Too Ugly for Love

Q: At 46, I've never had a boyfriend or even been asked out on a date. I talk to guys all the time, so it's not because of being shy. I have been told by so many people that I am so ugly that I need to accept the fact that I will always be alone. I have always wanted to have someone in my life, but if you're so ugly that even the guys a normal female wouldn't go near won't ask me out, what hope do I have? By the way, I have asked guys out and am always turned down. Please, oh please, do you have any suggestions for me? -- Ann, 46

Dr. Susan: You certainly have my sympathy, as well as a few suggestions. First, please stop spending time with people who tell you you're too ugly to find a partner. Halfway nice people would never say such a thing to another human. And it's absolutely not true. Even some genuinely unattractive women have found mates, as have women with missing limbs, burn scars, and, just for an example, a huge amount of extra weight. Second, even if you're not particularly pretty, there are usually a few things you can do to enhance your looks. Such changes range from a more flattering hairstyle, make-up, and clothing, to attractive glasses or more even teeth, all the way to plastic surgery to improve a nose or chin, if that would give you more confidence. I'm not saying you need to go that way to get a date, but sometimes after a lifetime of being told you're ugly, you may benefit from a somewhat drastic change.

Third, and most important, consider paying a trusted counselor to tell you the truth about your personality and how you come across to others. Warm, pleasant, positive women are much valued by divorced men in, for example, their fifties and early sixties who have known the other kind and now seek a kind woman at their sides. Looks are temporary. We all get older and, frankly, less cute. And while it's true that men care a lot about looks, sometimes a warm smile and showing a genuine interest in a guy will win him over.

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