You know you’ve wondered.
You’ve probably also worried about it. You might might not think that you’re an utter beast, and you might think that you’re fairly good looking in certain light from the right angles, with the right clothes and the right makeup. You might be confident in your looks sometimes, but at other times you get those doubts, and you don’t understand how he can think that you’re pretty when you’re… just you.
Doesn’t he see your flaws?
Doesn’t he know what you look like when you’re not at your best?
You sometimes feel like an imposter, like maybe when he looks at you he’s seeing somebody else.
And he is.
I mean, he’s still seeing you, but it’s not the same you that lives in your mirror. He’s seeing a you that you’ve never seen before, because he’s looking at you entirely from the outside, without your familiarity, preconceptions, or your doubts. Beauty is a matter of perspective, and his perspective is different from yours.
You’ve had your entire life to look at your own body, and your perspective has been shaped by what you’ve seen. You know that perhaps you used to be thinner. You know that maybe things didn’t develop the way you expected. You look at yourself, and you see everything that you think you should be, and everything that you think you have been, and there’s this whole long history attached to how you view yourself. A history that he doesn’t have.
He has his own history, his own attachments, and his own standards of beauty.
Yes, sure, the beauty standards of the majority of people fall by definition within the mainstream. He probably likes those stunning models and pornstars, probably lusts after them and fantasizes. There are various features that are fairly universally attractive. Yet everybody within the mainstream still has their own personal tastes, their own ideas of what beauty is. Mainstream beauty is Vanilla ice cream. It’s Bud Light. It’s the generic middle of a much, much larger zone of tastes, and it’s the most universally popular in many ways because it’s generic.
The only way to have universal appeal is to be middle-of-the-road in all categories. The more that any physical feature stands out from the crowd, the more divisive it becomes, because tastes vary. Some guys like big breasts, but some don’t. Some like big butts, but some don’t. Some like thin waists, but some don’t. Some like big noses, but some don’t.
And the reverse is also true: for most every feature that many people don’t like, there are people out there who do like it.
There are many reasons for this, but the biggest reason is simply because our individual ideas of beauty are heavily based in lifelong Pavlovian responses to what we experience. When people are good to us as children, we often imprint on their physical features as representing that goodness.
We are often attracted to people who remind us in some way of our parents, simply because our parents are our models for what people “should” look like. Perhaps your eyes remind him of his mother’s eyes, for example.
We are often also attracted to people who remind us of other people we’ve been attracted to. Perhaps your smile reminds you on some level of his first crush.
But mostly–and increasingly over time–your features remind him of you, of all the things that he likes best about you.
The longer you’re with him, the more he associates your appearance with those good and unique things that you provide for him. Your smile reminds him of all the times he’s made you laugh, and of the way your face lights up when you see him. Your hair reminds him of all the times he’s run his fingers through it during intimate moments. Your eyes remind him of the way you look at him, the way they flash when you’re angry, and so on.
When you look at yourself, what stands out are your imperfections, because anything that makes you stand out as different can (and will be, and has been) used against you by somebody or by the world in general. You see these differences, and they appear ugly to you.
When he looks at you, he’s seeing the best features, the things that he likes about you. Any features that he actually doesn’t like are going to be ignored in favor of the features that he finds pleasing.
More importantly, those same traits that you dislike about yourself because they make you different from other women? He’s likely to like them, because they make you different from other women. It’s the traits that are most uniquely yours that make you stand out, and those are the ones that he’ll most strongly associate with you.
And because he loves you, he’ll tend to love the things that he associates with you, including physical features.