I was thinking recently about the emphasis on personality/character by Christian (and mainstream, for that matter) advice-ists. Usually this emphasis is framed as “looks fade, character is forever.” Well, yes, there is a lot of truth in this statement, and it makes plain people feel better, but the more I look around at the single women around me, the more I feel that the emphasis on personality uber alles does everyone no favors.
You can be the nicest, friendliest, most thoughtful person in the world, but if you don’t have any (or many) practical life skills, you’re digging yourself into a hole when it comes to snagging a mate for life.
By life skills, I mean the actual skill set you need to function in the world as a productive adult. Marriage, to a large extent, isn’t just about enjoying each other’s company. A lot of marriage is two people being a functional unit of society. So…can you budget your money? Can you restrain your spending and be able to pay for needs before wants? Can you cook (from scratch)? Can you put on a dinner party? Can you clean well enough so that someone doesn’t want to come in after you and re-clean? Can you decorate/make an abode look homey? Do you know how to dress and behave appropriately for different occasions? Can you show genuine interest in other people? Does your life look like a tornado hit it, or would people enjoy coming to your place to relax and connect?***
Basically: what are you bringing to the table? If it’s primarily your personality, that may not be enough to get the type of man you’d really like to have. If he’s going to make a life with you and not just enjoy coffee and movies with you, he’s most likely going to want to see some indication that you can give him the type of married life that he envisions for himself.
I’m not trying to shake my finger at anyone or pile on any “you must be PERFECT!” pressure with this post; it’s just that of the single women I know, I sometimes see the life skills issue impacting their dating prospects in various ways.
***Not every man is going to have the same standards for what constitutes an acceptable set of life skills (SES/education level/demographics play into this a lot), but they all have a standard set somewhere.