How Important is Physical Attractiveness?

Physical compatibility includes attractiveness, chemistry, sexuality, and health. People tend to date and marry those who they perceive to be similar to them in physical attractiveness. Dissimilar physical attractiveness can create an imbalance, giving the person who is more physically attractive more power in the relationship.

Some people might place a great deal of importance on physical attractiveness, while others may do so to a lesser extent. Some believe that the kind of person one is, is more important because a good person can actually become more physically attractive—just as an attractive person who is not a good person can become less attractive.

An African proverb: Beauty comes from within.

Which Brain are Your Using to Select a Parnter?



  • Aggression, dominance, territoriality—safety, survival, procreation

Mammalian (Animal Brain)

  • Emotional involved in acquisition of food for feeding, reproductive behavior, for procreation essentially survival of the species

Cerebral Cortex (Reasoning & Intelligence)

  • Source of language, use of symbols, reason and logic processing culture and traditions
  • The source and foundation of moral and social behavior

Pre-Frontal Lobe (Spiritual Brain)

  • The Vehicle through which divine consciousness executes its enlightened will
  • The Vehicle through which divine consciousness interfaces, interjects and redirects will
All the brains work interdependently
Many are functioning out of the emotional, mammalian, or animal part of the brain (the lower brain) that is responsible for food, reproduction and essentially survival of the species, when choosing a partner. Because the animal brain is the driving force, not the higher levels of the brain, many make bad choices in dating and choosing a partner.
Which Brain are you primarily function out of?

Are Your Burning the Relationship Out in the “Hot or Cooking Stage”

Fu-Kiau (1994), in Time in the Black Experience, explains that for Africans everything—institutions, systems, and processes—follow a time process, which is the “unlimited and ongoing process of events throughout the universe through the power and energy of Kalunga, the supreme force. Planets undergo cosmic time, earthly beings undergo vital time, and nature undergoes natural time; and even social systems and institutions undergo a time process that consists of four stages. As shown in the figure above,  these four stages include conception, birth, maturity, and transformation and death.


Just as everything goes through the four stage time process, so too does dating and mating.

Conception–“Cooking or Hot Stage”

This is the stage when two individuals meet. After meeting the person, conception is the thought that “I would like to get to know this person better.” If one already knows the individual, conception is the thought of the person as someone that one would like to get to know for possibilities as a potential partner. It is at this stage that one might consider starting to date.


The birth of the relationship is the stage at which individuals make a commitment to explore each other at deeper levels for the possibility of a permanent relationships or marriage.


This is the period when the relationship is maturing and individuals decide to become engaged for marriage.


At this stage the individuals are now undergoing a transformation. It is at this period that the individuals decide to move the relationship to a higher level, which may mean marriage. If both individuals do not seek permanency, then it can mean the death of the relationship—at least an intimate one. If the individuals decide to marry, although the relationship continues to mature, it begins a new  process, that also goes through the four-stage time processes with different challenges, many of which evolve around how to coexist under marriage.

Many through the stages too quickly–going through all the stages in the “hot” stage. What tends to happen is that we move into physical intimacy without emotional, mental and spiritual intimacy. Because we do not allow for the natural unfolding of getting to know the person, it kills the possibility for a relationship to develop.

Are you moving though the stages too fast?

Source: African American Relationships, Marriages and Families: An Introduction, Patricia Dixon, Ph.D.


Whos Using Who?

In The Black Male/Female Connection, Maulana Karenga (1989a) examines three dominant ideologies underlying the U.S. social structure that have destructive effects on African Americans and their relationships. These include:

Capitalism–which “turns relationships… into commodities and utilitarian arrangements”

Racism–which bases humanity on the concept of race and racial hierarchies and “engenders self-hate, self-doubt and pathological fixation on the White paradigm” and

Sexism–which “imposes unequal, oppressive and exploitive relationships based on gender or sex” and “encourages artificial personal power over women as a substitute for real social power over one’s destiny and daily life” (pp. 47–48).


These structural values transform African American relationships into what Karenga calls “connections … a short-term or tentative association which is utilitarian and alienated and is designed primarily for the mutual misuse of each other’s body” (p. 48). These connections include the:

Cash Connection – money and material become the basis of relationship formation. It is evident when women expect men to spend money for their time and when men expect a woman’s body in exchange for spending money. It is also in operation when women sell themselves to men looking for them to “take care of them, “exchanging sex for economic security and calling it marriage.”

Flesh connection –“grows out of the pornographic character of society and is an association based purely or predominantly on the pursuit of sex. It focuses on the perverse things that can be done with the body [and] is an outgrowth of pornography …which expresses itself in five basic ways”: (1) alienation, men and women alienated from their “species half,” (2) the objectification, “turning a natural partner into an object of use,” (3) fragmenting of the body, “hacking it into usable pieces, rejecting the wholeness of the human personality,” (4) brutalization, and (5) “a sexually commodity form,” “the packing and peddling of the body.”

Force connection – arising “out of the violent and oppressive character of society, with conquest being a central theme, permits men to use their greater physical strength to subdue women” and

Dependency connection – emerges when a woman after “being transformed into a commodity” and “reduced to parts of her body, becomes dependent” (pp. 48a–48c).

The force connection, undergirded by a sense of ownership, leads men to think they can dominate women through mere force, and the dependency connection renders women vulnerable to domination. All of these connections inhibit the development of quality relationships.

How are you connecting? If you are not sure, the key is to slow it down so you can get to know the person and know what their intentions are.

Sources: African American Male-Female Relationships: A Reader–Dr. Patricia Dixon (for the entire article)
African American Relationships, Marriages and Families, Dr. Patricia Dixon

Do Men Lie?

The women who are searching for partners have said that one of the primary issues they are having in dating is that men are dishonest. Dr. Patty presents the question to the matchmakers: Do men lie?

This Woman Uses the 80/20 Rule When Dating. What is that?

Dr. Patty discussing with a woman what she is looking for in a partner. She is looking for a man who is tall, dark and handsome, her knight. She also uses the 80/20 rule, which she describes below. Is she realistic?

Do Men Know What They Want? Do Women Know What they Want?

Eligible men and women discuss expectations in dating.

Are You and Your Partner Communicating Like This Couple?

What is wrong with the way this couple is communicating?

How would you change the way this couple is communicating?

If you are communicating with your partner like this See TLC Talking and Listening With Care to help you and your partner learn to communicate and resolve conflict more effectively.

Purchase TLC-Talking and Listening With Care at Amazon

Use TLC-Talking & Listening With Care to Communicate With Your Partner

Below the same couple is Using TLC-Talking and Listening With Care as a  better way to communicate.

For More information See TLC–Talking and Listening With Care below
TLC is also incorporated in African American Relationships, Marriages and Families: An Introduction, 1st & 2nd editions (If you have either of these books do not purchase this one)

Six Signs that Your Marriage is on a Diaster Course

According to John Gottman in The Seven for Making Marriage Work there are six signs that your marriage is heading for Divorce. These include:

1. Harsh startup –starting a discussion in a negative accusatory manner, with criticism or contempt–more likely if it starts with a harsh start-up it will end on a negative note; statistics say, you can predict the outcome of a conversation based on the first 3 minutes–a harsh startup dooms you to failure

2. The four horsemen

criticism–most complain about the person you live with–complaint different than criticism. Complaint–addresses a specific action at which our spouse failed. Criticism more global–it adds some negative words about your mate’s character or personality, pp. 24-25. “You never remember to do the things I want you to do. You are so irresponsible.”

contempt–sarcasm, cynicism, name-calling, sneering, mockery & hostile humor. It is the worst of the four horsemen– is poisonous to a relationship because it conveys disgust. It is virtually impossible to resolve a problem when your partner is getting the message you’re disgusted with him/her. Fueled by long simmering negative thoughts about your partner

defensive–approach rarely has the desired effect; the attacking spouse usually does not back down or apologize, just escalates conflict.

stonewalling–when a discussion begins with harsh startup, where criticism & contempt lead to defensiveness, eventually one partner will tune out, e.g. Ignoring, reading the newspaper, walking out, sitting as a passive stone wall, acting as if he could care less about what you are saying, most common among men, arrives later in the marriage, after the other 3.

3. Flooding-people usually stonewall in response to feeling flooded–means your spouse’s negativity whether in the guise of criticism or contempt or even defensiveness, is so overwhelming, and so sudden that it leaves you shell-shocked. You feel so defenseless against this sniper attack that you learn to do anything to avoid a replay. The more often you feel flooded by your spouse’s criticism or contempt, the more hyper vigilant you are for cues that your spouse is about to “blow” again. All you think about is protecting yourself from the turbulence of your spouse’s onslaught. The way to do this is to disengage emotionally from the relationship. In one example the spouse could not handle the hostility, shutting down, eventually this lead to divorce.

4. Body language–in conflict physiological changes include–increased heart rate–100-165 beat per minute (for a man about 30 norm is about 76, woman–82), hormonal changes, secretion of adrenaline, which kicks in the fight or flight response.

-points out that in 85% of marriages the stonewaller is the husband

-reason lies in evolutionary heritage, stemming from gender roles

-amount of milk women produced related to how relaxed she feels, which is related to oxytocin in`the brain–women can quickly calm down after feeling stressed. Her ability to remain composed could enhance her children’s chances of survival optimizing the amount of nutrition they received.

-to this day the male cardiovascular system remains more reactive than the female and slower to recover from stress. For example if a man & woman hear a sudden loud sound, his heart will beat faster than hers and stay accelerated for longer. The same for blood pressure. Says in experiment in which males were treated rudely & then told to relax, their blood pressure surges and stays elevated until they get to retaliate by contrast to women who were able to calm down (rises if she is pressured into retaliating).

-men also tend to have negative thoughts that maintain their distress levels, women likely to think soothing thoughts that help them calm down and be conciliatory–stonewalling is a defense mechanism.

When the four horsemen take up permanent resident, the couple feel no longer connected to each other give. This puts the marriage is in serious trouble.

5. failed repair attempts–The failure of repair attempts is an accurate marker for an unhappy future. The presence of the 4 horsemen alone predicts divorce with an 82% accuracy. But when you add in the failure of repair attempts, the accuracy rate reaches in the 90s. Usually when the 4 horsemen are present but the couple’s repair attempts are successful–the result is a stable happy marriage. If their are none or the attempts are unable to be heard the marriage is in serious danger.

6. Bad memories–Most couples enter marriage with high hopes & great expectations. In a happy marriage couples tend to look back on their early days fondly. Even if the wedding didn’t go perfectly, they tend to remember the highlights rather than the low points. When the marriage is not going well, history gets rewritten for the worse–focus on the bad things. Another bad sign is when you find the past difficult to remember–it has become so unimportant or painful that you’ve let it fade away.
Are any of  these signs prevalent in your marriage?

An Excellent read for how to prevent divorce, see John Gottman’s The Seven Principle for Making Marriage Work.