Turn Setbacks into Setups
The Negative Impacts Of Idolizing And Prioritizing Physical Beauty
April 2, 2019
They always seem to be in a bad mood, are constantly forgetting important dates like your birthday or anniversaries, keep their phone hidden just out of your sight, and don’t even get started on the favors you always seem to give but never receive. Yet, one playful bite of the lip or a glimpse of that perfect butt and you find yourself forgiving them all over again and thinking next time will be better. Why do you put yourself through this?
Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Bring Me a Match
When asked to think about an ideal partner, many of us would start out listing physical characteristics:
They should be tall, have a killer smile, amazing body, deep eyes… oh and funny would be nice too.
Maybe smart as well, but they should definitely be hot.
We’re always a little light on the personality trait qualifiers because let’s face it, you can’t make love to someone’s personality. While being physically attracted to your partner is certainly an important aspect of a relationship, it’s becoming all too common for physical attractiveness to be the most important (in some cases, only) characteristic we look for in a partner instead of a piece of the pie.
The Age of Sexy
It’s a new era. We live in a world of overwhelming options where we can easily access mobile dating apps to judge a plethora of singles just a swipe away. On top of that, we also live in a very curated world of social media where we’re constantly bombarded with a feed of photoshopped images of attractive people who always seem to be having a better time than us. This, unfortunately, deludes our thinking to increase the value of beauty and devalue so many other wonderful human traits that we should be seeking in a partner.
Suddenly, it doesn’t matter if our partner is loyal, they just need to be attractive and we’ll find a way to deal with the disloyalty later. Everyone wants to feel sexy and beautiful and have the appropriate arm candy to match, but what are we risking?
Love Really Is Blind
We’ll put up with a lot from someone that we find attractive because we often are blinded by beauty. In fact, studies have shown that humans assume positive attributes such as intelligence, kindness, or trustworthiness more frequently for attractive people. This phenomenon is called the halo effect and it is part of the reason why all of your friends can quickly see your partner is a jerk, but you’re able to blow it off as cute, personality quirk.
We want so badly for that hot person to be perfect in every way that we’re willing to trick ourselves into believing they are better than reality. The halo effect can be dangerous because it can cause you to be so blind to your partner’s problematic traits that you end up trapped in a toxic relationship unable to escape the wrath of your Medusa.
We all deserve to be loved, nurtured, and supported by our partners. Relationships are not a one-way street where one partner puts in drastically more effort than the other. Unfortunately, it’s extremely easy to get caught in a shallow relationship and often even harder to leave.
If you think you may be in a shallow relationship, ask yourself the following questions and be honest with your answers. Remember, this is for you and no one else:
- Am I giving more in this relationship than my partner?
- If my partner suddenly lost their looks tomorrow, would I still want to be with them?
- How does my partner support me?
- What is my favorite non-physical trait about my partner?
- What does my partner love about me?
It’s tough to look beyond someone’s looks, particularly in a world that values beauty and rewards it well and frequently. Always remember, however, beauty is fleeting while kindness lasts forever.