like 'She took so long and was still mad at me, how dare she, it's not like I shamed her into doing something that ends with her getting hurt each time [and] with the extra hurt of what I said'"
"And he wonders why she is still mad at him? It was like when your parents told you what you were wearing was horrible, made you change clothes, and now that you were in uncomfortable clothes they complained that you weren't smiling" - TheInvisibleOneowo
"The 'She spent an extra 30 minutes just to make a point' totally threw me. Bruh, it takes time to do this s**t! He even states earlier in the post that it takes her longer because she's tall!"
"I'm 5'4 and I can easily spend 30 minutes in the shower taking care of body hair. Especially if I'm being really careful (which I assume she has to be since he stated she tends to cut herself and her skin gets irritated!)" - Suicune95
"And if he already described her as weepy-eyed she maybe needed a little cry as well. I know I would have." - Stefanie1983
"If my boyfriend ever did something like this, my a** would need more than a half hour to cry. She'll be lucky if this doesn't bother her for months."
"Every time her hair starts to grow now she's going to have to make the decision to either cause herself more pain and discomfort, or know her boyfriend is going to 'secretly' be angry and turned off by her until she does. That's such an awful thing to do to someone you say you love." - IstgUsernamesSuck
Clearly this guy needs to think about what he said to his girlfriend and how he said it.
An apology seems to be in order, as well as a follow-up conversation with his girlfriend, to see if they can come to some sort of understanding.
The book Beauty Sick: How the Cultural Obsession with Appearance Hurts Girls and Women is available here.