Maybe you realize that the reason you’re unlucky in love is that you’re a bit shallow. There are so many good people you ignored simply because they didn’t seem like your type.
Well, we can’t say you’re totally wrong. Being a little more open can make you a better person and a better date, that’s for sure.
In this article, I will show you 10 ways you can avoid being shallow when dating.
1) Don’t make looks the main priority
You need to be attracted to your date, there’s no doubt that dating someone you’re not physically attracted to would turn out bad.
I’m not saying that you should date a 2/10 in your attractiveness scale because that could create issues later on. I’m saying that instead of dating only those 8-10, try a 5 with a great personality, too.
Exterior beauty is just one of the many qualities you should be looking for in a partner. There’s also intelligence, a good sense of humor, a good heart, among a thousand other traits.
You should try to expand your definition of beauty. Question your taste and most of all, question your standards in a relationship.
Every person is attractive in their own way and maybe it’s good to avoid dismissing people simply because they don’t stack up to society’s beauty standards.
2) Think long term
If you care too much about looks that you forget everything else, always remember that looks fade over time.
Even people who were exceptionally beautiful in their 20’s are most likely going to look ordinary by the time they hit their 50’s. And even if you find someone attractive today, they would start to lose their luster over time. Trust me, even the prettiest girl or the most handsome guy in the world would become ordinary in our eyes if we see them every day.
And what if your partner suddenly gets burned on the face? You’ll stop loving them?
Looks fade. It’s who the person is that truly matters.
3) Try to understand differences in opinion
Everyone has opinions. Not everyone agrees on what that opinion should be.
There are obviously going to be some non-negotiables. Opinions are more than ‘just’ opinions after all—they’re very personal things, and they shape our perspective on life.
And that’s why when talking to someone, you should try to understand their opinions, and why they think that way. Try to share your own opinions too, but keep in mind that you’re sharing to understand, and not to patronize.
Get to know their reasons, get to know them deeper. Not having a second date just because you have different opinions on something is a guarantee you’ll find it hard to find true love.
Now, if you just can’t find a middle ground, with too many non-negotiables keeping you from seeing eye to eye, then it’s perfectly fine to look for another date. But you should at least give it one more try.
4) Question your definition of “stupid”
When they say “I like watching reality shows”, then you automatically think they’re stupid because everyone who watches Kardashians and Rupaul’s Drag Race is, you are being shallow.
What if your date who says they like reality shows is also a scientist and entrepreneur who’s helping the kids in Africa?
Luckily, you can be smart and like “shallow” things.
And there are just so many that you don’t know, too. Sure, your date may not be as geeky as you about World War II but there are so many other things you know nothing about, too.
5) Listen more, talk less
You might be tempted to interrupt and talk over people, assuming you know exactly what they’re saying, or that it’s just not worth listening to. Or it could be that you feel attacked on some level and feel like you just have to speak up and explain yourself.
I have one thing to say about that—don’t.
Shallow people generally aren’t that interested in listening to others, or they think they have everyone figured out. That’s why they’re so shallow—they blind themselves to the depth and nuance that exist in people.
This is especially important in dating. Practice keeping your mouth shut when you feel the urge to interrupt and explain yourself. Listen to them, ask questions, and actually give their words thought.
This way you’ll have a deeper understanding of exactly what kind of person your date is.
6) Don’t judge them by their social status
We live in a judgmental world, filled with way too many things to judge people over. Education, wealth, race, interests, and even the very family that they came from.
Sometimes, when we get advice on who to date and who to avoid, you’d hear people say “don’t date a gold digger ” or “don’t get hitched with someone who hasn’t finished college” and that, honestly, is just wrong.
You should try to judge people based on their own merits, and not whether they have a college degree to their name or if they came from a poor background.
After all, just because someone has a college degree doesn’t mean they’re smart. The reverse is also true: just because someone hasn’t stepped foot in college doesn’t mean that they are dumb.
The same is true of wealth. Some people born rich know so little about money that they’re bound to get poorer and poorer over time. Likewise, some people who are born poor know so much about money that they’re destined to become billionaires.
7) Stop comparing
It might be tempting to look at a prospective date or your current partner and compare them to other people you knew, but you should avoid doing so.
When you’re with someone, your intent should be to know them for who they are and to understand them. And when you keep comparing them to other people, you’re not really doing that.
Instead, you’d be trying to see how well they fit inside a certain ‘mold’ that someone else has defined for you.
Let’s say that someone you’re dating tells you that they like wine.
It’s tempting to think that, just because your date and your ex both like wine, then your date must also be an alcoholic like your ex was.
But that isn’t necessarily the case, and what you should do is try to understand their love for wines.
The chance that they are also a drunkard is there, but it’s also possible that they might be into tasting fine wine and think that getting drunk on them is wasteful and boorish.
8) Take hearsay with a pinch of salt
Putting too much stock in hearsay is one of the worst things you can do to your relationship. People like to talk, and with every retelling, the story is distorted in some way. Lies become truths, speculations become accusations.
Never trust hearsay, and do your best to stay away from gossips. Engaging in that behavior is only going to turn you into a paranoid mess and erode the trust between you and your date.
What you should do if you ever hear anything particularly disturbing is to try and verify the truth for yourself.
Let’s say that your date got pulled over last week because the police thought their license was expired and had to visit the police station to confirm that, no, it was still valid.
A neighbor sees this and tells a friend how your date went to the police station. Your friend assumes your date got arrested and tells another friend exactly that. Then THAT friend tells you their own assumption—that your date was a criminal who got arrested last week.
If you take your friend on their word, you’re going to end up destroying your relationship over a lie.
9) Get to know more people
The best way to stop being shallow is to be more open-minded, and one of the best ways to become more open-minded is to go out and meet people. Expand your horizons, and try to meet, understand, and befriend people from all walks of life.
Especially if it means exposing yourself to perspectives and ideas that are directly opposed to yours. This would help you understand why these people think differently and know where they’re coming from.
And if you have ever had preconceptions about certain kinds of people, you get the opportunity to clear those up and know what they truly are like.
As you broaden your horizons, you get more opportunities to know people more deeply. It becomes easier for you to exercise compassion and forgiveness, and to understand and connect with all sorts of people.
So when you try to get into dating with people, you can more easily curb that feeling of unease or disgust that you might feel—and is hard to hide—when they present themselves and it turns out that they have ideas or have perspectives that would have otherwise been completely opposed to yours.
And instead of leaving or getting into a judgmental tirade, you can instead offer your date an intelligent discussion.
10) Don’t be obsessed with public opinion
Don’t let public opinion dictate your relationship. You can’t get any shallower than this.
I’m talking about ditching your date because your friends think they’re childish for collecting toys, or turning someone down because your colleagues think they’re ugly and way below your level.
When you’re in a relationship with someone, whatever is going on between the two of you is your business and no one else’s. Other people don’t have a right to decide what you should think about their hobbies, looks, background, and the like. And if they insist on meddling, they’re probably not good friends in the first place.
Of course, you should give it some thought if you are instead being warned about things that are of actual consequence.
Things like your friends telling you that your date is being jealous and is trying to cut you away from them, or that they’re aggressive and dangerous.
11) Be genuine
A shallow person tries to dress themselves up as pretty as they can get to make themselves look better in front of others.
If they know someone’s coming for a visit, they’ll do their best to make the house look pristine, just to impress their visitors. If they know someone’s a music lover, they might pretend to know more about music than they actually do just to look good.
This sort of attitude isn’t going to serve you well when you’re dating someone. It might be possible to maintain appearances for short periods of time, but they’re going to fall apart over time. And all those fabrications and lies will only leave your date feeling betrayed.
You should instead strive to just be yourself. Don’t try to pretend to be more than you are or something you are not.
If you love pineapple pizza, don’t pretend that you hate it simply because your date thinks having pineapple on pizza is stupid. Same with reality TV.
You won’t have to keep up a lie, and your relationship will be that much more stable. You wouldn’t have to worry all the time about whether or not your date will figure out your lies, or when, and how you will have to deal with it when you are exposed.
And if being genuine means losing the date, then you wouldn’t have built a relationship that would last anyways.
The most important thing about trying to stop yourself from being a shallow person—in dating and elsewhere—is to, first of all, expand your mind and life experiences.
Question how society defines a “trophy” wife or husband and make your own definition instead, which hopefully includes a good heart rather than just curves.
When you can finally manage that, then all the pieces will begin to fall into place and you will find yourself becoming less and less shallow.
It’s not an easy thing to strive for, but it’s the best way to have an authentic life.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.