Does Her Boyfriend Really See Her?

Q: Does wanting my boyfriend to compliment my hair make me vain? In high school I dated a lot of boys who cared about my looks and that's it. Now I finally found a man who cares about what I actually think. But after a semester together I wish he said nice things about more than just my problem sets. I may be a nerd, but I'm a *hot* nerd. Is it so wrong to want him to tell me that too every once in a while? I'm worried that if I tell him how I feel he'll find someone less superficial, and I'll be back to making out with meatheads at keggers. — Kim, 19

Dr. Susan: Your question makes me laugh because I have a husband who might not notice if I cut my hair off. He loves the real me, the parts of my personality and character that stay there no matter what kind of hair day I'm having. I didn't always appreciate this, I have to admit. Someday you may learn to be happy with your boyfriend, or someone like him, who simply isn't very observant of minor changes in how you look. That's the sort of person who you can make it all the way to old age with.

I understand that, right now, you need a bit more reassurance than you're getting from your guy. I don't think you need to fear mentioning to him that you just love it when he notices your efforts and says something nice about your appearance as well as your smarts. You might add that it makes you feel appreciated and sexy, and that, as a self-confessed nerd, you get a kick out of that once in a while.

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