If she has her own issues with self-image and self-esteem, then I'd say there's nothing you could really do to get her out of that mindset besides just continually reminding her of how beautiful you think she is. If you telling her she's pretty really bugs her that much, I'd be a little concerned with the future of your relationship.
Did she have any particular issues growing up, or unhealthy relationships? I'm not condoning you being her psychologist or anything, but maybe if you found out why she has these issues you can help her to overcome them.
I really think my girlfriend is soo gorgeous and I think she has an amazing body which I love, but I can't say how I feel to her.
She really has this bad image of herself and she hates being complmented about her looks.
One night she broke out into tears and told me she used to cut herself because she thought she was so ugly.
This makes me feel down because she is so not ugly at all!
But she doesn't have a problem getting her clothes off in front of me and despite being only 17 shes been sexually active for a while before me.
How can I let her know she's not ugly without upsetting her? Any advice appreciated.
If I were you, I wouldn't really bother to say anything, because it seems that she won't listen to you anyway. Sorry to say this, but I think that if you insist on telling her how gorgeous she is, you will be playing the fool. Now, it's a different story if she asks you; in this case you can give her your honest opinion, but nevertheless don't overcompliment her, if you see what I mean.
I don't know how obsessive she is about her "ugly" looks and body. This reminds me a case of "anorexia nervosa": a skinny girl finds herself to be fat, even too fat, and the more you talk her out of it, the more she will dismiss what you say. Maybe your girlfriend needs some psychological therapy. How is her relationship with her own family? Mother? Father? Siblings? If she has problems at home, she may be projecting them onto her body image.
I don't know if you will be able to help her. It may be deeper than your love can reach, but if you really care for her, you can be at her side, encourage her to seek help, if appropriate, and show her that you love her beyond her looks and body.
If I were you, everytime she says something negative about her image or whatever, just say "well I think you're beautiful" or "I think you're gorgeous" or something. Maybe it will mean more to her if you say "I think", it shows its really coming from you.
She has some deeply embetted self esteem issues and it is not up to you to solve them. You can help her by supporting her, but I really don't think she is ready for a relationship due to these self esteem problems (not saying you need to break up though). You do have to love yourself before you can love others. Her past sexual activity is another sign of this. Quite often women are sexually active as a way to boost their self esteem. Also, a person with low self esteem may have issue with jealousy. What can you do? I say to continue to be a loving supporter. Complimenting her may help. But, to get her self esteem up, she has to believe it all. Perhaps encouraging her to achieve success in other areas of life, such as in school or hobbies, may help. Having friends and a supportive, loving family may help. Talking to a psychologist also may help. I think she also needs to admit to herself that she does have this problem, but it is not up to you to tell her that. She is young and low self esteem is a common problem in teens. Help her live a healthy lifestyle -- meaning, help her to eat healthy and eat enough food (take her out to dinner!). Make sure she avoids drinking and drugs. And show her caring, support and encouragement (but do it with sensitivity, don't sound condesending). Improving her self esteem may just take some time and growing up.
Last edited by minnesotagirl; 10-09-2006 at 08:43 AM.
Coming from the girls point of view, I think I know how to answer this. Just tell her! Okay, really, I had major self esteem issues when I met my husband and he constantly told me I was beautiful no matter what I said back to him. (and trust me, it ranged from "bite me" to "shut up" to "you're blind") Eventually, I started to realize that he really did think that and my self esteem started to build. Now I have good confidence in myself. Don't say it though when she's in her pajamas or just got back from the gym, because no woman will ever believe they are beautiful then. LOL Just keep persevering and be honest with her. Tell her why you think she's beautiful and don't let it just be about her physical appearance. I hope everything goes well for you. Good luck!
Thanks everyone for your advice - I'll take it all into account. I think I will say how I feel but not too much so as young mum says above.
It just makes me feel sad because she has such a lovely body it drives me nuts and although at times she pretends to be the tough 'cool' teenager she has got the nicest personality.
I've had a lot of problems in the bedroom as you'll see from some of my posts in other forums and she's stuck by with me through it. As a result of this even though we've only been together for eight weeks we both feel as if we know each other sooo well already.