looking for partner

I was 14-years-old when, like a bolt of lightning, I was struck with a startling realisation. Attractive people are often revered based solely on their appearance.

On my first day of high school, I stood frozen for several minutes in the hall as this realisation sank in. I had just found my locker as I witnessed two girls struggling noisily with the locks on their respective lockers. One girl was quite plain and the other girl was absolutely beautiful. Within seconds, three people were surrounding the beautiful girl, offering advice and assistance, while the plain girl continued her struggle alone. Well, maybe these helpful people were friends of this gorgeous girl, I thought. Nope. They introduced themselves to each other after they triumphed over the stubborn lock, as I stood nearby coming to grips with reality.

Did these good samaritans judge a book by its cover? Did they somehow think the beautiful girl was more deserving of help than the plain one? I’m not throwing stones. I’ve been as guilty as the next person when it comes to admiring beautiful people for no other reason than their looks. But, I’ve since learned to control this impulse. There can be consequences for not first reading the gorgeously-covered book before deciding its merit. Shallowness can bite you when looking for partner. Below are three sad but true stories of just that.

1. She’s a ten!

A friend of mine, Ted, works with a group of close-knit guys. When Ted met a beautiful girl, it was love at first sight. He was smitten, and when he introduced her to his co-workers, they instantly were as well. They patted him on the back and teased him about having all the luck. How did he get such a drop-dead gorgeous girl? They were somehow able to shrug off her rudeness as she gave them curt answers to their questions, and they looked the other way when she’d sigh impatiently and roll her eyes at their attempts to be friendly.

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Ted married her soon after they met and she became the gold standard for all of them. They all had found a way to overlook her condescending behaviour.

Six months later, Ted asked for a divorce. The guys at work were dumbfounded. Comments flew: “You were so lucky”, “Most guys would give anything to be with her”, “She’s a knock-out!”. Ted explained it simply, “The better I got to know her, the uglier she got”.

2. He’d never treat me like that

While enjoying a night out in a local bar, a friend of mine fell head over heels for a gorgeous man. For a few months, they hooked up regularly. He convinced my friend she was “the one“. So, she was understandably shocked when he dropped a bombshell – he was married. She gave him the benefit of the doubt when he played the poor misunderstood husband in an Oscar-caliber performance. He claimed his wife was … (fill in any horrible adjective). He promised divorce was imminent. His wife beat him to the punch and threw him out of the house, filing for divorce soon after.

As their relationship went on, the gorgeous cheater seemed to be busy with this, that, and the other thing. He just couldn’t seem to find the time to get together with my smitten friend. When New Year’s Eve arrived and he cancelled their long-held plans, claiming he was sick, my friend and I got together to have a girls’ night out. She felt sorry for him being home alone, so she called to see if she could bring him anything. The conversation went something like this:

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Lots and lots of rings followed by a muffled, very irritated, “Hello?”

“Hi. It’s me. Can I bring you anything?”

“No . . . Ummmm. I’ve gotta go.” Sound of the phone dropping on the floor.

My friend listened for a few seconds to silence and, shrugging, handed the phone to me. I also heard nothing . . . until a distinctly feminine giggle came through, followed closely by some animalistic sounds my friend definitely did not want to hear. My eyes must have gotten big, because she reached for the phone. I quickly hung up and said something inane like, “I think he fell asleep”. She was suspicious and after doing some digging, found out he had been cheating on her all along.

Leopards don’t change their spots, even the gorgeous ones. Don’t let your shallowness allow you to compromise your principles.

3. He could have anybody

Bess was overweight and very shy in high school, so when the cutest boy in the school fell all over her at a party, she couldn’t believe her luck. Sure they’d been drinking heavily, but whatever. He was tall, dark, and handsome. He could have had anybody, she thought, but he chose her.

She was convinced she met a perfect man and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so even though he seemed to spend a lot of time drunk, she threw herself into the relationship. Before she knew it, she was pregnant. They married soon after graduating. Bess had gotten good at overlooking the fact that her dreamboat was probably an alcoholic. She tried to convince herself that he’d change when the baby was born. He didn’t. The drinking only got worse. Unable to cope with his constant drunkenness, Bess filed for divorce.

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Soon after, she met another tall, handsome man and jumped right into a relationship. He was gorgeous and, she soon found out, a heavy drinker. It turns out, employers like their employees to be sober on the job, so Bess ended up having to support the family.

After their daughter was born, Bess realised she couldn’t work long hours and raise two kids with an unpredictable and unemployable drunk, so she left him. She moved back in with her mother and worked on getting her life back together. She eventually met, got to know, and married a sweet man who treated her like a queen.

Don’t sell yourself short because you think a good-looking person is an automatic good-catch. Never judge a book by its cover. There can be a heavy price to pay for shallowness when looking for partner.

Jill might sound like a cranky old lady, but she has been around the block a time or two, and might, hopefully, have some wisdom to share with those who are just starting out in this game called Love.

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