In my youth I cared so much about a man's looks as well as his intelligence.
However over the past several years I care very little about appearence and more about personality, traditions, beliefs, humor, and heart.
I'm wondering if this is a new phase for us women. My girl friends range from 21 to 40's and when we discuss who we think is attractive it is always the man with the best personality. It's not until after we mention all these great things about him that make him attractive to us that we actually look at his appearence.
Do other women, or even men, see this trend happening to them? I would say it comes as we get older except I see it in very young people as well. Has our need to be compatible with one another finally over ridden our desire for outter attractions?
I agree that it is a bit of both. For me, the attraction is physical and psychological. I need to like to look at him and find him personally attractive. Of course, this definition is different for everyone (other than the Brad Pitt, Geoge Clooney celebrated looks) and it might be that a bald-headed man with a stocky build is very appealing given his personality that shines through. However, the same looks in another man very unappealing.
As a woman who has been described as "beautiful", I personally feel that a man should not be so attracted to how I look that he fails to consider "who" I am. Otherwise, as I inevitably grow older, this appeal might lessen and the other qualities will need to be sufficiently attractive to maintain interest. This is a losing proposition over time. Off goes the man to a younger, newly attractive shiny object passing by his eyes.
Again, though, he may think I am the most beautiful woman at 90 if what he is attracted to in me is a combination of both what is on the inside and outside. I think this is the ultimate, standing the test of time.
I think its a combination of both to be honest. I am 42 and still enjoy looking at or dating a good looking man. On the other hand though I also find myself being attracted to someone who on the outside may not be that attractive originally until you actually get to know them. Then suddenly things fall into place. I think we as a society are so used to being raised with the magazines, movies, etc. to believe that good looking people are for good looking people. In today's age it's has become apparent that more and more people are falling for those as you said that have a great personality, the family traditions, etc..
I would like to believe that we are just not a superficial as we used to be when we were younger :)