I can’t date someone who is average looking

How's your relationship life? What's stressing you out? Send a question about it to [email protected] or fill out this form.

My biggest problem with dating is that I'm sexually attracted to the "bad" options out there. I have met very nice, decent, financially stable people, and yet despite their qualities, I can't bring myself to find them physically attractive.

I like the idea of being with someone who can match my current status. I have a nice townhouse to myself, I own my car, I make a decent living. I'm pretty comfortable in life without any debt. So when I seek out people who match me, it doesn't seem to pan out. Am I too shallow? I have tried my best to put looks to the side, but when it comes to getting intimate after months of dating, I can't do it. The physical attraction just wasn't there. On the other side, the people I've been sexually attracted to are not doing well in life. As a grown adult who has managed to reach success and stability, I know it is not beneficial to be involved with someone who is still struggling and/or not mentally mature enough to be a functioning adult.

I don't know what's wrong with me. If it is any help, I am considered an attractive person. I was once told I'm a solid "7" and when I put more effort into my looks I can bump up to a "9". I don't believe in these silly scores, but I've been lucky enough all these years to still have people seek me out. I do not have any trouble with people wanting to date me. Aside from my looks, I am a very nice and bubbly person. I like to be considerate to those around me. I have been raised to be well mannered and proper. That being said, why can't I just focus on one's personality? When it comes to the nicer human beings, I have a difficult time viewing them as attractive. I don’t think they're ugly people, I just don't ever see myself being fully committed to the idea of being intimate with someone who is "average" looking. I am very concerned about this. I don't want to be a shallow person. I just want someone who is nice.

- 7

"I don't believe in these silly scores."

You don't? It sounds like you keep similar scores for other people. Maybe you're not using numbers, but you're checking boxes. It doesn't sound like a lot of people are qualified to date you, based on your list of requirements.

But that's who you are right now – and I'm not sure there's much you can do about it. Maybe you need to cycle through a bunch of the wrong people in order to get sick of them. If so, this is all part of the process. Over time, different might wind up looking attractive.

One thing you might want to consider is that a lot of wonderful people – real adults – might not be at their best right this second. They might be considering going back to school. They might be living with a family member because of how complicated life got during 2020. Perhaps they're saving for more. There are a ton of incredible people out there (some of whom you might find very physically attractive) who don't have your list of assets. That doesn't mean they won't have great, successful lives. You can evaluate someone based on their work ethic, hopes, desires, and plans, but don't expect them to be finished products. Many fantastic adults are still figuring it out.

You don't have to force yourself to like people you don't – or to want to kiss people you don’t. I only ask that you really listen. If you're on a date with someone and think they're cool and cute, pay attention to how they talk about their life and hopes for more. They might be better potential partners than you think.

– Meredith

Readers? Is this LW being shallow about looks – or about material stuff? Is it that the LW isn't really ready for a serious relationship? Thoughts about what's happening here?