Dear Harriette: I’m a good-looking young man, but my girlfriend is gorgeous. In addition to her good looks, she has an impeccable sense of style. She is intelligent and very personable. All in all, I think she is great, but looking at her is a constant reminder that I need to stay on top of my game. That means looking good at all times. How do you deal with your own insecurities when you have a partner whose physique is amazing? — Thomas, New York, N.Y.
Dear Thomas: Remember that she is a person too, and do your best not to objectify her. Obviously, you wanted to have a “beautiful” girlfriend. While physical beauty and style are great qualities, they are not enough to sustain a relationship. As it relates to your girlfriend, admire her beauty but focus on her personality and the substantive ways that you and she connect. That means emphasizing your shared interests and experiences.
As far as you are concerned, it’s good to want to step up your game, to ensure that you look good and feel good. So it’s OK to pay attention to your health and your attire. One way to do your best not to feel insecure is to stop comparing yourself to your girlfriend. You and she are a couple. You aren’t supposed to be in competition with each other. Value yourself for your personal qualities, and remember the unique things about you that attracted her in the first place. Make space for your goodness to shine through.
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