Face value

If you ask a girl about what she looks for in a man, she might give any number of answers.  ‘I want a guy who makes me laugh’, ‘I’d like to find a guy who I can trust’, or ‘I just want someone who gets me’.  These are all valid points, and these answers may certainly be truthful.  However, I wonder how much is not being said.

We’re used to men focusing on the physical: ‘I’m a boobs/arse/legs guy’, ‘full lips are a must’, ‘she can’t be fat’ etc.  These criteria tend to preceded the funny/kind/intelligent aspects, and whilst women might not be as vocal about it, we also have our aesthetic preferences.  Let’s be honest, the physical attraction has got to be there at some point, so why are we judged as being shallow by saying that we’d like a guy who’s tall with great arms or a chiselled face or rugby thighs or washboard abs?  Why aren’t we allowed to openly say that we’d like to be chatted up by someone who looks a bit like David Gandy and it doesn’t matter (initially at least) if they don’t have the wit of Oscar Wilde?

Granted, it depends on what kind of scenario you’re in.  I know I’m not the only girl who, when on a night out with friends, will pull a total bitch-face* at anyone who doesn’t score at least 7/10.  In a situation where you’re making quick (and slightly vodka-blurred) judgements, both men and women will assess a potential flirting partner on their looks.  It may sound harsh to say it, but you’re not exactly going to gaze across a bar at some 5’9” overweight sweaty balding guy wearing an England football shirt and think ‘oooh I bet he’s got a great sense of humour, c’mere STUD!’  Or maybe you would, in which case we have completely different tastes in men…  Perhaps the difference lies in what a girl’s ultimate goal is.  If she’s looking for a quick fling, then it’s understandable she’d want it to be with some hunk with biceps big enough to throw her around the bedroom and cheekbones you can cut yourself on.  Personality isn’t the main factor here, it’s sexual chemistry and physical attraction.

On the other hand, I totally accept that someone who doesn’t float your boat initially can grow on you over time.  I have certainly found myself in a situation where I’d met a guy and hadn’t been initially attracted to him, but through spending time with him and getting to know him I became rather besotted.  Average Guy had transformed into Sex God in a matter of months, and no one was more surprised than me.  Needless to say, it didn’t work out, but I think that sort of illustrates my point.  When I think of the couples I know who have been together a long time, nearly all of them were friends before they became romantically involved, and that says a lot.

But I still don’t think that this should mean we can’t admit to wanting to be with a guy who’s physically appealing to more than just his mother.  If we’re talking long-term relationships and even marriage, why shouldn’t I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to make me gag into my pillow a little bit when I wake up every morning?  Obviously we all have varying tastes, and one girl’s David Beckham may be another’s Jonah Hill, and thank heavens for that otherwise there’d be a lot of sad and lonely men and women out there.  But, I do believe we’re allowed to want someone who ticks the box both physically and emotionally.

I’ll admit that I’m pretty damn picky appearance-wise when it comes to men, and perhaps this is where I’m going wrong.  I’ll also admit that at the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference.  Perhaps I just find it hard to get past the outward appearance in order to know the ‘inner beauty’.  In my defence, I know I’m not the only girl who’s like this – there are girls I know who will only date male models or at least a guy who’s ripped enough to be in an Abercrombie catalogue.  Even I think this is faintly ridiculous – I know that looks aren’t everything and, ultimately, I’d like to find a guy who offers stimulating conversation, humour, and a sense of trust.  But is it too much to ask to be attracted to someone both inside and out?

fat

‘Whaddya mean you don’t believe I was on this month’s Men’s Health cover??’

* Definition of ‘bitch-face‘: looking at a sub-standard guy who has dared to chat you up with a ‘you think you can tap this?!’ expression on your face.  Raised eyebrow optional.

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Bone, sandpaper, desert

The term ‘Dry Patch’ is most commonly associated with a lack of, erm, intimate relations with a member of the opposite sex (or same, depending on your preferences) for a sustained period of time.  Most of us will have had one, maybe some of you are going through one right now.  Christmas and New Year are over, few people are going out, and that lovely tradition of Dry January means that drunken hook-ups are few and far between.

Then there are the different kind of Dry Patches: work, creativity, and – what I’m currently experiencing – dating.  My dating dry patch is the result of several factors:

  1. Christmas and New Year is a bad time to start having dates – lack of availability before December 25th (too many parties to go to) then it would seem most of London, myself included, high-tailed it off to the country for over a week.  Hardly prime dating time
  2. Having been hitting the dating scene hard for the last few months, I’ve experienced something of a burn-out.  Tiredness and a serious case of can’t-be-arsed have set in, and at the moment I’d rather spend time with friends and family than a guy who may or may not make me laugh and feel good about myself (whereas friends/family always do)
  3. With the aforementioned burn-out has come something of a knock to my confidence.  Going on several dates with guys (not all at the same time obvs) then never hearing from them again hasn’t exactly left me feeling cocky about my own charms or powers of attraction
  4. Is it just me or has the standard of men out there suddenly taken a sharp dip?  The various online sites I’ve been using used to be full of hotties; now I’m offered a screen full of Average Joes.  Meh…
  5. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to not let affect my love life (or lack thereof) affect my overall emotional well-being, so what better way to achieve this than avoid men as much as possible?
  6. I genuinely enjoy being single.  I can do what I want, when I want, and not have to consult with anyone about my plans
  7. Valentines Day is a month away, which means that starting to date anyone now would result in an awkward stand-off where no one wants to mention Feb 14th, ending in unavoidable disappointment (see here for more thoughts on V-Day).  Am I tempted to get myself in this predicament?  No thanks

So, why am I continuing to scroll through Tinder and check my online profiles?  Because, I’ll admit, it’s rather addictive.  And I’m still of the rather optimistic (misguided?) frame of mind that maybe, just maybe, someone will come along and change my mind on most, if not all, the above points.  In the process of explaining my blog combined with my online dating antics, most people will ask me if I’m looking for The One.  Short answer: no.  But, I hasten to add, dating is fun!  I love meeting new people,  I’ve tried new dating activities (climbing date anyone?), I’ve been taken to some amazing restaurants and bars in the past 6 months or so (oh Mr Hedge Fund, why did you do a Houdini?), and whilst there have certainly been some horror stories, there have been some very decent dates to dilute them.

Long story short, if someone came along tomorrow and swept me off my feet I wouldn’t say ‘hold on there buddy, can you come back in about a month?’.  But I’m actually rather enjoying my dry patch.  I’m not checking my phone every five seconds, I can go for over a week without shaving my legs, I suddenly have a lot more time for other people (including myself), and this time in a month I won’t be disappointed when I don’t get a pretty red or pink envelope and a large bunch of flowers delivered to my desk.

So, who wants to come out and get rip-roaring drunk with me on V-day…?!

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