Looks & Personality – A Long Over Due Answer to an Old Question


I was asked about this topic a while ago, and have seen a flood of similar questions that have followed suit. It took me a long time but I am ready to finally touch on the harrowing subject:

Can personality replace looks?

Now, I’m no Victoria’s Secret model, that much I can tell you. I’m 5’2”, 119 lbs and most people would describe me as “cute.” I’m full of imperfections: from temperamental skin to uneven eyebrows and a severe lack of bootay. It doesn’t get me down much to be honest, but it’s fair to say that a girl like me isn’t likely to end up with a dude who looks like a Hollywood actor. Most people could assume that without hesitation. And if I did, the response people would likely give to our relationship would run along the lines of: “He must have self esteem issues” or that I might have a “Great personality.”

Or money … or that he accidentally got me pregnant....

Looks & Personality – A Long Over Due Answer to an Old Question

The reason I bring this up is because I have encountered a lot people who repetitively ask the same question: can a girl/guy who is average/below average get a boyfriend/girlfriend? The answer to this of course is yes, but I don’t believe people are really asking that particular question.

I was approached a few times by hopeless guys on G@G who felt like no woman would ever like them due to their appearance. One guy in particular started the conversation off with how beautiful I was and proceeded to try and ask me out regardless of the fact that we lived countries apart. When I declined, he went on a tangent that it wasn’t fair that no woman would give him a chance because he was “ugly.”

I took a bit of issue with this, as you can imagine, given the blatant hypocrisy.

Looks & Personality – A Long Over Due Answer to an Old Question

You see, when people ask if they are worthy enough to get a partner given their looks, it seems more often than not what they are truly asking is if they can get an attractive partner, rather than simply a partner alone. The reason I say this is pretty well because of personal experience; I have talked to a lot of people who have asked these questions and they say the same thing: they don’t want to have to settle for someone they’re not attracted to - which is fair … but kind of contradictory when you consider they’re searching for someone who won’t judge them based on their appearance. There is nothing wrong with having standards, but you can't exactly put somebody down for not being attracted to you when you initiated them solely because they were attractive. With this in mind the next question that tends to follow is how much will personality make a difference in attracting a mate, and can personality trump looks.

In my personal experience, it isn't impossible ... but it's typically unlikely.

I obviously can’t speak for everyone, but when we’re talking about the average person with a desire to get into a meaningful relationship it’s fair to say that they want someone who is the full package, which means good looks and a good personality. People who will date anybody regardless of appearance are a rare breed, especially in the time that we live in. They certainly exist, don’t get me wrong, but let’s be realistic and admit that they are few and far between. Most people you meet will need to feel SOME kind of physical and sexual attraction to you in order to engage in a relationship with you.

However, this doesn’t suggest that looks are the only deciding factor.

Personality certainly can enhance looks, but rarely does it completely trump a lack of physical attraction. With that said, being an appealing person to be around and talk to increases your chances of being compatible with another person, and having desirable personality traits overall can actually make you more appealing.

I’ll give you a personal example: I have gone out with guys who were not only not my ideal, but actually had physical traits that I … well … frankly didn’t prefer. Be it a bit of a pot belly to having super light hair – you get my point. But I have gone out with such types based solely on the fact that their personalities appealed to me, which made these little flaws easy to overlook.

Looks & Personality – A Long Over Due Answer to an Old Question

That’s basically the science of personality vs. physical appearance: there needs to be at least SOME level of attraction, followed by a compatible/desirable personality. If either or are lacking, the likelihood of there being a successful relationship is quite low. Your only hopes of improving these chances essentially will revolve around a few things: either lowering your own standards, doing some self improvement, or continue on with the hope that you'll eventually get lucky. That's my stance on the subject at least.

But I want your opinions G@Gers, so allow me to end this take with a question: How important do you believe personality and physical appearance is in a relationship? And which do you feel is more important and why?

With that I am going to end this little diatribe, I am curious to see what people think about the subject and look forward to seeing the conversation in the threats below. TGIF as always and thank you for reading.

Looks & Personality – A Long Over Due Answer to an Old Question
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8Girl Opinion
16Guy Opinion

Most Helpful Girl

  • Mustachekitteh
    agree 100% and awesome take.

    For me i'm 5'1"(154cm) and weigh 149 pounds. So yeah I'm a bit over weight. Which I'm trying to get down to 115 again. So I need to lose 34 pounds. My boyfriend to me is a perfect 10 in looks and personality. His body is extremely toned and I think he weighs like 136 pounds? He's 5'4" which to me that doesn't matter he's still tall to me. Which he has told me that he thinks i'm very attractive were it counts. Meaning the things you can't change so like bone structure and face. That and he loves my personality. Though i'm a bit crazy with my adhd and Asperger. :D A lot of the time I can't believe i'm with a guy as hot as him. Since I don't think I look as attractive as him.

    So like you said personality can amplify a persons physical appearance if they have the key features someone else likes.
    Like 3 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • Thank you! Glad you liked it. I was at 142 at 5'2" at one point but I got back down so I am sure you could do it.

    • i've been at 115 pounds before more than once. It was like when I was 13 I was at 115. Went to hawaii for 9 days. Came back weighing 94 pounds. Then in high school I was 115 pounds. Then I started birth control. My weight went up to 140 something. Then I started adhd meds. It went back down to 115 again. So it's gone up and down a lot. :D Though I don't want to be like 115 pounds like I had always been. Since to me that was still skinny fat. My goal is to have less body fat and be around that weight.

    • Honestly when it comes to fat it's less about how little you weight and more about how toned you are. Because when I was 115 I still had a bit of pudge but when I worked out I got to 120 and looked thinner. Lol.

    • Show All

Most Helpful Guy

  • Mesonfielde
    You need both. You can't just have one. That's all there is to say, I think. Physical attractiveness and the admiration/compatibility of personality are both important.
    Like 13 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • I agree.

    • That in nutshell, but it shouldn't be the deciding factor

    • @Moose2coolvargas Well what else would be the deciding factor? It's a GO/NO-GO kind of thing in that regard.

    • Show All

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • AnOrdinaryGirl45
    He doesn't need to look like Prince Charming (because I don't look like no princess either) but he has to be semi attractive and have a heart of gold. That's all I need.
    Like 3 People
  • LovelyDisquiet
    I don't think this is true, actually. I think you need "attraction"... but you don't need "looks". Huge difference. Personality is quality. And quality always beats everything else... Beauty without substance gets old.

    I'd say 50% of the guys I've been attracted to/involved with have not been your standard attractive males (according to society). Some people even described a few of the guys I dated as like a 5 or 6. One of the guys I liked, a girl said was flaming gay (he was not, he just had an unusually high voice, and was sensitive)

    However, I don't see them that way.

    But yeah... there have been a lot of selfish guys that go after me only for looks claiming they're "nice" guys, when they have absolutely NOTHING to bring to the table except their selfish judgments of who they think I am, and what I want. Why would I want to date a guy, who's less attractive than me, has nothing else going for him, and is CLEARLY only interested in my beauty? It's almost rude.

    I work very hard to be more than what people expect of me (a bitch, arrogant, slutty, whatever), and I expect a mate who works equally hard on their interior.

    If a guy is less hot than me? Who fucking cares. I like being the goddess in the relationship anyway. So if he thinks I'm physically amazing, or the perfect catch... it makes my day. So better for me.

    Eventually my beauty will fade... so I want someone who loves me for my sense of humor, easy-going-ness and loving side... Not for how good I look with lipstick.
    Like 1 Person
  • Bluemax
    Excellent take, RJGraveyTrain.

    Where I have a possible disagreement with you is in this: Unattractive people do not find other unattractive people any more attractive than the rest of us. Furthermore, since 2 million years of human evolution has driven virtually ALL humans to find attractive people sexually desirable, there is ABSOLUTELY NO HYPOCRISY at all in unattractive people desiring attractive people, nor is there any hypocrisy in them not finding ugly people attractive. When they lash out at people for rejecting them on the basis of them being ugly, that is hypocrisy. However, the majority of them don't. They lash out at their circumstance, which is sometimes misinterpreted as lashing out at their rejectors.

    Ask yourself this, RJGraveyTrain (and this is a question few people care answer), if YOU can't find ugly people attractive (and please note I used the verb "can't" which is very different than "won't"), what makes you think ugly people can?

    This is why I recommend that people improve their appearance (and most things that people find attractive are things within our control). Forgive me, RJGraveyTrain, but you are coming across as if it's easy for ugly people to find other ugly people attractive. It's FAR easier to make oneself look more attractive.
    • Bluemax

      I just realized that I asked you a question, but I didn't answer yours.

      Personality and physical attraction are equally important. What many people fail to realize is that this is equally true for ugly people, which is why I never tell them, "Just lower your standards, " because they are no more capable of finding ugly people attractive than you or I. by the way, "expectations" and "desire" and attraction are NOT the same thing. Why people use them interchangeably is a mystery. One can adjust one's expectations, but it is far more difficult, and in many cases impossible to adjust what one finds attractive.

      Why do I feel this way? Well, personalities must mesh to have a harmonious relationship. And two million years of human evolution has hard wired us to be attracted to attractive people. The same is true of ugly people, and I do understand how that must be incredibly frustrating to them.

    • Bluemax

      You've sort of inspired my most recent question. Perhaps you'd like to check it out here.

    • Bluemax

      This take may very well be inspiring my next take, too. Thanks.

  • silverfeline
    I think everything you have said is spot on. It is impossible to have a lasting happy relationship with someone you have zero sexual desire for. If they were an atheist maybe but if they have a normal to high sex drive than both people are wasting their time and one person will get hurt. Another thing that you said that I have noticed as well and that bugs me is the fact that the people that yell looks shouldn't matter in dating the most and say they should like me for my personality and are shallow. Are the very people that do the thing they villify others for doing and it's absolutely ridiculous. The options are present and life isn't fair but they refuse to believe their standards are too high compared to what they can provide others.
    Like 2 People
    • Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

    • Bluemax

      Most don't vilify others, at least that has been my experience. Their anger at the circumstance of being ugly is sometimes misinterpreted to be vilifying others. I'll ask you the same question I asked RJGraveyTrain (which hardly anyone ever answers when I ask it).

      If YOU can't find ugly people attractive (and please note I used the verb "can't" which is very different than "won't"), what makes you think ugly people can? It is just as difficult, if not impossible, for ugly people to overlook their need to be physically attracted to someone as it is for you and me, Silverfeline. Forgive me but there's nothing ridiculous about the need for people to be physically attracted to their mate, whether you're Helen of Troy or Medusa. There's 2 million years of human evolution pushing all of us, ugly and attractive and everyone in between, in that direction.

      I do very much agree that it's bad when the ugly lash out at the people who reject them (though most ugly people I know...

    • Bluemax

      ... and I know many disfigured people) don't do this.

      This is why I recommend people to make themselves as attractive as possible (and most of what we find attractive is within our control to change).

    • Show All
  • coldpieceofpizza
    I don't particularly care much about looks, but there is this certain "type" that completely turns me off. I call it my "anti-type", once someone has a certain combination of features it's a no go for me. Funnily enough I've met 2 guys who looked like that who both seemed to actually like me (and that's saying something, because people are not really lining up to date me)
  • shadowlegend
    Hey, I love your mytake and I was wondering I I could post it on my blog, crediting you of course, but I just loved it and thought it should be shared. You're articulate, to-the-point, and express the exact point of view I have, in a non-judgmental manner. I love it!
  • candyaurora
    Physical attraction is crucial at the initial stages of the relationship while personality decides how long and the quality of the relationship IMHO. That being said I do feel that everyone is attracted to a different type of physical appearance/trait so a person maybe attractive for his partner but average or even below average for others!
    Like 1 Person

      Summary: Looks get you through the door. Personality keeps you there.

    • @KENKONG exactly.

  • Rawrzz
    No, you're pretty much model level. I can't disagree with anything. Despite that being my favorite activity. Seemingly.

    Attraction is more important, in my opinion. If you're not sexually attracted to someone, then what is the point? There is a base minimum attractiveness level that must be met, no matter what. Ultimately, the goal of a relationship is long-term mutual survival. To that end, personality is important, as well. You must both get along. Sex helps a lot with that. Without sexual attraction, a person's personality isn't going to do as much.
    Like 1 Person
    • I'm not a model, that's just makeup and lighting. Lol.

  • Entity
    Relationships are merely scenarios in which a perceived win is present for both sides. Criteria is impossibly complex as well as ungodly unstable. Attraction is nothing more than fooling someone into thinking they like you more than someone else with the same base traits.
    Disagree 3 People
    • Bluemax

      No, it most certainly isn't "fooling someone into thinking they like you more than someone else with the same base traits" for the majority of humanity.

    • Entity

      @Bluemax You're wrong. Otherwise we'd be penguins.

  • asiag299
    You need both because let's be honest you won't even approach someone with the intent of dating if you don't find them the slightest bit attractive even if it's just subconsciously.
    Like 3 People
    • Bluemax

      Yes, and everything you said is equally true for ugly people. They don't like dating ugly people any more than I do.

  • KDA20
    I never believed in leagues or anything like that - I either like a girl or I don't - Everyone in the room might like her or just me - It is more than likely a complete package with personality and looks factors that make the decision for you in your mind - If it is a yes investigate all that can happen is you can be rejected so what don't dwell on it if you are. If you do you will fuel any insecurities you have that could lead to withdrawal or resentment of the group you attracted to etc.
  • Chief16
    I'd say personality over looks. You know as you age, looks start mattering less and lesser. I'd rather be with someone I can age with, looks only took you so far. But to stay in a relationship, you need to compromise or at least make some meaningful sacrifices. I'd rather fix my personality than my looks.
  • DarkHumorRUs
    People always ask "Personality or looks?"
    But why not both. I mean, most people I've met have a good personality. They may not be perfect for me, but they're good people. That also includes the attractive people I've met.
  • OTooles
    Depends on how you would view someone as attractive and how someone else would view them, everyone has their own taste so what might be super model worthy to one person may be mediocre or even ugly to someone else, as for personality yes it does matter a lot and especially even more so when in a relationship.
    Like 1 Person
  • DamnCurtis
    At least in my opinion.
    I have a fairly low 'requirement' when it comes to looks in a potential partner.
    If I wouldn't be repulsed by the idea of kissing or being further intimate, then they are certainly 'attractive enough'
    even if this makes them a 5/10 on my arbitrary scale.

    When asked in a poll.
    Would you rather date someone who is
    '7/10 Attractive, 10/10 Personality' or
    10/10 Attractive, 7/20 Personality' most people opt for the former which I also greatly reside with.

    Why is this important?
    Because I spend more time talking to a partner than having sex with her, to put it bluntly.
    Like 2 People
  • bloodmountain1990
    I've given this a of thought lately as I've been attracting the wrong people and you need a little bit of both. The girl I date doesn't have to be knockout beautiful but at least somewhat physically attractive. She also doesn't have to be exactly like me but at least have a few common interests and things we can enjoy together.

    I mean what good is it if the girl could be nice and have things in common but you're not physically attracted to her at all? I mean Im not superficial but if I can't picture myself kissing them or having sex then it'd be awkward.

    Same with a girl who's physically attractive but has nothing in common and doesn't contribute to conversation. A hookup might come out of it, but that's it. It won't last.
    Like 1 Person
  • Lonewolf_1296
    Taste for physical appearance varies from person to perso and although there's a "pretty standard" beautiful is up to the observer according to her/his personal opinion. I consider kardachian weird looking (incoming hate mail in 3.2.1) and she's all over the place as the epitome of beauty.

    Would I like her if the media portrayed her as a nice, smart person? No, she's still weird looking to me.

    And the bottom line is that for me both looks and smarts account for 50%, supposing that a smart girl applies her smarts to create a welcoming personality.
    Like 1 Person
    • Bluemax

      Ugliness is much more agreed upon than beauty. They have researched this. Virtually no one, in his lifetime and ever since, found John Merrick beautiful.

  • Moose2coolvargas
    I believe that if you're in it for the looks, you're really not looking at someone with the right perspective. There's numerous factors that come in to play. To consider a relationship you have to think about certain things like the life of the relationship if you will, emotion feelings, trust, respect, years down the road etc If you don't have a good solid foundation to build upon you'll never be able to make it. As I always heard, beauty fades, personality of someone tends not to change. I for one fall in love with a personality, i can't explain it, something just triggers in my mind and i want to know everything I can about a person. This day and age it's very difficult to even approach someone, taking a chance that maybe somewhere in this planet somebody else is doing the exact same thing looking for you
    • You fall in love with personality, that's true, but we can't lie and say that physical attraction isn't important in a relationship. Being attracted to someone plays an important roll in intimacy for a lot of people, and intimacy as well as attraction can eventually become an issue in a relationship. If you're void of any physical attraction, then the likelihood of the relationship being long term is kind of low.

      Mind you, there are people who don't care about looks at all, so if you're both the type to not care about appearance then you're solid. I know for me that I need to have some level of attraction in order to be comfortable dating somebody, because physicality is equally as important.

    • Point taken, I have to strive to take a better photo then lol

    • Bluemax

      @myTake Owner
      " but we can't lie and say that physical attraction isn't important in a relationship"

      Indeed, and what you said is equally true for physically unattractive people. Physical attraction is just as important for them.

  • YusiBear
    I believe physical attraction is personal and subjective. No two people see eye to eye, therefore a person that is below average in one person's eye could be above average in another person's eye's.

    And it also comes down to personal taste, a woman can be a Victoria secret Model, she can be pretty but that doesn't guarantee everyone will find her attractive.

    If someone shares their opinion on another person's looks: "you're beautiful"/" you're ugly " that is that persons own view. It doesn't apply to everyone.
  • GreatnessPersonified
    I say go for the looks, stay for the personality.
    Like 2 People
    • Bluemax

      I tend to think looks have a staying power in and of themselves.

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