An online dating website that recently expelled 5,000 members, including 500 Canadians, because they no longer met the site’s beauty standards has — not surprisingly — met with a lot of criticism.

Frankly, given the unapologetic and blatantly provocative response from the site’s management, I think the whole thing reeked of a publicity stunt, so I don’t care give them any more free publicity by naming the site.

But, stunt or no stunt, it did raise the question about how honest we are when it comes to the importance of looks when it comes to meeting people.

While most guys in my own very unofficial survey admitted that looks matter, most at least tried to pretend that what attracts them physically to a woman went beyond the superficial, with several citing “a woman’s eyes” as the first thing that draws them in. Hands came in a close second.

“They’re lying,” countered one of the many women I asked who cited “sense of humour” as what turned her crank. That’s right, because looks are only more important to men. “Oh, and a developed upper body, of course,” she added. Bingo.

Another male respondent pointed out that both eyes and a sense of humour are ridiculous answers. “What am I going to say? ‘Man, look at that woman across the street, great eyes, and what a funny hat, she must have a great sense of humour.'”

Okay, so maybe we’re all lying to ourselves. Looks do matter. Still, when pressed, most people will tell you that, when it comes to attraction, looks might get your foot in the door, but if they don’t like what greets them once they get inside, they’re just as likely to turn around and walk back out.

As American first lady Michelle Obama told Glamour magazine when they asked her for dating advice, “Cute’s good,” she said. “But cute only lasts for so long and then it’s, ‘Who are you as a person?'”

Ultimately, when it comes to lasting relationships, having similar morals, values, worldviews and goals in life play a way bigger role than physical attraction.

In fact, given the importance of all this other stuff, physical attraction seems like a pretty misguided and unreliable starting point when it comes to finding a mate.

Maybe I should start should start my own exclusive dating site for the rest of us. What do you think? averagelookingpeoplwithlotsofothergreatstufftoofer.com? No beautiful people allowed.

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