Listen to five male standup comedian’s specials and I’d bet money that at least three of them have some jokes that they find wonderfully-clever about how women “let themselves go” in relationships. Maybe they’ll be some line like “Where did her eyebrows go?” or “I didn’t recognize her without her makeup on—I thought she was someone robbing my place!” Yes, yes very funny. The truth is, the men who make jokes like this have never really been in a long-term, loving, healthy, committed relationship. I make those distinctions because we all know plenty of people who have been in tons of long-term unhealthy, toxic relationships. But as for those in the healthy, happy ones, we all know that that transition that occurs between being all put-together around our man to being more lax about it isn’t about “letting ourselves go.” It’s more delicate and actually charming than that.
We’re spending every night together
When things get serious, you start spending every night together. Every. Single. Night. Maybe in the beginning, when it was just one or two nights a week together, you could go to bed with makeup on, pretending you just look like that, knowing it would clog your pores. But when you’re together every night, you just can’t do it. It’s bad for your skin.
We have to look bad to look good
The more nights we spend together, the more we have to do our usual bed time and beauty routines around each other. That can mean zit cream, retainers, mud masks, curlers in hair, and the whole thing. Hey, beauty ain’t pretty.
So, we can only go up from there
Once our guys have seen us with weird green masks on our faces and shower nets on our head, we actually look quite pretty by comparison when we just don’t have all of that going on.
Guys like us in their boxers
Our fellas like to see us hanging out in their boxers and their old college sports t-shirts. It’s their funny way of feeling like we are theirs and only theirs. Maybe it’s not as conventionally hot as a teddy or negligee, but it’s hot to our men.
They see our inner beauty
Something else that the types of men who make fun of women for “letting themselves go” don’t understand because they’ve likely never experienced it is this: when a man really loves a woman, he sees her inner beauty more and more every day. It creates a glow over her that he sees all of the time, regardless of how she actually looks.
Wearing makeup less makes it special
Also, if we wear makeup every day, makeup ceases to be special. If we’re always in makeup it’s like we’re never in makeup. On the rare occasion I do my makeup really well now, my boyfriend is totally blown away, compliments me incessantly, and just wants to jump my bones. I didn’t get that reaction when I wore makeup every single day.
Getting dressed up less makes it special
The same concept of doing something less making it special applies to dressing up. When life is casual, I keep it casual now. I don’t need to get dolled up so we can eat tacos. But when I do get all dressed up, my boyfriend is totally floored, because it’s a rarity now.
We see our inner beauty more
Although ideally, we already love ourselves plenty before getting into a relationship, something about finding your soul mate helps you love yourself on an even deeper level. They point out to you things about your inner beauty that you didn’t even see before.
We’d rather cuddle than hit the gym
We’d rather stay in bed in the morning and cuddle (or more) than go to the gym. And our partners would rather we do that, too. They’d rather have more intimate time with us, than have us have six-pack abs.
That messy hair is sex hair
What others may see as messy, disheveled hair, our partners see as the adorable messy bed head they woke up next to. Or the messy sex hair they helped create.
Our partners are impatient
For the record, most of our partners won’t even let us take too long getting ready. They want to start the day! They want to get the adventure going. They don’t care if we look perfect for the hike they just want to go on the hike. When I’m in the bathroom doing my makeup, I’m not hanging out with my boo, and he’d prefer we were hanging out.
Our men dress down, too
Also for the record, men get a bit more lax about their looks in long-term relationships, too. My boyfriend is exclusively in sweats and t-shirts now unless an event absolutely calls for more.
And they hit the gym less
And he skips the gym sometimes so we can just kick it together instead. I love that. I, too, don’t mind if his tummy gets soft so long as it’s near me for cuddling.
Makeup gets everywhere
I can’t fully make out with my dude the way I want to if I have lipstick and lip liner on. I can’t really get wild in bed if I’m worried about staining the pillowcases with eye shadow.
Going au-naturel is a form of intimacy
Truly, I believe my partner understands that it’s special that I go au-naturel around him. I don’t do it for the rest of the world. It’s a form of intimacy. He gets to see me a way nobody else does.