How true is the assertion that only a woman/ girl's looks matter in the dating scene?

Now, I have no problem against pretty/ beautiful women being highly eligible. It's just, why does everything else -intelligence, personality, etc. -have to come second, or even prove negligible in some cases? Especially since physical beauty is a genetic lottery ticket that expires over time.

Oh, I know the theory about clear skin and large waist-to-hip ratios being markers for fertility. It's just, physical appearance today can be altered by makeup and surgery. That correlation no longer truly applies. Also, you'd think the 'secondary' qualities would be more important in selecting a long-term partner. So why? Are guys, lesbians & bisexual women really controlled by their instincts that much?

(On that account, are there any sapiosexuals on this site? Or is sapiosexuality real at all?)


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Most Helpful Guy

  • I'm a very, very sexual guy. For me to be happy in a relationship, the sexual element has to be exciting and fulfilling. While looks aren't the be all and end all, I do need to be attracted to my partner, and I definitely want someone who makes me want to tear her clothes off every time I see her. That might be trivial and immature, but that's just how I am.

    On the contrary though, I also want my girl to be my best friend, so characteristics such as intelligence, charisma, humour and personal drive are highly valued.

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What Guys Said 22

  • Physical attraction is very important to me. There's not way around that, and I can't really change it. I'm not going to be with a girl who doesn't visually appeal to me. That being said if she physically appeals to me, but makes me want to hit my head against the wall on an intellectual level we're still not gonna work out. The two go hand in hand. I'm not going to be with a stupid woman who's hot, and I'm not going to be with an ugly woman who's intelligent. I wouldn't say one matters any more than the other.

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  • Looks aren't the only thing that matter but they are REALLY important. it's not just clear skin and hip ratios, it's also facial symetry as well. It's just the way we are biologically wired. Males have always wanted an attractive firtile girl to reproduce with and females have wanted the alpha male to provide security and protecton. Economy though we have advanced past the "hunter gather times" we still want the same things in a partner that we have always wanted. I'm not saying that personality doesn't matter or that it's less important but it is the FIRST thing we notice. We can't take the time to get to know everyone so you kind of have to make it through the "attractive test". Think of it like a job screening, they don't give serious interviews to everyone, just the people who pass the initial screening. I think we judge each other on 3 categories looks, personality, and satus and assign weight to each category. Guys "generally " in my opinion put 40 pets in looks,50 in personality, and 10 in status (financial). Girls on the other hand put 20 in looks,30 in status and 50 in personality. Just my opinion but both genders care about superficial quality ities but long-term personality carries the most weight. We do care about personality but youve got to pass the looks screening first. A beautiful girl can ATTRACT guys but she won't keep them unless she has a great personality. She may get lots of "job interviews" but she's not nessesarily going to get the job. Think about all the famous models like Adriana Lima and Miranda Ker they have the entire world gawking at them. They could attract just about any guy but they can't KEEP a guy. I can't think of a single model who's had a successful marriage that's lasted over 10 years (there might be some but I think a lot if not most of their relationships are short lived. So looks are the first things guys notice and they are very important but not everything.

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    • That's not supposed to say "economy though" it should say *even though

  • I think looks are the main driver initially, but as a relationship evolves looks become the secondary trait. Unfortunately personality, intelligence etc aren't things we usually get a chance to experience before we well, before we know someone else.

    This goes for men and women, no one wants to sound shallow but I think there is a big difference between someone saying "hmm I like the way she looks I'm gonna go talk to her" and someone who breaks up with his girlfriend because she gained 5 pounds and now is a "fat cow".

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    • Don't worry, I'm well aware there's a difference. ;) I'm curious about this uniformity in the men's answers though: why do men only talk to girls they find attractive, with a focus on dating/sex?

      It's just; there seems to be this automatic expectation there. When I talk to people in a party, I don't do it with their dating potential in mind. I do it because they could be someone I'd like to be friends/ acquaintances with. If I walk away establishing romantic chemistry/ attraction, that's a bonus.

  • Physical attraction is #1 because that's what an approach is determined by. I can't see a girl from across the room and determine if she's friendly, or intelligent, or even into guys in the first place. Nobody can, and if you think otherwise, you're full of yourself.

    So long as "go up and talk to her" is the dominant advice, looks will forever be the first criteria. That's unavoidable. You find a cute girl, ask her out, and try to get to know each other better to see if you click. Personality is still extremely important, but it isn't the first thing. Guys aren't going to go out and hit on women they find unattractive, and women aren't going to accept dates from guys they think are unattractive.

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  • It's true in the beginning, but looks matter less and less as a guy gets to know a girl.

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  • The primary reason why this is the case (and it applies to men as well, admittedly not to the same extent) is because before we get to know you, it's all we have to go on.

    I'm a believer in the idea that looks will get my attention, personality will keep it.

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  • I think it's true for a certain percentage of people that looks/beauty are the only things that matter when it comes to dating. But not for all by any means. There's got to be something more as far as I'm concerned. The most beautiful, pretty, hot. . . whatever girl in the world, without something more going on inside, wouldn't be somebody I'd want to be with for anything long term.

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  • I also feel looks matter to most women to. I feel not hot and pretty much no woman is interested in me. I feel it is because I am not hot. I have seen some of your comments on here and just wanted to say you can private message me if you want and ill do my best to help you. I am non judgmental and have been through the same feelings so I understand.

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    • It matters to women, but less so than man. You're more likely to see a hot girl with a fugly dude, but very rarely will it be the other way around

    • Well, I'm not in need of a listening ear right now, but thanks for the offer. And I wouldn't say there are no women AT ALL who are attracted to unconventional looks ---I'm one myself (unfortunately the sentiment didn't get returned). So cheer up! Maybe we're not lucky just yet. ;)

    • I did not say there are NO women that are not like this and typical I get voted down by a woman for my view... Just typical... -.- Just saying how I feel and yeah I think we both are just no lucky yet. :)

  • Men are visual beings.
    Looks will always be the first draw for our assessment. Less so for women, but looks matter. If you can't look over at your woman and say to yourself "I want to fuck her" it's just not going to work. You can test it by finding a guy you don't find physically attracted in any way, and have a relationship with him. See how it goes

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    • Actually, I've always thought I had a type ---buff, tan and tall. But I've broken all my damn rules at least once since, becoming attracted to guys with beards, short guys, hairy guys, slender guys, middle-aged guys. My current celeb obsession? Mark Ruffalo. So I was wondering if it's possible for men to break their rules and consider women outside their usual preferences visually appealing too.

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    • There's no rules when it comes to attraction. You are attracted to what you're attracted to. I generally go for brunettes. I didn't even like redheads until I met my girlfriend

    • Well, that's a relief to hear. Maybe I might strike lucky one day too. Thanks for commenting!

  • I get why you're confused. Women highly value a guy being smart, confident, being educated, traveled, career, like that, which leads to many women being baffled why we place such high importance on looks.

    Anyway. For us men, looks are primary importance. If this was an exam, looks would be the essay worth 70% of the test, and character/personality would be worth 30%. Thing is, we men date for different reasons than women. Hence, what we want is different.

    And don't get me wrong, personality/character matters. A great personality can make an ok date great. Thing is, it only matters if you're attractive enough we want to bother with trying to get your number/get a date in the first place. Given that we men are the ones doing the legwork 90% of the time, we have our own standards for what's worth the effort.

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    • So if there were more women willing to do the legwork, so to speak, would the emphasis on appearance change? Also, does that mean male-female interactions in informal settings occur with the aim of finding a romantic/ sexual partner?

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    • Oh, when I'm working, I talk to whoever I need to talk to. It's not like I'm going to date a coworker! That'd be asking for trouble, with how workplace rules are.

      When I'm out and about, I don't bother chatting with girls who aren't at least cute.

    • Eh, well. Do what you do then.

  • Looks are the first thing people see. People don't date to make the world fair. Deeper intelligent people pay attention to deeper qualities. Those qualities are more difficult to show to everybody than looks.
    The majority of guys who approach women are different from the guys who approach less. So if women want another type of guys they should start making an effort in seeking and approaching.

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    • I know they don't. As for seeking and approaching, I'm at a loss on this one. It's not easy for me to find someone who is compatible with me morally and will look past my gender expression. My last two fancies turned out to be a racist and a lazy, heavy smoker respectively. I just hope my luck will be better this time.

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    • tomboy or not, the fundamental characteristic in a woman for me is to like men.
      i tend to have insensitive thoughts, but i have a lot of interest in helping others.

    • LOL, I think that's a very fair prerequisite! I'd want my date to be capable of being attracted to me too. I hope you don't assume tomboys are all lesbians though. Gender expression doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sexuality.

      That's fine. Opinions and worldviews are things that can change throughout life. And the most important thing isn't what we think, but what we say and do.

  • It matters when we're looking for a girl to date but if she's only pretty on the outside we'll move on.
    All I can say is everybody has a different opinion on what beautiful is and there's always a guy that will find you physically perfect and will date you, from there it's all about compatibility and personality.

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    • Thanks, but I'd doubt any guy would find me good-looking; I've a constant skin affliction, prominent dark circles and slightly crooked, discolored teeth. All of it's correctable by medical procedures, but right now I don't have the money. Thank you all the same!

  • It's very true for casual relationships.

    Not so true for long term relationships, although looks are still a requirement.

    I'm not sapiosexual, but definitely value women whom I deem as intelligent. At the same time, I want a girl who acts like a girl, and not a masculine know-it-all.

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    • It's fine if you like feminine women. Everyone has their own preferences.

      I would like to remind you, however, that people cannot help the gender identity they're born with, which includes their gender roles and expressions. Nor should anyone have to apologise for their interests, even if said interests are bookish. Therefore, please do show some sensitivity and respect for women who do not fall within your romantic preferences.

  • Women choose men 99% of the time, if women don't agree, it's not happening - the end.
    Guys are more flexible with their standards.

    An interesting study showed guys have 3-4 "deal breakers".

    Do you know how many did women have?
    Over 100.

    I rest my case.

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    • Do you know the name of this study, or have a link?

    • It was a study done by match. com
      I don't have an account there anymore to link it but you can search if you do through their blog archives.
      They surveyed women and men online to list their "deal breakers".
      Men had 3,4 , most was 10.
      Women had over 100 from "crooked teeth" to "what kind of hair cut".

    • Pick it up again, then: you're arguing from a Western perspective.

  • That is not true at all. I would never continue to date a girl soley on looks. But when it comes to approachING women of course at the moment I only got looks

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  • I think girls care about looks a lot as well.

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    • A lot of people, regardless of sex and gender, care about looks. That was why I mentioned homosexual and bisexual women in my questions.

  • About as true as the same assertion is regarding guys. That is, quite a lot.

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  • because it's evolutionary..

    don't beat yourself if you have some disadvantage...

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    • Thank you. I'm not beating myself up though; it's just terribly annoying for me that none of my qualities get recognition. Even some of the women I know are like, "Lol, who would date you?" Ugh.

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    • Yes, they're not... they're acquaintances I should avoid like the plague, lol. Thanks for the reminder. :)

    • You're welcome :)

  • Looks matter less to men than they do to women. I'd guess that most men find at least around 50% of the women around their age physically attractive enough, while most women probably find about 5% of men attractive enough. Obviously I've pulled these numbers out of nowhere but the point is the same, women are far more picky about everything. In humans, like all mammals, females do the sexual selection and males just take what they can get.

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    • You know, basing your opinion on your experience and/or the experience of those you know doesn't hold. And humans are different from animals in the mating aspect by virtue of our complex social and moral constructions.

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    • So you are arguing you don't have an opinion? Sounds like a great way to dodge the question. Everyone gets there opinions on everything from observation of the world around them, or listening to others observations.

      Stating men are judged more for their appearance than women is a perfectly good response to a question asking whether women are judged solely on their appearance. I don't know where you are trying to go with implying its not.

    • No, the important thing is to see OTHER people's opinions. I myself believe that looks hold equal import for both sexes, with slightly more emphasis for men, but I was prepared to revise my opinion or put it on hold given enough contradictory evidence.

      Besides, isn't it the point of an open-ended question to solicit other views? Why would I ask a question that already clearly states my own stance, unless I wanted it challenged or affirmed? That has no use to me whatsoever here, and would adulterate the results.

      I'm not trying to imply that your answer is wrong. I'm just pointing out that most respondents simply affirm the importance of looks in the initial dating stage. They don't actually state which sex places more emphasis on looks. [By the way, I had meant to state "minority" in the previous comment. My apologies. My brain doesn't exactly work its best at 3 in the morning.]

  • The first thing that attracts couples is looks. That's common sense. Most people would not entertain going out with someone if they found them unattractive. But the truth is, from my opinion and experience, is personality, and everything else is what makes a relationship work. I'm an average looking guy, and have been turned down a lot. Women, and guys can be superficial. I've known some women who I didn't think were very attractive, but after getting to know them, found them a big turn on. One woman comes to mind. She was around my age, at a university that I needed to talk to. She had an ok face but she was around 300+ lbs. At first I thought "ok, someone I just have to deal with". After knowing her for awhile, I kept thinking of her and wanted to talk to her. She was a turn on for me because liked her personality and etc. But it wasn't meant to be. She was married. Looks come and go. Also, I've known too many women who were pretty, but after knowing them, even a little, turned out to be bitches. I also knew some guy friends who were the same way, nice looking, but were arrogant s. o. b. I'am straight, btw.

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  • "Especially since physical beauty is a genetic lottery ticket..."
    That's your answer, beautiful women get to mate with the best/fittest males, so all men value beauty because being genetic it will improve the chances of their children.

    "It's just, physical appearance today can be altered by makeup and surgery. That correlation no longer truly applies."

    It's a form of dishonesty in a way, girls wear make up to give the impression they're fertile when they aren't really.

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    • If we didn't care about looks we might as well go bi.

    • That's a very simplistic answer. Certain markers for beauty indicate fertility, yes, but unlike animals humans don't just bang each other and have babies. Many people want long-term, fulfilling emotional attachments. I find it hard to believe that physical appearance alone will be a good guarantee of these things.

      Also, there can be very different markers for beauty across different cultures. For example, Asians in general champion fair skin, while a lot of Americans seem to be obsessed with tans...

  • Looks are important initially. There's no getting around that because it's in our DNA. But the other things you mentioned are far more important in the long run.

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What Girls Said 2

  • Looks aren't everything BUT, they are part of the package. Think about it, let's put 2 identical guys. They're both equally smart, equally funny, equally nice, equally humble, etc. But the only thing that separates them is looks. One is attractive (whatever your definition of good looking is), and the other is ugly (whatever you consider ugly), which would you rather pick? The good looking guy with all the qualities? Or the ugly with all the qualities but appearance?

    Looks aren't everything, but they can be like a tie breaker as I showed in the example above. They attract you to the person. I'm sorry, but it's hard to get physical or sexual with someone you consider ugly. This is why I feel looks help you separate romantic and platonic relationships. Now does this person have to be like Ryan Gosling? Do they have to be Scarlett Johansenn? No. But whatever you as the individual deem as attractive. I know with my exes, people would tell me I "could do better." Just based on looking at them. I said I don't care if people consider them ugly, I thought they were attractive to me.

    Point is, you do need to find your partner attractive. If you don't, it's hard to become sexual or physical with them. I kinda am sapiosexual. I have the biggest crush on MatPat from GameTheory a YouTube channel. He's so smart and funny, and he looks scrawny and geeky. Perfect for me haha
    Looks attract a person, but your personality keeps them. And everyone has different tastes, so some people will find you beautiful while others find you hideous. Good luck

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    • Yes, I agree, but shouldn't it be possible to feel attraction to someone you didn't find attractive initially? I know THAT has happened to me several times; in one extreme case it was a guy I found plain for 2 months before he talked to me -then it was a crush that lasted 6 years.

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    • I guess I do. I think that's our main difference here: for you, you have to overlook his appearance for quite a while before you're conducive to attraction. There's an element of sacrifice and investment there. For me, looks stop becoming a point of contention almost instantly, plus I don't wait until I develop an actual attachment with someone to start approaching them.

      Not that you're wrong of course. It just means we have different expectations, priorities and methods.

    • Lol I mean, even if I do find him good looking, it'd still take me a long time to actually fall. He can be the most good looking, but then if I find out he has no substance, I won't want anything to do with him. If he's ugly or attractive, I'll need the same amount of time to fall for his personality. But for an ugly person, it'd be more of a risk. It's about a whole package. Like if he's not funny it'd possibly be a enough not to fall for him. If he's not nice, definitely will not continue. Basically, I can overlook appearance, but kindness and manners a must. Humor and intelligence are very important, but not sure if it'd be so important that I'd break up with an unfunny or stupid guy.
      If you want my list of importance here it is lol

      For initial attraction:
      1. Kindness/manners
      2. Looks
      3. Humor
      4. Intelligence

      For a relationship:
      1. Kindness/manners
      2. Intelligence
      3. Humor
      4. Looks

      The more traits the guy has, the better. Looks attract, but personality keeps.

  • It is what it is.

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    • Perhaps. I guess my next question should be, "how do I give up looking/ hoping for romantic love?" Any pointers?

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    • Just take time to make sure the guy really likes you as a person and vice versa.

    • @Bysshe: Oh, I know there are. But as a commentor pointed out, they have an easier time finding someone than their female counterparts. In any case, they don't give me the time of the day either, even when I'm interested in them (*shrugs).

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