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Adjusting your own standards when dating

14 replies

GoodGrief100 · 15/04/2021 08:45

I've been thinking about this recently. I'm in a loving relationship with a wonderful man now, but I was thinking back to when I was a teenager/early-late twenties and the type of man I dreamt of being with. They were always ridiculously good looking, muscular, tall etc etc. I dated a lot of men who were these types and they were all a complete let down being self obsorbed, obsessed with their own image and ALWAYS made me feel insecure playing games and ending up chasing other women. After a few years , when online dating, I made a conscious decision to look at men who I previously wouldn't look twice at - bald, older, shorter etc etc, basically avoid men who would post pictures of them taking posing selfie with their tops off. I'm so happy that I made this decision because I got to know some genuinely lovely men, some I just wasn't romantically interested in but had a really nice time getting to know them. My current partner is not the male model I used to dream of but my God, I'm incredibly attracted to him because his personality is top notch and he's just a fantastic human being. Is it unreasonable to suggest that women try their hand at dating someone outside the image they've created in their minds, especially those with the same 'type' I used to have and have had negative experiences with them?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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ArseInTheCoOpWindow · 15/04/2021 08:51

I tried that. I just felt l was using energy on people l wasn’t attracted to, and after a while it got me down. I felt sort of empty when l was doing it. After 2 years of it l stopped because l felt degraded by the whole thing.


UniversitySerf · 15/04/2021 10:08

I have always been attracted to tall skinny intellectuals that dress quite badly so I never had that problem. Maybe we would have a stand off playing scrabble but that’s about it. I liked men who would have in depth discussions about ideas and theories above everything else. In the past I suppose I would have been labelled a blue stocking and I valued studying above a relationship. I never thought I would marry or have children but then I met DH and we had a long debate about the Welsh referendum on our first date. We had met as junior members of staff in the same University dept , it was a total nerds of a feather flock together meeting of minds.


Meruem · 15/04/2021 10:30

It's a bit of a simplistic view. Assholes come in all variations, shapes and sizes!

One of the nastiest men I ever spoke to online was an extremely overweight man. I was in a phase of responding to anyone who sent a decent first message regardless of looks (for the reasons you set out). He called me a cunt because I didn't respond fast enough! That was that. I would never allow a man to call me those sort of names.

Yes, some good looking men love themselves. But it's not all, the same way not all "ugly" men are wonderful human beings.


VladmirsPoutine · 15/04/2021 10:38

'Women lower your standards' Grin.

I think women should go for who they want whether they look like Chris Hemsworth or not. And would you want to know your partner 'settled' for you because they couldn't manage to wrangle someone not in their league? Probably not. I'd rather be single than adjust my expectations.


GoodGrief100 · 15/04/2021 11:15

@UniversitySerf that's a lovely story, it's nice when something happens and you don't expect it.
@Meruem It is a simplistic view, but also my experience. Its not to say that typically good looking men are all bad, but from what I've experienced, read about and seen with other friends they do all seem to be the type I describe, but again thats my experience.
@VladmirsPoutine Talk about missing the point!

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Kanaloa · 15/04/2021 11:23

Maybe you should just look at personality. Assuming ‘bald, older, shorter’ men will have nicer personalities is still judging people by their looks. If they’re nice, they’ll be nice whether they’re plain or a model.


whenthebellsring · 15/04/2021 11:26

OP, if I understand you correctly, is it that you learned to go for men who don't come across as vain, possibly materialistic, see themselves as God's gift to women and so on?

Because I'd say it's not so much a physical 'type' but how those people see themselves (Yes, often to do with what's popular as the beauty standard - for men or women but sometimes not) and how their character or behaviour is shaped by it.


GoodGrief100 · 15/04/2021 11:34

@whenthebellsring Yes! You've put it far better than I have, thank you. I think it's really difficult with online dating especially - it's all based on looks (Tinder and the like) and it was really refreshing putting this mental image to one side and meet a broader variety of men. Maybe I've been lucky in that respect too. It's not to say that anyone who doesn't look like the type I describe is 'ugly' - that's just not true and anyone who makes that assumption is really quite nasty. When I say bald or shorter, funnily enough my partner is both and I fancy him like mad and don't for one second think he is 'ugly'.

OP posts:

GoodGrief100 · 15/04/2021 11:36

@Kanaloa that's just it - personality is hugely important and perhaps people focus too much on the looks before really getting to know someone (which is hard I times of Tinder).

OP posts:

Palavah · 15/04/2021 11:39

I think as time goes on we value different things - standards are (rightly) more about behaviour, values, how they treat you and other people, how you they make you feel, rather than superficial features.

I think the mistake a lot of people make is thinking that you have to feel sexually attracted to someone on first meeting.


BobbuhT · 15/04/2021 11:45

As people grow up their views and tastes change. I think when under the influence we may hark back to teenage types.

My ideal man now has a fat wallet and straight laced. It used to be full head of hair and tatts. I can't stand tats now and I find 'bad boys' so cringe.


Meruem · 15/04/2021 11:53

I do agree that attraction can grow but the problem I’ve found with online dating is that men (maybe women too but I don’t date them!) want to “dive in” to the physical side of things quite quickly so there’s no time to just get to know them properly first. Like I’ve had a few nice evenings out which have been ruined by the guy lunging in for a snog! I pull away and then that’s that. We never see each other again. Whereas maybe after a couple more dates I might want to snog them! but am just not entirely sure on the first meeting.

It’s one of the reasons I gave up OLD. No one wants to take their time over things.


whenthebellsring · 15/04/2021 11:53

@GoodGrief100 I do see what you mean. Many have had success stories like yours and I think it's more a case of finally realising what's more important to you than what's valued in general. People have different preference - as is their right - and some of it is indeed based on society's current beauty standard. However, that ceases to be your problem when you choose to go for what you truly want regardless.

It's liberating and as you said, allows for a broader variety and in many cases, a much better choice than one would have found had they stuck to what was obviously limiting to them. Happy for you.Smile


Yokey · 15/04/2021 12:27

No. Attraction is important. And we should trust our instincts. That said, I and most people I know didn't exclude everyone but the tall, muscular, model-looking types.

Studies repeatedly show that women are more attracted to personality traits than physical appearance, but you shouldn't pursue someone you don't find attractive. Not fair to anyone.

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