FROM THE FUCKBUCKET: “My new girlfriend is so much hotter than me, that I don’t believe she likes me as much as she obviously does”
My new girlfriend is super into me and vice versa. However, she is so much hotter than me, so I’m finding it hard to believe she likes me as much as she obviously does. How do I deal with this?
Oh, my dearest Slammer. I am familiar with your struggle; I would venture that the majority of people in partnered relationships are familiar with it at one point in their lives or another. It is a real thing, to be aware of prevailing standards of “hotness” and to live with that pointed aching feeling that you don’t rank very high in them.
Will it help when I tell you that, even though your feelings are real, the standards aren’t? By that I mean, the standards aren’t objectively real. They have the power they do because people believe that the standards are objective and universal.
There are plenty of evo-psych studies that would seem to testify to the notion that certain physical qualities are attractive across the board, in all cultures throughout time. Such qualities usually involve physical traits that suggest fertility and child-bearing capacity in women (e.g. that old waist-to-hip ratio), strength in men (chin and jaw and broader shoulders), and genetic health in both (symmetry).
But all of that is just so much dusty, retrograde dissertation when you can look around you IN REAL LIFE—not pop culture or the media, that shit’s a fucking wasteland for body diversity for both individuals and couples—anyway, look around you on the street and you will find plenty of examples that people see all different types of people hot enough to shag, date, live with, marry. One person’s “meh” is another person’s “OMG INTRODUCE ME TO THAT DUDE IMMEDIATELY.”
In fact, as an exercise, I encourage you to spend a little time consciously people-watching, say, at a mall or movie theatre, and specifically focused on (obviously) romantic and happy couples. Just observe who is with whom; look at their different body types or faces or styles. If you find yourself judging them, like “what does she possibly see in him?” simply note that thought and set it aside. Think of this as both meditation and affirmation, and also a way of filling up your visual databank with something other than what you see on the big screen or the entertainment rags, for evidence of what types of people are worthy of love.
(Also, go check out what Dr. Nerdlove has to say on this subject right here!)
Oh, and by the way, you’re doing one other thing right already: you understand that this is your challenge to deal with, not your girlfriend’s. You say she is obviously into you, so there’s probably nothing else she could say or do right now to convince you any further. Underneath concerns about the other partner being more conventionally attractive, there almost always are fears that the person will leave you for someone “more in their league.” This is also an understandable fear. People sometimes leave. Relationships do end, but they end for lots of different reasons, and we’ve already established that societal standards are not absolutes, and so “leagues” is a shit concept.
You don’t want to play by those rules, darling. You want to keep playing the way you apparently have been, where she finds you hot and you find her hot. Whatever you’re doing, it’s working fine. Go out and watch other couples of all sorts being happy, and know that, when you’re out there with her, someone else may be watching you and enjoying the fuck out of your happiness.
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