Are you dating someone less attractive than you?
Worried the relationship might not work out?
Despite what you might think, there are quite a few hidden benefits of dating someone with a different level of physical attractiveness.
In this article, we’re going to go over 8 important things you need to know about dating someone less attractive than you.
1. It’s not unusual
We’ve all seen it before. An ugly man/woman being cute and cuddly with a subjectively more attractive person.
You can’t help but wonder to yourself: how in the hell did that guy/girl manage to get her/him?
But we’ve all seen this before because relationships with different levels of attractiveness are fairly common in our society.
A study published last year in the journal Psychological Science offered a fascinating explanation for how couples of mixed attractiveness arise.
The study’s psychologists questioned 167 heterosexual couples how long they had known each other and whether they were friends before dating, and a third party evaluated their attractiveness.
The study found that those who were friends before dating were more likely to be rated at different attractiveness levels.
While the majority of couples had a similar level of attractiveness, the longer a couple knew each other before dating, the more likely they were to be at a different level of attractiveness.
The researchers’ conclusions suggested that people who get to know each other first, perhaps by being friends of friends, or studying at the same school, learn unique information about other characteristics that may influence someone’s attractiveness.
In other words, they find desirable aspects of their partner that perhaps an outsider would not see.
The bottom line is this:
There is a lot more to attractiveness than looks.
And this is why relationships with different levels of physical attractiveness work.
2. Relationships with different levels of attractiveness are more likely to be successful
I’m guessing that if you’re reading this article then you might be dating someone with a different level of attractiveness to you, and you’re having doubts if the relationship can really work.
But here’s what you need to know:
As I mentioned above, there are plenty of examples of successful relationships with very different levels of attractiveness.
In fact, a study published in the journal Psychological Science proves it.
This study found that levels of attractiveness mean less than most people think when it comes to the quality of a relationship.
After studying 167 couples they found that attractiveness was not in any way related to relationship satisfaction.
From the study itself:
“We found that romantic partners who were similarly attractive were no more likely to feel satisfied with their relationship than romantic partners who were not similarly attractive. Specifically, in our sample of dating-and married couples, we did not find an association between partner matching in attractiveness and satisfaction with the relationship for either women or men.”
In fact, another study from Florida State University found that relationships are more likely to be successful when the woman is better looking than the man.
It was concluded that in relationships where the man was less attractive he was likely to compensate with acts of kindness like presents, sexual favors, or extra housework.
This made the woman feel more appreciated, which strengthened the relationship.
According to the study:
“The husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt that they were getting a pretty good deal.”
Recommended reading: How to make a relationship work: 10 no bullsh*t tips
3. Beauty fades, but personality lasts
Even the most beautiful men and women eventually get old. Hair falls out, wrinkles overcome smooth skin, and rock-hard abs slowly find themselves filled out with chubby muffin tops.
People who marry pretty faces and beautiful bodies tend to find themselves bored out of their minds years down the line.
So don’t worry if you or your partner is not the best-looking person because, at the end of the day, personality counts a thousand times more than beauty or lack thereof.
In a way, beauty is almost a curse.
Without beauty, you are forced to learn how to think, how to talk, and how to joke and converse with anyone you might meet, because you know it’s the only way to get their attention while looking as bad as you do.
Your partner won’t be like that, because they’ve learned to use other characteristics to get ahead in life.
Recommended reading: How to cope with being ugly: 20 honest tips to remember
4. Find what makes your partner beautiful on the inside
If your partner isn’t as beautiful as you on the outside, fair enough.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing amazing about them on the inside.
If you can’t look at them and be proud of the physical appearance looking back at you, then it’s up to you to find the stuff below the surface that you can be proud of.
So ask yourself: what do you love about them or what could you love about them if you worked on it?
Are they kind? Authentic? Strong-willed? Are they courageous, righteous, and honorable? Do they improve the lives of those around them? Do they have talents and skills that other people don’t have?
What makes them beautiful, even more beautiful than people who have great looks?
Recommended reading: What to look for in a guy: 37 good qualities in a man
5. Good looking people are more likely to be players
Do you really want to be on a date with someone who darts their eyes whenever an attractive person walks by?
Do you really want to be with someone who talks a good game, but is non-commital and confusing?
Do you really want to be with someone who doesn’t make you feel special?
Because that’s what you’re more likely to get if you date a “player”.
After all, a person who is more attractive tends to have more options.
Don’t just take my word for it.
Social psychologists at Harvard found that good-looking people are more likely to struggle with long-term relationships.
According to them, “attractiveness gives you more options in terms of relationship alternatives, which might make it harder to protect the relationship from outside threats…In this sense, having too many other choices is likely not beneficial for relationship longevity.”
As a consequence, a good-looking person might be less likely to treat you like you’re their “one and only”.
But if you’re with a person who is less attractive than you, then they’re more likely to make you feel special because they can’t get someone as attractive as you.
A less attractive person will be excited to see you, they’ll plan your dates (no late-night booty calls) and they’ll try their best to be consistently fun and romantic.
According to a writer at The Thrillist, when she was dating a considerable less attractive man, their “conversations were easy, and I felt he was interested in anything and everything I had to say…afterward, he’d tell me how much he wanted to see me again…No games, no guessing”.
The writer suggested that their less attractive boyfriend knew he couldn’t offer a lot genetically, so to make it up he ramped up the emotional support and kindness.
Recommended reading: 15 surprising signs a player is falling in love (and 5 signs he isn’t)
6. They might stay around longer
Cheating is fairly common in long-term relationships.
According to research published in Psych Central, over the course of your entire relationship, the chances of infidelity may rise to as much as 25 percent.
That’s a pretty big number!
But if your partner is less attractive than you then they have fewer options to cheat on you.
In fact, men with testosterone are rated as much handsome than other men on average, and men with more testosterone are 38% more likely to cheat.
It makes sense. The fewer options you have, the less likely you are to cheat.
Furthermore, if your partner is less attractive than you then they’re more likely to be content with your physical beauty, so they’re less likely to ever consider cheating.
So it stands to reason that you’ll likely feel safe and secure if you date someone less attractive than you.
Look, it’s fine to date someone just because they’re good-looking.
But after a while of doing this, it is bound to be less fulfilling than searching for other things in a relationship.
Physical attractiveness isn’t everything. Love isn’t just about sex.
What dating someone less attractive will make you realize is that there is much more to a relationship than physical attractiveness.
And for a long-term relationship, an emotional and intellectual connection is something that you just can’t go past.
Remember this: Everyone eventually loses their beauty. If you want a stable, stimulating relationship (intellectually and emotionally) then you might be more likely to get it from a less attractive person than you.
Recommended reading: Infidelity Statistics (2021): How Much Cheating is Going On?
7. It’s in our biology to look for someone “we look up to” in some way
“Hypergamy” is used by anthropologists to describe a human’s inherent biological motivation to get pregnant with the best genes possible.
Hypergamy isn’t just about physical attractiveness.
According to a recent post in the Hawaiian Libertarian titled Defining Hypergamy, hypergamy is seen as a human’s inherent desire to search for someone who has a higher status than themselves.
There a many higher status characteristics that humans can look for.
According to Hawaiian Libertarian, this is “why the unemployed musician can often date a woman who has a job and disposable income…She may make more money…but she “looks up” to his musical talents.”
In other words, things like “looks” and “money” are a hypergamous factor but they’re not the only ones.
So if your partner is kind and genuine, you may look up to those traits in them.
This is why the relationship can work.
As long as you “lookup” to them in some way, your relationship should function just fine.
Saying “not everything is about physical attractiveness” isn’t some wishy-washy comment, it really is based on human desires.
8. They make up for their lack of looks in other ways
Let’s be honest for a second:
Gorgeous people have it easier in life.
Beautiful women can spend their lives being taken care of by rich men; beautiful men can get any partner they want.
When you have amazing looks, the world almost wants you to succeed in everything you do.
When you have the opposite of amazing looks, life barely acknowledges that you exist.
Instead of charming, you might come off as creepy, and people do their best to stay out of your way and pretend you’re not in the room just because you have nothing to offer them.
In a superficial society where so much of what we value is based on looks, someone with ugly looks usually gets shafted.
But that’s not always a bad thing. It just means that your partner has needed to learn other ways to get what they want.
This has probably meant that they have become a person with more depth, more emotional maturity, and more general intelligence because they wouldn’t survive being as shallow and superficial as most people around you.
They have learned the importance of working for everything they have because nothing will ever be given to them.
If you need emotional support, they’ll be there for you.
They’re probably used to trying harder in a bedroom to impress their partner as well.
They’re a lot of hidden benefits of dating someone less attractive to you.
They know they can’t rely on their genetics, so they’ll make it up to you in other ways.
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