I’m a married woman with two kids so this no longer applies to me, but when I was younger and a fully-fledged member of the dating-game; I had a very firm belief. In the matter of romantic liaisons, I strictly adhered to ‘leagues’. Now, if you’re wondering exactly what I mean by ‘leagues’, here’s a brief summary of the ideology. One should ideally court/date/set one’s cap at somebody who falls within their league of attractiveness…
Now hear me out before you grab your lit torches and pitchforks. Beauty should be in the eye of the beholder, but our society seems to have dictated what beauty is without consulting the rest of us. Tall, skinny, symmetrical face; that’s the gold standard (don’t shoot the messenger). So that being said, I’m no great shakes in the looks department. If I’m being entirely honest, my nose its a little too big for my face, I’ve the thighs of a Russian shot-putter, I’m just hanging on in their in within my body mass index and I might even be described as weird-looking. However, I guess I could be called interesting at a push. But I don’t think anybody fell in love with me from across a crowded room. No, if I ever ignited any attraction towards me it was probably because of my sparkling personality and rapier-like wit (and my humble modesty). But I make an effort; I stay in shape and I’ve tried not to let myself go. I do the best with what I was given. And I may not have been particularly happy about it in my younger years, but now I’m firmly into my 40’s, I look in the mirror and I’m generally satisfied with the reflection.
I guess I faired okay in the dating-game too. I had my share of heartbreak; I dumped some people, some people dumped me. Fair is fair – and everything that happened, good or bad, was character building. But I only dated a few men before I met ‘the one’ who is now my husband. So I was pretty lucky all in all. But I always believed in the ‘leagues’ system which is why I think I didn’t get hurt too many times.
So what I’m trying to get at here is this; if you date within your given looks-bracket, you won’t go too far wrong. I read somewhere that women (and probably men too), are hard-wired to choose the tallest and most attractive man available – a bit like the way peahens do with peacocks, I suppose. The reason we are automatically programmed to do this is so that when we reproduce, our offspring have a higher likelihood of being of better, healthier (and prettier) stock. But the theory I had concocted (or somebody else concocted but I just adopted it) told me that if a man was too pretty for me, I would forever think myself inferior, and worse; he would consider himself superior to me and only misery could ensue. And if you’ve already noticed my propensity to be a bit arrogant, you would know that that would never work. So to that end, I can pretty much declare that I never set my cap at anybody I considered considerably more attractive that myself. I may have looked (and I mean glanced at the most) but there was just no point in setting myself up for failure. Not that any perfectly chiselled Adonis would have been better than me because he wouldn’t; he would just have been in the wrong league. And let’s be frank, said Adonis would not have been glancing at me either.
Perhaps this sounds shallow and superficial of the younger me to think that way, but I feel now it was rather sensible. Beauty is only skin deep – fact. Brains are more important than beauty – true. Personality is more important than looks – sure. But I think people need to ‘fit’ aesthetically too. Look at the case of Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller; it just didn’t work out. He was educationally superior to her; she was visually superior to him. They were from different leagues. Furthermore, would a beautiful young woman really choose an older less-attractive man if he wasn’t wealthy? I’ll leave you to answer that one.
I probably sound as though I’m doing my husband a great disservice. Well let me rectify that. My husband is a good-looking guy. If we’re still banging on about leagues (which I guess I’m going to have to because I started this monologue), he would be at the top of ours and I would be nearer the bottom. But it was still the same league. When I first saw him, it was love at first sight long before I ever heard him utter a single word. It’s funny, I’ve never admitted that to anybody before (least of all him – we don’t want his head getting too big) but it’s true. He was scooting by on a skateboard (which was odd for a 24 year old male nurse but there we are). But my heart missed a beat and my stomach flipped. He had such a likeable face. I had the feeling he was kind and smart (and the questionable skateboard suggested he didn’t much care what other’s thought which I admired too). And when we actually met – the chemistry was instantaneous. Luckily for me he was smart, educated, and kind – so my initial instincts had been spot on. He was exactly what I needed. Moreover, I don’t have to and never have had to lust after other people. I don’t secretly stare at 20 year old men. I’m happy in my situation and I don’t need to fawn over something frivolous and intangible.
So all I’m saying is, a long time ago I had a theory (or somebody did). And that theory has worked out pretty well for me. If you want my advice (and you probably don’t), I just don’t think it is wise to punch way above your weight. If love is blind, then I believe that blindness is only temporary. But that’s just my theory. You may have a g’million (real number) instances and examples that prove me completely and utterly wrong. But I doubt it.