When it came to dating in New York as a 30-something executive in private equity, Dan Rochkind had no problem snagging the city’s most beautiful women.
“I could have [anyone] I wanted,” says Rochkind, now 40 and an Upper East Sider with a muscular build and a full head of hair. “I met some nice people, but realistically I went for the hottest girl you could find.”
Enlarge ImageDan Rochkind used to date swimsuit models, but he’s happier now that he’s engaged to a merely beautiful woman, Carly Spindel (right).Stephen Yang
He spent the better part of his 30s going on up to three dates a week, courting 20-something blond models, but eventually realized that dating the prettiest young things had its drawbacks — he found them flighty, selfish and vapid.
“Beautiful women who get a fair amount of attention get full of themselves,” he says. “Eventually, I was dreading getting dinner with them because they couldn’t carry a conversation.”
According to new research, Rochkind’s ideas about sexy bikini babes are correct. A multipart study from Harvard University, University of La Verne and Santa Clara University researchers found that beautiful people are more likely to be involved in unstable relationships. In one part, the researchers looked at the top 20 actresses on IMDb and found that they tend to have rocky marriages. In another, women were asked to judge the attractiveness of 238 men based on their high school yearbook photos from 30 years ago. The men who were judged to be the best-looking had higher rates of divorce.
Looking to avoid such a fate, Rochkind started dating a woman who isn’t a bikini model, Carly Spindel, in January 2015. The two are now happily engaged.
Enlarge Image“People who are better looking are less likely to pursue advanced degrees, or play an instrument or learn other languages,” says Benedict Beckeld.JB Imaginative
The two met after Spindel’s mother, matchmaker Janis Spindel, scouted Rochkind at a gym.
“I gave him my card and said I have the perfect girl for him,” recalls Janis, founder of Serious Matchmaking, based in Midtown. “Successful men who are in shape have the pickings when it comes to dating, [but] eventually they want a woman of substance.”
Rochkind found that in Carly, 30, a lovely brunette who’s the vice president of her mother’s matchmaking company and a Syracuse University graduate. Rochkind proposed to her last May in Central Park. He loves that Carly isn’t like the swimsuit models he used to go for.
“[She] is a softer beauty, someone you can take home and cuddle with, and she’s very elegant,” Rochkind says. “And she’s 5-foot-2, so she can’t be a runway model, but I think she’s really beautiful and is prettier than anyone I’ve dated.”
Carly has no qualms about how her future husband views her compared with his exes.
“When men get to a certain age, they realize that it’s important to meet a life partner that they connect with,” she says. “Looks fade.”
Some great-looking people say they’re given a bad rap unfairly.
“When men see beautiful women, they are more concentrated on how she looks because they want to ‘have’ her, and so they don’t want to go deeper and get to know her,” says Isabell Giardini, a 22-year-old Italian beauty signed with Major Models. “And that’s why at the end of a date they wonder, ‘Oh that girl is so beautiful but so empty.’ That’s happened to me often.”
Enlarge ImageSonali Chitre dumped her hot boyfriend because he was too vain.Pawel Lucas
Others say the stereotypes about pretty people being shallow are true, even if they’re hotties themselves.
“From my personal experience, people who are better looking are less likely to pursue advanced degrees, or play an instrument or learn other languages,” says Benedict Beckeld, a 37-year-old Brooklyn writer with a doctorate in philosophy and the body of an Adonis. But he’s quick to note that he’s not just a great set of abs — he also plays the violin and speaks seven languages.
After dating an athletic banker with model good looks for two years, Sonali Chitre, 34, has sworn off hotties.
“He was a Nazi about his diet and would work out hard-core and cared more about his body than just living life,” says Chitre, who broke up with the finance guy last October.
‘When men get to a certain age, they realize that it’s important to meet a life partner that they connect with. Looks fade.’ - Carly Spindel
Chitre, an environmental lawyer and the founder of Priyamvada Sustainability Consulting, considers herself “a 9 or a 10,” but she says she’s done with gorgeous guys. Now, she’s more interested in “superballer” men with high-paying careers.
“I still want someone who’s in decent shape, but it’s more important to find a guy who’s goal-oriented,” she says. “[Beautiful men] are very into their bodies and don’t really care about people that much, or make time for their family.”
Megan Young, a 23-year-old p.r. woman from Hoboken, NJ, also changed her dating habits. The svelte, blue-eyed brunette used to exclusively date 6-foot-tall dudes who looked like Calvin Klein models.
“As a person who’s always been complimented on [my] ‘stunning beauty’ … I’d been searching for a ‘hot’ guy to match the label I had always been given,” says Young. “But after a date or two, they’ll have problems hanging out with you and then will ghost.”
Enlarge ImageMegan Young and her boyfriend, Christopher ArgeseCourtesy of Megan Young
Last year, she stopped putting looks at the top of her dating criteria on Bumble, instead opting for guys who traveled a lot and were “make the most out of their lives” types. In August 2016, she met Christopher Argese, a 27-year-old security technician. Unlike the square-jawed bachelors who disrespected her, Argese is more boy-next-door in the looks department. But he’s kind and attentive.
“He’s not a model, but he’s so much more attractive in who he is as a person,” Young says.
And best of all, she says, Argese doesn’t just see her as a status symbol.
“When I asked him why he loves me, he said that he loves my drive and my passion,” Young says.
Rochkind is equally enthusiastic about his decision to give up high-maintenance hotties.
“There’s something to be said about sowing your wild oats and getting them out of your system,” says Rochkind, who will marry Carly in June at a “Tuscan-romantic” ceremony at the Wölffer Estate Vineyard in the Hamptons. But he doesn’t regret his past.
“You don’t want to be the first to leave the party, but you don’t want to leave the party too late either,” he says. “Carly came at exactly the right time.”