In a day and age where many people look younger than their years, are obsessed with taking selfies and can simply nip out for a shot of Botox at lunchtime, is it any wonder that some of the population is walking around with an over inflated image-ego? Now don't get me wrong, you do have to love yourself and be comfortable in your own skin before anyone else can truly love you. However, in the dating game when you start valuing looks in isolation, and over & above absolutely everything else, is it really in your best interest?
At University, Farah had men around her like bees to a pot of honey. When she was around, her female friends were invisible to the male species. Suffice to say, Farah was a highly attractive lady. She had a penchant for highly attractive men and dated them exclusively based on their looks, with no regard to anything remotely related to compatibility. But at the time she was young and carefree, it did not matter and surely it was just a phase. Five years down the line, she met Zahir on a night out. Four years her junior, they were equally awe-struck by one another's attractiveness that after five dates they decided to get married. Her friends advised her to slow down and get to know him but she wasn't interested. He was drop dead gorgeous and she was not letting him go. Sadly, today her bubble has burst. After the ‘honeymoon period' real life started to kick-in and alongside this so did conflict and frustration because of incompatibility.
Farah's story typically illustrates the common error of judgment made by those blind-sighted by looks – an assumption that because attractiveness exists, so will compatibility, similar values and there will be a happily ever after. However, a healthy & happy relationship cannot be sustained if the foundation is based on superficial conditions. From the outside looking in, it's unfortunate but Farah's marriage is like a time bomb waiting to explode. Over the years, I have also met a number of divorcees, who have shared a similar story and admitted (with hindsight) that they only got married to their ex-partner as they were in awe of their attractiveness. Had they not been blind-sighted by looks, they would have quickly realised that they were incompatible and not got married. It's almost ironic because towards the end of many of these marriages, with all the bickering, the couples could no longer bear the sight of one another! Looks may attract a relationship but without compatibility there is no longevity.
At 46, Bally is single and has never been married. She's attractive with a slim figure and long legs to boot. At first glance you can tell that she is someone who looks after herself and certainly does not look her age but equally she is no spring chicken. So why is such an attractive lady still single? Good question. In her earlier years there were many suitors but they simply were not good looking enough. She held out believing that she could do better. Today, she complains that the men in her dating pool (Mid 40s to early 50s) do not necessary look after themselves and the ones who do, want a younger woman. Whilst she gets her fair attention from younger men and it's a real ego boost, the reality is that there is no potential for it being more than a string of casual encounters.
Holding out for the perfect looking person can end up costing you the best years of your prime. Typically, in your 20s to early 30s you believe that you have time on your side to hold out until you meet your ideal looking person. By the time you're into your mid 30s, you believe that as you've waited so long, you're not going to settle for anything less and surely that person is just around the corner? Before long, you're 40 plus still seeking that perfect looking man, or woman that matches your ideals. In some ways it's almost like being a compulsive gambler, you keep placing bet after bet, convinced that the next one will lead to the big win – similarly you keep rejecting person after person, holding out believing that the next one will be the one. However, just as a gambler's money pot diminishes over time, so do the years and youthful looks!
Being in a relationship with someone solely based on their looks, or holding out for someone who is perfect looking for you, are both risky strategies. Firstly, appealing looks do not equal compatibility and secondly looks do not last forever. Whilst it's true that physical attraction is the first thing that creates an interest and desire to get to know someone better, it is equally true that given a chance attraction can grow. Good personalities and character do add and enhance someone's attractiveness, whilst a bad personality and mean character can make even an attractive person appear ugly. It's all about finding a balance between the packaging and contents. I will leave you with a final quote...
"Don't go for the looks, it can be quite deceiving. Don't go for wealth, even that fades away - go for someone who makes you smile because only a smile makes a dark day seem bright. Hope you find that person.” ~ AnonymousAlpa Saujani