Voices | Meredith Goldstein

A beautiful mind

By Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / September 16, 2009

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Q. I was at a large party over the weekend and met the total package: a smart, funny, kind guy. We talked about everything - his work, my work, our favorite things, our secret creative outlets. Lots of smiling into each other’s eyes and being all, “I looooove Renaissance literature, too!’’ I “friended’’ him on Facebook the next night, and he immediately “friended’’ me back.

What’s the issue? He is completely, utterly gorgeous. Chiseled-jawline-J.Crew-fall-catalog gorgeous. And I’m . . . well, to call me average-looking would be kind (I’m not deformed or anything, but I’m definitely not bringing sexy back).

Should I wait for him to say or do something, or try to create another opportunity for awesome conversation/connection (and hope that my personality will make up for what I lack in external beauty)? Try to cultivate a friendship with the expectation that nothing could come of it? Do stunning guys ever date chicks that are less than amazing? I see homely fellows with knockouts, but I haven’t encountered much of the reverse.


A. DASH, I can think of a number of examples of average-looking women who date super hot guys - but I can’t name them because they might read this and then they’d know I think they’re average looking. You see the dilemma.

But forget about them. Let’s focus on you. Why would a J.Crew-perfect guy want to date you? Because you loooove Renaissance literature - and because you’re obviously a funny person. You’re silly and endearingly self-deprecating. I’m sure the list of reasons you’re awesome is longer than that, but I don’t know you, so you’ll have to finish it yourself.

Perfect men aren’t so perfect. I’m sure he has been rejected in the past - we all have. And frankly, as a perfect person, he’s at a disadvantage. He has to hope that his personality lives up to his face. That’s a constant challenge for him, I’m sure.

Get your act together and acknowledge that you are better than “not deformed.’’ You’re average-looking with a good personality. That is awesome. Average-looking people with good personalities run the world. They’re the lives of the party, the people you want to get to know better.

This guy could have spent time with anyone at the party and he chose you. If you haven’t already, sit down at your computer and e-mail this guy. Right now (yes, that’s an order). Tell him you’d like to chat some more over dinner. Then charm the pants off him (literally or figuratively).

Just know that no matter what he says - whether it’s a yes or a no - attractiveness is all about attitude and self-confidence. We all have moments of feeling ugly, fat, clumsy, or simply average, but we must overcome them. Someone’s going to date this guy. Why shouldn’t it be you?


Reader comments

I thought my husband was drop-dead gorgeous, too good for me, etc., when we started dating. A mutual acquaintance said to me several months later, “You know, you think you’re not good enough for him, but I think he is so lucky to have you.’’ It’s all about perspective.


The tone of the letter doesn’t suggest that she has self-esteem issues. She sounds more like a realist. Obviously men are attracted to physical beauty. However, a great personality can go a long way in making a woman very attractive. And any straight man who loves Renaissance literature would probably be more inclined to appreciate a woman with a beautiful mind. I say, go for it. At least if he turns you down. you won’t be wondering why. NEIL

Yikes, I don’t think I’d follow Meredith’s advice on this one. Keep in touch with him and see what happens. If he likes you, he’ll ask you out. Plain and simple.


Personally, I’d pick an activity over dinner for an exploratory date. An art museum is perfect. There will be plenty to talk about, so no awkward silences. And you get to show off that beautiful mind.


Show me a beautiful girl and I’ll introduce you to at least five men who can’t stand her. You have every chance in the world, so get after it. JOE

Edited and reprinted from Meredith Goldstein can be reached at She chats online today at 1 p.m.