The Condition of the Human Heart, Part II- Being Vain About Someone’s Attraction
It was a late summer September afternoon, 1982 in the American south. He was on break from his funeral director duties and was filling up his company’s car, a hearse. And she was getting her godmother’s car repaired at the station, a Chevrolet. As he was exiting the station from paying, she recognized him and called out. She thought he had directed a funeral she had played for, as she was a church musician and often played for funerals. They talked for a few minutes and he asked her if she was seeing anyone. She said no. He asked for her number. She gave it to him…
A few months ago a friend of a friend stated that she was disheartened to see the pickiness of the singles of the church. And that she wishes they would just open their eyes to see what potentially good partners they have in front of them.
And about a year ago, I remember saying to a girl, “why don’t you give so and so a chance, he’s really nice and from what I can tell, he’s got a great heart! She said “Oh my gosh, no! He’s not my type, he’s so ugly, and I’m not attracted to him!” She’s still single, alone and looking; and he has now found the love of his life, a beautiful woman who said yes when he asked her out.
I see some people around my age, Christian or not, that are often materialistic picky people when it comes to choosing to go out with or not go out with someone based on their looks. I’m not speaking for all people here. But, I am disturbed. Sometimes, you might have a good thing in front of you, but because of pickiness and being vain, you don’t see it. And I get it, sure- attraction is important. You have to be with that person, you have to wake up beside them every morning, and you don’t want to be with someone you’re not attracted to. But to judge a person by looks alone, instead of their heart or the content of their character is quite shallow.
Men and women are both visual beings. I don’t think it’s a bad thing- God has given us that. And I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that guys tend to be more physical. And sure, if a guy doesn’t know a woman then all he’s got to go on is her looks, as he doesn’t know her character yet. And women aren’t always any better. They can be vain, wanting a rich guy so they can have it made in the shade. In a 2009 study, done by Dr. Catherine Hakim, she found that women are choosing richer husbands more today than they did in the 1940s.
And in a survey, conducted by Medicis Aesthetics, 1,000 men and women were polled about attraction. The studied concluded that: “Men are more likely than women to place higher importance on physical attraction in their relationship. When judging a woman's attractiveness, 62% of men say a woman's face is very important, while 53% say the same for her body. But women are not that far behind. When judging a man's attractiveness, 50% of the women say a man's face is important, while 39% say the same for his body. And for both, their eyes, skin and lips seem to top the list.”
While attraction is important, we need to examine our hearts if we’re judging someone by their looks alone. Outer beauty is fleeting; inner beauty is eternal. Often what you think looks good on the outside may not be so nice on the inside and when unwrapped, it can be crazy, unappreciative, self-conceited, high maintenance, rude, bad with money, immature, a cheater, or just not what one expected personality wise etc.
I can recall quite a few female friends saying that their husbands or serious boyfriends were not so attractive for them when they first met them- that their men were not usually the type of guy they would have dreamed of being with. But over time, after seeing their heart and characteristics, they found the guys to be attractive.
The 1982 summer scenario I gave was of my parents. Now, for dad he asked my mom for her number because of her appearance and her smile. He didn’t know her personality. But for mom, she didn’t give dad her number for his looks. So I asked her why she gave him her number. She was drawn to his outgoing personality, his kindness, his friendliness, and that he was easy to talk to.
If she had gone by his looks I wouldn’t be here writing this post.
And how many others wouldn’t be here if their parents judged the other parent by their looks?
Hannah Collins wrote an interesting article about “saying yes” to a date invitation and it’s a good note to the women:
Say Yes: Do you want to know why “guys just don’t ask girls out anymore?” Because we have been saying no. It’s time to start saying yes, and I’m not talking about the ring. This is not a lifelong commitment; it’s a date for goodness sake! If he does his part and actually asks you out, then do yours and give it a chance. No wonder it’s all gotten so muddled and confused. Say yes! Let him take you out, buy you dinner, ask you questions. Answer the questions. Let your guard down, be vulnerable, speak your mind, be yourself.
Say Yes Again: Is it just me or is anyone else incredibly awkward on a date? No, I know I’m not alone in this. No one is their best on a first date. It’s uncomfortable. You have to make eye contact, you don’t know if you should order the pizza or the salad, your lipstick is probably on your teeth and it feels like you’re playing 20 questions all night. We assume that if sparks don’t fly and the conversation isn’t flawless, then it was a terrible date. If you’re being honest with yourself you probably weren’t knocking it out of the park either. Give it a few goes, and if it isn’t working after that, then you’re free to go.
For the men and women, don’t always be so physical to where you scrutinize every detail of the other sex’s body part to determine if you’d ever consider dating them or not.
I’m not saying that attraction is not important and psychology and relational experts say attraction it is. But, it should not be the determinate if whether one will agree to date someone or not. But, as a male friend cautioned me in writing this post, if you know with 100% certainty that you are not or could never be attracted to that person then don’t go on a date and lead them on, only to cause them emotional pain afterwards by parting ways. Perhaps, as Christians, our prayers should be “God, bless me with a person whose heart is anchored in Christ and someone who is pursuing You; bless me with someone that is going after their God given destiny and can provide and pay the bills; and also, please bless me with some that I am attracted to too.”
Happy Friday xx!