Recently I decided to grow a beard. The initial plan was to just grow my goatee out and let the sides fill in as time went by. I was looking forward to having a ZZ top style beard that would be enormously long and luxuriant but I have given up on that... I was just too ugly.
I am a little torn on this issue though. For one, it seems like your mate should be someone around whom you can simply be yourself and which does not require high maintenance and carefully chosen facades. On the other hand if you are going to try to look good for someone why wouldn't you do so for the most important person in your life? Maybe the best strategy is to generally try to look good but every so often do something silly to look awful to remind them how much worse things could be. :)
I did get the beard long enough that Wendy was able to braid it though so I figure my mission is accomplished. Time to do the unthinkable and let her demolish it with a trimmer.