My friend Josh told me he wanted to marry his girlfriend of over a year. Naturally, I asked why he thought that was such a great idea. “Because she’s by far the hottest girl I’ll ever get,” he said, laughing. I chuckled, too, then wasn’t the least bit surprised to learn she dumped him a month later.
Josh is not an idiot, of course, he’s actually pretty normal. Many people believe that if they’re gonna commit themselves to one person for the rest of their lives – that person better looks good. Which would be fine, except for the fact that being a great-looking couple and having a successful marriage have very little correlation with each other. In fact, they’re often in direct opposition.
One major reason marriages fizzle is that physical attraction between the spouses diminishes over the years. The novelty of being with a Beautiful Person wears thin and also, of course, your spouse’s beauty fades with age. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m saying you should seek out an ugly person to be your marriage partner. What I’m saying is, the key might be to end up with someone whom you do not find attractive upon first sighting.
Most of us have met at least one person who fits into this category: someone who’s not conventionally good-looking but over time, you find that there’s “something about them” that just flips your mind. It could be their charisma, their unique brand of humor, whatever It Factor – it draws to this person in a way that is much more resonant than with others who’ve struck your interest.
While your friends will likely tease you for it (privately or to your face, depending on the friendship), I believe this person presents the best marriage material because you’re drawn to them for the right reasons. For the basis of your attraction, you’ve foregrounded their inner qualities, the ones that won’t wrinkle, sag, or fatten with passing years. And all of this will serve you well since, whereas dating might be a sprint, marriage is certainly a marathon.
Furthermore, someone not good-looking whom you find attractive – this is a much greater rarity than being attracted to a good-looking person. And since everyone purports they want to find “someone special” to marry, it only makes sense to prefer the former person over the latter. You could argue further that since we all want someone who “doesn’t come along every day” – we’re talking about marrying, not dating, remember – then we should be inclined to favor less the handful of good-looking people we encounter in our day-to-day, rather than gravitate towards them. Reading Love quotes for her girlfriend and sharing a lot of time together made me realize that all this is not about physical attraction at all. You need to be compatible with that person in order to make your marriage work.
Recently, I called Josh to explain my theory to him. He responded by saying that for him to date someone, she had to be attractive and that since dating was the first step towards marriage, attractiveness and marriage were inexorably linked, therefore my theory was flawed. I tried explaining that you have to wait for that rare someone to come along, but Josh was having none of it, having already moved onto the topic of how much he missed his hot ex-girlfriend.