A new, short lived series called Dating in the Dark (6 episodes in its first season, pending the ok for season number two) has gotten me thinking about attraction, chemistry, and how much looks really matter to singles and dating couples.
In the show, a three men and three women date each other, literally, in the dark. They all meet in a group setting initially in total darkness, then the singles each choose who they'd like to go on a private dark date with. Then another date takes place where the singles get matched by compatibility, and the last date is singles' choice. In the meantime the singles get to see an aspect of the opposite sex that is normally quite private, such as their luggage or a tour of their home, and they also are asked to draw what they think their favorite match looks like using a professional sketch artist. At the end of the show, the singles choose one person they want to 'see' are shown each other, and then they decide if they'd like to date some more or go their separate ways.
I'll be honest: in the five of the six shows I've watched, I've been shocked almost every episode with the reactions and deal breakers. Men who were adamant they'd never date a woman who was 'thicker around the middle' didn't care when they found a connection, women walked off the set because their date was an inch too short even though the mutual attraction was obvious, and people who made out with each other extensively in the dark and pegged their date to a tee in the sketch artist portion of the show suddenly questioned their interest when they saw their mystery date for the first time.
I'm of the camp that although attraction is important, it can change and evolve based on how you know a person as well as how you feel about them. I'm also of the belief that people can change the factors of attraction (initially at least) and using techniques like those discussed in the show The Pickup Artist or the book How To Instantly Connect with Anyone by Leil Lowdnes. But take out one's looks and the whole situation changes, much like how online dating changed the face of how we connect and mate as a society today.
What about you? How important are looks to you, and would you not date someone based solely on how they present? Have you been able to change how people perceive you socially in order to attract someone? How did you do it?