Has the word "preferences" replaced the word "superficial" in the dating game?

So I've been reading a few questions lately and it got me thinking that there really seems to be no such thing as superficial anymore, from what I'm seeing these days. It seems like every choice that a person has towards what their partner should look like is rationalized down to personal preference. Do you think the word superficial have a place anymore when it comes to dating selection today? I've also noticed too that girls seem to be able to get away with it much easier than guys can.

The two things that girls seem the least flexible on are height and race, and for the most part they are allowed to chalk it up to personal preference without much fuss. I'm fine with that, as long as the non-fuss is equal between the genders. But god forbid that a guy has something like a racial preference and it seems like all hell breaks loose. So my question is, is there a line anymore between personal preference and plain old superficial, or have we done away with the latter word?

  • Yes, there are no more "superficial" choices in dating anymore. It's all personal preference
    Vote A
  • No, being superficial cannot be rationalized down to personal preference
    Vote B
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Most Helpful Girl

  • The difference between superficiality and preference is that you will turn down anyone who doesn't match all your list when you're superficial while you can still find people attractive who don't exactly match your list when you just have a preference. Superficiality is inflexible, a requirement and exclude most people. Preference isn't a requirement.

    I can't say much about race, because that's never been a priority to me. But yeah, I do care about height. My ideal is between 5'9 and 5'11, but I've been attracted to men taller than that range as well as shorter than that range. That's when you notice it's just that, a preference you made up when you played 'build your perfect man' when you were young.


Have an opinion?

What Girls Said 4

  • Only for the superficial youths.. Haha..

    1. Oh she needs to have a nice vagina like those p*rn girls
    2. I want a girl with big boobs.
    3. She needs to be white cos they always look better than the other race from (canadian Asians and Americans)
    4. He needs to be 6'1. COs I'm 4'8 and i want tall babies in future.
    5. He needs to treat me like a princess and spoils me a lot.

  • it's superficial when looks are all that matter to the person. so, their physical preferences being much more important to them than the personality/character that comes with the person they fancy.

  • "Superficial", on the other hand, tends to get thrown around by people who won't bother to get off their lardy ass, work out, maintain decent hygiene and realise that romantic relationships are at least partly based on physical attraction.

  • Its a debatable topic because at the end of the day we all have things we find attractive or unattractive. For example if I like Korean men, why should someone take offense to what i find attractive so long as i'm not hurting anyone else?

    • i agree. Though im a little confused as to what is considered superficial and what isn't these days. It's so easy to just call it personal preference and pretty much shut the mouths of naysayers without much effort

    • I find ignoring those naysayers helps me sleep at night :)

What Guys Said 5

  • Superficial was always overused.

    If someone dates anyone who meets certain standards regardless of anything else that's superficial. A guy who will basically date any girl with an hourglass body, a girl who will date any guy who is a lawyer etc.

    Preferences are really just that and are no big deal...

    Until a whole lot of people have the same preference...

    And there's nothing people can do about it. And then... It sucks.

    I got nothing than beyond encouraging people to maximize what they have. You don't need most people to come you attractive at all if you can get 2% to find you really attractive. I barely put on muscle. I dance like shit. I tend towards being tense though I joke a lot. Women who care about those things I have no hope with. Others I do.

    Btw: I'm aware of the data around height. And I've seen for example the okcupid data on race. I will say this: the success difference between racial dating success is small compared to the difference between those rated attractive/unattractive facially and also income. Pretty sure they actually covered height vs number of sex partners too - significant but small compared to looks and money.

    • "Pretty sure they actually covered height vs number of sex partners too"

      ok cupid covered that?

      do you have a link?

    • Show All
    • Lol the main thing I got from that was that everyone lies :D

      so taller people reported having more sex partners

      I was interested in seeing if people who reported higher number of sex partners would get more or less responses :/

    • interesting. ill have to read that data. I've seen the stuff they've done on race as well as the percentage of guys women actually find attractive, both of which were disheartening reads, lol

  • Haha, yes, no, maybe ;)

    I do think superficiality is quite an extensive issue in the dating world. The perfect and stereotyped example is the club scene: people posturing around in clothing they can't afford, girls strutting around caked in makeup, guys' $100 haircuts slicked back with gel, all acting cool, faux sophistication--that is straightforward phoniness. Judging someone on their ability to fit in with that nonsense, or anything of that nature, strikes me as truly superficial. If someone is being rejected because they don't fit a particular image (either one someone has or wants to have of themselves or of what they have of others), that's superficiality, in my opinion.

    As for preference, I think that's totally legitimate phenomenon (and I view superficiality and preference as being a spectrum). For example, I have a strong preference for girls with brown hair with warm undertones. I have no rational reason for that whatsoever. I can't defend it other than with the words "Just because." There has to be some sexual compatibility reason for it (pheromones, maybe? I'd have to study), but if I have the choice between a girl with blond hair and a girl with my preferred hair color, well the brunette is going to win.

    Of course, if I know both of those women and the blond is superior in character, well that's likely going to override physical characteristics (assuming they're both hot, lol). But if we're all total strangers, I'm likely to approach the brunette first (which is the likely scenario, since I don't date women in my social circle). However, just because the girl is blond doesn't mean I'm going to rule her out entirely.

    In other words, I think preferences are based in sexual compatibility and largely biological, whereas superficiality is socially/psychologically based.

  • I think people should be able to have whatever preferences they want as long as...
    1. they aren't rude when declining people who don't meet their standards
    2. they don't complain if they can't find someone who meets their standards

    "I've also noticed too that girls seem to be able to get away with it much easier than guys can"

    so fucking true.

    for one I've noticed girls freak out here if a guy says he wouldn't want to date a girl who has slept around (has a higher number of partners)

    but girls have no problem denying guys who are shorter (lower number of inches or cm)

    I think both preferences are fair.

    • yeah that's exactly what I'm talking about. People should be free to have the standards they want... which for the most part we are... but not without public scorn. It seems to be worse when you're a guy for whatever reason, to reject girls based on traditionally superficial reasons. Like, if I told a girl that she was being superficial for rejecting a guy shorter than her, I'd look like an idiot for having the audacity to tell a girl who she should and should not date. But imagine what would befall a guy on here for saying that he had a preference for one race over another because he wasn't attracted to the other. xD And of coarse, the other points you made are also valid. You've gotta know what to expect if you have high expectations

  • Once you invented Tinder/dating services and the commodity of personality/looks, didn't you just bring back the old slave market for emotional purposes?

    People bought and sold for ultimate compatibility, instead of willingness to adapt and learn through experience?

    I don't know, man.

    • i suppose the advent of online dating mediums have made this problem worse yes... but i dont really know what is considered superficial anymore, because it seems quite acceptable to justify all choice under "hey, its just my personal preference!"

    • Someone once said that radical individualism would be the death of civilized society and the advent of the modern technological slave state, but I can't remember who said it so take that with a grain of salt.

    • sounds like a smart lad

  • Its not a concern to most people because everyone is shallow and use the word preference to shadow it. I dated girls who weren't models and had some serious fun but yes preference is the new superficial.

    New preference:
    You may be a supportive girl and make me feel great but your looks aren't perfect and I refuse to give you a chance.

    Jeez I would kill myself if I was like most people

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