Would you date a man who dressed a bit off-trend? How about one who was shorter than you? A bald man?
If one of your current life goals is to find a life partner and you said no to any of the above questions, I encourage you to reconsider your answer.
Women don’t want to be judged by their looks or for showing normal signs of aging, and we should not do the same to men. Not only is it unkind, it’s also unwise: If you only want to date men who are 6 feet tall with a full head of hair, great style, flawless skin and teeth, and whatever else is on that laundry list of perfection, you’ll end up boxing yourself into a corner.
If you want to find and fall in love with a life partner who is good for you, you must first consider why you do it.
Why You Judge Men Too Quickly
I am always surprised at how many capable, intelligent women whose goal is to find a life partner will actually disqualify an eligible bachelor because he is bald — or for various other superficial reasons. I’ve found that my clients usually do this for two reasons:
- Insecurity. I think women who are insecure about their own looks might be more likely to use their partner’s looks as a way to bolster their feelings about their own appearance. My most gorgeous female clients actually tend to be quite happy being “the pretty one” in their romantic relationships and find qualities like strength of character, reliability, generosity, protectiveness, kindness, and intelligence to be most important in a mate. If you find yourself judging men too quickly based on looks, explore how you feel about your own appearance.
- Society’s expectations. Maybe it’s the pressure of a society that makes some women think they can and must have it all — and as a result, make them feel as if they’re falling short by dating a man who is shorter than them, whose weight is slightly more or less than they’d envisioned, age is higher or lower, or who doesn’t have a chiseled jawline. Could this be you?
How to Stop Judging Men for Superficial Reasons
Honestly, I see more women than men get stuck on these type of superficial judgments. Such women usually start by telling me they “just don’t have chemistry” with men who don’t meet a long list of physical qualifications, and I have to remind them that chemistry starts between your ears, so a large part of chemistry can be controlled by what you allow yourself to feel open to experiencing.
With these women, therapeutic work and dating coaching often centers on helping them give themselves permission to let go of rules and standards that may have been defined in their sorority days and start interacting with men as human beings and potential partners.
Remember how much women loved those Dove billboards celebrating real women with all our bumps, lumps, and other “flaws” or “shortcomings”? Why not try to show the same acceptance toward men? The beauty of opening up is that you will open up a world of possibilities for yourself by doing so!
So think big and broad (but not necessarily in terms of shoulders!). Focus on qualities that generate and sustain chemistry in the long term, like attentiveness, kindness, generosity, and maturity. Your future married self will thank you.
You may check out the trailer of Dr. Chloe walking you through the 10 Commandments of Dating below.
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Chloe Carmichael, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, dating coach, and the founder of Carmichael Psychology in New York City. She specializes in cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety reduction in every aspect of your life. Her new series of online tools allows her clients to master CBT techniques for anxiety on their own schedule.
Contact me today!