Why You Should Stop Worrying About Whether Youre Attractive Enough To Find Love

###The other day, a girl emailed me:

“I’m worried that I’m not pretty enough to get a guy. I’m single, and want a serious relationship, but sometimes I think I can’t find one because I’m not prettier.”

I wanted to exclaim, “That’s ridiculous!” But instead I thought, Well, of course you’re worried.

When I was single, I reasoned that being hotter was always better because it would give me more options. The hotter I was, the more guys would be interested in me, and the more choice I’d have in the matter. So even if I thought I looked fine, it would’ve been better to look, well, even better. (And then there is no limit—you can always be hotter, somehow.) And when I thought that I looked significantly, depressingly less than fine, I was scared, because I felt as though I might miss out on something essential.

This is not irrational. It makes sense, when we think of women’s worth as being closely matched, at least initially, with their beauty.

Plus: Dubiously Sourced Survey Says Women Find 1950s-Era Men The Most Desirable

From the time we’re little girls, we’re taught that if we were prettier everything in our lives would be better. We would have the things that we want. Girls become preoccupied with their appearances in an effort to control and improve their lives, and are too often driven to despair when they don’t see themselves as fitting into restrictive and seemingly arbitrary beauty standards. And this is not some dramatic interpretation—it’s just life. Some of us escape unscathed, and some of us are blissfully oblivious enough, and some of us recover from middle school and go on to not care very much, and some of us continue to be chased by the howling, hungry beauty demons into our adulthood and even until we die.

My grandmothers are always worried about how they look. Always.

So it’s no wonder that someone might worry that not looking good enough might interfere with finding love. It sometimes feels like it interferes with everything, after all. And what is more tied to beauty than selecting a partner? Isn’t that what beauty is all about, ultimately–being able to attract desirable partners? Isn’t that the biological reason why we even have this thing called beauty?

It’s really important to learn to feel better about the way you look, not so that you can get a man, but so that you can learn to stop blaming your looks for the way your life is going.

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