Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Bylaws of Attraction

So, let's say, hypothetically, you meet someone new for a "blind" date.  The quotation marks shall imply that you have previously seen a photograph...keep reading to find out why that is an integral part of this post at this point.  You go into the situation with no expectations (remember?...we talked about that) and no preconceived judgments.  You're a blank slate, waiting for someone to scribble out their pros and cons, in a nice orderly list of course, so that you can make a judgment call as to whether or not this person is worthy of receiving more of your time and attention. 

Let's further say, first, that this person has absolutely no "wow factor" nor does he/she inspire feelings of impending doom.  You don't want to rush to the bathroom and call your best friend to say "Oh my gosh, he/she could be The One," nor do you want to run from the restaurant screeching for the nearest cop to come rescue you from what will surely turn out to be the plot of the next great Lifetime movie.  He/She was just kind of...vanilla.  Personality wise.

Okay, now let's switch gears.  What if there is absolutely no physical attraction?  What if you sat through the entire "date" (wow, lots of quotation marks in this one...maybe that says something about my life) wondering if you could possibly ever be physically attracted to this person?  Now, I know I am going to get my hand slapped on this one.  Especially since I am no Playboy model myself, but I feel as though I should at least think that my partner is attractive.  Even if it's the "He's so cute in a (nerdy),(dorky),(goofy) sort of way."  And I know that I'm going to get some responses insisting that I give it time, get to know him, blah blah blah.  But even if there wasn't so much as one redeeming attractive quality?  At all?  I mean, nothing, people.  Nothing.  I know in just the couple of hours I sat with him that he is a very nice guy.  I know that he was nervous, which surprisingly made me less nervous.  There just wasn't really anything...anything to describe or want more details about to inspire another meeting. 

How long do you think is the appropriate time to spend with someone before you just chalk it up to a lack of attraction?  How important is physical attraction, in all honesty?  I know that we all walk around with our politically correct responses of "it's what's inside that counts," and I do agree with that sentiment.  If you look like Bradley Cooper but have the personality of a dead leaf, then eventually, your chiseled, perfect looks aren't going to cut it.  Eventually.  We might have a lot of fun for a while, and I know I'd truly enjoy showing you off to every girl in high school who looked down her nose at me, but a lifetime connection...probably not.  On the other hand, if you're cute and have a great personality and keep me laughing and have some interesting qualities, I will think you're gorgeous within a matter of days. I can actually prove that in my history of interests. 

[Random interjected sidenote:  I almost forgot I was going to explain to you the quotation marks around the word blind above.  Ah-hem.  Let me see how to put this mildy.  These guys are deceiving.  I don't know how they're doing it, but they are managing to somehow post pictures of themselves that look only moderately similar to how they actually look, and that's a stretch.  I'll be honest, my pictures are selected based on how I feel I look in them.  Obviously, I'm not going to post the one from Christmas morning in my new snowman pajamas with my hair in a ponytail and a makeup-less face.  But, I look like my pictures.  These gentlemen, uh, do not. Done with sidenote.] 

Here's the most important part of this post, and I am completely serious when I say that I want responses, comments, critiques, insults, compliments, whatever you're inspired to share with me after reading this question.  Without caving to the socially expected response, how many times would you go out with someone that you felt no physical attraction to upon meeting?


  1. Obviously I've been out of the game for some time now, but if there was no chemistry or physical attraction, I was done after two dates. I could always chalk up the first to nerves, but after the 2nd time, I was done. Communication, personality are all very big parts of a relationship, but being attracted to a person was a big one for me. If you're looking for a friend, great! keep it friendly....but a possible boyfriend? In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, you need the "za-za-zu" :)

  2. Physical attraction is an incredibly important thing when starting and maintaining a relationship, Melanie. The whole attraction thing isn't solely created upon their physical qualities, though (as you noted.). A lot of times you can be attracted to someone for their mind, or their talents, sometimes for the eloquence and such. With saying that I think that perhaps the amount time that you give them to show themselves should run past one or two encounters; I mean, how can you expect them to let you know something incredibly unique about them (if do have one) to a complete stranger? So, although I agree that someone that you aren't attracted to shouldn't be given too much rope to the core of Melanie's heart, but, maybe, you can give them some time to attract you. I mean, I myself am a male, and I'm not attractive, most people wouldn't even think of giving me a chance, BUT, many things about me are exciting and attractive. I'm a musician, I play violin quite well. I sculpt with clay. I'm a poet. I love art. I'm a philosopher. I live a life that nobody can possibly see in my round eye sore of a face. So maybe, just maybe you -could- be a attracted, you know?

  3. Aww, Scotty! You forgot to add "well written" in that list of your redeeming qualities! And if you don't stop bashing yourself and realizing how absolutely fabulous you are, I'm going to come punch you square in the jaw. Got it? :) You, my friend, have tons of interesting things about you and I'm sure I would be fascinated,sitting down at a table with you, within a matter of minutes.

  4. I am one of those people that always say you can become attracted to someone after getting to know them. BUT, I do think that you need to have some sort of physical attraction to the person you are dating. My suggestion would be to go on one more date and give it just one more chance...unless his personality is just completely like a bump on a log.

  5. All of this is also assuming that he didn't find me absolutely, thoroughly boring and repulsive, of course, and that he intends to ask me out again! LOL I should have added that to my post!

  6. This is the Zach white (male prospective)
    I have dated some attractive women who were very mean or had a insane personallty and that is a huge turnoff no matter how attractive they are. if they are mean or insane I would rather eat cheese and drink sprite and watch suze orman on a saturday night. at least suze will save me money Lol. Looks are good but we all get old and fat and unattractive. I think as I get older I feel this more. I also think if you can not be honest on your internet profile pic how honest will you be in a relationship? I get blammed for being to honest in a relationship but you have to be in a relationship or there is no trust between the two people.
    Your blog is great Melanie and from the single male prospective I see some of the same problems on the male side as well.

  7. Honestly, I completely agree with you. There has to be some type of physical attraction as much as society today feels like their doesn't have to be. There doesn't have to be, and maybe that's what true love is all about, but to initially trigger feelings physical attraction helps.

    But, on the other hand, you can't let that get in the way of truly getting to know someone. You can't set your standards for a Bradley Cooper because there may be a Joe Shmo who is alright but you overlook him because your standards are too high.

    Just my thoughts. :) Great blog! Love your honesty, too.


  8. Give him one more shot. Go to the movies, that way he can put his arm around you or hold your hand or something cheesy like that. Then you'll know completely how you feel and if the spark isn't there... well, it just isn't there and its time to move on. I mean, if you feel like you're holding hands with your brother then there's no point in wasting your time.

    I don't think being as hot as Brad Pitt is what people always consider attractive, either. I think that everyone has their own set of things that are attractive to them. I've dated some pretty average-looking guys that I found to be insanely attractive, while all my friends were not so much in agreement :) It's all about what YOU are attracted to, not what society deems attractive.

    Looks are important. But you've got to have more than that too. I married my husband because he makes me laugh. I'm aware that one day he is going to be bald and wearing dentures and walking with a cane (maybe?), and I'm probably not going to think he's a hottie then. But if he can still make me laugh with his corny jokes and still make me smile at the dumb things he does, then we'll still be happy, and that's good enough.

  9. Thanks, everyone for your wonderful input!


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