Hi Christiana, I currently like this guy, he is really sweet, we have good conversations, problem = he isn't very good looking, now I wanted to know your thoughts on nice guy vs. good looks? should it matter that he isn’t good looking... I guess it is most definitely something I could answer myself! just a second opinion??
It’s the classic scenario. You meet a great guy but he has a not so great face. Since being openly superficial is frowned upon, most women bury their reservations. Yet secretly you loathe the fact you fancy him and you feel guilty that you’re considering deleting him from your phonebook due to a factor he had no hand in creating.
My response to this email should be a blog post reminding us of the virtue in looking deep inside a person. I should implore the young lady to stop being so superficial. Remind her that life is too short to get hung up on minor details like physical appearance and what should be paramount is his character not his face. That she should focus on what he looks like on the inside because that’s what will make the difference in the long run.
And it would all be true.
However it would be hypocritical of me to spread a message I’m yet to fully implement in my own life (emphasis on the word fully). You see I’m a sucker for a handsome face!
Experience has taught me handsome men are akin to a beautifully wrapped gift. Nice to hold and look at, but no proof that the gift it conceals has any value. Despite this fact (sadly) I’m still more likely to miss the call of the unattractive man with a great personality for the handsome man I can’t help but like even though he has an attitude that stinks more than a crack head.
Yet I know for a fact I’m not the only person who often lets how a person looks cloud my judgement. We don’t live in utopia, where teenagers put posters on their walls of famous people they adore because they have great personalities. We live in the real world. Dystopia. A place where looks mater and famous people tend to be pretty people.
When was the last time you heard the chat up line ‘I saw you from across the room and I knew I had to walk over to take a better look at your gorgeous….personality’. Unless you have a super power which enables you to glare deep into a persons soul, the chances are you’re initially attracted to a person’s appearance not their personality. In fact there’s nothing wrong with being drawn to a specific physical aesthetic. Preferring a particular look is no different from favouring a particular type of food. It’s simply an expression and reflection of your personal taste. However it becomes wrong when how a person looks is the sole impulse behind whether we keep them around or get rid!
In many ways we’ve been taught to view looks and personality as adversarial concepts. More often than not when we debate the two, the typical discourse runs along the ‘looks versus personality' lines. We view the two factors as parallel lines that’ll never meet. When in actual fact they tend to overlap and inform each other.
A few years ago I noticed a common thread that running through men that always seemed to get amazing women. Subtracting the men that were attractive, rich or famous, most of the men didn’t fit the mould of what's viewed as conventionally attractive. In fact many are what the world would deem as distinctively average looking (or even below average). What was the common thread? They all had a personality trait that gave them a certain magnetism. Whether it was being witty, funny, charming, audacious or sarcastic, men that wouldn’t win any beauty pageants got the best women because of their personalities.
This caused me to conclude that if you have a good enough personality it will make you (more) attractive. Contrarily no matter how beautiful you are, if your personality is ugly eventually those around you will view you as unattractive. It’s one of the universe’s balancing mechanisms. Minus the minute percentage of people that are deemed universally attractive (there are very few. The media has set the attractive bar so high, pretty people are the new average). Most ‘attractive’ people are attractive because they make an effort with their appearance and crucially radiate great energy.
Contrary to the typical discourse it’s never really a matter of looks vs. personality. They aren’t warring cousins, constantly pitted against each other; they’re more like conjoined twins who work interdependently. Chances are the people we find attractive have something inside that enhances (or detracts from) what they’re working with on the outside.
Now back to the young lady who emailed me! Even if a man’s personality is perfectly compatible with yours, if the idea of him being in bed with you makes your womb hurt, it’s probably not the best idea to pursue a relationship with him. Why? Because frankly you don't have the character necessary for such an arrangement to work. And most humans don't!
Ideally what we find attractive is a perfect blend of personality and looks. Disproportionate emphasis shouldn’t be placed on either factor .I often hear the phrase ‘beauty fades’ which is annoying because it implies that personalities/characters are immutable and on that basis they should be held in higher esteem. That's nonsense. From experience personalities/characters change (and diminish) at a far quicker rate than physical appearance. The bottom line is both factors matter and for some people they matter equally.
Or am I wrong? Is one factor more important than the other? What are your opinions on the ‘looks vs. personality’ debate? Am I correct in saying they overlap and work together? Are you a person that only likes good looking men/women?! Or is it the ‘inside’ that counts? Let me know!