published Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Male call: Honey, it's about your clothes...

Q: How can you tell a girlfriend she dresses too provocatively or flirts with other men too much without seeming like a jealous jerk?

A: Excellent question! First, kudos on seeking out advice and not just baldly telling your girlfriend to stop dressing like one of the Pussycat Dolls.

Now, I have a question for you: Did she just recently start buying her clothes at Tarts R Us? Or was she dressed like one of "The Girls Next Door" when you first asked her out?

Because if she was dressed provocatively all the times you asked her out (and I assume there were repeated dates as you refer to her as your "girlfriend"), you know you have no one to blame for your present predicament but yourself.

But because I am not wholly without compassion, I'm going to help you out.

First, you need to think about why your girlfriend's clothes bother you. And you can't say, "Because it does." Do you feel like her behavior and wardrobe are disrespectful to you, or her? Are you worried her sexy outfits and flirting are signs that she's looking for someone else?

Then, once you have all that sorted out, you're ready to talk.

Now, when you talk, you need to make the issue about you. Yes, it's about you, not her. I know you probably don't like taking this angle, but I promise this is the best way to handle sticky issues like this one and live to tell about it.

Tell your girlfriend how her clothing choices and flirting make you feel. Keep the conversation focused on your feelings.

Yes, I know what you're thinking (I don't like talking about my feelings either). But trust me, if you start talking about her clothes and her flirting instead of your feelings, too-tight T-shirts are going to be the least of your worries.

Then, after you've expressed yourself, you're just going to have to see what she decides to do. She may cut back on her flirting and buy some less provocative clothes. But if she doesn't, you're going to have to decide whether you can live with and accept her the way she is, microscopic miniskirts and all.

And now, gentlemen, the moral of this cautionary tale is: You can't change a woman or her clothes. So next time you're out, think about talking to that stylish, yet tastefully, dressed woman. Confidence looks hot in anything.

Gina Bever is a local public relations professional and woman-about-town. She's known for providing her friends -- male and female -- with thousands of hours of free therapy and (asked for) relationship advice.

ASK GINA: Send questions about relationships to Gina at malecall@timesfreepress.com.

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hamiltoncovol said...

The name of this column should be changed to "Why it is always the man's fault". It contains the same, rather insulting, message every week.

April 2, 2010 at 1:22 a.m.
Jhenry said...

Message received. Most American women dress like sluts, whore it up when they can and act like bitches. Got it.

April 2, 2010 at 7:16 p.m.
moonpie said...

Gina generally gives terrible advice to guys who want to be appealing to women. I think she means well, but dang! She gives advice to excuse behavior of women. Yes, as hamilton points out, according to Gina: whatever women do is ok and men better tread softly. So be it. But there is a nugget of truth in part of her advice.

In this case, if the woman dressed like this from the get go, then you are getting what you asked for. The best you can do is ask her to change because of the way you feel.

If she has changed and has started dressing this way, rather than asking her to change, you might simply ask her why she dresses this way. Perhaps she has more confidence now that you are in her life and he feels like looking more sexy for you. Don't sell yourself short.

It's not the dress that matters, but her behavior that is essential. If she is dressing more "come hither" while becoming more distant from you, I would say that you have ample reason to be concerned.

If you take Gina's advice, you could say that you don't like the new way she dresses and make it about you... but if she continues this in any way, you'd better dump her or you'll be a wimp. Despite Gina's advice, I've found women don't like wimps.

The best advice is to exert your fierce independence. Let her know respectfully that you won't be seen with her like that (attitude and dress) and if there is not a complete and genuine turn-around, let her go. You deserve better.

Usually she'll change and stop and come back to you. If she doesn't, forget her. She's not worth it. Or you're not. Either way, you've eradicated a person who is only going to cause you pain.

Don't stick with a person simply to have someone by your side.

April 3, 2010 at 12:13 a.m.
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