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‘What makes you special? Trust me, it’s not how you look’

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If you rely on your appearance to stop your partner going AWOL, you may get a nasty surprise, says JAMEELA JAMIL

Living in LA, I come across my fair share of distinctly not-average dating dilemmas. My best friend has just started seeing a musician – which is a dangerous move. Why? Because over the years, musicians have earned themselves quite the reputation when it comes to sleeping around. While it’s easy to judge, you really can’t blame them. I’ve not only dated musicians in my time, but I’ve also been surrounded by them for the past six years. It’s UNBELIEVABLE the way women behave around men in bands. Their talent affords them a sort of sex halo, which drives some women to distraction (and beyond). Some fans are terrifying when it comes to their brazen determination to get what they want. Even if the star has no personality or discernible intellect, these girls are up for it. And a lot are legitimately hot. Lethal combination. You can’t shrug and say musicians should practice some self-control, because it’s just not a normal situation. They’re away from home for weeks – sometimes months – at a time. Plus, they’re lonely. And human. Obviously some – including many I personally know – manage to exercise their inner monk when away from their women. But it’s hard, both for them and their (very) trusting partners. It takes a lot of strength to kiss someone goodbye as they take off on the road to be fawned over by beautiful girls, without sticking a tracking device up their rear and tattooing a picture of your face on their private parts. I personally don’t struggle too much with this. Part of this comes from the fact that I date exclusively lovely guys. And the other part is that I made a conscious decision at the start of my twenties to have a good long talk with myself, asking, ‘What is it about me that I like, and what’s worth hanging on to? What is it that sets me apart from other women, that would be likely to make a man turn down a gaggle of hungry women, out of fear that he would lose me?’ I worked out pretty quickly that it wasn’t my looks. Growing up, I was so oafish, I didn’t have them to rely on, which set me in good stead for the rest of my life – because instead, I developed Me.

Image result for your looks

And now – yeah, sure, with enough tongs, concealer, contouring, mascara, eyeliner, bras, lipstick, special fringe arrangement, control pants and high heels I look alright. Don’t we all? But I’m no supermodel. I wobble. I wake up looking like I’ve escaped a war. My tits have a mind of their own during sex. It’s all a work in progress. And so it’s not only that my looks wouldn’t be my USP. It’s that they shouldn’t be. If you think your looks are what makes you special, you are, for lack of a better word, screwed. Because no matter how hot you are, there’s always someone hotter than you. And anyway, looks change and fade. The women you see strutting around LA plastered in makeup and patched up with youth-enhancing surgery were once the girls who thought it was their looks that snagged their man and their opportunities. You should try to avoid that feeling, because it will only imprison you in a web of insecurity and doubt. And while we all kind of know this, it’s hard not to place a value on looks.

Yes, we’re taught about the perils of being shallow and vain from the minute we’re born – but then for the rest of our lives we’re force-fed passive-aggressive abuse by the media on what we’re supposed to look like: ‘Bikini-body ready’, ‘Fix your “problem” areas’, ‘From flab to fab’, blah blah blah blah. And more of us than we’d probably like to admit – myself included – are affected by this pressure. But while it’s great to take pride in your appearance and look after yourself, it won’t make you – or anyone else – truly happy.So taking looks out of the equation entirely, think about how happy you and your partner really are in your relationship.

Unless they’re a total lying sociopath, if someone is utterly fulfilled, it’s highly unlikely they’d be arsed to look for gratification elsewhere. Why would you? People who cheat are unhappy – either with the union they’re in, or unhappy with who they are and are looking for a pick-me-up. I’ve never seen a man who was truly happy in his love life stray. Paul Newman was asked how he stayed faithful to his wife when he was considered the most beautiful man alive – to which he simply answered, “Why would I go out for burgers when I have steak at home?” While this means that Mr Newman was a stand-up guy, it also means his wife was absolutely SMASHING IT at home. And they were truly in love.If my best friend’s going to survive the test of this union, she’s going to have to dig deep and go for gold in order to maintain his focus. She’ll need to constantly assess the temperature on how everything feels. Is he happy? Is she happy? Is the passion and excitement there?Now, I’m not remotely implying you do all the work to make your man happy. Just make sure you both meet each other’s needs and that he’s making the effort and going the distance to meet yours. That’s love. That’s the foundation upon which trust can lie and sleep well. I give 100% in my relationships, way beyond the honeymoon phase. And if I feel like it’s not coming back at me or I’m not being fully appreciated, I know I’m wasting my time. And I leave. There is no point sitting in paranoia and fear of losing someone. If you’re giving them your best and you’re still not sure, then get out. There’s so much more fun to be had in the world – especially in LA, where all the hot musicians live…

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