Unable to link one of my tables to another in the same base

I create a new field in a table with no other linked fields
It is a linked field to another table in the same base
Airtable allows me to do that

Then I select some lookup fields from this new linked table
So far so good, just like the other ones ive done

Both of these columns keep populating empty

I repeat these steps w same trouble

I actually tried creating a new field to be the linked record in each table
from a=>B and B=>a
always empty

then an existing single line text field in both directions [not the primary field]

oh this is not an automation question! but that follows

maybe I should update Monterey and restart the comp

these things take way too much time.
here I just simplified it to the essentials

Do you have experience with a different database program? If so, that might be what is causing the confusion. Linked records and lookups work very differently in Airtable compared to other database systems. In Airtable you must manually connect each linked record (or have an automation or script do it for you).