Q: I think I have a question that I’ve never seen before in your column. I’ve been bothered by this since early summer, and I can’t seem to get over it.
My boyfriend “Sam” and I have been together for a year and a half. Everything is going really well. I have absolutely no complaints, but I can’t understand why he would choose me as his boyfriend! I’m probably a “seven” on the scale of one-to-10 when it comes to looks. As far as body type is concerned, I’m not exactly flabby but not what you’d call muscular or toned, either.
The reason I’m feeling insecure these days is that, for one thing, Sam is at least a nine-plus; he’s toned, muscular, and has a great personality.
Up until June I was just feeling lucky to have gotten such a catch as Sam, not really thinking about how I might be over my head, like he was way too hot for me.
What happened, you might ask? Well, I went to a party and saw Sam’s ex. (Sam moved to my city two years ago.) We went back to his former city for the party. When I met his ex-boyfriend, “Jon,” I couldn’t believe it. He was hot – really hot. He could have been on the cover of a men’s fitness magazine. He had a great career, fantastic house (the party was held there; he was hosting a birthday party for a friend of his and Sam’s), and a very expensive car. He absolutely has it all! And, he’s still single; he and Sam broke up two and a half years ago. They had been together for three years.
That’s when my insecurity hit the panic button. First, I thought that Jon would hit on Sam, and that’s why we were invited, but that didn’t happen. At least I couldn’t see Sam being at all interested in Jon, or Jon interested in Sam. Sam talked to Jon, but mostly he talked to his other friends. Sam always introduced me, and was even affectionate with me much of the time there. He didn’t seem at all like he was ashamed of me, actually quite the opposite when I think about it.
I really don’t get why Sam chose me when he could land so much more. I’m sorry I ever went to that party and met his ex-boyfriend. I guess I was in la-la land before then. Can you give me a clue why he’d settled for me and not someone like his ex?
A: You are forgetting that Jon is Sam’s ex. Sam quite possibly feels that Jon wasn’t all that great, or at least, not the kind of partner that he wanted in life. By your description of how you were treated by Sam at the party, it sure seems to me that he is very happy and proud of having you as his boyfriend. I wonder why that is not evident enough that Sam wants to be with you.
You are assuming that a person’s looks is what attraction is all about, though it’s certainly a factor – more so with some people than others. However, there are so many other factors, such as personality traits and interests that draw one person to another. Chemistry between two people is a complicated thing and difficult to figure out.
Perhaps your insecurity would be lessened if you were to find out from Sam what qualities attracted him to you. You could do this by telling him what you love about him, and then ask what it is about you that attracts him; doing this will help you understand why he chose you, and should help you appreciate what you have to offer Sam.
If you would like to know more about why people are attracted to each other, go to Dear Jody Valley on Facebook.