I Am Not Physically Attracted to My Boyfriend. Can We Possibly Have a Future Together?

Hi Evan, I am in a very tricky situation and don’t know what to do, I found your web site and your advice are great. I hope you will answer my question, I need your precious advice too. I met a man online a few months ago, and, to make a long story short, we met, we are a great match intellectually/emotionally. I am concerned sometimes he is too attached to me and the way he started to make long term plans with me quite soon, but this isn’t a real problem.

The real problem is that I don’t find him attractive. He is not ugly but I don’t like his features and overall appearance. Physically, I find he is not a “match” for me and I am not proud of being so shallow. I don’t know what to do because other than that he is just perfect and I like him very much, he makes me feel very good. But I am not sure if I should be making plans with a man I don’t feel much attraction for. I decided to tell him the truth about my feelings and he said he will take all the steps necessary to improve himself physically as he doesn’t want to lose me. I am torn. Is he really the man of my life if physically I don’t like him the way he is?

Thanks you so much for your help. Mia

Making a life-long decision based on attraction is like getting a tattoo with someone’s name on your back and breaking up four months later

Mia, I can’t answer your question, because NOBODY can answer your question. Attraction is the big X Factor in any relationship. When you have it, you don’t think twice about it. When you don’t have it, it’s hard to overcome. Which would seem to indicate that you should break up with your boyfriend. Not so fast. I’ve put a lot of thought into the pros and cons of how much you should weigh the lack of physical attraction in a relationship. I urge you to consider this before taking any rash steps.

Reasons for Staying Together Despite a Lack of Physical Attraction

Ask most long-term married couples about the relative importance of sex in their lives, they will generally say things like “It’s the dessert, not the main course”. And it’s true. It’s just hard to consider that when you’re 27. But realize that in 10 years, you’re 37, raising little ones and your life is no longer your own. By 47, your bodies have thickened and drooped. By 57, you’re probably finishing menopause and his libido is largely gone. By 67, you’re thinking of retirement, travel and grandkids. By 77, you’re hoping just to stay healthy, and … Can you see how making a decision based on attraction is a perfect example of short-term thinking? Like getting a tattoo with someone’s name on your back and breaking up four months later. The truth is that life lasts for a REALLY, REALLY long time.

And yet we base our relationship decisions on evanescent emotions like lust, passion, and chemistry. Fact: In relationship studies, traditional “attraction” wears off within 18-24 months of dating. This probably corresponds to what you’ve experienced in real life – namely, that it’s hard to get “excited” about someone with whom you’ve been intimate for two years straight. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but if you ask most married couples, the nature of sex changes. Sure, you might be that rare “three times a night” couple well into your fifties, but most of those clichés about parents not having time or energy for sex are true.

We’re attracted to what we’re attracted to – often to our own detriment.

So if life becomes more about responsibility, friendship, compatibility and all those other “boring” things that old married couples cite, how much emphasis should we put on physical attraction in our 20’s/30’s? It is no secret that compatibility is a stronger predictor of relationship health than chemistry. Yet chemistry is what we chase – somehow hoping that it turns into compatibility as well. It rarely does. Look at your most “passionate” relationships. Where are they now? Exactly. Yet we can’t help ourselves. We’re attracted to what we’re attracted to – often to our own detriment. Which is how men end up with hot crazy women and women end up with hot emotionally unavailable men.

This isn’t my opinion. This is life. Just look around. Does this mean that you should stay with your amazing boyfriend even if you don’t feel attracted? Ah, if it were only that simple…

Reasons to Break Up Because of a Lack of Physical Attraction

As you know, sexual attraction rarely grows over time. With men, this almost never happens. With women, it tends to be correlated to her feelings about her partner. However, this is presuming a steady baseline of attraction from which to grow. If there is NO attraction to start, there’s not even any room to go down. That’s a rough proposition for you to endure with a boyfriend. Thus, it’s impossible to convince you to give a shot to someone you’re purely NOT attracted to. No rational thinking is going to overcome your genetic and cultural biases.

So we discriminate on age and height and weight and dozens of minute details of which we may not even be aware. Then there’s the Paradox of Choice. We dissect others physically, although none of us wants to be dissected physically as well. I can explain this phenomenon – as author Barry Schwartz did for a few hundred pages in his amazing book, but, at the end of the day, we can’t help ourselves. As noted dating guru David DeAngelo says, “Attraction is not a choice”. We’re still going to crave choice and variety, and something approximating societal ideas of perfection, however unrealistic this might be.

In a good relationship, sex is the dessert, not the main course

If you doubt this yourself, go to an online dating site and make a list of your “favorites”. Odds are, they’re going to be among the most physically attractive singles on the site. That doesn’t mean that you don’t care about who they are as people – what they do, what they earn, what they believe – but it all starts with attraction. The problem is that when we compare people side by side, great catches often lose out. Why respond to the 5’5″ guy when there are six-footers out there? Why go out with the heavyset person when you can write to a lean model-type? Why go out with the 45-year-old when you can try the 29-year-old? Once again, this isn’t my opinion. 20/20 did a study years ago in which women were more likely to date a cute 6’1″ plumber than a 5’4″ heart surgeon/concert pianist. But hey, you can’t help what you’re attracted to.

That doesn’t mean you’re shallow – no more than anyone else. It just means you’re human. The other long-term thing to consider about why it’s important to have attraction is that in a monogamous relationship, there’s only ONE person with whom you’ll be having sex for the rest of your life. In that case, well, you’d BETTER have some measure of attraction. Anything less is a recipe for wandering eyes and future infidelity.

Which brings us to the moment of truth. You know that sex is the dessert and not the main course…but you know that this is the only person you’ll ever be with again. You know that companionship is more valuable than lust over 40 years…but you know that attraction is important and won’t get better over time. So should you stay or should you go if you’re not that physically attracted to your partner? It all comes down to your own internal compromise mechanism. Because there’s a difference between observing that your boyfriend’s got a paunch and being physically repulsed by him. Only you can decide. If you’re turned OFF by him, the whole thing’s a non-starter.

You’re not doing yourself (or him) any favors by staying with him if he has no ability to excite you. However, if he’s somewhere in the broader spectrum – somewhere between a 5-7 on the attraction scale, you may want to think twice before you toss him back in the sea. First, ask yourself if he – or another man – could dissect YOU physically as well. How about emotionally? Intellectually? It’s simple to find fault with others, but there’s a certain grace and wisdom in loving people in spite of their flaws, just as you’d like to be loved in spite of yours.

We often underestimate how rare it is to find someone who loves us unconditionally

Second, ask yourself if your boyfriend – despite your middling attraction for him – can make up for it in bed. If he’s energetic, passionate, and devoted to your pleasure, he may be more valuable to your love life than someone who is more aesthetically pleasing with the lights on. Finally, ask yourself if you can do appreciably better. We often underestimate how rare it is to have a partner who loves us unconditionally.

Very often, the second you assume the grass is greener is the second you may find yourself in an exciting new romance…with a guy who only texts you once a week. Attraction is an intensely personal choice and is fundamental to maintaining a healthy sex life. But don’t lose sight of the fact that you’re better off with a 7 in attraction and a 10 in compatibility, than you are with a 10 in attraction and a 4 in compatibility.

Warmest wishes,

Much love,

Evan

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Margaret

    I love Evan, but I cannot help but notice that his wife, who is *three* whole years older, is very attractive. Hence, his argument is rather moot. Somehow, I don’t see him with a Christina Onassis clone…thick ankles, legs, etc.

    Let’s not kid ourselves. Attraction is *very* important. The caveat is that it means different things to different people.

    I myself know that *I* have to find the man attractive, even if the rest of the world does not.

    No offense, Evan, just sayin’

  2. 32
    Margaret

    Lance #21,

    Beautifully put. My sentiments exactly. A guy does NOT have to be Brad Pitt, but bland and flavorless and beta is not sexy either.

  3. 33
    hunter

    Margaret, I have heard such words from women who can doll up very well. Now, if most of us men can stay away from these “dolls”, we might put some these dating sites out of business…

  4. 34
    David Gideon

    Hi, Mia.

    Your boyfriend’s problems do not end with his looks. The bigger issue is that he’s too attached to you, which shows insecurity and a general lack of confidence on his part. This will annoy you more and more as time goes by.

    Another problem is that he’s willing to improve his physical appearance for you to stay with him.

    He should have an internal desire for excellence that drives him, not that a woman will like him if he does it. This also shows an inner-weakness that will become more and more unbearable to any woman over time, not just you.

    I’d wager that if this guy was more confident, positive, happy, humorous, and committed to his own excellence… His looks would matter much less.

    David Gideon

    David Gideon´s last blog post…How To Talk To And Date Models

  5. 35
    Peter

    Hey Mia, would love to know what you decided. So many of the responses on here show the uniquely American approach to relationships, Shopping for mr. perfect. In my experience, Europeans tend to celebrate the oddities of a person as part of what makes the person unique, while american’s see it as flaws in some sort of genetic social darwinism. There are reasons we have expressions…beauty is skin deep, it comes from the wise. Finding someone who loves you unconditionally is a rarety, and should be treasured. You may find he has much more confidence than you think…it take a mountain of it to truly love some one. Change what you’re looking at, and CHOOSE to see the beauty in him.

  6. 36
    A-L

    Very interesting, Peter (#35). I can’t comment on the accuracy of the European vs. American perspective. But the idea of the “U.S.” version as social darwinism for generic perfection is something I hadn’t thought of before. But I think that everyone can agree with you that, “Finding someone who loves you unconditionally is a rarety, and should be treasured.”

  7. 37
    Kat

    I just found this site and this post the girl’s situation sounds very familiar. The only difference in my case is the guy is 4 yrs younger and I am a single mom which makes my mental state of priorities different. The physical attraction is not totally there, I think because I know he is younger than me. Also that I have known him for the last 3 yrs as my friends younger brother. But to make a long story short after talking as friends for 2 months he tries to convince me that he will do anything to make himself more appealing to me.
    Physically he is a good looking guy, just looks his age. Otherwise our personalities blend well and have an unbelievable amount of things in common and a good connection. I have told him a number of times I see him only as a friend and what he does to get himself together is great but to do it for himself and not to impress me. A number of people have said to me to enjoy the devotion but I feel that leading him on is not right. After another 2 months I see him acting more maturely and has made progress in his determination to become more successful.
    We have a group of friends we share and when we see each other he is very attentive to me and my son and shows his willingness to be the “guy for me”. We have shared a few kisses but most of which have happened while I was upset and he was trying to cheer me up or I have kissed him while a bit intoxicated. He is very respectful and says he adores me. I don’t know if I can see a future with him and am torn as to what to do to. I have dated other guys but it never really works for a other reasons also I am not looking to be in a monogamous relationship right now.
    He says he is willing to wait for whatever reason. I have considered his courtship after 6 months of him insisting but I make him keep his intentions on the down low as they say. Otherwise I feel he will take things to serious. But to respond to the post my two cents is this…. If the physical attraction is not there look for the possibility of becomes friends. Sometimes that spark isn’t there and you can’t make it work she might appriciate everything about him but she will eventually look else where and have can cheat which will cause the ruin of the relationship/friendship.

  8. 38
    Kirra

    I found this post, and it really hits home with me. I’m in a similar situation. I truly LOVE this man I am with, but our sex life is really struggling. There are many reasons why, but (although I tried to deny it to myself) I am attracted, but still missing a certain level of attraction and desire that I have am used to, and have always had in past relationships. He has picked up on this and asks me if its an attraction thing, and I deny it.
    There are other ‘complications’ persay which lead to us not having sex (timing, work schedules, roomates, etc..) but those things have never stopped me in the past. I feel like a horrible person because I want it to work with him, I really do. But as Marc says “there has to be some measure of attraction or its a recipe for wandering eyes and future infidelity.” YIKES! I am NOT a cheater, and don’t think I could ever go through with it even if I was close to doing it. But… I have found myself thinking about other men constantly… not in a way that I want to have a relationship with them… just sexual thoughts. Why can’t I have these thoughts about my own boyfriend??
    If we attempt to have sex, it gets weird. Because it feels like something we should be doing. And there’s an expectation for it to be good. I’m thinking about all the pressures and intricacies of the situation, and not whats happening and what I’m feeling as he is kissing me in the moment. I will be laying there with him, thinking about work, about my schedule, about the problems with our sex life (And thus ous relationship) and I think about other men too. I end up so distracted, that I am barely making an effort, and its an epic fail. Should I try having a couple drinks before? I’m thinking that maybe we just need to actually HAVE sex a few times before this situation can be criticized.

    Does this make me a horrible person?!?!!? PLEASE HELP.

    1. 38.1
      starstruck

      I think if you can’t even comfortably have sex with your own boyfriend then you aren’t meant to be together. Sex should be fun and it’s not fair on your partner if you’re not enjoying it either

  9. 39
    Sayanta

    Kirra-

    It doesn’t make you horrible- it just means you need to tell him how to be better in bed. ;-P

  10. pingback
  11. 40
    ange

    i think its not so much about the actual classical handsomeness so much as physical chemistry, pheromones if you will. Men always tell women that certain things just work with them because of biology. Sure, cultural expectations are also to blame but yes yes yes – there is a reason one person is attracted to someone and the other just isnt. It’s about the best possible match geneticlly. Women have really strong sense of who they are attracted to physically, even if the man is not a classic hottie, it’s about a certain hormone that actually tell a women – the man will give her healthy off spring. It’s not just me blabbing what i think, yes i read it in a book lol!! you just shoudnt force yourself to be attracted to someone you are simply not. Sometimes im not attracted to the best lookig men becuse i just dont feel it. Listen to those impluses, they tell you something.

  12. 41
    ayejay0601

    Mia-

    My thoughts are this:  There are an intricate interwoven thread between physical features and personalities.  As a guy, I can tell you that many girls with bad personalities become much uglier to me and I know several girls who are very attractive (girls who I originally wanted to sleep with) who I no longer have any desire to be physical with because of their personalities. 

    And I think something similar may be going on here.  This person probably checks off many of the criteria on your list.  But his neediness, his willingness to change for you and his general lack of confidence make it difficult to feel attraction for this man. 

    I bet if this same guy came to you with an “i dont give a damn” attitude and “take me or leave me as i am” personality, you would feel much more attracted to him. 

    Many of the most desirable men in the world are not good looking.  But they have an attitude that is irrestible to women.  In short, what I am saying is that, without knowing more about him (you say he is not ugly), its probably his attitude (or lack of attitude) that makes you not attracted to him. 

    One more example, I was deeply in love with my ex.  She was very attractive but gained a lot of weight over our time together by the end, she was no longer attractive.  But I loved her so much, regardless because we had so many pleasant memories together. 

    So what’s my advice?  Let me ask you this:  Do you like being with this person?  Do you like cooking with him, watching movies together, trying new hobbies, traveling with this person?  If so, I think you should spend more time with this person and see where it goes.

  13. 42
    angel

    I think physical attraction is very important as well as emotion attraction. If you don’t have both initially in the early stage I don’t think you will ever have a good long term relationship. I would break up now before you cause each other lots of grief. Asking someone to change may be too much depending on what changes you want to make. An attraction can last for years with the right people. I know when I have felt repulsion for a man that has never turned to attraction no matter what they do, if it’s not there it’s not going to be ever.

  14. 43
    Wondering?!

    Hi! I’m in the same situation right now with a guy who is awesome but not unlike myself short. But he is balding with long side hair..and wide bone structure at the hips so he looks like a triangle or you know one of those cartoon men that are really wide in the middle and wear a whirly bird hat? Know the type? But beautiful eyes and the most sweet, kind and generous man! I wish so much that I was attracted to him in the least bit…but I’m not! He has amazing eyes but I am freaking out worrying that some time soon, he will try to kiss me.  We’ve been psuedo hanging out for a year now and I know…..I will never be attracted to him.  On the other hand where I live, there are no guys to date. There are lots of gay men, married men and out of work construction workers.  I’m super lonely and tired of being alone, but thinking about the beautiful guys I’ve dated who were cruel users in the end.  I can’t help the way I feel naturally and so….I don’t know what to do. i’m older now and most guys my age want to date younger women although everyday someone tells me how I only look half my age. I’m wanting a serious relationship, but only find guys who want to get laid these days, so I’ve become a very lonely hermit – back in school and trying to ignore my feelings of hurt and loneliness while kinda stringing this guy along because he is so generous and kind to me.  I don’t want to hurt him, and am trying to be open about maybe changing my mind, but ultimately….men are biologically born to look for beauty and women are biologically born to seek resources.  How is beauty any different than money? And…since men use women’s for their bodies, and you know it’s true that women in our society are objectified and images of their bodies bought and sold mostly for men and men’s profit on many levels while women in porn more so than not never orgasm and when they grow old, their husband leave them to perv on a younger bitch.  law of the jungle which makes me want to be celibate and hermit like.  Sometimes I just want to give up but sometimes want to keep hoping, but for now give up and figure that if Mr. Right comes along…it is meant to be.  In the meanwhile I’m bored but working on myself, went back to school, praying a lot, working on more positive thinking patterns, and not dating anyone.  Trying to be friends with men but it seems they don’t want to be friend only and only want to get laid – which I find so painful – hence I’m alone.  Better alone than with someone who doesn’t really meet your needs on any level. It’s all so confusing and really…is companionship or sex worth all that in the end? Tired and sick and bored, sad, lonely afraid – but…willing to admit it.  No good guys here for a million years – still single and almost 50.  Decent looking and people tell me I have good energy when I’m with them,….but apparently, not good enough. it’s a put out (in one way or another) or get out kinda world out there.  Every man for himself?

  15. 44
    Xavier

    I am facing the same problem. I met my boyfriend almost three months ago, he is very kind and overall a nice person but sexually I am just not attracted to him, the sex feels like a chore and he always wants sex. He has also already made long term plans. We are very different in personal lives as well, he is kind of ghetto and speaks ghetto he doesnt have a Bachelor’s degree and I am working towards my PhD, I dont mind that he doesnt have a Bachelor’s degree but I do have a problem with him speaking in ghetto and that sexually I am just not attracted towards him. He doesnt take care of his body and is always eating butter drinking coffee and smoking, while I goto gym at least 2 times a week and I try to eat healthy as much as I can.

  16. 45
    Jason Miller

    I’m gonna go out on a limb here and suggest that your boyfriend’s looks are only part of the issue.  Here’s the quote from you that I’m referring to:
     
    I am concerned sometimes he is too attached to me and the way he started to make long term plans with me quite soon, but this isn’t a real problem.


    Actually, I would argue strongly that it is.  You may be comfortable with long term plans, but it appears you are responding naturally to his state of being “too attached.”  Put simply, he is being needy and clingy toward you and that is justifiably a huge turnoff for you.  I’d take it a step further and suggest that he’s not demonstrating enough masculinity for you to feel attracted to him.  So don’t assume it’s all about looks.  It’s about confidence and masculinity too.  Think of all the rather average looking men in relationships with good looking women.  It’s not always about the looks.

  17. 46
    marry

    If you are not attracted to your boy friend please don’t marry him. if you are not married to him then both of you will be happy. if you married to him and have no attraction to him you cant live happily and seeing you unhappy he cant live happily. No matter in other relationship(brother, sis father, mother) but in Husband and wife relation there should be attraction towards each other. don’t think twice about it again, if he is good also u leave him. its good for both of u.

  18. 47
    Louise Krekic

    In your case Mia you should give it more time. In time you will learn to love all his features he seems like a good catch otherwise. That is what every woman I talked to said about a guy who wasnt too handome but he was nice and a good husband material. Your physicall attraction for anyone will fade and dont let your marriage with wome handsome guy become one of the 60% divorce statistics. He might become quite handsome in time, some guys look better when they are older. I am 62 and have seen many guys in our town starting to look really bad as they aged. They have big bellies, lost their hair and are all wrinkled. The same guys used to be really hot when they were young.
    Hope this helps
    Louise

  19. 48
    Hazel

    To the comment posted above I completley understand that being attracted to someone is important but from what I have heard when a man is willing to do whatever he can to change for a women they say that type of man is proubly a big keeper he obviously must be crazy for you which is a good thing since they say not to many men like to change their ways..I am not trying to tell you that you should settle for someone that your not attracted to but maybe you should just consider this advice..that is something my mother always said when a man is willing to change for a woman thats a big thing proubly a good man..

  20. 49
    Hazel

    I believe the personality comes down to the most important thing looks eventually fade away people dont look the same forever..

  21. 50
    Louise Krekic

    Yes Hazel the fact that he wants to change for her might be a good sign but not always. Men are not as changable much after the age 25. At about that age they have acquired their work discipline, how they treat friends and women and their sexual relationship style. So they change very little after that and if they do change it might not be permanent. A gorilla will do tricks for a banana, but not for long. Ability to change is not a very good quality in a man. My husband hasnt changed one bit since I have met him when he was 34. He is like a rock, solid, and has integrity. He has always respected his mom and his sister and he has lots of buddies who love him and think a world of him. Those are all good signs.
    Louise Krekic

  22. 51
    Rebecca

    Society mistakenly assumes that because women often end up with men that appear less physically attractive, that women don’t put so much value on looks, that men are the more visual sex.  However, this I feel is totally untrue, because just because a woman ends up with a particular man does not mean she actually desires him.  Usually pressures from society, family and her biological clock force her to settle.
    Of course looks alone won’t make a good relationship, but I personally feel that good sex is an important part of a relationship, and I just could not imagine having to ever sleep with a man just to make him happy.
    People are always telling me I’ll end up alone with cats, because I’m too picky and I wont ‘settle down with some nice guy’ whom I have no attraction to whatsoever.   That somehow as a woman this makes me superficial, whereas men are allowed to be superficial because of their ‘biological needs’.   Well, as a woman I feel my biological needs are to mate with an attractive man, surely this is natural?  Women in fact are constantly being told to reject who they really are.  It is a sad thing that women are usually the ones who get the worse end of the deal with their partner, sexually speaking anyway.
    Anyway, I would rather end up alone with cats then have to suffer through sex with a man I did not want.  Perhaps it is this thinking that worries society the most, because if more women stayed true to themselves, there would be a lot less men who could get the women that they wanted.

  23. 52
    Denise

    Rebecca #52

    I agree with everything you’ve said.

    It’s CRUCIAL for a relationship to be happy and to last that there is a physical attraction, period.  It’s one of the three legs of the stool.  Physical attraction, friendship, commitment.  If ALL three are not there, then the relationship is doomed to be very unhappy and/or cheating.

    NOTE that this is true for MEN AND WOMEN.

    You’re also right on in regard to many people who wait, then settle because they want to have a family–again, MEN and WOMEN (surprised to see how so many men in their late 40’s  have young children).

    Physical attraction is unique to each person.  In my opinion, it’s not right to fault someone for their preference.  What I would say, however, is that as women (and men) we have to give people a chance and not to dismiss them outright.  Speaking as a woman, if I find a man reasonably attractive,  he can definitely increase that attractiveness through his masculine energy.  I would bet the same is true for men in regard to women.  However, if I find a man physically attractive but I’m not feeling that mascunlinity, then the physical attraction does deminish. 

    Comes back to many of the comments here that ALL women are looking for TALL men who look like models, and dismiss everyone else.  I don’t think that’s the case in reality.  I don’t know how that’s any different from men who will only go out with model type of women who are much younger than them.  I don’t believe that’s the case either.

    Ultimately, I’m more interested in character and similar beliefs and values.  If the is HOT in my eyes, but has none of the above, then he’s not the man for me–period.

  24. 53
    J.A.

    Denise, can you explain this “masculinity” you speak of?  It means different things to different people.

  25. 54
    Denise

    Yes, masculine energy is about DOING. It’s about approaching or talking to a woman, it’s about giving his resources in regard to time, attention, humor, listening, money.  It’s about treating her differently than other women that might be around.  It’s about being confident and moving forward with asking for her phone number or asking for a date.  It’s about making a move sexually, and to keep pursuing over time in a gentlemanly fashion even when she says no.  To open the door for her, to let her exit the door first.  To compliment her in a way that acknowledges something special about her.  When he asks her out on a date, he already has something planned. 

    To not talk about personal things too soon.  To not spill his guts on all his failures.  To talk about his achievements in a confident but not cocky way–that shows he can take care of himself and her and their family if need be. 

    To create MYSTERY about himself.  So she thinks, how did he get to be so successful?  I wonder where he’s taking me tonight?  That’s an interesting outlook, I wonder how he came to that?

    He’s kind to others, but will not be swayed or intimated by others, including other men.  He gives the impression he’s in charge (he’s the pilot!)

  26. 55
    Denise

    I came across an article from a website called mascunlinitymovies.com.  The article is called what is masculinity by Eivind Figenschau Skjellum.  I would love to see if you or other men could read it and let me know your thoughts (if you’re so included of course!). 

    He also did another great article Differences between boys and men…really good too.  I think this article does a great job describing masculinity too. 

    I will be passing both these articles onto my 18 year old son.

  27. 56
    Karl R

    Denise, (#58)
    I would say the article’s description of maculinity is a good literary definition. As such, it extends fairly well, but not perfectly, to normal life.

    For example, facing death may be standard fare in stories, but it’s not a commonplace occurance for most men.

    Eivind has some valid ideas, but wouldn’t accept any that weren’t confirmed by reason or experience.

  28. 57
    Denise

    Karl R #57 Thanks for reading the article and your comments!

    I believe when reading this particular article is that he is speaking to a VISION of masculinity.  Of a way of being; being authentic in the spirit of masculinity.  An attitude.

    In my prior post, I was giving some real life examples of masculinity (and I would strongly argue society has steadily ‘feminized’ boys to become more like women, further causing shame to boys and men for being the way they are at their most fundamental human level.)

    In caveman times, these definitions were literal, standard fares.  As you are pointing out, the human race has evolved so much that we are in a place today where very few of us face death on a daily basis.  However, a man is a man is a man, millions of years ago or today. 

    It’s that men are about death and women are about life.  That men are about doing and women are about feeling.  Men are about giving resources and women are about receiving/collecting resources.   It Ying and Yang!

    If we can understand masculinity and femininity from the reptilian brain (what is instinctual to each sex) of each other, then accepting those things in each other makes life a lot easier and a lot more successful.

    This also gives credence to the saying:  men and women are equal, but different (since we both have the same brain structure, but different instincts in that structure.  A lot of which I’ve recently recognized is due to hormones, very powerful).

    Off the topic a little from the article, but still in the vein of masculinity/femininity:

    I would end with these two equations attributable to Dr. Paul Dobransky that I find really, really helpful.  When these two factors are going well, we have more passion for ourselves, more passion for the opposite sex and more passion for life.  Think about it in your situation or as you go about your life.

    Masculinity = Success with women + Progress on Mission
    (when he’s asking to have sex with his wife, he doing that because that feeds his masculinity equation; when his girlfriend is happy with him, he feels successful and makes him more passionate)

    Femininity = Obtaining Resources from Men (time, attention, affection, listening, humor, labor, money) + Purpose Greater than Self
    (when she’s asking for the trash to be taken out, it’s not because she’s a nag, she’s asking for attention and labor; when she shows off her new ring from her husband, she’s passionate about him spending his resources on her; when she wants him to listen to her day, it’s not that she’s a pain in the ass, she is looking for his attention and listening.)

    As you can see, women are more complex than men :)

  29. 58
    Lila

    oh my gosh!! i totally love this!! You just saved my break up.

  30. 59
    Yuki

    It’s true what Denise says. When a guy is constantly asking, “was that OK?” (after sex) or “can I kiss you?” my heart sinks a little. Yes, I want to be treated like an equal, but no, I don’t want to feel like someone’s mother/supervisor. A man should NEVER spill all his feelings and failures on the table — it’s especially bad if the woman has a strong editorial sense (i.e. sorting out the “relevant and good” information from “useless junk” information) and finds his “I ate a beef sandwich! Yay!” emails depressing.
    It’s fine to be emotional, but a man should never tear up and talk in hushed whispery tones about his feelings, it simply does not elicit sympathy. Sounds like Mia’s guy needs to stand up for himself, too.

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