People rate potential partners by their physical attributes, and I cannot understand it

People rate potential partners by their physical attributes, and I cannot understand it.

The definitions of beauty, we are told by instinct and society that these are the most worthy people to date merely because of their outward appearance. I challenge the validity of this view because it doesn't take into account more important aspects within a relationship.

Now, I should preface this by saying that I understand the evolutionary purpose of physique preference. I think, however, that it is a rudimentary and archaic way of looking at love, which is far more complex than the curves of a woman or the chisel of a man.

A person who makes you smile, who has similar interests, who has similar life goals, who is fun, these are the only things that are really important. As much as we hate to admit it, beauty is temporary. A beautiful-looking person who is ugly on the inside will one day be ugly on the outside as well, but a person with a beautiful personality will have that beautiful personality beyond the youthfulness of their body.

Sometimes, I read takes, questions, and opinions that deal only with the physical aspect. The level of sophistication never delves beyond: he/she is hot, I like hot people, I'd have sex with him/her, etc. It seems that the sexual nature is the most important part of the discussion. What people seem to forget, however, is that sex encompasses a tremendously tiny fraction of a relationship.

There are so many more things that happen besides sex within a relationship. To say that beauty is even relevant in conversation, shared goals and ambitions, or spending time with your partner is ludicrous and a baseless viewpoint to take on a relationship.

I hope that people can realize, like I do, that people were made for each other not because of their sexual attractiveness, but their compatability. Maybe then there'd be less marriages that end in divorce, maybe then there'd be less cases of objectivity and celebrity idolism.


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What Girls Said 10

  • Yes... all too true.

    The thing is > society has brainwashed almost all of us into thinking that what matters most is appearence and IF you've got that then we can talk about personality...
    Society states that personality comes first and looks come second, but looks are what you notice first and only if you like that then you can search for the personality that intrigues you packaged in what you feel is attractive to you.

    It just is what it is.

    Sad.
    I agree.

    Doesn't make it any less true.

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  • You make a fantastic point! I agree! It's what is on the inside that counts! You feeling start on the inside and should be triggered by looks. So many people are only looking for a good suit of skin and that's it. It's a shame. They'll only be in for a surprise and not a good one.

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  • Very nice take, I wrote a similar mytake just two days ago...

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  • Think of it this way, there is a cake made of personality and character, the higher it's stacked the better a person they are.
    The number of cherries on top of that cake is how attractive they are. It's not necessary for a cake to have cherries but damn they taste good.
    It's that compromise between a high stacked a cake and as many cherries as you can get.

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    • I suppose, I just feel that people look too intently at the cherries and miss the fact the cake is rotten.

  • We want someone who makes us smile, who has similar interests, who has similar life goals, who is fun. Yeah while these are all true let's face it, at some point LOOKS MATTERS. I'm not saying that it is everything we look for a potential partner but it plays an essential role when considering someone. Why do you approach and ask someone out? How do you single out men/women who could be potential partners say for example you still haven't known that person? Isn't that you go for someone whom you've physically attracted to?

    At least we have to be physically attracted to someone to make us want to know them better. It could be that persons eyes, smile, skin, body, etc. Something that wow us, something that pull us to them, and something that makes us want to dig deeper and be more involved.

    What makes us differentiate someone who could be a good friend, from a good sex buddy, from someone who could be a good partner? There is where compatibility enter :)

    Don't get me wrong, I get your point and I totally agree with some of it but these ate just points to ponder for people who say that they don't care about the looks. All in all, looks somehow matter. :)

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    • I guess this take was less for people who understand that personality matters too and more for people who overvalue looks. Thanks for your point of view.

  • I agree entirely which is one of the biggest perks to meeting people on social media. i understand that it is dangerous because you don't know who yo are talking to but the up-side is that there may not be pictures so you can really get to know someone. And in response to Bonnie12/27/12 if you really love someone you find things about them that are beautiful only to you. That crooked nose or lazy eye can become the unique part about that them that you love because in that lazy eye you see the personality underneath or in that crooked nose you see the that great sense of humor you adore. Even the most beautiful people have flaws if you look at them close enough. And love shouldn't have physical standards. But if that's how you want to play think about how many people would pass up on the greatness that is you because of that one flaw that you are painfully aware of

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    • lol thats exactly what i was trying to say. by attractive i dont mean "perfect" i mean something that i find attractive

  • looks do matter because physical attraction is actually a part of love. not to be shallow here but how could you love someone when you hate the way they look? a large nose or something can be overlooked. i've liked people with imperfections like that before. once you like them you just overlook it. its like its not even there. it is possible for someone to be beautiful both inside and out. this topic often makes people think that good looking people are assholes. personality and looks both matter. one shouldn't be chosen over the other.

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    • So if both personality and looks are necessary in love, how do blind people love to their fullest extent?

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    • When preferences hurt people, they need to be changed and erased. It's how society gets better. When a person who is less than average in looks gets overlooked despite a heart of gold over and over again, it makes him or her bitter and lonesome. It ruins a good person for no reason other than the fact they were not desirable in the views of the many. Meanwhile, people with shit personalities who abuse their partners get the benefit of the doubt when they look good merely because they look good.

    • that doesn't always happen. if someone has good looks sure they'll attract partners but they won't keep those partners. if i dont find someone attractive i won't date them. i want the whole package and that includes personality. you just dont understanding what im saying and you're just trying to be right instead of listening

  • My dad is a divorce lawyer and he always notices 'if the sex is bad, relationship is over' and that really is true. We're living beings with sexual needs and you can deny it, but it is important.

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    • I'd say that your dad notices the final symptom of a dying relationship, not necessarily the cause. By all rights, a person is less sexually attractive, or sexually energetic, when they are in their mid 60s than they are when they got married. But the relationship doesn't fall apart because the sex isn't as good. No, it's held together by common interests, by common goals, by that ever-present need for companionship.
      It's blatantly obvious that the modern views of society are the reason that greater than 50% of marriages end in divorce. It's because we are told that sexual attraction is paramount to everything else. I'm not trying to be mean, but wouldn't it be a much better world if your dad's job wasn't needed?

    • I wonder if people really have gotten more shallow or that marriage just isn't as necessary anymore as it used to be. Like, people used to marry also because they would split their income. Because women weren't able to have a real job, so they were dependant of their husband's income. If they divorced, not only was that a big disgrace for their family and religion, they also didn't have a stable household anymore.
      So I think the divorces are not because people have gotten more shallow, but because women are more independent and people because less religious ofcourse so the pressure of marriage has gotten aeay.

    • I think divorce has probably become more prevalent due more in part to it becoming easier to divorce.

  • "The definitions of beauty, we are told by instinct and society that these are the most worthy people to date merely because of their outward appearance. "

    No clue where this came from and I don't believe it to be true at all. What I think society says about those people is that they are very attractive. Some people may even go further and say that it's a degradation to people's self-esteem because those people tend to be plastered everywhere while average folk are rarely seen.

    "What people seem to forget, however, is that sex encompasses a tremendously tiny fraction of a relationship."

    That may be true for YOUR relationships. For other people's, it's not. Sex is one of the many ways that some people show their love/adoration/compassion for the other person. Or some people just REALLY love it to the point that it's a dealbreaker if they don't get it.

    I personally think that most people with average to high sex drives want someone they're physically attracted to as well as compatible. The questions that you see on here may simply be for fun or lack the mention of a preferable personality because it's generally recognized (though unstated) that the majority would want someone who is compatible with them. The question is simply gauging WHAT that person is attracted to.

    So... I don't agree. This Take sounds like one that promotes giving unattractive--though not necessarily ugly--wo/men a chance when it could have very negative effects on the relationship and the persons involved.

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    • So you are saying because a person is less beautiful they should not be in a happy relationship? A little harsh to judge someone based on a set of appearances, half of which they were born with and had no choice in the matter.

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    • I guess physical appearance just doesn't matter to me. If they are kind, fun, and love me, that's all I need I guess.

    • What if a person found you ugly because of your skin color? How is that any different that a person finding you ugly because of an asymmetrical face, or any other physical characteristic? To me, there is no difference.
      We are all born with a set physical characteristics. If you are allowed to say, "If he only got a nose job, then I could truly love him," then how do you have the moral high ground when someone would say, "If only they would change the color of their skin, like Michael Jackson did, then I could love them"?

  • Fuck Beauty what about passion and the heart. I love your post.

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What Guys Said 12

  • Not me, while outer beauty does hold some importance, inner beauty and personality are of much greater impotence.

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  • You can't expect someone to fall in love with someone else they don't find physically attractive at all. That's simply the human condition.

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  • Personality and compatibility are of course most important. that being said, I want someone who sexually excites me as well! Sex is a big part of a relationship to me, and I want to be with someone I can't wait to have sex with all the time and who feels the same for me.

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  • Very nice take but I think women rate on physical attributes in order to start an initial conversation or in terms of getting a date and a phone number... I believe once you've gotten that far then income, education, career, and welsh comes into play. Along with personality. I've said this before, I remember where the most dominate make was the one that was the strongest and in top top physical shape but those days are over! Dominance is measured in knowledge and income and beauty or popularity... Career and personality... Physical attribute days are over, their only an attention getter...

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  • Just some old evolutionary wiring at work. We're still attracted to physical attributes because we believe they are supposed to help us raise and produce the best offspring. Doesn't really make sense, but its the way it is.

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  • Exactly. I can't believe on myself that now I'm falling for girls for their inner beauty and I don't give that much preference on their looks. I used to consider it a bs but now I guess it's because of maturity. Now I realised what's longer lasting.

    Good username too :)

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  • are you autistic?

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  • In an Ideal happy go fucky lucky world yes, Looks dont matter as much as personality.

    But, This is the real world, And looks are more important, Lets just fucking move on as a Society and accept that already -_-.

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    • I wouldn't say they are in the 'real world'. They are crucial in the first impression, however it is the person's body language and how they behave that makes them the most attractive overall. In choosing a lifelong partner there are many things everybody looks for. If I met a hot guy but he was conceited, disrespected me, and wasn't a nice person, I wouldn't go for him.

    • The "real world" can change. It has before, and it will again if necessary. We can't, as a society, simply "move on" from issues because they are hard to overcome.

  • I want to work on my physical attractiveness by working out and grooming. Everyone cares about physical attractiveness. Maybe not to the same levels but at least to a certain degree...

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  • we are still animals :/
    In order to have good offsprings.. we select good mates, and we tend to that by physical attraction.
    Deep down our hearts, we know this.,

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    • But I challenge that point of view. A good body does not make for a good partner. We will have our sexual attraction, but to make that our end-all be-all in terms of selecting a partner, we will find that our relationships will be lacking.

  • The fact of the matter is that lust, attraction and attachment all matter. Sure people place varying degrees of importance on the different components, but they all play a part, and if taken to the extreme, the glorification of personal compatibility is really just describing what could just as well be a friendship.

    There is a reason it is called a romantic relationship.

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  • "A person who makes you smile, who has similar interests, who has similar life goals, who is fun, these are the only things that are really important"
    No, they most certainly are not "the only things that are really important." I know plenty of people who make me smile, have similar interests and goals, who are fun, and yet I wouldn't have any sort of intimacy with them in 10 trillion lifetimes. They are called friends. Speaking as one who was married very happily for 14 years, SEX IS IMPORTANT. Being sexually attracted to your partner is CRUCIAL in that arena. One GAGer aptly described sex with someone she wasn't attracted to as being like rape. Having been in a relationship before I was married with someone I didn't find attractive, I can see where she's coming from. Being physically sexually attracted to someone is indeed very important. My parents were happily married for 51 years. My mother and father were VERY physically attracted to one another. Did their looks fade? Of course! However, both of them admitted that the initial attraction and MEMORY of that attraction was vital to them, even when they were old.

    "What people seem to forget, however, is that sex encompasses a tremendously tiny fraction of a relationship. "
    If by "tremendously tiny fraction" you mean time-wise, then I agree. If by that you mean importance-wise, then you are fantastically mistaken. Ask a divorce lawyer. No divorce lawyer has ever heard, "The sex is awesome, but I want a divorce." Many divorce lawyers have heard, "Everything is awesome, but the sex sucks. I want a divorce." Does the sex life fade with age? You bet it does. But it's absolutely vital to have had it in the first place, and people generally do NOT enjoy sex with people they are not physically attracted to. Period.

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    • "I hope that people can realize, like I do, that people were made for each other not because of their sexual attractiveness, but their compatability."
      And I hope people realize, as it seems you don't, that the best couples are ones who are both physically attracted to one another, and emotionally compatible. To tell them otherwise is not doing anyone any service.

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    • These rich people were often (comparatively) overweight, and they flaunted this as a sign of wealth. Simply because Rubens painted a lot of Rubenesque women doesn't mean that Rubenesque was therefore the ideal to the majority of the world. Singe's and Young's study culled literature throughout several thousand years from Asia, Europe , the Middle East, and North Africa. They considered that what people actually SAY about ideal beauty is a more reliable than what people paint, sculpt, and photograph. They found that virtually every reference to a beautiful female body for several thousand years and several hundred cultures is a reference to a body with the golden ratio (waist/bosom of 1:1.6).

      Furthermore, I recall hearing on NPR (I think it was RadioLab) about a study done about human beauty. They said that whereas beauty is somewhat subjective (and men tend to agree more than women do on what is a beautiful face), alas, unattractiveness is much more objective than most people think.

    • That is to say that people have disagreements over what is beautiful, but there is widespread agreement on what is unattractive, evidenced by the fact that certain disfigurements are considered universally unattractive, regardless of time and culture. Witness how hunchbacks, lepers, and burn victims elicit rather frightened reactions from infants, who haven't had much time to soak up cultural norms.

      I have more to say, but it's too nice an evening to stay cooped up in my office. We'll talk again, I'm sure.

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