On Thursday, the New York Post – the paper of record known mostly for writing to an eighth-grade reading level – posted a bit of outrage fluff.
In this article, Dan Rochkind – that rare New York private equity executive, described as having a “full head of hair and muscular body” – talks about how he is nobly giving up dating absurdly hot women, boldly declaring that he will now stick to the “merely very beautiful” instead. Why would this catch declare his new restraint from dating hot women? Because after years of dating “2o-something blonde models”, he came to the sudden realization:
…dating the prettiest young things had its drawbacks — he found them flighty, selfish and vapid. “Beautiful women who get a fair amount of attention get full of themselves,” he says.
Of course, after recovering from the realization that not only was this not The Onion but that one could buy vanity op-eds in the New York Post, the Internet responded with the level of roasting we come to expect when outlets publish absurd, self-important intellectual masturbation. However, for all the dragging that Rochkind and the other contributors are getting, this piece does have a nugget of value. Almost without meaning to, Dan Rochkind and the others have given us the secrets to dating incredibly hot women.
“What? Women Are Things.”
One of the things that stands out in this article is – frankly – the prioritization of women’s appearances above everything else. Even Rochkind’s fiancée, the woman who’s supposedly convinced him to hang up his spurs, is judged by her looks. We don’t even get to know her name before we get a judgement on her appearance:
Looking to avoid such a fate, Rochkind started dating a woman who isn’t a bikini model, Carly Spindel, in January 2015. The two are now happily engaged.
“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun,” it ain’t.
The continual complaint of the article is that you can have brains or beauty, not both. Hot women are, according Rochkind, not just vain but, well, kinda stupid.
ACTUAL QUOTE TIME:
“Eventually, I was dreading getting dinner with them because they couldn’t carry a conversation.”
Evidently forgetting that he had chosen them exclusively based on their looks rather than compatibility, shared interests or anything other than whether they impressed his bros, Rochkind found that dating hot women inevitably meant that he would get tired of them as soon as his brain was no longer entirely in line with his dick. But is he so wrong? After all, a study cited in the story proclaims that beautiful people have more turbulent relationships. How did they come to this conclusion? Through a careful, multi-decade, longitudinal study comparing cultural values of beauty across several class and racial divisions with records of reported marital satisfaction.
Nah, I’m shitting you. They browsed IMDB and high-school yearbooks and double-checked who got divorced.
But don’t let the shoddy science fool you. Philosopher, six-pack-wielder and possessor of one of the most awkward Tinder profile photos in history, Benedict Beckeld, agrees. “From my personal experience, people who are better looking are less likely to pursue advanced degrees, or play an instrument or learn other languages,” he said, shortly before reminding readers that he has a doctorate in philosophy1 plays a violin and speaks multiple languages.
(For completeness’ sake, it’s worth noting that Beckeld also self-published a book of his own philosophy at 19 and is currently publishing a book about the dangers of Westerners who hate their own culture.)
So why is it that dating beautiful people ultimately leads to such disappointing relationships? Is it possible to date hot women and not be tired of them before the semen has finished drying in the discarded condom?
As it turns out, Rochkind, Beckeld and the others provide us with a perfect roadmap.
Hotness is Abundant and of Low Value
Part of Rochkind’s problem is that – like so many others – he prioritized looks above all else.
“I could have [anyone] I wanted,” says Rochkind, now 40 and an Upper East Sider with a muscular build and a full head of hair. “I met some nice people, but realistically I went for the hottest girl you could find.”
Unfortunately “you make my penis smile” rarely works for long-term – or even short-term – commitments when it’s the only trait. It’s small wonder that Rochkind was unable to hold a conversation with any of his dinner dates. The problem wasn’t that his dates were stupid; it’s that he spent too much time listening to his cock to actually listen to his dates. Because he wants the status that comes with being The One Who Dates Hot Women, he ignored other aspects – like their personality or interests.
Once he was no longer saying whatever it took to get in bed and only giving half an ear to what she actually said, things would fall apart. After all, who needs words when that booty is slamming?
Well… as it turns out, Rochkind did. As does anyone who wants a relationship to last. It’s not that “looks fade,” as Rochkind’s fiancée pronounces, it’s that the impact of looks fades over time. Humans are capable of getting used to anything; what is extraordinary at first eventually becomes the new normal. Hedonic adaptation kicks in quicker than you’d think. So while Hottie McHotterson may have an ass like woah and boobs like phwoar, eventually sex with her can be – in the words of Billy Bob Thornton – like fucking the couch.
But because you never established any commonalities or shared interests, you have little else to bond over. And once you’ve established that you are only interested in women for one thing, it’s easy to mistake a lack of shared interest for, say, stupidity. Doubly so when you don’t show any interest in getting to know the person or seeing if you can connect with their interests. Fair is fair after all. If you’re not interested in Twenty One Pilots, you can’t exactly be nonplussed when they aren’t interested in your thoughts about commodities futures.
Despite the insistence that hot women are vain, vapid and stuck up, even the most attractive don’t want to be known or valued for their looks. Giacomo Casanova is quoted as having said “Praise the beautiful for their intelligence and the intelligent for their beauty”, and that applies here. If you want to date hot women, you have to focus on more than the hotness. Looks are one part of the equation – and not even the most important, even amongst the hottest of the hot.
Don’t Mistake the Sizzle for the Steak
One of the problems with the “looks first, the rest… enh” outlook is that it’s responding to shallowness with more shallowness. The difference is that Rochkind et. al. spend their time blaming women for their shortcomings instead of examining their own. Hotness is treated as a prize that they deserve for… well, being a guy, basically. Everything afterwards is further rewarding them for being the master of the universe. They haven’t put much thought into just why they “deserve” someone hot. They complain about the shallowness, vapidity and self-absorption of hot women without examining themselves.
Similarly, they want to be given credit and awards for deigning to “date down” and suddenly discovering that women – even women who are merely very good looking – can be attractive and have substance.
Ignoring the fact that this discovery tends to come when Rochkind crossed from his mid-30s to his 40s, the problem here is that these women had always had substance… it was just that he and his peers never went looking for it. Beauty may be skin deep, but dating someone requires getting under someone’s skin to the meat beneath – and Rochkind wasn’t willing to do so. It’s not surprising that his relationships didn’t work out; he didn’t want anything other than their beauty.
“When men see beautiful women, they are more concentrated on how she looks because they want to ‘have’ her, and so they don’t want to go deeper and get to know her,” says Isabell Giardini, a 22-year-old Italian beauty signed with Major Models. “And that’s why at the end of a date they wonder, ‘Oh that girl is so beautiful but so empty.’ That’s happened to me often.”
Being willing to prioritize “women of substance” over merely hot women isn’t enlightenment so much as a baseline for maturity. It still implies a false dichotomy: that one can be beautiful or have layers, not both. Even as Rochkind compliments his fiancée – whom he supposedly prefers – he ends up negging her:
She’s 5-foot-2, so she can’t be a runway model, but I think she’s really beautiful and is prettier than anyone I’ve dated.”
The barb is still there; sure she’s pretty and all but, y’know… not a model.
Of course, when beauty is the only thing you value, then it becomes the only defining trait of women. In doing so, it becomes the root cause of everything, including those turbulent relationships that hotties supposedly have. Looking at, say, the top 20 actresses on IMDB and documenting their rocky romances provides no information about the effect looks have on relationships. Ignoring that most marriages end in divorce, looks have less to do with relationship maintenance than the difficulty of being in a relationship when you’re an actor in Hollywood. Just as with Rochkind and his compatriots, the study starts with assumptions about The Beautiful and never stops to look underneath. One would’ve thought scientists would understand the difference between correlation and causation…
But one of the most common mistakes people make is not understanding that hotness is a process, not an inherent trait. Hot women don’t look like hot women all the time. Good bone structure is great and all, but your looks are dependent on a lot of factors, from nutrition to hydration, to how much sleep you get, to make-up. It takes less than five seconds on Google to find a dozen Pinterest posts on contouring and two dozen more dudes complaining that contouring is black magic. No matter what Instagram hashtags are used, nobody “woke up like this”. Katy Perry and Gabrielle Union don’t look like Katy Perry and Gabrielle Union first thing in the morning. Dita Von Teese is famous for talking about the process she goes through to become, well, Dita. It involves everything from make-up to corsets to fake lashes and extensions. It ain’t all nature.
Dating hot women – and having women who’re hot want to date you – means that you have to not just appreciate their looks, but be willing to look deeper. Looks are great… but what does she have in addition to them? It’s on you to find this out and, just as importantly, decide whether those other traits make her worth dating. If you want to just date a woman for her looks… well, hey, that’s a choice. But you have to own that lack of compatibility, not blame it on “Well, she’s hot so…”. Finding that women have depth isn’t something you get a cookie for; it’s part of the baseline for dating.
Remember: time and gravity make fools of us all; it’s those deeper qualities that help keep couples together. The things that bond you together become part of why you can look at your partner – with their sag and their wrinkles and gray hair – and still see the vibrant beauty that you fell in love with.
But while we’re on depths…
What Do You Have Going For You Besides Your Looks?
When it comes to the New York club scene where Rochkind plied his trade, it can seem like less of a meet-and-mate and more of a stock exchange. And to an extent: it was. While the connections were (likely) not direct financial inducements, there is an exchange of value for value. Hot women are prizes for douchebags after all and thus greatly sought after by such. Douchebags have to provide enough equal value in exchange – and seemingly do so in great numbers.
And so the hots seem to get the attention and the value while the nots sit by and cry about it.
However, attention isn’t hard to come by. Douchebags get that attention because they actually make their move. Part of why Rochkind could have anyone he wanted  is because he felt that his value – being an equities manager – was enough to attract women. As a result: he put himself out there more and (presumably) had more success. You could have that success and date hot women as well… if you can answer one question.
Think carefully because this is a multi-faceted question. What you have going for you isn’t just about that first impression that opens the door; it’s about why someone would want to date you over the long term. Looks, for example, can get you attention, but looks aren’t going to keep people around. You have to have more going for you; when your looks are the only thing you have to offer, then that attraction is going to fade quickly. As Sonali Chitre mentions in the article, model good looks weren’t enough to keep her interested in a boyfriend:
“He was a Nazi about his diet and would work out hard-core and cared more about his body than just living life,”
The reality is, for all that people prioritize looks over all else, looks are one aspect and not even the most important. Personality counts for far more, especially over time. Having passion, intellectual curiosity and an engaging life is going to be more important for not just relationships but attraction.
People who date “out of their league” aren’t doing so because they’ve found the secret to speed hypnosis; they have things going for them that others find of value. It may be shared interests. It may be the way he makes her feel. She may sing like an angel. He may be an amazing chef whose food makes you feel like you’ve touched the face of God. So what is it that you have that makes you worth dating? What value do you bring to the table that would justify people being interested in you as they get to know you? What drives you, puts the spring in your step, gives you that charismatic focus and certainty that people love?
The more you that you bring to the table, the more long-term success you’ll have. As long as you don’t make this common mistake:
Hot Women Aren’t Your Source of Validation
Part of what stands out about Rochkind and the others interviewed for this column is the screaming insecurity.
To Rochkind and others, having a model-gorgeous partner is less about their partner and far more about what it says about them. Rochkind wanted hot models because he wanted to be someone who could “get” models. Sarah Young – another person interviewed for the piece – wanted someone who could “match” her looks like an accessory:
“As a person who’s always been complimented on [my] ‘stunning beauty’ … I’d been searching for a ‘hot’ guy to match the label I had always been given,” says Young. “But after a date or two, they’ll have problems hanging out with you and then will ghost.”
They want partners that make other people jealous. It’s understandable; it can be intoxicating to know that everyone wants somebody but only you get to have them. But that feeling is fleeting at best. The problem, as Rochkind, Young and others have found is that relying on the beauty of others to give them meaning is hollow at best. It’s a form of external validation – needing the approval of others for their own self esteem.
Because they lack faith in their own worth and look to others to validate them, they’re continually empty. That hole can’t be filled; they’re stuck being continually dissatisfied because that “perfect” person isn’t going to make them special through osmosis. This person isn’t hot enough in the long term, or not hot enough in the right way. That person may be hot but makes them uncomfortable in one way or another. That other person doesn’t match the lifestyle they imagine for themselves, and so forth and so on.
“You don’t want to be the first to leave the party, but you don’t want to leave the party too late either,” [Rochkind] says.
The sad thing is that, when you’ve bought into the importance of hotness over all else, it can be hard to give up. Yes, you may crave more, but the fear of being the first to “date down” holds people back from what they need. In fearing what one’s bros may think, even as you try to seek a deeper connection, you’re trading one form of external validation for another.
Finding validation within makes you a more secure, more confident and more attractive person. Recognizing that you’ve been sold a bill of goods – that superficial “success” will leave you hollow and that you need something more meaningful – is the start of wisdom. In wanting to find something deeper and more meaningful than just looks, Rochkind is showing signs of growth.
Being willing to deign to “date the merely beautiful” doesn’t make you a better man, nor does expecting a cookie for doing so. If you want to date incredibly hot women – whether models or not, whether tall and skinny or short and fat or anywhere in between – then you have to be someone worth dating. And the first step to that is to realize: beauty isn’t surface. Looks are great. But the connection that makes someone amazing is found within.
- That is: unemployment [↩]