Monday, February 7, 2011

Reader question: Sage Before Beauty

Q: Hey Haley, just stumbled on your website and I must say I love it. My question concerns a problem I have with a girl I've been talking to for a few months now. I am in my first year of college, so obviously there is still a lot of clique-ish behavior going on here. One may see me and describe me as a "nerd", I guess. I am a physics major so that doesn't help much. I met my current interest on my dorm floor. We occasionally do homework together but that's the extent of it. However, I can tell that she enjoys being around me because she frequently asks me to help her with homework alone, in her dorm room, and we laugh together a lot. It's hard to say this but I am not the best looking guy around and I often see Claire, the girl I like, talking to a guy on our floor who is a lot better looking than I am. Typical popular, jock guy. I can tell she probably likes him but is there any chance for me? I am a smart guy and I treat her very kindly and I can't say the same for this guy because to be honest I have seen him talk to a lot of other girls. He seems like a jerk. Anyways, is there hope for me? Thanks.


A: Smyth, I'm just gonna start by saying that as contrived and, perhaps, "BS-y" as it sounds, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You'd be surprised by how drastically tastes change jumping from one human to the next. In addition to that, I know from experience that human beings get sick of looking at the same ol' mug in the mirror day in and day out. Even if you aren't generally considered to be good-looking anyway, our own vision STILL makes it worse. 
If you truly aren't a person generally considered to be good-looking, though...there's something you need to know about being a guy: it doesn't matter.
You seem to have brains, humor, and kindness--traits that will last forever. A person with only looks (a la the Douchey McDoucheinstein that's trying to creep on Claire) isn't gonna get too far in life. Looks may help you out sometimes, but those who only have that quality are destined for a lonely life. But I won't get into that here today.
The truth is, Claire may be smitten with the looks of this guy, she may not be. She can still like you at the same time, though. I'd be willing to bet that she does see something in you if she's letting you help her out her room! Just keep your confidence up and be yourself around her. Good-looking or not, a girl is plain stupid if she doesn't give a guy with so many good qualities a chance.
I am going to assume that you haven't asked her to do something yet. DO IT. Make it casual, like eating at a school restaurant or going to a movie. You don't have to make a move or anything, but try and see if she'll hang out like that. If she does, rest assured that you're one step closer to pushing Douche Lord straight out the way.

Best of luck!

--Dr. O.

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