The Phrase of Doom

There is a phrase often used, and it has become all too accepted a phrase. I’m focusing on my experience with members of the Arab American community, who have lost the ways of our grandparents, who built wholesome families and shared their lives together. When men and women are looking to get married, they often say things about an imagined potential mate like, “They have to be physically attractive”. Or things like, “I want a good girl, who is religious, comes from a good family, and is physically attractive”. The physical attractive comments are thrown on there, very matter of factly. I understand human biology and attraction, but nonetheless, my ‘reason’ makes me question these statements made by those looking for spouses. First of all, these are deeply offensive statements to make when you may have what some would consider ‘less than stellar’ looks or come from a family with sisters who are not 10/10 models. Flip these statements around on your own family, and see how you feel if someone made such nonchalant comments about a family member when they see their picture. “Oh that looks like a sweet girl, but I have to be physically attracted”. If you have unattainable standards, do not seek help in finding your 10/10 bombshell, good housewife material. Go sift through endless Instagram profiles instead.

I do not like to play matchmaker because I get offended by rude, matter of fact, nonchalant insults toward wonderful people under the guise of “I’m not physically attracted”. I know I am going to have people who disagree with my sentiments, thinking I’m attacking human biological affinity toward physical attraction. I’m not. I’m attacking the mindless cliché statements that are obviously insulting, but come across as pretend truth. If people are serious about marriage, about having lasting relationships, they must drop down their expectations from unattainable gods and goddesses, to human expectations. A girl or guy may have average looks and impeccable manners. Instead of focusing on physical attraction and sexual fantasies, maybe our idea of romanticism should shift toward focusing on family building, sharing our struggles with someone who is willing to share those struggles with us, and growing in the process of attaining a relationship.

If you are talking to a guy or a girl, for the purpose of finding a soulmate, I give you one bit of caution. If that person says sometime like “I have to be physically attracted to my spouse”, make a mental note that this may be a warning sign, and that the longevity of such a relationship is in question. Even if both of you are somehow 10’s (whatever that means), in 15 or 20 years, neither of you will be at that level of physical attraction. We all tend to look the same once we reach middle age, and that is something to keep in mind. Focus more on shared interests, hobbies, vision, as I think those are the essentials for emotional and deep attraction. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone says, “I have to be emotionally committed to whoever I marry”?

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