Dear Wendy: “My Boyfriend Doesn’t Like My Hairy Legs”

It’s winter and my boyfriend hates the fact that I don’t shave my legs all the time. It’s not like he stops making me feel sexy, but sometimes he will stroke my legs absentmindedly and then make a face and playfully, but meaningfully, tries to guess the date of my last shave. Maybe his other girlfriends have shaved religiously in the past, but sometimes a woman just wants to be free and embrace all aspects of her womanhood. Should I be offended if my boyfriend gets grossed out by my leg hair? And how should I go about giving this schoolboy a lesson on the unrealistic expectations that the media places on women — besides refusing to shave until he gets good and used to the loveliness? — Keeping Cozy

Whoa, back up here. What makes you think your boyfriend’s expectations are inspired by the media or that they’re even unrealistic? Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps he has a mind of his own, has personal preferences just like anyone, and likes smooth legs on his girlfriend rather than prickly ones? How does that make him a “school boy”?

Let me ask you this: Why is it that you skip shaving regularly in the winter, but not any other time of year? I’d suspect it’s because you want to look good and put-together during the months you’re baring your legs, but get lazy — oh, excuse me, I mean embrace your womanhood — during the months you keep them covered, right? You figure no one is seeing them in the winter, so what difference does it really make? But here’s the thing: Your boyfriend is seeing them — and feeling them (which is hopefully more than anyone else is doing with them)! Doesn’t he matter? Don’t you want to look and feel good for him?

And correct me if I’m wrong, but he hasn’t even so much as asked you to shave, has he? He’s simply simply teased you about your prickly legs after several days — or, perhaps weeks — of growth. What did you think would happen when he touched your legs — that he’d get turned on? Look, you’re fooling yourself if you think prickly, hairy legs are “lovely.” No, KC, you should not feel offended that your “school boy” boyfriend is grossed out by your laziness. Frankly, he should feel offended that you don’t have enough respect for him — or yourself — to make personal grooming a year-round habit.

I met a guy online whom I emailed for a few months before finally meeting in person. We met last week and I’m a smitten kitten, and he appears to be as well, but there’s a catch. He’s in the process of trying to start his own business, and, therefore, doesn’t have much discretionary income. If we had been dating for months and this came up, no big deal. But we have JUST started dating and already money is an issue. He bought coffee for our first date, I bought dinner for the 2nd. I invited him to a Christmas party with me this weekend and even bought a sexy new dress for the occasion, but he canceled on me because he says he has no nice clothes to wear and he can’t afford to go get some. I’m a successful, hardworking, professional gal who pays for her own life and have since I graduated college. I’ve been fortunate, I know, and I understand he is hardworking and trying to accomplish things too. But, while I can afford my own life, I don’t know if I can afford the both of us for an extended period of time. Nor do I want to. I also don’t want to insult him or his masculinity by constantly paying for things. But we have no foundation of a relationship yet, how are we going to build one if he can’t afford to do things, but doesn’t want me to pay for everything either? We have a lot of fun together and I can be myself with him, but part of being myself is doing things I enjoy. I don’t know how long he’ll be in the red. Do I take care of him til then? Do I cut my losses now and say let’s date once you have your feet on the ground? Am I being a petty, superficial bitch? — Not Wanting To Be A Sugar Mama

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say you’re being a petty, superficial bitch, but you certainly are being incredibly unfair. Just because a guy can’t afford to do the things you enjoy doesn’t mean he can’t afford to do anything at all or that he can’t take care of himself! Now, if he constantly picked expensive places to take you and then let you always pay, that would be a problem. But if he picked dates he could afford — coffee, picnics, home-cooked meals, walks in the park, Saturday matinee movies — and you were upset because you simply don’t like those things or because you expect more, well, that’s different. That’s about your lifestyle versus his, and how willing you are to compromise.

If you can’t bear the idea of dating someone who can’t afford fancy clothes or big dinners out and this guy has made it clear he can’t, he’s obviously not for you. But if you can accept that dating him — someone you say you’re smitten with — means going on a lot of inexpensive dates, you might have a chance. If you can accept that if you want to go on fancier dates sometimes, you’ll have to pay, you might have a chance. If you can accept that it may be a long time before he’s out of the red, and that there’s a chance his business won’t take off at all, you might have a chance. But if all those scenarios have you running, I’d cut my losses now and move on. But at least be honest with yourself — you wouldn’t be dropping him because he can’t afford anything; you’d be dropping him because he can’t afford you.

*Do you have a relationship/dating question I can help with? Send me your letters at [email protected]