Do Looks Trump Everything With Guys? Is Physical Attraction Important?

Comic Guy Mesmerized Beautiful Woman

I am just wondering if it’s possible that a guy could be ashamed of liking you?

Like perhaps he likes your personality and sense of humor but wouldn’t pursue you because he is embarrassed about the way you look (either you are overweight, not as appealing as he typically would date, different race/ethnicity, etc).

Do looks always trump everything with guys?

Would they hold back out of fear of what their friends/family might think?

What a great question and one that requires an answer with a certain delicate degree of honesty.  It also opens a lot more directions to take so I'll try to get to them all.

My "history" with women and girls led me down the wrong path of knowledge... assuming things which were false and trying to use logic to solve an attraction problem. Works in math and physics. Doesn't work on men and women and their relationships.

I believed they were CHOOSING not to date me and that there were selectively ruling me out for reasons that went beyond attraction, feelings, and an emotional connection.

I was wrong.

I wanted to believe it had to be some "other" reason and your questions above perfectly fits into my old mindset.

She doesn't want to go out with me because she doesn't want to be seen with me. I'd embarrass her in front of her friends because even though we connected deeply - I just wasn't good-looking enough for her.

Her friends with think less of her if she came around with me as her boyfriend. They'd belittle her or make her feel like she was a fool when she could do so much better than my unattractive self.

It's not at all strange or unusual that when it comes to self-esteem, men and women definitely think alike and come to the same conclusions.

Here's the part that's going to blow your mind...

You're absolutely right and I'm sorry, but you're also wrong too.

Let me explain...

I did it myself... sure she (they) were great but since I wasn't that attracted to her, I didn't give her anything more than a VERY casual friendship.

If I couldn't "show" her off - then it wasn't going to happen.

The feeling of being ashamed replaced any and all chance of us being together.

I'd like to say it was my immaturity, how when I got older it changed, well some of it changed but NOT the attraction part.

What I learned and realized through experience is that ATTRACTION is a powerful force very few can resist.

Those women were not rejecting me because of shame or for their own personal hang ups...

I just didn't create or trigger enough of that powerful force (attraction) to override any sense of logic or choice or reasoning that was in her.

Something I learned rather quickly as I began to see just how much a woman will "dismiss" to be with a guy when all her other senses of logic can be so easily overridden.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out when you look at how many men and women enter destructive and toxic relationships and STAY in them for way too long.

Suffice to say - I guess I wasn't a smart enough man.

BUT that wasn't the case.

I was too smart.

The attempt to use logic did me in and being a supposed smart fellow I actually believed I can figure it all out using the same sort of reasoning I used in other subjects.

AND because of this logical reasoning I made another huge mistake.

I projected my attraction triggers onto women - thinking they thought the same way - therefore if she turned me down, the reasons must be the same as I was rejecting women too.

Here's where things get REAL interesting.

We could note the "assumed" differences between men and women.

How men are supposedly only into physical looks and beauty and women are only into a guy's personality.

Which is total bullshit. Sure it has some solid grounds but in real life, it just doesn't work that way.

Women certainly get turned on and date guys because they were physically attracted to him when they first met.

Men marry or commit for more reasons that how a woman looks. Not many men go THAT far unless their personality is compatible or attractive to them.

The ONLY consistent FACT is ATTRACTION.

Looks don't trump everything but...

ATTRACTION often can and often does just that.

Feelings and emotions come first AND they ALWAYS will when it comes to dating and relationships.

You might now be thinking - Since men are into looks that means a woman's physical beauty can override his sense of good and fair judgement.

Yes, that's true.

The problem or inconsistency with that reasoning is that men are not by far attracted to the same type of look on a woman.

If you're a supposed bigger woman - there's plenty of guys who will feel attracted to you just as there are lots of guys who won't too.

Just because a woman "thinks" she's not attractive does not mean lots of men won't find her highly attractive and sure, lots of guys will agree with her.

Our versions of "physical attractiveness" are quite varied from guy to guy.

What is NOT varied among the normal population (meaning people without severe mental issues related to confidence, esteem, etc..) are FEELINGS.

Emotions and feelings may be experienced at different times and dealt with differently but they do NOT change from person to person, man to man, and woman to woman.

While there are arguments for and against how many emotions we humans have there are not many who will argue that the primary driving force in all of us are emotions.

(I was going to link out to a few supported documents but the sites I found were ad driven Google fluff not worth visiting and I didn't want to waste my time digging through the junk to find the real research. Thought that was my search engines job - guess not.!) Anyways...

Based on my emotional theories, okay, assumptions for now... let's go back and figure a REAL answer for you.

Is it possible that a guy could be ashamed of liking you?

Yes it is because shame is an emotion and feelings do ultimately make the choice for us.

Liking someone (using the term "like" to describe a connection to another's personality where ATTRACTION isn't the driving force) does involve emotions too but for these cases it's simply not enough.

You can easily like someone - just not in THAT way.

Making it all too easy to misread the situation and think a guy is CHOOSING not to proceed with you because of shame.

So - it IS possible BUT getting a real right answer following that kind of logic doesn't always mean it's true.

Will a guy choose not to pursue you (even though he likes your personality and humor)  because he is embarrassed about the way you look?

Yes, again - it IS possible, it DOES happen BUT it's well outside the norm and once again, following that kind of logic tends to lead to the wrong answer.

In these cases the most probable reason a man doesn't pursue a woman intimately or sexually (even though he like her personality and humor) is because when you connect with a man in THAT way - you're really just connecting with him as a FRIEND.

Something Rori Raye Convinced me of long ago:

"Impressing him, having a great conversation, him enjoying spending time with you, and while you’re connecting with each other on a few things it’s not enough to create chemistry or to get him to FEEL something more for you than he would a close friend."

The Right & Wrong Ways To Try And Connect With A Man

I've been in this exact situation many times in my life and as mentioned above, it would always lead to think of many OTHER reasons to explain why a particular woman didn't want to become intimate with me. It made logical sense BUT it was NEVER the case.

As it became obvious later on - it was because I had made a friend and nothing.

No attraction - no chemistry - connecting with his mind - connecting on personality and humor ALWAYS equals FRIENDSHIP and nothing more.

Do looks always trump everything with guys?

Absolutely not BUT...

ATTRACTION can and often does overrule other things.

It doesn't matter HOW you look - it matters how a man is triggered through his perception of how you look to him.

As stated above - a man's attraction to physical beauty varies greatly and it changes as he grows and matures in his life.

Sure there are commonalities and patterns you can find among men. You can find similar things guys are more likely to be physically attracted to BUT it's never enough to say one perfect woman is perfect for all men.

If there is a REAL triggered attraction going on - there's far more likely chance - a BIG one - THAT will overrule his sense of logic and reasoning. He won't be able to talk himself out of liking you.

Would a guy hold back out of fear of what their friends/family might think?

Of course - he could easily decide to go one way or another for something less important than something like family and friends.

FEAR is a major driving force in everyone. Fear can and often does overrule attraction in many cases.

BUT in cases like this - the fear is often not big enough to have its way.

"My friends will think less of me OR my family won't approve of our relationship." is often just an EXCUSE a guy uses when he's not feeling ATTRACTED to a woman enough to disregard what others might think and say OR when he's not fully convinced of what he's actually feeling towards the woman.

Logically - what I've written today makes sense BUT it doesn't get us any close to a real definitive answer, does it?


Because we haven't defined the most important FACTOR and that's exactly why I failed with women for so many years.


What is it for a man? How is it triggered in a man? Is it all physical? Do looks play a more or less predominant factor in creating it?

You can look all you want down the road of logical reasoning - it's because he's embarrassed, it's because his family won't approve, it's because he doesn't like the way I look, it's because you're not his physical type and you will continually  find yourself right back where you started because you have failed to define the most important and consistent element:


Most of us agree - humans, which does include ALL males, are highly complex creatures which leads me to believe:

Triggering attraction in a man is never one-dimensional.

It's not about looks or physical beauty alone.

It's not about personality alone.

It's not about choices, selection, or connections alone either.

Attraction for any man or woman is and will always be multidimensional where each part plays its role in triggering it.

To say without a doubt - it's ALL about looks (for a guy) is just plain WRONG.

To say without a doubt - it's ALL about personality (for a woman) is equally as WRONG.

My theories of what truly attracts a man are not yet well-defined. I've been extremely good at helping women to understand men based on my simple approach but the attraction end needs work.

I've written thousands of words or more, I've researched it for many years, AND I've lived as a man close to a half a century and have yet to formulate something exact that I can pass on to you.

The definition of attraction and what triggers it in a man are not clearly written in my head... yet.

My suggestion would be to get on my newsletter below as you'll soon enough get my thoughts on it all as it comes together - sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly - it's hard to say.

Thanks for the great question - hopefully, even though the answer wasn't as direct or as simple as we'd both like - you're still walking away with some valuable and usable information on men AND the situation you're in which prompted you to write me is a lot less confusing now.

Thank You For Sharing

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This article was posted in How Men Feel Attraction & How it’s Created – Physically & Emotionally

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6 comments… add one
  • Diana

    “There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty.”
    ― Steve Maraboli
    Oddly enough it does not seem to be looks that are paramount to guys as much as it is a healthy self-esteem. A woman with a healthy view of her own looks, who portrays that in her ability to interact with others, is the woman who attracts the most attention in a crowded room. She flirts with ease and ability, never too much and never to little. You can never attract another to yourself until you see yourself as attractive. Personally I see this as being true for both genders and in most circumstances.

  • Tiffany

    Hi. I was the one who originally asked the question. Thanks so much for your response! Sorry it took me a while to make my way back here.

    As a follow-up, this question came up because there is someone I work with. I noticed sparks when we first met on a team project (which we are still in the midst of). I noticed he was gorgeous, but (surprise, surprise) I also noticed that he kept looking at me and looking away when I caught him. Then I noticed him staring at me and not bothering to look away, but choosing to hold my gaze when I caught him. Then he began joking with me, remembering old stories I would tell (to other team members) and bringing them back up in conversation or in new “jokes”. He laughs at my jokes. He teases me. Then he began telling me about his other work (he has other jobs and frequently goes through training courses to keep his credentials up). One of the early days when we really hadn’t spoken to each other yet, after our meeting, I was standing with a couple of people on our team laughing and joking. A team member jokingly said they were “afraid of me” to which I pretended to be hurt. Then, out of nowhere, “the guy” came straight up to me and said in front of everyone, “I know there is another side to you and believe me I can handle it because my family is just like that”. It threw me and caught me off-guard because he wasn’t really a part of the conversation and it kind of came out of left field. It made me realize that what I thought I noticed was right, that he was just observing me and taking his queues indirectly from that. All of this made me think he could possibly be interested in me.

    But the doubts are ever-present. Looking at what’s NOT there. He never asks me questions about myself. I get the feeling he waits to pick up on things in conversation that I will let out rather than come out and ask me directly. I called his cell for something work related once and he seemed so caught off guard that it was just a really awkward conversation. Mind you, he GAVE me his cell number to be able to reach him when not at his desk. Couldn’t figure out if he was just thrown off by this or if he was just really bothered/uninterested. Never called his cell again. Since then, I saw him being more talkative, more of a jokester. Are there guys who are more quiet, slow and calculating in their interest? I always read advice about “if a guy likes you, you’ll know it”, but I assume not EVERY guy is that overt. Right?

    I get from him his work is very important to him. He seems very “proper” when it comes to that and his lack of doing anything could very well be not wanting to go there with someone he works closely with. I respect that.

    Do you have any insight into how a male coworker might act towards you? Because it’s work, the rules and signs are slightly different than they would be trying to pick someone up in a bar/club or in a supermarket, correct? Are there any different things I should pay attention to?

    • Peter White

      Hi Tiffany. You’re welcome. What took you so long… 🙂

      I read your follow up and believe it or not, the first thing that came to mind was, “Hmmm isn’t she just asking me if this guy likes or not?” Are you looking for signs a guy at work would be interested in you?

      First, yeah there’s always a first, why worry if someone is interested in you? Too many people get caught up trying to read other people they forget the most important part of attracting other people is the signals you give THEM. Think about it, he’s giving you feelings that he might be interested by listening to your conversations, defending you, remembering things about you, laughing at your jokes, teasing you, etc…

      All signs you would normally assume is a gesture of interest but instead of giving them back or showing him a little that you “might” be interested, you step back and try to figure it all out. Perhaps to keep you safe. Perhaps to not overstep your work ethics. Perhaps to protect yourself from being rejected.

      Yes, they are reasonable at work because opening up at work could cause lots of problems. I understand that entirely.

      There’s a few women I want more with at work myself but due to certain things refrain from doing something more BUT the difference is, I spend less time worrying about whether or not they’re interested in me, and much more time engaging them in a way which creates attraction.

      So my first suggestion is to always… focus on creating attractive moments and less time worrying if someone is interested or not AND you might find it much more satisfying and far less frustrating.

      Second, YES! Not all guys are that obvious. There are way too many variables. Too much going on between the guy who gets women and the guy who doesn’t. Just another reason to focus on creating attraction more than reading attraction.

      Third. What us guys do… We show interest. We have attraction. We have a choice to make on how to act on those. We have just being friendly and we have friendly with sexual overtones which gravitate towards getting to know someone just long enough to gain the courage to ask them out (for real).

      Normally at work it’s hard to determine whether someone is just being friendly or themselves or if they are interested in breaking through the work barrier and wanting more. That’s because at work we’re more likely to make friends because it makes work, well easier, right?

      Again, just another reason to focus on creation rather than determining attraction. 🙂

      Let me tell you something about us guys especially at work…

      It makes no difference to out attraction. We’ll feel it one way or another. We might even have interest beyond that. However acting on those two things is what is really important. I don’t ask women out at work because we work together and it might get awkward.

      Chances are, if a man is not progressing and it still feels like he’s “into” then the stumbling block is either work related OR he’s waiting for YOU to make in painfully obvious that you’re willing to do something more. And I do mean so obvious ANY guy would understand. You might not want to go that route though, that’s up to you.

      Yes. Work “rules” are different but the rules of attraction don’t change.

      If YOU want something to happen, focus on creating the attraction first, make it clear to him you’re open to more, approach him no differently and then, you’ll be more likely to have him progress, if work’s not a problem, or declare that since it’s a work thing, it’s nothing more than just enjoying each other’s company.

      You want to know how I act differently around the women at work I’m attracted to…? I don’t. There’s one. She’s cool and fun and we play but I’m not that attracted to her so I don’t focus on creation with her, I just with it, the others, my aim is clear… creating attraction in any way possible.

      Yep. Long comment. 🙂

      Hopefully it will steer you in the right direction.

      All the best,


      • Tiffany

        Thanks, Pete. I suppose it all boils down to my flirtation style. I can lay it on kind of thick and unless I make a concerted effort to curb it, I start to worry it’s too much. If I do curb it, I feel it’s not enough and that I’m just being “friendly” as I would with anyone else and I fear he’ll see it as “that’s just my personality”. Unsure how much gray area I project. I have tried to create those “moments” you speak of, and we’ve had them, but other times it’s nothing. So, I think I’ll just keep being friendly me, not flirtatious me, and let happen what will.

        Thanks a lot!

  • G

    Hi Pete,

    I’m new to this website and I find it super interesting!
    I recently met a guy at a club (I know it’s a bit cliche) and we exchanged numbers. We started texting and switched over to using Whatsapp as he found it much faster to reply to. We went on a date and I thought we had a great time and we talked about plans for later. We continued to message each other after the date but around the second or third day of messaging, his replies got slower (by hours) and he read my last message two days late. I assumed that he was busy and the last message I sent him would be too awkward to answer for him after two days so I just let it be. He didn’t message me at all these few days but on Whatsapp I could see that he was online a few times. A friend sent me a message on another messaging app and when I opened it, I noticed that he had messaged me on this app as well when we first met. I decided to reply and say I was sorry for seeing this late and asked him if he was busy to grab drinks. He hasn’t read the message but I see that he was on Whatsapp during the time I sent him the message, which means he probably saw what I wrote but dismissed it. Obviously, things could’ve went wrong during the date that I didn’t notice (maybe I told him too many personal things? I don’t know) but I can’t help but feel rejected, not even as a potential relationship, but as a friend. As a potential relationship, maybe it’s possible he didn’t find us compatible because he said I was really cute so I know it wasn’t my looks, which I’m fine with because I understand not everyone thinks the same way. However, I feel a little hurt because it makes me feel like I’m not even worthy to keep as a friend. If he’s not interested, I still want to be friends since I think he was still a pretty cool guy. Should I message him on Whatsapp in a few days? If so, what should I say?


    • Peter White

      Hi G,

      Really… a club. 😉 Hahaha! Hey G, it’s an “option” right. As long as you don’t make it your only option to meeting guys, it’s not cliche. Got it?

      BUT you must remember the club meet is a little different and you’re NOT going to meet many guys friends there, if you go on an actual date with them.

      What if he’s there “picking up” some other girl and you’re there too, makes it very awkward and lots of guys don’t know how to handle that kind of situation specifically if you become friends.

      Also keep in mind, when a guy rejects a woman so quickly, his Ego goes through the roof a little. Some actually believe they’ve crushed you. Like your world will crumble without them. That’s one of the reasons you get the cold shoulder instead of, “Hey it’s been great but it’s just not going to work out.” speech. The other being they would just avoid the whole drama entirely and since it was only a one date, no big deal to break it off so unfairly.

      Try to understand most guys are NOT looking for a friend (who is a girl) from a club. Sure it happens but’s it’s not their goal. It’s exactly the opposite of what they want.

      So, even if you suggest a friendship and you’ve already been rejected, in the back of his head he’s thinking, “Yeah, she still wants me and she’s only trying to keep me around. She’s going to make dating other women awkward. She’ll probably stalk me or become overly dramatic and ruin my chances or worse yet, cock block me.”

      I wouldn’t take it personal. I’m sure you would make a great friend. 🙂

      I also wouldn’t bother messaging him anymore. You’ll come across as I just stated no matter what you say. He’s going to believe what he wants anyways and now you know it has nothing with not wanting to be your friend, it’s just not what he was looking for in that place.

      My only suggestion would be to keep ALL your options open, date outside AND inside the club. If he sees you with another guy there, it can only help. Over time a friendship will become possible and happen more naturally because he’ll realize you didn’t take it personal and you’re not harboring any deep seated love for him. How you’re cool enough and how you’re not going to make it difficult for him to find what he’s looking for. No matter what that is.

      Hope that helps you out and you’re welcome,


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