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Sex + Relationships

Dear Agony Aunt: What do you do when your partner is so far out of your league that people openly judge you?

Please be aware that we are not qualified counsellors, and any advice given should be taken with a large pinch of salt.

Dear Anon,

Your situation sounds like a tough one, but there are elements within it that are very familiar. I would disbelieve any person who says they are free from insecurities. Self-doubt is an invisible plague that has hindered humanity since the beginning of time. They can cause us to shy away from situations and from people; they can be brakes on our drive; they can be paralysing. Rest assured; you are not alone in questioning yourself. For instance, as I sit to write this now, at seven minutes past eight on a Thursday evening, after having spent all day doing various tasks, and after having stuffed my face full of pasta, I feel like a barrel on legs. My hair is greasy, and my tummy is bulging. I don’t feel remotely attractive.

But what troubles me in reading your query is the tone of vulnerability, and your total willingness to accept that your partner is out of your league. I have come up with three bits of advice I would like to give you:

1)    Learn to appreciate your own beauty. Of course, this is easier said than done. I had my own little exercise in self-deprecation earlier in this letter. It is true, we all cower embarrassedly in the shadow of these towering beauty standards – no matter if, from where someone else is standing, you measure up to them quite nicely.

Whether you are wishing your boobs would grow two sizes, or your arms expand to the width of Dwayne the Rock Johnson’s, then all I can say is that it is a hopeless pursuit. We all want what we don’t have. I’m pretty sure Mr. Johnson sometimes rues his inability to pass down a narrow corridor, and buxom ladies often wish they could run for the bus without having to cradle their breasts like two sleeping babies. I’ve been there, personally, and it’s enough to make you want a breast reduction.

What I am trying to say to you is this: there are 7.753 billion people in the world, and therefore there are 7.753 billion different types of beauty, even though the media would have us think otherwise. The first, and most vital step to combatting the sticky situation you find yourself in, is believing that whatever league of attractiveness you think your partner is in, you more than reach up to that standard.

2)    Talk to your partner. Tell them that you are worried they are out of your league, and that people are ridiculing you for it. Look at their face drops, and a tear swells in their eye. Feel as they reach across for your hand and tell you earnestly, with a voice cracking under the weight of sadness and empathy that, “you are the most beautiful person I have ever seen. There is no way you are out of anyone’s league”.

If this, or a response with the same earnestness, does not occur then I’m afraid to suggest that your insecurities are symptomatic of the relationship’s failure to serve you. If the relationship is healthy, and your partner is sufficiently concerned about your self-confidence, then these worries about ‘leagues’, will soon be quelled.

3)    Tell interveners to p*ss off. If you have taken advice number one and two, and they have gone successfully (as I am sure they will), then, quite frankly, your relationship has sweet FA to do with any external onlooker. Anyway, in the security of your own self-love, and the affection and admiration of your partner, then these people’s judgements can do just as much damage as a blunt knife on an iron bar.

Of course, if they are your friends, then we are walking on wholly new terrain. The best thing to do would be to talk to them. Ask them why they think you’re out of your partner’s league? Ask them why they think it concerns them? They may well have a genuine reason. We don’t know what another person is thinking until we ask.

But, ultimately, from where I am standing, a true friend should be firmly in your corner. Friends should have each other’s backs. They should bolster you, not introduce doubt into your relationship. Keep this in mind.

And there you have it. My three steps to self-love and a healthy relationship.

Thank you very much for your submission, I hope that I was able to help.

Your Agony Aunt. xxx

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