For a while now, I think I've been on the shallower side of attraction. I've finally understood why most people always seemed so physically attracted to people. I've looked around rooms and thought, "Wow, he's hot," or "He's really adorable," and I've thought that if I were a dating man, I'd want to date them.
But due to several recent developments in my life, I think the newness of allowing myself to see attractiveness around me is wearing off, so even though I'm not about to stop noticing attractiveness around me, I think I'm more conscious about it and maybe processing it a little more maturely. Maybe. At the gym last night, I had a couple of interesting experiences that indicate, to me, that I may be in a healthier place than I have been for a while.
First, I noticed a fellow near me who was, for reasons I shall not expound on, totally physically unattractive to me. In just about every way possible, he was the opposite of "my type". And my initial thought was, quite simply, "Ew, no way." And I caught myself. I thought to myself, "Wait, you don't have any idea what's in that guy's heart or what goodness his character and personality hold. You've never interacted with him in any way. You've found it completely possible to love friends who are not 'cute' by your standards, so why not anyone else? Why say 'ew' about someone you don't even know? I mean, acknowledging they're not physically attractive to you is one thing, but thinking, 'ew'?" And I realized it was because I had made a habit of evaluating people as romantic potentials rather than just as people, so if someone didn't seem like a romantic "potential", then they were "ew, no way". It's a twisted line of thinking, I think, and a shallow one based on appearances.
The other experience was the flip-side, in a way: I noticed a guy from afar who had a very nice build which was being very nicely shown off by his gym outfit. As he walked toward where I was, I thought, "Oh, yes. Come closer. This one's a potential. Mm-hm..." And I caught myself again. I thought, "Wait...for what? You're not going to pursue anything. You know nothing about this kid. Why even entertain the thought of whether he's a 'potential' based on how physically attractive he is?" When he came closer, I realized he wasn't so attractive after all, mainly because of his expression and general demeanor and what I saw in his eyes.
Granted, you can build on an initial attraction. If you're looking for someone to date, I'm not sure there's anything at all wrong with finding someone attractive and then interacting to see what else there might be. But there's something refreshing about relearning to not be so caught up on the outward appearance that you forget to even be mindful of the person beyond the shell.
Long story short, I was reminded that rather than simply look people up and down, I'm trying more and more to get back to looking them in the eyes. And it feels good to remember that.