POSTED ON FEBRUARY 11, 2009:
The Advice Goddess
Depth and The Maiden
I'm a 21-year-old college student. I don't have trouble attracting guys, but I'm looking for someone who won't just like me for the outside. Online, before a guy even asks your name, he wants a picture. How do I get guys to move from "Pic Plz!" to a deeper connection? Even in person, it seems the minute guys know I have more to offer than my face or body they lose interest. When I feel a connection, the guy's looks don't matter because I know what it's like to be judged by appearance.
- Meaningful Relationship, Plz!
You might be right. It might be what they can't see in your photo that's chasing them away. Just wondering...when your picture was being taken, was that giant chip on your shoulder maybe on the ground behind you on a little leash?
Complaining that men want beautiful women is like complaining that you have to tuck cheese into your mousetrap and not a copy of the Financial Times of London. Looks are important to men. This isn't because men are shallow, disgusting pigs, but because they're hard-wired to want the women best equipped to pass on their genes. What men consider beautiful - like youth, clear skin, long shiny hair, and an hourglass figure - are indicators that a woman is healthy and fertile. Despite piles of data from David Buss and other evolutionary psychologists showing the male priority for female beauty to be pretty universal across time, cultures, and borders, many feminists insist looks aren't important or shouldn't be; that men only go for the hotties because they're brainwashed by the media. (As if the kind of face they put in Maybelline commercials is the only reason men aren't clamoring to see Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg curled up kittenishly on a bearskin rug in Playboy.)
You say, when you feel a connection, the guy's looks don't matter. The truth is, because you're a woman, they probably matter less. Studies consistently show women prioritize earning potential in men, but if there's one area in the looks department that matters, it's height. Women, overwhelmingly, want tall guys. How overwhelmingly? ABC News polled women to find out, lining up short men next to taller men. Reporter Lynn Sherr asked the women if there were anything that could make the shortest, a five-footer, irresistible. "Maybe the only thing you could say is that the other four are murderers," one woman replied. Another agreed, saying taller men with criminal records might've motivated her to look down for a man. Another put a finer point on that, saying she'd have considered the short man had the taller ones been described as "child molesters."
So, it seems we all have our cross to bear (some of us, while standing on a couple of phone books). Your looks are like a promotion at a car dealership, where the balloons and free hot dogs get 'em in the door, but you have to talk to the people stuffing their faces to see who qualifies as a buyer. Sure, some guys just wanna fool around with a hot bod (especially at 21), but if every guy loses interest the minute you show you've got "more to offer," it suggests the "more" you're offering is resentment, indignation, and spite. You need to accept that you can't get to the deep part without going through the "shallow" part. There are guys out there who'll be interested in what's in your heart - you just might have to give them an evening or so to say everything that needs to be said to your cleavage.
Paws in the Action
The guy I slept with last night left my place at 4am, saying he had to walk his dog before work. I'm totally hurt. He's somebody I've gone out with several times, not just a hookup. Am I being too sensitive?
You can't blame a guy for preferring to answer the looming question "Where do we go from here?" with "Down to the dog park to take a big poo." Even if you don't come off like a woman who'd ask that, the question tends to hang in the harsh light of the morning after. There are women who can have sex, snore through the guy's 4am departure, and wake up relieved they don't have to toast an extra English muffin. If you aren't one of them, you should wait to get naked until a guy seems kinda bonded. As for what the future will bring, wait for the future to bring it. If the guy calls again, it's probably a sign he's looking to spend some mornings chasing a certain two-legged creature around - and probably not just because that chase isn't likely to end with him holding his nose and picking up after you with a big plastic bag.
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