There are a few things everyone wants in a relationship: honesty, support, and a mutual aspiration to grow together. For me, personally, I also need my partner to be committed to getting incrementally hotter as the years go on, something which my boyfriend Derek and I are apparently not on the same page about. Why? He absolutely refuses to glow up and it is a huge barrier to mutual growth in our relationship.
To me, the issue is pretty simple. But we’ve been together for six years, and like many people in this type of broken relationship, I was in denial for a long, long time. He has been so focused on “internal growth” and “becoming a better person” that he has put almost no thought into a complete transformation of his own appearance for the better over a period of time. I was becoming fed up!
When the #tenyearchallenge happened, I took one look at his lack of physical improvement over a decade and had to fight back both tears and vomit. Yes, he’s made amazing strides in his career. Sure, he no longer blacks out when he goes out with the boys. He owns his loft and pays his bills on time. But from 2009 to today, he—and I get choked up even thinking about it—looks exactly the same.
Yep, no glow up. Not even a glimmer. How can I build a life with someone that devoid of superficial vanity?
Of course, I truly love Derek. He’s funny, trustworthy, and has been a faithful, loyal best friend and partner. But when it comes to glowing up, he has completely betrayed me and, frankly, our future.
I’ve tried suggesting he stop going to therapy and start getting more facials. I’ve dropped hints that instead of working so hard on being a leader at work he could work out more. I’ve shown him celebrity ‘before and after’ glow ups that should rock him to his core. Nothing seems to be working!
Meanwhile I’ve been the poster child for glowing up. I am basically aging backwards and yes that’s the most significant factor I consider in determining how well I’m doing. I do all of this for him and all he says is, “I love you just the way you are!” It’s so disgusting that all I can do is lock myself in the closet and sob on the phone to my sister.
At the end of the day, it’s incredibly important that we as women stand up for what we need in our partnerships. So if it’s wrong to ask my man to focus on his external transformation as the sole marker for success…then I don’t wanna be right!