I was really moved by this and it’s taking me a little while to figure out why. You wrote about a not-very-nice experience and you didn’t try to resolve it with a neat answer. I like that you wrote something murky. So much of life is murky and yet we try to make it fit an absolutist set of ideals instead understanding the murk and maybe coming to grips with it.
We can’t be and aren’t all 10s but nor should we HAVE to be to be loved and valued. You are independently wonderful of whatever he thinks about you… but I know it still FEELS like his judgement is the final say in your attractiveness and that’s why it’s murky. That’s what feels real, despite logically know it’s not.
It’s not even the rating that’s problematic, it’s the perceived imbalance between your ratings and what that means for your long term security in the relationship. An unattractive man might feel secure with a beautiful woman because he values other things about himself and assumes she does too (like his intelligence or wealth or power). Women are raised to mainly value their looks and so this feels like a more devastating blow (even though that’s supremely unfair), despite how successful we are in other parts of our lives.
Honestly, I don’t think I (and by that I mean my relationship) would survive something like that. I’m not a 10 either and I wouldn’t expect to be perceived that way, but there are some things I don’t need to know. I don’t want to force someone to put a rating on me. I only need to know that I’m attractive enough and that I’m valued for lots of reasons.
I agree with Conor O’Shea. Being a 7 is neither here nor there. Being resented for not being a 10 is an impossible position. What exactly are you supposed to do with that?