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. 211
    Thisispathetic

    NO ONE should be rating themselves by a number, why on earth would you do that to yourself?    Just because one person may not find you attractive, the next person might.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is not a number.   Good grief.

  2. 212
    matt

    Hi people have told me that I am attractive, more than 34 people ( my age ) but it doesnt make me attractive to people ,start to love your self as a person than it will work

  3. 213
    judy

    Matt 212 – yes indeed.  It’s when you don’t care so much (while remaining respectful of yourself and others) that life changes.  And if it doesn’t, or not as fast as you would like, at least you keep your dignity and honour and I’d venture that your self-esteem would go up, or stay stable.

  4. 214
    AA

    I can certainly date a 10/10 guy even if i might be 5/10 but the only thing is in your head remember that you dont let the guy know that you think he is a 10/10 – thats a confidence killer and will make you lose your edge, charm or whatever.
    There is a very good chance that 9 times out of 10 i will outright say No to a 2/10 guy but there have also been times where I myself have said no to a 9/10 guy too.
    So it really is about the personality and your chemistry.
    Frankly i know I am 8/10 yet my track record has shown that I have never dated anyone above 5/10; not intentionally.
    I found myself rejecting 9ers or 10ers for lack of chemistry and sensibility.

  5. 215
    Vera

    Haha, my story: when i was younger i had no self-esteem. And i always wondered why i didnt get a guy and everyone else did (well i prevented it myself by kinda shutting myself off). Then i went into self-teaching: getting confident, liking myself because i thought this is the only way to go. And now here i am and i have this confident personality AND guys think I’m really hot and i like being myself and some guys even push me to show off my face… its kinda flattering hearing guys calling me very pretty. But since i’ve learned what the essence of me is , i dont let myself getting distracted by such things because i want to earn my share in life and actually deserve. Yet i hope i can get this guy who is so 9/10 and im close to getting him. And im close to getting the other cute guy the option if plan a wont realize. And then theres guy c. Haha. Okay, kinda superficial but when tjeres this opportunity I go for it 😉 regards

  6. 216
    Rachel

    Not entirely accurate sometimes I get men chat to me online who are 8s but mostly I get men who are about average now I know I am quite plain. Sometimes men know that there are more important things in life than looks.  This makes me sure that a women’s looks aren’t all of the equation online and some men acctually look at compatibility.

  7. 217
    Anonymous

    I disagree with this completely, because based on my experiences online, men always seem to want someone better than themselves. I am not young or gorgeous, but I’m not hideous either – I’m 35, slim and curvy. Many people have told me I have a good figure, and I’ve been told I’m pretty, though I know my face is actually quite plain. When it comes to intelligence, education, employment etc., I’d say overall I would be in the average range. Now, you mean to tell me that the old, obese, uneducated, unemployed, socially inept…(you name it; the list goes on) men who want to date me are “at my level,” and the average men who reject me are not? I’ve been rejected by men who are my height or shorter, chubby, bald, average income and intelligence. In fact, almost everyone “normal” rejects me. So, based on this article, I should conclude it’s because of my looks, and that I’m less than average myself. Not that men’s self-delusion and standards are ridiculous.

    1. 217.1
      Marika

      I’m sorry to hear that, Anonymous. Have you considered it’s got anything to do with your online profile at all? Obviously I could be way off, but when I’ve had friends who’ve complained about the men who ‘reject’ them online, what it comes down to is that their profile is not well written and the messages they send men aren’t funny or flirty or interesting.

      I don’t think this post is targetted at people with a healthy degree of humility, I think it’s targetted more at people who are contacting people much younger & hotter than them and are then wondering why no one is responding. If you’re an ‘average’ 35 year old, and no other men who are ‘average’ and around your age are interested, I’d make my profile funnier, more engaging, take a wider array of pics with you doing fun things, and write funny first messages (definitely don’t sit back and wait for men to contact you). We all get our share of people who are inappropriate contacting us, but if they are the only people interested, there’s obviously something off-putting in your profile.

      I have an attractive, intelligent friend who gave up on online dating as she didn’t like the quality of the men contacting her /responding to her. It turned out that she had a really serious profile and wrote first messages that sounded like she was applying for a job. If she’d changed that up instead of quitting, I’m sure things would’ve improved for her.

      1. 217.1.1
        Anonymous

        Thank you Marika, I really appreciate your response. You could be right. With men, I tend to assume that it’s all about looks, but that may not be the case. ? Before I started online dating, I used to think I was a decent looking person (I would have said a bit above average) with a good personality. Over the past few years, dating has really shattered my self-esteem and I’ve become cynical and obsessed about my looks to the point where I’ve considered plastic surgery (the only reason I didn’t do it is because I’m already in debt). Now I have a somewhat shitty attitude to go with my less than “ideal” looks it would seem. Lol. But, maybe I do just need to make myself appear more relaxed and fun? I have gotten a few first dates with men I was interested in, but it very rarely goes past that. I’m not ready to give up altogether…I don’t want to be alone. Never EVER would I have imagined I’d still be single, never married and no kids at 35. Maybe I’ll try a different site (POF seems to be pretty trashy) and fix up my profile.

        1. Anonymous

          Also, it seems Evan has become tired of my ranting as he blocked me from his facebook page…really Evan? Am I that much more offensive than the other commenters?

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          You deserve an answer. Yes, I suspended your ability to post on my Facebook page, not because you are offensive, but because you’re relentlessly negative. And this isn’t a place for that. Nor is this a place for free speech where everyone gets to have their say under the First Amendment. This is my site, where I’m glad to allow dissenting points of view, but have my own boundaries for what I find acceptable. Sometimes, one can be prohibited from issuing attacks on other readers or myself. Other times, it’s the predictable drumbeat of “men suck, dating sucks, online dating sucks, Tinder sucks, men are only interested in one thing, they can’t be trusted, they eventually lie or leave, there are no good ones left, etc.”

          You’re entitled to that opinion. I just don’t need it posted on my site, where my mission is to help women understand men and find lasting love. Naysayers who shoot down good advice because they’d rather get validation of their pessimistic worldview have no home on my property.

          Finally, lest you think that I’m some sort of thin-skinned tyrant, this blog has over 1000 posts and 110,000 comments. I let a LOT of things go that I don’t like. But when someone has nothing positive to offer but excels in criticizing my optimism, positivity, and belief in men/dating/relationships, it’s clear to me that they don’t want help – they just want to be heard and bring other people down. There are plenty of blogs where misery loves company. This isn’t one of them. It’s a home for smart people who want to really understand relationship dynamics and what makes for a healthy long term relationship and are open to learning. So feel free to engage here on the blog with the longer, weightier questions. But honestly, I don’t need you shitting on every positive meme I post on Facebook just because you’ve had poor taste in men in the past.

        3. Marika

          Great idea! Yep, POF is the McDonalds of online dating :). That being said, I’m on there because it’s free and you can keep your profile active while pursuing other sites and see what comes up. I figure, you’ve got nothing to lose by being on there.

          I personally like Bumble. I know that Evan thinks that sites like that make the shallow world of OLD even shallower (and he’s right!!), but what I like about it is that as you get to go first, the only men who can contact you are those you are interested in. It also forces you to make the first contact (if that’s a problem for you) and hone your approach skills.

          Hard as it is, you have to find a way to not take it personally when someone’s not interested. That’s the only way to survive OLD. If they aren’t, it could be for a million reasons that have nothing to do with you. If you are negative about dating, though, that’s certainly something to work on as it’s very obvious and a complete downer if you’re chatting to / meeting people who are really negative. Very difficult to hide, too.

          I come from a country where it’s much more even in terms of dating and it’s less of an issue to be more forward. But I read one lady on here (so I can’t take credit 🙂 ) who gave a great opening line that would be particularly appropriate for dating in America. She said she would write to men “I’m suitably impressed, let the wooing begin!”. I thought that was awesome. I learned from Finding the One Online to keep your first message short, fun, and the kind of thing it’s almost impossible not to respond to. It’s very, very easy to ignore “Hi”, or “how’s your week been” etc. (snoooozzee). You have to make them want to respond. And stand out from all the boring, vanilla messages. It’s no guarantee it will go anywhere, of course, but as soon as you get guys interested, it boosts your self-esteem and before you know it you’ll enjoy dating!

          Another thing I’ve noticed time & time again… if someone says several times in their profile and in their messages that they are really x, in actuality, they aren’t x, they just wish they were. Maybe it’s just me, but whenever someone tells me for instance that they are really patient or really consistent, or old-fashioned, or a gentleman (those are the ones that stick out), they are anything but. They are probably working on trying to be those things. Actions speak so much louder, so put stock into how they act if it conflicts with what they say. Off topic somewhat, but I’ve been wanting to mention that as it happens to me allll the time.

          Good luck 🙂

    2. 217.2
      AJ

      You have to take this theory in generalities, not absolutes. Anyone can be an ‘exception to the rule’ as to how this does not pertain to them personally. I would contend, however that this is a pretty good measuring barometer to put you in the ballpark of where you stand in relation to your peers. Simply tweak it to suit your specific situation. Obviously a short, older, balding gentleman who happens to be a billionaire is an outlier who’s experience will skew the norm of his demographic, but all things considered equal it’s a safe bet that your attractiveness level is pretty much equal to that of the suitors that you regularly attract.

      1. 217.2.1
        Anonymous

        Well, the men I attract are generally boring, unsuccessful and physically unattractive. So, that’s great news. What about the post where Evan stated that men who are 5s want women who are 10s? I’m nowhere near a 10, but I just want someone normal. So Evan, it’s not that I’ve had poor taste in men. It’s that the quality men want nothing to do with me. It could be about looks, or maybe it’s for the same reasons you don’t.

  8. 218
    Anonymous

    i can’t agree with this article, since i’ve heard from other women and experienced myself that men online almost always shoot out of their league. when i’m online, i look for people with similar interests and values. i would never message a “9,” because i know it would be pointless, and i’m not into pretty boys anyway. i’ve been told by many people that i’m beautiful, others say i am average at best. i intentionally go for “average” men. (usually around a 5-6 if we’re going by these silly ratings). i go for chubby guys, while i am slim. i go for short guys, while i’m average height. i’ve been doing this since i was 20-something and a size 3. and i get rejected all the time. i get messages from a variety of men, but the majority of them are either very unattractive (like, they look unhealthy) or only looking for sex. very few of them look normal and average. and i know for a fact the “average” ones only write to hot women. so don’t tell us women who are already messaging 5’s and getting rejected by them that it’s because we’re too ugly for them. that’s bullshit.

    1. 218.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Anonymous

      i get messages from a variety of men, but the majority of them are either very unattractive (like, they look unhealthy) or only looking for sex. very few of them look normal and average. and i know for a fact the “average” ones only write to hot women. so don’t tell us women who are already messaging 5’s and getting rejected by them that it’s because we’re too ugly for them. that’s bullshit.

      If all of the messages you receive are from guys that you find to be unattractive or are just looking for sex, then you have overrated yourself.   The guys you find to be unattractive are your actual rating.  The guys who only want sex are dating down for sex.  Unlike women, guys date down for sex all of the time.  Contrary to popular belief, most guys are acutely aware of where they fall within the male hierarchy.  Research has shown that is it women, not men who are hyper-selective when it comes to appearance on dating sites.  Women find 80% of the men on a dating sites to be of less than average attractiveness.  That is a significant statistical anomaly.  It highlights how unrealistic most women on dating sites are about their own level of attractiveness.

      1. 218.1.1
        Gala

        Women find 80% of the men on a dating sites to be of less than average attractiveness. 

        How so? One could argue that people (both men and women) who use online dating are on average less attractive than the overall population.  So yes, it is absolutely possible to have 80% of men online to be less attractive than the average of all men, online and offline.

        1. Fromkin

          That people on okcupid (the source of the 80% figure) look noticeably different from the larger population is not obvious. It’s not true of the 50-year-old women online.

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          “One could argue that people who date online are less attractive.”

          And one could be wrong.

          With a sample size of 50+ million people, you really think the populations are different? Nope. Online dating is a slice of life – no better, nor worse than people you’d meet anywhere else – a bar, a church, a mall, a party, etc.

        3. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          As Evan mentioned, you are dead wrong.  I can assure you that the men and women in my age group are representative, if not more attractive, on average, than the general population.

          Online dating is very competitive.  A lot of guys lament that men shorter than 6’0″ do not stand a chance on dating sites.  However, that has not been my experience.  I am 5’11.5″.  I have truncated the fraction, listing 5’11” as my height, and received no less interest than when I rounded my height up to 6’0″.   In reality, the real demarcation line when it comes to male height on dating sites in the United States is 5’10”, which is the 65th percentile for male height in the United States.  At least 70% of the female profiles that I have encountered on Match have at least 5’10” as the lower bound for desired height.  American women rule out 5’9″ (50th percentile) men when 75% of the female population in the United States is 5’6″ or shorter (a 5’6″ woman in 3″ heels is still at least an inch shorter than a 5’9″ man in dress shoes), and in doing so, they give license to taller than average guys to be total douche bags if we so desire.  The cold hard truth is that a 5’7″ to 5’9″ man is generally going to be a more faithful partner than a man of my height or taller.  Why? Because they have less options; therefore, they are more appreciative of women who show interest.

        4. Shaukat

          Sorru, but ludicrous point Gala. Even if you accept that premise (which is false, in 2018 almost everyone who is single has tried OLD at some point) you still have to explain why the male ratings of female attractiveness were normally distributed. Are you saying that the women on okcupid represent the societal norm in terms of appearances but the men on the site just happen to represent the bottom of the barrel looks wise? Impossible.

        5. Gala

          @YAG

          Ok that may be. I don’t know what okcupid population looks like since I’ve never been. But there ARE noticeable differences. I had been in the past on match, tinder, and bumble. I swear to God, the guys on Bumble, as a group, are way, way more attractive than the presumably same population of tinder, and the guys on tinder are more attractive than the guys on match. And I mean my general average impression. Like, you begin to swipe on Bumble and almost *every* guy is hot. May be okcupid is just an ugly corner of OLD. I don’t know. I was just pointing out that women being unreasonable is not the only explanation for this discrepancy.

          On the height issue,

          The cold hard truth is that a 5’7″ to 5’9″ man is generally going to be a more faithful partner than a man of my height or taller.  Why? Because they have less options; therefore, they are more appreciative of women who show interest.

          Eh.. may be, may be not, I don’t think it is a safe bet. I have known a few short guys who had plenty of game. What IS a safe bet though is that your children will be below average in height. I am average height for female, if I have kids with a guy who is under 5’9” I can safely rule out “fashion model” as their potential occupation 🙂 Really to me it comes down to better outcome in children. I want my kids to be better than me in all respects and that includes better looking. Improving the gene pool if you will. To that end, my boyfriend is 6’3”.

        6. Emily, the original

          Gala,

          I have known a few short guys who had plenty of game. 

          Totally agree. A man can have game and be short. A man can have game and not spend hours in the gym. Men have types they find appealing. So do women.

        7. Buck25

          “…if I have kids with a guy under 5’9′, I can safely rule out “fashion model”. Really to me, it all comes down to  better outcome for children. I want my kids to be better than me in all respects, and that includes better looking. Improving the gene pool, if you will. To that end, my boyfriend is 6’3″

          @ Gala,

          Ok, I’ve held my tongue, until that last remark. That did it!

          “Improving the gene pool”, huh. Really?? Oh wait, is that because all that matters now is looks (strange concept, coming from from a woman who berates men for being focused on nothing but that in women)? Or, are you now going to assert that taller, better looking kids are, of course, also so necessarily intellectually, morally, emotionally, physically and socially superior to their unfortunate shorter  and “genetically inferior” counterparts, that the latter “inferior beings” should be consigned to the ash can of society, as the hopeless, wretched dregs of humanity they just have to be? Oh well, maybe you could put them all on an island somewhere, with their poor unfortunate kind, so you don’t have to look at them? Would that make you feel better? Only then, who will you “genetically superior” tall people have to feel superior to? Anyone under 6’4″, maybe? Gee Gala, what’s next? Should we maybe sterilize every male under 6′, or every woman under 5’10”, so as to prevent any more of those “genetically inferior” average or below height children from being born in the first place?  Want to start a campaign for that? Remove the curse of those” inferior” short people from our country forever, in a generation or two? Of course, you don’t really hate them for “polluting the gene pool”, noooo, you just      “pity them”, poor lesser beings that they are.  What a novel idea you have, though…oh snap!, I seem to recall that back in the twentieth century someone else had a similar idea; something about “improving the  gene pool” by breeding the most physically superior men to the most physically superior women to produce a taller, stronger, superior generation. “The Master Race”, I think he called it. His name was Hitler; perhaps you might have heard of him, or did you cut history class that day? By the way, the idea didn’t work, but there was quite a bit of, well, I’m sure you’d consider that “collateral damage” ; I mean, it WAS only intended to “improve the gene pool”, after all…can’t have “”genetically inferior” sub-humans infecting our otherwise pristine dream society, nicht whar? I’m sorry, but to my historian’s mind, it just conjures up images of “perfect”, tall, blonde ubermenschen, marching to the strains of “Die Fahne Hoch”, and I could have done without THAT, thank you.

          Regardless, I want to thank you for demonstrating in that comment of yours that, at least in your case, a woman’s “height requirement” for dating a man can be so much more than a simple “preference”. In your case, I think the correct word is not “preference”…it’s “PREJUDICE”.

        8. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          With your last post, you demonstrated that you have taken Stacy2’s place as the most shallow and immature woman who posts to EMK.  It does appear to be all about surface to you.  I pity you because you will never find true happiness using your approach.  Material, height, and looks never made anyone happy.  If I recall correctly, you already have one failed marriage under your belt, and you are twenty years my junior.  If you maintain your current trajectory, I can assure you that you will have another failed marriage under your belt before you reach age fifty.

          By the way, you need to understand the Punnett square and Mendelian inheritance.  If a woman is not tall herself with a tall mother and a tall father, marrying a tall man does not radically increase the probability that she will produce all tall children.  Most of the time, even her sons will be shorter than their father.  I was little over 6’0″ at my peak.  My ex-wife was 5’7″ at her peak.  Our daughters are both under 5’4″.  I can assure you that my daughters had excellent nutrition and healthcare.

        9. Gala

          @YAG

          You’re using a lot of big words but that doesn’t make you right…

          If a woman is not tall herself with a tall mother and a tall father, marrying a tall man does not radically increase the probability that she will produce all tall children

          That is not correct, though we may disagree on what constitutes “dramatically”. It does increase it. Heretability of height is 80%. So there you go.

          I will be the first to admit that I am a rather shallow person so you calling me that does not insult me in the slightest. Simple things make me happy and I am not ashamed to admit it. 🙂 I think that being “not shallow” is highly overrated in general. Think about it – you clearly do not consider yourself a shallow person, and yet you are divorced, and you haven’t found a “true happiness”, whatever that means I presume? So how is your outcome better than mine? It is not.

        10. Yet Another Guy

          @Gala

          That is not correct, though we may disagree on what constitutes “dramatically”. It does increase it. Heretability of height is 80%. So there you go.

          I am absolutely correct.  A short woman marrying a tall man does not automatically equate to her having tall children.   Contrary to your belief, a short woman marrying a tall man does not improve the gene pool, it equalizes it.  In fact, scientists now believe that the reason why average height has pretty much stagnated within the subset of Americans of European extraction within the United States while it has continued to increase in European countries like Holland is due to the common practice of short women marrying tall men.  In Holland, tall men marry tall women and out produce shorter couples, which is why the average man in Holland is now my height.

          Some will argue that tall genes are dominant, but so are dark genes; however, dominant genes that one inherits as part of one’s genotype are not always expressed as part of one’s phenotype.  I am of Italian extraction and sport an Italian surname. My father had olive skin and dark hair.  I am so fair that I burn quickly in the sun.  Why? Because the recessive Celtic fair genes that I inherited from my mother were expressed as part of my phenotype (I have my father’s facial features, so I know that I am his child).  All but one my siblings expressed my mother’s fairer genes as well.

          As far as to taking pride in being shallow, well, shallow people tend to marry shallow people, which is a recipe for disaster.  Shallow people tend to be immature and self-centered.  That is not a recipe for lasting success.

          As far as to my being divorced, I am twenty years your senior, and I only have one divorce under my belt.  Plus, I did not throw in the towel easily.  I seriously doubt that you would have endured the same situation for long.   If you pick a man based on your stated requirements, I guarantee that your marriage will not last ten years.  You will get older, and he will wander.  That is almost a guarantee because it is what shallow men with power tend to do over the long haul.

        11. Gala

          @YAG

          A short woman marrying a tall man does not automatically equate to her having tall children.

          I never claimed that it does. It does, however, increase her chances of having tall(er) children (which is not the same as guarantees that all of her children would be tall). So, no need for amature mansplaining of science.

          Also, what you wrote previously on this blog about your marriage does not make you a poster boy or a success story for not being shallow. Sorry. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

      2. 218.1.2
        Emily, the original

         YAG,

        Contrary to popular belief, most guys are acutely aware of where they fall within the male hierarchy.  

        This may be true, but I’ve even had guys tells me that a lot of men punch way above their station.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I’ve even had guys tells me that a lot of men punch way above their station.

          While it is easier for a man to attempt to date up appearance-wise on a dating site than in real life, few men are successful in doing so.  The reality is that only 20% of the female population on any given dating site is going unnoticed whereas 80% of the male population is suffering the same fate.

          With that said, one thing I have noticed is that women tend to “like” and message men their junior.  I ran experiments where I listed my age as being between my chronological age and age 49.  Regardless age, most interest came from women senior of my listed age.  Many of these women did not notice me when I listed my chronological age even though their age ranges included my chronological age.  I changed nothing other than my claimed age.  Women are as guilty as men when it comes to age discrimination.

        2. Emily, the original

          YAG,

          Women are as guilty as men when it comes to age discrimination.

          I wasn’t really talking about age discrimination. Just appearance. I have a friend who’s on match and she’ll sometimes send me the pics of the men who have contacted her and they are nowhere near her level of attractiveness.

      3. 218.1.3
        S.

        If all of the messages you receive are from guys that you find to be unattractive or are just looking for sex, then you have overrated yourself.   The guys you find to be unattractive are your actual rating. 

        I’ve been thinking about this one for a couple of days.  It seems so simple but it’s not necessarily simple.

        1. Some guys aren’t ready or don’t want a relationship. It doesn’t matter what their rating is.  Think about it, the guy may not be everyone’s cup of tea, lookswise.  So he’s not going to be ready until he has other stuff going for him, job, money, his body, etc.  While that stuff doesn’t matter to me, it matters to him.  Gives him confidence.  And the confidence is attractive to me and other women, even if the stuff that lead to it aren’t.

        So even if he’s a ‘1’ (I hate these numbers) if he’s not ready, he’s not ready. I think it’s a myth that a man like that will stop his entire life for a woman.  Maybe he would for a ’10’ but I think everyone would agree he’s not going to get a 1o.

        2. Many people here on this blog agree that you shouldn’t date someone you find unattractive.  There are comments here full of women who married men who they weren’t attracted to. The men here say that they don’t want to date a woman who doesn’t want sex with them.  So even if the sentences I italicized above are true, a woman can’t do anything about it.  (And obviously they have tried.) So even if she has overrated herself, she can’t force herself to be attracted to the men who as it was put here ‘are her actual rating.’

        3. Anon says she is messaging men who she rates a 5.   So does that mean she should be messaging people she considers a 2, 3, 4?   I dunno.  I don’t know if I want messages from someone who thinks of me that way.  And honestly, if the person does, I think it will show down the road.  It’s not a great start to  a relationship if one person senses that the other person is doing them some grand favor by dating them.  Maybe men don’t care in the pursuit of sex. But I think eventually, for a relationship, it would eat away at the fabric of that relationship.

        Women find 80% of the men on a dating sites to be of less than average attractiveness. 

        I think women find 80% of men in real life to be of less than average attractiveness. But I also think that some women just don’t always value looks in the exact same way men do.  So it doesn’t matter.  A woman will sleep with that less than average guy in looks. I have done it and enjoyed it immensely. 😉  Especially if he treats me well, is funny, and kind. Because for women attractiveness isn’t all looks.  She will be attracted to those other things.  Confidence matters.  Self-care matters.

        Look at what Anon wrote.  The men don’t look healthy.  That’s not good.   That’s an ill person.   I’ve been on a couple of dates with men like this.  Men who are attractive enough that I’d go out with them, but on closer look, just didn’t take care about themselves.  One had dirty fingernails.  Another had very dry skin.  Another seemed to have lost some weight but still wore his old clothes so they hung off him.  Of course I couldn’t see these all in photos on a site.  I felt sad for them like they didn’t care very much about themselves.

        I don’t know what ‘rating’ that is for those who rate.  Because the same man who really took some pride in what he was, would be so cute!  But I don’t want a fixer-upper.  My guy has to come already taking pride in himself in that way.

        Maybe Anon just wants that.  Not some hot guy but a guy who has learned to make the most of what he has.  In rating-wise that can take a man from a 4 to a 7.  I’ve seen this transformation.

        Anyway this is how women think.  Okay, well, this woman. 🙂

  9. 219
    Anonymous

    after posting my last comment, i realized that i had already commented on this article, possibly more than once. and i felt a bit embarrassed about it. but the truth is, i’m angry. i’m angry at men for being shallow and at society for brainwashing them with these impossible beauty standards that only 5% of women can achieve. i’m angry at people for constantly telling women that the problem is US and that we need to lower our standards (which, i can honestly say are quite reasonable based on the majority of women i know). i’m angry at the dates and even girlfriends i’ve had who have told me that being average looking isn’t good enough. and most of all i’m angry at myself for believing this lie and hating myself since i was 13. for staying up until 3 am on a weeknight worrying about it. if only i had a prettier face, or bigger boobs, or straighter hair or a smaller nose or a flatter stomach, straighter teeth or whatever bullshit we let ourselves believe about why we’re not quite enough. i wish i could take back all those years and spend them living LIFE, instead of waiting for a man to validate me. i’m so tired of it all.

    1. 219.1
      Malika

      I get your anger. There are moments that I get really angry at the ideas that romance novels and Hollywood films have pushed down our throats. I wish I could take back all the time I had in my teen years wishing I had thinner thighs or a prettier nose, the times in my twenties that I spent trying to outdo the men I was with in caring less and simultaneously seeking the ideal man who would fill up the void inside me. I am now in my mid-thirties and only now have started to accept myself for who I really am, warts and all. All that time could have been spent writing and enjoying the family and friends in my life who have been so special to me, instead of pining away for an ideal that would not have fulfilled me, even if i had gotten it. Dating is still a priority, but oh my, I wish I had learnt to be a more balanced version of me far earlier on.

  10. 220
    Stacy

    Rating oneself gets tricky (as a woman). You know why? Because even (some) hot men will sleep with unattractive women just for sex.

    So, a woman is only as hot as the quality of men who actually want a relationship. However, even that is tricky because no matter how hot you are, it takes time to develop a bond with someone before getting to relationship status on average. I think  men tend to get more of a direct response in this regard but I also think that men tend to be more delusional because they see the Trumps and Hugh Heffners and assume they can have the same type of success. Another factor that is tricky is that, I’ve met men who I know are objectively hot, but for some reason they do absolutely nothing for me.

     

    1. 220.1
      Emily, the original

      Stacy,

      So, a woman is only as hot as the quality of men who actually want a relationship. 

      I think there is some truth to this, but I also think that, as a woman, if you want to be in a relationship, you have to pick the guys who want a relationship with you. If it sounds overly simplistic, it is. It doesn’t really matter how much a woman likes a man. If he doesn’t want a relationship with her, he’s not an option.

      1. 220.1.1
        Stacy

        @Emily

        Fair enough.:)

  11. 221
    Anonymous

    @Yet Another Guy: I think the reason women find most men on dating sites unattractive has less to do with their actual looks and more to do with how they present themselves. So many men are just clueless about how to create a decent profile. The deer in the headlights shots? Half-closed eyes? Shirtless pics? The ones with a beer in hand surrounded by other women? Pictures like these automatically turn me off. I actually think that many men could be nice looking if they knew how to present themselves. But, it’s that lack of awareness that makes me click “next.” On the other hand, I find that there are many “average” women such as myself who know how to present an accurate image (pics of ourselves looking happy and engaging in different activities), yet men don’t care because they are only focused on our physical features. I’m sure that based on looks alone, some of the guys are at my “level.” But women don’t judge purely by looks the way that men do. We look for something in the photos that would indicate a good personality. And you can’t claim that all the guys I hear from and find “unattractive” are at my level. A lot of guys just mass message everyone.

  12. 222
    Anonymous

    And as for the guys who want to use good women for sex and think they’re “dating down”…they don’t deserve those women! If we fell for that, we’d be the ones lowering our standards.

    1. 222.1
      Yet Another Guy

      @Anonymous

      And as for the guys who want to use good women for sex and think they’re “dating down”…they don’t deserve those women! If we fell for that, we’d be the ones lowering our standards.

      I can assure you that it happens more frequently than you could ever imagine.  I have been guilty of doing it myself.  The problem with guys dating down for sex is that it gives the women with whom we choose do to so an inflated sense of who they can obtain for a relationship.  It is one thing to get a guy who is more attractive to sleep with you and an entirely different thing to get him to commit to you.   There is more than a grain of truth to the saying that men can be pigs.  The more attractive the man, the greater the probability that he has dated down for sex, especially in his twenties and early thirties when his libido was sky high.   Very few men will pass up an opportunity for easy sex at that age.

      1. 222.1.1
        Emily, the original

        YAG,

        I can assure you that it happens more frequently than you could ever imagine.  

        And I can assure you it happens with women, too. I remember being in my 20s and hanging out with my friends. If one of them went home with someone, it was often simply a matter of convenience. He happened to be standing near her and they struck up a conversation. We weren’t casing the place for the most attractive men.

        1. Marika

          Did you and your friends worry, Emily, that that guy would get an unreasonable expectation of his ‘level’ and relationship options as a result…😂

        2. Yet Another Guy

          @Emily, the original

          I believe that we are comparing apples to oranges.  You are talking about hooking up at a bar.  Guys do that all of the time as well.  In that case, the woman usually knows that it is all about casual sex.  I am talking about guys actually dating down for sex.  That move requires a man to pursue, plan, and pay just as he would with a woman with whom he would consider having a relationship, but it is a ruse.  In this case, his true intent is masked behind a wall of BS that serves to make getting laid easier.  He consider her to be little more than another notch on his bedpost.  I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is infinitely easier to get into a woman’s pants when the man is the more attractive member of the couple.  Women have that starstruck look in their eyes like they have finally hit the dating lottery.

        3. Emily, the original

          Hi Marika,

          Did you and your friends worry, Emily, that that guy would get an unreasonable expectation of his ‘level’ and relationship options as a result…😂

          LOL  We were sure to tell all our hookups that we were the hottest they’d ever do.   🙂

        4. Emily, the original

          YAG,

            I am talking about guys actually dating down for sex.  That move requires a man to pursue, plan, and pay just as he would with a woman with whom he would consider having a relationship, but it is a ruse. … I can tell you from first-hand experience that it is infinitely easier to get into a woman’s pants when the man is the more attractive member of the couple.  

          Well, if a man is attractive and has some game, he shouldn’t need to play the dating game. He’ll know how to get a woman into bed with minimal effort.

        5. Buck25

          Really, Emily?  Maybe that’s why, when I was single about 25 years or so ago, my recollection of the bar scene in those days is that, for a guy who was mid-to-late forties, fit, could pass for a bit younger in dim light, had some swagger, a few good dance moves and a good line of bullshit (a Rolex on the arm didn’t hurt, either, nor did “accidentally” dropping a Porsche key on the table when pulling out one’s billfold), taking home a 21 -22 year old college girl was as easy and cheap as buying her a couple of drinks (or none, if the “target ” had already had a few).  They were usually very easy to impress. A quick, high-speed drive in said Porsche to the apartment later, most times her panties would be on the bedroom floor, before I could offer to fix her a night cap. No tens of course, and damn few nines (those took a little more work, for not much additional return, when a solid 8 wasn’t noticeably inferior between the sheets). I recall the sex was not typically quite as good as I remember getting from the LBFM’s on Tu Do Street back in my earlier days ( to be fair, youthful ignorance and too much Ba’mui Ba might have clouded my recollection of the latter, but I digress), but hey, these girls were cute…and easy…and allowing for inflation, cheaper, so that kinda made up for their less-than-stellar bedroom skills. I hear the younger generation is somewhat more, ah, “sophisticated” in that department, but I wouldn’t know about that; contrary to opinion in certain quarters here, my lower age  limit, even for casual sex, is some decades beyond that age group…

          Slumming?? Who knew? I didn’t, but now that you mention it, I guess it explains a lot. I would have done a lot more of that anyway, though, if I’d known what awaited me now, lol! These days I feel like Pop, in Grumpier Old Men; Her: “I find you disgusting!” Pop’s reply: “Well, just as long as you find me!”

        6. Emily, the original

          Buck25,
          Really, Emily?  Maybe that’s why, when I was single about 25 years or so ago, my recollection of the bar scene in those days is that, for a guy who was mid-to-late forties, fit, could pass for a bit younger in dim light,
          I only remember having sexual interest in one 40-something man when I was in my 20s.
          (a Rolex on the arm didn’t hurt, either, nor did “accidentally” dropping a Porsche key on the table
          That wouldn’t have impressed me. It wouldn’t impress me now.
          Slumming?? Who knew?
          I was being sarcastic in that YAG is always feels the need to make women know that men will greatly lower their standards to have sex. My point was … women sometimes do, too. Just because a woman has sex with a man does not mean she’s super into him. I have not been super into every man I’ve gone to bed with. In fact, “super into” is rare.

        7. Emily, the original

          Buck25,

          These days I feel like Pop, in Grumpier Old Men; Her: “I find you disgusting!” Pop’s reply: “Well, just as long as you find me!”

          I seem to remember Walter Matthau ending up with Sophia Loren and Jack Lemmon ending up with Ann Margaret. Surely, there’s hope there. 🙂

      2. 222.1.2
        Stacy

        @YAG

        I am actually replying to an earlier post where you claimed that ‘women are just as guilty as men’ in terms of age discrimination. This could not be further from the truth.

        Wanting or desiring a man your age or a few years younger or older does not mean you are discriminating based on age. It is the norm to want to grow old with someone similar to your age demographic. However, men ROUTINELY go for women sometimes decades younger and would rarely consider a woman older (unless she looks unusually good for her age). Obviously I know there are exceptions but those are much more rare when comparing the average woman’s choices.  Men are way more unrealistic in terms of this.

         

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Stacy

          For men, age 55 is a hard upper bound for women age 55 and younger.  The percentage of women age 55 and younger who viewed my profile dropped precipitously when I turned 56.  If I set my profile age to be 55, the number of hits increased dramatically.  If I set my profile age to be 50, women in their mid-to-late thirties started to view/like my profile and message me, and women just a year or two younger than my actual chronological age started to message me.   Nothing changed other than my age.   When I changed my age back to 56,  only women older than 56 sent messages.

    2. 222.2
      Emily, the original

      Anonymous,

      And as for the guys who want to use good women for sex and think they’re “dating down”…

      And women do that, too. Sometimes there’s a sexual option, and you say what they hell. It doesn’t mean any more than that.

  13. 223
    Marika

    Gala

    I agree with you regarding the photos on Okcupid. It’s not huge in Australia, but either the photos/way guys present themselves or whatever, is the least appealing of all platforms I’ve used. It’s a sunnies-on-head-in-your-truck-or-bathroom-selfie paradise! Why? No idea. But if the same survey was taken with Bumble guys: different outcome for sure!

    This height thing…broken record anyone? I don’t care about height, but many women do. Just like men care about breast size, youth and thinness. You’re never going to change other people and certainly not an entire gender, YAG.

    1. 223.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,
      I agree with you regarding the photos on Okcupid. 
      I looked at OKCupid in my area once and there were some strange photos on there. One guy was standing in front of a plant that was so big, you could barely see him!
      This height thing…broken record anyone? I don’t care about height, but many women do. 
      I don’t care about height, either. I also don’t care about a man being heavily muscled. Somewhat toned and in reasonable shape is fine. In fact, the last guy I really liked was about 5’6″ and maybe 135 pounds.

  14. 224
    Shaukat

    But if the same survey was taken with Bumble guys: different outcome for sure!

    Seriously doubt this, Marika. I’ve used bumble and tinder a few times in the past and gotten matches and dates from the apps, but I’ve met and heard about many men who get nada, no matter how many times they swipe right. In fact, there was an article in the Huff Post about a year or two ago documenting that a woman in the bottom rung of looks can expect to get matched with a top tier guy on tinder (looks wise), while a large percentage of average men get matched with almost no one. Since the swiping apps are based almost entirely on looks, this outcome would seem to indicate that women on those apps have an even higher threshold when it comes to appearance.

    You can also go find the original OKcupid study and peruse the sample pics of the guys who were rated below average (I think they’re still available) and see that many of them were not bathroom selfies, etc. You guys tie yourselves into knots trying to rationalize away the findings of that survey, and I’m not sure to what end. The notion that women are not at all superficial and don’t care about looks is an insidious myth that harms both men and women, and anyone with any experience knows that when it comes to raw attraction women have a higher looks threshold than men. In fact, the myth probably emboldens those entitled betas and PUA fraudsters who think they can seduce everyone woman with some magic formula or simply show up on a date, act like a supreme gentleman, and get laid.

     

    1. 224.1
      Marika

      Woah Shaukat. Look, clearly you’ve given this way more thought than me. All I’m saying is that the pics on OKC are particularly bad. And on Bumble they are particularly good.

      1. 224.1.1
        Buck25

        Marika,

        With all due respect, Shaukat has a point, at least here in America (your experience might be quite different Down Under-apparently, a lot of dating mores are). Those pics and the OKCupid study were viewable not too long ago (don’t know if they still are), and most of the low-rated pics shown were clearly NOT bathroom selfies, or even particularly bad pics. Pics also indicated a demographic skewed fairly young (twenty-somethings for the most part), so that’s part of it too (I think).

        Then too, everything depends on where you are, even just here in the States. Someone earlier likened POF to McDonalds; in my area, it’s more like a combination low-end trailer park and toxic waste dump, (and that’s on a good day).

        Again though, I agree with Shaukat’s take that in America, at least, women (all age groups) are far, far more visually oriented in their choice of men than they say they are (or maybe even admit to themselves). Seems to me that moral high ground American women like to think they occupy in the dating game, is in fact nothing but  shifting sand (or is it quicksand?), hot air, politically correct B.S, and maybe a little lack of self-awareness as well.

        1. Marika

          Clearly this is a sensitive topic. To reiterate, though, all I said was the photos on OKC are particularly bad. They are the worst of all sites I’ve visited, certainly in my area. I haven’t had the same experience on other sites.

          I wasn’t involved in the study…..and I date men of various heights, amounts of hair, body types, education levels etc, so Buck, you and Shaukat are directing your frustration at the wrong person.

        2. Kenley

          I have seen many post such as yours saying that women care about looks way more than they admit.  I guess I just haven’t seen the evidence of women who say they don’t care about looks at all.  In fact, I would argue that the post where women state that they need chemistry and attraction are ways in which women are flat out saying that physical appearance in combination with other characteristics matter a bunch.   As a woman, I would not be interested in a man who says he doesn’t care about looks.  I want my partner to find me attractive.   I would imagine that men want their partners to find them attractive as well.

          Moreover, we have to acknowledge that online dating puts appearance front and center.  So why wouldn’t both men and women reply unapologetically to the people who catch their eye?  That is how the system works.

          I don’t understand why people are so concerned with or want to shame or police other people’s preferences.  It is an exercise in futility.    And that goes for women who don’t like that men want younger women as much as men who don’t like that women like taller men.  We can’t change what people want.  What is the point of ranting about it?  Especially since the ranting only serves to blind people from the reality that older women do find partners just as short men do.

          It is not lost on me that I too am ranting about something I can’t change.   I know that people are going to continue to huff and puff and tell other people who they should and shouldn’t want and who they can and can’t get.   Still I just needed to vent a little.

      2. 224.1.2
        Shaukat

        No frustration here Marika, I was simply pointing out what I thought was an inaccurate point-you stated that the outcome of the survey would have been different if bumble users had been polled.

        Btw, there’s actually no reason to think that the women who rated most men on the site below average wouldn’t actually date those guys-after all, women do factor in more than just looks when it comes to relationships.

        Also, no need to personalize the exchange. This has nothing to do with who you as an individual would date.

        1. Marika

          With respect, S, you’re way over-thinking my original comment.

  15. 225
    Marika

    Oh that’s a relief, Emily. Wonderful community service you’re providing, ensuring these poor 6’s don’t start thinking they’re 8’s..!! (as judged by that strict numbering system we of course all agree on..)😁

    1. 225.1
      Emily, the original

      Marika,

      HA! We did consider it a community service to let them know we were slumming to have sex with them. We would NEVER consider dating them.

    2. 225.2
      Shaukat

      Maybe  I  read too much into your comment Marika. We’re good:)

      1. 225.2.1
        Marika

        Thanks :). For the record, I do feel for men who get no responses online (I know that’s not you). I can’t imagine how demoralising that must be. The thing is, though, I get lots of messages and probably almost a 90% response rate to messages I send, and yet I still have only had a handful of maximum 3 month relationships from my 3 year stint online. So it’s not easy for any of us!

        (Not saying I would prefer to be the man getting no messages). I just think quantity is not necessarily the answer.

  16. 226
    Anonymous

    “The problem with guys dating down for sex is that it gives the women with whom we choose do to so an inflated sense of who they can obtain for a relationship.”

    Seriously dude, you need to get over yourself. How do you know these women you “dated down” to get sex weren’t doing the same to you? Most women aren’t stupid. We know guys do these things. That’s why if I get the vibe that a guy is only after sex, no matter how attractive he is, I avoid him like the plague. That’s because I’m not and have never been looking for “just sex.” Whereas women who are ALSO looking for sex might go for it knowing that’s what they’re getting into.

  17. 227
    Anonymous

    @yet another guy: Honestly, you admit that you pursue women you find unattractive just to use them for sex, and then if they actually want a relationship with you, accuse them of having an “inflated” sense of what they should deserve. I guess you must be God’s gift to women since you’re 5″11.5.

  18. 228
    Emily, the original

    Anonymous,

    How do you know these women you “dated down” to get sex weren’t doing the same to you?

    If he’s settled for her, doesn’t it occur to him that maybe she’s settled for him?

  19. 229
    Anonymous

    @Emily: Exactly… people rarely seem to consider that possibility. XD

    As far as this issue of looks is concerned, I was just sitting and thinking about it again tonight (because what else would I be doing at midnight?) And I thought: a lot more people would like the way they looked if we allowed ourselves to do so. When I actually think about it, there are many things I like about my looks, but for some reason I feel like I’m supposed to pick myself apart…why…because I’m not perfect? Because society has brainwashed us into chasing an “ideal” yet unattainable “look” to keep us buying more shit? How is that healthy? I think from a young age women are conditioned to be critical of ourselves, especially our looks, and to tie them very closely to our self worth and “market value.” Why do we even want to attract men who only see “value” in our appearance? And furthermore, why can’t we just accept ourselves as beautiful? I realized tonight that I am beautiful, and it’s ok to think so! I don’t have to hate my looks because they’re not this way or that. I don’t have to hate MYSELF because my looks don’t “measure up” to someone’s arbitrary standards. The people who DO think that way are the ones to be pitied! I might sound preachy right now but I don’t even care. I feel on the verge of a personal breakthrough, a step closer to ending this struggle that has plagued me for most of my life.

    1. 229.1
      Emily, the original

      Anonymous,

      I think from a young age women are conditioned to be critical of ourselves, especially our looks, and to tie them very closely to our self worth and “market value.” 

      Yes, I agree. As a general rule, at least with the men I’ve been with, they are much less self-conscious. No matter what they look like, they get into the boudoir and hastily remove their clothes. Whereas a woman has packaged herself in a lingerie outfit to accentuate her best assets or she is adjusting the lighting!  🙂

  20. 230
    Anonymous

    Also, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that this has been such a big issue for me, as it shows how vain I am. But I guess I bought into the “beauty myth” and got brainwashed just like the men i complain about. XD

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