NOTE: Before I get started, one of my readers had an accident recently and had to go to the hospital. Here’s hoping that my bud, AA, has a speedy recovery.
Throughout this entry, I will be referencing women. This is primarily because I only date women. That’s just me and who I am.
That said, many of the things I will write about can and will also apply to men. It’s a human thing, but I’m approaching it from my perspective, which is the perspective of heterosexual romantic relationships.
So however you approach things, whomever you like, love, or lust, most of it will apply.
IT’S DIFFERENT WHEN YOU ARE YOUNG
When my dad set me up on a blind date with a daughter of a friend of his, I asked what she was like. He didn’t have a picture, and I had no information to go with.
He said, “She’s kind of average, but she’s got a great personality.”
This was always code for a woman being ugly. And when I was a young man, this was the ONLY way in which this type of statement made any sense.
Besides, who cares about personality when you have a hot chick, right? This is the thinking of the average teenage boy.
I was always relatively forgiving in the looks department, since I’m no hunk. Hell, I don’t even know what makes men attractive in a physical sense. And I don’t need to know.
All the same, I viewed this phrase as nothing more than offering up a weak compliment to someone who is severely lacking in other areas.
I suspect that young men think of it this way because our hormones are out of control, and we are driven more by looks, sexuality, presentation, and fun than anything else.
Then we get into the world, get married, and have children before we mature to the point that we can understand the true meaning and value of that phrase.
Men do crazy things like this when they’re young, dumb, and full of… gumption.
LIFE EXPERIENCE CHANGES THE MEANING
Some men learn their lesson after a while. Other men might never, ever be capable of learning it.
I learned the lesson after decades of adulting. To be fair, I think that I had an advantage, mainly because when I was a teen I was forgiving when it came to things like looks. Sure, I’d want someone to whom I was attracted. I just didn’t need a supermodel or anything like that.
But nothing highlights the idea of taking her “good personality” like being entangled with a woman who has a horrific personality. I have been in that boat twice as a teen, and twice as an adult.
The last time was in 2020, and I think that was a case of me not caring about the lesson. Major Depressive Disorder tends to interfere in that way.
Sometime we need a refresher.
Most definitely, without a doubt, I am nowhere near perfect and have my dumb moments like everyone else.
To be clear, this is NOT about those four women. One from my teen years [college] apologized. The status of the rest is unknown. They’re gone, like water beneath a bridge, into a realm of irrelevance.
WHAT ABOUT MY PERSONALITY?
Whether it’s a friendship or a romantic relationship, indeed it is true that MY personality matters just as much as theirs.
Perfection is not required, but chemistry is a must. Nobody has a perfect personality.
The challenge is figuring out how the two personalities fit together.
For example, I don’t deal too well with aggressive people. So if a potential friend or romantic partner is aggressive, then it’s not a connection worth pursuing.
I may find a series of pain points that lead me away from having a better connection with this person. Given that this is a two-way street, they will find their own pain points, and will have to come to a determination.
HOW MY THOUGHTS ON PERSONALITY HAVE CHANGED
When I was young, I felt that there was something to personality, based on my bad experiences. However, I did not put personality to the forefront. I do give myself credit for giving personality some reverence, as it didn’t seem that many young men my age were doing that.
Conversely, looks were not as important to me as they were to other guys. Still, they had a higher value than personality when I was young.
Male puberty is an utter nightmare. I’m glad it’s over, and I’d never wish it on anyone.
Now that I’m an old, dusty fart, I put more value into personality than looks. There are a few reasons for this.
Good looks fade over time. I’m 57, and would never consider dating anyone under 40. By this age, youthful appearances are gone, and looks begin to fade. Or maybe looks just crashed into a wall at 100mph. It varies from person to person.
There are attractive women in their 50s. That’s fine, but it is utterly meaningless if she’s got a horrible personality.
When the looks are gone, and sex has become less interesting, personality is all that is left.
WHEN I FIRST NOTICED MY ATTITUDE CHANGE
I remember the day that I first noticed my change in attitude about personality.
As a musician, I would often times get propositioned by women who would just want to have a fling. But sometimes, it would be a “working girl” who would speak up.
This woman comes up to me after a show and says, “Hey, how about I come to your house to party with you. $500 for three hours.”
I looked at her as I ran the number through my head before replying. “I know what we’d do for the first 20 minutes, but what about the rest?”
The problem for me was that I didn’t know what her personality was about. I also didn’t know if she would be robbing me blind or causing other problems. Strangers who interject themselves into your life in an intimate way typically have bad intentions.
I did not yet know that I was Autistic at the time. I’ve recently learned that I am susceptible to falling prey for people who are socially predatory.
The problem for her, of course, is that I have never paid for sex. Ever. I don’t do that, and probably never will. Even if she offered cleaning services for the remaining two hours and 40 minutes, I’d have to decline.
NOT DEPRESSED, BUT ALSO NOT HOPEFUL
I went through a break-up with my former girlfriend, Catherine. We had been together since early 1999, and split in late 2019. Thanks to COVID and other issues, we still live together. She has her own room and we are solid roommates, even though we might not be a good romantic couple.
The big question is about whether or not I think that I can meet someone whose personality matches up with mine.
I’m going to say that this may very well not end up happening. I am too set in my ways. I love doing certain things. I like having free time, and the space to do things my way.
With my depression at bay, this is a great time to evaluate myself, my situation, and the future.
I am going to say that chances are VERY good that I will not meet anyone else or live with anyone else. Should Catherine move on, I will stay alone, and I will leave dem wimminz be. The whole thing feels like a game that young people play when they’re relatively inexperienced.
Plus, today people have gotten so ugly and aggressive. Maybe my position will change if society cools down. I don’t see that happening in my lifetime. The doctor says that I have a “good ten years left” to live. Might as well do what I want with it.
IN THE END
There is a saying that fits this topic perfectly. “Never judge a book by its cover.”
I used to think that it was something to help unattractive people feel better about themselves. But life experience and lessons learned taught me that personality is, without a doubt, the most important thing about a person.
The challenge for me is figuring out how to identify personalities that do [or do not] mesh with mine. I was going to say “bad personalities,” but I think that most encounters are a case of personalities not fitting. To call it “bad” would be judgmental.
But a few were truly bad. What this means is that the traits that I had issue with are traits that NO healthy person would ever allow in their lives. For them, my hope is that they can figure out these issues and work on them. I wish them the best.
With regard to the pain points of MY personality, philosopher Alan Watts once said, “The Godhead is never an object of its own knowledge. Just as a knife doesn’t cut itself, fire doesn’t burn itself, light doesn’t illuminate itself. It’s always an endless mystery to itself.”
In other words, we are too close to ourselves to see everything. For all I know, a woman might not like how I hold my silverware, or what I like to eat for breakfast. And another might not care, and another might like those things.
Sometimes it’s good or bad, but most of the time it’s purely subjective.
If you asked me if I’m a good person, I’d not be able to give an answer. I could say “yes” very easily [I do my best], but my view is skewed and I have a bias toward myself, as everyone does with themselves.
This doesn’t mean that I can’t find things that are wrong and then fix them. In most cases, those things have to be pointed out by someone else, as I may be too close to myself to see them. Therapist are like gold when it comes to this.
Dealing with these things is essential.
One of my issues, of which I gained awareness a few years ago, is how much my Major Depressive Disorder impacts those around me. I have learned from a few friends, as well as former friends, that my depression was nothing short of exhausting. I knew how it hurt me, obviously, but I had no idea how it was impacting others.
This kind of ignorance is bliss, but you’ll eventually start to wonder where everyone went.
There are people who ignore things like this, or get offended, when they hear it about themselves. When that happens, they will fix nothing. Then there are those like me, who hear the word that something is wrong, then set out to work toward a solution.
Having mental health challenges can be good or bad for a relationship, depending on whether or not both parties take personal responsibilities for their mental health repair and maintenance.
Some people, such as those who are suffering Narcissistic Personality Disorder or some cases of Borderline Personality Disorder, are incapable of acknowledging their own issues.
Denial is a defense mechanism that helps protect them from horrible memories from the past. Acknowledging their own issues is too much for them. With Narcissists, their fragile egos won’t allow self-reflection or self-repair.
These people are incapable of having a healthy relationship of any kind. It’s tragic. But it’s also not my problem, and I am not here to rescue them.
As a recovering rescuer, that felt good to type.
There are things about my personality that are not damaging or destructive, but are uncomfortable for the average person. I might throw out a joke at the wrong time in the wrong place to the wrong people.
That’s just one example. I will spare you a run-down that lists everything. No matter how hard I’d think or try, or how honest I was with myself, I guarantee there would be things that I would miss that someone else would pick up on instantly.
I can’t say what that would be, but I guarantee it.
All humans have issues. All are imperfect. The trick is to find someone whose imperfections work with yours in a positive way.
It’s all about the personality. Always.
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