Physical attraction matters, or does it?

June 17, 2006 3:35 PM

Beauty of the body and face. What about the mind? And does having lots of money help?

Say what you will, society in general is still superficial. Generally, when it comes to dating and pairing off, physical attraction still counts for a lot. If I was to venture a guess, I would break it down like this for when a female seeks a mate:

  • Physical attractiveness – 50%
  • Personality/Sense of humour – 20%
  • Financials – 30%

If the women you want to attract would not consider you good looking, then the other two components would have to be increased. So basically, if you are not good looking you better have good financials, a great and caring personality, or ideally – all of those things.

But … a man would still have to pass the initial “bare minimum physical attractiveness” test before the woman would even consider finding out about his other qualities. Put a pool of men together, and chances are the handsome ones are the ones women would approach without any push needed. What then holds the attention of the women would be the non-physical aspects of the man. However, just like men, women may discount those aspects if he’s really, really good looking.

Sometimes you see two men of equal qualities and both pursue two women of similar ilk. One takes longer than the other to achieve the end goal, and the usual crucial difference would be the physical appearances of these men.

So what is the lesson here? Should men who are not what would normally be considered handsome lower their standards? What if they can’t help who they like, which is usually the case? Is this why there are so many lonely men, and women out there?

Of course, the age of the woman matters too. Younger women may favour handsome faces over everything else. Women who are ready to settle down, may have the financial aspect being at 60% for example. I’m obviously not talking about gold diggers here. Those women only care about one thing and one thing only: money.

screen-cap from House of Flying Daggers

Basically even if two ppl can connect via a “blind” medium such as the Internet, the feeling may change when they get to see how each other looks like. And then once you get over that hurdle, you need the financials. What a vicious circle!

If only mating was solely for the purpose of procreation, but we are human beings and not animals. 😉

I will leave you with some quotes from “Shallow Hal“.

Tony Robbins: Hal, don’t you think you’re being a bit shallow here in the way you look at women?
Hal: Well, no! You know, I’d like her to be into culture and shit, too.
Tony Robbins: Ok Hal, hypothetical situation; Which do you prefer, a girlfriend missing one breast or half a brain?
Hal: Hmmm, toughie. What about the remaining breast? Is it big?

Artie: It never occurred to you that picking girls solely on their looks may not be the best way to go about it?
Hal: What, am I supposed to apologize for having high standards?
Jen: High standards? In the five years I’ve known you, every woman, I should say girl, you’ve gone after has been completely out of your league.
Hal: What’s that supposed to mean?
Artie: Oh, she doesn’t mean anything by it. She’s just saying you’re not that good looking.
Hal: Oh! I thought she was implying something really mean.

(part inspiration from Irene’s post “Now redefine beauty“, and watching “Shallow Hal” last night)

[tags]single life, dating, relationships[/tags]

19 thoughts on “Physical attraction matters, or does it?

  1. girlstar7

    hmmm…interesting post. although I definitely agree with you that looks are the initial attraction, and that a woman is more likely to go for a handsome man than a not-so-handsome one considering she doens’t know either of them/they have equally good personalities. however, I think you are underestimating how much impact personality can have. girls are less visual than guys. they are more likely to go for personality.
    there are many “nice guys” out there that wonder why they can’t get a girl cause they are, in fact, really nice. often it’s not because they are ugly/not good-looking enough but has to do with their general attitude. they might seem too desperate or try too hard. they might seem “too nice” or be way too eager. girls like a guy who, although he is nice, is also confident, charismatic and independent. most girls want a guy that play it a bit cool. i have seen guys that are not that great looking constantly dating gorgeous girls cause they have the right attitude. they got those girls based on their personality. so yeah, that’s my opinion anyway. looks definitely help, but you are underestimating the personality thing…
    btw love the shallow hal quote…”I want her to be into culture and shit too”, classic!!

  2. Ronnie

    physical attraction matters, but i think it’s not just the physique & looks, but rather the overall grooming of the guy..such as what we wear, & how we wear them..what do the clothes say about us, our smell, the way we keep our hair, our breath.. i heard that when women mANALYSE us, they look at our shoes..WHy? because shoes are one of the items which are the hardest to maintain..if we can’t keep our shoes clean & keep our shirts uncrumpled, then it says a lot about our personality as well..

    There’s NO UGLY MAN in this world,
    just LAZY OR NOT LAZY MAN, that’s all…

  3. Herman

    Some female friends says their standards is mainly not how handsome. but “decent”. Like they wouldn’t want to go out with a man that looks like a hobo.

    Some female friends says the guys must be financially enough to support her.

    Some other female friends says the guy must be able to “satisfy” her.

    Hmmm … ?

  4. mooiness Post author

    girlstar7: true that girls are less visual but there’s a minimal standard when it comes to physical appearances. Altho I agree that it’s the personality that wins or loses the deal, that’s only after the initial “test” has been passed. 😉

    simplysiti: spontaneity and chemistry only happens *after* you’ve met. Before that, what would compel you to know about the other person?

    Loong: yes I have, and it is a great read.

    Ronnie: don’t forget the fingernails. 😉

    Herman: so it’s random and by chances then. Like everything else in life, no matter how hard we try to analyse it. Hahah.

    YC: erm I think it’s because you were shit-faced. How dare I touch your beautifully designed banner!? :mrgreen:

  5. An

    It’s the physical appearance that attracts one to the other at first. It’s not just the looks but the whole package which includes dressing and personal grooming. I dun think many girls would be willing to go out with someone who’s sloppy and dirty. =P

    Thereafter, it’s the chemistry and how well one can relate to the other. The conversations, the ability to laugh at oneself, personality etc., all plays a part.

    And then there are those who simply goes for financial security and education levels….

  6. sourrain

    Maybe this is why alot of people are finding lurve online.It is easier when you don’t have to spend time worrying about your makeup or spend gazillions on dresses and how fat you are.Dating or getting to know someone, after all, is a stressful event. Remove the physical element, and that’s one big part of the problem removed.

    Cyberspace is the only place where your personality shines before your looks..I mean, you’ve gotta be semi-interested in someone that you’ve been chatting to online before asking for a picture (unless you are a ma lat lou)

  7. mooiness Post author

    sourrain: find love oredi, then must face reality too later on when you find out how each other look like. 😉

    Irene: hehe the idea did partly come from reading your post. Agreed on your points. Have you heard this Chris Rock joke: “A couple would do a lot of fucking and eating. And when they get older, there will be less fucking and more eating. So you better like eating with them.” 😛

  8. Irene

    hey! i was reading this post and thinking, “this topic sounds familiar…”

    seriously, good looks aren’t everything. i go for average joes with that “something extra”, call it confidence, charisma, charm, or just an unexplainable aura – i’m attracted by that.

    i’ve dated hot guys with no particularly notable traits other than pretty face and hot body – got bored to pieces.

    30 years down the road, a hot partner will succumb to age anyway – personality never ages, just mellows. =)

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  10. V

    Not true i think, i never go for the best looker in the room, i go for the funniest one OR the dodgiest one 🙂 but then im no majority.

  11. Pingback: Mooiness! » Personality vs. Looks - the path to falling in love

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