I’m Hotter than My Boyfriend and I Feel Like I’m Settling


I recently came across your article on what to do if you’re not super physically attracted to your boyfriend, and while I really appreciated the article, there was one thing you didn’t address–what to do if you not super attracted to them physically and are a lot more attractive than they are, but the compatibility is a 10.

My boyfriend relentlessly pursued me for a few months even after I kept telling him I wasn’t interested because he wasn’t my type. But as I got to know him, I realized he has the most incredible heart I’ve ever encountered, and understands me and treats me better than I’ve ever experienced. We started dating 7 months ago, and I’m the utter happiest I’ve ever been. He makes me laugh, takes care of me, and has even tried to take notice in styles that I like so he can dress better. I love him so much.

But as we start to talk about marriage and the future, and I KNOW our life would be wonderful and fulfilling, I can’t help but compare what he looks like to what I feel like I deserve.

I know you said a lot of people are delusional, but I am not. I would say that I am a 9 and he is around a 6, but he’s also just NOT my type so it makes it so difficult for me to feel attracted to him most days. He has lighter features, is balding, and is starting to get in shape but was previously very overweight. I want so badly to be more attracted to him.

I love him so, SO much and the thought of not moving forward towards marriage does not even compute in my brain most days because he’s my best friend in the world, but then other times I see people with the type of man I always longed for, and it aches my heart and makes me feel unsure.

What would you suggest?

Thanks so much,
Justine

Summer, 2000. I’m out to dinner, in West Hollywood, with the most physically attractive woman I’ve ever dated. We’ve been boyfriend and girlfriend for a few months. She lives with her Mom an hour away and is currently unemployed. I’m a struggling writer with big ambitions and a desire to love and be loved. We’re lonely and dysfunctional but passionate.

As we look at the menu, we observe a Billy Joel/Christie Brinkley-type couple.

My girlfriend says “Oh, that’s just like us.”

You could hear the record scratch.

I think one of the hardest parts of life is deciding when to compromise and how much.

“Excuse me?” I said.

“Well, let’s face it, I’m a lot more attractive than you.”

I looked at her, dumbfounded.

I mean, I largely know where I stand on the looks continuum. If we’re being honest, she IS objectively more attractive than me. But really, who SAYS this stuff out loud?

Sorry, Justine, that was just my way of trying to identify with your story.

I’m not actually equating you with the worst of my ex-girlfriends.

I think one of the hardest parts of life is deciding when to compromise and how much.

I would only point out to you that you compromise on everything else without nearly as much agony.

Your job – too much work, not enough pay, long commute, glass ceiling, unappreciative bosses, annoying co-workers, lack of autonomy, too many meetings, too few vacations…

Your home – too small, too expensive, too far away from parks/malls/freeways/nature, not the best school district, high taxes, costly maintenance, no bathtub or guest room…

You get the point. Yet for some reason, we don’t really want to compromise on our spouse.

The whole point of Love U is to teach you what you should and should not compromise on so you can make a decision with the next forty years of your life that you can live with.

Listen, I don’t know you, nor your boyfriend, nor your relationship dynamic – I only know what you shared with me in a short email. So I won’t tell you what to do. I’ll ask you:

How many years did it take to find this man? “I realized he has the most incredible heart I’ve ever encountered, and understands me and treats me better than I’ve ever experienced. I’m the utter happiest I’ve ever been. He makes me laugh, takes care of me. I love him so much.”

Now calculate what would happen if you threw him back in the sea and tried to find someone JUST like him – just an 8 on your looks scale? How long do you think it would take to meet and marry that man. Well, given that you’ve NEVER done it before, it may be awhile.

And that’s the EXACT calculus I used when I was debating whether to get engaged to a woman who was 38 when I wanted to have two children. I told myself I could break up with her to try to find the 33-year-old version of her, or I could stick with what I got (because it was so hard to find) and take my chances.

11 years later, I very much made the right choice. When I look at what matters in marriage, it’s not whether my wife is hotter than others’ wives, it’s how we work as a couple.

If – despite his middling looks – he’s good, giving and game in bed, I would think long and hard about whether he’ll be that easy to replace. Chances are you can find a cuter guy, but can you find a BETTER one?

Good luck.





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