I’m going to ask you a question, and I want you to answer honestly: are you choosing men based solely on looks? Even if appearance isn’t the only thing that draws you to someone, do you find that you’re more apt to ignore red flags if you think that a man is red hot? If you know deep down that you tend to excuse a man’s bad behavior when you’re seriously attracted to him physically, don’t beat yourself up—you’re not alone.
Our culture prioritizes looks and money over deeper values, so it’s not unusual if you treat a man differently if he’s especially good looking or financially successful; in fact, you might even be doing this subconsciously simply because you’re programmed to believe it’s socially acceptable. The problem is, you may end up in an unhealthy relationship if you actively prioritize appearance and wealth, just like our cautionary friend Sandy did.
Sandy saw Tom’s profile online and was instantly attracted to him, so she sent him an email. Tom wrote back and warned her right away that his demanding job required that he work long hours, and that he wasn’t interested in pursuing a serious relationship. Although Sandy was, in fact, looking for a steady boyfriend, she believed that Tom would change his tune once he got to know her better. The simple fact was that Sandy felt fortunate that someone as attractive as Tom wanted to go out with her, and she was too blinded by her perceived good fortune to read the signs in front of her.
Fast forward a bit, and although Sandy and Tom had been dating for a while, they didn’t see each other all that often; Sandy found that she was usually the one who had to reach out to Tom to make plans or establish contact at all. Sandy just couldn’t bring herself to break off her dead-end relationship with Tom because he looked so good on paper—and in pictures, and in person, if she was being honest. Tom was handsome and successful, but Sandy wasn’t fulfilled by their relationship, so she decided to be honest about her feelings. Sandy opened up about feeling unhappy with the distance between them, but Tom simply reminded her that he’d been open about the fact that he was never looking for something serious.
In the beginning of their relationship, Sandy ignored Tom’s glaring red flags because she liked his looks. This wasn’t even an instance in which Tom deceived Sandy in any way, she was just too fixated on her sexual attraction to him to care that their relationship couldn’t possibly work long term.
In the beginning, Sandy was somehow able to con herself into overlooking the fact that Tom didn’t want a relationship, and the fact that he was frankly a far cry from her dream man, but as time went on and that initial luster wore off, Sandy began to realize that sex appeal and wealth only count for so much.
How can you ever expect to end up in the relationship of your dreams if you’re not listening to the kind of relationship that your potential partner wants? If Sandy hadn’t been blinded by Tom’s good looks, maybe she would have taken his initial warning more seriously. This begs the question: how can you avoid letting a man’s attractiveness impair your judgment?
The solution is simple: treat all men that you date the same, no matter how they look.
You should always expect to be treated with respect in a relationship—don’t expect less than you deserve, even if a man is incredibly hot. Make sure you’re investing your time in someone with values similar to your own, and never resign yourself to a relationship with serious flaws just because a man’s broad shoulders or blue eyes make you weak in the knees. Make thoughtful, smart decisions about men, or you’re bound to stay single for far longer than you’d like.
The good news is, this approach isn’t actually that hard—it just takes practice. In the age of social distance, you can practice these methods in the safety of your home with the newest dating trend: video chat dating. It isn’t the same as being in the same room with him, but having that kind of distance may be precisely the element you need to master this new dating skill. When you’re not physically near a man that you’re especially attracted to, you may not be so intoxicated by his looks.
Want to move forward in your love life? You can get lots of practical tips from my free guide, How to Make a Good First Impression Video Chat Dating.