It’s been 2 years since my last relationship. I have been celibate since. I thought I was ready to date again but when I have been out I don’t have any men I meet attractive. I mean I am not attracted to them physically. I have not had this problem before. I don’t think I am a lesbian but this is a new experience and shocking for me. Is something wrong with me? I really want to find a new love but how do I even start if I don’t feel any attraction to a guy?
I hear this question every single day. And I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all answer I can give you that everyone will agree with.
So let’s establish a few things as generally true.
- Men are broadly attracted to most women, which is why women receive more emails than men on dating sites. Yes, the MOST attractive women receive the most emails, but there’s a pretty predictable bell curve that shows that even average/below average women get some attention online.
- Women are mostly NOT attracted to most men. Studies show that women find 80% of men below average in physical attractiveness, and that’s before we evaluate their other qualities – intelligence, kindness, emotional availability. My personal experience shows that my clients find less than 10% of men attractive enough to even WRITE TO on a dating site.
- Next, men are more generally able to separate sex from emotion – and will sleep with mostly whoever is willing if they’re in a sex drought. A few drinks and a little loneliness is all it takes for a man to have a one-night stand with a woman he wouldn’t necessarily find attractive in the light of day.
- Women are less likely to separate sex from emotion – and even if they do, are unlikely to drink five beers and slum it with a man in the bottom 80%.
- Most of us aren’t as attractive as we age. Our skin sags, our hair greys, our bodies thicken. That makes finding others attractive even more challenging over time.
Add it all together, Lynne, and what you have is your current state of affairs – one which defies any sort of advice. After all, attraction isn’t a choice. A man can’t negotiate with you to find him attractive. I can’t tell you to become attracted to someone against your will.
After all, attraction isn’t a choice. A man can’t negotiate with you to find him attractive.
What I would share is this handy anecdote that I trot out from time to time.
A dozen years ago, I was coaching a woman who found nobody attractive.
She went to a seminar with a “man panel.” Three men sitting on stage with microphones. My client is in the crowd, looking these men up and down and concluding that none of them are her type. Guy on the left looks too old, guy in the middle is too short, guy on the right is too heavy. Then, the men start talking.
Turns out that each of them was smart, funny, charismatic, self-aware and relationship-oriented. By the time they were done, my client came to the conclusion that she actually WOULD date any of these three men.
When she came to our next session, she told me this story and pointed out to me that THESE were the men she was passing up on Match every day.
Thus the answer is not to FORCE yourself to go out with unattractive men; it’s to give a chance to guys on the borderline – the 6’s, if you will. You may just discover, as most of my happily married clients do, that these men often turn into 9’s when he’s making you laugh, treating you right and pleasing you in bed.
Thanks for the question and remember, you’re not alone.