Lance turned me on to this post, which I think for the most part is right on (I take issue with the “surround yourself with women” bit because, if the whole point is to be a little more gender blind, I just can’t get past it). Of course, it’s hard to read something like that without asking yourself what makes men and women attractive. Now, when I was in my early twenties, I took “attractive” pretty literally. In the sense of dark hair, being 6’2″, and oh, yeah–in a fraternity if possible. I have to admit that my opinion on the matter has changed dramatically. My boyfriend does have dark hair and any objective female would agree he’s quite the hottie, but at 5’8″ and never having joined a fraternity, I almost assuredly would have overlooked him in my younger days. What’s he got that I appreciate now that I know better? Well, here’s a list of the most obvious. I have to admit that my own list is motivated by what is most attractive in a life partner–so if your goals are different, then this might not appeal to you. But I kinda think it might no matter what. Anyway, drumroll please:
1. Competence. Being in control of your life is by far the most attractive quality in a human being, male or female, and one that I never appreciated fully until I finally dated someone who was.
2. Self-assurance. He doesn’t apologize for who he is. There is a fine line between self-assurance and vanity (which Lance calls chode-ishness and which is really just a form of insecurity), so there is a danger here.
3. A sense of adventurousness. Someone who will try new things and introduce you to new things is hot, hot, hot.
4. Dislike of drama. There are people out there who crave drama, and who will create it if it doesn’t present itself. However, I have enough going on in my life that I want my relationship to be a refuge from drama–not the place where it occurs.
5. The ability to let go and be silly–and be themselves. Everyone has a bunch of idiosyncratic habits, embarrassing tv shows, or other things that they only do by themselves. One key to attractiveness is being able to let someone else into that–to let what were previously your own habits become the “in jokes” of your relationship.
I think that these characteristics of attractiveness transcend gender–that is, I can’t be close to anyone, guy or girl, if they don’t have these traits. It seems to me that guys don’t appreciate it as much when girls possess/display these qualities, but it also seems to me that’s only the case if the guy doesn’t possess those qualities. Who wants to date someone that is going to show you up constantly?
Now, I was always pretty successful in school, and though I never had a full-time job, had some pretty awesome resume-building part-timers and always did very well financially, at least for a student. The question becomes, then, why did I used to go for guys who might have had it in the looks department but who were complete drama queen downward spirals? I think that, in our younger days, especially if you possess the above qualities, there is the temptation to think that you can “rescue” someone, but that gets old pretty quick.
Then again, there’s the simple fact that since I didn’t yet possess all those qualities, I couldn’t expect to be dating someone who had them all, either. I always had number 1 down, but it wasn’t until many year-long mistakes dating as an undergrad that I gained number 4. And it wasn’t until I spent three years dating casually that I gained 2 and 3. And my current relationship is the only one where I’ve ever had number 5, so it’s one that I couldn’t have predicted but that, now that I’ve had a taste, I couldn’t live without.
What do you think are the most attractive qualities that someone can possess, and why?
This post is part of a roundtable series on attracton with a group of fellow bloggers. The blogs range from career development to dating advice to pickup. The original subject was, “what is your best advice for being more attractive?” See the other great posts below, and watch this space as more get published in the next few days.
Lance: 5 Ways To Be More Attractive, Stop Sucking, and Dominate Your Life
Monica O’Brien: What Women Really Want In A Man
Nick Sparks: Blogger Roundtable
Hot Alpha Female: The Power of A Magnetic Personality
Lisa Q: How to Get the Girl…Advice for Men
Lisa Q: How to Get the Guy…Advice for the Ladies
Natalie Lue: 4 key things that make you attractive…or unattractive