Dating is a numbers game, some might say.
I don't feel bad when a social scene does not procure anyone date-worthy:
There were times (many times) when a guy I'd meet would come home, we'd talk for hours, and then he'd ask out my cute roommate. We'd continue to have amazing conversations each time he'd come over to pick her up, as she'd run 1 1/2 hours late, applying more makeup and chattering about her latest hair products and celebrity gossip. At first I'd wonder, "Why? Why is he dating her, when he clearly has so much in common with me?" And almost immediately after, I'd realize that he was no longer attractive to me. I didn't want him! I realized that I didn't want someone who would be interested in a girl whose primary attractant is her appearance. Why? Because I'm just not that kind of girl! And with great zeal and joy, I could stand up and say, "Another one bites the dust. NEXT!"
Empowerment comes from perspective; recognizing that someone who doesn't appreciate or value you for the qualities you are striving most to achieve (whether that be emotional maturity, or humor, intelligence, commitment to the gospel, your career path, or your ability to look good in a swimsuit) it is YOUR right to decide what is most precious to you. And more power to you! Instead of comparing yourselves to one another, if you can learn to recognize and appreciate the gifts you do have, develop yourselves in the areas you value most, and then seek out partners who are doing the same, you will find someone who isn't willing to settle either; you will find an individual who sees your worth for all the effort and achievements you strive so hard to fulfill.
Of course, this can backfire if you don't have an accurate vision of Who You Really Are. Too often I meet men who are great achievers with amazing educations, drive, and careers; but they are puzzled when women aren't falling all over themselves to get a piece. Well...Could it be that, while you may be offering a lot in the way of financial security, you haven't really made a connection with her on a deeper level? Have you considered that maybe she doesn't care what kind of car you drive, or what brand of clothing you wear, as much as she wants to be with someone who understands her or makes her laugh?
I have a dear friend who consistently dates crazy bitches (there really is no other term). He is one of the sweetest, nicest, o-so-smart, driven, accomplished and genuinely kind and generous people I know. But he gets treated like crap. Why? WHY??? I submit that it's because he has become Mr. Resume Guy. He has worked really hard to set himself up for a very particular type of lifestyle. He drives a certain type of car and wears a certain type of clothing to attract that certain type of woman. And that woman cares more about the image than she does about the man inside. Here's the crazy part; he really is SO MUCH MORE than a nice car and good job. He really is GENUINELY good and kind and thoughtful and sweet. Unfortunately, what he values (mostly, I suspect, because he thinks this is what women value) is his ability to provide. And not simply "provide," but douse her with upscale restaurants, drowning in car payments and the expensive lifestyle of keeping up with the Jones'.
Likewise, I hear women bemoan, "I'm attractive, and fit, and stylish, but for some reason, he's dating HER! I don't get it!" Well- there could be a multitude of reasons; but my question for you is- is that what you WANT to be valued for? It's a swinging door, folks. You say you want to be valued for who you are, but you expend so much energy in your outward image that it will likely attract someone only interested in the exterior. Instead of blaming men for making you feel the need to compete and be g-l-a-m-o-u-r-o-u-s...why not give the finger to the culture of the superficial and simply BE? I'm not saying anyone has to stop twirling their eyelashes or start wearing potato sacks, but I am saying that there should be no regrets in letting go the idea of Mr Wonderful when he clearly didn't know you well enough to value your amazing personality, spiritual insight, and sense of humor. It's nothing personal; he simply does not share your values! Now where is the insult in that?
The bottom line is: if someone doesn't appreciate you for who you are, they didn't know you very well. And if someone has spent a lot of time getting to know you, and still can't figure out how truly fabulous you really are, LET IT GO. Go on with your bad self and know this: the better you know yourself- your TRUE self- and the more honest you can be about what you value, the more likely you are to find someone who likewise shares your values. And isn't that the true reward? Being a whole person with another whole person who likes you for who you are. Now THAT would be a numbers game worth playing.