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Man tells GF 'you'll never accomplish anything dressed like that.' AITA? UPDATED

Man tells GF 'you'll never accomplish anything dressed like that.' AITA? UPDATED


Clothes make the man. Single.

One woman was shocked when her boyfriend suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, told her he was embarrassed by how she dressed. Not just that, but he told her that if she continued to dress that way, she would never get anywhere in life. The situation escalated rather quickly.

"AITA for refusing to change my style at work even though my bf says it’s unprofessional?"

I (24f) have been dating my boyfriend (26m) for about eight months. I have always had a very alternative look, even as a child, that got more expressive as I grew up. Colorful hair, facial piercings, tattoos, and very dark and bold makeup. This is how I feel most comfortable and happy.

When we started dating, my bf said he liked my look, even though he himself dresses very basically. He even hyped me up when I showed him new makeup looks or outfits.

However a few days ago as I was getting ready for work, he kept making weird faces at me. I asked him what was up and he said nothing but kept shaking his head. This really irritated me because he was obviously bothered but I wasn’t going to entertain his huffy behavior.

I finished getting ready and tried to kiss him goodbye like I always do but he just turned away from me. This really hurt my feelings and I can’t even lie, I did cry a little bit on the way to work. I tried to text him during my breaks but he didn’t respond at all.

When I finally got home and he still wouldn’t say anything to me, I lost it. I asked him what his problem was and why he’s treating me this way. He motioned to my clothes and simply said “that”.

I obviously didn’t know what he meant so I asked what about it and he said something like “I just can’t believe you’d wear that to work” I was confused because this is what I always wear. I told him that and he was like “yeah I know, it’s so unprofessional, you’ll never accomplish anything looking like that” I couldn't believe he said that to me.

I was fighting back tears at this point, trying to tell him that my job allows it and that I’m not the only one at work that dresses like this. He just kept repeating himself and said that clearly it’s not that good of a job if they allow me to look like that.

I couldn't take it anymore and left to go to my sisters house. He called me and I told him to f*%k off, that I wasn’t gonna change my look because he didn’t like it. He called me selfish, saying that I’m ruining our future together because I can’t sacrifice one thing so we could have a good life together.

Even though my job allows it AND it’s a good paying office job. There was no reason for me to sacrifice anything. After that, I hung up on him and ignored him the rest of the night. I explained everything to my sister and she does agree my look is unprofessional, but if it doesn’t cause issues at work then it shouldn’t matter.

The next day, I had about a million messages from him saying how selfish I’m being and ruining our futures. I started feeling really guilty for leaving. I feel like I’m not wrong here but even my sister kind of agreed with him so I don’t know. Am I the a**@ole here?

Here were the top comments from readers after the initial post:


NTA. 'He called me selfish, saying that I’m ruining our future together because I can’t sacrifice one thing so we could have a good life together.' Sacrifice him so that you can have a good life apart.


NTA and are you familiar with the term 'moving the goalpost'? Ok today it's your look. What will it be next time, the way you talk? The music you listen to? The way you laugh, stand, cook, sleep, behave...?

This is not to say it will escalate But the way he behaved over 24 hours tells me oh yes the fuck it will. You are going to end up more miserable then you ever thought you'd be and all you'll hear is how it's your fault.

I say to you gently and with great firmness 'the call is coming from inside the house, get out now' And I say this as an older woman with FLAMING bright orange/red/brown gradient hair and anyone who doesn't like it can pound sand. Your look is for you, not him.


Ah. His evil plan is working. He has managed to make you feel insecure and guilty. Be very careful. ETA: by which I mean, he is not the boss of you, but I get a strong feeling that he wants to be. Do not let him. NTA.


NTA. Listen, my niece is a microbiologist and is covered in tattoos, changes her hair color regularly, has a nose piercing, and is getting her PhD which includes having to teach a certain number of hours. Not one person has given her shit about her looks.

I don't like how he's suddenly trying to change you under the guise of 'ruining your future together.' That's bulls$*t. Be happy.


NTA. “Professional attire” has an entirely different meaning now than it did fifty years ago, or even thirty years ago, when I started working. I worked in tech, and started working just as ties stopped being required, and my multiple earrings were transgressive.

Now the “uniform” includes tats, facial piercings and multicolored hair, and no one gives a crap how you look as long as you can do the work.

More concerning to me is that your bf clearly has some plan in his head for what your career progression will look like and what it will mean for his standard of living and is taking ownership of your career. This seems less about your “look” and more about him feeling entitled to your career success.

5 days later, the OP returned with an update:

I was not allowed to post an update on the AITA sub so I decided to post it here for anyone who wanted to know what ended up happening.

So you guys were right. My bf finally came back to my apartment Sunday, no message or call, just walked in like nothing happened. I immediately started questioning him, asking where the hell he’s been and why hasn’t he been answering me.

He gives me a half assed response saying his mom needed help with something and he “forgot” to tell me. I told him he can’t just ignore me for three days and he said he wasn’t, even though he CLEARLY was.

I was already getting upset so I told him that even if he wasn’t ignoring me, the way he treated me before he left was messed up. Of course he just starts saying he didn’t do anything wrong and that he was just trying to help me see how I’m hurting us both by dressing the way I do.

I tell him for like the 500th time that my job does not care what I wear and it’s not his concern. He said even if my work was okay with it, other people aren't and he shouldn’t have to suffer because of it.

This is where sh*t went south. I started yelling who is saying that and why does it even matter. He says that he “sees the way people stare” and it “embarrasses him”. I cried because I was so hurt. He told me to stop being dramatic and that it isn’t a big deal, but at this point I’m beyond pissed.

I said if he’s so embarrassed of how I dress, he can date someone else. He starts to freak out saying that’s not what he meant and he’s just worried what people think. I keep asking what people, because clearly their opinion is more important than how I feel.

He just kept looking around and trying to change the subject, saying sh*t like “there’s no one specific but”. I told him I didn’t want to hear it and to leave right now. He was saying things like “are you serious” and “you’re really gonna act this way over clothes”. I just told him to get out over and over and eventually he left, making a big deal of stomping out and slamming the door.

Monday I put all his s@*t in a box and left it outside and texted him he can come pick it up when he brings me back my key. I told him we are done because I won’t be with someone who treats me like this.

He kept messaging me but I just ignored all of it. He came by at some point and picked up his stuff but didn’t leave the key. I was extremely worried that he would try to come in my apartment while I was asleep or away so I called my dad and he changed my locks for me.

Overall I’m just extremely emotionally exhausted and heartbroken. I knew his behavior towards me was s@*#ty but I was truly hoping it was him being bad at communicating. I was way too hung up on it being about my style and not him being manipulative like you guys were saying.

I do think maybe someone specific got into his head but he wouldn’t say who. Either way it doesn’t really matter because it’s over. I appreciate all the kind comments and messages from the last post. He is toxic and I’m annoyed and embarrassed I didn’t want to see it.

Here were the top comments after this final update:


Him: 'you're really gonna act this way over clothes?'

As he's acting that way over clothes.


You are worth so much more than how that guy was treating you. You should be proud of standing up for yourself! Though I would add that it is unsettling he didn’t leave the key. Is it possible to get a camera just in case? The change of locks will hopefully be enough but it’s always good to be safe.


What an a%@ehole for not returning her apartment key. I bet it was a power play, and he didn't like that she had the power to remove him.


I'm getting the same vibes as that guy who kept calling his gf stinky to break her down emotionally and keep her from leaving him or think she deserved better. Anyone else?


Sounds like he thought he got his foot in the door with her enough to start dropping little controlling behaviors like that, expecting that she would write it off and start to normalize it.

If she had he would have started slowly increasing the size/stakes of his controlling demands slowly so that she normalized each new thing as the behavior grew, until eventually she was trapped in a really messed up relationship blaming herself for everything because her perception of what is acceptable behavior from a partner was so skewed.

So, do you think the OP overreacted or was her boyfriend trying to be too controlling?

Sources: Reddit,Reddit
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