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Help for the Pretty Woman
Why lasting, Loving Relationships can Be a Special Challenge

Pretty women outline graphic Get pretty, printable PDF

Everyone likes pretty women, right? Women admire other women who dress in style, and look feminine and beautiful. Men are often captivated by or even obsessed with attractive  women.

Pretty women attract attention. Today’s entertainment and advertising exploit this to the hilt. Almost everything is sold with a pretty woman somewhere in the picture.

So why do pretty, especially sexy women, often have a much more difficult experience than other women finding good men and establishing long-term relationships?

What? A more difficult time? Aren’t pretty women more respected by both men and women? Don’t they have a much easier time getting good friends, good grades, good jobs and other important opportunities? Can’t they get almost any man they want?

The answer is “yes”, and “no”.

It is true that beautiful women receive much more respect and opportunity than their less attractive counterparts. It is true that they find it very easy to enter into relationships. But when it comes to successful, lasting relationships—that is a different story.

This writing will not attempt to offer scientific proof for these statements—because the matter does not lend itself well to scientific study. The stated reasons and the real reasons why people do what they do are often different. True reasons are often uncomplimentary and sometimes illegal.

So this writing is based upon the author’s life experience, wide reading, and life-long desire to understand the nature of relationships and how they can be improved. One has to seek out those times in life where people are willing to look at their life honestly and speak or write about it to others. Let us start with these quotes which came from beautiful women at such times in life:

Jane: “I remember the grilling they gave everyone to get into the accelerated program at college. When they came to me, they just smiled and signed me up.”

Julie: “ I got a job working for the stage crew, even though I didn’t know much about it and lots of other applicants did. They hired me because I had a great body. I couldn’t even lift some of the big lights, but the other guys loved to watch me work and were more than willing to help me out.”

Tina: “When I was out with the crowd, I never had to pay for my own drinks and rarely my own meals. I never had to give myself away, I just smiled and said “thank you”. It was because I was really tiny and really cute.”

Florence : “Friends always came so easy, both men and women. Lots of guys would gravitate my way, stare at me and try to get my attention. My girlfriends that hung with me were glad to talk to some of these guys. Lots of relationships, even several marriages, got started that way.”

We could fill this article full of the short-term benefits of charm and beauty. It is undeniable. But long-term happiness is the subject here. The Internet has made it easy for almost anyone to find out what happened to the people in one’s hometown, high school or college. Who married who; and for how long? Did the pretty women find the best husbands, stay married and have happy families? Or did the Plain-Janes more often achieve these worthy goals?

Why Do I Want a Long-Term Relationship?

Today, a capable woman can easily support herself; a pretty woman can attract a man whenever she wants. So why does a capable, pretty woman need to be tied down by a long-term relationship?

The answer is, “for her future!” She may not feel like she needs a marriage or children now, but wait ten to fifteen years. She will almost certainly want it then. And she will almost certainly realize then, that most of the men her age who will make good husbands and fathers have long ago married someone else. When she is finally thinking about a marriage and family, those less-capable, less-pretty classmates of hers are watching their own children perform in sports, plays and band concerts.

Lori Gottlieb has been a feminist and writer for all her adult life. She went as far as having her own child while single from donated sperm. But she shook up the world with her March 2008 article in the Atlantic Magazine: Mary Him, The case for settling for Mr. Good Enough. She now has a best-selling book by the same title (ISBN 0525951512) and plans to be married to Stefan Miller on March 20, 2012.

But she went through her younger life thinking that she did not need men, and that if she was going to marry, it was going to be a “10” man. Looking back, she realized she met some “8”s that maybe she should have married while she was young. From her article:

Of course, we’d be loath to admit it in this day and age, but ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life, and she probably won’t tell you it’s a better career or a smaller waistline or a bigger apartment. Most likely, she’ll say that what she really wants is a husband (and, by extension, a child).

To the outside world, of course, we still call ourselves feminists and insist—vehemently, even—that we’re independent and self-sufficient and don’t believe in any of that damsel-in-distress stuff, but in reality, we aren’t fish who can do without a bicycle, we’re women who want a traditional family. And despite growing up in an era when the centuries-old mantra to get married young was finally (and, it seemed, refreshingly) replaced by encouragement to postpone that milestone in pursuit of high ideals (education! career! but also true love!), every woman I know—no matter how successful and ambitious, how financially and emotionally secure—feels panic, occasionally coupled with desperation, if she hits 30 and finds herself unmarried.

Oh, I know—I’m guessing there are single 30-year-old women reading this right now who will be writing letters to the editor to say that the women I know aren’t widely representative, that I’ve been co-opted by the cult of the feminist backlash, and basically, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. And all I can say is, if you say you’re not worried, either you’re in denial or you’re lying. In fact, take a good look in the mirror and try to convince yourself that you’re not worried, because you’ll see how silly your face looks when you’re being disingenuous.

(www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/marry-him/6651/)

Sadly, lovely ladies have many stories like these:

Tanya: “ Why does every guy I meet turn out to be a jerk? Relationships come easy, but they never last more than three months.”

Karla: “ Ever since I was 13 I always had all the attention I could handle—lots of guys say they ‘would do anything for me’. I was always more attracted to one who could ‘take me or leave me’. That attraction turned into anger since one night, when I was particularly vulnerable: he ‘took me’ and now he ‘left me’—to raise our baby, alone. I am still angry at him, and men in general.”

Mary: “Throughout college, I was used to avoiding guys who were mostly interested in my body. After I started my first job, the owner of the company showed interest in me and seemed different than the others. For over a year he acted respectfully, treated me well and even attended my church. He agreed that intimacy belonged in marriage. But after marriage he started treating me like a personal plaything. I couldn’t believe it.”

This article will devote the rest of its space to explaining why this problem occurs, and what pretty women can do to prevent it from happening to them.

What Do We Mean by “Pretty Woman”?

People, especially women, are complex and not easy to classify. Some women would probably be considered pretty by almost everyone, some by just a certain percentage of the population, some by very few. Some women are beautiful in an artistic sort of way, some in a natural sort of way, some in a refined way, some in a sexual way, and even more ways beyond that.

A woman’s actions have much to do with her perceived beauty and with her overall attraction to men. Some women are always talking or moving in ways that attract attention to themselves—while others are the opposite. Some women seem to enjoy being in close proximity to others, even touching them, while others do not. And without trying to describe how, some women frequently portray the image that they are always in need of a boyfriend or sex partner, and some do not.

Almost all of the actions above are continuums—they are not “yes” or “no” but things that one might rate on a scale of 1 to 10. More factors exist than we can describe—indeed the entire issue is beyond description.

The point is this: women all have a certain mix of beauty, personality, action and sexual attraction that has a direct and immediate effect on the rest of the people in their lives. One might describe it as a first impression feminine attraction. While the mix of characteristics and level of attraction to any individual may vary, some women are substantially more attractive to everyone—it is a major part of who they are—than others. For the sake of this article, we will simply refer to it as physical attraction, beauty or simply, being pretty.

Relationship is Much More than Appearance

Physical attraction is an important part of any lasting relationship, but it is only one part. A lasting, successful relationship needs all of these elements:

  1. mutual physical attraction
  2. friendship—enjoy each others company
  3. caring for other person’s basic needs
  4. communication—each must hear the other
  5. compatible long-term goals
  6. ability to work and live together
  7. true love

Any one of these seven elements can be the dominant force that begins a relationship. But eventually the others must come into play. No two relationships are alike. Even in the best long-term relationships, some elements will be stronger than others—but they will all still be there.

Many women will rightly ask, “Just because I am very attractive, does it mean that I am less capable of friendship, care, communication, love, etc? Why can’t I and the man in my life excel at all of them?”

Everyone should try to excel at all of them. But that is easier said than done. Many beautiful women think they are friendly, caring, and  good communicators who could share their life and long-term goals with a man whom they truly love. But in reality some of these women are very selfish and primarily excel at looking good. Because of their good-looks most men—and some women—have not objected to what is basically a selfish personality.

The only help this article can offer is to encourage you to ask a true friend (someone who is honest, not someone who is always nice to you) how they think you rate in these seven categories. If they tell you that you are lacking in one or more of those areas, it would be good for you to work harder on those things, and back off on #1.

But improving yourself is only part of the story, the understanding of men is another part. Most women naturally tend to think things out better when they look for a man. Most women will not be attracted to a man who only looks good, but has few other redeeming qualities. But men have a natural, instinctive reaction to be attracted to a beautiful, well-formed woman. Many only think about the other elements as they are necessary to attract the “hottie” they are looking for.

Disclosure and Development, or Deception?

So it is the prettiest, especially the sexiest women, who have the greatest chance of attracting men who are primarily interested in appearance and sex—not in the women themselves.

“But we know that,” answers nearly every pretty woman. “That is why we are very selective in whom we pay attention to.” |

“And we know that”, answers nearly every man looking for a pretty woman. “That is why we clean up, dress up, talk and listen to you, buy you gifts, take you where you want to go and treat you like you want to be treated. We may or may not enjoy some of that stuff, but all the men’s advice we read tells us that is the way to get closer to that beautiful body we desire.”

The danger is fake relationships rather than real relationships.

Building real relationships should be about disclosure and development. Disclosure is letting the other person see what you are really like—and accepting the same from them. Development is understanding where you lack, and then growing and improving. When you are out hiking on a hot day with only one water bottle left, the selfish person drinks it; the developing person shares it or gives it all to the other who needs it more. The person who talks too much learns to talk less; the person who talks too little learns to talk more. These and thousands of other points should occur in relationships that develop the participants.

But too often, relationships are based on deception—one person trying to convince the other that they are something that they are not. Sure, some women try to deceive men. (If you are one, stop it, or you will eventually suffer the consequences of this mistake.) But you need to realize that many men are also trying to deceive you. And while exceptional outward appearance may catch a few good men who otherwise might not be attracted, it certainly attracts a host of other men interested primarily in appearance who will try to deceive you into thinking they are outstanding men.

Even so, some women are very good at detecting the deceivers. Some get a charge out of doing it. Some men are very good at avoiding detection. A truly sophisticated person is one who knows just what to say to get past the other’s means of detecting deception, whatever that may be. They learn to watch for signs to determine whether or not they are being believed. The process can be complex beyond belief. Men have said things like, “I will tell her “thing 1”, because she will think I meant “thing 2”, which will cause her to ask my friend “thing 3”, and since I’ve told my friend “thing 4”, he will probably tell her “thing 5” which she will interpret as “thing 6”, which will cause her to do “thing 7” which is what I wanted her to do in the first place.

So how do you want to spend your time interacting with men? Getting to know them and helping them personally grow—while becoming a better person yourself? Or do you hope to get better and better at detecting more and more sophisticated phonies? And do you want to find yourself someday in your thirties or forties, having mastered the art of finding a good man, only to realize that nearly all of the good men have been taken years ago, and that you are not nearly as attractive as you were a decade or so before now?

Getting the Right Mix

The obvious solution is for women to learn to get the right mix of all the elements required for a relationship. They need to control their amount of physical attractiveness so that they receive an acceptable amount of the right kind of attention from men. If nearly every man who pays attention to them is primarily attracted by their appearance, they are going to have trouble. Men should also like them because they are friendly, because they care for others, because they can talk about important things together, because they can do the stuff of modern survival: holding a job, balancing a checking account, making wise purchases, cooking a meal, keeping their home clean, etc.

Sure, those things may be more difficult and less exciting than being a beautiful “babe”, but it is all about the kind of relationship you hope to build.

A Tale of Rosie’s Restaurant

Women can learn a lesson from A Tale of Rosie’s Restaurant.

Rosie owned a restaurant on a country road. She employed all ten of the people who lived nearby, though mostly part-time. A passing traveler once said, “You have a great place here: good food, good service, reasonable prices, and a clean and nice building. But your room is never full. What you need is advertising, so that more people will know about this place and eat here.”

So Rosie took one of her employees off of her normal work and told her to spend her time advertising the restaurant. She made a website, brochures and signs leading people to Rosie’s Restaurant, telling them the truthful things that the passing travel said. Business increased greatly, and all of the employees were able to work as much as they wanted and Rosie made a good profit. It was a blessing for everyone.

Then Rosie got the idea to devote half of her employees to advertising, hoping to increase business even more. She did increase business and revenue for a while, but quickly found herself unable to adequately serve the customers she already had. The work was done hurriedly, and was not as good as it used to be. Lots more new customers came, but almost all were disappointed. The advertising staff responded by making even bolder and greater claims than they did before. Even more came, but most left before they sat down, because of the crowding or the obviously poor service. Wrong orders had to be redone; “no-tips” became commonplace, and government inspectors found reason for numerous fines. Profit sank and nobody was as happy as they were before.

Attraction is Advertisement,
Relationships are the Real Deal

The first lesson is that you are like Rosie’s Restaurant, and your appearance is your advertising department. If everything else is right in your life, you can be a success even if you pay little attention to your appearance—as in the first part of the story. The people whom you do get to know will like you because you are you.

In the next part of the story, we find a little truthful advertising goes a long way. A woman that strives to naturally make herself look good will certainly attract more attention—bringing her into contact with people that she otherwise might not see. And when these additional men find substance there—real relationship qualities other than appearance—it is all the better. These are the kind of men your good looks were meant to attract.

The last part of the story shows what happens with too much advertising—especially when the promises cannot be delivered. Keep in mind that today’s world is full of too much advertising, most containing promises which cannot be delivered. This is what happens with so many pretty women. So much emphasis is placed on appearance, that not enough is placed on the other elements of long-lasting relationships. After a while, some women realize that they are making a mistake, and decide to improve the other aspects of their personality and back off from their “super attractive” appearance.

Others, like Rosie’s advertisers above, decide to crank up the advertising even more. Women acquire clothing and massive makeup or have all kinds of medical alternations to artificially enhance their sexual appeal. It is sad that women can be so deceived. Some go as far as dressing like, acting like or even becoming prostitutes.

Nearly all of these women really want a man that will really love them. But they are openly admitting they are willing to settle for a man who does not love them for what they are, but loves them for their padding, silicone or other stuff they bought somewhere. Women desperately need to know that they are all right and can be loved without an artificial “perfect” image.

The main lesson from Rosie’s Restaurant: appearance, like advertisement, is helpful when used truthfully in the right proportion. To put it on a personal level, have you ever been excited by buying something that an ad convinced you was great, but you were later disappointed to find out was junk? That happens in relationships all the time. Don’t be the false advertiser, don’t be the junk, and don’t fall for some man’s false advertisement of his junk.

The Second lesson we can learn is “avoid using your appearance for economic benefit that you know is not leading to a good relationship.” Beware of the man who buys your drinks for free, who pays your bills, who sells to you below cost, who hires you for a job when you are not qualified, etc. While some men claim they don’t want anything in exchange, men generally want some kind of return on their investment, even though they may wait quite a while for it. This writer has seen it happen many times: men offer something freely, then later demand money, work, sex or other things in return.

Also, other men—with whom you may really want to become acquainted—may see the economic benefits you are receiving, and avoid you because they assume there is a relationship going along with them. Even if he knows no relationship is involved, a good man will usually decide to avoid a woman who trades her charm for commodities.

Making it Work for you

If all you want in life is a series of exciting but shallow and insincere relationships, then look as sexy as you can—and you will get those kinds of relationships as long as you are healthy enough to maintain that image. Women who have lived this way for years do agree that it is a downhill slope: the older one is, the less attractive one is, the less anyone cares. You start at your peak, and you go downhill. (Please see the box at the beginning of this article.)

It is good to be a beautiful, attractive, pretty, even sexy, woman. The key is to use those qualities to bolster a relationship that is already good for the right reasons, not to use them to start insincere relationships or to simply get what you want in life.

Why does What I'm Doing Feel So Natural?"

Today's TV, movies, magazines and Internet, loudly proclaim the excitement of the young, attractive single life. They say, "go places, meet cool people, have fun, spend money, get stuff, take stuff, do what you want with whoever you want and don't think about tomorrow". This actually appears to work for some people for a while.

More importantly, to the marketing executives, it sells a lot of products right now. When individual people, like you and me, experience the heartaches and difficulties of life in the fast lane, our media exposure ends-they will move on to market through another young, excitable, exciting person. The marketing cameras don't go to alcohol and drug recovery places, the hospitals, the counselor's offices and the many lonely rooms where jilted people are crying.

People everywhere need the courage to ask, "What is good for me?" and "How can I treat my friends like I want to be treated?" These are the things that make a good life for ourselves and those we love. We need to stop walking down the commercial path designed to enrich the wealthy that takes away the long-term love and companionship that is rightfully ours.

We cannot write a description of the kind of clothes, makeup, jewelry, etc. that a woman should employ to attract the right men. How you handle yourself is equally important. Women willing to shake and show off their stuff, or thrust it upon others will also certainly get a lot of attention—but not the attention they want. Each woman is unique, and what each one needs to do varies based upon their own natural beauty, what they wear, how they act, their past reputation, their social environment, and what they hope to achieve in life. Each woman must deal with her appearance and actions according to the reactions they produce.

Our modern media declares beauty and sex appeal to be virtually always good and the more attention one can have in these areas, the better. This article is telling you to manage these things for your long term benefit, and the benefit of the man with whom you will have lasting love. Many women do not realize that some kind, caring, good looking and capable men simply avoid all glamorous women—because they have found so many phonies there.

The most beautiful women usually have to do the most to tone down their appearance. Do what you need to do to receive less flirting, sexual comments and insincere attention. If you want to be analytical, count how many of those things are happening to you each week now, and then count again after you change your appearance.

Most women instinctively know what to do. The most difficult thing is deciding to do it for a prolonged period of time. The quantity of attention you receive will go down, and you will have to wait a while for the quality of the attention you receive to go up. There is no need to make yourself ugly, but one can show less skin, cover up some shape, find colors and patters that don’t scream “here am I, look at me!”

This writer knew a competent highly attractive female college graduate who qualified for a job as a system’s analyst. She was on a team of analysts which would meet with other company’s representatives to determine the needs for their computer systems. When she started, most of the men would tell her how nice she looked and ask her to make coffee or copies for them. They would almost never talk to her about the project at hand. So she changed her hair style, adopted a more conservative wardrobe, and deliberately wore her glasses at meetings—she was then able to work effectively as part of the system’s analyst team. While some people may say, “that is unfair”, this woman’s systems analyst skills led her to see that she could not change the way men think, but she could change the way she dressed—and she wanted to become an experienced systems’ analyst, not a corporate bimbo. (As a side note, she also found a husband who really loves her.)

The crowd that you run with affects what you need to do. It is easy for women to want to strive to be the most attractive of all their friends in the hopes that they will at least come out near the top. Unfortunately, that puts them right where the insincere attention is. Rather than the shortest shorts, the tightest top, or the most this or that, the best place to be is on the conservative side of what is considered acceptable. You do not need to look like you are from another culture or another century. But you can look in style, respectable, feminine, yet conservative.

In other words, stop competing with other women to look the most attractive. It will save you a lot of time and stress and money. Look like the person you are, which is good enough, and develop the other relationship qualities which will set you above the rest.

If your appearance is already attracting mostly people who could be good friends and, in general, the kind of men with whom you might consider a lasting relationship, keep doing what you are doing.

While it is a minority, this writer has known kind and competent women who were not blessed with a lot of natural beauty, who were attracting almost no romantic attention from men. Sure, they had friends, both men and women, but the guys just treated them like friends, almost not noticing that they were female. Some realize that they would have to develop their personality and other traits so they would become successful. And it works. This writer remembers the story of one young woman who only met one man who was ever interested in her, but they have “lived happily ever after” After hearing all of the difficulties some of her more beautiful friends went through, she counts her life a blessing.

For women who are otherwise ready for a relationship, but struggle with appearance issues and go months without gaining any men’s attention, there is a time to consciously make themselves more attractive to good men. But these cases are indeed rare. Before you say “that’s me”, ask some friends that know you well, and see if they agree.

There will never be a specific recipe for success for anyone. A woman has to continually ask the question: “Is my style producing mostly excitement and frivolous attention—or is producing the quality relationships that I want?” You reap what you sow. And you are playing the high stakes game of real life—with only one life to live and no chance to repeat a level. We get one year to live each year of our life, and no more. The best relationships last a life time. Put your effort where it counts.

A Time for Everything

Some women rightly ask, “Why do we have the ability to be stunning, overwhelming and irresistible if we are never supposed to use it?” The answer is, there is a time and a place for it, but that place is not every day. It is not good for you or good for the men around you. It is like a man asking, “Why can’t I have sex with every woman I’m attracted to?” The answer is not all the women want it and it is not good for them and not good for you.

When all the elements of a good relationship (see 1st subhead) are well established and your man needs a feminine push in the right direction, that is the time to become stunning, overwhelming and irresistible. Most women agree with this. But in a society that overemphasizes appearance and sexuality, most women are trying to use these techniques long before they should—and they do them harm and not good. They actually prevent the rest of a good relationship from forming. A lot of good men have had “irresistible” women thrown at them for so long they are either bored with it or sick of it.

In a world where most single young women are trying to look and act sexy—even promiscuous, one of the more effective things an attractive woman can do to meet good quality men is to stand out from the crowd and avoid that provocative look. The conservative, yet feminine, “I’m not trying to give-myself away” look is far more interesting and attractive to good men.

So as you sift your way through society, meeting good men, learning about what you like, learning about what they like, becoming the person that they will like, remember these two principles:

1.   Save your very best look for the man whom you have grown to know well and whom you want to keep.

Text Box: By Norman Scott Edwards, Church Bible Teaching Ministry
		PO Box 204, Port Austin, Michigan 48467-0204
		989-738-7700, info@cbtm.info
		2.   Make sure that, somewhere along the way, you spend time with each other when you are not “fixed up”, but when you just woke up, are working outside or doing house-cleaning. If you are to have a life together, he is going to see that look now and then, and you need to know that he loves you like that.

“If I don’t look good, who am I?”

Even after seeing the value of conservative appearance, women still ask, “If I don’t look my best, who am I?” The answer is that each person is made in the image of God and that they are important to Him, whether they look good or not. We all have unique personalities and abilities. A successful relationship cannot be based upon beauty alone. We all have much to contribute to our families and friends. A woman whose life has centered around her appearance desperately needs to change it. She needs to find out what she is good at, or can be good at (we are all different) and pursue that part of her life.

In many ways, escaping the “beauty trap” is like kicking a drug or alcohol habit. It is difficult to stop; it is easy to go back there. Friends who are still in that trap themselves will not be an encouragement—they will want you to join them again. The pretty woman will certainly miss the charge that used to come from the comments, sighs, whistles and other feedback related to her appearance. The number of positive interactions will be much less than the number former flirtations. But without pain, there is no gain.

There will be many wonderful surprises along the way. You may be somewhat amazed to find that people more often ask what you think about some important topic—and then listen to your answer. More people will open up to you in true friendship, telling you about themselves—the good and the bad—rather than just say whatever they think will impress you. You may be happy to find someone who cares about you, apart from your appearance and sexuality.

The Bible, a book of principles that has worked for many societies for many years, has a lot of good things to say about attraction

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the LORD will be greatly praised (Proverbs 31:30, NLT).

Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. (1 Peter 3:3-4, NLT).

"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.' And he said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together" (Matthew 19:4-6, NLT).          &