Physical attraction necessary in initial stages of love — but loses importance over time

Helen Le , Editor-in-Chief

Everyone wants an attractive partner, but no one wants to admit that “good looks” might be the most important part of finding a significant other. People may be relieved to find out that looks actually do matter more than most may think.

Physical looks are most commonly the first thing somebody notices about another person. People typically make their initial decision on first dates based on their physical attraction to their date. Dating apps primarily emphasize looks as the gateway to a connection, which reinforces the idea that physicality is the baseline for all romantic interactions.

In a first impression, looks are the most convenient aspect of a person to be judged. After all, students only have to use their eyesight.

“You can’t be like, boom, there is a person over there [and say] they’re lazy and have nothing to contribute to society,” senior Josh Josue said. “It’s literally hard to notice someone’s personality even by their actions [at first].”

Although physical attraction is important for initial interest, it does not remain the determinant of romance.

“If someone has good looks but then they’re an asshole, then I won’t like them,” senior Julian Chan said. “If they have a really nice personality, [even if] they might not look the best to other people, then I tend to like them more.”

In a survey by Harris Interactive, 78 percent of men and women believe that physical attraction is very important. However, even though attraction may depend on looks in the initial phase of the relationship, it can be deepened with a healthy emotional bond.

Even when students emphasize personality in their search for love, some admit that physicality does matter.

“Looks aren’t that important to me but I do have to say one thing,” Josue said. “I know that people may claim that they’re in it for the personality, but there will always be the ‘look’ factor.”

Physical attraction may be important because it implies other positive traits — attractive people are expected to be happier than unattractive people. Even so, a study by A. M. Griffin and J. H. Langlois found that moderately attractive looks are enough to be considered suitable for a romantic relationship.

Ultimately, though, even though looks do matter, personal connection wins out in the end; looks fade, after all.

“I think being with someone who goes along the lines as your personality would be easier to connect with,” Josue said. “I couldn’t see myself with someone who has a contradicting personality to mine.”