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. 91
    Pearl

    I think lack of physical attraction sometimes be an indicator of lack of attraction to personality traits. Once I start liking a person, I usually stop seeing the physical imperfections. They even start looking good to me. If after getting close to the person, she is still unable to find beauty in him, there is a possibility that she is uncomfortable with something in his personality or behaviour to her that she is not able to pinpoint. Perhaps there is a lack of chemistry between them. We may see many examples of successful marriages where one partner is not as good looking as the other in the conventional sense. But the good looking partner may have been immensely attracted to the other, either due to personality traits or some physical attributes.

  2. 92
    Honeyoriginal

    I don’t know how old these posts are but I searched this topic because I am in this exact situation.  I read thru a lot of the responses and it did give me something to think about.  Just because you are not physically attracted to someone doesn’t mean something is wrong with them. Every bowl has a lid. I used to think that I was an alright looking person.  Some years back I was in a fire, people often tell me they cant see the scars on my face but they stand out to me. My fiance always tell me how beautiful I am, every single day.  He has a great sense of humor. He loves my kids and he takes care of me. He does whatever he can to make me happy.  He loves me and I love him. Thats what I’m attracted to. Good men are hard to find as the old saying goes and if he can still be attracted to me despite the fire (which could’ve been alot worse and then NOBODY would want me) then I can be attracted to him! Hi @John!

  3. 93
    DinaStrange

    @Rebecca #52. I totally agree with you. I also feel pressure to be with someone who is nice but to whom i feel absolutely no attraction. Yes, those men are super nice and they have all the qualities of a husband, faithful, hard working, can provide for family but somehow i feel that if i marry them without any physical attraction, i will lying to them and using them and i cannot do it.

    And trust me there were many times when i was so angry at myself for not falling in love with a nice guy and telling myself that sex is not as important, yet not matter what i do i can’t force myself to marry a nice guy to whom i feel nothing physically. It feels horrible but for now, i guess i’d rather stay alone. 

  4. 94
    man

    I am a guy that has had a relationship with a girl for more than a year. She has a pretty face, and dresses up very well. Her body does not match though. She is not fat, but she is chubby and saggy. She liked me for my looks the first time she saw me, and she says she kept liking me more after she found out I play guitar and have a spanish accent. At first I didnt like her, and this gives me the liberty to say that her looks were not what attracted me to her. We have friends in common, so in the beggining we hanged around because of pure coinscidence. After spending time with her, I noticed how responsible, mature, sweet and cute her personality was, and decided to give it a shot. It was just very easy to have fun with her. So I decided to give it a shot, and ask her out. Now, all our friends envy our relationship. Its so easy to communicate that when we have trouble, it is only for one time. Never fight over an issue again because we get to the very root of it by talking. In the bed, it gets quite interesting. Sometimes I feel connected with her and I dont mind her body, and goes pretty well. Other times, it is very hard to get an orgasm. Usually, when another girl with better looks flirts with me (I am lucky to play guitar and have a spanish accent) I have had the thought of breaking up with my girl because I could be getting something “better.” However, I immediately stop the thought when I imagine the best scenario of breaking up with my girl (just being friends), and I cannot imagine myself resisting to hold her hand or kiss her cheeks and lips (not for sexual pleasure, it just moves something inside when I kiss her, I kiss her randomly like 100 times a day), and I think I could never resist that urge. I guess what I am trying to say is that if someone is looking for perfection, they are never going to find it. For my girlfriend, the imperfection is in her body. Also, whoever says physical attraction is always the first spark, is wrong. Physical attraction is just one of the more immediate ways to fish, but it is not the only way to fish. Another relatively immediate way to fish is money (right women?), for example.  There is nothing wrong with a women liking the money of a guy as long as it is not the only thing she cares about, just as there is nothing wrong with a guy liking the sexynees of a girl as long as it is not the only thing he cares about. In the end, everyone will have to deal with some kind of imperfection in their romantic relationship, in my case it is in the physical apperance, for others may be some personality flaw, or even poverty. Just be honest with yourselves, and decide which one you are willing to deal with. There is no right or wrong answer.

  5. 95
    Katarina Phang

    Man, very interesting!  But don’t you think her physical shortcoming can pretty easily be solved by working out?  Why don’t you ask her to work out together?  It’s fun and very good for bonding as well.  You obviously are bothered by her physical imperfection.  While none of us is perfect in that department, physical attraction is very important for relationship longevity (you have women throw themselves at you all the time, don’t undermine that…one day it’ll be too hard for you to resist not because you’re a bad man but because you’re human).  

    Don’t deny yourself that because it will one day come back and bite you in the ass!

  6. 96
    Paragon

    I truly hope that this thread debunks forever the myth that females are less visual, or selective in terms of culling prospective mates according to their relative physical attractiveness.
     
    The truth is – sexual liberation has accorded females with the ruinous latitude to weight physical attractiveness in their mating choices, with disasterous effect to the evolutionary stability of developed world populations(in terms of sub replacement fertility – which is the consequence of fertility losses incurred by female dominated outcomes in sexual conflict – where the female role as the rate limiting morph in reproductive success predicts systemic fertility losses, as well inbreeding depression effects from the smaller male breeding populations that invariably follow). 

    Trivially observed, this dynamic manifests most apparently of females in the single demographic, where the longer they stay on the shelf(or riding the carousel), the more maladapted they are likely to be to long term gains(with respect to LTRs) – and the less likely they are to ever ‘pair-off’.
     
    The indications are(with rare exceptions), that they are unwilling to trade off a concern for sex in exchange for long term gains(relationship security, and correlated benefits). 
     
    And the reality is, that, given female selectivity(manifest through their role as the rate limiting morph in reproductive success), the majority of females will never be able to reconcile sexual satisfaction with monogamy since most will not be  able to hold the interest of a *much* smaller population of ‘choice’ males with inexhaustable options(think Pareto’s principle, for an approximate distribution of sex – with males the ‘fatter tailed’ distribution – and you will begin to understand the dynamic behind the prevailing sexual market place in developed world populations).  
     
    So, I think we can safely conclude that females who are obstinate about not trading off looks, for relationship security are not really serious about pursuing a LTR with reasonable prospects(instead of trying to land the hypothetical hunky rich guy with a BBW fetish), forgetting that a small and select population of ‘choice’ males(which greater female selectivity ensures) cannot logically ‘pair-off’ with a *much*(much!) larger population of choosy females(who all want the same small pool of men – and who are all equally unwilling to ‘settle’).
     
    My sympathies to Evan, as he has quite a difficult task(at least in helping the women to realize whether or not they are *genuinely* looking for love – which will *always* entail compromises, and trade-offs(particularly in terms of male attractiveness)- or whether they are only willing to indulge an ideal, which is nowhere indicated in liklihood). 
     
    It is clear, of the many female apologists that frequent this blog, that they either have no interest in LTRs, or are hopelessly maladapted to them.
     
    Which, of course, begs the question of their investment in this blog(except as a medium to ply their rank apologism).
     

    1. 96.1
      Dina Strange

      So, i am gonna say in plain english what you just so laboriously tried to express in so many words. Women are not dependent on men financially thus it sucks for men now, because before if he just had money he could be the ugliest ape on the planet, and he’d still find a beautiful woman to have kids with. Now – not so more.

      Now, what “disasterous effect to the evolutionary stability of developed world populations” are you talking about. There are seven billion people on earth, and there def. no threat to evolutionary stability in the world today. Wake up, and smell the roses my friend, or better go to the gym.
       

  7. 97
    Tinker

    The OP feels no chemistry for this man, yet she is second guessing herself.

    Romantic relationships require sexual intercourse, kissing, making out.

    You need chemistry for this. Otherwise it will feel wrong, like a chore, and maybe even disgusting later in the future.

    The OP feels no chemistry for the man, eventually (maybe it’s happening already) she will try to avoid kissing, making out, and get out of having intercourse with him.

    If they stay together and have children:

    1. What kind of an example will be to them, a passionless couple.

    2. When the OP finally denies the man physical intimacy, or ends up meeting a man she really wants to be with, the marriage will end up in divorce. The kids living in separate homes, drama with the new boyfriend/girlfriend, new step parents, and finding a new mate who will accept you with children.

    About the man in this relationship:

    1. He’s being kind of selfish: He must have at least some kind of idea that this woman is not inlove with him, yet he’s trying to seal the deal faster than a speeding bullet. He’s not thinking/caring about her needs as a sexual being with hormones.

    2. He’s very insecure: a confident person man/woman looks for someone who wants us physically because we feel we deserve to be wanted. A confident man doesn’t settle for someone who seems so unsure of him, because he knows there’s someone else out there who will just want to rip his clothes off as soon as they get home.

    3. He’s not very intellingent: he’s not thinking about what a horrible future could be waiting for them around the corner. It’s a lot more likely that a woman cheats on a man she’s not attracted to.

    About this woman:

    1. She’s very insecure of her thoughts and feelings: She knows in her gut that she’s not romantically attracted to this man, there’s no chemistry on her end. Yet, she has to ask everybody what action she should take when it’s all about her feelings, her attraction, whether she likes or doesn’t like this man. She already has the answer, yet her insecurity, lack of self-trust is not enough for her to say “hey, I’m not into this guy, what am I doing here? I should be out there, meeting new people because even thought I care about this man, there’s no romantic future here” This woman has self-esteem issues and believes she’s not going to find someone with whom to have a normal romantic relationship, so she sticks with the first guy that accepts her. She needs therapy, and to mature a little more.

    2. She’s being selfish: In a big way she’s using him as a safety blanket. No one should be used like that. He deserves someone who is inlove with him, we all do.

    3. She’s not thinking: about the future. In most cases things get more challenging, especially living together, raising children and all the stress that brings about. That’s why chemistry and liking your partner is so important, it helps us get thru it all because we feel that we’re doing it along with Ms. Mr. Right.

  8. 98
    Tinker

    I should add that just because someone likes us it doesn’t make it a good relationship.

    It takes Two to Tango. Otherwise you’re dancing alone. You’re not on the same page.

    It’s NOT enough that this man feels big attraction for this woman.

    From her comment it sounds she is much more attractive than him. Getting someone less attractive than you to get interested and attracted to you is one of the easiest, most instantaneous things to happen.

    Just look at the older men out there (usually wealthy) with a woman younger and more attractive than them. Many of these sugar daddies “swear” they’re in love. They’re in lust. It’s very possible that the boyfrient of the OP is “in-lust” with her due to her being much better looking than him. Maybe she’s the most attractive woman he’s been able to date, and his being in-lust is not allowing him to see the reality of the situation, that she doesn’t like him.

  9. 99
    Paragon

    “About the man in this relationship:
    1. He’s being kind of selfish: He must have at least some kind of idea that this woman is not inlove with him, yet he’s trying to seal the deal faster than a speeding bullet. He’s not thinking/caring about her needs as a sexual being with hormones.”
     
    That’s because, most guys have been socialized by both other men *and* women, to think that females are *less* superficial when it comes to looks.
     
    I can’t tell you how hard a time I’ve had convincing guys that females are actually *way* more selective with respect to assessing the physical attractiveness of potential mates, than the reverse.
     
    But, every time someone points this out, the rank and file apologists(both male and female), shout it down.
     
    Go, figure.

  10. 100
    Fiona

    I have relationships with men that I am not attracted to. I call them friendships…there is no intimacy and never will be. In my late 30s there are still a lot of years a lot of intimacy ahead (I hope) that can either be pleasurable with the right man or just downright insufferable with the wrong one. I did have a relationship for a year with a man I liked but really wasn’t attracted to 10 years ago. I was genuinely unhappy although we got on well in other ways – I really saw him more as a friend. 10 years on and he is married to a women who adores him and they now have a baby. We are still friends and I am happy for him. I am not overjoyed by my single situation and there are many things that I regret and wish I had done differently. However, not for one moment do I regret letting that one go because I know that we wouldn’t have been happy together. He now is and I still have a chance.

  11. 101
    Nina

    I think Evan is giving the OP the wrong advice, because ultimately, she will be unhappy with this person, if she has tried so far and given it a chance. The mere fact that she is conflicted about her bf says a lot. If a person was happy, they wouldn’t be “torn” about someone. Posters have said here that she knows her own answer, and needs to move on; I agree, unless of course, she is able to look past the attraction issue, which, it sounds to me, that she is not able to do that. I also believe for myself (like many others here) that sexual attraction is a very subjective thing, but also, sexual attraction is needed to be with someone romantically (for myself personally). You give it a try with someone, and if you truly feel unfulfilled in the chemistry department, then in my opinion, it is not the right relationship. Some individuals do not need attraction as an important component of their relationships, and they have absolute right to choose people based on those preferences. But also, there are people who do need attraction or chemistry and they should be equally respected for those very personal choices and needs.

  12. 102
    NIm

    When it starts that you do not like him touching your knee, or walking with his arm around you, it is time to say good-by. If you are really not sure what you should do, then continue the relationship. In time, you will know if you should continue it or not. You will either start to like him more, or start to not want him to touch you, you will start to not want to touch him, and then you will want to end it. So, give it time……if you are not sure what to do…..but don’t get married yet…..find your answer first!

  13. 103
    Jo

    Let me answer this honestly…the answer is NO. Two years ago, I met the MOST amazing guy..he was sweet, kind, caring, thoughtful, funny, and intelligent.  We dated for 6 months.  I knew he was a good match for me every other way.  But the idea of beingwith him physically was not something I looked forward to.  Physically he was not aguy I would have gone out with but he was so nice and sweet, I had to give him a chance.  No matter how hard I tried…I could not force the physical attraction…while it is not everything in a relationship, it is part of it an when one part is missing then you (nor he) get the complete package and that is not fair.

    He deserves someone that thinks he is the ssexiest, smartest, most attractive man ever. He is a guy that deserves in return what he is giving (which is 100% of himself)…if you can’t give it to him..then allow him the chance to find someone else who will.

    I am sorry to say it like that…but it is true.

  14. 104
    treasures

    Please listen to me. i am the voice of experience in this. i married a man i felt no attraction to at all. in fact, he was shorter than i wanted also. i thought he was ugly. but i need a father figure then, and i could talk to him. i also was very beautiful, and i heard talk in my house of how pretty women were not so nice (they were actually referring to a family member) and their character was less than desirable. put all this together, and i had to show them all that i was of good character, and looks did not matter.  but they did. and chemistry did. i had a long marriage with him, three children grown and  grandchildren.  i could not tolerate sex after awhile. i desperately wanted a man i craved.  yes, eve when i was 65. i was so sexy feeling even then, but i had no desire for him. i should have left him or never married him.  i was such a child.  i began to have sexual affairs win i was 65! men who were younger in their fifties  thought i was sexy and pretty.  i had great genes. the thing i can tell you, is that it would have been more fair to let him go to find a woman who loved him and craved him.  also, that when you are older, if you have your health, you can still have great sex, but only if you love each other and have passion.  that passion never dies.. really do not let anyone tell you it does. i have friends who are still in love and passionate. and when and if the man is impotent in older age,, you still desire each other, so you cuddle up because you want to, and you do other sexual things.  leave this man, find someone else.. give him his freedom and another woman he deserves. you deserve another man. you do not have to go  thru the scenario that was painted with kids and pot belies!

  15. 105
    Sarah

    Your answer got me thinking about my relationship and I sincerely thank you for that.

  16. 106
    Stephanie

    Love this.

  17. 107
    Sparkling Emerald

    This is such a fine line to tread.  On one hand, if I meet a guy that I’m not immediately “attracted” to, (physically) there’s a part of me that says “Give him a chance”.  If I meet a guy I’m not immediately “attracted” to (physically) , and I decide to “give him a chance” then there’s that little voice inside of me that says “You are not being fair, you are leading him on”.
    I don’t have this problem with someone who downright repulses me, and obviously not with someone who makes me tingle at first sight, but it’s those in betweeners that are killers.
    It’s not often easy getting to the compatibility assessment phase of a relationship, because until I clear the physical attraction phase, compatibility will be a moot point.  And if I am TOO physically attracted to someone, well I could be too blinded to accurately assess how compatible we are.  (How often do couples who are blinded by love discover how incompatible they are 5 years and 2 kids later . . .)
    If I ever get to re-design the human race, I would create people to ONLY be attracted to those they are compatible with, and only with one person at a time.  :)  (and yes, as indicated by the little smiley face, that last remark was facetious)

  18. 108
    Samuel

    I don’t know how long ago this was originally posted, but I am in the same dilemma, only as a male. I was “just friends” with a woman, but she pursued me relentlessly. We got along in every other way, but I didn’t find her physically attractive. But she kept working on me. Finally, feeling began to grow, and I began to picture a future with this woman. I kissed her, and wound up in a relationship that I later regretted. You see, she was overweight, and while she has a pretty face, she is a few years older than me, and there are wrinkles and lots of large pores on her face. Her complexion is pasty. In right light, she looks pretty, but in the wrong light, well, it adds about 8 years.
    But she was oh so nice to me and my family. She was the most generous, loving, affectionate, compassionate soul I’ve ever met. We’ve been together for over 6 months, and I never manned up to tell her I’m not attracted to her—how do you say this to a woman? I dreaded hurting her feelings. She guessed it anyway, and I sorta owned up, but she just called me shallow and still wanted a relationship with me. I kept going, but no matter what I do, I can’t get out of my mind that I want to break up. But now I am going to have to. Yes, I TRULY LOVE her, but I’m not in love with her. Here’s the weirdest part, though. The sex was OUT OF THIS WORLD. How is this possible? I mean, it was not uncommon for us to have sex three times a day! Has anyone else here not been physically attracted to a woman, but the sex is great?? 

  19. 109
    hunter

    ….the poster has the perfect  situation, so I am told…I have had good sex, with someone I was not physically attracted to…it was fun….

  20. 110
    Samuel

    Why would anyone consider that the perfect situation? (Unless I misunderstood you.)

  21. 111
    Gayle

    I married a man whom I was not physically attracted to. All other facts and data about our personalities, goals, timing in our lives, etc. seemed to line up. I learned over time to accept him physically, but never had or developed a deep internal desire for him. Within a few years, we fell into marital troubles. I was never able to re-connect with him after fights. I couldn’t dig deep and find that primal “something-something” to wrap my emotions and brain around when I most needed it. As the arguments got uglier over time, any learned desires for him were gone. Completely gone, and never to re-kindle. In fact, he quickly became physically repulsive to me.
     
    We went to marriage counseling and she recommended we take ourselves back to better days and work on refreshing our original feelings for each other, what we meant to each other…starting with the physical desires. You can probably guess that marriage counseling was a complete fail because I never had the “stuff” to even participate in the physical desire memories.
    I caution anyone..if that physical desire is not there, it never will be…especially when you need and want it most. I promised myself any and all future relationships must have physical chemistry. No exceptions.

  22. 112
    Tim

    The advice here is quite good. However, we don’t all lose our sex drives in our 40’s.
    I’m in the same situation as the writer, except that I’m a gay guy in his 40’s with a boyfriend who is almost 30. He is the most amazing person I’ve ever met, It’s like we were made for each other (two conservative gay guys who look like straight guys, love research and have the same stupid sense of humor). But I’m not very physically attracted to him. I know he’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I want to be physically attracted to him, but I’m not. We’ve been together for nearly four years. Now that marriage is legal he wants me to marry him. I can’t. I need to make a decision and I don’t know what to do. (Thus Google searches). 
    If only life were easy.

  23. 113
    Carrie Me

    Tim, you already know the answer.  You aren’t sexually attracted to your boyfriend and would marry him in a heartbeat if you were.  You already know what to do, but afraid to act on it. 
    Like many of the posters before have stated, think about both of you, and not just yourself.  Don’t cheat yourselves out of a real committed relationship that you both could have with someone else.  You live only once. 
    And yeah I am one to talk because I too am living with a man that I like sometimes and sometimes not.  He treats me well and always asks about how I doing, feeling, etc.  I knew I wasn’t attracted to him and when he asked me if I felt a spark when he kissed me, I lied to save his feelings and said yes. 
    We moved in together like fools and I have liked him less and less, while he wants to get married.  I have been alone for quite a while and figure I better take what I can get.  I know this isn’t fair to him. 

  24. 114
    Carrie Me

    I know I am such a contradiction telling Tim what to do when I am in the same predicament.  But I am not attracted to the man I’m with.  He has a small frame and I can’t get used to it.  He puts his feet up on the couch and looks like a little kid sitting there with an old face.  And I pick at him for what he says like “oh my goodness” and what’s her bucket, or jobberdo when he can’t remember a name or what something is called.  I can’t be with a man that says “oh my goodness” and not pronouncing the “d”.  I know it sounds so nitpicky but, a person feels how they feel.  And if it is bothersome, I just think it will get worse.  Oh and he states the obvious all the time.   I am so not perfect and in no way do I think I am. 
    In a previous relationship, I fell in love with a man effortlessly.  He was so funny and made me laugh everyday.  He was very intelligent.  It didn’t work out due to wanting to live in different states.  I wanted to live near my kids.  Yeah I know if he cared enough about me, he would live with me anywhere, and I guess he didn’t.  But as my feelings for him went, it was effortless.  I didn’t have to try to like him.  I just did and fell in love. 
    I have to force it with my man now and I know it will never work.  It would be so much easier if I could, but who said life was going to be easy.
     

  25. 115
    marymary

    Carrie
    I don’t believe you need to be madly in love or have mad chemistry but it sounds like you can’t even tolerate this poor guy!
    As for the ex, I’ve no doubt he had many good qualities.  But it’s easy to see the best in someone when you don’t actually spend much time with them. 
     

  26. 116
    judy

    Jphn, it works both ways.  Here I am, a said to be beautiful, intelligent, kind and caring woman and he is playing hard to get.  Or couldn’t care less.
    While he is distancing himself, to find the “perfect” companion, guess what? Any smart woman would have moved on.
    But back to the OP.  Intellectual balance, social abilities, and manners count very very high.  The physical you can change, within limits.
    If the guy really is not your type, then be fair.  And find someone else. 
     
     
     
     

  27. 117
    Tim

    Carry Me, I think our situations are quite different. Even though I don’t always feel “in love” with my guy, my eyes fill with tears when I talk about him to other people because he is so incredible. Maybe I’m falling in love with him and it’s just taking a long time. If he annoyed me and I wasn’t getting anything out of our relationship it would be a lot easier to dump him. That’s just not the case.

  28. 118
    WARNING .. must read

    I think you need to ask yourself how important looks are to you, if this is number one on your list, no amount of compatiblity will make up for it, none.  Eventually, you will resent him because he is not filling your bucket up by providing this important emotional need.  I am married to a wonderful woman for 20 years, we are 100% compatible, and I married thinking I was shallow because she was not my type physically, just did not have the good looks I have always looked for in a partner.  Do I regret it?  Whlie we have wonderful children, and a life most think is full of bliss, we have zero romantic passion, and she knows I don’t admire her looks, which is crushing for a woman.  I don’t want to hold her hand in public, we are not drawn towards eachother, we are broken magnets. I have come to grips that this is a piece of the relationship that we will never have in place, I feel I cheated her out of meeting someone who would have adored her looks…

  29. 119
    hunter

    @118,
     
    …After 20 years together, all kinds of complaints will surface, if you allow them to….right off the top…keep in mind…the hormones are gone….with age……we don’t get selective, we get sensitive….

  30. 120
    Splash

    LOve this thread…
    I’m in a dilemna at the mo….Been dating a really sweet guy for 2 months but I dont find him attractive in any way. He gives me so many compliments I give him the odd one through gritted teeth. In the bedroom its a nightmare…… A pic was posted of us on facebook and I couldnt remove it quick enough…I dont want friends to see who I’m dating! I dont think a lasting relationship without physical attraction is possible. I need to be able to look at someone I find gorgeous and melt when I look at a photo of us together not cringe and think I could do better. I sound like such a b***h but thats the truth!….I’m just waiting for the right time to end it! :(

    1. 120.1
      faded jade

      I don’t think you are a b—h for how you feel, but I do think you are getting into “B” territory by leading him on.  The right time to end this is IMMEDIATELY, although I would not tell him the reason.
      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I haven’t seen this guy, so I can’t say with 100% certainty that there is someone out there who will find him attractive and really want to be with him.  But everyday that you lead him on, is one more day you are keeping him away from a woman who could truly love him and find him attractive.   You are being extremely cruel.
      My heart would be broken in two, if I was with a guy and found out that he thought I was completely unattractive, thought sex with me was a nightmare, and cringed at the thought of his friends knowing that we are together.  However, I’m pretty good at reading body language, facial expressions and voice tone,  so I think I’d be able to figure it out.  I’m surprised that your guy hasn’t figured out that you just aren’t that into him.
       
      FJ aka SE
       
       

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