As a younger man, I was sold a lie that I had to date the most beautiful woman I could get. It was a terrible trap and a shallow mark of immaturity.
It wasn’t even what I wanted. I was miserable.
Sure, attraction matters. Love is not blind. However, spend enough time with someone, and you’ll realize that looks are just an appetizer, a small, unstable frame in the architecture of happiness. Even a perfect diamond will crack with bad chemistry.
Outer beauty is simple. You see it. You get it. Inner beauty has many shades and colors. You have to explore to find them. But upon discovery, they’re yours. They don’t fade. You can savor them forever.
My 37-year-journey has revealed a few unexpected traits in a woman that I can’t get enough of.
The quirkiness factor
I dated a theatre girl in my early-20s. When we first got together, I was a bit caught off guard by her.
- She snorted when she laughed.
- She was an unapologetically bad dancer.
- She made dirty jokes without shame.
- She used weird voices while telling a story.
- She had these guy habits that she didn’t hide.
It was unbelievably attractive.
When a woman is confident in who she is and isn’t afraid to let her weird hang out, it reflects an underlying honesty. It announces, “This is who I am.”
This theater girl didn’t have modelesque-looks, but I couldn’t get enough of her. The attraction was ravenous.
There’s also something attractive about a woman who trips a lot. I was polling a group of guys and we had this weird unanimous verdict that we liked clumsiness.
I don’t understand it. My theory is that it appeals to our inner desire to protect.
All I know is that, when I see a woman stumble and fall, I’m like, “Hey now. Who's this lady?”
Joking. Sort of.
To the point, quirks are a breath of fresh air. They add a unique color to who that person is.
Everyone tries so hard. It’s refreshing to see someone take their hands off the wheel. Wear your quirk like a crown.
A certain kind of humility
Markus Zusak once said, “Sometimes people are beautiful. Not in looks. Not in what they say. Just in what they are.”
Nothing sits at the roiling center of inner-beauty more than humility. It’s reflected in everything they do. Humble people stand out. They’re as easy to identify as their arrogant counterparts.
I see it when:
- She doesn’t brag often.
- She can joke at her own expense.
- She can tell an embarrassing story about herself.
Humility gives me a fever. And the only prescription is more dates :P
Have you ever dated someone who is super arrogant and narcissistic? It’s so messy and painful. There’s a reason so many people write about the subject.
I had an ex who couldn’t apologize in the most extreme and obvious cases where it was due. Smoke would come out of her ears. She’d grit her teeth.
Five years. Zero apologies.
Date someone who can swallow their pride and admit to being human. Even robots make mistakes. (New Rule: if you have to add “but” to your apology, it isn’t a true apology.)
You’ll also be well served in dating someone who doesn’t treat every argument like a competition.
You won’t get any of these things from someone who lacks humility. Stay humble. Choose humble.
I’m not competing with her phone
I don’t know if it’s my luck with women but, more often than not, her phone is the third person at the dinner table.
Sometimes she’ll ask beforehand, “Hey, do you mind if I respond to this?” It makes it a little better but it’s still a nuisance.
I’m not an over-talker. I listen more than I talk. I try not to tell bad stories. Yet, on more than one occasion, I’ve had someone whip out their phone and start texting while I’m talking.
It has me second-guessing myself, “Man, am I this boring? Or is lady naturally rude?”
On the other side of the coin, I’ve dated women who never brought out their phones. Huge bonus points.
I even met a woman who said, “Oh, yeah, I don’t use Instagram or Facebook.”
I thought she might’ve been a unicorn. If she doesn’t have social media does she even exist?!
I wouldn’t be married to her social media. I wouldn’t be a 24–7 cameraman at every brunch, crosswalk, beach day, ice cream shop, and exciting DMV photo opportunity.
But, demanding no social media is a bit much to ask. I get it. I’m on social media myself.
To the main point, if you aren’t checking your phone during dates, you’ll be ahead of the pack.
She has a hobby
This doesn’t mean traveling or hanging out with friends. We all love those things. But they’re just activities.
When I meet someone, guy or girl, who’s passionate about something that isn’t basic, they seem more dynamic, less predictable. I want to learn more.
A hobby reflects a desire to live a full life and manifest your best self.
It could be music, writing, art, sailing. Even if you’re terrible at it, just do something that evolves past your basic biology. Be more than an animal.
For example, my partner loves to ride horses. She competed for years in jumping competitions. She can’t afford a horse right now, so she pivoted and competes in triathlons instead.
She’s always planning her meals and talking about her races. When I go to use her YouTube app on her Smart TV, the video suggestions are related to training videos and horse riding.
I can tell she is really into it. She’s always talking about her training and showing me her best times.
She sent me this, this morning:
I often hear an alarm go off at five in the morning as she slides out the door to for practice. It’s usually the first of two daily workouts. It’s a minor nuisance. But I admire her tenacity. I totally support it.
I’m a former collegiate swimmer. For years, I was in the spotlight, competing in front of stands full of onlookers. But now? You’ll see me on the sidelines, serving as a Triathalon Boyfriend, filming and rooting for my girlfriend.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I love dating a woman who has hobbies.