Reader Interactions


  1. DB says

    I started dating a woman just as COVID began. I was never really attracted to her, but we stayed together thinking we would split up when COVID let up. I was pretty up front with her about that, but COVID went on and on and neither of us was prepared to date. She is a great person and I enjoy her company and found the Stones line about “you can’t always get what you want, but …you get what you need” often going through my head. We split a few times for a few months each time, but got back together because we missed each other’s company. I kept thinking I could learn to be attracted to her, but it just hasn’t happened. I am incredibly torn.

    • LauraJ says

      Unfortunately, attraction isn’t something we can learn. Attraction can grow the more we bond and spend time with someone, but there’s no guarantee. What drew you to her in the first place and what makes you miss her company? Could it be that you don’t find her physically attractive but still desirable and sexy, or does it feel like there’s no romantic attraction at all?

      When you’re apart, do you miss specific things about her or what she offers in terms of comfort, friendship, conversation?

      These are all questions I recommend you reflect on before making a decision.

  2. Catherine says

    hi I’ve been with my partner for 5 years , we have 2 beautiful boys together, I don’t think I’ve ever been attracted to him apart from fleeting times I can count on maybe 2 hands, our sex life is non existent and I don’t even know why I’m leaving a comment because I know what I should do. I’ve expressed everything to him many times regarding attraction etc. he always says he doesn’t give up easy , I don’t know if I can go the rest of my life with someone who I don’t find attractive but equally I feel guilty on our boys and him ….

    • LauraJ says

      Hi Catherine,

      What initially attracted or made you decide to settle with your partner? Why now after 5 years is attraction an issue, or has it always been but perhaps you ignored the issue before? Is there anything specifically your partner can do to help boost your level of desire? You mentioned you have expressed everything to him many times, but it’s difficult to fully understand your situation without knowing what is causing your low attraction. Sometimes it can be a case of two people spending more time together and going back to getting to know each other – relearning your sexual ticks.

      Guilt is a normal feeling to experience. This is a natural response to being the one who wants to leave, but this feeling will subside.

  3. Anonymous says

    I’ve been in a relationship for over 6 months and whilst I’m happy and there’s nothing wrong, I find myself not wanting to express to others that I’m in a relationship. The guy I’m with has amazing personal qualities but if I saw him in a line up, I wouldn’t want to rip his clothes off. But love can grow and I do love him? I find myself battling this conflicting thoughts and I think I should never have doubts if I was confident in my relationship. I don’t know whether to keep dating him or just end it. He’s head over heels for me and I feel guilty not matching those feelings and fearing that I never will. Please help!

    • LauraJ says

      The first thing I noticed in your comment – you say there’s nothing wrong, but then go on to suggest you’re unsure about your feelings because you don’t feel a sexual attraction. It seems there is a mix of uncertainty and self-doubt that we need to unravel.

      So, there are a couple of things you can reflect over:
      1.) How self-confident are you? Sometimes we project our insecurities onto our partners, hoping that they will not only make us feel better about ourselves but help us look better as well. Could your feelings be less to do with his appearance and more to do with your worries about how you are perceived in the outside world? If your friends found him attractive, would that influence your feelings at all?

      2.) How is your physical intimacy? Do you enjoy a great sex life? This is important because if you can enjoy sexual pleasure with your partner, it suggests you are somewhat sexually attracted but need to overcome your feelings with his appearance and showing him off to others.

      Love is a very big word that has a huge projection – we’re told love makes us head over heels and puts us in a deep state of euphoria. We can have love without physical desire. But here’s the thing, we each have different relationship expectations. Are personal qualities enough for you? Can you be okay with the imbalance in feelings? Is this more to do with others than with your feelings?

      While I can’t tell you what to do, I hope this has helped with coming to your answer. 🙂

  4. DJ says

    Hi. I’ve been alone for 6 years and I’ve been told to lower my standards but then alternatively that my standards are already rock bottom. I’ve been told that im not unattractive but as I’ve late the only people in close proximity I attract are people that I’m not physically attracted to at all that I can’t see myself with, so there’s a nagging voice in my head telling me to “take what the defense gives me”. I’m seeking therapy soon for this issue but I want to know your thoughts on what a young man like me should do in this situation. Thank you!

    • LauraJ says


      Who is telling you that your standards need to lower and who is alternatively saying that they are at rock bottom? How do your standards feel to you? I’m also curious why you’re not attracted to the people that are interested in you?
      It sounds to me like this could be a confidence issue. I would need to know more to share my thoughts on your situation.

      • DJ says

        Thank you for replying , and apologies for responding late!
        People who’ve told me to lower my standards: people who I’ve considered friends who know me a decent amount and noticed I’m not successful with dating
        The person who told my my standards are rock bottom is one of my closest friends.
        To answer the question on the people who show interest in me: they’re just generally unnattractive looks wise and/or have quite a bit of body fat (more than a little overweight).To be absolutely blunt, I’ve been suggested I should date heavy set people that i wouldnt do so otherwise (sober).I’ve been really searching how to turn off the part of my brain that seeks physical attraction and focus ONLY on the connection, personality traits and values of the other person. I’m unsure what I should be doing. any feedback or signpost of where to go is always appreciated. Thank you!

        • LauraJ says

          It seems to me that you’re friends are throwing out advice in hope that something will stick. Perhaps the friend who said your standards are at rock bottom doesn’t find the people you date physically attractive. And the other friends who think you need to lower your standards have probably heard you discuss looks on several occasions.

          It is normal to have a certain look that we find more appealing than others, though sometimes we can also have impossibly high expectations that no individual could really reach.

          There are several things that could be happening: You may unintentionally be flirting with the wrong people, you don’t have the confidence to approach the people you are most attracted to, or you overall are struggling with your self-esteem, likely impacted by the years you have spent trying to date someone you fancy both physically and emotionally.

          My advice would be to focus on your confidence when you are out in public. When you see a woman you find attractive, do you feel intimidated or do you try to smile and make eye contact? If you notice yourself struggling to speak to women you find appealing, then you know you have a confidence issue to overcome. If you don’t have a problem approaching women, can you think of any reasons that would deter someone? If you have female friends or women in your life, it’s a good idea to go out with them and gain their perspective.

  5. K says

    I’m currently in a relationship and I’m not attracted to this person at all physically and, although we connected somewhat emotionally, i dont feel like we’ve quite clicked in the way we should to be dating. This person asked me out and I agreed to being in the relationship but I feel as if i’ve kinda trapped myself in this situation. They’re very affectionate but i find it really difficult to be intimate with this person. I’ve tried to express this recently but they told me that they’d work on it and i agreed to try again because i felt guilty for starting this even though we had no chemistry whatsoever and I barely knew them (though they seemed to know me). i dont know how to end things with this person because they’re really nice, we work together and see eachother almost every day and they’ve already started incorporating me into their future (we’ve been together for almost a year), but im simply not attracted to them in that way. another thing on top of all this is that we’re not compatible in what we want sexually. we’re both bottoms and i had to “compromise” and top in the relationship, which is something i regret agreeing to. Just, in general they seem pretty happy in the relationship but i feel unwanted (having to assume a more “dominant” role around them) and im not happy or satisfied with the relationship or my partner, both sexually and emotionally. I’m scared of what will happen if i bring it up again so soon and i dont want to hurt them but i dont have the energy to keep this up and im not sure if any of my friends will understand what im experieincing. i really need help with this but idk what i should do since we have a lot of the same friends and see each other a lot.
    please help. any advice or words of encouragement are appreciated

    • LauraJ says

      It seems to me you are putting all of the emphasis on your partner and their needs while feeling guilty for having your own. Both of you deserve to be happy and satisfied. Sometimes, things don’t work out and what we thought we wanted or could find happiness with, becomes different over time.

      You said you have tried to express how you feel to your partner and they said that they’d work on it – I’m wondering what your partner has done since to change things or what exactly they agreed to work on. I’m also surprised your partner seems pretty happy despite your emotions. Are you positive your partner isn’t putting on a brave face? He could be more aware than you realise but may not want to confront the truth.

      In terms of having to compromise sexually by agreeing to take on a different position, I can understand why this would leave you feeling unsatisfied. Especially as your partner hasn’t matched your compromise and agreed to take turns.

      What I’m overall sensing is that you feel stuck and you’re wanting my opinion on how to break up with your partner and perhaps you’re seeking confirmation that that’s okay? Look at this from this perspective: The longer you stay with your partner unhappy, the longer you both go without being able to move on and find someone else. Breakups aren’t particularly nice and there is usually a high chance that someone gets hurt – it’s important to focus on the reasons why you’re breaking up and remember that you deserve to be happy and satisfied in a relationship.

      I would sit down and discuss how you feel using the word ‘I’ – I feel this way, I am looking for…. and avoid saying ‘you’ which may make your partner defensive. Explain how you feel, express that you don’t see a future but also acknowledge your partner’s great traits (affection, kindness etc.,) and that you’d like to see them with someone more compatible. You can also ask for friendship or simply state you no longer wish to be together. While it might be awkward at work for a while, hopefully you can both be on good terms professionally and either see your friends on different days or arrange to meet in a group.

      Let me know how it goes! x

  6. Manuela Gerostathos says

    Hi Im no beauty Queen but physical attraction is a must. two months on Ive tried physical contact . Even kissing doesnt do it And I know what it should feel like but its not , just to please him. Makes me feel bad , leading him on But he wont listen to my needs From the start Telling him straight up that I just wanted friendship kept on saying it and Im still saying It finding out his age , looks are decieving Loss of licence 2. still dresses like a teeanager , no self grooming poor personal igene . Overweight not many ticks just X His a gorgeous person But Its my time, beeing single for four years I know what I want , Its a man not a boy , Whanting advice dont want to hurt him Yes his loving caring , the nicest qualaties but he doesnt do it for me His not listening even though he knows how i feel help x

    • LauraJ says

      Hi Manuela,
      Relationships are a two-way street. You shouldn’t have to ‘please him’ and in return, not gain what you want or need. While we can be drawn to differences, we also tend to have certain expectations which match with our own. Good grooming, hygiene, a clean license, good dress sense and a healthy lifestyle… these are things I imagine you ensure for yourself and which you also expect a partner to have.
      If you know he isn’t the right guy for you, why stick around? Like you said, you have been single for a few years and you now know what you want. I would clearly say to him, you’re not interested in anything romantic and wish to only have a friendship. Remind him that while he’s kind, caring and a great partner for someone else, he just isn’t the right guy for you. If he continues to persist and try to have something more, consider letting him know that you’re prepared to end the friendship and communication, as you don’t want him to continue getting the wrong idea. x

  7. Stacy says

    I found this so interesting. I’ve been single for a very long time and recently decided to start dating. A friend matched me with one of her partner’s friends who I wasn’t attracted to from his pictures but she gave a glowing reference on his personality. Since we’ve been talking, it’s been great, he’s so lovely. We get on so well and we’re so similar, it’s crazy. On our date he was every bit the ideal gentleman… literally could not fault anything he did. My issue though is that I’m just not physically attracted to him and I don’t know what to do. I find absolutely everything else about him so attractive, I just wish I was physically attracted to him. I’m still talking to him to see where things go but I don’t want to do this for too long so he doesn’t get the wrong idea if the physical attraction doesn’t grow over time.

    • LauraJ says

      Hi Stacy,
      The first thing I’m wondering – how do you feel when you’re with him? Do you get butterflies, do you feel excited? Would you consider him a crush? It’s not uncommon for people to initially not find the person they’re dating physically attractive. From personal experience, I have dated men who I grew to find sexually and physically attractive over time. This was partly due to my own insecurities. I worried too much about what other people thought. I reflected my low self-esteem onto my partner.
      I would reflect over you feelings both when you’re with him and when you’re not. If you don’t feel that you can grow to find him physically attractive, and if that in itself is a problem, than perhaps you’re better off not continuing to build a relationship. We each have certain values and wants in a partner – regardless of how kind and similar a person is, if there is a big missing value (such as physical attraction), than it can take hold of a relationship and cause problems further ahead.

  8. Claudia says

    So relieved I’m not alone… I’ve been on three dates with the most loveliest man. He’s hilarious, intelligent and overall, I’ve had a great time with him and although I find all those traits so appealing and attractive, I can’t get past on the way he physically presents himself. I pride myself on always dressing well, it’s how I am most comfortable. While fashion is my hobby, I don’t have expectations that anyone dresses to my standards; however the man I’m dating is 45 and although it may be shallow, I do expect that my date at least wears a shirt or something with a collar (and not a hoodie) on a date. Am I asking for too much? I’m 40 and am just not interested in a man that dresses as a teenager, it’s not attractive to me (regardless of his physical looks). He wants to see me again but I’m at lost whether to continue seeing him. Am I being silly though?

    • LauraJ says

      I very much like seeing a guy dressed up and making an effort on a date. Do I think you’re being silly for also liking the same – no. But here’s the thing:
      It seems too early to mention how you feel about his clothes. It may give off the impression that you’re overly critical. He might also find it irritating that you’re wanting him to change his style.

      While fashion comes and goes, a hilarious, intelligent, kind person who appeals to you isn’t always so quick to find. Perhaps his style has more to do with you and your concerns over how other people may perceive you? Or, like most of us, you have an ideal of the perfect partner that you wish his clothes could emulate.

      I’d personally stick around. If time goes by and it’s still a big concern for you, communicate how you’d love to see him wear a nice shirt or look more formal when out to dinner or on a nice date. You could even mention how you find it very attractive to see a man in a suit.

    • Mariah says

      Thank you so much for this insightful reply. I am stuck in the EXACT same situation except it’s been 9 months the sex life is non existent based on the fact that I have to get a little tipsy to want to and even then I find it boring a lot of the time…I do love him as a person so it’s really hard but as you said I want to feel that spark and magic…I’m 29 surely I shouldn’t sign my life over to a sexless relationship where I’m not attracted to someone just on the basis of financial safety and not feeling alone….it is horrible because him and my young son get along well but I can’t keep telling myself I am happy when really it’s only around 30% of the time. I keep switching my thoughts thinking do I stay or do I go but I’m thinking I shouldn’t be asking myself that question everyday only 9 months in…feel very confused!! I would love to say everything else is perfect but we are different people i struggle at times on the phone because we don’t just click and the conversation flows it’s normally just him talking about work…I am so gutted as he could offer me and my son the world but Im just never going to want to be intimate with him I blame it on my sex drive being dead but really I know if I was with someone I was attracted to I would have a good sex drive.

      • LauraJ says

        Hi Mariah,

        I noticed you said the person you’re with could offer you and your son the world, but you’ve also described a big part of your happiness that he isn’t able to fulfill. Not only with intimacy and attraction, but conversation. I think you need to decide what your priorities and wants are in a relationship, and if the person you’re with ticks those boxes.
        I imagine in some ways you feel more alone being with someone that you don’t connect with. At 29, you have your life ahead of you – enough time for you and your son to form a bond with someone new. Really ask yourself, if fear wasn’t in your way, what decision would you want to make.

  9. LauraJ says

    It’s difficult when you find someone who seems to tick every box, but the physical chemistry is lacking. Sometimes, you can initially not fancy a person at all and then grow to find them attractive within time. That’s happened to me.

    Physical attraction is so important – I hope since your message, you have come to a decision with the guy, and I hope you find someone who gives you that spark. I think a relationship without it doesn’t hold substance.

  10. LauraJ says

    I think that’s a problem some people have with sex and appearance – is it worth throwing away an otherwise happy relationship because the sex isn’t perfect or the physical attraction isn’t 100%.

    Attraction can definitely build over time, once you get to know someone more, but only if the chemistry is there.

  11. Melina Elisa says

    My last ex, I met in a club, I was obviously on the tipsy/drunker side, and we flirted and exchanged numbers. After texting for a few days, we decided to go on a date. He was much different than I remembered him looking. Drunk goggles definitely took a life of their own. While he was attractive, and gave me butterflies, I wasn’t sure if we actually had chemistry.
    All the people I’ve dated are so different looking from eachother. Some weren’t very attractive but there was loads of chemistry, others were attractive, and yet there was none. So it’s not necessarily that they have to be attractive, there has to be some type of chemistry that gets you giddy with excitement to talk to them, see them, and date them.
    This was a great post! I have this conversation with my girls all the time xxx

    Melina |

    • LauraJ says

      I met a guy a few months back in a club as well but had the opposite situation. When we first met, I was tipsy and didn’t think he was attractive, and then on our first date I thought he was good looking.
      Chemistry is the magic word really, without that, looks and everything else doesn’t hold much substance. Thank you for reading! xxx

  12. Beyoutiful says

    This is def a food for thought! I prefer to be physically attracted to a guy that I’m dating. Even if he is not the most good looking, something about him should be attractive, maybe the eyes because I feel that maybe that could lead to a better chemistry. I’m not saying it’s a must for me but I would def prefer it. I guess you could date a guy that you weren’t physically attracted to but he needs to be really attractive in other things such as sense of humor, good listener & conversationalist, etc. The personality is what really catches the heart and I would def go on more dates to see for more chemistry. Physical attraction is good but I wouldn’t decide whether I wanted to date someone or not just by that. I feel that it def is possible to date someone and have a good relationship with a guy even if you’re not physically attracted to them. Great post girl 🙂

    • LauraJ says

      Thank you lovely! I didn’t find two of my ex boyfriends good looking when we first met. But after our first dates, I started to find them physically attractive and began to notice their great eyes and smiles etc.
      Looks are not an absolute deal breaker, but if I couldn’t find a guy attractive at all physically, it would become an issue. x


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