Is Being Physically Unattractive a Barrier to Getting into a Relationship?

July 17, 2018

The bad news is that yes: being physically unattractive makes it a bit harder to find a partner. The good news is that this small barrier, on the other hand, also prepares you. If you want it and put some effort into it, you can establish great relationships. But it’s all up to you.

Love is often like a supermarket, with supply and demand. The most popular products are attractive and have a lot of recognition. Although we rarely speak about it in those terms, and although it’s uncomfortable to strip love of its romantic and innocent attire, in practice the truth is that a series of biological laws influence us as the living beings that we are. These laws favor some people more than others.

Those with those attributes have an easier in the love market, there’s no doubt about that. But having it easier isn’t always having it better. Very often, this apparent ease can work against you, and your weaknesses can become your strengths. Because, as Ortega y Gasset says…

The beauty that attracts rarely coincides with the beauty that makes us fall in love.

-José Ortega y Gasset-

Physical attractiveness: a longing for many who believe they don’t have it

Physical attractiveness is an arbitrary attribute. Its definition speaks more to the person who perceives it than to the person who is being perceived. It doesn’t depend on the person’s effort, but on different anatomical standards, especially related to one’s face. On the other hand, each culture defines and influences what’s beautiful and what’s not. For that reason, it becomes the prevailing factor.

man thinking about love

Physical beauty doesn’t really affect society. It doesn’t matter whether people are beautiful or not. Ultimately, their looks contribute very little to the progress of humanity as a whole. In fact, we have a large group of beautiful celebrities that contribute less to real beauty than the smaller group of geniuses, thinkers, and heroes.

Some people are born beautiful, and others make themselves beautiful. In these times, attractiveness can be bought. Physically redesigning a person is a real possibility. It’s achieved in operating rooms, in gyms, and thanks to thousands of products and procedures.

On the other hand, however transcendental it may be for the evolution of society, people do tend to be very concerned about how attractive their image is. In fact, there are people who are very anxious about it. Others fall into a pit of depression and many make a real effort to oppose their body’s desires to watch their figures.

Physical beauty and relationships

Physical attractiveness is something that, as the name implies, attracts and confers advantages. It’s called attractive because it’s like a magnet for other’s attention. In this regard, it can facilitate starting romantic relationships. In addition, being part of a beautiful couple is a sign of status, of value, especially in certain cultures, and more easily awakens erotic impulses. That is a real barrier for those who aren’t so beautiful.

If an unattractive person wants to improve their changes of finding or choosing a partner, they can choose two paths. One is to become a victim of society’s logic, and the other is to go around it. Whoever allows themselves to be a victim of the situation ends up lowering their arms and hiding in their shell, which, in addition to being unattractive, makes it easier for them to develop social habits that make them even less attractive. On the other hand, whoever accepts the challenge ends up constructing a different logic in which, with their attitude, they manage to allow other people to access and appreciate other types of characteristics that do make them attractive.

a couple

One thing is for certain: although physical attractiveness opens the doors to relationships more easily, it doesn’t make staying in one any easier. It’s only an advantage in the beginning. It can even be a problem for someone who’s attractive to have other characteristics that live up to the attractiveness, and, if they don’t, they could end up not living up to their partner’s expectations. In this sense, sometimes relationships end as easily as they started.

In truth, beauty often is only an absolute value in the minds of some adolescents, of those who have serious complexes or who are very isolated.

The world sends us many messages aimed at making us believe that life revolves only around the beautiful, the rich, and the powerful. This message is fed by people who profit economically from those who believe them, who have an almost infinite willingness to sacrifice in order to get that beauty offered by that cream or expensive exercise device.

Yes, being physically unattractive is a barrier to finding a partner. But it isn’t a barrier to loving and being loved. Nor is it the only thing that attracts or pushes others away. There are many more things over which we have greater control, such as our attitude or personality.