[Editor’s note: Big ole gigantic epic acne-in-the-middle-of-the-face sized disclaimer… I am not saying I am hot. I am saying that there are people who have given reasons for why they think a person is hot and it may or may not have very much at all to do with what they look like. which is the entire point of the following…]
Awhile back before I met the most amazing man on the planet (did you read the post that said I had given my significant other the password to my blog 🙂 ) I had a somewhat discomforting, awkward conversation with a guy on a date. And no, not all dates include such conversations but mine tend to. I had sent him a message on this dating website (which I still won’t name, thank you) because I thought he sounded really nice and he made me laugh. That is the number one dealbreaker for me above all other dealbreakers in the history of dealbreakers – if he doesn’t make me laugh, we’re done.
So a few dates in and he starts with the self-deprecating humor. I have been told that my default mechanism is self-deprecating humor, which I take issue with because I certainly deprecate others as well. But yeah, I understood why he did it because I have similar reactions in this situation. We tend to belittle ourselves before someone else gets the chance to because we feel like it will hurt less when in reality it doesn’t, we are just more prepared for it.
And it had to do with his looks. Let’s back up, shall we?
So the way I treat online dating is the way I order food at a restaurant. (wait… stop laughing) So you read the descriptions of the food and you go, yea, that’s what I want – you don’t look at the pictures. Because (1) the food never looks like that when you get it and (2) if you’re in a restaurant that has pictures of the food on the menu, well, you probably aren’t *that* concerned with the quality of the experience.
That said, I barely look at someone’s picture before reading the profile. Like don’t get me wrong, I will totally read a profile of a good looking man and search desperately for a reason to like him… haha. But as a huge gigantic generalization, I have found that people get better looking as you get to know them – or they lose the initial attraction as you get to know them. I doubt anyone will disagree with me on this.
So all that to say that this particular guy (I’ll call him Q just for fun) was saying something about leagues and being out of them and I might have said something like I don’t really follow baseball and he laughed and then got super serious and expressed concern that I was “too pretty” for him. Which was a weird way of complimenting me while judging me for being shallow.
I am all for physical attraction. I find it interesting, to say the least, what attracts people to each other. We could sit at a random people watching spot and point out what I think looks good and what you think looks good and there will be discrepancies. In fact, I choose my girl friends based on what kind of men they are attracted to so that we don’t overlap. haha (I’m only partially serious…)
But when someone actually doubts if you like them or not based solely on their looks, I can’t help but wonder just how superficial I am. Like why was Q getting that impression? Is it because he’s just *that* insecure, or am I giving off that vibe? Am I not interested in someone *simply* because I’m not attracted to him physically? And is there a possible scenario that starts out with no attraction at all to end up with intense this-is-the-one attraction in the future?
Does the eye of the beholder ever really go blind?
(I just wanted to put that in italics and a separate paragraph a la Carrie Bradshaw.)
We all know those couples where we go what in the world? How did that happen? But doesn’t that say a lot about us as a society who put THAT much value on appearances? Attraction is complicated and flexible and organic. I also know couples who are both drop dead gorgeous but never have ten words in a row to say to each other. But talk is so overrated.
I mean, look, (no pun intended there) I’ve dated the hot guy. I’ve dated the rock star with the huge ego. I’ve dated the guy that always has more hair product than me. And this is where it’s gotten me. I’ve also dated the guy who can’t match his tie to his pants and has no idea how cute he is when he is reading with his dorky glasses on.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it hundreds of times. Looks are like the frame that goes around the painting. They can detract or enhance what they hold, but they are never the main event. (Unless it’s a frame store.)
This is what I said to Q. And I hope he really heard it, but time will tell I guess. I mean I’ve certainly been in his shoes, wondering when the hot, talented, amazing guy I was with will wake up and realize he can do better than me. And then *I* realized that I could do better because if someone is thinking about “doing better” while in a relationship, chances are they shouldn’t be in that relationship.