As I started this article, I was originally going to title this: Looks--How Much Should They Matter? However, I think an article based more upon the real world and how much looks actually matter would be a more useful place to start. I will probably write the other article at a later time (including other "non looks oriented attractors"). So, how much do looks tend to matter in the dating world? In short: a lot. Remember, I'm just the messenger with this, but it's the truth and you need to know it and understand it.
Looks especially matter in the online dating world, even with LDS online dating, where a person's profile picture is often to first thing seen and the first parameter used to determine if a person will read the rest of another's profile and possibly contact them or not. Rule of thumb: looks help give you your initial dating chance with someone, whereas how you and he/she treat each other from there will determine how much longevity the relationship will have. Stated another way, better looking people tend to get more initial dating opportunities with more people, whereas those who treat others well have the best chance of a healthy, happy, lifelong and eternal marriage once a relationship gets going. So, both factors matter and both are important to work on. This article just focuses on the superficial factors.
From my education and experience, looks matter a good deal to both men and women with attraction and dating, with looks mattering somewhat more on average to men. Why? We men have a more powerful visual orientation from our inner wiring. We're just made that way. When it comes to initial attraction to the opposite sex, we men can usually tell immediately by looking at a woman if we are attracted to them (although that can change to a degree). With women, initial attraction can more fall under "yes", "no", or "maybe", with a some more leeway with the 3 options depending on how women emotionally both initially and over time. Nevertheless, looks matter to both genders and is a factor that will limit opportunities if it's ignored or neglected.
So, if looks matter so much, what are you supposed to do about them? The answer: you do the best you can by making the most of what you have. You embrace the importance of looks and you try. Make a good, strong, consistent effort with your looks, but not in an obsessive, self depreciating manner. It's a balancing act. Always improve yourself without beating yourself up in the process. Your genes and general biological makeup is what it is. However, diet, exercise, weight management, fashion, and other efforts can help us make the most of our physical attraction potential. Remember, most people end up dating and marrying others in a similar range of looks as themselves, so the better looking you are going into a relationship, you will tend to match up with someone else at the same general level and the more likely you will give each other a chance.
So, what makes for physical attraction? Isn't "beauty in the eye of the beholder"? To an extent. Still, research shows that there are a number of general universal physical attraction indicators for both men and women. Some of these factors you can influence and improve upon, while other factors come from what you are born with. So here they are: men tend to be most attracted to women who 1) are shorter than they are, 2) have a youthful appearance, and 3) exhibit certain prime features such as a symmetrical face, full breasts, full lips, and a low waist-hip ratio. Women, on average, tend to be attracted to men who 1) are taller than they are, 2) display a high degree of facial symmetry, 3) possess masculine facial dimorphism (square jaw), and 4) who have the prime features of broad shoulders, a relatively narrow waist, and a V-shaped torso. Think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. But what if you don't look like Brad or Angelina? The good news is you don't need to. You just need to look your best and you will match up with another of a similar physical attraction level. You don't need perfection, just to look good enough to be given a chance.
After your initial introduction and interactions, how you talk to and treat the other becomes more essential. But to get to that point to show the good person you are, you need to be given the opportunity. Looks are your gateway to that opportunity and the effort is worth it. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11).
|2016-04-01||Randy Gilchrist||Dating, Healthy relationships|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to email@example.com).