Author Topic: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain  (Read 12122 times)

secondcor521

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Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« on: January 06, 2014, 09:55:01 PM »
I hope I'll be able to articulate this clearly.

I have been struggling to reconcile two different viewpoints in my brain and have thus far been unable to.  These two viewpoints both feel right to me (although one perhaps more than the other), and yet they're obviously incompatible but I haven't been able to persuade myself to give either one up.

The first viewpoint let's call the North.  In this view, the visual appearance of a woman is not relevant to how much I like her, nor to whether I perceive that she has other positive qualities (like friendliness or intelligence or kindness), nor to how I behave in response to her.  This idea seems very logical and reasonable.

The second, naturally, is the South.  In this view, I perceive differences in the appearances of various women I see and nearly in the blink of an eye I assess attractiveness.  In this view, however, other positive qualities (like friendliness or intelligence or kindness) can definitely and easily sway my initial opinion one way or the other.  This idea seems very reasonable and natural.

Arguments on either side, in no particular order:
1.  It seems natural and normal for both men and women to notice and appreciate physical attractiveness.
2.  Attractiveness generally declines with age for both men and women.
3.  I am completely indifferent to hair color, eye color, height, and size within healthy limits.
4.  Attractiveness can be swept away in an instant by injury/accident/disease.
5.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and can vary from eye to eye.
6.  I am not interested in the most attractive women because they are often unkind to men since they can be.
7.  Beauty is only one of a number of aspects that are important to me.

I have tried to make progress on reconciling these two viewpoints by considering how a woman would react to these thoughts.  So far the best I have been able to come up with is that every woman wants her unique beauty to be appreciated as an aspect of who she is, but that she also wants to be appreciated for all the other aspects - her character, emotions, relationships, intellect, spirit, career, family, etc.

Input welcome, especially from women who understand what I'm asking here.  If history serves as any guide, I'll be misunderstood by some, totally understood by some, and will hopefully be able to add clarifying comments in followup posts.

Perhaps TL;DR summary:  I've got a list of attributes of the perfect woman for me, and while almost everything on the list is not superficial, I do have one line item "Must be above the line attractive to me", which smacks to me of being shallow.  I don't want to be shallow, but I'm having a hard time crossing it out.  Please help me, ladies.

Bruised_Pepper

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 10:01:47 PM »
Owner of testicles here. 

The way I see it, what's important in a woman is all of her intangible characteristics.  But, before you can find out how well you match up, you have to notice her first.  What causes a man to initially walk up and say "hi" to a woman?  Being attractive is the most prominent way of standing out to the opposite sex.  Let's face it, how often do you see women out in public doing Obscure Activity A--your master, yet misunderstood passion in life? 

You're not shallow.  It's natural. 

tariskat

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 10:07:04 PM »
I'm not sure these are any more opposing than normal nature (you like boobs) and nurture (you're intelligent and want another intelligent person).  I've read people tend to be attracted to the same level of attractiveness, on the theory that you're better than the uglier people and not good enough for the hot people, and others are thinking the same thing.  E.g., a 7 goes for a 6, 7, or 8.

You need to notice something that makes you want to talk to the woman, don't you?  A well-groomed woman is usually attractive and gives you the impression she is responsible and cares about things.  Outward appearance can indicate internal tendencies.

As a female, that doesn't say incompatible to me.

frugaldrummer

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 10:19:24 PM »
There's tons of research on how subtle clues in appearance actually are telling your primitive brain about a woman's fertility and fitness as the mother of your future children.  Plus pheromones are probably affecting how attractive you find a particular woman (and telling your primitive brain whether you are a good genetic match).

As a woman, I want to be with a man who loves MY looks. I'm an very attractive woman, but was married for many years to a man who would have preferred a different body type  (I'm a Kim Kardashian type, he would have preferred Cameron Diaz).  Now I'm happily in a relationship with a man who embraces my curves and thinks they're awesome.

So I guess what I'm saying is - it's a GOOD thing to be attracted to your partner.  Some people will however appear more attractive to you once you get to know them, so don't be too strict about it at first.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 10:32:17 PM »
You're saying you'll only get involved with women you find attractive. What's the problem again??

Seriously though - everyone wants to be loved for who they are, and that includes being found attractive. I don't see this as an issue. Or are you after a woman who will feel completely ambivalent about your physical appearance and never tell you you're pretty/manly/gorgeous/whatever it is you love hearing?

Osprey

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 12:05:28 AM »
I get the feeling that you are having trouble with the concept of being "shallow" because you think that attaching any sort of value to physical appearance might be beneath you somehow, or not noble, or not logical, or something along those lines.

There's a giant gap between how you think you should feel and how you actually feel. If you have Person A on one end who genuinely does not give a hoot about appearances, and Person B who really does, neither is more correct as long as they are in tune with their own preferences.

So in my very humble opinion there's no need to beat yourself up over having that line item on your list. But you could try not to be so judgey with yourself about it!

As a side note, it's fairly easy to shift one or two points up and down the generic attractiveness scale by grooming and comportment alone, but sexual chemistry is a different beast. I do hope you will find someone who ticks your boxes and I'm sure your thoughfulness will go a long way towards making her feel appreciated in a well-rounded way.

milla

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 12:40:27 AM »
Breasts here.

Stop thinking. Throw away your stupid lists.

Make friends with like-minded people. You will fall in love with one of them and they will be beautiful to you.

Problem solved.

rockstache

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 08:03:47 AM »
6.  I am not interested in the most attractive women because they are often unkind to men since they can be.

As a woman, the only thing I want to comment on here is this one. First of all it sounds like kind of a cop out so you don't have to gather up the courage to ask out a woman that you find stunning. Secondly, that places blame on the woman for being attractive, as if it is her fault. Thirdly, you just assumed that because some attractive women are bitches, none of them are worth trying for.

Obviously it's to each their own, and I am probably not in the category that you are discussing here, so I take no personal offense. I do have some friends who are absolutely gorgeous though, and have completely lovely personalities and guess what? No one asks them out either. And guess who is missing out? Good guys like you that are afraid to try.

smalllife

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 08:30:11 AM »
6.  I am not interested in the most attractive women because they are often unkind to men since they can be.

As a woman, the only thing I want to comment on here is this one. First of all it sounds like kind of a cop out so you don't have to gather up the courage to ask out a woman that you find stunning. Secondly, that places blame on the woman for being attractive, as if it is her fault. Thirdly, you just assumed that because some attractive women are bitches, none of them are worth trying for.

Obviously it's to each their own, and I am probably not in the category that you are discussing here, so I take no personal offense. I do have some friends who are absolutely gorgeous though, and have completely lovely personalities and guess what? No one asks them out either. And guess who is missing out? Good guys like you that are afraid to try.

Boobies here as well.

Eh, men can be the same way - the "pretty boys" who act like jerks because they've got a face and abs.  Gorgeous + great personality = still hot.  Gorgeous + crappy personality = the minute their body language or actions give it away, all hotness is gone.  Granted, you won't know the second part of the equation unless you try but it's usually pretty easy to discern.

rockstache

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 08:48:04 AM »
6.  I am not interested in the most attractive women because they are often unkind to men since they can be.

As a woman, the only thing I want to comment on here is this one. First of all it sounds like kind of a cop out so you don't have to gather up the courage to ask out a woman that you find stunning. Secondly, that places blame on the woman for being attractive, as if it is her fault. Thirdly, you just assumed that because some attractive women are bitches, none of them are worth trying for.

Obviously it's to each their own, and I am probably not in the category that you are discussing here, so I take no personal offense. I do have some friends who are absolutely gorgeous though, and have completely lovely personalities and guess what? No one asks them out either. And guess who is missing out? Good guys like you that are afraid to try.

Boobies here as well.

Eh, men can be the same way - the "pretty boys" who act like jerks because they've got a face and abs.  Gorgeous + great personality = still hot.  Gorgeous + crappy personality = the minute their body language or actions give it away, all hotness is gone.  Granted, you won't know the second part of the equation unless you try but it's usually pretty easy to discern.

Sure they can. My point was, it's not very nice to walk around judging people by their looks...good or bad. Just walk up and say hi and see what you get.

SnackDog

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 09:08:37 AM »
I guess on a financial note, the older, uglier and less pleasant to be around you are, the more money you may need to attract a spouse depending on your level of superficial needs.  Sounds outrageous, but I see it all the time in person and in the news.

anastrophe

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 09:36:15 AM »
I'm not understanding your dilemma. Are you asking if physical attractiveness is important? Sure. Chemistry is also important and is separate from attractiveness. Intellectual and personality traits are also important. None of these factors is primary--finding a partner involves a mix of all of them in different proportions for each person.

If you are trying to date, I would suggest you stop trying to categorize your thoughts and rather focus on meeting people and making friends (and whatever personal improvements will assist you in that process).

(FWIW I have been in many happy, healthy sexual/romantic relationships and am now married. My success in these matters is due, I believe, to assessing each person on their own individual merits rather than as an example of a "type." )


Elaine

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2014, 12:54:36 PM »
Hey, I think I understand what you are saying (and I'm a girl). I think you answered your own question with number 7:

7.  Beauty is only one of a number of aspects that are important to me

That's really as complicated as it needs to be. Maybe it would help you to just change the wording, maybe it's not beauty that's important to you- it's attraction, you could you say:

Attraction is only one of a number of aspects that are important to me.

That seems perfectly reasonable. I've definitely met super hot guys or girls who upon opening their mouths to speak became markedly less attractive. I've also met guys and girls (I'm bi) who were fairly average looking, but once I got to know them I found their personalities so attractive that suddenly they became irresistible. One guy stands out in-particular to me. He was what I think most people would say is less than average attractiveness, but he was so smart and so funny and charming that I just totally wanted him. I was attracted to him.

So, I think being attracted to a person is pretty important. I don't think looks should trump everything, but I also don't think money, or talent, or intelligence, should trump everything. People are a total package deal, not lots of little parts. I think you sound like a good guy who's basically trying to "check himself" and make sure he's not being a jerk- for the record I really don't think you are.   


P.S.
I would also question number 6, though. You could be selling yourself and those women short- remember that the most attractive woman in the room might have been a huge nerd as a kid. I've had more than a few assumptions made about me in this direction, but for my growing up life I looked very different than I do now (classic late bloomer style). My boyfriend actually thought I was showing him a prank photo from the internet when I showed him what I looked like in high school. I was beat up constantly, had no friends, wore a back brace, had horrible acne, read books during recess, started a chess club in 6th grade, had caricatures drawn of me on the chalk board in school, the whole nine yards. Now I basically get accused of being a "fake geek girl" because I've turned out to be sort of stereotypically attractive, more than once I've gotten the "I didn't think you'd be smart/nice/friendly", etc.



impaire

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2014, 01:06:52 PM »

Make friends with like-minded people. You will fall in love with one of them and they will be beautiful to you.

Problem solved.

+1

Being attracted to people you find attractive, well, that's a tautology, so what is the question again?

The only way it makes you shallow is if you refuse to talk/get to know women if they are not attractive. Then you're not treating women as human beings, but as aesthetic objects. Just get to know people as people--as you mentioned, what qualifies as attractive will then adjust to take their other qualities into account. Don't date someone you don't find attractive, that's fair to neither of you.

Thought experiment: when you try to imagine how a woman "would react to this thought", ask yourself how you would react to a woman having these thoughts. Gender doesn't much change in terms of our thinking equipment.

OperaAdam

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 01:53:40 PM »
There are different phases of love, and I think you're getting the early phases confused with the later phases. Finding someone physically "attractive" is a huge part of falling in love initially. Much of that is appearance, but not all. As you get to know someone and spend more and more time with them, the attachment shifts and becomes more settled. It's not that you're not attracted to the person, but that the physical attraction is pushed forward more by the weight of emotional attachment and shared experience, and not as much by physical appearance.

If you don't mind, I have a personal example. I met my wife at work, I thought she was attractive. We went out a lot, and eventually got married. That initial attraction was physical, but then of course we got to know each other and found out we were compatible. Since we've been married, she has had some serious health problems and some major surgeries. She doesn't look 22 anymore to say the least. Initially I was worried about still being attracted to her, but I have found that I still think she's more beautiful than anyone else. The initial attraction that was mainly physical has broadened and deepened to include everything else that I know about her.

Put simply, my advice is once you're married, you're good and caught, but don't feel obligated to bite a hook that doesn't have any bait.

mariarose

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2014, 01:54:38 PM »
I have 2 qualities that are must haves. 1. Intelligent  2. Kind  To me, those 2 qualities mean the person, male or female, will be attractive to me automatically.  Attraction exists all on its own, without a doubt.  But the great news is, attraction can also become, out of nonattraction, or grow, from little attraction.  It is not a set quality!

So go talk to people, see what they are like, show them what you are like.  Attraction will be there, or not, but you'll still make great friendships.

Spudd

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2014, 02:12:57 PM »
Keep in mind that someone who may seem unattractive to you at the beginning can become more attractive as you get to know them. In university I met a guy who I initially found extremely unattractive. We got to know each other as friends and the more I got to know his personality, the more attracted to him I was. Eventually we ended up dating and even getting engaged. The relationship did not last, but it wasn't due to attractiveness issues.

Greg

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2014, 04:05:56 PM »
Arguments on either side, in no particular order:
1.  It seems natural and normal for both men and women to notice and appreciate physical attractiveness.
2.  Attractiveness generally declines with age for both men and women.
3.  I am completely indifferent to hair color, eye color, height, and size within healthy limits.
4.  Attractiveness can be swept away in an instant by injury/accident/disease.
5.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and can vary from eye to eye.
6.  I am not interested in the most attractive women because they are often unkind to men since they can be.
7.  Beauty is only one of a number of aspects that are important to me.

I dunno, I think you're over-analyzing this.  Are you an engineer?  :)

Just let yourself be attracted to who you're attracted to.  Sometimes it won't make sense or match your list criteria. So what, some of the best relationships I had were with people who weren't my "type."  Find shared interests and activities and go from there.

Jamesqf

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2014, 04:18:36 PM »
I do have some friends who are absolutely gorgeous though, and have completely lovely personalities and guess what? No one asks them out either. And guess who is missing out? Good guys like you that are afraid to try.

Excuse the digression, but this is the 21st century.  WTF don't your attractive friends ask the guys?

Personally, it's not a matter of being afraid to try.  It's that I'm not an effing mind reader, and can't tell the difference between a woman who's truely disinterested or even repelled, and one who is pretending disinterest because she believes the lie about all men wanting to be the pursuer.

dragoncar

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2014, 04:40:55 PM »
Read "The Name of the Wind" and practice magic.

http://kkc.wikia.com/wiki/Sympathy

PajamaMama

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2014, 04:57:27 PM »
I think it's important to be physically attracted and attractive to your mate.

That being said.  I always chose to date very good looking men. It was not always a good experience. The last man I dated before I met my husband was a beautiful (head turning, woman hitting on him all the time) man with very poor character. Many years and one child later I had enough. I made a new list of what I really wanted in a man. Yes, I still wanted to find him attractive, but more importantly I wanted someone who would be a good husband and father who I could respect. It took a few years but I finally found him. It wasn't easy. It didn't hurt though that telling someone I had a child really weeded out a lot of the undesirables.

My husband and I have been married for 20 years. He is still the most wonderful, beautiful man I have ever met. He has only gotten better looking to me over the years. Sorry I know that sounds corny.

The moral of the story is - yes it is only normal and natural to want to find your mate attractive, but it is equally important that they be someone whose character you can respect. Beauty fades but most people with good ethics and values only get better with time.


marty998

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2014, 03:56:11 AM »
PajamaMama....this may have applied to you all those years ago.....


HUSBAND STORE

A store that sells new husbands has opened in London, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit this store ONLY ONCE!
There are six floors and the value of the products increase as the shopper ascends the flights. The shopper may choose any item from a particular floor, or may choose to go up to the next floor, but the shopper cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband. On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

FLOOR ONE - These men have jobs.

She is intrigued, but continues to the second floor, where the sign reads:

FLOOR TWO - These men have jobs and love children.

'That's nice,' she thinks, 'but I want more,' so she continues upward. The third floor sign reads:

FLOOR THREE - These men have jobs, love children, and are extremely good looking.

'Wow,' she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and the sign reads:

FLOOR FOUR - These men have jobs, love children, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.

'Oh, mercy me!' she exclaims, 'I can hardly stand it!'

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and the sign reads:

FLOOR FIVE - These men have jobs, love children, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor, where the sign reads:

FLOOR SIX - You are visitor 31,456,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store.

PLEASE NOTE:

To avoid gender bias charges, the store's owner opened a New Wives store just across the street.

The first floor has wives that love sex.

The second floor has wives that love sex, have money and like beer.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth floors have never been visited.

rockstache

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #22 on: January 08, 2014, 09:54:59 AM »
I do have some friends who are absolutely gorgeous though, and have completely lovely personalities and guess what? No one asks them out either. And guess who is missing out? Good guys like you that are afraid to try.

Excuse the digression, but this is the 21st century.  WTF don't your attractive friends ask the guys?


I never said they didn't. My point was from Secondcor's perspective.

MsSindy

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #23 on: January 08, 2014, 10:23:07 AM »
PajamaMama....this may have applied to you all those years ago.....


HUSBAND STORE

A store that sells new husbands has opened in London, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

.............


Loved this!!  Too funny.

Spork

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #24 on: January 08, 2014, 10:32:47 AM »

I've always considered "attractive" to be "the sum total of everything you know about someone."  If you see a woman in a bar you've never met, you might find her attractive.  If you talk to her... she becomes either more or less attractive.

I don't see this as a civil war at all.  It ain't north vs south.  It's the total of the two.  You're making a dichotomy where one does not exist.

disclaimer: man, married 19 years and still very attracted to his wife.

Miamoo

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2014, 11:29:43 AM »
Arguments on either side, in no particular order:
1.  It seems natural and normal for both men and women to notice and appreciate physical attractiveness.  YES
2.  Attractiveness generally declines with age for both men and women.  NO, I FIND THAT AS MEN GET OLDER THEY ARE MORE ATTRACTIVE, MORE HANDSOME, MORE CHARACTER IN THE LINED FACE, WHISPS OF GREY AT THEIR TEMPLES, MORE DISTINGUISHED MIGHT YOU SAY?  AS WE WOMEN . . . MEH.
3.  I am completely indifferent to hair color, eye color, height, and size within healthy limits.  GET IT.  ABOUT THE SIZE PART ANYWAY.
4.  Attractiveness can be swept away in an instant by injury/accident/disease.  I GET IT.  DO YOU?
5.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and can vary from eye to eye.  QUIT WORRYING ABOUT WHATEVER YOUR CONCEPT OF BEAUTY IS.  THERE MAY BE SOMEONE RIGHT NEXT TO YOU THAT THINKS YOU'RE A BEAUTIFUL MAN NO MATTER WHAT YOU THINK OF YOURSELF.
6.  I am not interested in the most attractive women because they are often unkind to men since they can be.  DON'T BE THINKING THAT.
7.  Beauty is only one of a number of aspects that are important to me.  AGAIN WITH THE BEAUTY.  WHAT EXACTLY ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I totally agree with Spork.  It's not a civil war.

As a married woman for the last 13 years (and old compared to the rest of the readers of MMM) my first advice would be . . . quit looking.  When the time is right she'll drop right into your lap.  When I first met my now husband 17 or 18 years ago my first thought was "What a dork!  The only thing missing is a 'pocket protector'.  His first impression of me was "What a scrawny little bitch".  He's not my 'type', I'm not his 'type'.  He liked the boobies, I liked the bad boys.  We met on a construction site eons ago and for whatever reason kept in touch for 3 years before actually dating.

The last thing either of us wanted or were looking for in our early 40's when we started 'dating' was a second marriage.  But here we are.

He's the best thing that's ever happened to me.  This man has stuck with me thru the breast cancer and mastectomy (see #4), the death of one child and so many other things in the last 13 years.

Guess my point is (after venting here).  When you stop looking, stop trying, she will come to you.  She might be closer than you think.

And quit being insecure.


hybrid

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #26 on: January 08, 2014, 12:45:05 PM »
Married 28 years (holy f***, when did THAT happen!), a few thoughts.

I have heard of the seemingly mythological hot woman who can't find a date, not sure I've met one in person.  When I took a job at my law firm nine years ago it was amazing how much eye candy there was at this place.  (Side note, it's a fact that the more attractive you are, the better the odds of making good coin).  Every single one was attached or dating.  I hear what the above poster is saying, perhaps she can share with the OP where best to find these lovely unicorns?

To the poster who wrote that a 7 tends to end up with a 6, 7, or 8, I've read and experienced similar.  It's easy to tell a four not to be intimidated by a nine, but harder to make happen.  The notion of someone being "out of your league" has some merit to it, however irrational it may be.

Positive bias towards attractive people is natural.  Look just a few posts up from this one. Never met the lady and likely never will, but I see a picture of an attractive woman and rather unfairly I bias her posts in this forum positively as a result.  That's just the way people are wired.  And as a result I've known a guy or three that let his eyes do too much of the thinking.  It's great when a woman is physically attactive, it's not great when a guy can't see beyond that.  Are attractive men and women aware of the advantage they glean from this?  Oh sure they are, on some level.  That doesn't mean they use the advantage in a negative manner as the OP suggests they might in point 6.  That point should be tossed onto the scrap heap of poor ideas.

I also think the fairer sex cares far less about physical appearance than men do (to their credit), and too many less-than-physically-perfect men discount themselves as a result (to their discredit).  Looks will certainly open doors though, it is what we all notice first after all.  But a great personality can too, even when one is more of a 3 than a 7 on the physical attractiveness scale. 
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 02:07:40 PM by hybrid »

PajamaMama

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #27 on: January 08, 2014, 01:13:06 PM »
Marty998,

Funny story. I got off a floor too early I guess. My husbands an engineer - no romantic streak. He doesn't have it all I guess but he's still more than I deserve.

impaire

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2014, 01:35:56 PM »
2.  Attractiveness generally declines with age for both men and women.  NO, I FIND THAT AS MEN GET OLDER THEY ARE MORE ATTRACTIVE, MORE HANDSOME, MORE CHARACTER IN THE LINED FACE, WHISPS OF GREY AT THEIR TEMPLES, MORE DISTINGUISHED MIGHT YOU SAY?  AS WE WOMEN . . . MEH.

I hear that a lot... but I'm not sure I agree! When I look at a group of 40-60 year old, there's one gender that tends to just let it all hang out after a certain age instead of being all grey temples and nice suits. Though my husband is aging stylishly, so not a rule!

Quote

He's the best thing that's ever happened to me.  This man has stuck with me thru the breast cancer and mastectomy (see #4), the death of one child and so many other things in the last 13 years.


My condolences for all the pain, and yes, it seems you have found a gem.

KBecks

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2014, 02:41:55 PM »
Maybe you're not ready for dating or long term commitment right now.

Screw the lists and focus on being the best YOU you can be for someone else.   It seems like you are focused more on what you get and not what you give.   Love is sacrifice. 

secondcor521

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #30 on: January 08, 2014, 07:23:20 PM »
Thanks to everyone for the feed back so far.  I am reading it all with much interest and it is all helpful.

Some feedback on some things so far:

My list has 14 musts on it, and only one deals with attractiveness (and it is item 13 out of 14 (yes, they're prioritized, and yes, I am an engineer) ).  Some others on the list to give y'all a flavor of it:
   1.  Available (female, straight, single, etc.)
    ...
   4.  Honest / open / straightforward
    ...
   8.  Compatible with me (similar life stage, similar religious views, non-smoker, etc.)
    ...
  12.  Everyone gets along (me with her family, she with my kids, etc.)

The list is not to weed people out, it's to protect me from infatuation and settling for "close enough" - a mistake I made in my first marriage and don't ever want to make again.

I think it's a very reasonable list that focuses on the whole person; this thread I limited the question to just one of those items because that is the one that I am wondering about.

Regarding my item #6, you are all correct; I was painting with too broad a brush.  Part of the background there is that I was, to use the shorthand, a 6 who married an 11 (my ratings) who was also friendly, smart, and a whole lot of other good qualities.  She could date anyone she wanted, and I was the backwards nerdy type.  The relationship soured for other reasons, but I always felt the "imbalance" that Leonard felt when he was dating Penny (http://bigbangtrans.wordpress.com/series-3-episode-07-the-guitarist-amplification/):

"Stuart: Hey, guys. Whatís going on?

Leonard: Oh, we need to kill a couple hours till the next showing of Time Bandits.

Stuart: Oh, well, no problem. I was thinking of closing early and going home, but letís face it, thatís just a slightly smaller lonely room filled with comic books.

Leonard: Thanks, Stuart. Let me ask you something. Do you think itís okay for Penny to have an ex-boyfriend sleep on her couch?

Howard: No, I mean, sheís obviously way out of line.

Leonard: Thank you!

Howard: But if she dumps you, sheíll have a new boyfriend by tomorrow morning and youíll have a new girlfriend when you figure out how to build one. So the only question is, how long until you fold?"

Interestingly about point #6, there was another girl I grew up with who was fantastically beautiful, friendly, smart, nice, etc.  She ended up dating guys from the next high school over because nobody had the guts to ask her out from my high school.  I had a big-time crush on her, and found out many years later that she really liked me and wished I would have asked her out.  She's sort of the counterexample that disproves my #6 item.


Miamoo

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #31 on: January 09, 2014, 02:54:20 PM »

2.  Attractiveness generally declines with age for both men and women.  NO, I FIND THAT AS MEN GET OLDER THEY ARE MORE ATTRACTIVE, MORE HANDSOME, MORE CHARACTER IN THE LINED FACE, WHISPS OF GREY AT THEIR TEMPLES, MORE DISTINGUISHED MIGHT YOU SAY?  AS WE WOMEN . . . MEH.

I hear that a lot... but I'm not sure I agree! When I look at a group of 40-60 year old, there's one gender that tends to just let it all hang out after a certain age instead of being all grey temples and nice suits. Though my husband is aging stylishly, so not a rule!

Quote

"He's the best thing that's ever happened to me.  This man has stuck with me thru the breast cancer and mastectomy (see #4), the death of one child and so many other things in the last 13 years."


"My condolences for all the pain, and yes, it seems you have found a gem."
[/quote
 
To impaire:

Yes, my husband is a gem and not a day goes by that I don't hug him, kiss him and whisper a little prayer of thanks for him.  Whether he hears it or not, he knows I love him and he's more than proven that he loves me and the kids and grandkids .

But, we certainly weren't looking for each other at all way back when.  That was my point to secondcor521.  When the time is right, she'll drop in your lap.

secondor521:  Quit with the list.  If you have some strange criteria, or criteria at all, you'll never find a woman that meets it.  We women don't come with a check list as you have created and personally I would be insulted if held up to such.

Is this just a joke?  This must be a joke.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 03:02:16 PM by Miamoo »

shamelessHedon

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #32 on: January 09, 2014, 03:16:27 PM »
Doesn't matter how awesome someone is. If you don't want to bang them, there's not much point in pursuing a romantic relationship.

Peter Dinklage?  Seems awesome. I have zero desire to bed him.

Miamoo

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #33 on: January 11, 2014, 09:25:24 AM »
Had to look up Peter Dinklage.  Oh.  No thanks.  Personal character flaw, I have a problem with men who only come up to my shoulder.

Okay so criteria within reason?

amyable

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #34 on: January 11, 2014, 12:41:53 PM »
Doesn't matter how awesome someone is. If you don't want to bang them, there's not much point in pursuing a romantic relationship.

Winner!

Long story short:  I once dated a guy I was not attracted to (not in good enough shape for me and no desire to ever workout)--I really liked his personality, but there's no way it could have worked.  It was crappy of me to even try to make it work.

The first thing I noticed about my husband was his amazing eyes and body, and we have a great relationship.  He violates several of the things that would have been on my original "list," and I adore him.

Big Boots Buddha

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #35 on: January 12, 2014, 03:37:25 AM »
Doesn't matter how awesome someone is. If you don't want to bang them, there's not much point in pursuing a romantic relationship.


Also completely agree. Once this prereq is satisfied, its all about the personality.

My life in two points.

1) my gf for two years was getting Phd in Pharm/Chem, a killer ping pong player and board gamer, a solid 9.5 body/face and pretty regularly a terrible person who could explode into anger/tears. I just couldn't get over the idea that I, Chinastache would dump what seemed to everyone else to be a great girl.

2) girl I will likely marry, am with now. Shes cute and I like her smile. Her personality is an 11. She makes me laugh. Makes lists of the things I like and spoils me. She is seemingly always happy and ready to try all the things I love. Winner.

I think its easier for men to find women to love because they have a great personality and average looks. Women have responsive desire and if it doesn't get going, its a vicious cycle of not being turned on and then divorce. Men, unless the female is horrible/ super bad match, can always get the relationship going again.

2 cents

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Re: Life dilemma - help me sort out a civil war in my brain
« Reply #36 on: January 12, 2014, 11:10:41 AM »
Thanks again to everyone for the comments and input.

I have figured out a couple of things for myself about this:

1.  As several have said, it's OK and normal for me to seek someone to whom I am attracted, especially if that attraction is holistic - i.e., based on the whole person, not just an impersonal checklist.  I'm good with this.  I think the only minor tweak I will make, though, is how I describe it.  Rather than "Above the line attractive to me" - which makes it sound like it's her responsibility somehow to be attractive to me, I'll say "She is someone whom I find attractive" - same idea I think but the focus is shifted a little to a healthier mindset.

2.  Some of you picked up on a tone that I didn't even realize was there, and this is the part I need to change.  For reasons that I don't need to get into here, I have had low self esteem most of my life, and I had it in spades when I got married the first time.  Because of this, I think part of me wanted to and was thrilled to marry someone who, in general, Had It Going On...because then people would look at me and think, "Well, he must be something because he's with her, and she's great."  I suspect if I just do the things I need to do to have better self esteem, this part will work out.