There’s been some good discussion over at Jack’s on attraction:
Scott’s video garnered some attention, and there was some concern over the fact that it might only be about 13% of marriages where the woman is ‘madly in love’ with her husband after a determined amount of time.
I don’t claim to be an expert on these types of things, but I have worked decently close with the fitness industry in the past. I feel confident in these assertions:
- The amount of attraction generated from both male and female transformations vastly outweighs the things you can’t change such as your facial genetics. In other words, any obese or overweight woman or man who loses substantial amounts of weight becomes much more attractive and gains substantial attraction interest from the opposite sex.
- This is multiplied if the fitness or muscularity is significantly increased especially for men. I’ve never seen any man (short or ugly or otherwise) who has gotten to a Greek god level of physique or more have trouble getting at least a few women who are interested in him. Maybe not a lot, but at least a few. This is not that hard for most men with a dedicated fitness program and nutrition for a year. Michelangelo’s David is an example.
- If there are other issues like poor hygiene, very awkward at conversations, can’t hold a job, or things like that then that can cancel out the interest. This is usually what stunts most men with women. It’s what they do and say, not how they’re looking most of the time.
I stand by my previous assertions in this post on how attraction works. It’s a percentage based probability.
Someone with natural height and good looks will start from a higher percentage. Maybe 6’0″+ and very handsome and natural semi-muscular or husky body may start from a place where 15-20% of women are naturally attracted to them. Someone who starts from somewhere like very skinny or obese, less than normal height, and relatively non-attractive face would be starting from a much lower point like maybe 1-2% or possibly less. Possibly less. Celebrities generally start from a place of 30-40+% of women are naturally attracted to them because of the status, fame, etc even if their looks aren’t that great.
We all know the “marriage market” has broken down substantially at this time. However, if we look over the past societies and marriage statistics, we see that about 95% of both men and women got married in the past. This is fairly consistent across cultures. Some percentage of this was men and women who didn’t want to get married for whatever reason (asexual or wanted to put their career first) and some small percentage was also probably men and women who wanted to get married but didn’t for whatever reason (yes, you can throw very bad personalities, old maids, and ugliness in here I guess?). From this we know that unless you’re in the extreme bottom percentile of men and women, there’s no way you are not attractive to at least some men and women.
Even the obesity marriage rates show this. Obesity, overweight, and underweight all decrease your likelihood to marry, but they don’t make it go to zero. The ratio of underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese is about 8:10:8:6. This means 8 underweight people, 10 healthy weight, 8 overweight, and 6 obese people marry in about those proportions.
14 overweight and obese people marry for every 10 normal weight people. This is shocking to most people who read online blogs too much because they get the impression that “you gotta be in top 20% to even have a chance,” but the reality is that many men and women don’t place supreme importance on looks. However, the main issue the calibration of expectations — the apex fallacy for both sexes. Both men and women that are looking for a spouse above or far above their own attractiveness level are in for a rough ride.
Looks are helpful, even substantially helpful if you hit the Greek god looks break point, but they are far from being something that determines your ability to get married. The only people approaching the bottom 5% are those who have multiple things that are working against them. Even so, there are those like Nick Vujacic (the guy without any limbs) who break the mold for disabilities.
As this applies to marriage…
I think it’s very helpful if you can get a woman that’s head over heels for you, but I doubt most men are able to do it. Even so women’s attraction may be very specific to things like PSALM – power, status, athleticism, looks, and money, but things like status comes in all shapes and sizes. Not everyone can be a pastor or worship band leader, but there are women that are head over heels for men in all different types of sports and hobbies. Heck, there are girls that are Dungeons and Dragon’s groupies. If your hobby is D&D and you’re one of the best at it, find a girl who loves God and D&D. I know some marriages like this.
Of course, head over heels is not what makes a godly marriage, so one must be careful not to elevate this to the pedestal. It’s great if you have it, but it’s not something that is needed for a godly and successful marriage. Most men are unlikely to find a woman who is head over heels and have a high enough sex drive that they want to jump your bones all the time.
- Attractiveness is still a probability game. Good looks can give you a natural head start and advantage, but it’s nothing in surmountable for many/most men.
- You generally have to have multiple things working against you to have a very difficult time generating attraction from at least a few members of the opposite sex.
- Looks matter, but they also don’t. What probably matters most in terms of getting married is calibrating your own expectations to your own level of attractiveness. Just as most men can be invisible to the American Evangelical Princess, men can fall for the same apex fallacy disregarding women who are interested in him because they don’t meet his attraction standards (usually obesity).
- If you want to be with someone “more attractive” generally you have to work on your own attractiveness yourself.
- Avoiding behaviors that decrease attraction are generally the biggest things for most men who are “bad with women” to work on. These both eliminate interest as it is happening and sabotage dates and relationships as well.
All of this matters only a little bit to some for having a godly marriage.