I Pretend Looks Aren’t Important But Secretly They Are

In an age where dating apps rule, we’re forced to swipe yes or no based on a bunch of edited, pouting selfies, or some blurry group photos where you can’t quite make out which one they are. It’s nice to think that looks aren’t all that important, that personality triumphs over physical attraction. However, I just don’t think that’s the case.

  1. Looks contribute to chemistry. When we go on a first date, we’re all looking for that elusive “spark,” that unquantifiable thing that gives us butterflies and makes us blush. Of course, a person’s sense of humor and general personality are hugely important but looks also contribute. Whether they have gorgeous eyes or a bright smile, their physical appearance certainly comes into play.
  2. It’s impossible to judge someone’s personality on a dating app. Because meeting someone in real life seems like a pipe dream, using apps to arrange dates is basically the way to meet people in 2020 (you know, when we can actually go out). Great news! Except now I have to judge each person solely on how they look or how they present themselves. If I met someone organically, like through a friend, I might get to know them over time and start to find them attractive. With Tinder, it’s all or nothing. This means looks are now more important than ever. If I don’t think they are cute right away, I swipe left.
  3. I don’t want to settle. The older I get, the less I want to settle, meaning I’m keen to find someone that ticks all the boxes. While I realize that no one is perfect and that core values like kindness and a good sense of humor are super important, I also feel I deserve to be with someone that I find attractive. Is that so wrong?
  4. I want to be in an equal relationship. Finding someone you perceive as equal to you is important since you don’t ever want to feel an imbalance in the relationship. I would feel concerned that if I discounted looks completely and chose someone purely for their personality, there would be an imbalance in the relationship that could cause issues further down the line.
  5. I want to find someone who looks after themselves. Health and fitness are important to me. I eat well (except for the occasional weekend Pizza Hut delivery), go to the gym, take a walk on my lunch break at work, and just generally make an effort to look after myself. I would expect my partner to do the same since staying fit and healthy not only contributes to physical appearance but demonstrates a positive attitude towards life. It’s difficult to admit this, but I wouldn’t find someone attractive if they didn’t look after themselves.
  6. I care about what my friends think. I know it shouldn’t matter, but I do care what my friends think of potential love interests. I have had well-meaning friends in the past shoot down guys for being “not good enough” for me and while I appreciate the sentiment, it doesn’t exactly make me feel great. As much as I pretend I’m not shallow, I probably am a little bit, but aren’t we all, deep down?!
  7. Physical attraction leads to a healthy sex life. Physical attraction is hugely important for a healthy sex life. If you’re really attracted to someone and vice versa, your between-the-sheets moments will be a lot more fun than if you are scrambling to turn the light off every time. If I don’t feel attracted to someone but like their personality, I know this side of things won’t pan out that we’re better off as friends.
  8. I want my kids to be cute. I am not totally sure if I want kids, but if I do end up having them, I definitely want them with someone I find attractive! Why? Because I want them to be cute! More important is finding a partner who shares your values and ethics, and whom you can rely on to be a standout parent, but still, we all want a cute baby!
  9. I want to feel secure. I’ve known couples in the past where one party was a lot more conventionally attractive than the other. This shouldn’t really be an issue and often isn’t with the right people, but if one party is a little insecure, this can cause problems that can ultimately destroy a relationship. I want to find someone that makes me feel secure and vice versa.
  10. I want to be with someone I’m proud of. Looks are important; I’m not saying the guys I date have to be George Clooney handsome, nor do they have to be on the front cover of Men’s Health. I truly believe beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that we all have ‘things’ we like — mine is laughter wrinkles around the eyes — so I think it’s reasonable to crave that flutter of attraction deep in the pit of my stomach when I meet a potential love interest. I want to find someone that I am proud to introduce as my boyfriend. Is that so bad?
Louise Brooks is a writer based in London, UK. When not lying around and questioning her life decisions, she writes about all things funny for her blog www.humourite.com