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'Looks' and relationships

Published:Sunday | April 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

 Heather Little-White, PhD, Contributor

For some people, love is hard to find because they hinge meeting a potential partner on appearance. According to Sally, a cosmetologist: "If him no look good, me naah chat to him." Johnny, a transport operator, said, "Any woman me have mus sell off ... she haffi look good.

Helen, a banker: "My man must make every woman look at him. That makes me feel good.

Don, a businessman, quipped: "I am a 'don' - my wife or any other women who I may have must carry off the 'don'."

Just how important are looks to a relationship? For most persons seeking a relationship, looks matter. In an initial meeting, looks are what determine the future of the relationship. Good-looking means different things to different people and it varies by culture. Some may prefer to kiss a woman with slightly curved lips compared to those who like to kiss women with lips stretched out.

What men want

  • Size

In the Western world, the focus is on thin and fair-skinned. In Jamaica, men claim that they like 'some meat on the bone', but the woman should be well proportioned, not flabby. In places like Bolivia, the Sirono women constantly eat so they can be fat for their men.

  • Sexy

Men like a sexy-looking woman who can bear healthy children. The woman should look sexy without looking like a tramp. She can flirt a little perhaps, but she should not come on too strongly. While men want women who look sexy, they do not want to see too much exposure of the body. In fact, men find fully clothed women attractive. They claim it gets their imagination going as to what could be beneath the clothing.

  • Grace and style

When women move with grace and style, they will get the attention of men. Moving with grace and style implies good breeding and that if a man were to pursue a relationship, he would not be ashamed of his woman.

  • Face

A man tends to focus on a woman's face when he meets her. When he sees beauty and admires her, he is able to stir up erotic images in his head and uses them as a motivation to pursue her.

  • Intelligent and educated

Behaving unintelligently and like a 'bhutto' is a turn-off for men. Women should look intelligent. Researchers at the University of Iowa found that men are increasingly are interested in intelligent, educated women who are financially stable. Today's men have grown up with more educated women as their mothers, teachers, doctors, and role models, according to Christine Whelan, author of Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman's Guide to True Love (Simon & Schuster, 2008).

What women want

Leil Lowdes, writing in How to Fall in Love, posits that women are attracted to men;

  • whose appearance elicits nurturing feelings;
  • who appear to possess sexual maturity;
  • who appear to possess dominance characteristics;
  • who seem sociable, approachable and of high social status.

  • Father's influence

Women like a man with features which make him look like he would be a good provider. Research has also shown that the quality of a daughter's relationship with her father has an impact on who she finds attractive. Research by Lynda Boothroyd of Durham University indicated that women who had reported positive relationships with their fathers were much more likely to be attracted to men resembling their fathers. On the other hand, women with bad father-daughter relationships did not find men who looked like their fathers appealing.

  • Sense of Caring

Men who show a genuine sense of caring also get the attention of women. Women like to feel as if they have your heart, and that you will do anything for them. Women just want men they can respect, so they feel special.

  • Self-confidence

This is one aspect which also acts as a determinant in a woman choosing a man. A confident man shows how strong he is in trying times. This also reflects the tenacity of men in challenging times. Self-confidence will be reflected in a man's body language. A positive body language goes a long way in winning over a female partner.

  • Funny and witty

A sense of wit and a certain degree of humour are a drawing card for some women.

  • Physique

Generally, women like men who are healthy and strong. This could be with regard to their physique as well as their emotional framework. This is important to a vibrant sex life as well as making babies.

While it is said that looks are deceiving, they certainly go a long way in forging relationships which could make a difference in your life.

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