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I have written a few controversial posts in the few years that I’ve been blogging here, but perhaps none upset as many people as the tongue-in-check post I wrote for the Huffington Post in the wake of Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal (the first time, not the second, oy). Everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Jezebel to The View to the Good Men Project had something to say about it, and often not very nice things to say about it.

Using a few studies I found on attractiveness, I suggested women should skew “ugly”:

beautiful people

The more financially independent women become, the more they prefer good-looking men. But they don’t just want their partners to be hotties; they want them to be masculine, physically fit, loving, educated, a few years older and making the big bucks. Oh, and they also have to really want to be a hubby and daddy. That’s a tall order. And, evidently, it’s working against us. Attractive men don’t make the best husbands, according to researchers. Guys who are rated as the most masculine — a billboard for a man’s good genes — tend to have more testosterone, and men with higher testosterone levels are 43 percent more likely to get divorced than men with normal levels, 31 percent more likely to split because of marital problems and 38 percent more likely to cheat. In other words, they may be better cads than dads. We’d be smarter if we sought out guys who are uglier than we are because researchers have found that couples in which the woman is hotter than the guy are happier than if the situation is reversed.” tweet

I didn’t bother too much with what Rush et al had to say, but I paid attention when I was royally  skewered by Andrea Doucet, a Canadian sociology professor, in a post on the Good Men Project. My post was taken too seriously by everyone, but OK, it did get people to talk.

I wasn’t all that off base because the cad versus dad thing is real. ”In some societies where there is little male investment in parenting, a women’s best strategy may be to find the biggest, toughest, most attractive fellow out there,” notes professor of anthropology Patricia Draper. Others have noted that the Pill may be messing around with who we end up with as a partner; when we ovulate, we’re drawn to the hot, testosterone-filled guy.

Now, Larry Schwimmer, an astrologer of all things, has revived my “hot or not” article, again in the Huffington Post, and asks, “Will you be happier if you marry someone (female or male) who is unattractive?”

That’s an interesting question. He says, in a roundabout way, we will:

“It’s time for both sexes to look beyond the superficiality of physical appearance. While it’s easy to be bewitched by beauty, it takes real maturity to understand that deeper qualities are the glue that make long-term relationships last. If you want to be happy for the rest of your life then find someone who has both the inner and outer beauty that will keep your relationship joyful and fulfilling.” tweet

I have dated model-worthy men and some who were somewhat odd looking, but in all cases their inner “beauty” — values, humor, intelligence, etc. — were just as important as their looks and in fact made them attractive. In other words, a man will not be attractive to me if he’s, say, racist, sexist, boring or just plain rude. And a new study seems to indicate we’re all like that: “men and women care equally about having a partner who is specifically attractive to them” although “(w)ealthier men and people who were more confident in their appearance had stronger preferences for a good-looking partner, and older men and women placed less importance on looks.”

But I am attracted to good-looking men and I make no apologies for that, nor am I shallow for wanting a hottie partner. I’m not attracted to people who smoke or do meth, either. Am I shallow because of that?

Also, if we are not looking to have kids or even an “until death” partnership, why not go for the “cad”?

At the end of her article, Doucet says, “I am interested in widening the debate about what 21st century women desire in men.” So am I.

What do you want?

Interested in having an outside-the-box marriage? Read The New I Do: Reshaping Marriage for Skeptics, Realists and Rebels (Seal Press). Order the book on Amazon, follow on Twitter and on Facebook.


One Response to “Should you marry a hottie?”

  1. john r says:

    Looks have nothing to do with real friendship, shared values and humility, which is what any solid loving relationship is truly based on, sad to say that’s why most miss out and fall short in finding our true life partner. we pass up the “ugly” for the “pretty” and find our self’s wanting, not even knowing it.

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