Recently, I was out with some friends and one of the guys we were with made a comment about how underdressed one of the girls we met up with was; she had sweatpants and a sweatshirt on. Her reply was that she no longer sees the need to dress up because she’s a) not trying to impress anyone and b) has a boyfriend of three years. I smiled and nodded as if I agreed but something inside me was shrieking. Having a boyfriend does not mean you should leave the house looking disheveled and unkempt…your outward appearance is the first thing that people judge you by. I’m not saying it is right to judge a book by its cover but we all have unconscious biases that determine our perceptions of people when we first meet them. Certain aspects of our looks are beyond our control, but if you’re leaving the house and you know you will be interacting with others, why not make sure you look decent?
When you’re in a relationship, there comes a time when you are able to let your guard down and allow your mate to see you for the person you really are; no more facades and no more fakery. You can fart, poop, burp and any other peculiar body functions. You aren’t afraid to be seen in your “sweat pants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on,” as rapper Drake would say. This is the time in a relationship when the honeymoon phase is over and you can really let your hair down. As amazing as it is to be able to be yourself around your companion, many women take that notion to the extreme. I encourage women to show your true colors but sometimes it’s nice to get dolled up for your significant other.
Regardless of whether you are on the prowl, in a serious long term relationship, or even married, you should take heed in your appearance. This is not to say leaving the house should be a meticulous process of makeup, hair grooming, and wardrobe perfection but if you are with someone, you don’t always want to see them looking a hot mess. It’s attractive to be with someone who exudes confidence and knows that they look good regardless of what they’re wearing but it is great to see your mate all dressed up and decked out. Just because you have someone in your life does not mean let yourself go because you’ve nabbed your prince charming. If you met someone and they fell in love with you for your personality as well as your looks, they don’t want to see either of those deteriorate; in fact it can be quite a turn-off. Being able to be yourself in a relationship is a pivotal point but don’t lose yourself in the process.
Janice Gassam is a graduate student currently getting her degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. To contact Janice her email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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