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Boyfriend of 5 years is embarrassed to be seen with me.

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I don't know what to do.. My boyfriend hates how I dress and refuses to go anywhere with me (and that's also my "answer" from him regarding another post I made on here when I confronted him as to why he doesn't invite me anywhere)


I cover myself up well, I do not wear skimpy clothing. His problem with my clothing is that, okay, going into stereotypes: Gothic. I don't wear stupid Hot Topic clothing with all the weird things on it, I just wear all black. I wear classy clothing with ruffles and lace. I also wear "regular/casual" clothing. It's just... black. I've always dressed this way, and he didn't have a problem with it when we first started dating... but his response to that is "Well, I grew up-- you apparently didn't."


His reasons for hating my style of dress is that he feels like he can't go ANYWHERE with me because my look attracts so much attention. He hates it, he hates attention. I don't even notice it.

His family doesn't like it how I dress, either.


My problem is.. he wants me to change. He wants me to dress--back into stereotypes-- "preppy", or at least in color when I'm with him, or even all of the time.

I can't get myself to change like that. I've been dressing this way since I was 12. I very much know who I am.


He confronted me about it over the summer and told me that I don't look attractive because of certain things I wear. I tried wearing some color-- I went out and actually bought "normal" clothes. I couldn't do it for long. He confronted me about it again over the weekend. At a restraunt. We left before we were even seated and he kept telling me how embarrassed he was, how utterly EMBARRASSED. He was so aweful about it. I asked him how he thought I felt about it. His response: "I'm.. EMBARRASSED!"

A bit of an important thing he said was:

"Don't you understand you're getting nowhere in life dressing the way you do?" (I'm an artist by the way, so in my future proffession, my looks may not even be froned upon) "This is why you don't have any friends." (True. I don't have any friends. Could my looks be why?) "Dressing this way obviousely isn't working out for you."



I actually have a few questions about this that I really really need help with.

I want to know if this is right that he is like this.. there's no way around it. He will not go out with me anymore unless I change how I dress.

Am I being selfish if I don't change?


Is how I dress really going to hold me back in life regardless of my proffession?


Is how I dress really THAT REDICULOUS!? PLEASE tell me nothing but the truth on this one. Do you think it's a rediculous way of dressing?


Is how I dress really why I don't have any friends? Possibly one of reasons why?


Thanks for any help on this one.. I'm so.. distressed.

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Wow. I would be mighty pissed if any bf of mine gave me that line of crap. I'm not any fashion plate myself...I tend to agree with the late Gilda Radner who said, "My fashion sense tends to consist of what doesn't itch."


As long as your clothing is clean, neat, in good repair (not horribly wrinkled, faded, torn, etc) and fits you properly, you're fine. This is also true for workplace attire -- clean, neat, good repair and proper fit. If an employer wants you to wear a uniform of some sort, they will let you know exactly what is acceptable and not acceptable.


There is, however, one thing you may want to keep in mind with your choice of all black. Yes, it is a stereotypical "artist" color, but depending on the way you carry yourself, your facial expression and tone of voice, people might think you are chronically depressed or in mourning and may possibly avoid you. If you are outgoing, confident and friendly, I think that will override any hesistation, though.


I gotta tell ya, if I was in your position I'd have to say, "Fine. If you're that embarrassed to be seen in public with me, you don't need to worry anymore because I'm breaking up with you." I can tell you from personal experience that being involved with someone who acts as if he's ashamed of you -- for whatever reason -- will wear down your self-esteem real fast.

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how do you wear your hair? What about makeup? Do they lean towards the goth/dark genre?


To be honest, people who wear all black all the time come accross to others as moody, insecure, "dark" (in more ways than just the clothes), childish even...and quite possibly, when you started dressing in all black, it was to convey a certain mood, or life situation you were in...and it went from an expression of yourself...to a comfort. Maybe you don't feel you have the body image you should, and black helps to "hide" it. Or it has been so long since you have chosen "color" it's hard to find yourself attractive in anything else.


Is he sellfish asking you to change your "look"? In some respects, yes, he should love you for who you are - and the packaging is part of it...but he is absolutely correct on other levels, such as how it holds you back from friendships...and your future. To be successful in friendships and your profession, how you are perceived plays a key role...and I noted above what "all black all the time" is perceived as.


Just because there are ruffles or lace....it's still BLACK.


This is not to say you should go and run out and buy the latest trends in neon color and skin tight fashion with the goofy sayings on them. That is just going in the polar opposite direction, and it won't fix your problem.


Start slow....take a nice fitting black pant and put a "pop" of color (maybe a red v neck top) under a black jacket...and at some point in the evening take the jacket off.


Alternate, if you are going to wear black on the top, put color to the bottom and vice versa. When you go shopping buy things in colors that can compliment the items you already have and you can mix and match.


Many department stores have people who you can consult on colors and styles. Take some pictures of yourself in some of your favorite items, and bring them with you to help you better match things and if you talk to a consultant...they have a reference to go by.


Image does matter in the artistic world...it matters in ANY profession. If you don't look approachable, how do you expect to make it?

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IMHO (In my humble opinion) I think he should love you for who you are, not how you dress, so what if people look at you two and attract attention? What REALLY matters are the things between you two and you two ONLY. If he is ashamed or whatever for how you dress, I think you should breakup with him and find another guy who appreciates you for who you are.


If my g/f dressed up like you and such/attract attention, I wouldn't care what others may have thought - if they said something rude or anything, I would stand up against it, and again IMHO I think the problem is how your b/f thinks, not how you dress.

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You're probably a little older than me, considering that you've had a boyfriend of 5 years, but I'm still going to reply anyway.


I wear black all the time too. The difference is that you dress 'classy' and my style is considered gothic and weird by all those idiots that love stereotypes. The point is, a boyfriend I had for a while, he seemed to be okay with how I dressed when he first started talking to me. But after we were together he started suggesting I wear tighter clothing, other colors besides black, flip-flops. All the sorts of things I no longer wear. Every once in a while I would do what he wanted. And for that whole day I would be totatally uncomfortable and feel like I wasn't myself.


It sounds horrible and stupid for a couple to break up over something like clothing, but the fact that he is making such a big deal about it really isn't right. Maybe he really cares about you, and the clothing thing is the only thing that is ruining your relationship.


I guess, you could either change, try to get him to accept you, or just end it.


I wish you the best of luck.



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Any bf who tells you TO YOUR FACE the way you dress is why you don't have friends.. is abusive. Think about it. Think long and hard. Would you tell him the same thing about himself? Right. No you wouldn't because it's cruel. Dump him. Trust me, life DOES go on.

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Any bf who tells you TO YOUR FACE the way you dress is why you don't have friends.. is abusive. Think about it. Think long and hard. Would you tell him the same thing about himself? Right. No you wouldn't because it's cruel. Dump him. Trust me, life DOES go on.


Exactly, you can find a better guy out there - you just have to wait

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To Galaxygirl:


You're absolutely right. I do agree with there being a compromise. I agree because it is just clothing. But it's so hard for me--


Which brings me to what~~

ticklebug said. My response to ticklebug:


What you have said to my post is really *really* helpful to me, and it has made me feel relieved.

Considering that I agree with compromise (also because my relationship is great except for this problem here -as well as other little things that all relationsips have--) it is helpful to me of your suggestion on how to get into color. I cannot dress this way my whole life and I'm sure I can express myself other ways than just one.

To your question of how I wear my makeup and hair, I have black hair and I have streaked purple. I get alot of compliments from strangers on how it looks, which has thrown me off to how my boyfriend can be so embarrassed. My makeup can range from slightly heavy black, to black fading to grey on the top lid, and always just a plain black line underneath. Nothing too too dramatic. I am also very pale.. and do not have any tan to my skin. I know I don't look creepy. But to some I'm sure I may..

Actually, I look exactly as Rinoa from FF-VIII does in my avatar. Which is why I chose it to use

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It doesn't seem like you guys are compatible. He seems more concerned with 'fitting in', and wearing a certain type of wardrobe that is socially acceptable, whereas you seem very comfortable with yourself and don't seem to care what other people think. This is an admirable virtue, and not many people can pull it off. Never change yourself to suit someone else; if you're comfortable with who you are, and know who you are, then why change? For him? Changing for him is denying who you truly are; cheating your sense of individuality and strength to be different.


Now, where your career is concerned. As an artist, I think you will be able to get away with dressing however you want. Artists are usually 'artists', because they possess a connection to their spirit and see things that most people don't. However, if you're going to apply for an office job until your art career gets going, then you're definitely going to face scrutiny and discrimination; some settings are very conservative and will expect a minimal level of aesthetic professionalism, which will never be welcoming of black lace and ruffles.


As for the thing about 'not having friends': this could be due to the fact that most people associate black hair, clothing, and makeup with someone who is not welcome to meeting new people, and in turn, will not be a very friendly person. As much as I hate to say it, I generally do feel a little nervous and somewhat intimidated by people who look the way you do. It's not that I think less or negatively, but I simply would not know how to approach you (or have any idea what I would talk to you about).


Ultimately, most people want to conform with societal "norms" or ideologies to avoid the scrutiny and general negative attitudes that come along with standing out the way you do. The way I see it, just be you; don't deny who you are or try to be someone else.


For my own understanding, why do you dress all in black and do the makeup and hair thing? I'm just curious as to your motivation.

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To your question of how I wear my makeup and hair, I have black hair and I have streaked purple. I get alot of compliments from strangers on how it looks, which has thrown me off to how my boyfriend can be so embarrassed. My makeup can range from slightly heavy black, to black fading to grey on the top lid, and always just a plain black line underneath. Nothing too too dramatic. I am also very pale.. and do not have any tan to my skin. I know I don't look creepy. But to some I'm sure I may..


look at it this way, think of the talk shows that are on TV these days...people (aka kids) who dress the way you do, wear their hair super dark with streaks of some odd color, have dark makeup etc...are featured on those shows as "troubled".


so...to the "general public" (which includes ANYONE you date's mom & dad/family/friends btw regardless if it is this guy or the next or the next...) you are a troubled person acting out some sort of angst by way of your "look" & your steadfast refussal to compromise/change - just makes you seem that much more "troubled" & unwilling to grow up.


Yes, people should appreciate you for who you are, but do you really want to be judged the rest of your life by what's on the outside - before anyone can get to know what's on the inside?


It's unfortunate that we live in judgemental times - but that is just the way things are. I doubt you just want to be accepted only in the art world...that you would prefer to be more "worldly" than that.


One thing I know I do, and a lot of other do....is have several "looks" based on where they are going and who they are with. Save the dark dress and streaked hair for the art world, and when you are out with your guy, or going to be around his parents...lighten up. Including the makeup...


if you are THAT pale...back hair just puts you further to the "goth" category...look into salons and maybe get some auburn undertones around your face...it's just little changes...but they make a huge difference.

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Thank you for your responses, ticklebug.

You're right about what you said.. I understand more now that there really is a time and place for certain ways of me dressing if I do this way. I have never refused to lighten up around his family. But I am thinking about itimes I have and know I could try harder.


I've been thinking about this SO much lately. I consider this situation as almost "life-changing".. kind of like something to open my eyes more.

I'm thinking about wearing earthy colors to start with while still being able to express myself on the outside and be comfortable at the same time. In the future, and possibly near future, I'm sure I'll be more comfortable wearing a wider variety of things, too.

It's just so hard after so many years. I almost feel naked wearing color. It's the weirdest thing. I feel like I'm not open minded or something...

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you are quite welcome!


ooo earth tones would be nice next to your fair skin...consider even hitting a tanning salon or use a bronzer...lighten up the eye makeup to charcoal liner and some of the earthtoned shadows...


there is a thing called a comfort zone...everyone has them, and it is hard to step out of...but once you do...and the compliments yu get from it...boost your esteem higher than you could ever imagine...

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nah, wearing colors is open minded. ^_^ You can wear colors when you want to and wear black when you want to or show up one day like my bf and be in all white. clothings don't make you close minded or open minded... they're just cover ups for us so we dont' go out naked.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Also, wearing black will make you look SUPER-pale even if you're just normal skin tone. You know, even if you just picked up an issue of Cosmopolitan and looked at what some of the models have done by way of eye and lip stuff you might get some nice ideas to help you get away from the black... A lot of the stuff there is awful and stupid-looking but some of it is real nice, like the classic pieces and classic make up tips

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