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Boyfriend Tells Me What To Wear (10 Ways To Handle Him)

by Sonya Schwartz

How old does it get before it gets too old being in love with someone always ready to control or correct something about you? Does it make any sense for another human, even if he’s your boyfriend, to control your life by telling you what to eat or which outfit to wear? 

Even if you are married to the man, there is a clear line between having respect for your partner and being enslaved to his wishes. It appears that many people don’t understand that even when you are in a relationship. You still have a personal life to live an independent choices to make. 

Do you usually feel bad about your outfit immediately you put it on—not because it is not good but, because you know your man wouldn’t agree that it suits you perfectly? Then, there is a problem somewhere. 

Have you been battling with a partner who can’t seem to have a good thing to say about your wardrobe, even though he didn’t seem to mind the same kind of outfits when you first started dating? Or, is he just overprotective about you in an unhealthy way? Have you been thinking to yourself, “My boyfriend tells me what to wear, what do I do about it?”

In this article, you’ll learn how to say no to your boyfriend’s attempt to try to control what dress you wear and inadvertently, your life.

10 Ways to Handle a Boyfriend Who Tells You What To Wear

1. Firstly, acknowledge that you are your own person

Relationships are not meant to strip you of your personality or dignity. Rather, relationships are supposed to strengthen you, while your partner is supposed to be in a position of making you reach the peak of your life goals. When your man who is meant to uplift you starts to downgrade your ability to make the right choices for yourself, know that there is a big issue.

Firstly, you remain your own person, regardless of how much you’re in love with this guy and you shouldn’t forget that. One thing you should also realize is that if the relationship doesn’t work out eventually, you will need to become a single woman with no one to choose for her except herself.

If you enter a relationship with the ideology that your heart, body, soul, and ‘mind' belongs to a guy, you’re doomed for heartbreak and lack of control over your life. Even if you leave the role of girlfriend and become his wife, there’s still a huge gap between what your partner can control and what you should maintain authority over.

Once you can let it sink in that no one owns you and nothing can dictate your life, not even your relationship, your actions and words will show that you are on top of the situation. 

2. Accept that you dress for yourself

accept that you dress for yourself

A warning sign that should tip you off that you aren’t doing something right is when you dress with other people’s opinions in mind. If you are always thinking, “what will my boyfriend say or what will my best friend think about this dress”, you might be struggling with low self-esteem.

While there’s not a thing wrong with dressing to make your guy go wild or simply impress him, you should also check your thoughts and actions against the idea that you might be putting too much mind into what a guy thinks about you.

If you are to deal with a partner that instructs you on how to dress or something else, you need to know yourself and why you dress the way you do. If you don’t understand something as basic as clothing choice and what suits your personality, you will not know when to way stop your control-obsessed partner.

3. You are not a pushover and you should let him know that

You have your style of dressing and your boyfriend knew that before and when you started dating. Why then should he try to control what you wear the moment you decide to commit to him and the relationship?

Why didn’t this guy mention that the way you dress will be a deal-breaker for him right from the beginning, instead of waiting for you to go soft on him before he shows his true colors?

Now that he is throwing fits and drawing you into arguments because of your dress choice, what do you do? No matter what you do, don’t let him bully you into what to do! Also, the way you dress is, a part of your identity; own it!

If you have been acquiescing to his needs and demands before now, you need to stop enabling him. You shouldn’t give in to bullying of any kind and that includes the one from your boyfriend. 

Another thing that might work in your favor is if you train yourself to say no to the other areas of your life where he has taken over. Chances are, if you can break his habit of trying to dictate how you dress, you will regain authority over other parts of your life too. 

4. Communicate the fact that you don’t like his attitude towards the way you dress

While the act of trying to dictate your life is irritating and unacceptable, your boyfriend might be willing to adjust when you try to communicate with him. If he has been doing his best to be a good partner and listens to you when you talk with him, this might be the best approach in this scenario. 

Set a good atmosphere for the conversation, especially if you know both of you are getting close to becoming engaged. Also, start laying the right example of exactly how you want to behave when you become his wife. Once the time is right, broach the subject. Ask him why he is adamantly opposing the way you dress.

Is it because he is jealous or, he just doesn’t like the way you look in that style? Sometimes, men tend to act like little boys or rather, big babies when they don’t like what their girlfriend is doing and they are usually scared of their woman misinterpreting their comments. As such, having this conversation will help you understand better why he is acting that way, instead of just assuming he doesn’t respect your wishes.

If you can make him understand your point of view also or reach a consensus that will benefit both parties, that would be amazing.

5. Know that you will end up hating yourself if you compromise too much for men

know that you will end up hating yourself if you compromise too much for men

Compromise is one thing that each partner in a relationship has to do. This is because both of you have different values and habits. As such, you need to make room for the other person’s weak point while they do the same for you. Compromise is not the same thing as enabling bad attitudes. When you compromise, it’s because you want to meet the other person halfway. 

Compromise is also not supposed to be excruciatingly painful or difficult to do because you love your boyfriend and simply want your relationship to be beautiful. If his actions threaten your peace or sanity, the relationship is not for you.

You might consider the issue of him telling you what to wear as inconsequential but as a whole. It might translate to you compromising your desires because you want to satisfy your partner

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Rather than letting him have his way every time, stand for what you want and let him know you aren’t budging if it doesn’t harm him or anyone else. If he loves and cares for you, he will respect your wishes. If he doesn’t, it means he doesn’t have your best interests at heart.

6. Set clear boundaries on what he can have a say

If your relationship has been like a rollercoaster ride with no breaks, then it is not a surprise that your boyfriend has taken over the decisions you should be making by yourself. If you don’t create boundaries that will serve as a guide for both of you, either of you will step on the other’s toes.

Setting boundaries means he cannot decide what you wear to where especially if there’s nothing wrong with what you’re putting on. If you can enforce these boundaries successfully, he will appreciate you better because you have taken away the burden of trying to single-handedly make the relationship work off his hands.

Men secretly like the idea of sharing certain responsibilities equally but most of them won’t vocalize this desire unless you see them as incapable or unmanly. As such, when you set boundaries you’re helping your boyfriend maintain his dignity and keeping your relationship secured. 

7. Understand he might not be the right partner for you

This particular tip is one that you might find difficult to accept but it’s the truth. When your partner begins to pick out clothes for you, he most likely would make some other major choice for you as well. Except he is a fashion enthusiast giving you suggestions you solicited for, your partner is in no position to direct the way you look as that is your decision. 

The class of men obsessed with control sometimes end up doing more than you initially allowed them to — talk about giving an inch and them taking a whole yard. If you don’t exercise or seize back control over what’s in your closet, you may find yourself in the clutches of the wrong partner for you.

As such, the moment you discover that he is taking over the decision of what you can or cannot wear, you should tell him he has no major say in that part of your life. If he doesn’t respect your decision, he might not be the person you thought he was.

8. Accept that it is not your fault that he has an attitude problem or behavioral defect

accept that it is not your fault that he has an attitude problem or behavioral defect

When a relationship starts to develop issues, one or both of the partners begin to engage in serious thinking about who is responsible for why the relationship isn’t working out. You analyze who is doing what and sometimes, you conclude that you must be the one not doing your best for your boyfriend.

However, the fault might not even lie with you at all because you cannot take responsibility for the total sum of what makes your boyfriend tick. Therefore, accept that him selecting clothes for you isn’t because you can’t make the decision yourself but that he is the one who can’t help trying to be excessively controlling.

9. Encourage your partner to get help if you think he is redeemable

While the other tips are valid, the issue of dealing with a controlling partner is not always cut and dried because nobody is a complete write-off, especially if they are willing to work on themselves. Therefore, if your boyfriend is the kind of person willing to go for therapy to overcome his obsessive control issues, help him out as much as you can.

If you have both come a long way too, it would be a bit difficult to just let go ‘just because of something as silly as an argument over what you wear’. However, that simple argument can lead to future serious fights that can eventually lead to a breakup or leave you with perpetual unhappiness as his wife.

So, you can choose to work on the elephant in the room now or wait until the thing escalates before your eyes. 

10. Consider separating yourself from him

When something continues to remain unresolved and starts to affect your peace of mind, the obvious answer is to bid it goodbye–even if it involves a partner you care so much about. You cannot continue to feel bad for dressing the way you want because your boyfriend doesn’t approve.

At a point, you’ll need to cut your losses and never look back, if only to stay happy.

FAQs

Is it okay for your boyfriend to tell you what to wear?

There is nothing bad about your boyfriend suggesting what you can wear but it is unacceptable for him to dictate to you what to wear. You have a mind and can think for yourself and so, he should allow you to do that.

Why does my boyfriend not let me wear certain clothes?

Your boyfriend might have an aversion to what you wear because it makes him uncomfortable with how confident and attractive you appear to other men too. So he restricts you for his own selfish and jealous reasons.

What are the signs of a controlling boyfriend?

A warning sign of a controlling boyfriend is that he will move from suggesting a type of clothing he likes to wear to enforcing exactly what you should wear.

How can I dress my boyfriend better?

You may suggest to your boyfriend what he can wear that will suit his personality better but don’t make it seem like you’re dictating what he should wear. He might not be the most fashionable but he can tell when a woman is trying to manage him.

What are the signs of a bad relationship?

A red flag that indicates you’re in a bad relationship is when your partner tries to decide everything for you, including the way you dress. It may not seem like a big deal until he starts deciding other big matters for you. 

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The Bottom Line

You might like to think, “it’s not a biggie that my boyfriend prefers one way of dressing to another". But when he begins to take too much delight in controlling other areas of your life too, you’ll know that little indicator matters after all.

Did you enjoy reading through the article? Leave your thoughts on how helpful the article is and share it with others.

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Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

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