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HomeHealth & FitnessWhat Is Boyfriend Air? A Relationship Expert Explains

What Is Boyfriend Air? A Relationship Expert Explains

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If you ask women on TikTok what “boyfriend air” is, they’ll most likely describe it as the reason they look like “gremlins” after getting into a relationship. (Their words, not mine.)

When you search the term on the social media app, it’s flooded with videos of women sharing how they looked before and after they got a boyfriend, and the connotations are negative. But despite how it’s portrayed on TikTok, boyfriend air should actually be viewed as a good thing: when you’re in a healthy relationship, boyfriend air may give you a glow up, even if you don’t quite realize it. Not only can it help you feel more comfortable and confident in your appearance, but it may also be the perfect prescription for clearer skin. (You can thank less makeup and more orgasms for that.)

With help from relationship expert Nicole Moore, let’s dive deeper into the phenomenon that is boyfriend air and why it doesn’t have to be such a bad thing, even if it does make you feel like a gremlin.

What Is Boyfriend Air?

Ever since boyfriend air infiltrated TikTok, people are using the term to describe the “change in state that occurs in someone when they get a boyfriend and get comfortable in the relationship,” Moore says. The main idea is that women may become less likely to want to dress up or wear makeup after they get a boyfriend, therefore looking less “put together” than how they may have looked when they were single.

The reason this could happen: many women believe they have to look amazing or perfect to land a boyfriend. Once they have a boyfriend, however, the pressure is off. Moore says it can “provide relief for them in terms of feeling like they have to keep up a certain appearance to be chosen.”

Also, just because it’s called “boyfriend air,” doesn’t mean the term is specific to women who have boyfriends. “The term can absolutely be gender neutral,” Moore says. “Anyone can change in small or drastic ways after entering a romantic relationship.”

How Boyfriend Air Actually Be a Positive Thing

If you find yourself opting for more comfortable clothing options and hairstyles, this could make you feel less attractive than when you were single. But having a significant other who makes you feel beautiful no matter how you look or what you wear may help you accept yourself, says Moore. “Boyfriend air may help some people realize that they are loved for more than just their appearance, and that what matters most is on the inside,” she adds.

Additionally, boyfriend air can help you gain confidence in who you are at your core. “I feel so much prettier and confident,” wrote one person on a viral TikTok video. Another person wrote, “I may come home with my hair a little frizzy, but I’ve never been happier. Skin is glowing and I’m just so happy.”

I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about how you look — wanting to feel attractive for your partner and yourself is valid. It’s just that maybe, once you’ve had a taste of boyfriend air, your priorities begin to change. Instead of worrying about your weight or how a pair of jeans fit, you spend that time ordering dessert with your partner. And instead of taking the extra 45 minutes to straighten your hair, you spend that time lounging with your partner in bed.

At the end of the day, being in a relationship where you feel safe and loved as you are is a great thing, even if your lashes and stilettos have retired, and even if you feel like an occasional gremlin.

Taylor Andrews is a balance editor at POPSUGAR who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more. In her six years working in editorial, she’s written about how semen is digested, why sex aftercare is the move, and how the overturn of Roe killed situationships.

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