Ask Elana: Unwanted appearances and disappearances

JS_38-39Elana.inddDear Elana,

Why do I only attract girls I’m not attracted to? I’m not horrible looking, but I’m not handsome either. I know I can’t get a supermodel, but I want a girl who I’m at least somewhat attracted to.

Still Trying Under Duress

Dear STUD, 

Beautiful women tend to want to date handsome men. But, if you happen to be a shorter, stouter, balder man, there’s still hope. You might just need to adjust your expectations.

It’s human nature to try to attract the best possible mate. Men who want to date women who are more attractive than they are often trade a winning personality, wealth or status for looks. However, if you don’t have these social resources to leverage, then you might need to shift your perspective. If you can’t get the one you love, then love the one you can get.

When I was a teenager learning to accept my changing appearance, I had a John Cage quote taped to my bedroom mirror: “The first question I ask myself when something doesn’t seem to be beautiful is why do I think it’s not beautiful? And very shortly you discover that there is no reason.”

We tend to think of sexual attraction as being biologically determined, as if there were a hierarchy of sexiness that correlates with better genes and greater happiness. In fact, much of your perception of beauty is culturally defined. You might think that a woman in a Rubens painting is overweight, but your ancestors would have considered your JSwipe crush waifish. Similarly, you might view body modification as grotesque, but the Kayan Lahwi women of Burma and Thailand elongate their necks with copper rings because long necks are a sign of beauty in their culture.

Who you get the hots for is greatly influenced by your socialized beliefs about beauty. If you learn a new way of seeing, you can fall in love with a nontraditional beauty. Maybe she doesn’t fit your physical ideal, but she has stunning eyes, elegant style and graceful posture. And who knows, your great-grandchildren might consider her the gold standard of beauty in the future. Whatever you do, don’t wallow in vanity for too long. Remember that looks fade, but having a partner and best friend to share your life with is irreplaceable.

Dear Elana,

Why do guys ghost? I’ve had three guys disappear this year. Am I scaring them off? With one guy, we went out on several dates and it seemed like he had a great time. He even introduced me to his friends. Then, he stopped responding to my texts and I never heard from him again.

Girl Hoping One Stays True


Guys disappear when they are afraid of communicating. It’s so much easier to simply ignore a text than to have a difficult conversation about their feelings. Maybe he wanted a casual relationship and he doesn’t know how to break the news that he’s moved on. Maybe he thinks that avoiding you will be less painful than telling you the truth.

It’s confusing and disheartening when a guy who showed interest abruptly vanishes. The experience leaves you questioning his motives and wondering if you did anything wrong. You need to know that it’s not your fault when a guy disappears. There’s no excuse for the immaturity and selfishness of ghosting after connecting with another person.

Could you be the spooky one causing men to ghost? I don’t know, maybe. Are you saying that you want to move in together and open a shared bank account on your first date? Regardless of your behavior, a mature and emotionally stable man will not simply disappear. He might say that you’re not a good match, but at least he’ll have the guts to tell you that he’s not interested in a relationship.

Remember that you can’t force men to be emotionally aware or honest. However, you can communicate that you can handle the truth, even if it is unpleasant or disappointing. You can also seek out men who are thoughtful, self-aware and good communicators. Eventually, you’ll sort through the ghosts and find a mensch who maintains a corporeal form.

Elana Hunter started KickStartLove in 2010 when she was single, and after years of dating, she is now happily married. She provides individual dating coaching for private clients who are ready to change their lives. Learn more at

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