But he never says anything negative about how I look, you’re thinking. He doesn’t judge me. Pointing out girls with supermodel good looks and simply muttering “fuck” under his breath is enough. Constantly complaining about how he barely finds any girls attractive is enough. “I’m a nice guy,” he says. “I’m just picky. It’s not like I treat unattractive women any different.” Even if you don’t want to admit it, sometimes you wonder if he means you.
Women are told that judging others on their looks is shallow. Men are told that it’s their right.
You probably think that you’re exempt from these judgements because this guy is your friend. Maybe you even feel special because he’s comfortable sharing these little nuggets of judgement with you. He must value you.
You are part of this. He does judge you, whether he says it to your face or not. “I only like fit girls,” he says, and you know that’s not you because you hate the gym and love French fries. “Don’t you think she’d look better if she lost weight?” he says about a mutual friend who weighs only a couple pounds more than you. “I wouldn’t date her,” he says after looking at a Facebook photo of another mutual friend’s girlfriend. It’s not like you asked. It would be different then.
I have plenty of male friends who are not like this. I’m sure they have preferences, but I don’t know what they are, at least not to this extent.
That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with having preferences. That’s normal and human. There is something wrong with a man telling his female friends that women without certain physical qualities are less valuable to him. Even when criticism isn’t aimed at you, it still shouldn’t be rolling around in your head. It’s as poisonous to your self-esteem as the covers of Cosmo were to you in your teen years. Be prettier. Be better, it seems this man is saying to you. You are not enough.
There are two categories of women to “nice guys:” fuckable and not fuckable.
You’re in one of those categories, and it’s probably not the latter if he hasn’t expressed an interest in you (because “nice guys” also believe any girl they like “just needs to give them a chance,” so if he wanted you, you’d know). That hurts even if you’re not attracted to him. You find yourself looking in the mirror and wondering what he sees. Does he tell his other friends he thinks you’re ugly and fat too?
But this is his problem, not yours. He might not be a bad person, but he’s certainly bad for you. You have a great time hanging out with him, and you agree on a lot of things, but that’s not enough. Expect more from your friends, and remember this: Someone’s not ugly because they’re overweight. You’re not unlovable because you don’t look like Emily Ratajkowski. He’s not a “nice guy” because he says so. You are enough, and you deserve people in your life who see that.