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Would you date a man you weren't physically attracted to?

Tagged as: Big Questions, Dating<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 February 2018) 5 Answers - (Newest, 13 February 2018)
A female United Kingdom age 41-50, *hanib writes:

Would you date a guy who you aren’t physically attracted to?

I met a guy online about 2 wks ago from Tinder. It was like a blind date as he’d only the one picture. We shared a mutual friend so I decided to meet him for a drink.

He was nice in person and we are the same age. I liked him as he seemed quite different from the other men I’ve met, mostly players or guys faking wanting a relationship to get in my pants.

He was warm and friendly and open and gentlemanly.

I felt like we connected but didn’t feel sparks or butterflies.

I sense he is a little shy and has been a complete gentleman.

We’ve met 4 times now, each time has been out.

I feel I can be myself with him.

What plays on my mind is that I don’t fancy him physically. Although we have kissed, which was nice, I’m still not getting that desire to go further.

I know he would not expect me to either if I didn’t want to. I’m maybe over thinking it.

My last relationship was with a man who was abusive to me and we never shared intimacy and I feel that scares me somewhat as most the guys I’ve seen have been friends with benefits. I liked to whole no feelings thing, get what you want and not have to worry about their feelings. The sex was exciting too.

However I have yearned for more. I’ve been a single mum for 5 yrs now and had thought I’d have to wait until my kids had grown before I could look for that proper long term boyfriend,

I’m worried that once I sleep with him he will want a relationship and I may not feel the same.

I want to take it further to see if I have feelings for him and hope we are compatible sexually but don’t want to hurt a nice guy who is genuine.

View related questions: friend with benefits, player, shy, spark

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A male reader, Serpico United States +, writes (13 February 2018):

Relationships without sexual attraction are doomed, especially from the man's perspective.

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A male reader, liddel United States +, writes (10 February 2018):

I'm very late to this party but want to respond anyway. If you ever come back to look at people suggestions, some type of update would be appreciated.

It may turn out that you can never get it together with someone you don't find attractive. It's your life and if that's what you choose, it's not my business. If it turns out, you're never able to overcome it, it's not a problem.

The first thing that bothered me in your question, is that it had only been two weeks. That was a month ago and you probably know more now. Regardless, considering dumping someone that, "He was warm and friendly and open and gentlemanly" and "I felt like we connected" and "I feel I can be myself with him." after only two weeks seems quick.

You mention that most of your sex life has been friends with benefits. Were all of these very attractive men or were you willing to overlook appearance for the mutual benefit you provided each other?

You're no spring chicken and he also might have to overlook things about your appearance to go forward. I just find it amusing that you both might have the same problem with each other.

As to hurting him if you have sex with him, you dumping him will probably hurt regardless. IF you get to the point where you're willing to participate in sex, who knows what you will find? He might be the best sex you've ever had for any variety of reasons. You might become more attracted to him due to sexual prowess, or tenderness, or selflessness, or whatever. If you're willing, I see no harm in going there. If it was me, my feelings would be hurt regardless but given the choice, I would choose the, "at least I got laid" one.

While sometimes one might find that the most attractive person that you meet, is your sexual best, odds are against it. In my case, it certainly wasn't true. In my youth, I dated a variety of women. The top few and most sexually exciting women, were not the most attractive. Obviously, I was attracted in different ways to them, and it wasn't just the sex but they would not be considered the most attractive.

For me, super attractive are certainly nice to look at, but if all the bring to the sexual relationship is their willingness to give me sexual access to their body, that's not near enough. Again, don't know your history but if sex is important to you, would you rather have great sex with someone less attractive or unsatisfying sex with someone that had dreamy looks? To me, sex is a very important aspect of a relationship although it isn't the most important. Good sex is important to me and maybe not so much to me.

There may be super attractive people that are really good at sex and have everything going for them. For all I know, this guy that you find not attractive, might actually be a dud between the covers. You'll never know until you try.

Again, getting back to the two short weeks before you posted this, and even including the additional month, other than looks, you really like this guy. Two weeks or six weeks is too short a time to bail. Let it continue and you might even find yourself attracted to this kind man that makes you feel so comfortable.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (9 February 2018):

Yes, my dear, you are overthinking and like so many women; you put the cart before the horse. There is no such thing as real-love at first-sight.

Before you all load your weapons for attack, hear me out.

In the first part of your post you asserted that the guy was nice, a gentlemen, open, and different from most men you've known in the past. Here's where you put the cart before the horse. You then immediately jumped to the conclusion that you will never fancy him physically. Immediately you've decided there were no sparks and butterflies. Then what have you got to compare him with? All the other guys you knew were friends with benefits. You set all your criteria on looks and sex-appeal; only to find they fell short of everything else.

So now you have conditioned yourself to be attracted to a "type." You're not open-minded enough to adjust both mind and body to synchronize to make a well-rounded love-connection. You've satisfied your physical-desires and visual-appeal first. Now that you've programmed your mind that way, that's how you approach and receive men in your life.

When we're not quite mature and foolish adolescents; I admit, men do exactly the same damned thing! If you aren't eye-candy, pursue no further. Some never outgrow this foolishness. They suck, and represent the worst of manhood and mankind.

As you become a man, you discover that women have hidden mystical feminine-powers and buried-treasures; that are only revealed if you seek to find them. That's usually the woman who becomes your wife and the mother of your children. You unlock those things hidden within her. It's not just her looks. That magnetism becomes so strong, you just can't pull away. That comes from within her, not from what you see.

Then the next problem is instantly making a decision where a relationship is going, and how far to let it go! Right on the the straightaway! Gotta have it now, or never! Demand for instant-gratification. Always ends in failure!

A first-date is merely an introduction. It can be a wonderful date, good conversation, you'll seem to have a lot in-common; and you'll feel you've finally found somebody who gets you. No, you haven't, and no he isn't!!! It's just a good date. Sex on first-dates is deceptive and greedy! It's too soon to know that. It may be months down the road before you know who this joker is. Let alone designing your feelings for and around him. Wait and see. Then decide what you feel. Fully process what kind of feelings he stirs within you, and know exactly where those feelings come from. Are they only physical, emotional; or is loneliness or desperation forcing you to settle, because you're tired of searching? That takes time to figure-out. Don't act on impulse, or surrender to your hormones!

I've observed my own sisters, classmates, read these posts, lady-friends, women I've dated, colleagues, and a host of other single-females closely associated over my life-time; and had to suggest to these ladies to slow their roll. Pace your feelings or make sure you know what they are for. Why?

Men do not think so far ahead. We get there slowly. The men who jump-in with both feet are surely the ones you better watch-out for! They throw all caution to the wind, and profess love on the spot. Those lover-boys go out of their way; piling love and love-talk so deep, you're wading in it up to your elbows. Girlfriends, it sounds good and it feels good; but you'll drown in it!!!

Pump the brakes! It's too good to be true!

You should let this gentleman know that you aren't prepared for anything serious; and you are not certain of your feelings at the moment. This is the time to discuss that; because he has asked you out on several dates. He's taking a liking to you. In a romantic-way!

You should date with an open-mind and reserve your feelings. If no sparks, attraction, or chemistry takes place within the next few dates; then be honest with the guy. Keep sex on-hold. That's how you find and measure real feelings.

Stop going by the myth that if it doesn't happen on the first-date or within a few weeks, it never will. If that was the case, I wouldn't exist. My mother didn't like my dad when they first met. She said he was handsome and full of himself. He was somehow irritating, but charming. She is Native American; and just assumed her parents wouldn't like a guy of another race anyway.

Dad didn't give-up. He sweetly asked to take her out. She said okay if her father would allow it. He met my grandparents. Granddad is tough and no nonsense. My dad was taking mom to a church revival for a date! Granddad gave him permission!!! Grandma told him he was very handsome. Mama said she had a wonderful time, but still felt indifferent. It was after about their 7th date she started liking how polite and gentle dad was. People took to him right-off and he was so very sincere. He showed her a lot of respect. Then after almost a year, he proposed after asking her father for permission. That's how they did things way-back when. The rest is history. They made a lot of babies together!

Don't string a guy along. That's not what I mean. Get to know him, and then you can grow feelings based on who he really is; and know your own feelings. Before you start hearing wedding bells, or kicking him to the curb as a reject. Take a little more time! He was able to convince you to go out on three dates after the first. You've said some lovely things about him. He may only become a friend; but attraction starts from more than what meets the eye.

I have dated guys I wasn't attracted to. (I'm gay, but dated women first. Lost my virginity to a girl.) I have to give benefit of the doubt; because I didn't really know if they were attracted to me, or just lonely and wanted to take me out on a whim. I was never so conceited as to think I hit some special nerve; just because someone asks me out, or the other way around. It's only dating. That's a selection-process. It's done for fun, and socializing. It's exercising my abilities to interact with all types. Exposing myself, so I know for sure what/who fits me comfortably in people; and it also helps me to know/define exactly who I am. Am I real, superficial, conceited, or giving myself optimum time to make a good-match? Is this date just for fun? Sometimes people are so interesting, you just have to spend some time alone with them.

I had a wonderful loving-relationship that span over 28 years. He died. My parents never divorced. I did get dumped once, after 10 months. I got over it, and found sweet lasting-love thereafter. I learned from my parents, talked to the elders, and I read like crazy. I've gained wisdom and I pass it on. I've enjoyed love all my life. I've also had heartbreak. I've survived it. People have taught me things!

How you feel about people is not based only on what they stir in your groin; but what they move and place in your heart!

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A male reader, N91 United Kingdom + , writes (9 February 2018):

N91 agony auntI know it sounds clichè but I'd base it more on compatibility than looks.

If you get on well and have good chemistry then why not give it a chance and see what happens? What's the worst that could develop? You realise it's not working and decide to part ways? At least you gave it a fair try.

I will say it would be worth picturing yourself in scenarios such as could you imagine this man as a boyfriend? Husband? Living together? Having kids? If the answer is no then it's clear he's not the one.

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (8 February 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntWould I date a guy I was not physically attracted to? Well it depends on the situation. I remember years ago meeting a guy who I wasn't attracted to but looking back it was mainly due to the fact I was not over my first love. It took a while but the guy I didn't think I was attracted to I ended up spending over four years in a relationship with him and loved him very much. So I guess my answer to that would be give the guy a chance.

So Tinder is knowing for hooking up, but have you told him what you want? Has he told you? It probably is something that you should both talk about so there is no cross wires.

Different is good sometimes when it comes to men. It sounds like he is a lovely man and is treating you well, which is a great start. If you don't feel a spark yet then be honest with him so you are not leading him on, maybe you see him as more of a friend than anything else. Maybe you could just give yourself some time but be honest with him.

Did you get therapy after the abusive relationship? If not then maybe you should as it is clear that you still have barriers up and that might be impacting on your happiness, and you deserve happiness in life.

If you are yearning for more then maybe you need to speak to a professional about letting go of the past. It is okay to date when you have children, you still need to live your life as well. As for this guy he might not be the man for you, but just take it slow and get to know him as a friend. You sound like a kind lady who does not want to hurt him. But if you are honest with him from the start and it doesn't work out then it is not your fault and at least you can walk away and say to yourself you gave it a try.

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