Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"Men Want Hot Women, Study Shows"

According to a new study conducted in Germany, men go for good looks (you can find the article here).

The gist of this study is that men may say they want certain qualities in a partner, but when it all gets boiled down, they go for the attractive girls. While women are much pickier, they tend to go for guys with an attraction level equal to their perceived level of attraction. In conclusion, the woman's attractiveness affects both party's decision-making process.

To quote a friend: in other news "new study shows water is wet".

How is this news? How was this study even funded? How sheltered from the dating world do you have to be to not already intuitively know the above?

Our culture is abnormally obsessed with relationships. From the tabloids that spin random pictures of celebrities into drama-laden romances, to the plethora of dating sites; from speed-dating, to more expensive match-maker services; from magazines devoted to "brides", to the embittering national divide about gay marriage. Publishers and marketing wizards spend huge amounts of time, energy, and money on these topics and consumers are right there to scoop it all up. Check out the "Health" section of your local bookstore or library, and you will find a huge variety of self-help books devoted to attracting and keeping the "perfect mate." There are numerous articles written analyzing everything from how one's smell can affect attraction levels (pheromones), to how to use body language to send the right signals (shouldn't body language be subconscious and natural?). People are obsessed with not only their own love lives, but the love/sex lives of others (celebrities in particular).

And, we have another study and article focused on telling us that "looks matter."

I myself am not immune from this cultural obsession. I subscribe to a couple of dating sites (my Mom calls it a shopper's mentality - more on that in a minute). I've read Cosmo (10 ways to turn a man on!). I have a couple of dating books (What Men REALLY Want). I date. A lot--I've lost count of the number of first dates I've been on--and all in the search to find a good, lasting relationship. I am embarrassed to think of how much wasted time and energy I've invested in this search.


In our consumer-based society, we treat dating and love as something to "consume". We shop for it, in the same way that we would shop for clothes or a car. We do our research, try a variety on for size, and are always on the look-out for something better than what we have. We don't seem to be content or happy unless we have it, and even then, we're restless. We learn all we can about it, fascinated by those who seem to have it, and even more intrigued when it's lost. This mentality pushes us to spend millions if not billions of dollars on dates, books, magazines, websites, clothing, beauty products, etc. What a waste. And it never ends. There are always new books, new ways to make yourself more desirable, and more studies telling us what we (should) already know.

Enough is enough. When will you people just learn to RELAX? To get out there and live your life, and just let what happens, happen. Stop obsessing over every little detail of your own and others' love lives, and instead just have fun? If you find love - great! If you don't, at least you're still enjoying yourself. I don't necessarily believe in fate, but I do think that when you find the "right" fit, having your nails freshly done or wearing the imitation pheromone perfume or knowing that both men and women care about looks isn't going to change a thing. It's just going to click. You and him or her will simply work.

So please, stop feeding the machine that pumps out these ridiculous studies. Stop buying all of the books that will tell you things that you already know. Stop worrying about looking good for others, and simply look good for yourself. Stop shopping for a relationship. Have fun. Enjoy that wonder that is life. Love (and sex and maybe even marriage/children) will happen, but until it does - don't waste your time worrying and over-analyzing. What's the point? Don't wait for something to make you happy, be happy now.

Editor's Note: Shout hallelujah, Come on get happy.

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Ishtar said...

Well written commentary, Cara. I think you are spot on. Very insightful notion of "shopping for a relationsip." I think too often we have specs when we search for a potential -- not to say we shouldn't have criteria -- but we're not buying a laptop here.

I also agree with you about not waiting for aspects to fall into place to make us happy. In order to be happy, one has to want to be happy. Otherwise, we're so caught up searching for happiness that we forget to be happy in the here and now.

Cara said...

Thanks Kavi! :)

I find myself doing the "shopping" sometimes... it can be a hard habit to break - but admitting to it is the first step, right?