This week we received a question through the ask page on a topic that we have all likely grappled with at some point--our own level of physical attractiveness.
John wrote in with: "Am I just too ugly to get a date?"
While brief, I think we can all relate to John's self-doubt and frustration on some level--or at some point in our lives (awkward pre-teen years anybody?).
When sent out to the matchmaking team, this topic spurred a lot of "tawk." As matchmakers, this is something we are challenged with every day--supporting our clients in moments of insecurity, understanding chemistry and how that can operate beyond skin level, predicting attraction between two individuals who have never met...this is our jam, so to speak.
With so much thoughtful and inspiring feedback, we are featuring our Matchmakers' responses to John's question in a two-part series. Check in next week for Part II: Matchmaker Says, Why Focus On The Physical, and enjoy Part I below:
Matchmaker Melody Kiersz weighs in:
That's a toughie, but I expect many people feel this way sadly.
Physical attractiveness is indeed important, but it's not as set in stone as having the hair, the nose, or the abs. Different people are attracted to different things, and I would encourage anyone who doesn't feel attractive enough to work on reminding themselves that there are people who will find them attractive and keep putting themselves out there.
More importantly, I think that no matter what we look like, how we feel about ourselves is much more important.
Confidence and how we carry ourselves is the real attractiveness factor.
Most of us fall within the grand spectrum of normal in regard to our looks, and then it really depends what you want to do with that. Ranging from accepting to changing, there is so much you can do. Who do you want to be? Are you willing to take comedy improv class to become more conversationally agile? is it working for you to be a humorless curmudgeon? Do blondes have more fun? Do you feel more grounded as a sexy brunette?
All of these questions help us seek the most authentic and on-point expression of ourselves, regardless of gender. If relaxing into your natural features and appearance gives you confidence and positivity - do that. If it does not, explore why not. We are all malleable beings and the world of self expression is our oyster. It's key to first recognize where you might be connecting with the victim archetype and work through that first...
You will take yourself with you no matter where you go, and no matter how you alter your appearance. There is someone out there for everyone, and the only thing that keeps us separate from that is cynicism. Make sure you play with self expression and your image from a place of abundance and positivity. Chin up!!
Matchmaker & Heartalytics contributor, Amaris Kay, on the subject:
I think about this all the time because we're in such a visual industry (although we offer blind dates)... I'm a bit more practical and my thoughts follow suit. Best way to approach this--one needs to:
- Understand what he/she brings to the table (be brutally honest about the physical, financial, personal, etc...)
- Evaluate the type of partner he/she wants and compare that to what he/she attracts (there's a reason he's not getting the 5'10 blonde model).
- Make personal changes and/or modify his/her wants (becoming a better version of oneself is not a compromise of character - go to the gym, dye those grays, go to therapy, etc...)
- Finally manage his/her expectations (because the formula does not guarantee success).
John seems to be focused on the physical. There could be other non-physical elements at play keeping him from getting a date.
Matchmaker Carena Liptak offers:
Lacking confidence is the fastest way to appear unattractive to a potential date. I've attempted to date people who have worn their insecurities on their sleeves, making self-deprecating jokes like "Oh, you're way out of my league," or "You're really slumming it with me, huh?" and it just doesn't work. Even if they aren't classically good looking, the fact that I was out with these guys to begin with meant that I found them attractive.
A guy not being Brad Pitt is never a lady-boner killer, but a guy who constantly brings up the fact that he's not Brad Pitt always is.
Different people are attracted to different things, and I'd bet money that it's not that this guy can't get a date, it's that he can't keep one because of insecurity. He should pretend he's incredibly good-looking and approach someone with that level of confidence. Then, when she says yes, he should focus on making her laugh so hard and have so much fun that she won't even be worried about his physical appearance.
Matchmaker Corinne Dobbas says:
One huge thing to keep in mind is that physical attraction differs for each and every single person. Not every person is attracted to the same physical characteristics. Some women like tall, lanky, goofy men; some like stalkier, beefier, more masculine grounded guys; and some quite frankly, don't give a hoot about appearance, rather they're looking for something deeper and most importantly, a man who makes them FEEL amazing. As we grow more into ourselves and become more grounded and experienced, I think the last option here (i.e. someone who makes them FEEL amazing) is who we're all looking for.
But another significantly important piece to keep in mind here is that if you think you "are so ugly you can't get a date to save your life," then guess what?! You likely can't because that's the storyline running your life. And it effects every interaction you have with a female. And if this is where you're at, I'm going to guess you're not asking women out. So, with that alone you can't be getting dates.
My advice is to ask three good friends why they appreciate you. You're going to see that they come back to you with matters of the heart and soul - NOT your physical appearance. And spend some time each day identifying what YOU appreciate about yourself. Because the truth is, even if you get a date, if you don't love and appreciate yourself it'll be pretty gosh-darn hard to show up in a real authentic way (which we all crave) in any relationship.
There is someone out there for you. There's someone out there for everyone. The first step; however, is believing it.
A big thanks to Melody, Emily, Amaris, Carena and Corinne for these words of encouragement and perspective.
See you next week on Part II: Matchmaker Says, Why Focus On The Physical.