Thursday, March 24, 2011

Making a list and checking it twice- for important personality traits

My thinking spot

I frequently have boys on the brain. Actually, I'm too grown up to say “boys” now, I should say men. This hasn't changed much about me since I was in the fifth grade. However, it was just this week that I had an epiphany. It turns out I have a type! A physical one that is.
I never saw this coming before. I've dated and crushed on many shapes and sizes, but in a quick comparison of my top three “celebrity crushes” I came to realize I have a very specific type.
No, I won't be sharing with you who they are, because it is what I learned next that matters most.
I realized that while physically I seemed to be attracted to a very specific look, that I also have a very specific personality type I am attracted to as well.
My BFF Jules would tell you that personality type is “douchebaggery.” I tend to disagree. I think they were not so bad in the beginning, but many of them turned out to be not so great by the end.
I did some soul searching on the personality type and came to realize it was never going to work. That this type that I seem to be drawn to is lacking in traits I find to be essential and important. And so I sat down and went to work (with my handy dandy pen and notebook that is never far from me), and made a list.
I dug down deep to identify very specific traits that mean something to me. Nothing frivolous (like hobbies, activities, or appearances) about it. But true personality characteristics that make all the difference in the world to me.
The next thing I did was compare those traits against every single LDS man I know (mostly by reviewing my Facebook friends lists and other places as well). And I asked myself “is he like this? Would he be like that? Are his actions compatible with what I am looking for?” And never once did I consider his physical appearance. I just checked them off based entirely on spiritual and personality traits.
There were several hundred men to start with, which was quickly whittled down to a few dozen. And then, by the end, 8 remained. Out of approximately 400 men, I could only say with certainty that 8 of them possessed the personality traits that mattered most to me.
Now before anyone thinks I put silly things like “must love dogs,” or “must enjoy dancing” on this list, I did not. (Though come to think of it, I am a package deal. The snoring dog beside me may not appreciate being left out.) The list did include things like, “Should teach with patience and love.” “Should exercise great tolerance for and of others.” “Should put the Lord first in all things, and consider me to be an equal, not a step behind.” “Should be constantly improving himself spiritually and mentally.” (Note the difference between the words "must" and "should.")
Based on nothing but pure personality traits, and nothing trivial, I went from several hundred men to only 8 men, maybe less.
So now what do I do with this list? Is it possible to date only on personality traits and hope for a connection? And what if there is no connection with any of the 8? And is 8 all I can hope for?!
In full disclosure, several months ago I did ask out one of the men on this list. It had occurred to me what a great guy he is, and that I'd like to get to know him better. I asked him out and he said no. Actually he said no, and then later clarified if I had asked him out because he wasn't sure. And then he still said no. So I'm not sure if he's still one of the 8 or not.
What do I do with this list and knowledge? Keep in mind, proximity is an issue. The nearest man on this list is about 300 miles away. Most are much much further.
But again, I ask, is it possible to date purely on personality traits and not on physical ones? And do you think it would have better success rates?
I open the discussion to you!


  1. Anonymous1:28 PM

    I have a friend that is a counselor as well as has had jobs in adoption, mediation, etc. Her advise to me was that if a guy asked me out, and my initial reaction was to say, "NO!" (because, as you pointed out.... we all have our "types") to actually say yes, and to go out with him several times.
    She has counseled several guys and gals to do so over the past years, and surprisingly, quite a few have developed into love connections that have turned into happily marrieds. I think we are our own worst enemies when it comes to dating.... we just can't get past our own barriers!! Good luck!

  2. Anonymous2:43 PM

    Sure, if you want to date a gay man! There has to be a degree of attraction. I read too many stories of LDS people who got divorced when they found out their husbands were gay. Some personality flaws can be overlooked.

  3. I think you are on the right track. For me, it is all about his character. And mine. As for "type"? My two former husbands were of average height or slightly less, with olive skin, dark hair, and brown eyes. The gentleman I am seeing now is way taller than I would have said I would be comfortable with; he is also fair-skinned and blue-eyed. The more time I spend with him, the more I find to like about him. Truly one of the good guys. If this ripens into romance, all well and good. And if not, I have a friend of sterling character.

  4. What should you do with your list? I think and hope that even though you've put lots of work into it that it will change and evolve over time but that's the beauty of growing. I would keep it handy, read it periodically and remind myself to look for these precious traits in all people. I also think that you need to be wise with a list like that and not allow it be become a tick list for dates or friends.


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