According to the dictionary one definition for the word shallow is superficial and the definition for the word preference is fondness. When it comes to dating the word shallow is often used to describe someone who judges people by their physical appearance without factoring in their personality. Based upon these definitions in order for a person to avoid being considered shallow when it comes to dating prospects she or he must be open to dating anyone. Clearly this is not the world we live in.
The Shame Game
A man who refuses to date overweight women and a woman who refuses to date men who are shorter than her or those who are bald would be considered shallow in some circles. However if these people insisted their mates have a college degree or an established career their wants and desires would be considered their “standards or preferences”. What makes one person's (elimination process) shallow compared to another person's preference? Note: Neither scenario has anything to do with the prospective mate’s personality or kind heart. Those of us who learn we were rejected because of these “preferences” are likely to see these people as being “shallow” or superficial. Essentially it’s a sour grapes response to not being accepted. You may also be accused of being shallow if someone attempts to “fix you up” with a person they believe is ideal for you but you don’t like them for whatever reason. Shame on you for not being attracted to the same type of people that they are! Oddly enough if you were the type of person who would date anyone you'd be accused of not having any standards! Having our own preferences is what makes us who we are!
Shallow & Preferences Are in the Eye of the Beholder
There is no such thing as an “universal trait list” that everyone desires. As an individual you are entitled to have your own likes, dislikes, wants, and desires. You get to choose which items on your list that you are willing do without or overlook. For example you may not want to date someone who has tattoos, smokes, has green hair, gets high from time to time, curses, is obese or bone thin no matter how great their personality is! If someone dresses like they are walking around in 1950 and you’re not fond of that look you shouldn’t force yourself to be with someone that you are not comfortable being with. If someone has missing front teeth or you find that watching them eat grosses you out you’re under no obligation to stay with them because they are "nice", have a high IQ, or earn lots of money. You also want to avoid the trap of trying to change someone into the person you really want. Ultimately we’re all looking for someone who will love and appreciate us for who we are.
Celebrate Your Individuality
You shouldn’t allow someone to make you feel bad about what attracts or does not attract you. Everyone has their own preferences and “deal breakers” when it comes to mate selection. You’re entitled to have your favorite color, type of car, home, music you listen to, food you eat, television shows you watch and so on. Not many people would accuse you of being shallow for liking what you like when it comes to these things. One of the beautiful things about being an individual living in a free society is having the right to choose whomever you want to date and marry. Thankfully we’re not all chasing after the same type of people. Regardless of whom you are or what you look like in a world with over 7 billion people, the odds are in your favor that you are someone’s “type”. To each his own. It just comes down to the two of you getting together.
Nothing is Written in Stone
Life has a way of evolving or changing our desires overtime. The type of guy or girl you had to have may one day not be attractive to you at some point in the future. Your list of wants or needs is not written in stone. However any changes you make on it should be your own. There is no difference between having preferences and being shallow. Having said all of the above it's rarely necessary to be rude to anyone during your mate selection process.