Pretty Is Not Enough

Either love makes you a little bit crazy or you have to be a little crazy to fall in love.

Either love makes you a little bit crazy or you have to be a little crazy to fall in love.

A few weeks ago, my friend Ryan traveled to Brooklyn to hang out for the weekend. In his 40s, Ryan is undoubtably a great catch--successful, gregarious, handsome, down-to-earth and quick-witted. While Ryan dates beautiful women in the high-society set where he works in New York and California, his interactions lack longevity. He laments that many of the women he meets are “boring.”

“Why is it so hard to find a woman who reads cool books? Or has strong opinions? I would love to date someone who is a little weird, as long as she is different.”

His complaint is shared by younger men, as well.  Take, for example, the instant bond I shared with Wayne--the cute, funny and affable sales assistant from the Apple Store.  He showed me a picture of his latest crush--a beautiful young woman in her 20s.  He had invited her to play Connect 4 and eat sandwiches in Central Park.  Back in my day, this level of creativity and quirkiness would have gotten him quickly labeled as a "10" (a title that I maintain he still deserves).  Unfortunately, his crush found the idea so uninspired she could not even muster a response.  No loss, I assured him.  A woman lacking this much personality and sass would not hold his interest long-term.  Onwards and upwards, I begged him.   

Society and mainstream media have spread the message that being beautiful is enough.  While looks may draw a man in, other attributes—personality, intelligence, and spunk—are usually what keeps him around.

I decided to take inventory of the women I know whose boyfriends worship the ground they walk upon.   Universally, these women are interesting and unafraid to stand out from the crowd. A few ways they inspire: 

#1. They have their own interests.  

A girlfriend of mine is unapologetic in her love of Phil Collins.  She’ll break out in “Sussudio” lyrics at a moment’s notice.  Another girlfriend leaves her boyfriend for weeks at a time to go mountain climbing around the world.  These women rarely gossip or talk about the latest gluten-free diet.   They are too busy milking life for all it's worth and they rarely lack for a funny comment or insight based on their own experiences.    

#2. They are independent.  

Mentally healthy people realize that clingy partners are suffocating.  Interesting women understand that men enhance their lives, but are not their lives.  These women keep their social calendars full and have separate careers, interests, and bank accounts.  

#3.  They are “yes” people.  

These women do not lack spine.  They do not agree to every one of their significant other’s whims.  But, they are overwhelmingly agreeable.  They welcome new experiences and opportunities with a sense of wonder and adventure.  They try Ethiopian food.  They agree to see an opera.  They drive with the top down on a warm summer day even if their hair gets messed up.    

#4.  They are feisty.  

A friend of mine used to date a woman who would clean his house NAKED after sex.  When he told his girlfriend this story, she looked him dead in the eye and said, “That’s never happening with me. So, don’t even think about it.”  I will let you guess which is the woman he has fallen head-over-heels in love.   

#5. They are not afraid to be different from the rest.

In a world that is quickly swept up by trends—what to wear, how to eat, when to marry—the truly spectacular aren’t afraid to stand true to their own opinions and convictions.  These women swim against the current and live their lives on their own terms.