Q: I told my girlfriend she would look better without wearing her glasses. Now she thinks I think she's ugly with them on. What can I do to let her know that wasn't what I meant? -- Jack, 35
Dr. Susan: Your unthinking slip of the tongue about your girlfriend's looks falls under the category of unasked-for advice. No one wants it, and no one likes it. What's she supposed to think? Ugly is a harsh word, but what you did say is that, as she is now, she doesn't look as good as you wished she looked. That translates into her being "not good enough." Now if she was thinking about getting contact lenses, and she had asked you if you liked her without her glasses on, you could answer truthfully. Even so, it would have been best if you'd told her that you loved her however she looked, with or without glasses. It sounds like you made a suggestion that plays into her own insecurities. Some women loathe how they look in glasses, and the last thing they need is for those who supposedly love them to confirm that they aren't at their best when they need to wear glasses to see. Lesson to be learned: Don't volunteer opinions about how someone you love looks, unless those opinions are entirely positive. That goes for weight, bust or butt size, eye color, or anything else. Bottom line, SHE thinks she's unattractive with glasses, and you'll have to work hard to convince her that her eyes are so beautiful that you no longer notice the frames surrounding them.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.