The more real-life relationship issues you read online, the more apparent it becomes that most people have never heard this so I’ll say it: you don’t have to stay with someone who is mean to you.
Being mean to the person you are supposed to love is not normal or acceptable. You are better off without someone who is mean to you. Please! Believe me!
This Dear Prudie story is from the archives of 2016, and I hope very much that the writer has learned something in the last five years about what she deserves—much, much better. The story is really raising eyebrows now for people who missed it the first time:
I’ve been with my boyfriend for about six months. He’s been wonderful with my 4-year-old son (who has started calling him daddy!), and we recently started living together.
The problem is he just told me he considers me only an 8.5 on the hotness scale and doesn’t think our sex life is the best he’s ever had but that he’s happy to settle based on the whole package.
I think we’re very well-matched (hotness-wise), but I don’t compare him to other men in that way. I’ve also tried to improve our sex life, without much luck.
My question is: How should I feel about his revelation? Do I deserve more from a partner, in terms of feeling sexy and loved? Or should I stick with it for the sake of my son?
Jeez, Louise. This is a trash comment from a trash man who moved his trash bag self into your house waaaaaayyyyy too soon, realized he had a sweet set up, and set to work degrading your self-esteem so you would feel like you had no better options.
Textbook abusive behavior, folks, and that’s pretty much what advice-giver Danny M. Lavery said in his response:
I’m trying to imagine how this came up in conversation. “Darling, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I’m so happy to be able to tell you … you’re a solid 8.5 out of 10. Very nearly a 9. I understand if you want to take a minute and call your parents.”
“Also, I’ve had better sex in the past. I won’t bother you with the details but … it’s been better. I’m not going to dump you over it. It’s definitely good enough for me. Anyhow. An 8.5. A solid 8.5.”
I don’t think it’s a requirement that a happy, fulfilling relationship also provides the best sex of all time, but I do think it’s incredibly odd and casually cruel that your partner thinks it’s necessary to a) rank you on a 10-point scale of hotness, b) inform you of your ranking, and c) describe your sex life as something he’s “happy to settle for.”
Lavery goes on to say that her boyfriend is playing “deeply damaging and manipulative games” to keep the OP in her place, and she shouldn’t be bragging about the man being called “daddy” at this point. Both she and her son deserve better.
“A longer screening period will go a long way towards protecting both you and your child from guys like this,” Lavery recommends.
We will probably never know if the OP took these words to heart, but it looks like a lot of 2021 people recognize this manipulation for what it is:
The fact that he mentioned the words “hotness scale” and “settle”, it’s a red flag to me. A respectful & loving boyfriend would find me 100% attractive & would be willing to be fully committed to me because he still loves me regardless of my situation. This woman deserves better.— Christina Da Silva (@caralindaCDS) April 12, 2021
Yes, of course! And to be told “I’ll settle…” What there hell? Settle????? Wow, if he feels he’s “settling” I’d be gone. Your partner (I feel) should think you are the “best” and put you ahead of themselves, but maybe that’s just me🤷— shauna mote (@shauna_mote) April 12, 2021
Bottom line: If someone EVER told me they were “settling” for me, that would be the last thing they ever said to me. Bye Felicia.— Vanessa Sully (@VanessaSully) April 12, 2021
No, no, no! Dump him! He is playing mind games and is immature. You don’t need some like that and it will end anyway eventually. YOU don’t need to settle for that kind of boyfriend!— Amaltea (@amaltea62) April 12, 2021
Humanity. Is it actually evolving?