We live in a society that reminds us of beauty every single day. Advertisements of beautiful people, television shows with beautiful people, commercials with beautiful people, beautiful people around us…
Aesthetically pleasing individuals draw us towards them visually. They make products look better, and make clothing look more appealing. But, when you’re in a relationship, one’s looks tend to get placed lower down on the list of priorities.
So, when in a relationship, what is more important than beauty?
Being intellectually challenging.
There is no denying that someone’s looks are what initially draws us to them. It’s difficult to spot a great personality from across the room. Many a fling was built on physical attraction alone, but how long can it last?
When conversations lack depth or intrigue, we often fill our time with physical activity together, but it is impossible to build a real connection or lasting relationship with someone on that alone. Being intellectually challenging and having the ability to hold real discussions about meaningful topics, will always trump shallow beauty in the long run.
I’ve said it before, and I will say it again. Class has nothing to do with the price tag on your outfit. Class is about the dignity you carry yourself with and the level of respect you show to those around you.
It doesn’t matter what kind of car someone is driving, what part of town they live in, or what brand of clothing they’re wearing — if they have an ugly attitude and embarrass others in public, none of it matters.
How long will you stay in a committed relationship with a beautiful or handsome liar? If you cannot trust your partner or believe what they say, how can you construct a solid, lasting foundation with them?
You can’t, no matter how good looking they are.
Besides being an attractive quality, confidence plays many key roles when in a relationship. A confident person will not snoop around invading your privacy or be insecure in your commitment to them. Lack of confidence also greatly impedes one’s ability to accept a compliment or feel good about themselves, and therefore will have a harder time accepting that you see them in a positive light, also. This will bring unneeded tension to the relationship.
Arrogance and cockiness are as much of a turnoff as self-deprecation, confidence is the middle ground.
Passion for you, their partner, of course is important. Without physical intimate passion between two people, a wedge can begin to be driven between you. Aside from that though, is passion for life.
Someone who is passionate about life will keep a relationship lit ablaze. They will keep you excited about waking up every morning because they crave adventure and making the best of our time here on earth. Their passion could be for anything from books to skydiving, or both — as long as it’s for something.
Someone who lacks passion or a zest for life will seem generally apathetic and act as an anchor to your happiness. If you enjoy experiencing new things and avoiding stagnation, a passionate person will be your perfect sidekick.
Much in line with “Class” above, a person’s kindness is an integral part to growing and developing together. If you cannot introduce them to new people, bring them comfortably around friends or family, or go to dinner without them getting irritated with the waitstaff, odds are your relationship will be short lived.
Being consistent is a valuable virtue because it lets your partner know that you really are who you are. You haven’t sent your “representative” to get to know them during the first couple of months of dating, but then suddenly transform once they’ve committed themselves to you.
To clarify the point, think of consistency as the opposite of volatility. If someone is unpredictable and volatile, it’s difficult to know how they will be acting towards you on a certain day, and that gets old no matter how aesthetically pleasing he/she is.
Being compassionate, supportive, and encouraging towards your partner is a huge part of building a successful relationship. Nobody wants a person who is a downer all the time and will not support them in their endeavors or their times of need.
Effort, effort, effort. Relationships are a two way street, and sometimes beautiful people gain a sense of entitlement along their journey in life. They are often treated differently, especially when it comes to dating. They know they are often pursued and desired, and therefore expect to coast through relationships without having to put in any real work.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful or handsome you are, relationships are about give and give, and only work if both people contribute equally.
We cannot fully love or trust someone we do not respect. Without an inherent level of respect for our partner, maintaining a strong foundation will be increasingly difficult.
Not only is a healthy sense of humor attractive, it is an important part of maintaining levity and positivity in life. If you cannot laugh with your partner, what CAN you do with them?
What does this mean? You are more important than beauty? Well — yes.
Who you become when you’re with someone is an often overlooked aspect of a relationship. Does their presence in your life encourage you to be and do better? Do you like the person you are when you are with them? If not, the importance of their beauty will quickly fade when you realize you no longer like yourself.
Don’t get me wrong — physical attraction plays a major role in relationships. Love builds intimacy, and intimacy builds love. But the truth is, the majority of your time in a relationship will be spent outside of the bedroom. It will be spent with family, friends, watching TV, riding in the car, or out to dinner or events.
Remember — you can have a friendship without a relationship, but you can’t have a relationship without a friendship.
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This piece was originally published on JamesMSama.com.