Being shocked that a Kardashian is seminaked on social media is like being floored that the sun rises in the morning — it’s going to happen, whether you like it or not. So it’s surprising, then, that Kourtney Kardashian’s boyfriend, Younes Bendjima, didn’t seem happy about a racy photo she recently posted on Instagram.
In the shot, Kardashian sits in the shade in a wide-brimmed hat and shows off her (almost) naked butt in a thong. “Don’t be shady, be a lady,” she wrote. Bendjima responded in the comments with “That’s what you need to show to get likes?” per TMZ. The comment was later deleted.
This apparently isn’t a one-time thing: Bendjima reportedly isn’t a fan of his girlfriend posting racy photos on social media at all. “He never liked that she posted sexy pictures of herself on social media,” a source told People. “He doesn’t want his girlfriend to do that. He gets that it’s her job, but wants her to post more covered-up pictures.”
Bendjima “has always had a problem with this,” the source continued. “This is the stuff they argue about and what made them split in the past.”
This is actually a pretty normal reaction to this kind of thing, Manhattan-based licensed clinical psychologist Joseph Cilona, PsyD, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Preferences and values when it comes to public appearance vary dramatically from person to person,” he says. “What wouldn’t raise an eyebrow to one, could be highly offensive to another.”
It’s understandable that women might feel that a partner is being possessive in this kind of situation, but it’s not necessarily the case, Karin Anderson Abrell, PhD, author of Single Is the New Black, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “There is a natural tendency to be protective of a partner, which is different from being possessive,” she says. “It’s also natural to want to protect the relationship. Any behavior that seems to create the possibility that the relationship is vulnerable could upset someone.”
While it’s normal for couples to have different ideas about what is and isn’t OK to show off to the public, what ultimately matters is how they deal with those differences, Cilona says. Compromise is inevitable in this kind of situation, but things can veer into a dysfunctional territory when someone in the relationship feels forced, coerced, fearful, angry, or resentful about the compromise, he says.
A disagreement over how much skin to show in public can simply be just that, but it can also be a sign that one partner is possessive of the other. If a partner also has feelings of insecurity and inadequacy in other areas of your life like work, friendships, and family relationships, it can be an indicator that the relationship is unhealthy, Cilona says. “The insecurities that drive possessiveness are rarely seen only in romantic relationships,” he explains. “Instead, they tend to be a pervasive trait observable in many areas of life.” Other warning signs include shifting blame, denial, focusing on the judgment of others, frequently criticizing a partner, and attempting to isolate the partner from the influence of friends and family, he says.
But if a couple just has a constant disagreement about what is and isn’t appropriate to reveal in public, it’s important to have clear, direct, and specific communication about each person’s needs and feelings related to the issue, Cilona says. That involves trying to put yourself in your partner’s shoes (and vice versa), Abrell says. But ultimately, you both have to decide if this is worth sacrificing the relationship over and if you’re trying to change each other into someone that they’re not. “At some point, it just may not be a good match anymore,” Abrell says.
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