On Shallowness: Why I’m Somewhat Shallow

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“We hold onto the good enough apartment, the good enough job, the good enough relationship…all the while truly believing that this is only temporary. We think we’re playing it safe. We think we’re getting the best of both worlds. We think this can’t possibly hurt.
-We couldn’t be more wrong. There are no safety nets in life. No backups. No just in cases. These are all illusions. To think otherwise is to set ourselves up for failure.
-You only get one shot to be you. One shot to fill your life with everything you’ve ever dreamed of. This one shot is your lifetime. Make it count.” – Stella from Bucket360.

(Warning: This gets very opinionated. Enter at your own risk.)

There’s no point in being politically correct if, like Stella says, “You only get one shot to be you.”

So here goes: When it comes to relationships. I am somewhat shallow initially.

The reason for this is that I had a relationship back in 2009 (that I may write more about in a future post) that was just “good enough”. I thought I was happy with it but in reality it was a false safety net. On paper it looked like we matched but my attraction level wasn’t there. The vibe didn’t feel right and I was trying to grind through some imaginary tunnel.

Maybe I even wanted to prove that I wasn’t shallow. I wanted to prove that I could fall for someone without being attracted to them so much in the first place. Well, that didn’t work out.

I’m not saying you can’t talk to someone based on how they look. I’m a connector. I love meeting people. I love gaining perspective, insights, and ideas.

But when it comes to relationships, I know I have to be initially attracted to them. Then if their mind is amazing, then maybe the chemicals in my brain will be impressed.

I have one life. I can’t always be politically correct. I’m too tired to be the guy who does everything “right”.

It reminds me of what JK Allen said in his most recent post: “I’m the type of person who’d like to live in a world where looks don’t matter. But, like you, I live in a world where looks do in fact matter.”

Will it cost me intimate relationships? No doubt.

But I’m extremely tired of hearing people say, “I got with someone because he/she was good enough. I was satisfied with him/her. The person is adequate. The person keeps me from being alone. Or the clincher: I got with the person because the person was the best I could get.”

-Would you constantly go to a restaurant because it has adequate service and adequate quality? No. You would want to go to a place where the quality is exceedingly good.
-Would you want to do an okay job of training for a marathon? No. You would want to train to be the best you could be.

I don’t want to settle for okay. I don’t want to settle for passing.

I want someone to blow my mind into a spectacular confetti like celebration.

If I risk missing out on “satisfactory” relationships, then it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

In a world of absurdity, my purpose is trying to find something immensely beautiful at the risk of losing out on anything that could be deemed “the best I could get.”

With my past experience, the flame doesn’t expand. The flame either hits you hard during a moment where you least expect it or it never comes. You can’t plan when that crazy feeling arrives. It just does.

-When I get rejected, the rejection is coming from their worldview (their tastes/preferences), so I don’t take offense.
For example, I can’t erase my race. So when someone I was attracted to put me into “friend zone” right away because I’m Asian, I didn’t take offense. Remember, that’s her worldview.
-When an Adonis/Aphrodite type character comes along to swoop the person, don’t take offense.
There’s no point in controlling that.

Let more opportunities happen and eventually you’ll be the Adonis/Aphrodite to the eye of the beholder.

I understand preferences, tastes, and weird things that make people fall for one another. Much of the time, logic goes out the door.

So it’s time to begin being unapologetic for being attracted to whom I’m attracted to.

You also have a right to be unapologetic to whomever you end up being attracted to as well.

Would some people call it being picky? Sure. I call it walking through all the static of everyone else’s opinion and dating whomever I want.

That’s what I aim for. I hope you aim for that too.

The best part about all of it is, the absolute best can mean huge variables to each single person.

So maybe for someone else, there needs to be a comfortable vibe at first. For another person, there needs to be a great connection first. For others, maybe it’s identical, opposing, or a mixture of interests.

But for me, I’ll keep my right to be somewhat shallow initially.


So I ask you, is it right to be somewhat shallow initially or not?


Lynn Fang
Lynn Fang

I have always tried to avoid judging people by the way they look. I hate it when people do it to me, so I avoid doing it to others. I don't think it's right that I should get more attention when I dress trendy versus when I don't want to care. I am still the same person, regardless of how I look. So I have always looked to personality and character for that magic spark. Physique changes over time anyway, so while that gives me a hormonal rush in the beginning (actually I don't really respond to it anymore), it does not really stand the test of time. I have never considered my approach as taking the "best I can get" or "settling" in any way. In fact, it is entirely the opposite. I seek the most meaning and deepest connection in my relationships with people, whether they are romantic or not. If I look past someone's image, then I can see their heart, the core of who they are. While each person is inevitably influenced by their physique, I am more interested in their values and philosophy. Also, I agree with another commenter who said that racial preference is racism, plain and simple. Okay, so there are definite cultural differences, but for an Americanized ethnic person, there should be plenty of common ground to work with. That said, I don't really care about what you do. If I was to fight your right to choose based on physical attraction, I would be at odds with the rest of the world. I also find that I hold a deep love for many people. At this point I am not sure what that means in relation to romantic love.


Of course initial attraction is shallow. But it doesn't have to be exceedingly shallow. And it shouldn't be unrealistic, either (as in, always out of your league). I doubt most people really have the problem of just being in "good enough" relationships instead of the "great" ones they could be in. I think reality is more like people in good/sturdy/workable relationships thinking they could do better because they have unrealistic expectations of love/relationships/marriage. Also, I do take offense when someone rejects me on the basis of my race. It is racist. My mom only dates black men. That is racism. I still love her, and she's a great person otherwise, but there it is, she's racist. I think it is okay to be offended that someone's worldview automatically makes you undateable because of your race. I'm not saying they need to change it. Let them flaunt it, less people to weed through in the dating game.

Christina Marvel
Christina Marvel

I don't think I have the capacity to be shallow (but, then again, maybe I'm not understanding your definition of shallow here). I have very strong tastes in what I do and do not like and honestly, it just seems to vary per person. I once told a friend that I'm attracted to people with "magic" inside them. For me, this magic has a feeling to it. I just know...and these magical loved ones come in many shapes, sizes, and genders for me. I once boiled it down to the fact that I am attracted to people I can learn from....but even that is a trite saying. Case in point: I have the exact opposite problem than you - I fall in love with someone new almost every year, so for me (and luckily my primary spouse), an open relationship is the best option for someone that has a very hard time with shallow relationships.


Liberating yes! I love your honesty. Physical attraction/chemistry/taste is subjective. What may appeal to you may not for another person. When I met my husband, his looks drew me initially. Then, the matter of how he approached me and his character sealed the deal. Variables differ with each person. Your standards depend on what you need personally in a relationship, not any one else's call. You might call someone shallow if she/he looks at a potential partner for all their exterior qualities, but if it is what one needs, to each its own.

Esther van der Wal
Esther van der Wal

Seconded. To me, the chemistry/shallow attraction comes first. That's what draws me to another person. After that comes personality, intelligence, good conversation, humor etc. Looks are what sparks a relationship; character is what makes or breaks it afterwards. Glad you have the guts to say this. It's hard to be 100% honest, but so liberating!

Hugo Martins
Hugo Martins

I agree with JK Allen. There's nothing wrong with being with someone you are physically attracted with but sometimes I think people misunderstand that with good looks. You can be physically attracted to someone and some friend of yours don't consider her good looking (that's a whole new post) I hope you are getting what I am saying. There's nothing wrong with being with someone you are attracted to because that does not necessarily mean you only get with good looking people, you are not being politically incorrect. It's fine.

Jk Allen
Jk Allen

I see it as having standards. Everyone has them Matt. Everyone's are different. Let's think about it... When it comes to looks - we throw out the word shallow. But what about life interests, religion, wanting or not wanting kids. These things are important. And, these things are apart of the combination that makes up your standards. So, just like you might not want to be with serial killer...you may not want to be with someone who you're not physically attracted to. NOTHING IN THE WORLD WRONG WITH THAT. When I met my wife almost 10 years ago, the first thing that caught my attention was her looks. Later I got to know her and discovered that there was more to her. But honestly, if the initial attraction wasn't there - then I'd probably have to subtract 3 kids out of my life. I can't imagine. That's my two sense. Have standards. Don't think that you're shallow for having tastes and interest. ;) PEACE