This is a guest post by Floh member, Vir Dasmahapatra. He shares a single man’s perspective on the role of looks and other aspects on attraction and natural selection.
A bunch of chaps from Floh spent an engaging couple of hours recently at The Square as we tried discovering what single men in their 30s really think and want.
Sidman convinced us to write a little about the various perspectives we brought out. So, here’s mine, on the subject of whether we’re concerned about looks in women.
I think most men and women do care about looks, and this is a perfectly natural condition. I see this as an evolutionary instinct that is hardwired into practically all creatures in nature. Going by Darwin’s principles of natural selection and sexual selection, the observable physical characteristics of animals are what lead to the selection of mates. Therefore, in a party, if a man is first attracted to a woman on the basis of her looks, it’s not because he is ‘shallow.’
The Biology Of It All
That being said, humans (well… many humans) deviate from ‘animals’ because alongside deeply ingrained biological drives, they also have intellect, values, and emotions governing their selection of partners. As a single person, when I walk into a party/gathering, I might first feel drawn to a woman who (to me) looks very attractive – it’s a natural instinct that filters her out from the rest of the women. But let’s say, I observe that she is unkind to people around her, or foul mouthed, or inconsiderate, my interest in her drops dramatically because she goes against values that I hold. A woman who is less physically attractive to me, but holds herself with grace, speaks intelligently, deals well with people around her becomes infinitely more attractive than someone who only has looks working for her.
An Interesting Insight
Here’s an example from my life. A few months ago, a friend of mine sent me a link to her friend’s blog. The blogger, a single lady, had the most delightful perspective on life and its issues. I hadn’t seen what she looked like, but I got an insight into the kind of person she is , and I was attracted to the way she expressed herself. I didn’t hesitate to reach out and make contact with her. We got together for lunch and spent a great afternoon chatting about everything under the sun. We didn’t start dating because she was leaving the country very soon, but I did get an opportunity to discover a great person, and I’m very happy about that. Looks had a negligible role to play in that entire interaction. She wasn’t someone who would necessarily have caught my eye in a party, but knowing what I did of her, I most certainly would have asked her out for more lunches had she remained in the city!
The First & Most Obvious Lens
Let’s not kid ourselves. Assuming you don’t know anything about each other, physical attractiveness is most likely the first lens through which you look at someone from the opposite sex. But, if you’re a healthy, functional adult, this will definitely not be the only criterion for you to make a choice. This is what makes humans stretch Darwin’s principles as well. Look around you, and you will find hundreds and thousands of examples of couples that are unevenly matched on physical attractiveness (ever found yourself wondering “How in the world did that guy get a girl as gorgeous as her?”). I believe that the most powerful decisive factor overall is attraction to what is beyond physical beauty or wealth and social status. It is about personality, charisma, compassion, and other variables that distance us from ‘animals.’
Be Yourself, Be Aware & Be Vulnerable
So, as a single, 30 year old guy, reflecting on what it means to be single and looking for a life partner, it makes a lot of sense when Floh encourages its members to dress well, and it makes even more sense when Simran exhorts that you should always, always, always be yourself. Be aware of what’s best in you, be aware of your vulnerabilities, and be open about expressing both. When you can express and project your natural self, you give others the opportunity of understanding you better and increase your chances of attracting someone who appreciates more than your best outfit and fancy new hair do. Think about it!
Do you agree with me on this? Let me know what is the most important factor for you when you decide to date someone!