My Boyfriend Has Let Himself Go

My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 years now. When I met him, he had a very unique sense of style – dyed hair, piercings, tattoos, etc. We were 18 at the time and it didn’t at all bother me. As we’ve grown older and his goals in life have changed, his style has mellowed out – he took out the nose ring, hair back to his natural color, etc. and I was happy. To me it showed that we were both maturing and refining our interests.

We moved in together 6 months ago and ever since then I’ve noticed that he is not taking care of himself. He’s gaining weight like crazy and his sense of style seems to have regressed. I get it if it’s just comfy clothes or PJs, but to me there’s something odd about a 25 year old man not batting an eye at leaving the house in a South Park or Hey Arnold! t-shirt. I feel like at times he has the fashion sense of a middle schooler. But the biggest issue for me: he REFUSES to cut his hair. He hasn’t gotten a haircut in well over two years. His hair is longer than mine and almost reaches mid-back. No style to it even. He just grows it and grows it. No trims, nothing. It is extremely unattractive to me.

It’s also gotten to the point where my parents have mentioned it. My grandparents are visiting and my dad gently asked if I thought I could get Jake to cut his hair and look presentable for our visit with them. My parents are a little older than most parents of people my age and they believe that, since we’re not yet married, my boyfriend should still care about impressing my family. Proving that he is someone they’d want and support spending the rest of his life with their daughter. Honestly, I don’t think that is too much to ask. I feel that I always present myself in a respectful, clean, polished way in front of his family and I think that my family deserves the same respect.

But beyond that, I just wish that he’d have more respect for himself. I truly believe that you should dress/present yourself in a way that represents what you want to do in life, not for what you’re currently doing.

Anyway, I know that the major answer is going to be: talk to him about it. So, just to be clear, I have talked to him about this extensively. I’ve even told him that I find it hard to feel attracted to him with his hair. Every time, he calls me shallow and turns the conversation around saying he doesn’t know if he wants to be with someone who cares so much about appearances.

I’m at my wits end right now. I have specific goals that I’m working towards to build the life I envision myself living. I try to present myself in a polished/professional/at-least-somewhat-stylish way. Having my boyfriend contrast my own presentation so drastically has become a big issue. And clearly he doesn’t care what I think. And apparently it’s the most detestable thing in the world to at all care about physical appearances at all. Whenever I bring these things up to him he, very defensively, tells me how he’s better than me because he wouldn’t care what I looked like at all, he’d still love me, etc. I haven’t lost any love for him and I’m still very affectionate and loving. It’s the attraction that I just can’t help. It’s becoming harder and harder to remain attracted to him, and he simply doesn’t care.

7 thoughts on “My Boyfriend Has Let Himself Go

  1. He sounds depressed. My fiancé went through exactly the same thing then I found out he was getting bullied at work. We are working through it together but he had to open up to me. Is there anything else going on in your partners life that you don’t know about? Please explain this to your parents.

  2. When you say “letting himself go” it honestly sounds like me and many people I know… and most of those people have lost motivation. I’ve had a significant other that was like that as well in the past. Now I’m the one that’s like that. Depression. Depression is what has been holding me back. It’s possible it’s been holding him back and he might not even realize it. You don’t have to feel “sad” or anything to be depressed. Lack of motivation is one of those things.

  3. Why not print your post and show it to him and negotiate some wanted changes? Sounds as if your beau has gotten just a might too comfortable for you. This can however be worked out – relationships are all about compromise. If he truly cares for you, he will change. Let us know how things turn out.

  4. You’re still young. If you’re not attracted to him- you still have a chance to do better. Don’t waste your youth.

  5. Hi there, just a thought may be nothing but I had a similar situation, my boyfriend only recently agreed to get his hair cut. I’ve been with him 6 years also. Same thing, unique style at the start of the relationship, but over the last year or so since we have been living together he let himself go. I managed to find out tho, (eventually) that having a hair cut is actually painful for my boyfriend because he has sensory issues due to Asperger’s syndrome. We only found out he has it last year, and only after the diagnosis was he willing to tell me hair cuts hurt. I know it sounds weird, but could be a possibility. He is very good at hiding the fact he is an aspie, but letting himself go is what gave my boyfriend away, and I only suspected because I happen to be studying the subject. Maybe it’s worth doing a little research to see if this could be what’s going on with your boyfriend also. No idea if this is helpful, but it’s worth throwing it out there to cover all the bases right? Take care and hope you get things resolved soon.

  6. Well, although you may not like to hear this it may be more then just him ‘letting himself go’. I personally can say that my style and even taking care of myself would change along with my mental health. If I was having a good year, I would be dressed in dress pants with a tie and nice shirt. However, the next month I could just be in sweat pants and a tank top. He may have depression, or some other form of problem that should be addressed extremely carefully. While you may be his girlfriend and one day, wife, he may feel like he cannot share what is going on with you. It is nothing personal at all, as I have also faced this issue. Perhaps very gently talk to him about seeing a therapist, either alone or together to help talk these issues over. A third party can really help when it comes to couple issues, as they can see things from an outsiders perspective. Most of all, give him time as this may just be a phase of his life he needs to get through, and will probably need your support to do so.

  7. Hi Hun: Its not unusual at all for this to happen. I have friends since Ive known since highschool and they refuse to cut their hair!!! They look so silly. Alot of people comment about them commenting that they are in a time warp. You know, he could be depressed too. Life hasnt quite gone the way he thought it would. It doesnt mean he doesnt love you at all. Its hard to say without knowing him. They only thing you can do is tell him. Listen, could you please clean up your hair this one time. My grandparents are coming and I want us to look good. I think he is probably depressed. And your reationship with him needs a positive shake up. Like a good change. You two are together a while know. Hes in a comfy zone. A little too comfy. I hope he sees the light. Hugs to you….

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