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'AITA if I continue to stretch my ears after my BF expressed how much he hates it?' UPDATED

'AITA if I continue to stretch my ears after my BF expressed how much he hates it?' UPDATED


Opposites attract, but that doesn't mean they aren't still opposites.

In a popular Reddit post, a woman asked if she was wrong for continuing to stretch her ears after her BF expressed how it bothered him. She wrote:

"WIBTA if I continued to stretch my ears after my BF expressed how much he hates it?"

I (30f) have been with my boyfriend (30m) for just shy of a decade. He’s a very clean cut guy and very professional in appearance. I on the other hand have a sleeve of tattoos, dyed hair, and pierced ears. He WFH as a lead programmer for a company while I work as a manager/pet groomer.

Despite our opposite looks and career choices, we have lots of interests and opinions in common, if anything I think our differences help balance us out. Some background that may help add context to our relationship. I started getting tattoos before we met but my biggest piece was done 2 years ago.

He’s not a big fan of tattoos and has absolutely no plan to ever get any (I’ve never pushed but I have asked if he’d get a tiny one with me) it’s not a big deal for me so after he said no, I’ve just left it. He wasn’t a fan of my big piece, but because I’ve had ink done before he voiced some concerns about the amount of money I’ve spent but left it at that.

Fast forward to this past month. I’ve always liked the jewelry that people with stretched ears get to wear. Some of it looks really cool/pretty and I, on a whim, decided I would stretch my current piercings. With the help and advice of a friend, I got a kit and have been working on stretching with the goal being about a 2g/0g max.

When I first told him about this he voiced that he really did not like how they looked and he did not want me stretching to the point where you could look through my ear or fit a pencil. I told him not to worry and that I’d stop before I got to the generally accepted “point of no return.” Today I was moving up from a 10g to an 8g and he was watching me moisturize and sanitize my jewelry and ears.

Once again he asked how big I was going and I showed him what a 2g looked like. He gave me an unpleasant look and explained that he again really hated how gauges and stretched ears looked. He further went into explain that stretched ears were not my aesthetic as it was more “punk” where I fit more into “streetwear” or “gal” styles. He doesn’t like how they look and doesn’t think I’ll look good with them.

I was disheartened. I took out my jewelry, packed them up, and put them away to maybe discard. I’m now sitting here debating whether I should continue stretching because it’s something I want for myself or if I should honor his wishes and stop. I already pushed my luck with how many tattoos and how big they are so maybe I should give up on this one thing.

I don’t want him to think I’m unattractive so I don’t want to change myself past what he’s willing to accept, but I also don’t want him to tell me what to do with my body.

So WIBTA if I continued stretching my ears after my boyfriend expressed how much he hates it?

The internet had a lot of opinions about the scenario.

globaltrekker1 wrote:


But honestly, no matter how hard you try, oil and water don't mix.

Urbanyeti0 wrote:

NAH you can continue to stretch if you want, despite knowing your bf isn’t keen, but your bf can then react as he find appropriate. If he’s truly put off by them then he might end up considering breaking up with you

Why did you ask his opinion if you weren’t going to be considerate of it?

OP responded:

It’s not that I really asked for his opinion. I only brought it up to him the first time to just let him know that this was a thing I wanted to do because I was interested in it.

Urbanyeti0 responded:

And that’s absolutely your right, but if he has expressed that he doesn’t like them and you then go ahead with it then that’s on you.

Aphelius90 wrote:

Can we stop acting like as someone in a relationship you should just do whatever you want even though you know it might make your partner unattracted to you? Why are people acting like attraction doesn't matter anymore when you love someone?

If my girlfriend wanted to shave her head bald all of a sudden it's her right to do it cause it's her hair, but if I tell her that would put me off and she does it anyway I'm no more of an AH if I end up leaving her, that's her doing.

Edit: For the people who know damn well I'm not talking about something temporary let's take a face tattoo as an example. If I told my GF I wanted to cover my face in tattoos I know for a fact she would hate it, if he gets put off by it and I knew it and still went through that's on me. Stop making excuses.

winosanonymous wrote:

This is so strange to me because you’ve been with this dude for a decade. I don’t really care for gauges, but if my partner of 10 years decided to get them, I wouldn’t LEAVE them. These comments are so wild to me.

OP responded:

A lot of comments have told me to think about whether my stretched ears are worth more than my long relationship. I did. I also thought about whether HE also would view it like that, would my stretched ears be worth ending a long relationship. It isn’t for me, and I would hope he feels the same.

Two days later, OP jumped on with an update.

Thanks to everyone that weighed in. I spent some time reading as many comments as I could. I didn’t just read the comments saying NTA or NAH, I also read the ones that said YTA and some of the chains that went on a tangent about ear stretching. I couldn’t read them all but I did want to post an update and respond to some of the comments as a whole.

I told him last night that I have decided to stop stretching. He simply gave me a “hm” in response while we continued to make dinner and we haven’t talked about it since. I know I’m allowed to do with my body as I see fit, and he’s free to leave me if he wants. Neither him nor I look, act, or think like when we first met (some of the changes by choice and others because aging is a thing).

Tastes have changed but I have still chosen him, I want to believe that he still continues to choose me. This choice to stop was not because he told me to, but because as a lot of people have mentioned, relationships are a give and take. At almost a decade, what I do to my ears or not, is not a hill I’m willing to die on.

To those of you who have showed concern about the language I used in my post, I am grateful for your concern and I whole0heartedly believe this is a choice I made, and not a decision based on any fear of abandonment. A few commenters asked how’s I’d like it if he changed himself in a way that I didn’t find attractive.

Short answer is I don’t have an answer. I’d like to say at this point in our relationship, I am here because of who he is on the inside. While I do believe that to be my answer, I am a human and I am flawed; maybe there is a thing he could do, but I can’t think of anything. I know it seems like I stretched my ears from a 14g to a 10g very quickly.

You would be correct! I read several articles stating that I should wait a month or so. I have also read several posts from people with stretched ears that said to listen to my body. I won’t bore anyone with the details but I opted to listen to my body. Finally, to the user concerned about stretched ears in my line of work; it’s not a hazard I assure you.

My GM and a couple of my colleagues have gauges and have never had a dog almost rip one. Your comment made me chuckle because if anything, we’re all more concerned about dogs kicking our tools than damage to our body/body mods and I regret not replying before I lost it in the sea of comments.

The internet was happy to hear an update.

BigTimeBobbyB wrote:

Character growth and reasonable mature responses? In MY Reddit updates? OP, you know this isn't the content we signed up for. But seriously, happy to hear that you settled on a solution that everyone can be comfortable with. Your dude didn't have much to say in the moment, but I'm sure he recognizes and respects the outcome.

CreepyCarrie213 wrote:

Honestly your BF's reaction is very eh to me if he was so adamant about you not stretching your ears anymore I’d assume he’s be more happy or at least wanna have a productive conversation about it. At the end of the day if you’re happy that’s all that matters.

Unhappy-Prune-9914 wrote:

Yeah, I don't feel too good about his response. Not a fan of ear stretching but also hope she doesn't change herself too much for this guy.

HistoricalCarpet3020 wrote:

I do not get this at all. Compromise stops at bodily autonomy. My husband hates when I bleach my eyebrows because I look like an alien and yet I've done it multiple times, we've still been going strong. That's like someone telling you how to decorate your house and they don't even live there.

Zealousideal-Log536 wrote:

NTA: I know you've already made your choice, but let me just say don't let him fully change you. I got together with a guy and was in a relationship with him for 8 years. When we got together I had 1 1/2 inch gauges he was cool with it, at first. Then we moved in together and he would start commenting on how I wasn't what he was usually attracted to.

Nor he I, I liked his personality more so than his looks. But I loved him and it stated with my gauges which I took out and let shrink. Then it was my hair, he wanted me to grow it out. I did, until I couldn't stand it and then I cut it when he was home and when I was done I found him curled up in a ball crying about it.

I changed my clothes, my looks and my personality for him. It didn't make me happy and it didn't make him happy. If you want to do it because you feel it's time for a change then go for it but if you had them when you to got together or during that period then no. Don't let anyone change you.

Hopefully, OP feels good about this choice moving forward.

Sources: Reddit
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