Apropos my last post, I’ve recently been honing a gender-differentiated theory on attractiveness and attraction. Though it’s still rough, I think I’m ready to share the basics:
Guys: At first glance, we boys talk a big game, rating women ruthlessly (“look at her calves; I can’t give her better than a seven”). But when it comes down to it, we don’t really value looks as much as our guy-banter implies. We do, however, have a minimum attractiveness threshold, a point below which, no matter how much we like the girl, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to see her naked. Though it’s strictly inviolable (consider the number of guys who, though feeling remarkably guilty about it, have a close female friend they’d marry if only she were slightly more attractive), it’s also probably much lower than girls would likely assume (rarely higer than a six, even for the most critical men). So long as she’s above the minimum cutoff, a cool girl the guy loves to spend time with trumps a hotter-but-boring one every time. In other words, while we guys have an inviolable minimum, above that line we weight personality more heavily than looks.
Girls: Ladies, however, have no fixed minimum. As Voltaire observed, give a charming guy ten minutes to talk away his ugly face and he could bed the Queen of France. (Hence the vast majority of women who have dated [or fallen in love with] men they initially found horribly unattractive – something we guys find inconceivable.) Conversely, however, women factor in attractiveness the whole way up; there is no point after which additional beauty doesn’t much matter. Which is to say, with most women, a totally rockin’ 7 would face stiff competition from a merely reasonably interesting 10.
The groups of friends on which I’ve tested the theory have nearly universally agreed, but I’d love to hear from readers who can help hone the details (or perhaps rebut my hopethesis altogether). If you’ve gleaned some sharable yet hard-earned insight from the battlefields of love,