Regret can be a difficult emotion to deal with.
The memories of those moments we regret stick with us and when we’re reminded of them, they can be particularly painful.
What happens, then, not only reminds us of that thing we regret but then seems to endorse it?
This was the situation that brought Redditor and Original Poster (OP) trippytigeress to the “Am I the A**hole“(AITA) subReddit for outside opinions.
“AITA for snapping on my bf because he said I ‘look good’ in an old picture?”
First, they offered a trigger warning.
“Not sure if this is necessary, but TW for eating disorder.”
Then right to the issue at hand.
“I (31 Female) was looking through an old set of photos with my bf (37 Male) when a picture of me from 5ish years ago came up.”
“He told me I looked really good in the picture.”
“I let him know that during that time period I was struggling with an eating disorder and literally not eating.”
“He said again, ‘well, you look really good’.”
“I told him again that I wasn’t eating during that time and that I don’t really care if I looked good because I was being super unhealthy and it wasn’t safe.”
“Basically that I’ll never look like that again because I’m never going to stop eating like that again.”
“Again he tells me, ‘well, you looked really good. Just accept the compliment’.”
“That’s when I get defensive and snapped a bit.”
“I said that’s really f*cked up that you keep telling me how good I looked in that picture when I’m explaining to you that it’s only because I WAS NOT EATING.”
“He doubled down so I said a couple times ‘that’s f*cked up dude’ in kind of an aggressive tone.”
“He snapped back and told me that he didn’t want to be attacked like that for giving me a compliment and that I should just accept the compliment.”
“He said he wouldn’t be able to keep dating me if I was gonna attack him and snap on him like that, especially when he was just trying to compliment me.”
“So I apologized and tried to walk it back.”
OP gave a little background.
“Bit of context, my bf is attracted to me now without a doubt.”
“I’m healthy and happy and he’s always going on about how much he likes my body and stuff and we have a healthy sex life.”
“This old picture wasn’t wildly different from how I look now, maybe 10 lbs less and much tanner.”
“It just rubbed me the wrong way how he wanted to double down on my appearance instead of showing empathy for what I was going through.”
“I realize I could have been calmer about it and explained my feelings better before jumping straight to being defensive and angry.”
She was left to wonder:
“AITA for getting upset over this?”
Having explained the situation, OP implored Reddit for outside advice.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some pointed out how careless the boyfriend was.
“NTA fine for him to give the initial complement if he didn’t know the context of the photo of it being when you had an uncontrolled eating disorder.”
“But after you explained the context he should of said something like ‘oh let’s not do that again then’ or ‘you look great now and I’m glad you’re not eating that way anymore’.”
“His comments were insensitive.”~NefariousnessGlum424
Others pointed out that some serious red flags were raised.
“Be very, very, very careful.”
“Insensitive/oblivious is one thing but that plus him having proven that he’s willing to double down on it even when you’re telling him ‘what you’re saying is explicitly medically dangerous for me’ is a disastrous recipe.”
“This sounds like the kind of guy who’ll just one day say ‘Well, it’s just a FACT that you’re not at your original pre-baby weight hon’.”
“NTA, and take this just as seriously as everyone is telling you to!”~stephowl
There were those who shared personal experiences.
“NTA: and can relate.”
“My mother used to tell me how great I looked when I lost a huge amount of weight from a serious illness that I didn’t know if I would get better from.”
“Eventually I snapped too and said something along the lines of ‘I’m so glad you think impending death looks good on me, mom, thank you’.”
“And that was the end of that.”~JJ-Anthrax
Responses were very encouraging.
“ABSOLUTELY 1000% not the AH.”
“You informed him that you were being unhealthy and hurting the body that carries you through life.”
“Telling you how good you looked can throw you back into the cycle if you aren’t in a spot to be able to handle hearing it.”
“You clearly stated that you did NOT appreciate the ‘compliment’ and he should have apologized and dropped it at that.”
“You created a clear, and very understandable boundary and he is crossing it.”
“He could EASILY cause a relapse in someone who doesn’t have the tools to handle it.”
“And he is 300% the AH and you deserve better.”
“(I currently have an eating disorder and when someone tells me how good I looked when it was worse or how I look that I’m losing weight when I’m starving myself it is EXTREMELY triggering.)”
“This internet stranger is VERY proud of you for standing up for yourself.”
“You deserve better than him.“~princesspetty669
“OP, I’m super proud of you for standing up for yourself.”
“Now share this thread with your (hopefully soon-to-be-ex) BF so he can realize that he literally could have triggered a relapse of your ED and killed you and that his casual bullshit isn’t funny, cute, or tolerable – it’s abusive and DANGEROUS.”~EMWerkin
Regret can be a difficult emotion to process.
When someone applauds you for a past mistake it can feel like they’re encouraging you to go back to it.
Sometimes, they are.
Be wary of these false compliments – and those who provide them.
Remember to cultivate healthy, thriving relationships that steer away from past regrets, and toward proud futures.