Dating Games: Pretty predicament

What is more important: brains or beauty

dating games 521 (photo credit: courtsey)
dating games 521
(photo credit: courtsey)
Iwas asked an interesting question recently: “Which is more important – looks or personality?” This single male wanted to know, if I were him, would I rather spend the rest of my life with cover model Bar Refaeli or with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg? Or, in realistic terms, would I want to be with someone like my dear friend Julie, who is smart as a whip, a great conversationalist and well-read but not supermodel gorgeous, or my friend Liana, who is stunningly beautiful and has an amazing body but spends most of her time discussing the latest celebrity gossip? Basically, he wants to know which is more important to me: brains or beauty? Obviously we each strive to find a soul mate to whom we are attracted both physically and mentally. But if I were a single male and had to choose one, I think I’d prefer Julie – or rather, what she represents. I’d prefer to have scintillating conversation for the rest of my life than be with someone for just their looks. Not only do looks fade, but they can only get you so far. When there’s nothing between the ears, then the beautiful frame of hair surrounding said ears only keeps you tuned in for so long.
Do you want to roll over in bed in 50 years and see a wrinkled has-been (or worse, someone overly nipped and tucked trying to maintain their fading beauty) and talk about nothing but Kim Kardashian, or do you want to see someone that you’ve grown to be attracted to and with whom you can discuss politics, current events, philosophy and so on? I choose the latter.
This single guy agreed with me but, of course, wants to try and achieve the Mount Everest of relationships by finding the best of both worlds – a supermodel with brains. He wants to watch trashy television together with his beshert (soul mate) after unwinding from a long day of work and then also enjoy a good-natured debate about how the new government is going to achieve peace and economic prosperity. And, of course, he wants to find someone with whom he will not always agree but with whom he can debate healthily. Wouldn’t we all like that? Sure. And luckily, everyone has a different version of what a supermodel looks like and what it means to be “smart,” leaving someone for everyone.
We all meet plenty of prospects each day. Attraction is usually what draws us in and then a conversation ensues. Each of us is struck by something different: body shape, eyes, smile, stature and so on. Sometimes it’s not even physical but visceral – something nonspecific makes us want to stop and talk. And that’s where a distinction is made between just a pretty face and someone with some substance. It’s the ability to talk for hours on end that ultimately seals the deal. If you can’t stop talking – both about things on which you agree and about things which on which you respectfully agree to disagree – then you may have found a keeper. You want someone who will compliment and complement you. If you’re a right-leaning moderate then you may enjoy the lively debates of being with a left-leaning moderate. That pretty face ought to also be educated, worldly, sociable and, of course, able to make you laugh.
When you’re out there dating, you need to keep in mind that pretty isn’t the most important thing. You may initially be drawn to the most attractive person you see online or at the bar, but try to gauge what else he or she has to offer. Otherwise it will seem like you’re having a date with a pretty painting, and you’ll soon be bored out of your mind. Needless to say, something about the person needs to make you want to get to know more about him or her, right? You can’t “see” substance, which is why you have to give everyone a chance and get to know them before discounting them.
Attraction can grow and it can also diminish, so make sure you’re contributing to stable, steady growth in your relationships and not responsible for it taking a nosedive. If you notice your date’s eyes roving or just a stream of “uh-huhs” coming from their end of the conversation, or if you keep going on first dates that never turn into seconds, try to see what you can change about yourself to stimulate the situation. Obviously you’re not going to know if you’re boring, but do try to be aware of your date’s perspective.
It doesn’t matter what you look like, but it does matter what comes out of your mouth. Read up on the news; make sure you’re up-to-date on the latest in your hobbies and interests; learn weird and interesting tidbits that you can share to create conversation.
Do what you can to up your attractiveness quotient through channels outside just your appearance. And, of course, if you have no interest in any of that stuff, then find someone who wants to discuss the finer merits of Jersey Shore and The Real Housewives on a regular basis.