The Laws of Attraction posting was a precursor to this discussion – hopefully it will be a discussion. The issue at the heart of attraction in many ways is the physical. While the comments didn’t indicate our physical preferences and in many respects indicated that we aren’t overly set in those regards – I’m sure if pressed we have our ideas. I would prefer to marry someone taller than me – not a huge requirement, as I’m just barely 5’5, and preferably someone who has good teeth – in general takes care of themselves oh, and I’m not a huge fan of the long hair – since I really dislike my own. But really where do our perspectives of beauty/attraction lie? My idea of handsome? My first year English professor – Dr. Stephen Collis, nope not Brad Pitt or Orlando Bloom – although Legolas had me with the first arrow… weak spot for archers too apparently. Why all this? Well recently I had someone indicate I was/am attractive – the second person to do so in my life – and worse it came with mixed emotions. Note that I am not fishing for anyone else to indicate anything in regards to my appearance – see the issue it raised other than "Why tell me - what is your motivation for such a statement?", is "What is your basis for that statement?" Are you an Angelina Jolie guy? If you are that’s all good, but if you’re a Sandra Bernhard guy then I’m not so sure where that statement stands.
The mixed emotions came with concerns about the issue that “historically women have been determined by their bodies” And we still are – once a compliment leaves your lips – or a pick up line, even dare I suggest a “Hey baby!” – the gut reaction is defense, because there has been a violation – your act indicates that you are part of what I try to ignore on a daily basis, a decidedly misogynistic male gaze. As was my initial reaction to the compliment – not the current feeling per say.
But how does that work with a relationship? I know these feelings have continued to develop as I’ve aged, so I can’t say that they are going to lessen or disappear anytime soon. Is there a way to acknowledge a comment/compliment – take it at face value – no reading into it and move on – letting it neither inflate nor sour your perceptions? Or do I need to accept that my future partner (if I have one) will find me attractive and find a way to teach myself that that will not lessen my identity and independence – either in my eyes or his?
So all that being said - where do you stand on the attraction issue/debate/concept?
Postscript on the blog - if you want to see me poking fun at the industry I'm apart of - check out my Facebook page - it's a very flattering picture