Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
Home » Humans » Relationsships | About me Impressum Contact Sitemap

Shallowness (?) in romance

Many women, in particular less attractive ones, complain that men are too shallow, go only by looks, and do not give a wonderful personality a fair chance. Conversely, many men, in particular less successful ones, complain that women are too shallow, throw themselves at anyone with a Porsche, and do not pay attention to everyday men.

Apart from being exaggerations, these statements need not be concerned with shallowness. Consider the first case: Assume in a simplification that a woman’s desirability depends on two factors only—looks and personality. Now consider a man “on the prowl”: He will have the target of getting a woman with as good looks and personality as possible (with some reservations for “out of his league” women). Looking around in a bar, he can within seconds roughly categorize candidates by looks, but he will know nothing of their personalities—it can take hours of interaction over a span of several weeks before he knows a woman’s personality as well as he knows her looks after the first few seconds. Naturally, then, less good looking women are filtered out immediately, women of poor personality noticeably later. The result: A male tendency to prefer good looking women is easily observable; a corresponding tendency to prefer women of good personality is there, but not observable. (The same holds m.m. for the reverse scenario.)

The above is supported by the fact that many women (and men) have no problems starting relationships, yet soon see them go sour. Consider, for a fictional example, “Sex and the City”: The women are unusually good looking and have no problems getting dates, yet have horrible “track records” where relationships are concerned. No wonder: They are absolute freaks! Carrie, in particular, would not have been able to hang on to me for even two weeks—despite, at her best, being more attractive than any girl-friend I actually have had.

Further, consider that many men are simply looking for a one-night stand or a brief adventure, and that these will naturally and legitimately care more about looks than personality—without in any way being shallow.


For some reason women seem to consider going by signs of success to be less shallow than going by physical attractiveness. Odd, seeing that the attention I get from women varies noticeably depending on what shirt I am wearing—despite them all being roughly equally priced, and sufficiently cheap that even a mail man could buy them with a good conscience. Signs of success are just signs—nothing more, nothing less. It is also note-worthy that I occasionally saw one of the two co-founders of E2—at the time an explosively growing company with more than 300 employees—in worn-out shorts and a ditto t-shirt when not in the office. (He, very obviously, had started as an engineer, not a business graduate.)