Does Dating Someone Less Attractive Than You Make for a Better Relationship?

.@VogueMagazine writer @annielord8 explores the question: does dating someone less attractive than you make for a better relationship?

11/28/2021 5:57:00 AM

.VogueMagazine writer annielord8 explores the question: does dating someone less attractive than you make for a better relationship?

I know there’s not some objective scale of attractiveness, but if you chose to invent one, then I’d be a 7 and he’d be a 5.7. This distinction means that if we went out together, I wouldn’t feel like I had to change myself to accommodate him like I do with other men.

.There’s a guy I know who I find a bit gross, which is partly why I actually like him so much. His room smells like old sports gear. He definitely cuts that mullet himself. All his clothes are bad, although to his credit, they’re bad on purpose, because otherwise, really,

whywould he be wearing those wraparound sunglasses my driving instructor Barry used to have, or the same wide-leg jeans my dad wore in the ’90s. His eyes look like they have an infection of some kind. There’s always something scraped into his skin with a compass like “Arsenal” or the name of a friend. I probably sound like a bitch, but I’m pretty sure he does this stuff on purpose.

He’s a friend of friends of friends of people from home and I’ve seen him at parties since we were young. I saw him at one the other day. He drank a glass that had ash in it to prove a point. Laughed his big hyena laugh. When things were quieter, though, he came up to me and when we were having a cig outside together, said: “I’ve always had a thing for you. You’re like my big teenage crush.”

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At the time I wasn’t into it; I looked over to my friend Hannah with wide eyes so she’d come and join in the conversation before I had to say “sorry, I’m seeing someone and it just got serious” or one of my other tried and tested non-offensive rejections. But when I woke up the next morning, aside from

why didn’t I put a glass of water on the bedside table?, he was the first thing I thought of.I’ve always had a thing for you. I thought about how true that was and how long I’d been able to tell that was the case. The heat of his gaze turning the tops of my ears bright red. Someone asking how we became friends because they assumed we must be well acquainted given how much he talks about me.

“THE DRIBBLER?” screamed my friend when I told her a couple of days later that I wanted to get with him. We call him that because there’s always so much spit in his mouth when he’s talking."Not for anything serious. I think he’s pretty hot.”“HOT?”

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“Like, ugly hot.”“Are you upset about that teacher guy again? Is that why this has come up?”I was lying, though; I don’t think I just want to have sex with him. I want more than that. I want to ask him to do things to me I didn’t even realize I wanted someone to do. I want him to crawl up inside me like an infection and make me ill for days. I want to stop him from drinking so much, tell him to call his mom more. I want him to fill me up like a big take-out pizza. I want him to say “open wide” like a dentist and peer right down my throat. I want him to scroll through all the pictures on my phone, rifle through my underwear drawer, do my dirty laundry. I want to lie on top of him naked and fall asleep like that. I want to really be myself around this guy because he’d want me to, because he’d have to let me be her.

Why?Because I know there’s not some objective scale of attractiveness, but if you chose to invent one, then I’d be a 7 and he’d be a 5.7. This distinction means that if we went out together, I wouldn’t feel like I had to change myself to accommodate him like I do with other men: always wearing jeans and a plain top on dates so that I don’t look too extra; using big words if they look like they’re smart. No, with this guy, I could really be myself, because he’s more likely to want to keep hold of me than I am to him. It’s like that

Sex and the Cityepisode where Carrie’s friend Mike is dating the ugly girl who works at the cheese shop because with her there’s less pressure, describing her as the only woman he can “just be with.”He comes over to mine and I make dinner and it’s exactly how I imagined it. I tell him something I don’t tell most people about my family. When he asks me what I’m doing over the weekend, I give him the honest answer, which is lying on the sofa. I tell him my favorite porn genre. It’s lovely, or it is until he says something along the lines of: “Women are less funny than men, though. Like, have you ever watched Sarah Millican?”

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“Yeah, Sarah Millican’s not funny, but there are funny women.”“I watched this one sketch where she kept talking about pissing in a bottle in her car, not funny at all, women aren’t funny.”What a stupid point to make,I think to myself.I gave you an out, there, and you didn’t even take it, you should be grateful to be here, I even zested the fucking lime like the recipe asked and I never zest anything because I always catch my finger and zesting takes fucking ages and barely makes a difference.

We don’t get on that well for the rest of the meal. I make some excuse about work and head off to bed earlier than I thought.“You usually laugh along when men say stuff like that,” says my friend when I tell her about our evening together.“No, I don’t,” I reply, lying.

“The only reason you’ve reacted in that way is because you think he owes you something just by virtue of you being with him. It would only get worse if you went out—you’d be nagging him to do stuff and undermining him because you’d think you could get away with everything.

”“We do actually get along, you know?” I say, but she’s right. This version of getting along is predicated on the fact that I feel like I’m better than him. That’s the part that allows me to be more confident. But I can’t and shouldn’t use someone as a means to become more myself, because they’ll likely lose themselves in the process.

I go to tell him that I don’t think we should see each other again, but he’s beaten me to it. “Thanks for the other night. I’ve just started seeing someone I like, though, and it’s getting serious.”

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