Physical attraction is hard to compete with. When someone is not attracted to your physical features, there’s little, if anything, you can do to change the fact. However, as we discussed in chapter 1.1, since attraction is more of an experience than a choice, one should not be deeply hurt when the feelings of attraction aren’t mutual.

On the other hand, physical characteristics are the very things that trigger attraction in the first place. Anything from our eye color to our athletic build can be a ‘trigger’ that someone else finds attractive. The problem is we just don’t know what those triggers are for everybody else. Often times a quality or characteristic that we consider to be our most attractive feature is not what creates the spark for someone else. So, we wind up spending a lot of money altering our physical appearance in hopes that something we change will trigger attraction in someone (or everyone) else.

…and therein lies the problem.

Everyone knows that you don’t use your best bait when you’re fishing for catfish. You don’t need to. You don’t even need a lure. Catfish will bite at almost anything you put in the water that has an odor to it. If you want to catch a lot of fish without a whole lot of effort, then go for the catfish. But rarely, if ever, will you catch a bass. Why not? Bass won’t eat just anything you throw in the water. What you want to catch will determine the type of bait you choose.

Since we know that attraction is based on appearance, we ‘fish’ with what we guess the opposite gender is hungry for. . .but it’s still a guess. Even though we can change our physical appearance in a number of different ways we think makes us more attractive, we just never know what will get that special ‘fish’ to bite. As every fisherman knows, you can use all the ‘right’ techniques and bait and still come up empty.

Every guy that ever pretended to be older or stronger than he actually was because he thought that’s what the ladies found attractive knows what that emptiness feels like. Every girl that ever starved herself or stuffed her bra in hopes that the guys would notice her knows what that emptiness feels like too.

How many other empty ways of making yourself attractive can you think of? Have you ever felt that empty & hopeless feeling?

Since we cannot know what features of ours will trigger attraction in other people, the only recourse we have to make ourselves more attractive is to believe that we are already attractive to begin with.

“What?”

Yeah, isn’t that a weird idea? Just be the person you were created to be.

“But I’m not as _____________ as he/she is.”

Doesn’t matter. Being attractive isn’t a competition. That’s why we love the story of Cinderella. The prince doesn’t go for all the girls he is ‘supposed’ to go for. He picks the girl that no one else thinks is attractive while women who are just as beautiful as she were all around him.

“But she had a fairy-godmother. I don’t.”

Oh yes you do! You have department stores, shoe stores, and places to rent a limo. All the fairy-godmother did was dress up what was already attractive.

“But isn’t that arrogant to assume that I’m already attractive?”

No.

“Why not?”

You didn’t make yourself attractive to begin with! If that were possible, then yes. But since you don’t handcraft your own genetics, you can’t really take credit for what you look like.

See, if I’m right about attraction being hard wired . . . and you are hard wired to be attracted to certain people . . . wouldn’t it be safe to assume that other people are wired to be attracted to you as well? Why is that so hard to believe?

“Because I haven’t been on a date in over a year.”

That doesn’t mean you’re universally unattractive. It just means that the fish aren’t biting. Sometimes the problem of catching fish has nothing to do with the bait or the fishermen. Sometimes there just aren’t any fish to be caught.

“OK, so you’re saying I’m attractive no matter what I do. I guess I can just stop bathing, then, and someone will still find me attractive?”

No. I’m saying you don’t need to pretend to be something you’re not. If you want to make yourself more attractive, just be yourself. Showering, shaving, clothes, muscles, cologne, weight loss, etc., don’t really change your appearance as much as they simply dress up what is already attractive.

“I get that, but how am I supposed to believe that I’m attractive when I don’t feel like I am?”

That’s something we’ll talk about in chapter 1.3.

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Do you agree or disagree with this idea? How would it change the way you went about your dating life if you assumed you were attractive to someone else rather than assuming you were attractive to no one else?