Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Beholder & The Beheld

As I’ve cruised through the Blogosphere, I’ve seen many posts about all of the facets of relationships. Recently, I’ve come across a bunch that talk about the attractiveness of a potential mate. It’s a rich subject, so there’s much about which to talk. And while I do understand why it’s so important, I find it staggering that for the gargantuan amount of information that’s out there on attraction, it’s all coming from the same point of view.

There’s a saying out there, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Essentially, this means that a person can not truly judge what is appealing about them, since they are not the one actually gauging one’s level of appeal. Consequently, everyone tackles the issue of attraction from the point of view of what they find attractive in others. It makes sense, but here’s my issue with that idea. It’s widely accepted that in order to have a healthy relationship, one must be themselves. But, if you’re trying to find someone, you must be attractive to potential candidates. Without examining the qualities YOU possess, the way you can be attractive is to resort to dishonesty to gain the attentions of potential mates. Pretending you have qualities you don't, or that you are someone you're not. And then when the truth comes out, disaster follows.

When I was working in New York City, a friend from work & I started talking about what we wanted in a girlfriend. We spent about fifteen minutes going back & forth listing physical qualities as well as personality traits that our perfect woman must have. A doorman, listening to our conversation, stopped us dead in our tracks with the following interjection, "That’s all well & good boys, but what do you have to offer HER?" I was astounded because I had never thought about it. Why in God’s name would my perfect woman whom I so meticulously described be interested in me?

So, to tackle this from a different angle, here’s what I think my perfect woman would love about me, based on actual evidence from previous girlfriends & other women I’ve dealt with in my life:

Physical qualities: None. Just kidding… ;-)
---Eyes: All the women I’ve ever dealt with have told me that my dark brown eyes are captivating. Although I’ve never tried, they seem to think I can stop a woman dead in her tracks with just my eyes. (Maybe I should consider contacts… )
---Lips: I’ve heard my lips described as soft, warm, and infinitely kissable.
---Hands: All of my exes loved having my hands on them. They told me my hands felt strong and sure, giving them a sense of safety.
And overall, I’m comfortable. It started with my sisters using me as a pillow when they were both tiny, and has since progessed to every single girlfriend I’ve ever had expressing a desire to curl up and just lay on top of me.

Emotional qualities:
This is where I really shine because the qualities that most men find difficult I have in spades. I offer compassion, trustworthiness, reliablity, sincerity, humor, dedication, respect, and above all else, passion. It would seem that every single one of my girlfriends became interested in me after seeing me in some sort of passionate moment.

And that’s it. Those are the qualities I possess that would enable me to attract a potential girlfriend. Those are the tools I have to work with. The best part of me is who I am and the things I believe and that usually takes time to really sink in.

As for what I would like to see when I behold someone, I tend to be fairly simple on the subject. My perfect woman is intelligent so I can talk to her for hours, goofy so when we talk it could be about anything from a comic strip or politics, funny so we could enjoy laughing at each other’s jokes, cool so she wouldn’t feel the need to create drama, and independent so I’d know that she wants me in her life and not that she needs me to have a life. Oh, one other thing, and this is key, she has to actually LIKE me.

In the looks department, I’m even simpler. I tend to go for long hair (preferably black or red), lots of curves (like Mia Tyler), and glasses. See? It’s that easy. Thoughts? Comments? Ideas?


  1. Food for thought!

    I am lifting the following from another blog I read, but thought their conclusion was appropriate. George Orwell nailed it, as always: "It is possible to love a murderer, but it is not possible to love a person with bad breath" (in The Road to Wigan Pier)

  2. There's definite truth to what you say, Rod. You have to be comfortable with yourself--really *know* who you are and what you can offer--before even thinking about pursuing the opposite sex.

    In high school, I noticed that girls are not interested in you if you seem desperate. I remember going through an epiphany one year and deciding from this point on I was only going to worry about improving myself, and not those girls. To concentrate on those qualities that are positive within me--confidence, moral fortitude, empathy--and further those traits to truly define a sense of self. If I was true to my own convictions, I reasoned, I would be happy. I had to force myself to stop thinking about how other people saw me (in this case, women) and change the paradigm completely. It was no longer about what girl I could or could not get, but about not caring if I even got one at all. So long as I loved myself life would work itself out regardless.

    And let me tell you, it was the best decision ever! I am what I am today because of this decision I made back in Sophomore year of high school. From that point on, despite not actively seeking it, I began to receive a lot more attention from the opposite sex. I wasn't Cassanova or anything--far from it--but it seems my resolve and apparent aloofness conferred a certain air of mystery that I had not counted on.

    Which was fine by me. It may not have been something I was actively trying to cultivate, but everything did work out in the end. I did meet my future wife a few years later, after all. And had some interesting, er, encounters along the way. :)

  3. I've always loved the scientific approach to romance, and relationships. It's always seemed so much more honest. Thanks for the article, Terry!

  4. I agree completely, David. But, I do have to say that there is something to the chase of women. One can learn a lot from that journey. Not as much as focusing on one's own personal growth, but there's worthwile experiences to be had...

    Interesting encounters, huh? Interesting....

  5. All of my encounters have involved women that came after ME, Rod! (haha) God, I know that sounds completely conceited. :)

    What I mean is, for some reason I seem to attract the agressive types. The ones who make the first move, usually when I'm least suspecting. Or, at least I used to. It's been over a decade and a half since I've been in the position to pursue anyone. Or to be pursued.