Dear Wendy: “I Have Inverted Nipples”

I recently began to rekindle a romance with a guy I dated for a short time and have kept in touch with on and off for a few years. When we first met, we clicked immediately. Unfortunately, he moved for work, and we haven’t lived in the same place for that last two years. Since we started talking again, things seemed to be as great as I remembered until our conversation last night. We were talking about past relationships and romantic experiences, and he mentioned that a girl he slept with once had inverted nipples and it really freaked him out. Just my luck — my nips, too, occasionally point inward (when they aren’t cold or being sexually stimulated). Guys never seemed to have a problem with them before now (because having access to boobs is pretty darn amazing), so I had stopped worrying about how they look. But the more he said he was freaked out by them, the more I started feeling like a freak. I tell myself that I can find a way to bring it up without being too awkward. I also think, however, that I can’t change his preferences. I worry that I’ll always be less desirable to him because of something as small as nipples. What should I do? — Inverted

Before I address the reason for your letter, I’m wondering if you and this guy are still living in different cities. From your letter it seems that you might be, and if that’s the case I want to direct you to advice regarding long distance relationships. If you are indeed embarking on a romance across the miles, you’re probably going to face many more challenges than just him potentially being freaked out by your inverted nipples — which, by the way, aren’t anything to be freaked out about. It’s a shame that in one conversation this guy managed to make you feel insecure about something you’d stopped worrying about. And you’re totally right that most guys would be so happy to have access to boobs, that a little something like inverted nipples shouldn’t be a problem whatsoever.

Side note: about 13 years ago, I got breast reduction surgery to downsize my E-cup boobs to a nice, perky, full C-cup. The surgery was a success and I was — and continue to be — very satisfied with the results. But while my boobs looked fantastic when I was fully dressed, underneath the clothes was some light scarring I was a little embarrassed about. I worried about the appropriate time to tell guys I was dating that I’d had surgery and I always hoped they wouldn’t be turned off or anything. And you know what? Not once did my light scarring ever scare a guy away. As you said, dudes are usually happy enough to get a pair of boobs to play with at all — who cares if they aren’t model perfect? One thing that helped me come to terms with being “different” than other girls was thinking about my boobs as a weeding-out system. Any guy who had a problem with such a little, hardly-noticeable thing like the small scars certainly wasn’t someone I’d want to get serious with anyway!

If I were you, I’d tell the guy about your nips the next time you find a space in your conversation to mention it. Try to make it as lighthearted as you can and make sure he understands that YOU don’t have any problems with the way you look. You could even say something along the lines of: “I’ve definitely never gotten any complaints about it from anyone.” The point here is that him being “freaked out” by something like inverted nipples is definitely HIS issue, not yours. The faster you establish that, the better. And if he doesn’t buy in to that line of thinking and address his issue, he’s not the dude for you, plain and simple.

My best friend is a guy and for the past year, he’s been in a relationship with one of my girl friends. They’ve been long distance for almost the entire time, and things are extremely rocky. He’s one of those guys who has a lot of friends who are girls, and though nobody had any idea until they began dating, his girlfriend is a very, very jealous — especially of me. She’s so jealous of me, in fact, that if my guy friend and I hang out at all — in a larger group or just us — he has to lie to avoid a huge argument with her about it. Today she returns home for about a month and I’m very nervous about what’s going to happen because recently I have developed some feelings for him as well. Further complicating the issue is the fact that if things don’t go well, he’s breaking up with her. What do I do??? — Girl Friend, Not Girlfriend

I’m not sure that your friend breaking up with his girlfriend is really complicating the issue at all. In fact, it seems to me that it would be simplifying things, don’t you think? After all, things are rocky between them already, they’re long distance, and you and he have an established friendship that could very well blossom into a romance if he suddenly became single. So, I’d say you have a lot to gain if things don’t work out between them. Keep in mind, though, that you need to let him figure out the status of his relationship on his own — no butting in on your part. If you’re to have any chance with him romantically at all, he needs to have a clean break with his girlfriend and that’s only something that can happen if the two of them reach that conclusion on their own.

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