Superficial Standards Rule World
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Dear Christine,

I am a 40-year old woman who, like many North Americans, has a weight problem. I am working on it, but I need to lose a lot more. Because Iíve been going on a lot of blind dates lately, I find myself getting discouraged that most of the men I meet want a skinny woman.

The last man who didnít call me for a second date was ironically the biggest disappointment yet. He was the homeliest man Iíve ever dated, and even he didnít call me again. I heard from a reliable source that he didnít call because of my weight.

If people wonít look past the exterior, how can they know if a person will be their soul mate? -- PRETTY FACE Ė BRANTFORD, ON

Dear Pretty,

I wish I could recite a pep-talk about confidence conquering all. Donít get me wrong; I still stand by my belief that confidence is a key element in the quest for contentment. However, since first impressions are so vital -- especially in dating -- a few extra pounds can scare away the opposite sex.

If only I could honestly assure you that people appreciate beauty that goes beyond skin deep, and that the world lives by a deeper code. The disheartening truth, however, is being overweight puts you at a sizeable disadvantage. As shallow as it is, people size each other up visually before getting to know the person inside.

Since a buff physique grabs so much attention, some people may be more popular than they deserve. Others may be a little less popular.

Is it fair? No.

Is it reality? Sadly, yes.

In a perfect world, people would look beyond superficial standards to see the great person you are. But in this world, it is a rare occurrence.

Given your feelings on this matter, Iím sure you will be the first not to bypass someone for an aesthetic trait. In return, you will eventually find your equal who has the depth to do the same for you.

As for the homely guy who blew you off, look at it this way: at least you can lose weight.

Dear Christine,

I really enjoy reading your column. My question is about women and sports. They donít match! I watch a lot -- I mean a lot of sports. It took me forever to talk my last girlfriend into watching games with me. Then I tried to explain things to her. Every time I tried, I had to repeat myself ten times over. She once cheered for a hockey team to score a touchdown, and I felt like Iíd been kicked in the groin without a cup.

And now that Iím back on the dating circuit, I canít seem to get any of the women I date to take an interest.

Do you have any analogies that I can use to help interest them and explain things more quickly so I can enjoy watching the games instead of spending all my time explaining them? -- STEVE Ė LONDON, ON

Dear Steve,

Howís this for an analogy? Teaching some women about sports is like teaching some men about how to find the perfect shoes to match everything from your casual clothes to your formal attire.

Iím not saying there arenít women out there who follow sports as closely as some men. Stereotypes do, however, tend to rear their predictable heads when it comes to many issues involving the opposite sexes. Thatís why weíre called ďoppositeĒ sexes.

My question to you is: why? Why do you feel the need to coax women, who are clearly not interested, into watching sports with you? Do you take interest in everything women are into? Sounds to me like you spend so much time as an armchair athlete, you probably offer very little to demonstrate your interest in the women in your life.

I donít think you have a problem; I think perhaps you are the problem. Just something for you to think about.

Have a question, a thought, or a story to share (anonymity guaranteed)? E-mail Christine at:

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