An ex boyfriend once said to me, “I just don’t get it - how do ugly guys get good looking girlfriends?” His only natural assumption was that they were either minted or were above average in the downstairs department. And of course he brushed off any sort of attempt of mine at playing the ‘personality’ card.
It would be nice to think that we don’t live in shallow world where looks matter, but sadly we do. Film stars are just that because of their looks and models get paid millions because of their natural beauty, whereas some people don’t even get a look in because they’re just not what society claims as ‘pretty enough’.
And when it comes to dating it doesn’t get much better. A lot of us judge a ‘book by it’s cover’ – thinking that Mr Good Looking in the bar is just our type, while the ginger guy in the corner is brushed off when he attempts to even mutter in our direction. And online dating has become the visual portal for our prejudices too - we all apparently have a ‘type’ and if Mr So and So doesn’t even conform to those criteria are we even going to read his email? Have there been missed opportunities because Mr Average ticked all the boxes apart from his non-model type looks?
So what would dating be like if looks didn’t matter and personality counted for everything? Living TV are taking this concept to the extreme with their new show - ‘Dating in the Dark’ – where contestants meet each other in the dark and date without knowing what each other look like.
Most of us freak out about going on a blind date, let alone an ‘actual’ blind one. So of course it has caused some mixed reactions between the contestants, especially when they find out their ideal partner looks nothing like they expected.
We would be lying if we said looks didn’t matter – after all, you have to fancy them – what’s the point of dating someone who you’re repulsed by? But surprisingly, on Dating in the Dark, some couples end up together even though their date doesn’t meet their expectations. So it must be true to say that when someone’s personality shines through it makes them more attractive.
And of course we are always going to be swayed by our friend’s reactions. When I recently dated a guy for a London newspaper, accompanied by a picture, it came with mixed reactions - from the slightly reassuring: “Yeah, he’s okay,” to the damn right blunt text I received saying: “Surely you can do better than him?”
And it hasn’t stopped there – exes have apparently had big noses, weird hair, been too short and ‘not my type’ according to friends.
And when friends suddenly play down the fact that looks don’t matter you know it’s for a reason. If they rattle on about their new boyfriend’s great personality and how well they’ve bonded of course we’re not expecting them to waltz in with a Brad Pitt look-alike.
We're all going to be attracted to that stunning looking guy at one point in our lives – but if that’s all he’s got and there’s nothing upstairs then we’re never going to be able to contemplate a future with him. So yes, mister ex boyfriend, personality does count. In fact personality counts for so much more than we put emphasis on. It makes date number two so much easier and gives relationships that longevity we are all looking for.
So maybe dating in the dark should become a necessity for anyone who is looking for their perfect partner – either that or we should, for once, give that okayish looking guy a chance when he attempts to chat us up.