The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Relationships Happen: The single and shallow life

There’s a reason I’m still single. Yes, single. I’ve actually dated more than I’ve been in a serious relationship. Not being tied to a single significant other has its benefits, but also major downsides.

The thing is, I know exactly what the problem is, and I’ve been working to correct it for the longest time. It’s been more than difficult, though, because the problem is me.

Hear that guys? A girl admitting that she is the problem. Revel in it now because it won’t happen often, if ever again.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have the tendency to always go after the wrong guy.

I do a good job in staying away from guys with criminal records, married guys, guys with six toes on one foot and guys who are ax-wielding psychopaths.

No, instead I’m desperately attracted to the more run-of-the-mill type of guys.

The “emotionally unavailable” guy. The “not ready/looking for a seriously relationship” guy. The “let’s just be friends so you don’t hate me later” guy. Yup, I’ve encountered the best of them.

And even though they each had their own special relationship complex to live by, they all had one thing in common: I found them all very attractive.

Hello, my name is Kerstin, and I’m shallow. Or at least I used to be. I was the girl who went after the guy who possessed a not-so-compatible personality but was oh-so-cute.

My earliest memory of being in this type of situation was in, as with most of my first forays into “love,” high school. Back then I had no idea I was pushing aside a guy who I got along with very well for a guy who I felt looked better.

This continued when I began college four years ago and met a very attractive teacher’s aid. We’ll call him Kevin.

But before I continue the “Kevin story,” which spanned just about two years, I would like to explore the idea of attraction, offering some sort of explanation for my behavior.

It is my personal, strong belief that physical attraction is just as significant as compatibility between two people’s personalities.

If there isn’t that pull, that heat between two individuals then there’s nothing, right? Well, it may not be nothing, but certainly an important aspect of the relationship is lacking.

But what happens when a person forces themselves to base their decisions solely on physicality?

The truth is that people’s tastes differ, so what one person may find attractive may not be so for others. To the average person, this idea is very easy to follow, and they can usually go on and live happily ever after.

But I wouldn’t be writing this column if I followed this idea.

The truth is I don’t really have a type, at least I don’t think I do. Sure there are little things I’m attracted to in guys: certain hair types, eye colors and styles. But when it comes to overall packages, I’ve always let others dictate my type.

It was like I was always seeking approval from certain people in my life. “Oh, he’s definitely your type” became a phrase I needed to hear. And up until I heard it, I wouldn’t give a guy a serious chance.

This brings me back to my story with Kevin. The first time I saw him I was instantly attracted. Semi-tall, dark and handsome, his pageboy cap and black framed glasses definitely sealed the deal.

I knew my friends would approve, and he was so conventionally good looking that I didn’t think of much else. It didn’t matter that our schedules conflicted and didn’t allow us a lot of time together, or the fact that our conversations were intellectually minimal. I was blinded by his good looks.

For the next couple of years I kept trying to convince myself that we had a relationship based more on just physicality.

Don’t get me wrong, we did have our good times together. We made each other laugh and all that jazz, but I always knew in the back of my mind that something was missing.

Finally, I came to my senses and came to terms with what I’d been denying the entire time: What we had was not the relationship I was looking for or needed. It was all a façade.

I’ve come to realize that guys who I wouldn’t usually give a second glance to turn out to be the ones I usually get along with.

Questioning why that is so, I’ve concluded that perhaps when I am not distracted by a person’s looks then I see their real worthwhile qualities. A truly “duh” revelation, I know, but sometimes it takes mistakes to realize something so simple.

Basing relationships solely on obvious physical attraction is very dangerous, because a person will go into the situation with preconceived notions about what good looks may entail.

If I had learned this in the early stages of my adventures into the love game, maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t be single today.

Don’t be afraid to look around at the more subtle opportunities. It’s never easy for people, especially recovering shallow-holics like me, to break through their own insecurities. But, as an ongoing theme in my columns, it only takes giving that one chance.

Beauty, for the most part, really is skin deep. And remember, physical attraction doesn’t always lead to chemistry.

For those interested, I make it a point to talk to Kevin at least once every other month, just to catch up and see how he’s doing. And although I am completely over him, I still think he is oh so cute.

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