Man's answer to rating potential partners: the 1 through 10 system. It's less crude than adjectives, and it simplifies things. Men use this system all of the time. Sometimes we argue over the distinction between 7's, 8's or 9's, discredit each others 10's, or question the merit of another man's character for the flagrant use of 10. I'm sure it's no surprise that at the end of the day this is what most male conversations come down to. We are simple creatures; we have simple rating systems. For men, it's easier to simplify the complexities of human attractiveness down to a 10 digit scale, than probe our psyches to better understand our compatibility potential with women.
On one hand, you could argue there isn't much to probe. That men are simply attracted to female beauty as it exists on the surface. That once we've fallen to their initial attraction, it's their unique feminine complexities we fall in love with, the complexities we ourselves lack, and undoubtedly will never fully understand. On the other hand, it could be that we lack the insight to understand our own complex emotional makeup, therefore making it impossible for us to pin down what it is we see in these exotic creatures.
Most likely, we all sit somewhere in between. We are not as emotionally complex as women, but we still are unable to wrap our brains around what's going on inside our puny hearts. The trusty 1 through 10 system will have to do for now.
When it comes to romance, men are not the ones shrouded in mystery. What I hope to better understand is the rating system, if any, that women use for men. Chances are there's no unified code that all women agree on. Possibly it's that they're not quite as shallow. Or perhaps any consensus is held up in a political gridlock. The women of the world can't ally themselves closely enough to agree on a code. Women are, on some level, at war with one another. A cold war. Presumably, this is man's fault. Thousands of years of patriarchy has turned women against one another. We've forced women to depend on men for sustenance, therefore they compete with one another other for us, for survival
. Doesn't sound so good.
Even if we could get them in a room together, the list of items would surely break down talks. Exposing all of the variables and opening them up to debate could prove disastrous to the delicate balance of female coexistence. What women see in men is something more individual and multifaceted than physical attractiveness quantified by a scale system. It's too personal to be uniformed. It's a case-by-case, all-encompassing emotional connection: strengths, weaknesses, shortcomings, quirks, humor etc. Of course, men fall in love with women based on similar grounds, but for us it's an afterthought. For women, this is the start and finish -- the end all, be all. Their attraction can't be quantified because it's subject to variables that all have the potential to tip the scales. Every woman's list is different. Exposing these to one another and standardizing the whole thing would break the foundation of normalcy as we know it.
Fat guys, skinny guys, nerdy guys, tough guys, hairy guys, hairless guys... for every attribute, flattering or not, there is a beautiful woman out there who loves
that! Safe to say this does not go both ways.
Unfortunately, I haven't shed much light on the issue. As a man, there are things I can never fully understand. A female friend said once that women would've never thought about being so complex if men weren't always saying so. That women aren't necessarily complex, just that men don't understand them.
Labels: Attraction, Love, Men, Romance, Women