You bet your ass all that hard work at the gym pays off, but is that enough to truly be successful with the opposite sex? Let’s face it, pretty much every guy and girl is attracted to a smokin’ hot body, so most bodybuilders feel that their physique will do all the work for them, and when the opposite sex sees it in all its glory, that’s all it will take to reel them in.

This may be true to a degree, but what happens once we get past that initial physical attraction? Our body and looks aren’t going to last forever and someday we’ll age and won’t be quite as ripped and chiseled.

Of course we want a partner who looks good and puts fitness high on their list, but other features have to come forward. Let’s compare this to an automobile just for analogy sake. You buy a beautiful car that’s all buffed out, but you continually have engine problems and eventually can’t or just don’t want to drive the damn thing. Definitely not what you expected. That beautiful car with all the bells and whistles is starting to become a real pain in the ass. If you’ve dated several people over the years, you know that this same thing happens in relationships.

Simply put, it’s not always about looks. For all of you women who think that men only want one thing, that’s not always true. Sure we are all animals, and the male species is a hunter who is out to satisfy his needs, but it goes beyond that with maturity.

When I was younger, I dated a lot of women. I was the lead guitarist in a rock band and that attracted a lot of girls. As I grew older, I became a Pro Wrestler who competed in front of thousands of people. Again I was approached by big numbers of women because they saw my body in action. But through all of that, I would look deeper into the person and would impress them with good conversation and intelligence. You need to take the person out of the gym situation and see the real them in conversation and decide whether they are truly right for you.

When we live and breathe the gym, it makes us very shallow, and if we meet someone who’s really not into training and bodybuilding, it can potentially make that person feel insecure. You may like them a lot, but if you’re in shape and they’re not, it may always be an insecurity when the clothes start coming off. No matter what you say to convince them they’re beautiful, they’ll still feel second to you.

When I moved to Los Angeles I met many gorgeous women, and finally settled in on someone who was right for me. But I had to go through a lot of personalities before that happened. My calling card at the time was my body, but once I opened the door it was important to show the other side, which I call Tuff & Tender. We just can’t be one-dimensional and base it on the muscles alone.

I’ve seen so many gorgeous women who are shallow and really have nothing to offer in a conversation, and when tempers flare, they get real ugly! Everyone has an ugly side, and it just depends on how it comes out. Some people hide it at first and put their best foot forward. The other person feels that they are getting a really well balanced person and then when familiarity sets in, the dark side appears.

They feel that being pretty or well built is enough. It may be satisfying early on, but then what? I’ve also met women who may not be considered “10s,” but they have a quality and kindness that overrides the looks. Beauty comes from within.

Yes, looks and lust are often the initial attraction, however after that you need to find other things you have in common. One of the best meeting places is in the gym, because you’re starting off on common ground—a passion for health and fitness.

We all want the best partner. We must have things in common and it can’t always be gym talk. We need to step outside that box and demonstrate our knowledge of things and events taking place outside the gym.

So, when you are striking out on dates, evaluate your approach and don’t always let your body speak for you. Less is more, meaning that you don’t need to show it off because it will come through on its own. Back in the Golden Era we all dressed with loose clothing to hide our muscles. People were kind of put off by it, so we dressed down and let our personality do the work. Let your personality shine and do the work for you. Your body is a bonus—a jackpot prize for the other person.

To this day, I still have women ask me what they’re doing wrong and why they can’t find a nice guy. So on my show, Ric’s Corner, I’m dedicating time to relationships, which I will call Tuff & Tender episodes. Hopefully this will enlighten both male and female trainees out there.