Disclaimer: The views expressed within this article are entirely the author’s own and are not attributable to Wessex Scene as a whole.
Looks matter when it comes to dating. As much as we don’t always want them to – they do. We live in a world obsessed with the perfect body, the perfect face, and in general, the perfect appearance. The obsession with perfection is inescapable. Tinder, Bumble, Grindr. The list goes on of dating apps that have members choosing others primarily on attractiveness alone. Many chances of relationships are halted under the guise of ‘lack of attraction’ and so, while we have a select few advocating that all that matters is someone’s personality, for a lot of people looks matter in some shape and form and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Most of us when asked what our type is will give an answer choosing ‘desirable’ physical attributes that a person may have. Sometimes it’s hair colour, eye colour, physique, height or in some cases a smile, a laugh and even dimples. All of these are based on physical attributes that we have limited control over. Although the question on types is open-ended, it’s perfectly acceptable to say ‘someone who makes me laugh‘ or ‘someone with intelligence‘, but still a large number of people will say something physical at some point. So, when we say a physical attribute, we are confirming that in some essence looks and physical attraction matter – but in the process we often feel shame about it. However, we shouldn’t feel shame, because there’s a difference in saying ‘I only date attractive people’ to ‘there has to be some sort of attraction‘.
The first statement is superficially hollow that most likely defines attractiveness as the generic plastering of beauty we find in Instagram models and TV adverts. It qualifies looks as being the most important aspect of dating and leaves little room for emotional connection through personality. It’s mostly said by people who have an unprecedented amount of narcissism that, trust me, are not worth your time.
The second statement is about personal preference. It isn’t you saying someone has to be constructed physically perfect, but that there has to be something about them that draws you in but isn’t limited to what has been defined as beautiful by society. It’s about putting personal preference over wider opinions, and this attractiveness matters because it’s personal to you – it doesn’t change depending on what other’s think. The person stays attractive to you, even if others don’t see it.
Attraction like this then is something we need to normalise and accept because this sense of attraction is malleable. The guy with huge muscles and a six-pack may always be attractive even if they treat you horribly, but then there’s something else about someone who has a caring-heart or great sense of humour that makes them more attractive because of these traits. Their attractiveness isn’t limited to their physical appearance but also influenced by their emotional quantity.
We need to normalise the fact we started speaking to someone because we found them attractive as long as we are not actively excluding others on appearance alone. There needs to be a balance that considers what we find attractive about someone physically and how we connect with them emotionally. When these two facts are in equilibrium, there’s less superficiality involved and room to let things grow in meaningful ways. Be proud that you’re attracted to your partner, especially so if other’s may not see it, because it’s what you see that matters!