How Can I Tell How Attractive I Really Am?

How Can I Tell How Attractive I Really Am?
Hi Evan,

I have been reading your blog for over a year now and I have also bought your book Why He Disappeared. I enjoy a lot of the advice and generally agree with most of it.

You generally maintain the reason why people are single is they over-assess themselves and rate themselves higher than what they originally are. Like a 6 thinking she is an 8. So my question today is basically this: how do you correctly analyze yourself? I always feel like asking people I am around (good friends, coworkers etc.) but I am scared it might ruin things/make things uncomfortable and basically they might tell me what I want to hear.

So is there an objective way to quantify yourself so that you are clear in where you stand? –Sharon

Thanks for the self-aware question about not being entirely self-aware.

I’ve always used a metaphor to describe people and their attractiveness ratings.

Think of it like a clothing store.

You’re introducing a new brand of milk. It’s no different than anyone else’s 2% milk, but it’s your unique packaging. You’re targeting wealthy people who want the best of the best in everything. To that end, you price your milk at $10/gallon.

Nobody buys it.

Does anyone that you want to date want to date you back?

There’s nothing wrong with the milk. It’s just not finding its target market.

You lower the price to $9. $8. $7. $6. $5…

Your mind is blown because you thought that your milk was different and special and it turns out that no matter how strongly you felt about your unique brand, other people – your buyers – only valued it at a lesser rate.

It’s basic supply and demand and it’s about the only way to see what your value is.

Sure, you can put your face up on HotOrNot or buy one of those Ugly iPhone apps to gauge your “scientific” attractiveness rating. But that’s not particularly telling.

More telling is this: does anyone that you want to date want to date you back?

If not, you’re overestimating yourself, no matter what “number” you think you are.

Listen, we overestimate ourselves because it’s necessary. No one would want to wake up in the morning, thinking that she’s ugly, stupid, mean, and has bad taste in clothing, music, and décor. But if you look around, there are a lot of stupid, ugly, mean people with bad taste, aren’t there?

So a measure of self-delusion is not only normal, but somewhat healthy for survival.

People respond to confident people and whether the confidence is deserved or not doesn’t really matter, as long as each delusional pot finds a delusional lid.

The only time that this overconfidence bias becomes a problem is when there’s a severe disconnect between reality and fantasy.

The 62-year-old guy who writes to you online when you’re 31? If he starts to take things personally, he’s gonna go through some hard times. He may be a great catch, but if he’s holding out for exclusively women who DON’T want him, he’ll likely be alone for a really, really, really long time.

I don’t judge him. He wants what he wants. But I do feel bad for him.

Everyone becomes choosier online because we’re comparing you to other, younger, taller, richer, smarter people in a way that we don’t in real life.

He’s overestimated himself and forgotten that the 31-year-old could have any man – 30, 35, 40, 45, 50… there’s virtually NO reason she would choose to go out with him.

Flip that over and apply this logic to yourself, Sharon.

If every guy you write to online is a 9 and none of those guys write back, they probably don’t see you as a “9” as well.

Keep going down the list – writing to the 8s, 7s, 6s, and 5s. The ones who start writing back are the ones at your level.

For most people, this reality check is quite a slap in the face.

And that’s exactly why I do it with all my private clients.

I have no tolerance for people who don’t embrace reality and if a fit 50-year-old woman is only going to write to hot 45-year-old guys who claim to want 35-year-old women, she’s most definitely wasting her time.

To put a final point on it, online dating isn’t the best arbiter for your attractiveness number. Everyone becomes choosier online because we’re comparing you to other, younger, taller, richer, smarter people in a way that we don’t in real life.

In real life, your physical attractiveness number is completely affected by your personality.

Overweight women, women with large noses, women who are older – name your physical bugaboo – all become sexier when attached to a bright, vibrant, positive, engaging personality. Which is why the photo test is, at best, limited.

Still, if you’re only holding out for men who have no interest in you, you’re probably overestimating yourself and should take it down a peg. Same exact advice applies to all men, so please, no angry comments, okay? ☺

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Comments:

  1. 121
    Zaq

    Evan
    I admit I’m insensitive here – but there is no way to sugar coat it.
    I am also being insensitive to men when I say that unless you have high status and/ or tall you are also low value to women.

    @Mara
    Hey I know plenty of great guys, who are kind, fun, loyal and would treat you as a princess. Not the arrogant, shallow men you despise. Despite their many fine qualities, they don’t seem to be able to get a girl friend though.

    They all work hard. Admittedly one of them had a set back recently because his application to become a grave digger was turned down (true!). Perhaps not the brightest guys, but definitely street smart. And bald is now a fashion statement isn’t it. Can’t imagine why they are single.
    As you are not a shallow person, would you be interested in me sending you their details ?

  2. 122
    Helen

    Evan 119, you’re a sweetheart for wanting to defend women against these two men. Speaking for myself, I don’t find Zaq and Stephen all that bad. Biologically, I’m old enough to be Stephen’s mom :) (though I wasn’t reproducing at that age), so can’t be too offended by anything he says. His comments seem more clueless, emotional, and a bit shooting-from-the-hip, than having negative intention toward women.

    Zaq sounds more like a Severus Snape type, total INTJ (emphasis on the T), intelligent, acerbic, and likely to make statements that would offend others without necessarily intent to offend. Just because he makes statements about young, thin, pretty women doesn’t necessarily mean that that is the type he wants; he’s more trying to present it from a purely scientific viewpoint. I can’t get too bothered by him, either. We’d probably have good intellectual discussions.

    But yes, nathan, Karl R, and YOU are cool. Iconoclasts each in your own way, and seemingly happy with being unconventional.

  3. 123
    Sheyna

    I’d venture to guess that comments like theirs have driven more than a couple of women from this blog. I know I didn’t return to it for months and I was incredibly reluctant to read the comments for a few weeks.

    “oh goody what kind of demeaning and insulting comments towards women will I see today?” Who needs that shit in their brain. The fact that it’s often unchecked just seems like a tacit endorsement.

    JMO

    1. 123.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Sheyna – I will simply point out that the only people who get censored here are those who directly insult another poster and people who directly insult the host. It’s not my place to shield you from the opinions of men.

      Similarly, your big blind spot is that there are a LOT more demeaning and insulting comments towards MEN on this blog full of women readers. These comments go unchecked as well, but they don’t seem to bother you as much. Perhaps you will be more comfortable on a blog where all the comments denigrate men because women should never be criticized.

      I don’t use “fair and balanced” as a tagline since I believe it’s already been taken, but this blog is pretty darned fair in its treatment of people.

  4. 124
    Jadafisk

    Paragon: “Yes, but I think this may speak more strongly to factors that inhibit approaches(intimidation, concerns of reciprocty, etc)
    from out-group males, rather than an indictment against black female beauty, per se.”

    Not really. I wondered this, then I looked into it in a variety of environments where men felt comfortable speaking freely about these things and the guys repeatedly, almost unanimously said, “It’s because I/we don’t find them attractive because they look black.” They were very explicit, ardent and earnest about it, and I feel that I’d be amiss and misguided to not take their word for it and continue to entertain that particular delusion that they’re “intimidated.” It does seem to be a stateside phenomenon, however, and Europeans tend to evaluate women more evenly in the aggregate.

    Nicole: “But I have heard Asian males express outright FEAR at the idea of “being with ” a woman if she’s been with a black man, b/c one of my Asian friends had briefly dated a black man and her Asian male friends shared this thought.”

    My boyfriend’s Asian, and while he’s never been concerned about that, I’ve seen these sentiments voiced by other groups of men, but more along the lines of enforcing a societal stigma against women who involve themselves with black men out of sheer disdain rather than fear.

  5. 125
    IB

    “5’4, 130 lbs with auburn hair. . . .r petite women with dark eyes, and dark hair.” Eliza, that’s funny because your description fits the “perfect woman” for many of the guys I know – petite but with hourglass figure (they don’t like skinny), auburn hair . . . the only difference is lots of men like greenish eyes with that coloring. But I don’t live in Manhattan, maybe the media influence of tall and skinny with big boobs is more ingrained in the big cities.

  6. 126
    mara

    @ Zaq

    my details are on the homepage of my website
    my website is on every post I have posted

    Is bald the new blonde ? huh-huh. Not for me I am afraid.
    I have never wanted a stereotypically handsome model-looking man,
    but one thing I was never attracted to is bald..

    I am bright, well travelled and educated, funny, beautiful, I love to cook (italian food!) and I am a passionate lover.
    Maybe I am too picky but why should I settle for an average man when I am definitely not an average girl?

  7. 127
    Stacey

    Mara, so you want a guy “above average” because you consider yourself above average based on what – the fact that you’re well traveled and love to cook? Oh my, I’ve got news for you – there’s tons of women out there who are extremely well travelled, accomplished, funny, like to cook and yada-yada-yada, yet they don’t get to turn down private helicopter tours, because, hm, nobody is offering! Forgive me if I sound a bit crass, but you’re above average because your looks are above average, dear, not because you’ve been to Milan and Tokyo and got a sense of humor. Put on a few pounds, add some wrinkles and just watch your Lamborghini and helicopter guys disappear into thin air.

    Don’t get me wrong – you do deserve a guy above average, but so do us – women who have all those same qualities that you do, but lack in legs length.

    You say money can’t buy you, but you are not even considering men who are not successful, are you now? You’re picking and choosing from among wealthy, accomplished, good looking guys (that is a good problem to have). So why do you think, that at the end of the day I didn’t do the same thing? Of course I wasn’t that spoiled by male attention as I grew up an ugly duckling and achieved my looks through lifestyle dieting (I had not had cake in 10 years), obsessive exercising (I run 3 marathons a year and always train for one), and multiple surgical enhancements, but all i really accomplished was leveling my playing field with you. Not completely of course, but at least to the point where I can have my pick of above average guys (who are also good partners), since I also believe that I am an above average girl. And I think I did well. Perhaps became a little jaded in the process – but I can live with that.

  8. 128
    Helen

    mara 129: I know you didn’t mean it this way, but your statements come across as quite arrogant. So you’re not an average girl? Well, none of us is. Each one of us deviates from average in some unique way; not the same ways as you perhaps, but ways that matter to us in any case. Likewise, there is no “average” man.

    Also, your comments in 116: maybe those rich guys were just trying to impress you. That doesn’t make them “brats,” “shallow,” or “ugly inside out.” Be more like Karl R and me. When someone shows us they like or admire us, we think, “You’ve got good taste.” ;) We don’t give them a hard time.

    Rather than thinking yourself above others, why not think about what it is you want in a relationship, if indeed you want one. Do you want someone kind to come home to? A steady companion? Someone to have a family with? A best friend? You may be surprised, if you think this way, about how many of these men you deem “average” would be wonderful in a relationship.

  9. 129
    Saint Stephen

    Stacey to mara @ (#130)
    Very well said, and i wholeheartedly concur.

  10. 130
    Zaq

    @Helen

    Yes pretty perceptive, but I’m far too extrovert to be an INTJ.

    In my defense, I should say that a number of women here do seem a little too quick to interpret what I am saying in a negative way.
    Someone told me I was being insulting to suggest that women were more likely to be a 5 than a 7. What ??

    Yet, women make statements which at the very least contain logical inconsistencies – “I don’t discriminate against short men, I just wouldn’t date one!”
    The short woman who cannot accept that the average male is less than 6 feet.
    Even on this thread we have – ” ….has ZERO marriage prospects with her equals”. Really having trouble with that word ‘equal’
    And apparently its shallow to desire an attractive woman, but said woman would in no way be shallow in rejecting bald men.

    Helen, please explain it to them !

    Also please note, I do not condemn women for having unrealistic expectations. Indeed I try to explain why they have them.

  11. 131
    mara

    @ Stacey

    to the cost of appearing arrogant I will tell you Stacey that I do not consider myself above average because I say so, or because I cook well.

    I have been constantly told by all of my boyfriends that I am the funniest girl they have ever met (not just dated) and the sweetest too.
    I have had famous fashion guru buying articles from my blog (humorous of course) and other magazines too.
    I have had every single person I know tell me at least once « you are hysterical ! why dont’ you do stand up comedy ? » and every time I go out well, if I start telling anecdotes or jokes you can be sure people will be rolling on the floor laughing.
    A humor, many women have.
    My humo ris a tad more that that, I am constantly reminded.

    Brains and looks :
    I am a Phd that speaks fluently 3 languages (self taught), knows how to cook, photographs, style, retouch, professional digital capture (digitek), write, act, model.
    All of the above have been paid jobs, not ‘talents’ I assert I have.
    I have learnt to read and write by myself at age 3 and 4 (backwards, because I am left-handed..) and it turned out real fast that my IQ is well above average.
    That’s why I graduated with full grades, and even in high school some teacher had to give me separate tests because the usual test were too easy for me.

    Looks : I am a model turned fashion photographer, and even though it’s been a while I am behind the lens people who don’t know me still mistake me for a model.

    I am also incredibly patient and sweet to men (way too patient : that’s what I am working on with my shrink, that’s how I ended up with a couple of abusers).

    I am also honest, faithful, I love to be do my hair and makeup for my man, I drive cars and bikes, I have a passion for books and movies, and all the moms of my ex bf loved me so much I am still getting texts from my ex ex’s mom.

    I am a passionate lover, a generous friend, and I keep my promises.

    Now, if you think this is not accurate and I am some kind of arrogant mythomaniac I am totally fine with this.

    I am not ‘perfect’, nobody is, I can make a list of my shortcomings if this is going to make anyone feel better and
    I am sorry if I offended anyone by saying that I am not average – by no means I imply any judgment against women in this blog I don’t even know – but would you really define what I wrote here is average ? %)

    @ Helen

    « So you’re not an average girl? Well, none of us is. …Likewise, there is no “average” man »

    Helen, this sound like a mom telling her son « everyone is special ! everyone is beautiful in his own unique way ».

    I might sound brutally honest but I do not believe a bit in these statements.
    If everyone is special, then no one is.
    If everyone is beautiful, why is Angela Lindvall a top model and not my neighbor ?

    I believe there is such thing as genetic lottery, there are average men and women, above average, and below average.
    Sad, but true.

    What I originally posted about turning down arrogant rich brats got completely twisted and taken out of context.

    I would not turn down a man that I find attractive and intelligent,JUST because he is rich.

    But I have definitely turned down tons of men who were trying to impress me throwing me their money in my face as if this is what you do to seduce a woman, and it was pretty clear they weren’t used to do much else than that, given the look of shock in their faces when I didn’t « fall » for their car & so.

    Because you know, this is how you seduce a goldigger or a prostitute, not me.

    And the fact that even if I had as a model this kind of men around me I preferred to go out with a student turned later on ‘just’ an humble architect, or guys that made pretty much the same money as me well,
    I think it shows what my soul is made of and what kind of soulmate I am looking for.
    =)

  12. 132
    Stacey

    Lol Mara, you missed my point. I believe you that you’re wonderful – more power to you! So are many, many other women. I graduated from a top 3 university in the US and I promise, promise you that everybody there spoke more than one language, travelled the world, was super smart, and eventually proceeded to making lots of $$. Yet the only 2 things that seemed to correlate with women’s success in dating/mating, jusging by the 10yr reunion, were their looks and family connections, not all of those other meaningful things. I hope you find a right guy, best of luck!

  13. 133
    Saint Stephen

    Mara, i don’t intend to sound mean, but your last post looks like an essay written for a match.com profile. Besides, men don’t price women for having all your aforementioned qualities. The basic factor of attraction is being attractive and fertile, and that’s the part where I and Stacey is in agreement.
    You said you weren’t looking for a handsome guy with a hot-model looking bod. But you won’t date the balding guy and i also suspect you won’t date a short guy, so guess the kind of men that leaves us with. Gbam! – … figured out already. I can certainly tell that same looks theory also applies with money.

    Having a good sense of humor is a good thing, but that is a quality that is highly priced in men – not women. For the most part what men want is someone who laughs at our joke… cos that’s just one of the way we know a woman is interested in us.

  14. 134
    Tom

    Wow Mara, you sound even more beautiful and accomplished than Samantha Brick! I’m glad you’d consider dating “an humble architect” (sic) like myself though!

    I must concur with St. Stephen and Stacey; as interesting as your resume is, I reckon 99% of it is irrelevant to most men.

  15. 135
    Nicole

    @Jadafisk 126, the “fear” I mentioned was fear of “measuring up” although I’m aware of the idea that a woman who allows a black man to touch her is sullied and dirty. It’s been the basis of violence against black men for generations.

    So the friend in question had told me about it and I’ve been out with them and what they expressed really was concern that they could no longer satisfy her or other women who had slept with black men. (I’ve unfortunately been privy to too many of those conversations about people of other races trying or wanting to try out (or having tried out) sex with a black man, although men approach black women with the same garbage).

  16. 136
    Karl R

    mara said: (#134)
    “I am a Phd that speaks fluently 3 languages”
    “I have learnt to read and write by myself at age 3 and 4 (backwards, because I am left-handed..) and it turned out real fast that my IQ is well above average.”
    “That’s why I graduated with full grades, and even in high school some teacher had to give me separate tests because the usual test were too easy for me.”

    Could you do me a favor? If you’re that much brighter and better educated than “average”, would you mind writing at collegiate level?

    I’ll find it easier to read your posts if you do. In addition, your claims of intellectual prowress will be more credible.

    mara said: (#129)
    “Maybe I am too picky but why should I settle for an average man when I am definitely not an average girl?”

    Would you mind clicking the link in my name and watching a little bit of the YouTube video? (30 seconds should be enough to convey the idea.) It’s not a prepared dance routine. It’s just some shit I was making up on the fly.

    Are you my equal on the dance floor?

    If not, why should I settle for someone like you? I’m clearly above average. Why should I settle for someone who is not?

    That probably doesn’t seem like a reasonable comparison. I’m taking an area where I’m significantly above average, then I’m expecting you to measure up to that standard.

    And if you happen to be my equal on the dance floor (or even reasonably close), I have several other traits that I could use to establish a different mismatched comparison.

    If I expected women to measure up to my strongest points, I’d rule out every woman I’ve ever dated … possibly every woman I’ve ever met.

    If I rule out every woman I meet, then I completely screw myself over in the dating market.

    The only solution was for me to date women who weren’t nearly as impressive when compared to my strongest traits. On the other hand, they had some strengths of their own, sometimes in areas where I was fairly weak.

    Dating is not a meritocracy. The best spouses/relationships don’t necessary go to the most deserving individuals (regardless of how you define that word).

    Instead of worrying about what I deserved, I focused on what I could get. After a few years of dating, I had a good idea of what the top end of the range looked like. (They have their own strengths and weaknesses, but they are each wonderful women in their own way.) When I ended up in a great relationship with one of those wonderful women, I kept her.

    Happy Person said: (#120)
    “I wanna kiss Karl on the cheek and then kick him in the shin!”

    That’s the reaction I’m generally going for.

  17. 137
    Helen

    This whole string of comments is getting pretty funny.

    If you (“you” generically) are so intelligent, you shouldn’t have to tell other people. It should be obvious from the way you communicate – not just the use of proper grammar, but also the ability to construct logical statements. Honestly, all the bragging – “I went to this school,” “I got this degree,” “I snagged a guy who is this filthy rich,” “I’m this beautiful” – comes across as desperation, whether or not it’s true. Why does it matter so much what we, perfect strangers, think of you anyway?

    Stephen 136: from personal experience, I agree with your last paragraph. Guys love it when a woman laughs at their jokes. They don’t care whether she herself is uproariously funny.

    Tom 137: my above paragraph notwithstanding, and I’m not trying to make an impression – your first sentence here had me doubled over in laughter. :D

  18. 138
    Paragon

    @ Jadafisk

    “Not really. I wondered this, then I looked into it in a variety of environments where men felt comfortable speaking freely about these things and the guys repeatedly, almost unanimously said, “It’s because I/we don’t find them attractive because they look black.” They were very explicit, ardent and earnest about it, and I feel that I’d be amiss and misguided to not take their word for it and continue to entertain that particular delusion that they’re “intimidated.” It does seem to be a stateside phenomenon, however, and Europeans tend to evaluate women more evenly in the aggregate.”

    Black women deviate quite remarkably from all other human female clinal variants on earth, so I should expect that the principle of Koinophilia would limit out-group pairings somewhat more than normal.

    But, as you alluded to, there is some other local factor at work here – following from a history of socialized prejudice(which would explain why black women are particularly excluded, give that males tend to be the initiating sex).

    @ Mara

    “Is bald the new blonde ? huh-huh. Not for me I am afraid.
    I have never wanted a stereotypically handsome model-looking man, but one thing I was never attracted to is bald..

    I am bright, well travelled and educated, funny, beautiful, I love to cook (italian food!) and I am a passionate lover.
    Maybe I am too picky but why should I settle for an average man when I am definitely not an average girl?”

    Hmmm.

    I think the problem with this logic, is that the perception of male normal(held by women) is so demonstratedly skewed, that this renders an insoluble scarcity of male candidates(as many women are finding to be the case – which is why all the above *average* women can never possibly be paired off with an above *average* man, by their likely estimation at least).

    I don’t know what kind of relationship you’re looking for, but if it’s one that is long-term, realistically, you’re probably
    going to have to prune some of your checklist(or not, if you’re content being alone – which many single women are) – *stable* LTRs are all about trading off short term gains(Physical chemistry, etc), for long term considerations(relationship stability, etc.).

    I think this is something that everyone needs to reconcile before determining if a LTR is not only something that they want, but more importantly, something that their expectations are amenable to.

    “Brains and looks :
    I am a Phd that speaks fluently 3 languages (self taught), knows how to cook, photographs, style, retouch, professional digital capture (digitek), write, act, model.
    All of the above have been paid jobs, not ‘talents’ I assert I have. I have learnt to read and write by myself at age 3 and 4 (backwards, because I am left-handed..) and it turned out real fast that my IQ is well above average.
    That’s why I graduated with full grades, and even in high school some teacher had to give me separate tests because the usual test were too easy for me.”

    I don’t understand this part of your checklist(if I am right in assuming this).

    What is the ‘relationship value’ in any of this(is it just a priori ego validation)?

    If I were to apply the same ‘logic’ to my own expectations, I should have been waiting on a female who simply doesn’t
    exist.

    It’s a good thing I didn’t.

    “I believe there is such thing as genetic lottery, there are average men and women, above average, and below average. Sad, but true.”

    Yes, but I wonder if you would be surprised to learn that many of these socio-economic status indicators are *not* correlated with reproductive fitness, in the way you might expect(ie. according to popular assumptions).

  19. 139
    Goldie

    Holy smokes, this thread has been taken over by the beautiful people, and they’re scaring me to death. How’s being so shallow working out for you guys?

    Helen, I’m with ya on the nerds/geeks. I want a soul mate in my life, not a damn trophy.

  20. 140
    Nathan

    Just spent the day working a large garden plot with four friends, three of them women. All attractive in their own ways. But when I think about it, there is a simple reason why they are attractive. Each is fully herself. No trying to be someone else. Little or no obsessing about tiny physical imperfections. They each seem to have a good sense of their weaknesses too, which from what I have witnessed, means that they’re more likely to show compassion for others. Being confident in themselves without arrogance – that’s attractive.

  21. 141
    Nathan

    Oh, and thank you to those who offered kind words about me. Much appreciated.

  22. 142
    Goldie

    @ Mara’s quote (just saw it in #142, cannot find original post)

    “Is bald the new blonde ? huh-huh. Not for me I am afraid.
    I have never wanted a stereotypically handsome model-looking man, but one thing I was never attracted to is bald”

    Hmm, I just looked up male pattern baldness, and looks like what you’re saying here is that you plan on spending your old age either alone or pretending not to notice that your man wears a hairpiece. Or putting up with a douche because he’s one of the few men that still has hair.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baldness

    “according to Medem Medical Library’s website, male pattern baldness (MPB) affects roughly 40 million men in the United States. Approximately 25 percent of men begin balding by age 30; two-thirds begin balding by age 60. … One large scale study in Maryborough, Victoria, Australia showed the prevalence of mid-frontal baldness increases with age and affects 73.5 percent of men and 57 percent of women aged 80 and over. … There is a 4 in 7 chance of receiving the baldness gene”

    What I’m saying here is, I’m not a huge fan of using superficial, unrealistic criteria in finding a life partner. Not only are you limiting your dating pool when you do that, (and like Helen, I also mean generic you), you’re overlooking a lot of quality people because they do not meet one of your bizarre requirements. Only person you’re hurting in the process is yourself. There are plenty of real deal-breakers (abusive physically or verbally, addicted to alcohol, nicotine or drugs, the list goes on) to bring innocent things like baldness into the picture.

    @ Helen & St Stephen, re sense of humor, hmm, that’s not my experience. Guys seem to really like it that I’m funny (their words). Either that, or they have all conspired to lie to me about the same thing. I, too, like it when a man makes me laugh, as to me it speaks of his positive outlook and being able to see the bright (funny) side in things. My biggest turn-on is when a man can laugh at himself – that was how my BF beat the competition ;)

    That said, yeah looks are important. As my church friends used to say when I still went to church, we’re a depraved species living in a fallen world… looking good helps. I first discovered it when at 17, I stopped wearing eyeglasses (think ugly 80s glasses) and everyone suddenly started treating me like a different person. My 16yo son has just discovered it, when he lost 45 pounds and some people in school started treating him like he’s a different person. We both had the same reaction to this… disgusted and shocked at how shallow we humans are. But that’s the cards we’ve been dealt. I try to look okay and take care of my appearance, because that’s how the game is played. It’s been easy lately, because apparently I age better than most of my peers (gamn gene lottery — my mom was the same way). I’m not thrilled about looks being so important, but I play along. But at the end of the say, they’re just looks. Looks will get you into an LTR, but they alone won’t keep you there.

  23. 144
    Goldie

    @ SS, I see one sentence in your article.

    “While women appear to prefer a men who makes them laugh, the psychologists say that previous studies have shown that the same does not hold true when the sexes are reversed – and men are not more attracted to funny girls. ”

    How is that “well-documented”?

    Okay I admit, maybe there are men who don’t pay attention to what comes out of their woman’s mouth, as long as she looks good enough, so they cannot tell a “funny girl” from an unfunny one. Sucks to be those men, and the women that happened to get stuck with them.

  24. 146
    Sue

    So if you downgrade your number, let’s say from a 9 to a six in order to fit the person that is in your league, doesn’t that make you a 9 or 10 in that person’s eyes?

  25. 147
    Karl R

    Sue asked: (#149)
    “So if you downgrade your number, let’s say from a 9 to a six in order to fit the person that is in your league, doesn’t that make you a 9 or 10 in that person’s eyes?”

    That depends on what you mean.

    I would not claim to be a 9 or a 10 (in physical appearance), though a few women might view me that way. Similarly, I would not claim my fiancée is a 9 or a 10 in physical appearance.

    However, I also wouldn’t claim that physical appearance is the most important quality. Overall, I’d say she’s easily a 9. I’d say our relationship is a 10.

    What is most meaningful to you?

  26. 148
    Helen

    mara 134: Most of your accomplishments are not things men care about when choosing a mate, as several have noted here already. In fact, they may detract from your value if the impression you give is that you’ll always be running around elsewhere doing something with your talents, and consequently have no time for him.

    Men aren’t jerks for thinking this way. I’m a woman, and I wouldn’t care for all these traits in my man either. I’d wonder if he had time for me and any kids we might have. I’d wonder if he always thought himself superior to me; not because he has more accomplishments than me, but because he feels the need to list them and call himself “above average.”

    Here’s my advice (which I haven’t seen yet on this board): Marry someone who has clearly shown that he or she has a sense of humility. That’ll make your married life MUCH easier. Just about the most annoying type of person you could marry is someone who’s always comparing himself/herself to others.

    Goldie 142: yeah, nerds rock the house. Who cares if they appear awkward to others. We know how terrific they are. :)

  27. 149
    Paragon

    @ Sue

    “So if you downgrade your number, let’s say from a 9 to a six in order to fit the person that is in your league ,doesn’t that make you a 9 or 10 in that person’s eyes?”

    How can you ‘downgrade’ a value that is based on the estimation of *others*?

    If you are compelled to do so, it stands to reason that you were over-valuating yourself to begin with.

  28. 150
    Soul

    @ Karl :
    You said: “Could you do me a favor? If you’re that much brighter and better educated than “average”, would you mind writing at collegiate level?
    I’ll find it easier to read your posts if you do. In addition, your claims of intellectual prowress will be more credible.”

    Karl, I like you very much and I normally agree with many of your arguments in other discussions. However, this one post of yours is really bad, and mean. I thought you were driven by facts, not emotions. Well…. here you reacted way too emotionally, and you forgot to think. so for the record:
    1) Having a PhD does not mean that one can write properly (it could be PhD in maths, or in Arts, or any other subject that does not require you to write long or beautiful sentences;
    2) Still, Mara could be from a different country and English might not be her first language
    3) Attacking sb on their writing is not fair and it dos not make a convincing argument anyway

    It was just my 2 cents, :-)

    PS: Oups, please do not attack me on my bad grammar: English is not my first (or even second or third) language sorry!!

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