Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by reboundstudent on Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:10 pm

nearly_takuan wrote:If it's wrong then I don't want to be right. I find superficial compliments extremely gratifying.

That being said... I have to agree with Werel about possibly being too hasty to rule out people who just have really good poker faces. Recently a woman I had thought incapable of hiding her feelings about anything (which, by the way, I also don't perceive as a bad thing; suits her personality) informed me that the first time we met, she'd been warned by mutual friends not to flirt with me in case I found it frightening. She'd held back telling me she thought I was physically attractive until she found out I was getting into a committed relationship making it "safe" to talk about that stuff. People make mistakes with the best of intentions. Razz

It isn't really about poker faces. It's about action, and inaction. My ultimate goal is dating someone who finds me extremely attractive, and is willing to actively pursue me and communicate that. A guy with a good poker face doesn't matter if he 1) actively pursues me despite his poker face and 2) communicates that he finds me attractive. A guy who finds me wildly attractive but doesn't pursue me is about as useful as a bicycle is to a fish, so whether a guy gives good poker face or not is a moot point.

I think there's some confusion here because my dating strategy is very different than nearly everyone else's here because I will not initiate. Since I don't initiate, I don't bother too much with looking for "positive" signs a guy is attracted to me. The guy I want is someone who takes an active, initiating role. A guy's behavior should indicate clearly enough that he's attracted to me. If it doesn't, for whatever reason, that's not a person I'm compatible with anyway.

nearly_takuan wrote:
Hey, so...you don't have to answer, obviously, but which do you think you feel more strongly: the desire to be attractive to a general crowd of people, or the desire to find specific people who think you're attractive and will tell you so? I don't think those are necessarily the same exact want.

I think I'd rather be attractive to a general crowd of people. The thing is, if dating is a numbers and status game, then having a general appeal is going to be more useful than having a specific appeal. Like, there's a decent chance that there are two people in my city that find me attractive. But really, what use is that? Two people out of, what, thousands? Unless my "specific" appeal is fairly sizable, the chance of finding those people and being compatible with them in other ways seems slim. Having a general appeal, though, means I have a better chance of finding someone who thinks I'm attractive. Why choose the few over the many?...
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by Kiskadee on Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:30 am

jcorozza wrote:
At the same time, I think it's very possible to, say, fall for someone's brain or personality, and THEN start to think that they are physically very attractive.  Which isn't quite the same as falling for them *despite* their looks.

This definitely happens to me, and so probably lots of other people.  I find people's level of physical attractiveness (I guess meaning more sexual attractiveness than a purely aesthetic sense) extremely subjective depending on my feelings about personality/brain.  In cases like this, being attracted to the personality is no consolation prize, it's the main deal.  It also doesn't necessarily mean that a person dislikes your looks, just that looks aren't the most important thing in determining attraction for everyone.  (Like, when I walk into a room at a singles event, I don't start making a list based on appearance, and would just kind of get flustered if you asked who I thought was the hottest.  And I have an embarrassingly long lasting, huge crush on a woman I wasn't initially attracted to.  I misread her personality at first, was turned off, and later found her hotter and hotter as I got to know her)

reboundstudent, I definitely agree with the others that there is nothing wrong with wanting what you want.  However, it may help you to feel better about your odds to realize that sometimes men might find you quite attractive, but not express it in the way you would like (even if they are ultimately incompatible with you because of this).  It also sounds like you wouldn't be open to being pursued by a man who was originally less interested/more shy/whatever, but who is now quite attracted and actively initiating?  I do understand why you would feel that way based on what you've said about past experiences, but other singles often have painful pasts and insecurities, too, and folks have to get together somehow.  It seems like maybe you could improve your odds of getting what you really want (pursued by someone very attracted to you) if you allowed more leeway about how soon this had to be after meeting.  But it's also possible I'm completely misreading what you want?


Last edited by Kiskadee on Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:31 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : it wasn't clear who I was replying to)
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by reboot on Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:00 am

Despite the title of the thread and the use of the word "superficial", RBS, it does not sound like you want someone to have just a surface level attraction. It sounds like you want someone to fall hard for you on a more in depth level relatively soon after meeting you. Someone who is decisive in their likes and dislikes and states them early. Am I interpreting you correctly?
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by reboundstudent on Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:20 pm

reboot wrote:Despite the title of the thread and the use of the word "superficial", RBS, it does not sound like you want someone to have just a surface level attraction. It sounds like you want someone to fall hard for you on a more in depth level relatively soon after meeting you. Someone who is decisive in their likes and dislikes and states them early. Am I interpreting you correctly?

Yes, this is actually a perfect way to describe it. Looks still need to be a part of it, but it is accurate to say I want them to decisively like all of me fairly early in the process. "Fall hard" is maybe a bit much, as I totally get being like "I am really into this person but want to take it slow/see how it goes." Them being into me does not mean they need to rush into full-fledged "We must be together now" territory. But it does mean they ask me out early in the process, and already have a pretty firm interest in me.

Kiskadee wrote:
 In cases like this, being attracted to the personality is no consolation prize, it's the main deal.  It also doesn't necessarily mean that a person dislikes your looks, just that looks aren't the most important thing in determining attraction for everyone.

I don't begrudge how people feel attraction, but that would really not work for me. I think the important thing for me is that people like/weight my personality and looks equally (with maybe slight more emphasis on looks.) Someone who deems personality the most important thing, or is attracted to someone's looks as a result of their personality, is not someone whose attraction I could ever trust. After hearing the message "Men are visual" for pretty much my entire life, and seeing the "I find personality attractive!" played too often as the Nice Guy Superior Mentality* card, on top of my own personal experiences, I'm just not interested in walking into that minefield.

*As in I've heard guys, especially in the Geek Community, try to use their attraction to intelligence/personality as proof that they are morally superior to folks who are "shallow" and thus attracted to looks. I did not enjoy being the human proof that a guy "looks past" ugliness/fatness to the "beautiful person underneath" and thus confirms his sensitive, thoughtful soul (and why you much hotter girls should totally bang him.)


Kiskadee wrote:
It also sounds like you wouldn't be open to being pursued by a man who was originally less interested/more shy/whatever, but who is now quite attracted and actively initiating?

Depends on the timing. If it took him a little bit to gather the courage or become more interesting-maybe a month or so-I could probably swallow it and give it a try, though it wouldn't be my ideal. Longer than that? I'll have already moved on. I don't do unrequited, and it's a decent bet that if a guy isn't interested after knowing me for a month, he's probably never going to be in a way I need. Past experiences suggests that a guy who waits that long, even if he does eventually become interested, will never be that interested. It'll be a case of "Well you're here, and I guess I like you enough, and I don't have any better prospects so why not?"
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by reboot on Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:59 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
reboot wrote:Despite the title of the thread and the use of the word "superficial", RBS, it does not sound like you want someone to have just a surface level attraction. It sounds like you want someone to fall hard for you on a more in depth level relatively soon after meeting you. Someone who is decisive in their likes and dislikes and states them early. Am I interpreting you correctly?

Yes, this is actually a perfect way to describe it. Looks still need to be a part of it, but it is accurate to say I want them to decisively like all of me fairly early in the process. "Fall hard" is maybe a bit much, as I totally get being like "I am really into this person but want to take it slow/see how it goes." Them being into me does not mean they need to rush into full-fledged "We must be together now" territory. But it does mean they ask me out early in the process, and already have a pretty firm interest in me.


OK, now I get why we were talking past each other on this. When you said "superficial", I read it as "into the surface/appearance", but what you meant was " someone who meets me and knows relatively soon after they want to see me in a romantic/dating type fashion ". With that in mind, ignore all my prior comments on this topic Smile

I am just throwing things against the wall, so maybe this is totally off, but I wonder if dating/socializing in a group that perhaps has less relationship confidence and experience has led to some of your woes? If the men you socialize with are insecure about their relationship experience, they might be a) less likely to express interest early because they are unsure of how to do it; b) more likely to just date whoever is around without thinking about whether they are attracted; and/or c) more likely to be passive actors in their social interactions because it seems "safer". Someone with a longer dating/relationship history might be more self aware, not be willing to settle for whoever, and/or be less afraid of being direct.

Or I could be talking out my ass, 50:50 either way.
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by Dannyboy on Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:56 pm

On slightly off-topic note, having seen photos of you on this site before, you're really not that ugly looking. Honestly I think you look cute.

But that probably doesn't mean much.

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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by eselle28 on Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:57 pm

<mod>Let's keep this thread on topic. RBS is asking about whether it's appropriate to have this standard, not for feedback on her appearance. Even the most conventionally attractive people will be ruling out some potential partners with this standard, because some people just don't react that way to anyone, so RBS's attractiveness doesn't really affect the discussion.</mod>
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by Kiskadee on Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:55 pm

reboundstudent wrote:Someone who deems personality the most important thing, or is attracted to someone's looks as a result of their personality, is not someone whose attraction I could ever trust. After hearing the message "Men are visual" for pretty much my entire life, and seeing the "I find personality attractive!" played too often as the Nice Guy Superior Mentality* card, on top of my own personal experiences, I'm just not interested in walking into that minefield.

That totally makes sense for you.  I just think it's worthwhile to keep in mind, to avoid a really negative confirmation bias, that not everyone who's incompatible with you thinks you are undesirable (something I keep telling myself).

This is possibly getting off topic, but have you tried speed-dating?  It could let you meet a lot of guys who are outside your social circle (like reboot suggested), while minimizing time lost.  Anyone interested in/compatible with you would know that you are open to approach and could take it from there.  And the others you wouldn't have to see again.  I'm terrible at it but could see it working better for you Razz

[saw the notice to stay on topic when posting this, but I think it's relevant to the discussion of how someone with her particular standards could go about dating? If not I'll be happy to delete it]
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by celette482 on Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:05 am

No, I don't think it's wrong at all.

From what I remember, your experience has been that a lot of guys have treated you like the next-best-thing or the consolation prize, and yeah, someone who is into you from first sight or nearly that is less likely to be thinking "Well, RBS is around and available...so I guesssssssss she'd do."

Another way to spot such douchenozzles? The kind that want you only when it's convenient or pleasing to them. Because you're just an accessory, so you don't get to have needs or schedules.
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by CP96 on Fri Nov 13, 2015 3:47 pm

reboundstudent wrote:I think I'd rather be attractive to a general crowd of people. The thing is, if dating is a numbers and status game, then having a general appeal is going to be more useful than having a specific appeal. Like, there's a decent chance that there are two people in my city that find me attractive. But really, what use is that? Two people out of, what, thousands? Unless my "specific" appeal is fairly sizable, the chance of finding those people and being compatible with them in other ways seems slim. Having a general appeal, though, means I have a better chance of finding someone who thinks I'm attractive. Why choose the few over the many?...

I think the flip-side of this is that the more general you make your appeal, the less likely they are to be really attracted to you. The more you try to play to a particular niche, the more enthusiastic that niche is likely to be. So unless you're extremely conventionally attractive (which you very well could be, I honestly don't know), if your aim is to attract someone who's into you big-time you're probably better off playing to your particular strengths than trying to attract as many people as possible. What's the expression? Better to be someone's bottle of scotch than everyone's cup of tea?
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by eselle28 on Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:32 pm

CP96 wrote:
reboundstudent wrote:I think I'd rather be attractive to a general crowd of people. The thing is, if dating is a numbers and status game, then having a general appeal is going to be more useful than having a specific appeal. Like, there's a decent chance that there are two people in my city that find me attractive. But really, what use is that? Two people out of, what, thousands? Unless my "specific" appeal is fairly sizable, the chance of finding those people and being compatible with them in other ways seems slim. Having a general appeal, though, means I have a better chance of finding someone who thinks I'm attractive. Why choose the few over the many?...

I think the flip-side of this is that the more general you make your appeal, the less likely they are to be really attracted to you. The more you try to play to a particular niche, the more enthusiastic that niche is likely to be. So unless you're extremely conventionally attractive (which you very well could be, I honestly don't know), if your aim is to attract someone who's into you big-time you're probably better off playing to your particular strengths than trying to attract as many people as possible. What's the expression? Better to be someone's bottle of scotch than everyone's cup of tea?

I think both kinds of appeal have their usefulness. Being able to play to a particular niche works well if there are fans of that niche around you and those fans are people you'd like to date. I do know people whose appeal is mostly to people who fetishize them or who otherwise aren't what they're seeking in a partner, and that can be hard.
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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

Post by Dan_Brodribb on Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:36 pm

I think it's okay to want what you want, reboundstudent. I have a couple of questions though.

If you found this guy, what would your life look like? How would you feel? What would be different about your relationship with this guy who is wildly attracted to you?

Since we can't ever know what someone else is thinking or feeling, what would have to happen for you to know this guy was that into you physically? Would he be telling you this? Would it be something in his body language? How would he treat you or behave toward you? What signs would have to be there for you to know you had found the guy who met your criteria?

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Re: Is It Wrong to Want Superficial Desire?

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