Useless hang-ups

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Useless hang-ups
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:42am
Hi, I'm new.

I don't know why I feel compelled to post about this, but I guess I've exhausted all my friends' opinions.

I have been seeing this guy for about two weeks now (we're about to go on our fourth date this weekend). He's someone I knew before, and we were friendly acquaintances though not close friends. I was always kind of drawn to him, though objectively I don't think he's all that physically attractive.

We went out for what I wasn't even sure was going to be a date last week, and it turned into a long date. Again, I didn't feel very attracted to him, but he's very good kisser so that made up for it somewhat. I have a wonderful time with him, and can totally be myself with him, which is a new thing for me. He's been very proactive about pursuing me, though he manages to do it without seeming desperate. Every time we've gone out, I feel the same way - I look at him, and think he's not good-looking enough for me, but then we have great conversations and hang out at my place and kiss and it feels nice.

I'm trying to tell myself that I just need to give this time and that it is worth giving it a shot, because of how much I like him. At this point I really care about him and do not want to hurt his feelings.

But honestly, he is the least good-looking guy I've ever dated. That's not to say he's ugly! - it's just that I have only ever consented to go out on dates with guys I find really, really attractive before, usually rejecting outright or bailing after one or two dates on anyone who doesn't make me swoon to look at him. And of course half of the guys I've dated have been jerks, and the other half I've ruined it by being too into them too fast (I just can't hide it when I'm really passionate about a guy). So this is new territory for me.

I know he'd be into something real - he even mentioned the word "relationship" the other night. I really care about him and like him. But I just wonder if this is always going to bother me. I'm trying to remain calm and give this a chance by telling myself, "it's okay if I don't feel passion for him yet, I don't have to decide if I could fall in love with him right now, I just have to recognize that he's worth a month or two of my time." And I've heard plenty of girlfriends tell me plenty of times over the course of my young life that passion develops, and sometimes the best relationships are those where you weren't that attracted to the guy at first. But this has never, ever happened to me. I just end up feeling like I'm lying to a guy if I have to "try" to get into it. So, I bail.

I also have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about how it's considered normal for men to select women on the basis of beauty, but not so for women. Why do THEY get a "prize" while we get "security?" Stupid, I know, but I think these things. I'm coming from the place of someone who was not considered pretty in high school, was considered moderately pretty in college, then suddenly really bloomed around age 22 and now am generally considered pretty, or sometimes beautiful. I'm sure this figures into my neurosis somehow too.

Anyway, even if you think I'm a snot-nosed b*tch, I'd appreciate some feedback or encouragement.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 3:10pm
At 36 I am not jaded yet - and have been dating and in relationships for most of the past 21 years so I am sorry to hear you say you are. What it sounds like to me is a lack of chemistry - that the two of you don't have the right energy or dynamics together - nothing to do with looks - is he too "nice" as in always accomodating your needs and not asserting himself enough - is he too "easy" as in acting like a little puppy around you rather than like a man?

I don't think it's superficial to care about looks - I do think it's dishonest with oneself to say that looks don't matter a bit - somewhere in between those concepts is where most of us fit. i wish you luck and give him some time - not more than a month or so I would say, but some time.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 11:02am
Thanks for your honest answer, deena33. I'm well aware that I have a shallow side which is hard for me to repress sometimes.

I didn't mean to imply that I have never had more than superficial feelings for previous guys I've dated... in fact there are two that come to mind which were intensely painful for me - situations where I was dating someone who I thought was just stunning AND I liked his conversation and company and felt he "understood" me.... both of these guys suddenly bailed after less than a month, moving on quickly to other women. I was devastated, because just at the point where I felt I could really let it show how much I liked him, each of these men rejected me. I was unbelievably confused, and convinced I had botched it.

I wonder if I really knew them well enough to say I liked who they are, or if the process was artificially sped-up by the swoon factor. I wonder if it was real.

These days I am a little jaded so I'm a lot more calm and really believe I'm not as in touch with my feelings as I used to be. Of course I don't think I'll care about looks if I'm in labor, or if my boyfriend is sad and needs me. I'm trying to remain calm and give this a chance. but it's hard, it's a hard thing, because I want to desperately want him and I don't.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 10:44am
I think it is good that you know what your priorities are - you want to have someone on your arm that is eye candy to look at and you want to swoon when you look at him. When you are in labor someday, do you think that your husband will swoon when he looks at you, sweating, in pain, matted hair - will you care if he does - of course not. That man that you swoon over - what about when he is sick or emotionally upset or angry - will swooning over his looks take priority then? My last boyfriend was nothing much to look at but I beamed when I was with him, much of the time - why - because I swooned over his warmth, compassion, social graces, charm, intelligence, personality - and many others swooned over him in that way too. I was so proud to be with my 5"4 balding overweight boyfriend. I believe that you are attracted to this man but are conflicted over whether his looks are "good enough" for you - because that is a priority for you. I too have some sort of superficial priorities - I want a man for example who speaks well -no strong New York accent/ no high pitched whiny voice - who does not have long hair or tattoos, etc. Part of that is I want someone with similar values (well the accent/voice has nothing to do with that, that's just a superficial thing) so I get where you are coming from. If you truly can't see yourself with this man long term, cut him loose so he can meet someone who will beam when she is with him - but if you can re-evaluate your priorities, give it another month or so - and see what develops. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 10:32am
Important point: they are getting the "prize" and we are getting security b/c that is what we want and what we seek out.

When you look for a prize and treat ppl like objects, you are probably superficial and insecure. Insecure b/c you are not secure enough with who you are, what your morals and ethics are - to not compromise them for appearances. They run too deep for that.

Having typed that, I am the most superficial of my friends. I have to be attracted to a guy before I can date him - b/c like you said, it feels like lying. But I find myself attracted to a guy with a fantastic sense of humour, or a twinkle in his eye, it is not necessarily the "prize". I've been told its possible to come later, but I can't kiss someone I am not attracted to - and its never good.

So maybe you ARE attracted to him? If you enjoy kissing him...but you are letting what others will judge his appearance to get in the way? Like ppl might think you can't do any better? Don't worry about that stuff...ppl don't think about you, they are too ego-centric...LOL...

Give it time...relax and enjoy his company. If it doesn't get passionate move on, but at least you'll never wonder "what if"'ll know.

Good luck and I hope the fire starts burning~! Go.