Sometime last week, I stumbled on a very fascinating thread, one that left Naija twitter in disarray. The story was basically that a certain guy had created a thread talking about how “ugly” his wife used to be despite being very smart and intelligent. He used very strong words, then compared who he met then, and who he could see now. Finally, he wrapped things up by implying that being with your ‘spec’, that is someone you find attractive, isn’t always possible. Like many others on Twitter, I found his comment quite puzzling, especially because he spoke with such finality and authority. I know that people think that physical qualities is fleeting and will fade, and it is true. But does that mean people should throw the concept of attraction out the window? The whole thing made me wonder: if you were to choose between the physical or intellectual compatibility, what would be the most important? Personally, I believe that there are no correct or incorrect answers because it all boils down to preference.
The first question to ask yourself is what matters most to you as a person and why? This type of introspection will provide you with clarity about the traits you desire in a partner, qualities that will keep you interested in that person for a long time, especially in marriage. Because you may not always get everything you want in one person, and it is those times you would need to decide on what it is you’re willing to compromise on. You may however find all you want in one person.
If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with intellectual compatibility *insert motivating phrase about sapio sexuality*. I’m a strong believer in mental capability; I enjoy being intellectually stimulated, and I enjoy learning. It’s really appealing to see or hear my significant other speak intelligently. Not that appearances or physical attributes don’t matter to me; they do. However, I prioritize intelligence. Because it affects both parties’ talks, communication styles, and so on. All these things will persist long after the physical attraction has waned.
The other side to this is that a lot of people make choices like this in relationships without putting much thought into it and down the road, they begin to wish their partner could be more like someone else, eventually leading to feelings of resentment, separation, or divorce, etc.
Find what is most important to you, give it a lot of thought. Understand that whatever is more important to both partners to feel well partnered and supported, would depend on your individual priorities for what are the “must-haves” vs the “good to have”. If one thinks great physical attraction is non-negotiable, that’s great even if the other values intellectual compatibility more, if they both find a middle ground. The friction would start if there were differences in needs and they weren’t being met.
In all, make sure that your values align significantly, but most importantly, that you’re happy with your decision and choice of partner.