Sunday, September 04, 2011

In depth analysis of shallowness

A friend recently called me shallow. This is the kind of things my friends do frequently. She drew this conclusion because she couldn’t make any connection between the girls she’d seen me with, other than the fact that they were attractive. Clearly there weren’t enough data points for her to draw any sort of accurate conclusion.

But rather than argue my intense depth, I readily admitted my shallowness, which took away her burning desire to prove my shallowness. But my point wasn’t how shallow I am, but that we’re all shallow. I don’t think I’m more shallow than average, though I don’t think I could argue that I was significantly less. I would say I’m equally shallow as the average guy, I’m just more honest about it.

Indeed, probably the only thing the girls I’ve asked out in the last year of her observation have in common have been that they were attractive, or at least were so to me. And they were Mormon. And if you wanted to be technical they were all between 5 and 6 feet tall, none were bald, none were of Sri Lankan descent, none were dolphin trainers etc etc. But generally speaking, attractive Mormon girls pretty well describes them.

She felt this was noteworthy in some way, but why would it be? The only thing I can definitively know about a girl I meet at church is whether or not I find her attractive. So who will all my dates be? Attractive Mormon girls. Or attractive girls hanging out in Mormon churches.

I try to gauge other things ahead of time, but you never know what you’re going to get. First I have to decide how much of flirt-mode girl is real, then how much of 1st-date-mode girl is real. I can try to find interesting, compelling, smart, talented, fun girls from the start, but you can’t really tell those things from the beginning. So you start with attractive, and search for the other qualities as you spend time together. But we don’t all wear our ingenuity or compassion or other non-obvious qualities on our sleeves, so sometimes it pops up later and sometimes it doesn’t.

Am I shallow? Yes. Are all guys? Yes. Are all girls? Yes. I guess I can’t say all, because if multiple choice has taught me anything, it’s that the answer with all, always or never in it is wrong. But most.

Another friend posted this facebook status this week: “Funny to girls is like boobs to guys!” [sic]. I think we’d have to have a bisexual officially state whether that comparison is accurate, but I’d have to call bull. Attraction is to girls as attraction is to guys. Shallow is as shallow does.

Some women do favor funny men, but I hardly think it replaces physical appearance in their priorities. I know funny guys and I know attractive guys, and I know which get more women. Obviously both humor and beauty are very subjective, but I’d say the beautiful people are doing a lot better than the funny ones, whether male or female.

I’ve written bitter posts before, and this isn’t one of them. I’m not mad about this particular subject. I just think both guys and girls need to realize that they are in fact shallow. And we shouldn’t expect them not to be. Certainly we can be overly shallow, but using attraction to dictate dating isn’t really being shallow. It’s dating. Do your best to be attractive, to be appealing, and to be honest with yourself.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Well done. You've really got a handle on this subject. I would also add that the person accusing you of shallowness is actually projecting her own shallowness. It sounds like she wanted to see some common thread among the girls you dated, but any thread she could have observed would have been equally trivial. Is it less shallow do only date girls with degrees in a science field, or that play instruments, or that like hiking?