In a perfect world, we’d all communicate with each other honestly and directly. But we don’t live in a perfect world: The seas are rising faster than ever, ISIS is at large, and leggings are still somehow a thing. In this complicated reality, you need to get creative when communicating difficult things to your boyfriend. If you’re trying to find a gentle, effective way to tell your boyfriend that you’ve noticed his weight gain and he needs new clothes, the answer is right there at your fingertips. Here are a few manicures to let him know that if he’s willing to let it all go, then so are you:
1. The Lazy Tacky Handy
Your man may not normally notice when your nails are wet—but he’ll sure notice when that you’ve completely downgraded to giving ambivalent handjobs with still-tacky nails. He’s completely stopped flossing and only brushes every other day, so why should you bother finishing your beauty routine before his Wednesday handjob? When he notices the green stripes of your “Jaded” polish streaking up and down his member, we can guarantee that he’ll make dental health a top priority.
2. The Jagged Nail Surprise
If your guy can’t be bothered to shave his scraggly stubble on a regular basis, give him a taste of his own medicine. Grow out your nails and give them sharp, jagged edges. If he yelps in pain when you run your fingers through his hair, suggest that you should both be a little more attentive to personal grooming. While you file your nails down, mention that your dad associates unshaven men with highway drifters. Your man should get the point well before you have dinner with your folks.
3. Go Long, like “Elderly Gypsy Soothsayer” Long
Long nails are in right now, but we’re not talking “Rihanna on the red carpet” long—we’re talking “elderly gypsy soothsayer” long. If your boyfriend hasn’t gotten a haircut since 2012, simple long nails won’t be enough to get his attention. “Nail” this look by applying growth chemicals to your nails and never approaching them with clippers or a file ever, ever again. If you don’t look like an oracle in a cave within two months, you’re not doing it right. Sure, you’ll lose the ability to type, but Jason lost the ability to turn you on long ago, so it’s probably worth it.
4. The “I’m Just Concerned About Your Health” Manicure
If your man takes all your hints and gets a haircut, starts shaving, and always flosses twice a day, it’s time to address the beer gut by getting a manicure—but remind him that your nails have gained a little weight, and they may have to put in some extra effort to lose it. Then, lightly run your nails along the DVD box set of P90X you left on his nightstand. If he doesn’t take that hint, break up with him. You’ve exhausted your options. Seriously, what’s left for you to do, talk? Pfft. Save the talking for your therapist.
So the next time you feel tempted to initiate a mature, gentle conversation about self-maintenance with your long-term partner, don’t! Who knows? He might even end up putting a ring on that gnarled, jagged finger!