Treasures can come in dented packages

Tiffany boxIf you received a gift in a Tiffany’s box but the corner was mushed, would you be unhappy? If you were given a 2-pound box of your favorite Godiva with the top indented, would you be disappointed?

No, of course not. Because you know it’s what’s inside that really matters, not the packaging.

Many midlife daters make snap decisions upon meeting a potential new suitor based upon a minor physical imperfection. Perhaps their date is carrying a few extra pounds. Or their glasses are out of date. Or they don’t have the right colored hair.

The Washington Post plays matchmaker each week setting up two singles who, based on their application, seem to be a match. The Post interviews each after the date and reports each dater’s thoughts. Here are a few from recent Date Lab experiences:

Laura: Mark’s not my type. He had a more mature appearance, and I usually like dark hair and darker complexions. So I knew it would be unlikely for there to be a romantic connection. I thought I’d make the most of the evening, and that was as far as that was going to go.

Mark: She was above-average looking; her lips were nice and full. But the big disconnect was her eyes. I like a woman whose eyes twinkle. Hers had no life in them whatsoever. She had no vibrancy.

Amy: On a very superficial level, Piao wasn’t my type. My dream date is Mr. Darcy — tall, dark, a little retrospective and confident. Piao is the antithesis, more like a sprite.

Piao: She was 5-foot-8, brunette. Attractive enough, but I didn’t think it’d be a match. I like girls who are a little shorter, and I sensed she was older.

Krushae: I do recall seeing him, but there were a couple of other dudes at the bar that looked more like my type — broad-shouldered, in suits. I was expecting someone wearing more professional attire, I guess.

Sybil: He’s an attractive guy, but not one I’d necessarily be attracted to. I’m a thick African American woman, 5-foot-7, and he was about 5-foot-9, with a slight build. His vibe was laid-back, almost passive. Women like a sense of security; he didn’t give me that.

It’s amazing to me how we make such judgments about if it will work out or not before the other person has opened his mouth. However, I know I’m guilty of this myself. A friend recently pointed to a man across the room with whom she’d been talking and discovered he’s widowed and looking for a new relationship. He said things that she thought would be a good fit for me. But when I saw him I said, “He’s not my type.” So I was being a shallow as those quoted above!

On the other hand, nearly none of the men I’ve dated for more than a few times would fit my physical description of my ideal man. My ex was good looking and I was drawn to his looks even when he was in his 60s. I can’t say that about any of the men with whom I’ve dated since then. I commonly think, “If I were to see him across the room at a party, I wouldn’t be pulled to meet him.”

However, there was something there to make me want to see a man again and again. If I could get past the lack of immediate physical attraction, I’d often find a treasure inside. And the more I fell for the treasure, the more attractive he got.

So even if a new guy doesn’t meet all your physical requirements, give him a chance to expose his inner gems. He may just become as yummy as those Godiva chocolates!

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5 responses to “Treasures can come in dented packages”

  1. K Avatar

    I have gone on dates and one of the questions I ask myself when I’m sitting across from the person is, “Could I look at you forever?” There have been a few that don’t match the physical description of what “my type” is, however the twinkle in their eye, or the brightness of their smile, or the warmth of their soul makes me say yes or no…not just looks. I do have to admit that while looking at people online I do turn down some by their photos…..and that’s really not too fair. Most of the pix taken of me are horrible….not a photogenic person…. so, if you’re a guy only post the good ones!!! I was extremely selective of the ones I posted of me.

  2. E C Avatar
    E C

    Right on the money, DG! The guy I’m seeing now (first boyfriend after a 28-yr marriage) is someone I first met at an old job 24 yrs ago. If I had seen him on a dating site I probably wouldn’t have been attracted but I already had a sense of who he was inside and it didn’t take long for old-friends-meeting-for-coffee to evolve into what might be the love of my life. If you can, try to get a sense of who the guy is as a potential friend before pulling the plug on possible romance.

  3. MADY Avatar

    As far as i am concerned either there is something there when you first meet or there isnt going to get any better with time..I find from dating on line most mens pix arent all that flattering they usually look better in person..and they are clueless (and so are most women) when it comes to taking one. Usally men fall into 3 catagories when meeting them, and i have had hundreds of internet dates.. 1)they are, no way, not in a million years get me out of here, 2) worth a second look and another date, 3) I am in lust.. ..unfortunately the last one is very rare LOL

  4. Strblonde Avatar

    I agree with K — I’m not very photogenic either, so I’m extremely picky about the photos that I post. Thank God for digital cameras! I’ll take, like, 20 photos to get one good one! (It must work according to comments I get and I’ve been told several times I look better in person.) But one thing that guys seem to be able to disguise pretty well is bad teeth. If they’re not smiling, beware! I’ve also met some that look WORSE than their photos and not due to bad teeth.

  5. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    I agree, first impressions aren’t always what they seem. As a below average looking woman I am frequently overlooked by guys who prefer to concentrate on the packaging rather than the present. IMHO they are missing out on a highly intelligent, sensitive, loyal and caring woman with a good professional career and many talents and interests, all because they can’t or won’t give up the Barbie fantasy.

    Oh well, their loss and my gain – not to be stuck with a superficial pseudo-partner. I’d rather be single forever than deal with childish immature men.

    Best wishes from bookyone 🙂