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 when sober, you’ve long 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?
Emotionally attracted but not physically
I’ve had dates before with no physical attraction. The guys were funny, kind, sometimes generically handsome. Some of them matched my absolute dating requirements – we just couldn’t form chemistry.
I once agreed to a date with a guy I didn’t actually fancy. He came across nice and took up many hobbies (he seemed interesting), so I didn’t want to say no. I’d have felt guilty turning him down based on his looks. Needless to say, by the end of date two, I had no sexual desire and without that, no excitement to keep dating. When you’re single and searching for a relationship, you’re supposed to be open. Friends tell me to give up daydream expectations and not demand too much. As a teenager, my list of wants far eclipsed the short demands I request today.
Attraction is a big issue: Are you shallow for turning down people you consider ugly, or are looks secretly as important as life goals and family beliefs?
On my post: Why Do People Accept Bad Sex, I published research results that suggest more women than men are unhappy in bed. Many newspaper advice questions written by women, ask for reassurance that their partner’s low sex drive shouldn’t outweigh their great qualities. The advice columnists always respond (in short) “No, sex matters.”
Arguably, women often overlook what we consider superficial. They’re more-likely to think sex and appearance are less significant than internal traits.
The issue is not physique, it’s attraction
I don’t believe it’s shallow to not date someone you don’t find attractive. It’s not so much about wanting a “hot” date; it’s about physical attraction holding equal importance as qualities like intelligence.
Insider listed several explanations for why people feel biologically drawn to one another. The website mentions smell, hormones, diet and voice as factors. When I wrote 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.
According to Relationship Rules, psychology reveals physical attraction might be more crucial than intelligence and humour. One reason: sex and affection decline without physical attraction. Relationships with sexual desire help to keep passion and excitement between a couple.
I guess 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 question whether you’ve completely lost desire for everyone or just for your partner. 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.
On Deeper dating podcast, a piece suggests if you’re not initially attracted to someone, consider going on more dates anyway (providing there’s no warning signs). Overtime, your attraction may blossom.
At the start of my last relationship, I didn’t initially find my ex handsome. During our third date, I was in the middle of conversation when something clicked – everything about him became striking. It was as though I was talking to someone new, despite him not changing himself from our first two dates.
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?
Since blogging about Love and Dating, I’ve learnt how crucial physical desire is in 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.
Have you had a relationship before with someone you were not physically attracted to? Have you found yourself in a situation where you stopped fancying a partner? And how valuable do you place looks when in relationship to charm, kindness, conversation etc.? Recommended next read: Handsome Men Vs. Sexy
Posted updated 16/04/2020.