Maybe Looks DO Matter?
Q: I have become very close to a male friend of mine who likes me a lot also. Though he has so much to offer me -- love, friendship, and whatever I need in life -- he definitely isn't the greatest looking guy around. In my heart I feel we're meant to be together, but when it comes down to it, I'm worried about what other people think. Is there a way to get over this shallow thinking? -- Robin, 19
Dr. Susan: Grow up? Concerns over what other people think of you and your dates tend to lessen as you mature. You can't live your life for others. When you shut that bedroom door and it's just you and your partner, the rest of the world's approval is the least important thing you can imagine. So possibly in a year or so, if you keep seeing him, you may find you just don't care about what others think anymore.
Let's be honest though: looks can matter. Let's say you enjoy this fellow's personality, though I won't go so far as to agree that he can offer you whatever you want in life. That shows me you're idealizing him and making him into something way too big for reality. Let's agree that, so far, he seems like a friendly, loving guy with a fine sense of humor and good relationship potential. But he's butt-ugly, at least in your eyes. You may eventually come to see him as cute. Stranger things have happened when you're in love. Or you may not, and that could continue getting in the way for the rest of the relationship. So look deep into your heart and figure out whether he's just ordinary looking, which shouldn't be a big deal, or whether his looks are downright revolting to you. I wouldn't ignore that kind of gut feeling.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.