There will be no re-interpretation of this title. I won’t bring this idea to new light. No post-analysis of clarification, followed by some witty points about what I really mean. I meant what I said; no smoke or mirrors.
All too often, we treat our personality as a product to be sold in the business of human interaction. We regard everyone else as the scrutinizing consumer, and then attempt to embody the qualities we think they’ll consider most valuable: physical beauty, unbeatable talent, a robust vocabulary, or a bursting sense of humor. These are what I like to call “Hollywood traits;” because they’re the traits you look for in that “perfect person” on the big screen. Now, I wouldn’t consider these traits unattractive, as this title might suggest; but I will say, that I will never consider any of them nearly as attractive as honesty.
First, allow me to make one thing perfectly clear. At the end of the day, men want an answer to the lingering question “Who are you?” (Hint: The answer is incomplete with any of the following– “5’9”, brunette, left-handed, blah blah blah.”) With this in mind, I have always believed that of all the traits admired in humanity, there is one we especially desire and universally seek in other people, and that is honesty. This desire is separate from the idea that honesty is something we ought to abide by. More than that, I find we crave honesty in another person; honesty has become this incredibly and endlessly attractive trait. Men find honesty unbelievably captivating, and I credit this to the ways in which honesty reflects love; which it does in three ways. Honesty is: 1) sacrificial, 2) interested, and 3) completely detached from the world.
Honesty is sacrificial:
At the foundation of love, we see sacrifice. The essence of love is found in a selfless desire for the good of another, often met by a choice to suffer for or with the other. On a related note, I am attracted to women who don’t wear makeup around me, especially if they would rather at least some blush on their eyeballs (or whatever it is they do). They are sacrificing that desire and offering their real selves to me. In this, I can sense their humanity. I am one step closer to answering the question “Who are you?” with fewer obstacles to overcome than before. Now I can see how she loves curling up in her PJs with a mug, sans-contacts, hair simply out of her face, but an absolute mess atop her wonderfully human head. Not only is she experiencing the real me, but now I sense her allowing me the opportunity to experience the real her.
Honesty is interested:
Love is interested. It desires, chases, and is captivated by humanity. I am captivated by women who tell me those honest, embarrassing stories from their past, and then demand the same honesty from me. I am captivated by women who will show me their honestly nerdy hobbies, and then will ask me about mine. I want a woman who will belt out her own rendition of “These Are A Few of My Favorite Things,” off-pitch for most of it, and ask me to join in for a verse. As you show interest in the real me, I am interested in the real you; for love begs the question. “Who are you?”
Honesty is completely detached from the world:
Love is not of this world. Love is so ludicrously above-and-beyond the sewage that lurks deep in the caves of Cosmopolitan magazine and Victoria’s Secret ads. Love will pull you away from the worthless crap these horrible, horrible mediums are pumping out. Just as women are lied to that they MUST look “perfect” in order to have any chance of attracting a man, so also are men lied to that those “perfect” looking women are the only ones worth being attracted to. It’s a cyclic, two-way street of filthy bull crap. But love can navigate these swamps; and honesty is leading the charge. In another example, if you and I go on a walk together and you jump into a puddle laughing like a child, I just might faint. That’s a vulnerable moment. It’s weird; and it’s incredibly telling of the sort of wonderfully human person you are; and I won’t find it anywhere in the worldly pornographic dumps of Cosmopolitan or Victoria’s Secret. It is in these moments that I find more of the real you.
Listen, physical attraction is something anybody can share with a stranger on the street. In a single glance, I can already see how physically attractive you are without even being near you. That’s no sacrifice at all. In the distance of that glance, you can’t answer for me the question “Who are you?” Hell, I can’t even ask. All the same, if I did see a pajama’d, makeup-less, embarrassing woman on the street, though I can appreciate her vulnerable humanity, I won’t find her attractive unless I can investigate the honesty within her; and furthermore, unless that honesty is offered in return. Without getting to know her, I cannot sense the sacrifice, the giving, or the interest within her. At the risk of sounding narrow-minded, I insist, I must get to know you before I could ever be captivated by you.
So, show me who you really are.