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Bonny Albo

Would You Date Someone Who Is Plain?

By December 1, 2009

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Plainbutnotjane in the dating forum asks: "I'm 29 and plain as in not pretty. Think of a cross between Ellen Degeneres and Gisele Bundchen in the face, my features are strong and would look better on a man than a woman. I'm in good condtion, 5' 8" and a size 8, I'm healthy. Good teeth, good hair, I'd make a great show horse.

I'm not sure yet but I might be befriended for the purpose of dating by a nice looking successful man. I'm not about to get my hopes up, I've accepted that I'm not the ideal most men are looking for. At the same time I have butterflies when I get a text or call from him. Then I think why would he waste his time with me when he can do better?

If you're a guy, have you ever dated a plain woman when you could do better? Why? And if you're a woman, are you plain and if so have you dated successfully?

Bonny's response: Every single man I've spoken to on this topic (and I've spoken to a LOT) have all said the same thing: what matters more is how a woman holds herself than what she was blessed with genetically. If you actually like yourself and are confident in who you are, there is nothing more attractive, period.

Several books and recent studies have shown the same thing with large sample sizes; Why He Didn't Call You Back by Rachel Greenwald (Buy Direct) comes to mind. She basically did business-style exit interviews with 1000 men (ok that one isn't the biggest sample size, but still), asking them why they didn't want to continue dating a woman, and then published the results. Every single one of the men's top 10 turn offs for another date were behavioral. Only one kinda sorta involved a woman's appearance - the "Bait and Switch", where a woman presents herself as something she's not - but that one involves a lot more than just the physical (or so the men who answered her questions said), and it applies more so to online dating than anything else.

Another good example is from one of our fellow forum members, who suggested a reality show called Dating in the Dark. Three men and three women on each episode were paired up on dates based on compatibility for a week-long get to know you vacation in total darkness. At the end of the week the singles were then shown each other 'in the light' and got to decide whether or not they wanted to continue dating. Enlightening and heartbreaking at the same time, it became obvious almost immediately that the men who went on about looks really didn't care that much when it came down to a connection - but the women found looks a deal breaker more often than not.

Other than maybe taking a better look at what the other posters have suggested, such as bettering your self esteem, try a simple how to attract someone tactic that both I and other readers have had great results with.

Related: How Much Do Looks Matter?, The Law of Attraction, Is He Interested? Quiz.

December 3, 2009 at 11:46 pm
(1) James @ Phone Chat Lines says:

I agree that confidence is the key. Plenty of ‘plain’ women are really very attractive- they just need to believe that.

December 4, 2009 at 8:27 am
(2) Christopher Parker says:

Beauty matters. But what makes up beauty is confidence and spirit more than genetics.

When I think of ‘plain’, it applies entirely to aspects of presentation that you can change – your haircut, your clothes, the way you don’t smile, the fun you don’t want to participate in.

I suspect there are a number of reasons why a guy would fall for Plainbutnotjane – including her looks. I suspect she is selling herself short. Perhaps it would help to ask some friends (both genders) what someone might be attracted to in her. The answers might surprise! Perhaps the real question is does *she* want this new guy? Nice looking and “successful” (whatever that means) are a pretty low bar. Is he a quality person? Just because he inspires butterflys doesn’t mean he’s good enough for you!

December 5, 2009 at 1:51 pm
(3) Dale Francis says:

What does “plain” mean anyway?
Surely everyone out there can find or meet someone they like and who likes them.?
Beauty or plainnes or whatever lies in the eye of the beholder doesnt it?

December 10, 2009 at 5:35 am
(4) Scope says:

I remember an ugly old ‘girl’ in her 40s everyday dreaming of dating a rich professional. LOL~

First type of women off my list of dates.

Point is, what if someday I was kicked in the butt by the gods? Easy come, easy go… nobody will truly love me. So date the rich guys, and when the rich guys fell, it’s always divorce… I have seen so many at the clubs gone in the financial crisis.

The women are left with children and bankrupted men, and a divorce agreement. No love, no supporting the other. Why do we need this sort of depreciating assets? LOL~

December 11, 2009 at 7:52 pm
(5) Win back lost love says:

Maybe I’m shallow but I really need to be attracted by someone’s look before I even think about getting to know a person. Sometimes you develop feelings overtime in situation where that’s possible, co-worker for example, but for the most part my eyes need to feast before I invest my time and energy on someone.

December 13, 2009 at 8:08 pm
(6) How To Impress A Girl says:

For me, its about the initial attraction at first, but later on, things like personality and interests come into play. A woman can be plain looking, but just because they look plain doesn’t necessarily mean that’s who they are. There are some women who aren’t stunningly beautiful, but incredibly sexy.

December 14, 2009 at 6:45 pm
(7) Betty says:

Being plain is certainly not the only issue people tend to have even though it is no big deal. Have a look yourself what other issues seem to have, some of them are really outstanding and you might a laugh at them.

December 19, 2009 at 1:10 am
(8) Michael says:

You really have to consider-

Maybe he ACTUALLY thinks you’re as great as you think he is.

July 28, 2013 at 10:09 am
(9) :) says:

I think some so called ‘plain’ women are the best catches, natural, real, confident, sensible, intelligent, interesting. Remove the fake looks from women ‘glamorous’ women and they fall apart on the spot.

March 29, 2014 at 7:11 am
(10) Charlie says:

I have always been more attracted to plain women.
Ones that are not trying to impress me they just do.
I love honesty above all else. And I fell a plain women is not trying to hide anything, not trying to cover anything up, and not trying to make anything look like it’s not

May 11, 2014 at 7:34 am
(11) Rambling says:

Look at our parents; they had women’s-lib and the hippy, alternative, anti-materialistic thing going. Women were throwing away fake things and makeup as being ‘anti’ their freedom. But like the final scene from an Orwellian novel the women’s scene today seem totally obsessed on; body enhancements, makeup, designer labels on everything. Celebrity lifestyles fill their own magazines, observe the ‘look’ (did I mention ‘fake’) on the faces of those in the glossy pics.
And men are supposed overcome this? Dig through this whole ‘industry’ or ‘cult’ and love someone for themselves, beneath this heavily indoctrination that so many women have bought into. Good luck…
I personally go for non-makeup wearing, non fashion-conscious individual women (provable) without big egos, without this pre-programming… That doesn’t mean that all plain women attract me, but it is the first thing I notice. Let me see a woman who kneels down to talk at eye level to a child; that melts my heart. Harder to find in women brought up western city culture. But ‘plain’ or ‘natural/authentic’ is ‘good’!

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