Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Isla Fisher and Sacha Baron Cohen. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell. All of these successful celebrity marriages have one thing in common that makes them stand the test of time in Hollywood: The women are all more attractive than their significant others.
I firmly believe this is the key to successful relationships.
If you don’t believe me, just ask Beyoncé. The woman is a goddess among mere mortals, and yet she’s happily married to Jay-Z. At first glance, it doesn’t make sense. Anyone with air in her lungs would give up her firstborn to stare in Beyoncé’s general direction, and she marries a guy who is average on his best day? Wise move to lock that down, Jay-Z. You really couldn’t do any better. But it all goes to show that the most successful relationships are when the woman is more attractive the man, or the woman is the “settler” and the man is the “reacher.”
In case you’re unfamiliar with those terms, a reacher is someone who dates above his or her arbitrary “level of attractiveness” on a scale from one to ten, and a settler is someone who settles for a partner who is less attractive than he or she is. Let’s say a guy is a conservative seven on a scale from one to ten (not mind-blowingly attractive, but not completely unfortunate-looking, either) and he’s dating a smoking hot nine. The guy is the reacher and the girl is the settler, and I’m willing to bet that their relationship lasts longer than Kim Kardashian’s marriage to Kris Humphries.
Some people say, “looks don’t matter, it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” and those people are boners, but they’re also right. Looks don’t matter. If you go to bed with a ten, the only way to go from there is down. They will disappoint you eventually, because by definition, a ten is perfection, and perfection doesn’t exist.
No one thinks he or she is perfect, but people know whether or not they’re good-looking. You would never say it out loud, but you know. It’s one of those inherent truths, like how you know Kylie Jenner’s boobs are fake. This applies to men, too, and men who are less conventionally attractive have to make up for this deficit in other ways, like a chubby Jonah Hill being laugh-out-loud funny.
Conventionally attractive women know they’re pretty. “So you agree, you think you’re really pretty?” Actually, yes. They’ve heard every line, they know all the tricks, and they aren’t easily fooled. To get the attention of the hot girl, you have to be different. You have to pique her curiosity, and it’s more of a challenge, which guys love. Girls love it because we love to see men squirm, and the fact that you can shut him down immediately, but choose not to, is exciting. There’s also less pressure, because guys know going into it that they might get shot down, so when they don’t, it’s a pleasant surprise and it makes everyone happy.
These relationships last because they aren’t about looks, they’re about seeing something real beneath the surface. The woman has to believe that the man has something of greater value than physical attractiveness, or she won’t give him a chance. The man has to believe that the woman is attracted to him on a deeper level than just physical, which makes it real.
Makes sense, right?
There’s a catch. Men have to be the reacher and women have to be the settler, or it just won’t work. Women are their own worst critics, and the worst thing they can do is compare themselves to other women. A woman has to be the best option her partner can get, or she won’t feel secure in the relationship. If an average-looking woman is dating a Ryan Gosling lookalike, the relationship is doomed from the start. Jealousy infects the relationship and will eventually be the reason for the breakup. She’ll always be wondering if he’s considering other options, and that thought alone is worse for a relationship than an STD. Even if a woman is an eight on a good day, she’ll feel like a six if her boyfriend is a nine.
It took some time to come to terms with the fact that I most likely won’t marry the Liam Hemsworth or Zac Efron type. The truth is, I probably couldn’t handle it. Sometimes when I look in the mirror in the mornings when I forget to take off my makeup or go to sleep with wet hair, I actually scare myself. If I woke up next to Zac Efron looking like that, I would probably lock myself in the bathroom for the next two hours ferociously applying makeup and ruining my hair with styling products until I looked like a real human again. There’s none of that pressure waking up next to the Gordo you met at the bar last night, as opposed to the Ethan Craft you could’ve gone home with if you were having a really good hair day. Ethan Craft was hot, but he had nothing else to offer, so Lizzie got bored. I’d rather be with the good guy with a personality than the hot guy who relies solely on his hotness any day of the week. My advice is to be with someone who makes you feel like you’re his Beyoncé, and the relationship can only get better from there..
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