Most of my boyfriends and my husband were knock-outs. Maybe I do not want a committed relationship? I’ve thought of that as well. My life is full of love. I just want to date. Is it low self-esteem? I’ve been working on that in Codependents Anonymous for years and I think I’ve raised my self-esteem considerably. I am an alpha woman, ENFJ (Myers Briggs) and an 8 (Enneagram). Is it that alpha men are often good-looking as well as powerful? I still attract insecure men who want a strong woman, but I cut them loose pretty quickly. I know you may go after me for being conceited, but I see that as simplistic. Good lookers want dating relationships with peers, I believe. But why? Thanks for your thoughts on this. — A Good-Looking 60-Year-Old
You’re over-thinking this. You’re attracted to “good lookers” because they’re aesthetically pleasing to you and most people enjoy what is aesthetically pleasing to them, whether it’s people or clothes or furniture or home decor. The “anthropological answer” about strong genes is a moot point not because you’re 60 and past procreating years, but because we don’t cease being attracted to what we find aesthetically-pleasing if/when we don’t want children! And, look, there’s nothing wrong with being attracted to good lookers, or even in pursuing them exclusively (why would you pursue someone you aren’t attracted to, right?). The problem is when you prioritize good looks above everything else or when it’s the only thing you prioritize when looking for someone to date. People aren’t furniture, after all (or clothes or home decor, for that matter), but even the quality of those things is measured by much more than just their appearance. What materials are they made from? Are they environmentally-friendly? Are they made to last? Do they fit your (life)style? Are they practical? They all bring other qualities to the table — no pun intended — besides just what they look like, as should people you choose to date, and as should you!
I don’t think you’re conceited, but there’s a chance you’re shallow and boring, which isn’t going to attract quality men your way. You don’t mention any other trait about yourself that might appeal to anyone other than that you’re good-looking. And, let’s face it: at 60, the pool of men who are going to be attracted to you for your looks alone is much smaller than the pool of men who might have been attracted to just your looks when you were 30. You have to cultivate other traits to attract people and keep them interested (and this goes for people of all ages really, but is especially true as you age and your looks fade, as they do for pretty much everyone, no matter what their baseline of attractiveness might have been in their youth). Quality men want more than a pretty face.
You do want quality men, don’t you? Quality men are, themselves, more than just pretty faces. They respect women, they give back to their communities, they’re good communicators, and they can admit when they are wrong. They have qualities besides their looks that make them attractive: good jobs; good humor; compassion and kindness; good taste. Maybe they cook well, maybe they kiss well, maybe, like my husband, they have an abundance of patience and are especially skilled at putting things in perspective (good qualities when you happen to have a wife who tends toward the melodrama on occasion). What qualities might appeal to you and be a good match for your personality and lifestyle? What can you offer in return?
It sounds like you have a lot of relationship experience and have had a certain “type”: alpha men who are great-looking but insecure and with whom you form co-dependent relationships. You say you are still attracting that type, but you “cut them loose quickly.” You don’t say what type you are pursuing though. Have you tried dating against your type? What if you sought out and pursued men who are not alphas? Who aren’t insecure? Who are independent and not looking for a woman to depend on or to complete them, but who provide company to simply enjoy and maybe even learn from?
The question you should be asking isn’t why you are attracted to great-looking men, but: What else are you attracted to? And what else, besides your looks, is attractive about you? Cultivate those qualities, try dating against type, and prioritize other qualities besides physical attractiveness in the men you pursue. Consider this your new alpha woman goal, and I think you’ll be far more pleased with the results than you have been in past dating pursuits.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.