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When I was in college, there was this guy who projected an image of perfection and enjoyed a great deal of popularity. And since he was so well-known and well-liked on campus, folks paid attention to the people with whom he chose to associate himself, particularly romantic interests.

I went to the PWI (Predominately White institution) so when it came to the small Black community on campus, everyone knew quite a bit of everyone else’s business. So, when this dude, Mr. Perfect started “talking to,” a girl on campus, people were not only curious about his newfound interest, they told him, directly to his face, what they thought about his selection.

Basically, they didn’t think she was good enough for him. They would have expected him to be with someone else, someone who matched his level of attractiveness, someone…else.

And instead of waving his popularity wand and standing up for the girl he clearly liked, he cowered and stopped speaking to her, not wanting his image to take a hit.

I thought about that story today when a friend posed this interesting question.

To paraphrase, it was something like: Do you care whether or not people find your partner attractive? And furthermore, if you could choose the number of women, men or both who actually noticed your partner throughout the course of the year what would it be?

I thought the question was odd. Honestly, if I found someone to be attractive, it really didn’t matter what other people thought. I’ve never been known to mess with dudes who look like dog meat anyway. But I was going to play the game. So I gave an arbitrary number, anywhere from 30-50 people a year would be cool. Enough to let him know he looks good but not enough to make him vain or arrogant.

But then, the more I thought about it, I realized that the opinions of my family do matter to me. If my mom, sister and best friend all agreed that a dude wasn’t attractive, I just might start to look at him differently. And not so much because I would lose the attraction that I originally felt; but because, selfishly and shallowly, I want the people that I love the most to think any future children I might have are cute.

No lie.

Truth is, we do try to gauge what our friends and family think about the men and women we choose to date. We show them that first cell phone picture of the person or make that first introduction and nervously await their approval.

Still, as I’ve written about before, women have a tendency to overlook certain physical attributes if a man’s personality overrides it.

But the question was one I wanted to pose to you all. Do the opinions of your family and friends matter when you’re choosing someone to date? Does it matter if they share those less-than-approving opinions before you’re in too deep? Do tell.

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