Beautiful on the outside, but no boyfriend

Originally Published: February 12, 1999 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: January 4, 2013
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Dear Alice,

I can't seem to be noticed. I am told all the time that I am beautiful by my friends, but the guys don't even give me a look. I wear semi-sexy (nothing revealing, just flattering) clothing and I stay in style. I have been asked to participate in beauty pageants. I am an honor student and I am 5'9" tall. Why can't I get any male attention and how do I change this?

Dear Reader,

The objects of individuals’ attractions are dictated by the boundless assortment of characteristics that various people possess. Our attractions may be fueled by someone's "classic" beauty, or by the features of a person’s face, body, or gestures that make each person unique and intriguing. We may find a person’s sensitivity, creative side, intellect, humor, or engaging way of telling a story attractive. Similarly, there are people in the world who are attracted to your beauty, intelligence, and height — the three characteristics you mention in your submission — among others. However, whether someone expresses outwardly how attracted she or he may be to another person depends on many factors, including place, time, personality, and the assumptions we make about one another.

How would you describe your behavior in social settings? Are you warm and friendly? Do you introduce yourself and invite conversation, or wait for others to make the first move? How do you show people that you are interested in what they have to say? Think about what makes you feel good when you are talking with other people. One of the most successful ways to increase another person’s interest in you is to sincerely communicate your interest in that person. Although you may not realize it, you may be giving off signals that make it seem like you are unapproachable. By reaching out to people you’re attracted to with a genuine smile, you can show that you are accessible and down-to-earth. You might also be interested to know that some men report that they are hesitant to approach women they consider very attractive for fear of being rejected.

Sometimes reaching out can be challenging, though. Perhaps you’re nervous about your appearance and behavior to the point that you don't notice when you’re receiving male attention. One of the easiest ways to remedy this might be to change up the environments in which you typically hang out. Different types of men reside and hang out in different types of environments — test out different ones to see where you feel the most confident and comfortable and receive the type and amount of the attention you desire. Wherever you find yourself, there are sure to be lots of new, interesting people with which to share your experiences.

Have you tried talking with your friends about what it is that they were attracted to in you and how they think you are perceived by others? The likelihood is that there is more to their interest in you than how you look on the outside. They may have some insight into how you can receive more positive attention, using the same skills you use to make friends. And who knows? Maybe they'll tell you that they know of tons of guys who want to ask you out, but who just don't have the guts!

One concept to consider throughout this process is whether you truly want sexual attention, and if so, why. Are you looking for a relationship? Do you think receiving male attention may boost your self-confidence? Are you looking for approval or validation by others for some other reason? There might be deeper issues behind your question that can be explored in counseling or with other people you trust. If you’re a Columbia student on the Morningside campus you can check out Counseling and Psychological Services, or Mental Health Services on the CUMC campus, to discover whether there are any extraneous issues at the root of your question. As an additional precaution, if you find yourself receiving undesired male attention and feel you might be in a harmful situation, you can reach out to the Sexual Violence Response team for support.

Alice

January 17, 2013

521841
WOW,a woman 5'9" who is GOOD LOOKING probably scares most men. be proud of being tall never walk stooped or bent over.
WOW,a woman 5'9" who is GOOD LOOKING probably scares most men. be proud of being tall never walk stooped or bent over.

January 23, 2008

21406

Hi beautiful,

Same thing happened to me when I was in highschool. Come to find out many years later that the boys (men now) were too afraid to approach me in fear of rejection. I...

Hi beautiful,

Same thing happened to me when I was in highschool. Come to find out many years later that the boys (men now) were too afraid to approach me in fear of rejection. I learned many years later how many boys in school told me how they had mad crushes on me and I never even knew it. Actually 25 years later I am now with one of those highschool crushes and has told me how he has always wanted to be with me... So if I were you, just be yourself and try to start to approach some of these boys even if it is a quick hello in passing... It's a start for them to see your not just beautiful but your nice also!!!

December 3, 2007

21370

To the reader:

When I was studying psychology, I learned that men don't always approach beautiful/attractive girls, they tend to go after girls that they rank as their own league. So you'd...

To the reader:

When I was studying psychology, I learned that men don't always approach beautiful/attractive girls, they tend to go after girls that they rank as their own league. So you'd probably not run into a lot of men confident enough to approach you. I also agree with the others that inner beauty has a lot more to offer than being beautiful on the outside. Beauty fades, but having a great personality usually doesn't. Also grace and elegance, something beyond being beautiful, usually radiates from the inside. I think that wins a lot more hearts than just being superficially/artificially pretty or "sexy".

August 21, 2007

21309
I am in the same situation as this girl - I also have been told I'm very beautiful, that I have a great personality, and that I have a lot to offer but I still don't have a boyfriend. Guys can get...
I am in the same situation as this girl - I also have been told I'm very beautiful, that I have a great personality, and that I have a lot to offer but I still don't have a boyfriend. Guys can get intimidated easily by beautiful, tall women and often think that they would never have a chance with her. The important thing is to engage in activities that make you feel happy within and not worry so much about having a boyfriend at the moment. That will come in time and a guy who's worth dating is worth waiting for. If you are dating a guy who you know you are settling for just because you don't want to be lonely then you are not being fair to yourself or the other person. Its better to be single because when the RIGHT guy comes along, you dont want to be attached to the WRONG one. Work on fine-tuning your personality and your qualities so when you finally meet that person who has the courage to pursue you, they will appreciate you more for your inner beauty.

February 19, 1999

20321

Dear Alice,

I just have something to say about a girl who wrote recently saying that she was beautiful on the outside, but had no boyfriend. I want to tell her that being sexy or having a...

Dear Alice,

I just have something to say about a girl who wrote recently saying that she was beautiful on the outside, but had no boyfriend. I want to tell her that being sexy or having a history of being in beauty pageants won't necessarily win you a boyfriend. Would you really want to have a boyfriend who cared for you only because you were attractive? I am not exactly prom queen or beauty pageant material, but in the past few years (I'm seventeen now), I have learned that being myself and being confident of who I am is the key to winning hearts. Ignore your good looks and focus on presenting your mind to the world and you will do just fine.