Do Looks Matter?

Dear Guys,

I am 17 and in high school. The boys in our school seem infatuated with well-developed and flirtatious girls, of which I’m neither. I’m more of a jock. I play soccer and basketball and hang out with my girlfriends. But I am interested in boys and would like to be
part of the “scene” in some way. Is it true that all they care about is looks?


Dear Heather,

Thanks for writing. We’re glad you play organized sports and are doing your own thing. More girls should follow your example. So let’s get to your question.

Looks definitely matter to guys. We’d be lying to you if we said they didn’t. But it’s not necessarily as bad as it sounds. Well  break it down for you.

It’s our best estimate that 99% of guys would agree on the looks of about 15% of the women in the world. Meaning, almost every guy would agree on the looks of a small percentage of women. So this means that looks are generally a subjective thing. And that’s  good  in many ways. (We know you’re in high school so women can also mean girls your age.)

Since looks are subjective, guys generally gravitate towards other guys with slightly different tastes in looks. This way if a group of guys meets a group of women, the guys will go after different women in the group.  If groups weren’t formed this way it would be a problem. Women would wonder why all of a sudden guys were rolling around on the floor punching each other. Not a big turn on. Guys aren’t stupid, so groups form that make it possible for them to bond and still meet women. But the boys in your school are slightly different, so let’s discuss them first.

We asked our younger brethren, your peers, what they thought about this topic and predictably looks seemed to matter a lot to them. We can’t blame our younger comrades. Once their hormones kick in it’s like their blinders are finally removed. A whole new
world opens up to them and they can’t handle it. The biggest problem is that their hormones are well ahead of the rest of themselves developmentally. So it’s like they have super powers they can’t control. It takes almost nothing to set these powers off: a flash of skin, a friendly gesture, a walk down the hall, a touch. Although they work hard to control themselves, it’s not easy for them. Unfortunately that’s whom you’re dealing with right now: Young Vampires.

GUYS in their twenties are slightly different, but still resemble their younger selves. However as their brains catch up to their bodies, things settle down a bit. That’s why we tell our younger clients to be patient. Things will change. GUYS mature….eventually! And with that maturity brings a bit more clarity and more subjectivity in terms of looks. The one thing we hope you won’t do is get too fed up with boys your own age and try to date someone a lot older. That’s never a good thing. Sure the OLDER GUYS seem more confident and interesting, which IS attractive. But at your age, dating someone even three years older is not something we recommend. Why? Because GUYS are still GUYS. We wish we were more responsible, but unfortunately we might not be. (Watch video on Dating Older Men.)

As guys get in their 30s and up they start to see the world and the women in it differently. They recognize all the other wonderful qualities that women have to offer. But even still, looks are still a big part of that equation. You may hear GUYS say, “It’s all good.” This means that all women are attractive to us in some way. Yes, looks remain a big part of it, but it’s bigger than that. It’s how a women carries herself, or what she says, or how she smiles, or what kind of scent she’s wearing, or if she’s smart, funny, enthusiastic, sensitive, kind, helpful. The list goes on and on. Looks are important but they are part of a bigger picture.

So don’t give up on the boys your age. They will mature, albeit slowly. And you MAY find a boy who is an exception to the rule. This boy would be called A NERD. This is not a joke. The NERD will more likely see you for the kind of person you are, rather than what you look like. And this is why in the end, NERDS will be king. (But that’s for another day)

Good luck,


ps. Readers, please leave a comment and join the discussion. If you have your own question about dating, relationships, or guys in general please ask away. Thanks!

7 Comments on Do Looks Matter?

  1. Governor Bradford // July 6, 2009 at 4:58 pm //

    Like it or not, people whether it be male or female and at all ages are attracted to those people who are, well, attractive. It is an unfortunate part of our culture. When most guys get together they do talk about those attributes we all find attractive in females. Every guy of course has is own “type” of woman he finds attractive, but there are those basics that ALL guys will agree to be attractive. However, as a boy becomes a man a mellowing out occurs and he will then look towards a woman he can be truly attracted to at a deeper, more emotional level. When this occurs looks become secondary to the bond two people share. So. Hang out with the boys and just know that it will get better as you and the boys get older together.

  2. Hello nice to hear from all the best advice a woman can get from a guys perspective! My question is because looks do matter to men, if you already met a guy and he sees the way you look from that. Is there anyway after not seeing him for a while to attract him once you run into him again.

  3. @Naomi……If he wasn’t into the first time it’s unlikely he’ll be into you the next time he meets you. Unless he was in a tough place in his life and wasn’t “seeing” you the first time. Otherwise, no.

  4. so what do you guys think about men being intimidated by beautiful women? Is it true? Do you think they are less likely to approach a woman who is very beautiful as opposed to average? Just wondering…

    I have my thoughts, but want yours first!

  5. @Lisa…….Depends on the guy. But in general, men don’t like getting rejected, just like women don’t. So it takes a confident guy to approach a beautiful woman. Of course it depends on the woman as well. What sort of vibe is she giving off? Is she projecting the “don’t even try it” vibe, or, “hey I’m open to listening to what you have to say” vibe?

  6. Thanks for the reply

    hmmmm vibe…can you talk more about that? Im very shy so I would say that maybe Im not exactly very approachable. I really struggle in the flirting area and Im very sure thats holding me back. LOL–Im 37 and feeling really new at this.
    I know people say smile, make eye contact ect to flirt. I cant, Im just so shy.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Thanks again for everyting guys
    Lisa in DC

  7. @Lisa……Well, you can’t be someone you’re not, but smiling is a good start. And maybe don’t make it so difficult if they do approach. If you like the guys, ask him a few questions, instead of making him sweat. You can do it.

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