Hello, friends. My name is Stephen LaConte, I'm a writer here at BuzzFeed, and according to my friends and family, I'm pretty darn good at giving advice.
So I've invited the world to message me on Instagram and Twitter (@StephenLC in both places) with your biggest problems — and I'm solving 'em right here on BuzzFeed, one DM at a time. Let's get right to it.
Today we've got this woman whose boyfriend recently admitted that he thinks his ex is more attractive than she is:
Yikes. Your boyfriend messed up big time here — and honestly, I'd probably dump him if I were you! But as you're packing your bags, I think you need to consider how you might have messed up in this situation too.
His mistake is the more obvious one: It is deeply fucked that your boyfriend said his ex is more attractive than you. It doesn't matter that he said you're "prettier on the inside." It's still an unkind, hurtful, damaging statement, and one that will be hard for you to shake moving forward. It's also a valid reason to walk away from the relationship, if that's what you want to do.
But in the interest of fairness, I do need to point something out: You probably shouldn't have asked him this question in the first place. I'm guessing you asked it from a place of insecurity, not malice — but even so, it's an unfair position to put your partner in.
The only "right" answer to your question would have been for your boyfriend to say his ex is less attractive than you. But that's not the foundation of a healthy relationship! Your boyfriend shouldn't have to tear down his past relationships to prove his commitment to this new one, and he shouldn't have to diss his ex to tell you that you're beautiful. Ideally, the two of you should be building a solid, loving, trusting relationship of your own without needing to refer back to any exes for comparison.
It's also worth noting that this ex-girlfriend is the mother of his child. Your boyfriend will share a connection with her for the rest of his life, and for the sake of the kid, let's hope it's a good one. If you're going to date this man, you should encourage him to have a respectful relationship with his ex, and questions like the one you asked only serve to drive a wedge between them.
But just to be 100% clear: Your bad question does not excuse your boyfriend's bad answer. He should have approached his response with way more empathy, sensitivity, and tact. You made a mistake, and he responded with an even bigger mistake, and now all that's left to do is figure out how to move forward.
You're worried that your boyfriend may harbor feelings for his ex. This is a perfectly valid thing to discuss with him, but you need to do it in a direct way ("Are you over her?") and not in a roundabout, coded way ("Am I prettier than her?").
Or, you might decide to just cut your losses and walk away from this relationship entirely. And who could blame you? Personally, I'd have a hard time dating a guy if he told me I was effectively a downgrade from his last relationship. You can't unring that bell.
Look, you've only been dating a few months, which isn't much time. You don't have kids, a mortgage, or a long history together to consider. And in your brief relationship, he's already got you questioning whether he's really over his ex, and made you feel insecure about your looks. Some relationships just aren't worth salvaging, and this might be one of them.
Ultimately, that choice is yours. Whatever you do, I hope you end up with a guy who makes you feel loved, safe, beautiful, and secure — and who never makes you feel the need to ask a question like that again.
That's all the advice I'm giving today, folks, but if you've got any words of wisdom for our DMer, please share them in the comments. I'll be reading.