I once knew somebody beautiful. Blonde, model-girl slim and with a face any film star would envy. Oh, yes, Mary* attracted the boys all right! Like moths to a candle, flies to a jam jar. The problem was, despite her many besotted admirers, few stuck around beyond the first couple of dates.
Was she the proverbial dumb blonde? Hardly. Not only was Mary an absolute stunner but she was intelligent, well educated and articulate. So what went wrong? What was lacking?
Sadly, being in a beautiful package can be a curse for some. If you’re pretty, unlike many of your peers, you may actually get asked out by that amazing first Crush. (You know the one – the Justin Bieber lookalike, the Bandbox Beau who never scuffs his shoes.) Nothing wrong with that, of course, providing you’ve had time to develop a Personality. To have formed your own ideas, have a few goals to aim for. Because even though some boys go purely for looks, their interest may be purely physical and rarely for the long term.
A well-balanced young man, on the other hand, wants a girl to contribute something to the relationship, someone with convictions and a healthy view of her strengths and weaknesses. Adam* remarks: “I like a girl with her own opinions, who’s confident enough to express herself and...well...just be herself.”
James* admits to being drawn to pretty girls but quickly cools off if a girl has no worthwhile goals. “If she knows where she’s going in life, what she wants to do, that makes her very attractive – especially if she’s achieved some goals already.”
And, when searching for a solid relationship, mature young men aren’t swayed by simpering, giggly girls, however beautiful, who hang on his every word. “I appreciate girls who are honest, respectful and don’t always agree with me,” says Kieron*. “Girls who just say what they think I want to hear are a real turn-off.”
In a survey involving hundreds of young men, 60 percent said they valued respect more than love, while 70 percent of older men were of the same mind.
Respecting your boyfriend doesn’t mean giving in all the time, agreeing with everything he says. After all, you have a right to your own views. But even when you don’t see eye to eye, it’s the WAY you express yourself that counts. Some girls can be so opinionated they’ll constantly contradict, correct or belittle their dates, putting the relationship on a fast-track to nowhere.
If – sorry WHEN – you disagree, acknowledge your friend’s viewpoint, commend him on his insight, then forward your own view in a calm, reasoned manner. Instead of saying, “That’s rubbish!” for example, try this approach: “I understand where you’re coming from and can see you’ve considered the matter, but have you thought of this angle....?” Give the lad his dignity.
Trust me girls – if you can see up it, down it, or through it, leave it on the hanger (or handkerchief drawer!) ready for your next beach holiday. Boys may ogle Page 3 pin-ups but rarely want their own pretty woman to dress like a streetwalker! And, unless you’re off to muck out stables or decorate a house together, forego those comfy frayed jeans and holey jumpers.
Well-arranged, modest and stylish is the key. Make sure your clothes are neat and clean, your hair’s shiny, you’re nicely made-up and you look as though you’ve made an effort.
When two people marry they become ‘one flesh’ and each may need to give up some of the freedom they had as singletons. But by the time to they sign the register, they’re already deeply, deeply committed to each other.
But after a couple of dates? When you’ve only been out together for a few weeks or months, being clingy and possessive will only repel the object of your affections. Early in the relationship you simply don’t have the RIGHT to demand his attention 24/7 or to know how he spends every moment away from you. In contrast, your recognising his right to have other friends and to pursue his favourite sports and hobbies will intrigue him.
According to Tim*, being constantly texted is a big turn-off. “If a girl I’ve only just met keeps texting, wanting to know who I’m with all the time, especially any girls, then I see that as a serious warning.”
And remember, if he can’t be trusted, then why would you want him anyway?
A pretty girl exerts a lot of power over the opposite sex, which can be used positively or negatively. Let’s face it, it’s flattering when men pay you attention but, if you test your attractiveness on every male you meet, you’ll soon be known as a flirt.
Many boys agree that a girl who frequently touches them when talking or is always glancing at other passing males is hardly girlfriend material.
Having no values
We live in a world where sex is on tap and values such as loyalty, endurance, duty, respect, self-sacrifice and modesty – all the qualities needed for a successful marriage – are often discounted.
But with everything in life there’s a code of behaviour, a standard below which we should never allow ourselves to sink. Girls who are prepared to ignore this truth in pursuit of a boy, do so at their peril. Because not matter what you do, or how beautiful you are, there will always be boys who just don’t like you, which can be just as well.
Being liked and fancied are two very different things and it’s important to decide just which category you want to be in. A passing fancy? A one-night stand? Or a young woman of integrity who really values herself.
If you want to be liked - genuinely liked and respected - then you're sure to attract the right kind of boy.
Look out for my next blog “Dos and don’ts of dating – what turns girls off boys”