It was 2001. I was at the W Hotel bar in Westwood. And from across the spacious, dimly lit room, I saw her:
My ex-girlfriend. Hottest woman I ever dated. Most tempestuous woman I ever dated. Yes, I held on to my perfect 10 for four months – four months of being left at restaurants, holiday parties, and weddings following an outrageous fight over virtually nothing.
Why do men date sexy troublemakers? Because we can’t help ourselves. It’s a drug – and, like all tales involving drugs – it never has a happy ending.
Why do men date sexy troublemakers? …It never has a happy ending.
Our relationship was no different. And the break up (the last break-up, anyway,) was ugly. The nasty emails she sent me were proof positive that it was healthiest to move on. So why was I so panicked when I saw my ex at the W?
Because I was on an online date with an unattractive woman. And she was with a guy with dark skin, dark hair, and light eyes – a guy who looked like me – but MUCH, MUCH better.
I share this story because it’s the only time in my memory that I actually cared about what anyone thought of who I was dating – and it was fundamentally irrational because it was a woman who had no role in my life whatsoever.
Yet the crux of this study shows that both men and women very much care what others think. And I’m not surprised in the least.
It seems that men’s interest in a woman increases if a man of greater attractiveness is also interested in her, and that women’s interest in a man decreases if other women seem uninterested in them.
Looks like grade-school habits die hard. And not just in terms of how friends react to our partners. I’ve had three clients in the past month who were concerned with the opinions of others: judgmental Persian family, judgmental Asian family, judgmental Christian family.
To which I say: who cares what anyone thinks? You’re an adult. You’re living your life for you. And if you put true love on hold because of how it looks to others, you’re sacrificing your own happiness for no reason whatsoever.
If you put true love on hold because of how it looks to others, you’re sacrificing your own happiness for no reason whatsoever.
Someone who loves you will love your partner, too. Why? Because you love him and because he makes you happy. Anyone who can’t fall in line to support your choice in mate is putting her needs/desires/prejudices before what’s really important: your happiness.
Have you ever ended a relationship because of what your friends and family thought? Not because they’re protecting you from a player/jackass/abusive guy, but because they selfishly wanted you to marry someone just like you? If so, how did you reconcile this?
For what it’s worth, I’m a Jewish guy who married a Catholic woman, and despite the emails that compared me to Hitler and the anonymous book I received called “Why Marry Jewish?” I’m quite confident I made the right decision.
Your thoughts below are appreciated.