Or perhaps we become more acutely aware of the impermanence of beauty after experiencing our own signs of aging?
Or, more simply, have we just realized that dating freakishly beautiful people isn’t all it’s cracked up to be?
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“It just so happened that, about five or six years ago, what was fashionable in terms of male models were thin, tattooed punk boys who looked like they’d just been plucked from a skate park, and what I was into.
Of course I’m attracted to beauty,” she concluded, “but so is everyone else.” It’s true: It’s human nature to want to kiss and touch and penetrate beautiful people.
It’s a widely documented psychological phenomenon that good-looking people are perceived by others as being better people overall—as being nicer, more intelligent, better at their jobs, and yes, better to date. Hamermesh, author of , there are also many economic benefits to looking good, from higher wages at work to getting better deals on loans.
But according to Millie, all of this unearned praise and attention can present problems in relationships.
He just constantly needed validation.” Personally, the people I’ve been most attracted to—not the superficial kind of attraction we feel to a pretty person on a page, but a deep, chemical attraction—have not been conventionally beautiful.
The attraction felt almost indefinable, relying on everything from their looks and style to their mind and profession, to the smell of their skin and the sound of their voice.
I told him that, at 31, the realization was probably a bit overdue, but I knew what he meant: As one gets older, it becomes harder and harder to be attracted to someone simply because of the way they look.
Is it because, with age, we care more about a relationship’s potential longevity, rather than just instant sexual gratification?
“It’s weird,” he said contemplatively, staring into a sea of models.