**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.
‘We all know you’re the better-looking one in this relationship…’ My husband mused as we walked out the front door.
This wasn’t the first time he’d said something like that and it would undoubtedly not be the last time. He grins at me whenever he says these things — these little self-deprecating jabs at himself while also attempting to compliment me at the same time.
I usually smile and assure my husband that I do indeed think he is very handsome and that I still find him to be quite attractive.
Does he say these things because he honestly believes them to be true, or is he simply trying to be amusingly clever?
I think a little bit of both.
But as I got to thinking about the subject of how one partner might feel less or even more attractive than the other, I started to wonder how much of a part ‘degrees of attractiveness’ play in relationships.
If one person in a relationship is generally and objectively perceived to be more attractive than the person they’re with, do they feel more secure within that relationship? Does the ‘less attractive’ person feel they need to try harder to ‘keep’ their better-looking partner? Or is all of that just utter nonsense?
I suppose it depends on how much value you place on attractiveness within a relationship and how much of the relationship you have with your partner is based on physical attraction versus mental and emotional compatibility.
In other words, how much does vanity factor into the overall sense of security or confidence within any given relationship?
I’ve never thought of myself as more attractive than my husband. I appreciate that he thinks I’m good-looking, obviously.
I don’t feel like the relationship scales are tipped too far in any one way as far as what both my husband and I offer one another as a couple. We both bring terrific attributes to the table and we both hold a healthy sense of self-worth.
I place far more value on how my husband treats me and how I feel when I’m with him than what he looks like or if I think he’s got enough of a physical appeal to ‘keep’ me.
Additionally, my husband is not a vain person so I know that when he jokes about me being the ‘beautiful one’ in the relationship he really is just having fun. He laughs easily at himself and he isn’t overly concerned with how he looks. He’s got lots of self-confidence — enough to be able to have some humility. Many people struggle with that.
I’m sure there are couples out there where one partner may feel less attractive than the other or perhaps wonder how they could have snagged such a good-looking person as a mate. But there’s so much more to a real, meaningful relationship. There’s care, laughter, intimacy, trust, communication, and two personalities dancing with one another bravely in a committed partnership.
My husband thinks I’m attractive for many reasons other than how I appear on the surface. He also happens to like to make jokes about how I’m out of his league in the looks department.
I think he enjoys thinking I'm overwhelmingly beautiful. He’s proud of that.
And I’ll take it.