When it comes to dating after divorce, there's something that really bugs me and it involves men and women who decide that in their search for Mr. or Ms. Right, looks is their number one criteria.
I'm not saying that the way someone looks isn't important. Trust me. I'm also not saying you should date someone you aren't attracted to. My point is, when a person's physical beauty takes top priority in dating after divorce, I have issues with that.
Here are three stories about men and women whose behavior proves that when it comes to dating after divorce, some people will settle for nothing less than Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie.
1. "The Fix Up That Never Happened:" A friend of mine, "Mary" asked her girlfriend, "Jeanne" if she'd be interested in being set up on a blind date with a guy friend of hers. Jeanne asked who the guy was, and could she look him up on Facebook. Mary said, "I'm not sure if he's on there, but who cares? Just trust me. You'll like him." Jeanne asked Mary about 10 times if he was good looking and Mary responded yes. Jeanne didn't ask any other questions about the guy, like what he did for a living, what his hobbies were and if he was a good person. Desperate to find a photo, Jeanne ended up finding him on Facebook and LinkedIn herself. She didn't care for his photos. She declined the fix up offer.
2. "The Facebook scanner" A guy named "Bert" happened to see a photo I posted. He inquired about an attractive women who is in it. I told him she was married. I then figured that since he was asking about someone, he must be single and interested in dating. So, I suggested he look up another friend of mine. He did and said, "No thanks, she looks a little old for me."
3. "The unemployed, fat guy who thinks he's Bradley Cooper:" A few weeks ago I was out with two women and we ran into a divorced friend of ours. "Joe" who was out with another divorced guy "Brian". They joined us for a drink. I'm not trying to be a biatch, I swear, but Brian was overweight, not particularly attractive, and in his 50's. Being me, I gave him the benefit of the doubt and tried to get to know him, just like I would anyone, regardless of his or her looks. Brian ended up asking me if I knew any single girls. "Of course I do!" I exclaimed. He asked if I would set him up and I thought of a couple girls who might like him (he was actually pretty likeable, great sense of humor). Right away, he was asking all about their looks and absolutely nothing else. Here are two more things about Brian: He is unemployed and living on his friend's couch. Really Brian? You are going to be that picky with those stats?!
Here are the reasons why if you make physical beauty your number one criteria in dating after divorce, you are missing out:
1. You might hit it off with someone who you don't find attractive, and he or she could end up being a good friend. Can you really have too many good friends?
2. The person you meet might end up introducing you to other people and you might find love that way.
3. You might initially not be attracted to the person, but see something in his or her personality that suddenly makes you change your mind. Halfway through dinner, you might become immensely attracted to him or her (that has actually happened to me).
Growing up, my dad always used to tell me, "Looks lasts for 2 weeks." His credibility isn't the best, since he is married to my mom, who is absolutely beautiful (always has been). But, he is right. Think about it. You can be immensely attracted to someone and he or she might act in ways that makes you cringe at the thought of physical intimacy. On the flip side, you could go out with someone and say, "There's no way I'd kiss this person," and over time, get to know the inner beauty and fall madly in love.
Physical attraction is very important, but it's not everything. How often do women fall for a man who is passionate about something that makes him interesting or compelling? And let's not forget the funny guy, whose charm and wit makes us fall hard. And the most important qualities -- kindness and goodness.
I think when you are madly in love with someone, you start to look at them and you can't even see their face anymore. You start to look into their soul. At that point, physical beauty doesn't mean a thing.
Jackie Pilossoph is the author of the blog, Divorced Girl Smiling. She is also the author of the comedic novel, FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE about life after divorce. Ms. Pilossoph is a weekly business features reporter and columnist for Sun-Times Media. She lives in Chicago with her two kids. And she's divorced (obviously.)