If you’ve ever tried online dating or found yourself in a club, wondering whether a drunk dancer eyeing you up may look half-decent sober, you’ve accepted you can’t have it all: a good-looking, wealthy, charismatic ideal. Something has to give and society will tell you that’s appearance. It’s no secret we’re suppose to seek kindness, honesty and commitment. But dating someone you’re not physically attracted to, really?!
When you’re emotionally attracted but not physically
We all know the score. You come across a well-mannered, confident person who absolutely adores you. This person ticks so many boxes, you really want to fancy them but you can’t. They either don’t turn you on, or they do turn you on but you’re embarrassed about their appearance. So you’ve stumbled upon my blog to look for some non-judgmental advice – consider me your understanding friend.
When you’re single and looking for a relationship, people expect you to lower your standards. Your teenage shallowness is no longer cool, and friends want to tell you it’s not about looks. And so when you come across an ideal partner you don’t physically fancy, you’re made to feel guilty. But what society and people often forget: attraction is a BIG issue.
When I’m physically attracted to a guy, I feel sexy, excited. A magnetic pull drives me towards them. In their presence, butterflies arouse and suddenly the world seems brighter. If that’s missing, I’m overall less interested. A lack of sexual chemistry takes the fun out of dating.
Poor sexual chemistry also influences relationships. Couples not enjoying their sex lives can experience tension – particularly if bedroom intimacy stops. A benefit of sex includes positive body chemicals which can influence life satisfaction.
As further argument to needing physical attraction, Relationship Rules suggests physical attraction might be more crucial than intelligence and humour, because sex and affection decline without it. Relationships with sexual desire can keep passion and excitement between a couple.
If you’re looking for a way to boost your sex, here is a how-to guide on improving the female orgasm experience.
The issue is not physique, it’s attraction
It’s not shallow to turn down someone you’re not physically attracted to. Physical attraction isn’t only about looks. According to Insider, smell, hormones, diet and voice all factor in reasons as to why people feel biologically drawn to one another. When writing about human sexual attraction to accents, I found studies linking our perception of cultural associations to how pleasing we find a person’s voice. For instance, some believe the French sound sexy, and France portrays beauty and passion.
Being physically attracted to someone is similar to having good chemistry. Without either, doesn’t a partnership resemble a friendship? When you’re seeking a woman or man to commit to, it’s not so much about how their looks compare to Ryan Gosling or Idris Elba… it’s whether you find their image appealing enough to feel a sexual connection.
What to do if you stop feeling physically attracted
If you’re in a relationship and sexual longing has diminished, Health.com advises to consider if you’ve lost desire for your partner alone, or for people in general. If you’ve lost all sexual interest, you may want to speak to a doctor or sex therapist. While if it’s the latter, the website recommends communicating and explaining to your partner how better to turn you on.
If you’ve stopped feeling physically attracted to your partner, consider the following questions:
- Has your partner changed in the past few months?
- Has life circumstances edited your time and sexual time spent together?
- Have you met someone new, who has made you reevaluate what you’re romantically looking for?
What to do if you’ve started dating a person you’re not attracted to
Firstly, consider what it is you don’t find appealing. Sometimes we build a specific type in our head, that when we meet an individual who differs from this usual type, we automatically don’t find them good-looking. As an example, I always said tall, dark and handsome was my preference. I met a guy with blonde hair and instantly thought, he’s not what I’m interested in. Yet we went for drinks and after our first date, I started to physically fancy him.
Ask yourself if you’re trying to force something that’s not there. When people ask me for relationship advice, it’s usually not because they don’t know what decision to take. It’s typically down to people not liking the decision they feel is right and wanting me to provide alternatives. For instance, let’s say you meet someone ideal on paper. You’re seeking a relationship and here is a person ready to fulfil your criteria. But annoyingly, you don’t find them attractive. You might hope I can explain why physical attraction isn’t important so you can avoid giving up on the relationship.
Occasionally, friends become lovers and physical attraction grows. I’ve dated guys I initially didn’t find good-looking. Equally though, chemistry doesn’t always blossom. Are you someone who could accept this? What part does looks play in your relationship values?
Since blogging about love and dating, I’ve realised how much physical attraction can affect relationships. Notions on shallowness and over aiming (wanting an unrealistic vision), make some agree to lack-lustre dates. Sure, looks aren’t everything, and beauty fades eventually. But, without physical attraction, what good does the rest offer? A life without romantic passion doesn’t feel fulfilling.
Suggested next read: How Do You Know If You’re Partner is Not the One
I now have a relationship advice column where you can send me a question anonymously to get my advice.