LDS Singles

Thriving and Growing as an LDS Single

How Important is Appearance in Dating?

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woman and man look in mirrorI can’t imagine a question that more of us ask over the years to ourselves than this one.  I think that, although it perhaps is of lesser importance in some circles as we get older, it does still hold some sway.  And, perhaps for some, it can be used as yet another excuse to be afraid of marriage.  And as former mid-single’s Bishop Steve Lang pointed out, are some of us still looking for a spiritual Angelina Jolie, or a 30 or 40 or 50 year old President Uchtdorf, and missing someone who is very real and would be a good match for us in the process, because we don’t recognize the proverbial “diamond in the rough,” or just a “diamond in a white shirt and tie or dress” who teaches primary on Sunday or Scouts during the week?

In a classic talk about agency in love and marriage, Lynn G. Robbins of the Seventy said:

For some people, falling in love is a magical encounter, something that seems to happen at first sight. For others, it is a growing affinity and attraction toward another, like budding blossoms that flower into a beautiful bouquet. Though the first type of love may also bloom like the second, it is often merely glandular, a cotton candy kind of love that has no substance. While it may begin with warm cuddles in moonlit glades, it can soon grow cold as honeymoon memories fade and familiarity turns to faultfinding.1
As quoted by Hathaway, Chas (2011-07-11). Marriage is Ordained of God But WHO Came Up with Dating? (p. 87). Cedar Fort, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Kimberly Reid also gave some great advice  and quotes in an article in the Ensign:

We will date those to whom we are attracted in several different ways, and physical attraction is part of a healthy relationship. However, we live in a society that emphasizes the body and limits the definition of beauty. If we are not careful, we may adopt unrealistic standards.
More than 65 yearsago, writer C. S. Lewis observed that the adversary uses distorted body images in the media to direct “the desires of men to something which does not exist.” 4  That trend increases today.

The Screwtape Letters (1942, 1996), 107

As we seek an attractive companion, the Holy Ghost can help us discern lasting qualities like faith, character, and personality. Such qualities will keep the relationship strong when age and the tests of mortality change our appearance. President Boyd K. Packer, (then) Acting President of the Quorumof the Twelve Apostles, has taught that amid “all of the deception” that may initially occur in dating—including always looking our best—we should remember that appearance and style “are essentially unessential. ”We must ask ourselves, Would I want this person to be the parent of my children? 6  Such priorities reflect an eternal perspective.

Instead of contemplating what qualities others have that might fill our needs, we can turn to the true source of fulfillment—the Savior. As we serve Him, our desire to serve others will increase, we’ll build genuine friendships, and we’ll experience the love often described by President Gordon B. Hinckley: “True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well being of one’s companion.” 9 

Chas Hathaway also reminds us :

You should also keep in mind that a girl tends to think of herself as less attractive than she really is, while a guy tends to assume that he is more attractive than he really is. (see photo, above)

Hathaway, Chas (2011-07-11). Marriage is Ordained of God But WHO Came Up with Dating? (p. 80). Cedar Fort, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Despite what sometimes creeps in as over-attention to a potential date’s appearance or something similar, we do need to, of course, be attracted to them.  However, sometimes in our search for a possible reason as to why someone else isn’t interested in us, we jump to conclusions too quickly in an effort to make ourselves feel better.  If we’re doing all we can to take good care of ourselves and our health (both physical and mental, and spiritual) we have no reason to fear and can move forward with our head held high.  It may not help, at first, to lessen the sting of rejection, but worrying about things that we can’t change will never do us much good.  Also, in the long run, why would we want to be with someone who isn’t interested in us, for whatever reason?

Next post: fun stories from married friends as to what they were looking for before they got married, and what they ended up seeing in their spouse when they met.

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Author: pickleclub1971

I'm a single mom of 2: a Southern CA native, who transplanted to Utah 4 years ago. I have one 18 year old who is off to the Ivy League, and one 14 year old who is in high school. I served an LDS Mission to Southern France and I’ve also lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, Idaho, Northern Arizona, and New Hampshire. I love 80’s music, classical music, choral music, playing the piano, singing, speaking what French I still remember, and talking about history and music with whomever will listen. I love that my kids are better at math than I was at their age. (But they still get frequent historical references from me…anyone familiar with Ducky from NCIS? He’s that kind of medical examiner, I’m that kind of mom.) My kids also think I know all the lyrics to all the songs from the 80’s, mainly because I’m good at making them up and faking it when I don’t know. Sometimes they catch me. I’m currently disabled with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I want to get better (of course) and be an advocate for trauma survivors and others with mental illnesses. I like people in general. I suffer from the delusion that I can make everyone my friend, but of course that isn’t possible: but I still believe that the world can be a better place.

One thought on “How Important is Appearance in Dating?

  1. Just catching up on your posts, very interesting quotes from C.S. Lewis. I loved this quote, “You should also keep in mind that a girl tends to think of herself as less attractive than she really is, while a guy tends to assume that he is more attractive than he really is.”

    As a guy who used to run around with a very rough unshaven beard, I still thought of myself as attractive, but I realize I looked homeless! haha.

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