Monday, September 20, 2010

Rules of Attraction

Recently, I told a friend that I have given up on dating entirely. While this is not a new development, our conversation did remind me about why I've made this rather self-defeating decision.

After a couple years of Internet dating, and even meeting up with some of the guys who have flagged me down on the street, I have had next to no success. This has mostly been because I just wasn't interested—also pretty self-defeating on my part, but it's not something I can help! I've rejected guys for a number of reasons, but probably the most common one and the one that's most deadly to a future relationship is a lack of physical attraction. Though this is somewhat superficial, let's face it: If the thought of kissing someone makes you cringe, dating them will never work.

Sometimes, an unattractive face grows on you over time, but time is one thing that blind dating does not afford. Generally, you are expected to make a decision about the other person after a single meeting that may be as short as one hour!

So! I'm still single because all men are ugly. But what makes them ugly? Well, that's (after a rambling 3 paragraph intro as always) the topic of this post. [Edit, October 25: No, all men aren't really ugly! That was hyperbole for comedic effect. I don't want to be responsible for causing anyone to get an inferiority complex.]

I read recently that generally people are attracted to people who look different from them (an adaptive trait to avoid inbreeding). This seems to be confirmed in my tastes. In terms of coloration, I'm pretty much a genetically watered-down Heidi. So it's not surprising that I go for men who are dark haired, dark eyed, and dark skinned.
Ooh la la!
I have pretty close-set, deep-set eyes, and my tastes run to guys with big, widely spaced girly eyes (but is this a reflection of evolutionary tendencies, or just a reflection of how much I hate my kind of eyes?). Although as soon as I bring this up, someone will say, "You're not fat!" I do, undeniably, have chubbier than average cheeks, and I am attracted to faces that have the exact opposite. All in all, it seems my genetic makeup dictates that I go for a distinctly alien mien.

Except when it comes to mouths. Along with my chubby cheeks, I was graced with tiny rosebud lips (a terrible combination), meaning that I prefer people with a wide mouth and a forest of teeth. Aliens do not have mouths at all.

While all these first-glance preferences can be superseded by a general rapport brought about by someone who charms me by following all the rules to dating Valerie, there is one physical preference that I just can't seem to shake: I only like skinny men. It doesn't seem to matter how long I've known someone or how much fun we can have together. It doesn't matter if he's the world's greatest conversationalist and we have every common interest two humans can have—if he's not at least as thin as me (on a fat-to-height ratio), I just can't seem to get interested romantically. This makes me feel like a superficial jerk, but all the guilt in the world can't persuade me to change my tastes.

This poses two problems. Firstly, it contradicts the genetic theory of attraction. While I imagine myself to be a blubbery elephant of a person, I have it on good authority (namely, everyone who talks to me) that "You're not fat!" And while one can question the veracity of that statement (it seems to explode reflexively out of anyone's mouth as soon as I mention being chubby, which makes me think they might still be saying it if I weighed 300 pounds), I also have it on statistical authority that I'm not fat. So if I were supposed to be attracted to my opposite, I should be ga-ga about heavier men. Secondly, since I'm statistically not fat and the majority of the American population is, this severely limits the pool of dudes who meet my exacting specifications. Especially when you factor in all the hard-to-find personality traits (which could be the topic of several additional posts, so I'm not even going to start) that I also prefer.

So what's an extremely selective girl to do? The answer is, stop going on blind dates. No point in spending your entire income meeting strangers for dinner, only to tell them, "Sorry, you're just too human for me." Therefore I will wait, averting my eyes from happy couples, glaring disdainfully at engagement ring advertisements, and choking back the tears at weddings, until that happy day when I can again fall in love with the wrong guy.


Geoff said...

Yer silly.

Valerie said...

Not as silly as you, goofball!

bdw said...

Sounds like you'd be game for John Stamos and his weird bellybutton.

(3rd paragraph)