He paints his nails now

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I have been dating my current boyfriend for over five years and we have never had any bumps in the road such as the one I have come upon now. I am a straight woman and I have always be into very masculine men, which is what drew me to my current boyfriend originally. He works in the medical field and has an athletic background. 

About six months ago I noticed that he started to paint one of his finger nails, and ever since then he has started to paint them all. At first it was just dark colors – almost unnoticeable – however now they are more bright and colorful and very hard to miss. 

At a few social gatherings I have noticed other men and women looking at them and I can’t help but think they are both judging him and me now. I don’t know how to approach this. I feel like I may come off as too harsh or not open enough but it’s something that is making me less and less interested in him. 

– Anonymous


It seems OK to ask how a partner’s new look makes them feel. If you hear more about the nails and why he likes them, you might change your mind about them. Perhaps they’ll even be sexy. I was just reading about men who paint one nail as part of a cause – to raise awareness about violence against women and children. Maybe it goes with a message. 

Or maybe he loves the way it looks and feels, and that’s great too. Every time I get my nails done (basically never), I have three or four days where they feel healthy and strong. I forget to keep up with the process, but during those first post-manicure days, I love the way my nails glow when I type.

Which reminds me – I thought people in medical professions stayed away from nail polish because of the way it can chip. It’s possible he’s not hands-on with patients, but it seems like an industry where everyone keeps things clear and clean. A question about that could be a good place to start.

The point is, information can help. The conversation could unearth new ways to see each other.

Also, maybe some people at parties are judging, but the nail polish thing … doesn’t seem that surprising or different to me. Cool guys have long worn nail polish. At the moment, with a quick google, I can find pictures of Jason Momoa, Andrew Garfield, and Harry Styles in lots of nail polish (Harry owns a brand). It looks GOOD.

If you can’t get over the new style choice, consider the bigger picture and why this is so uncomfortable. You didn’t say you loved this person. You didn’t talk about a big connection, only a lack of bumps in the road.

Maybe all of the good stuff was implied, but I would never assume. 

– Meredith

Readers? Ever talk to a partner about their style choices? Any thoughts on nail polish, in general?

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