About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Dating Ugly

Lance shot me this link from The Huffington Post, which attempts to explain why women are so much more likely than men to date people who are significantly less good-looking than they are (and sometimes, apparently, not good looking by any standard):

(I think he’s got a little stiffy, and why not?)

While I think the author’s point that women are prioritize guys who are “funny, comforting, kind, and generous – and they’ll often pick one or all of those traits over his looks,” I think the author’s also overlooking the factor of social status as a main reason why the women pick the fellows they do. I mean, take Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi. How hot is it not only to date a famous author, but one with a fatwa calling for his death?

(There’s an odd pairing…or is it?)

The one thing in this article that did resonate with me is the idea that many people (myself included) are not sexually attracted to stunningly beautiful people. Like the author, I appreciate their beauty and may fawn over them a little when we’re talking the unattainable movie-star stunners, but I wouldn’t approach someone that good looking in real life. Additionally, if one approached me I’d probably blow them out.

Author Verena von Pfetten hypothesizes that it’s because we suspect such good-looking people are shallow, vain, and/or possess other unattractive character traits after a lifetime of being worshiped. Not only do I think that’s kind of mean (it seems like there must be some good-looking people who are also nice), I think that the actual reason is that we’re secretly too insecure to believe someone like that would ever want to be with us–especially if we’re “normal looking,” In fact, I bet that even people like Padma have that kind of insecurity, and that’s why they go for someone who is maybe stunning in another area (like writing), but not in the same way they’re stunning (looks).

It’s like the episode of Sex and the City where the gorgeous cop asks Miranda out. She calls Carrie in a panic and says that he’s too good-looking for her, and despite Carrie’s reassurances that the universe is “throwing her a bone…and maybe a boner,” she becomes so insecure about other women checking dude out while they’re on their date that she drinks herself into a stupor and fucks it all up. I’ve made out with a couple people of that caliber at parties in college, but have never gone on a date with one. And I don’t know if I would.

  • http://cheekiebacktalk.blogspot.com cheekie

    This is really fascinating!
    I know myself, although there are certain celebs and even real life guys that I find super hot – to look at, I know that they don’t have that ‘thing’. You know…the thing, ‘it’. And you can tell right away. Even by a pic or a persona. Brad Pitt vs Johnny Depp, both hot, one traditionally so, the other has IT…oh my Mr Depp do you ever…lol.

    Some of my best experiences, sexual and otherwise, are with guys that most women wouldn’t look at twice, but, there is a chemistry that goes beyond any outward appearance.

    If you want to use the SATC analogy, look at Charlotte. The hot guy was a dud that broke her heart, the dud a hot guy that gave her the world.

    I think the insinuation that hot people should only date hot people is a little vain in and of itself. And the insecurity that it shows is perhaps within themselves for wondering how a hot person could be smart enough to go for someone who isn’t up to beauty standards…not you Honey…I just mean society in general.

    How many times do you hear ‘what the hell is she doing with HIM?’, almost like the person who speaks those words feels slighted that they are not the one the hot chick is with.

    It’s all about chemistry. All of it, for me anyway…not that I classify as hot, but I am not ugly either..

    cheekies last blog post..Yip yips meet the telephone

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    The whole social value thing is a big deal to me, and it’s something I actively deal with in social artistry. I consider myself average looking, so if I’m trying to pick up a hot chick (9 or 10), I use all my little tricks to pump up my value: hanging out with other attractive women, hanging out in groups, making instant friends, being the life of the party, DHV’s, etc etc.

    Of course none of that means anything if we’re talking about elite hotties like Padma…the only way to get her is to be very famous and influential.

    I’m gonna just say this, and yes it’s a generalization. Feel free to flame or respond. Women are wired to seek out social value from their guys, and guys are wired to seek out beauty. Social value is much less important for a guy when looking for a girl, although it’s still a factor. An extreme example would be the “Pretty Woman” story, where the rich dude falls for the hot hooker.

    If you’re an ugly dude, your high social value will trump looks every single time. The more value you have, the hotter chicks you can get. This is why older guys can get younger chicks…they have high value! If you have no value (loser, no goals, unemployed), your looks might get you laid occasionally, but it won’t get you great women as girlfriends. So the most important thing for a guy to achieve if he wants to get attractive women is social value. That means making money and living a great lifestyle.

    If you’re an ugly (or fat) chick, you’re basically fucked. You have very little value to the opposite sex. If you’re an ugly dude with no value and no game, you’re also fucked. There’s nothing fair or honorable about any of this, IMO. It’s all part of the game.

  • http://cheekiebacktalk.blogspot.com cheekie

    Now my wee brain is racing…Lance you have gotten me thinking here.

    Now, do you think this need for women (let’s say 7’s and up k?) are really just looking for a guy to provide. Provide excitement, a life, stability, family, money, and all their lives, due to their looks, they have had to sift through the vast and shallow ocean that is men. No offense. Only to find that 90% just want in their knickers, and of that, 50% end up being losers. Bad boys who use and abuse. So what does that leave? Now attractive women are exposed to a lot more men and dates, and from an earlier age. So law of averages means that they have probably had more bad experiences than good. Right?

    Therefore, they meet these men, not terribly physically attractive, yet charismatic. AND they can provide, AND they can excite, AND they have stability. I think it goes beyond the surface. It happens in real life everyday, not just to celebs. They finally meet someone who will be a real partner, and they let the looks thing go in favour of more important qualities.

    And I don’t think that unattractive men or women are necessarily ‘fucked’ as you put it, I think they have to work harder, have more of their own life, be more and hope more. Which sucks, because of this compensation most are more than worthy partners. And they usually find each other in the end.

    There is someone out there for everyone, supposedly….

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    Cheekie, that’s exactly the theory behind the social value equation is that women are looking for providers while men are looking to spread their genes far and wide. I would update your stats: I’d say 99% want in your pants and 80% are losers/low value…the latter stat is for men and women, btw. That’s why dating is a generally a cesspool.

    I wouldn’t necessarily say that attractive women are exposed to a lot more dates/LTRs, although that’s certainly possible, but they are definitely ‘approached’ by more men. If an attractive women does date a lot, than yes, she’s probably had more mediocre or negative experiences than positive ones.

    I was being a little harsh when I said low value folks were fucked, I guess I was having a bad day. Sexually speaking, their choices are MUCH more limited, and that’s a fact. I also don’t believe that everyone will find someone in the end…that to me is naive. I haven’t looked this stat up, but I imagine there are thousands of people (or more) each year who die unfulfilled and lonely. It’s probably more on the order of 100,000s. It’s all probabilities. Nearly a million folks die each year…a significant percentage of them haven’t found love or whatever.

  • http://www.worklovelife.com Holly Hoffman

    Not to sound mean, but you know the ugly ones still have each other… While some people perhaps aren’t looking below a certain number (My hard line is a 5, for example, no matter how rich, charismatic, kind, intelligent, blah blah blah… that’s my personal limit), there are others who are looking at a range. Like Honey was saying, some people will actually cut off the top numbers. If you were aware that you were a 3, would you want to date a 10? I would be suspicious, but guys are another breed. That doesn’t mean that said 3 wouldn’t also date another 3.

    Interesting article, Honey! As I get older, I realize that I have another number cut-off: 30. I prefer to date guys over 30 now. They just seem to have their shit together and have a career going. Maybe that’s my deal with social value.

    Holly Hoffmans last blog post..When "Relaxation" Becomes Plain Lazy

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    30 is the new 20. Seriously though, a 30 year old guy has a lot more social value than a 24 year old (usually)…higher emotional intelligence, further advanced professionally ($$$), maybe owns a home, etc.

    If my looks were a 3, I would certainly try to date a 10, but I would only be able to accomplish that if I was rich/powerful/influential/high value. I mean, look at Rushdie. He’s probably a 3 looks-wise. On another note, I think Rushdie is so cool I might sleep with him!

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    Padma is so friggin’ hot, she doesn’t need a pretty boy on her side. I can’t speak for her intellect (hell, I don’t want to! Her body’s enough) – but maybe Rushdie’s intellect rounded her out in a complementary way, took her into new circles she didn’t have access to. Like Lance said, he has social value.

    And she has beauty, in spades. (Even with the scar on her arm, which is cropped in that pic, but visible in others.)

    Nice post, Honey.

    dadshouses last blog post..Family Weekend

  • http://40ssingleness.blogspot.com/ lisaq

    Interesting! Though I’ve never really thought about it before, I realize that I am extremely wary of 10s. In fact, the one guy that I dated that was a 10…well, let’s just say it didn’t end well. I remember having a conversation about him with my daughter. I was going on and on about oh he’s so hot! She looked at me and said, “And how’s that workin’ out for ya?” Damn! I hate that she’s so smart sometimes!

  • http://www.hotalphafemale.blogspot.com Hot Alpha Female

    You know this whole article makes me want to ask the question.

    What would you prefer to date:

    A) A guy who really isn’t attractive at all. In face so not attractive you kind of look really funny next to him. But here is the thing. Where ever he goes he is able to create such huge social value and despite the fact that he is unattractive he has heaps of women attracted to him.

    B) A guy who is seriously like shite hot. Gorgeous to look at and great body. But he just doesn’t have the same social value.

    Which one do you pick?

    The hot guy .. who just has his looks

    Or the not unattractive guy who knows how to create attraction.

    I think that is what that article is really getting at.

    N you know what? I would coz option A every single freaking time.

    Because looks … in that sense … don’t really mean all that much

    Hot Alpha Female

    Hot Alpha Females last blog post..Mr/Mrs Right – Aint What You Have In Mind

  • http://NATHAN nathan

    Fcuk the game, find someone who you passionatly care for in everyway, then do everything in your power to make sure it works….. fail then try, try again and make it happen

    Feelings are so underated nowadays but, Make you stand and see where your back bone takes you…… it’s the best thrill ride your’ll every take GARENTEED

    Nathan. X x x

  • Damnatio

    Quit looking at the top tiers for examples of ugly men with gorgeous women. We all know it is a money and status thing. Who gives a rip about what THEY do?

    For the rest of the world, any hot woman ok’ing a relationship with an ugly guy is is about as common as a four dollar bill. Oh, you can find it, but it is counterfeit. Fake.

    Like a hot woman could relate to someone’s pain from being ugly. She already strikes out on emotional connection just on that alone!

  • http://www.used-tire.net used tires

    This is actually one of my biggest pet peeves… pretty girls who date really ugly guys. I just look at these couples and I think .. why? Seriously .. why??? I mean, I understand the concept that the girl will probably be the better looking one of the couple… but seriously, there shouldn’t be such a huge gap in attractiveness… Ok so he is wealthy and you will live that luxury lifestyle, and he will probably fawn over you like the dickens… But there is that other side to relationships too. Physical attraction is important too. I mean snuggling with a guy who is old enough to be your father isn’t normal. I mean this from a scientific standpoint as well. Older women are at risk for having children with problems, but so are older men! Its not a widely known concept yet, but recently evidence has been found through studies that although men are able to continues to reproduce at older ages, if they choose to do so their children are subject to a greater chance of having abnormalities.

    Till then,


  • camille

    Interesting post! I’m in a sort of reverse situation, where the guy I’m seeing is, by society’s standards, much hotter than me.

    I’m not typically hot. I am not fat, but nor am I particularly fit. I am possibly not the best person to offer an objective opinion, but realistically, I’m probably about a 6, maybe a 7 on a good day. I can be kinda pretty when I do my hair and wear a nice outfit, but for the most part I am quite “normal looking”.

    Recently, I started seeing this guy, who by all accounts is a 9-10. Beautiful. Manly. Amazing in bed, genuinely kind and just one of those guys who seems completely oblivious to their affect on… well people of both sexes.

    I am not, however, one of those insecure women who thinks “but why is he dating me when he could have that Jessica Alba doppelganger who is making eyes at him over there?!” Oh no. I am completely aware of the fact that I am awesome. I’m confident, smart, funny and love getting to know people. Modesty is not a strong point, as you can probably gather.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/MaleLonelinessSyndro Dr Morlenheim

    Verena von Pfette is either a columinist that “self-invents” a story, is a feminist whose mission is to paint a “sweeter” image of females as compared to men.

    Now, time for the truth.

    Fact: Women are more superficial than men when it comes to looks.

    Fact: Women are more superficial than men when it comes to money.

    Proof: Go to any social dating website. Review content of female ads. Nearly all will have comments that support one, or both, of the two facts listed above.

    “I want someone financially secure”

    Translated: I want someone rich.

    “Must have a pic”

    Translated: “I want a pic to weed out any ugly or fat guys”.

    Quit preaching the lie people, that “woman” are the more “kinder and compassionate” gender when it comes to making judgements in socializing.

    These roles have long been reversed.

    Dr. Morlenheim
    .-= Dr Morlenheim´s last blog …Women Are Exterminating All Unworthy Men =-.

  • starthrower68

    Well it’s good to know that my excuse for opting out of dating is no longer an excuse. Now it’s legit. I’m too fat to date. That will save me a lot of hassle down the road.