One piece of advice I’d give anyone pursuing a relationship, is to get to the mental stage of being able to separate someone’s looks from their character.
One of the most important things I learned from my time at university, is that appearances can be – and usually are – deceiving. I used to be one of those people who automatically assumed that, just because someone looked good, that they were good people. In fact, many turned out to be the complete opposite, being shallow, vindictive and in some cases evil.
Similarly, we tend to automatically assign negative traits to those we find unattractive: lazy, dirty, rubbish in bed, stupid and so on. All of these, without those people even opening their mouth.
The reality is that appearance, and in a lot of cases attractiveness, is used to present an image that portrays them as being a certain kind of person. A pair of glasses, especially those with fake lenses, are used to give the impression that someone is intelligent. Dying one’s hair is often done to indicate uniqueness, extroversion, or in many cases normality. Want to be seen as “sexy”? Just slap on a pair of high heels, or show as much skin as possible.
Appearance can be a method of self-expression, and there are a few basic things we can tell about someone from the way they look. However, image is often used to hide or disguise character flaws. How many times have you discovered that an attractive person, or someone you like the look of, is as boring as hell? Or that they weren’t as innocent or mentally stable as we’d assumed?
In my own experience, those heavily obsessed with their image – their outward appearance – are usually devoid of personality and character, and tend to overcompensate with expensive tastes and generally being way too visible. We live in an image-obsessed society, to the point where even businesses are adopting this attitude: focusing more on hiring eye-candy staff and making sure they have swanky, “quirky” offices, than doing what they claim to do.
Whether dealing with women, who advertise themselves primarily through physical appearance – and TELLING YOU they’re sexy, bubbly, outgoing, educated etc. – business people who dress for success, or others trying to convince you they have money, confidence and social status, at some point most of us will come to the realisation that all that glitters isn’t gold.
I carried out an experiment at one of the many speed dating events I’ve been to, having tried different approaches and strategies at previous events. That particular time I decided to go blindfolded – or rather have my eyes closed. By doing this I wanted to get a better idea of each female’s personality and character, without being distracted by how they looked or what they were wearing.
Two very noticeable things happened as a result. The first was that some of the women sounded frustrated, and in a couple of instances upset, because I chose not to look at them. But second, and most important, was the realisation that there was hardly anything left: the same questions about what I did for a living, where I lived and where I was from, and nothing distinctive about any of the females to hold my interest.
Just like with blind people, whose other senses are heightened and become more important in the absence of sight, it becomes easier to notice various characteristics of other people, and to make better decisions about them. Removing sight from the equation goes a long way into preventing judging others based on sexual urges, preconceptions and assumptions… At least it does for me. That’s one reason why my face isn’t in any of my videos.
I’m not suggesting that everyone walk around with their eyes closed. Instead, begin by asking yourself the following question: if you’re with someone right now, or have your eye on a particular person, would you still want to be with them if you could never physically see them again? Would you be comfortable being around them with only the ability to hear them talk? If the answer is no, then perhaps you’re not with, or focused on, the “right” person.
The moral of the story is, as people used to say, there’s more than meets the eye. It might not be easy, but when you’re able to look past looks, you’re more likely to notice diamonds – especially when they don’t look like diamonds.