Over the past few weeks many of you have commented on how personality is what really matters. After all, looks of course are merely just an outer shell protecting the person inside – call it fancy packaging if you will. Recently I popped into my local Sainsbury’s supermarket and noticed both a large bag of Doritos for £1.49 and a similarly sized bag of ‘Sainsbury’s basic Tortilla Chips’ for 29p. Extraordinarily different on the outside but in truth, completely the same on the inside. This got me thinking about a friend of mine who in recent times has been telling me all about how she’d had to ‘work’ to fall in love with her boyfriend as that instant physical attraction just wasn’t there. So I asked myself the all important question – ‘does your partner always have to be a Dorito’?
In researching this topic I found myself watching a classic episode of Sky Living’s ‘Dating in the Dark’. For anyone not familiar with the show three men and three women enjoy a series of dates in a pitch black room, forging bonds and enjoying undoubted chemistry before choosing who to see in an end of show light reveal. There really isn’t a better way of analysing the subject than watching this show, the outcomes can be truly fascinating at times. I watched as Katie an aspiring Model and Beauty Therapist enjoyed a succession of dates with David, a Policeman who described himself as looking like ‘Shrek’s stunt double’. Although on paper you wouldn’t have placed the two together, David quickly won Katie over with his ‘cheeky chappy’ personality, wit and unquestionable charm. When the two were together it was like watching the unfolding of one of life’s great love stories, they were quite literally inseparable and you could see their excitement at meeting each other away from the dark. However when the lights came on, it was an entirely different story altogether. David looked like he’d just found a winning lottery ticket, Katie on the other hand looked like she was about to vomit. I’m very easy-going by nature but I was honestly rather appalled by Katie’s reaction, so rude, so hurtful, so incredibly unnecessary. I couldn’t quite believe that this girl, beautiful to look at yes, but quite frankly lacking in grace, charisma and apparently any form of manners had the audacity to dismiss this guy so bluntly based on looks alone. Are we really that blinded by looks?
In spite of my annoyance at Katie’s reaction, I must admit I have long championed the importance of physical attraction. Don’t get me wrong I would never judge or dismiss anyone in the moronic way that Katie did but looking back to even my earliest crushes at ten years old, I’d always believed that physical attraction was what sets ‘friends’ and ‘girlfriends’ apart. After all, do we really want to find ourselves in a physical situation with someone we’re not attracted to (not that I was doing anything physical when I was ten of course)? This, however, has always just been my personal opinion and generally it’s very much an ‘each to their own’ kind of subject.
It’s important to remember that what is attractive to some people is not always attractive to others. Put it this way, right now I have a big beard, some girls love it, like really love it, but then I’ll go home to my Mum’s house and my Sister will say “shave that off it’s disgusting…and it’s turning ginger” – not that I’m trying to impress my sister but you see my point.
I do think personality is equally essential though. I don’t believe a truly ‘happy’ relationship can exist without it, but I also don’t think anyone should be berated for saying ‘looks matter’, so long as they go about it in the right way of course. I suppose we also have to think twice before labelling people shallow, shallow to me is the way Katie behaved, not someone who is simply ‘picky’.
When I reflect on some of my own experiences the question of looks over personality becomes even more difficult to answer. In my early 20’s I dated two girls at different times. One was short and slightly ‘podgy’ but with a nice face and a personality to die for and the other, a size zero with the potential to be a catwalk model. The girl with the amazing personality, we had so much in common, music, films, food, absolutely everything, but sometimes we got on in such a way that I quickly found myself falling into what we all know as ‘the friend zone’.
She was pretty there’s no question about that, there are plenty of guys out there who would’ve killed to be with her, but there was just something missing for me. The size zero girl, she made me feel like a billionaire with a beauty queen on my arm, but it just wasn’t me, it wasn’t what I wanted. Even she wasn’t what I would class as ‘attractive’ and once again I felt like something was missing. So what does that say about me? Are men just impossible to please? Maybe things just aren’t as clear-cut as valuing one quality over another. Maybe we only truly know what we’re looking for once we find it?
As for my crisp selection, I bought both and mixed them up – couldn’t taste the difference.