"LOOKS DON'T MATTER" — I THINK YOU'LL FIND THEY DO.
I pride myself on being honest so here goes. At some stage in life both men and women have been rejected because the rejectee decided they weren't physically attractive enough, whether it's something to do with facial features, height, figure, clothes, hair, etc. To pretend this doesn't happen is wishful thinking! It's not to say that personality isn't super important. It absolutely is! However, I feel that looks can get you in the door but personality keeps you there.
WE SAY A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, BUT WHY?
It's a fact that our brains are hardwired for visual content, we respond to visual data better than any other type of data. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual! So if we're visual beings by nature and apply this to the current dating landscape; which is vastly driven by social and technological changes (ie. social media, dating apps, video, etc.) I'd say we're living in an age where we're placing a significant amount of importance on appearances. A study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science, revealed that those with incredible personalities unfortunately don't always get ahead in the dating world. The researchers asked women between the ages 15 and 29 to select potential dates from a series of photographs attached to personality profiles. In summary, as long as a man was considered "attractive", the women took his personality traits into consideration. However, when a man was considered "unattractive", his personality traits were generally disregarded, even if they fell into the most desirable profile category. While the standard for attractiveness is different for everyone, I think it's a widely accepted truth that people who are physically attractive in a "conventional" way have an advantage when it comes to dating. Yes being stunningly good looking helps with initial impressions, although I think I speak for the majority when I say this particular aspect levels off very quickly. Have you ever dated or know of someone who sure as hell had the looks but as soon as they opened their mouth and showed their personality (or non-existent personality in some cases)... they instantly became unappealing? Worth adding that if you like or are with someone solely because they're beautiful, it's probably a superficial relationship... and you should probably just buy some art work!
I WANT THE WHOLE PACKAGE, NOT JUST THE WRAPPING
For me physical intimacy is a crucial part of relationships, of course there needs to be a level of attraction there — you can't have someone take their clothes off and your face is left in disgust. Nevertheless, appearances is just the tip of the iceberg and will bear less weight over the long term as other factors increase dramatically. Desirability and building real connections requires traits such as kindness, a sense of humour, intelligence, honesty, emotional availability, ambition and so on. At the end of the day it depends on what your goal is. For a person who's just looking for a one-night stand or a casual arrangement, I guess personality isn't all that important as these situations focus on pleasure more than anything... if that's good, you both win. However, when we're start thinking about life partners, I have no doubt that other qualities will start to matter.