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Dating advice: Don't worry about your looks!

If you think you have to lose 20 pounds, go blonde, or get a nose job before you attract the man of your dreams, you're dead wrong.

Here's an assignment. Check out the wedding pages of your newspaper this weekend. Do any of the brides look like cover girls? Look closely. Sure, there may be a couple of model types among them, but most of the women are average looking. Some of them resemble Phil Spector, for Pete's sake. What do they have that you don't? Nothing.

Please do not fall into the trap of believing that you have to achieve a certain look to attract good, marriage-minded men. Whatever you do, do not size yourself up against other women.

Walk into every room with the knowledge that, whatever you look like, you're a winner. You have much to offer a man.

I can remember two separate occasions when I was interested in a great looking guy (who I later found out returned my interest) but figured I didn't have a chance because I had a little squish around the middle. Guess what? Both guys ended up with women with at least 20 pounds on me, and years later, remain happily married to them.

I'm not suggesting you start pigging out on fast food and roaming the planet in a sweatsuit. And, certainly, you should practice basic hygiene. But obsession about your looks is an entirely different thing, and it's not attractive.

Sure, it's great to be the prettiest girl in the room, but you never want to attract the type of man who wants the prettiest girl in the room! You want a man who wants you for you, not for your white teeth, tapered nose, or tight hamstrings. You want a man who'll love you now and will love you three weeks after you give birth, despite stretch marks.

It's better to be less attractive when you meet the man of your dreams than after you marry him. But, instead, most women look great while they're casting their nets for a husband, and then let themselves go after they catch him (men are guilty of this, too).

Do it the other way around. After the wedding, reward your guy for having the good taste to marry you by keeping up your looks. By all means, encourage him to do the same for you.

In the meantime, focus on your good qualities. Explore your hobbies and interests and the things that make you special. Go out into the world with your shoulders held back. You are a wonder of the world, and some man will be very lucky to have you.

Trust him to know that when he sees you.

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