Your ‘Looks’ & Your Love-Life


Let’s explore the relationship between how you look and your love-life. First, we should broaden the definition of  ‘looks’ to how you look on the outside and the on inside.

‘Looks’ are commonly thought of as how you’ve chosen to physically present yourself in the world. I’m going to ask you to stretch your usual way of thinking about ‘looks’ to include more of what a person presents about himself or herself.

Both the outside physical you and the inside psychological you communicate to the world how you want to present yourself and what you want other people to know about you. The ‘looks’ you present to the world are both psychological and physical.

Your love-life is obviously affected by how you ‘look’ on both of these levels. Let’s analyze this a bit further.

Your external physical looks are your physical representation of you. They make a statement about who you consider yourself to be as a physical expression of yourself, and they send a physical communication to others about the types of people you have chosen to associate with.

Your internal psychological looks are your psychological representation of you. Your psychological looks make a statement about who you consider yourself to be as a psychological expression of you, and they also send a psychological communication to others about the types of people you have chosen to associate with. The point is, both your body and your mind communicate what you feel about yourself and what you want other people to know about you.

Ideally, these two levels are in sync. If they are not then you are sending out a confused message about yourself into the world. That would obviously be a problem in your love-life. To make matters worse, you might be aware of one of these levels and what it’s communicating but not the other.

For example, your body could be sending out the kind of message about yourself and the people you want to attract that you have consciously chosen to send. You feel it’s what you consciously want in your love-life.

But what your mind is communicating about you and other people could be the opposite of what you want and you don’t know it. People usually shy away from confused messages. They pick up on some level that the two don’t go together and there might be a problem.

We’re all pretty used to the idea that we can craft what we want to physically look like as a self-expression and a message to others. What we are not used to is having to do the same thing as a psychological self-expression and message to others.

The importance of doing this in your love-life is pretty big. Once a potential lover gets past the physical looks (what attracted him or her), it’s the psychological looks that are going to make or break a potential romance.

I knew a man once whose extraordinary good looks got him noticed by most if not all the single women who laid eyes on him. Women were instantly attracted to this guy. The only problem was for a bunch of personal reasons he had contempt for women.

So a woman would feel the attraction and get up close to check him out. As soon as she got a sense of his negative psychological ‘looks’ she ran away. He was constantly complaining about being alone and blaming the various women he would meet. He had no awareness whatsoever for what he was doing to make this happen.

Here’s the problem. Physical looks are pretty simple. You just have to know what your chosen way of looking says about you and what it says to other people. You can choose to look any way you want to look and make whatever statement you want to make as a result of it. You’ll just have to deal with the consequences whatever they might be.

Your psychological looks are a bit more complicated. Since we all have a ‘true self’ inside, how you psychologically present yourself will either match up with your true self or not. In matters of love, if you can be your true self with a partner and he or she accepts and loves your true self, then what you look like psychologically is a match with how you really are.

In fact, I would go so far as to say, who you really are and what you want in your love-life should determine both your physical and psychological looks. Here’s the rule: Make yourself into the person you would want someone to fall in love with. If the person you have made yourself into is your true self, you can look forward to a really great love-life.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan

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Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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