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luigigurl's avatar

I love him but I'm not attracted to him?

Asked by luigigurl (54points) January 1st, 2013

Now I should be clear first before anyone immediately suggests a break up: I have been with this man for about four years. It’s a tricky situation. It took me a long time to initially get together with him because I wasn’t super attracted to him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not ugly. I just can’t find myself attracted to him as I am with other guys. I am ashamed of being so shallow, but it’s really starting to get bothersome. It doesn’t even really affect our sex life; he’s good in the bedroom. I just always find myself nitpicking at his appearance; he’s too short, his nose isn’t long enough, he has small hands, etc. I sometimes feel like I can do better (because I’ve had much more attractive guys approach me).

I’ve stayed with him for so long though because he is such an amazing guy. The reason why I ended up going with him in the beginning was because I started to realize that I didn’t like the idea of him with someone else. We spent so much time together and with him I’m so happy. He knows how to make me happy and it kills me to see him hurt. He has already told me a million times how much he loves me, how beautiful he thinks I am, and that he definitely wants to marry me. I really do love him and care about him, but it’s frustrating because he meets every criteria that I need my perfect man to have on my imaginary perfect man list except for outer appearance. I expected tall dark and sexy, not short, slightly overweight, but very cute. However, he’s extremely intelligent, has a good job, loves manga and videogames as I do, is incredibly doting, is great in bed, he have the same essential values, etc. He always puts me first. Plus, my family thinks he’s a great guy too. I love spending time with him and I would never cheat, I’ve just been on the fence about what to do. He’s not the type of guy where I look across the room and drool when I see him and I always imagined having that in a relationship. But at the same time, I know it’s really hard to find TRUE love in this world and he has ALL of the “inner” qualities I want in a man.

In previous years, I’ve talked to very attractive guys but I’ve never met anyone who matches my personality and truly cares for me the way he does. So am I “settling” if I stay with him if he meets all of what’s considered to be “important” in a long term relationship? We have taken “break periods” before where we were technically single, but I never found a desire to be with anyone else when we were apart. We just connect on a different level than I do with others…...we are best friends and have a great sexual relationship as well. I can go to him for anything….....I feel like it’s at a point where if we ever broke up, we could not be friends even in the slightest because we are too close. It hurts though because I know I’m not attracted to him the same amount he is attracted to me. I want to be, and sometimes I feel like I am, but then I look around and see other couples and I just don’t find him as attractive. However, I will note that currently he has been trying to lose weight and slowly he is getting to a healthier body type which I am very proud of. It has helped some. I know I’m a shallow b****, I already feel bad enough, but please help me? I feel like I would be stupid to let go of a man that loves me that much and that I get along with that well considering all the men in this world that aren’t half of what he is on the inside, but still…. My question to all of you out there: are looks really THAT important?

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28 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

My question to all of you out there: are looks really THAT important?

Sorry, but that is your question to yourself.

800 people here can say “No” in reference to themselves but that will not help you decide whether you are a “shallow bitch” or not.

I would advise to start by dropping the cliched label and really examine what makes sense for you. Since you do find him sexually attractive, I don’t understand what the problem is.

poisonedantidote's avatar

As @gailcalled has pointed out, I can just answer for myself. Personally, no looks are not important. I’m not saying that to try and one-up you or try to make you feel shallow, I just think looks fade and they should come second.

This goes back to when I was 15 years old in school. I asked a girl out, she said no, I asked her why, and she told me she did not find me attractive. The thing is I did not find her attractive either, in fact, I would say she was down right ugly, but she used to make me laugh and I enjoyed spending time with her, and that is why I asked her out.

I would say it would be stupid to break up with him, I would compare it to trading an old beat up car that has got you to work on time every day, for a Ferrari that may or may not have an engine. The decision is yours obviously, but for me, looks don’t really matter, we all get old, we all get ugly, and none of us are immune to fire, there is always the chance of becoming a burn victim.

luigigurl's avatar

@poisonedantidote I guess I just wonder how many people get with their significant others’ for looks and insides, just looks, or just insides. Since I got with him for only his insides, I don’t know if it’s “normal” for couples to have to have both. But I agree that I love him for who he is, and I’m afraid that if I let him go I will never find that again

newtscamander's avatar

I don’t think looks are important either, but I have, in past experiences, always found the people I fell in love with beautiful.
What I mean to say is, I have never experienced loving someone that I didn’t think of as attractive….
Since you say that he’s perfect in all other ways, I would hold on to him if I was in your position. Someone who is only good-looking wouldn’t be worth losing him over.

marinelife's avatar

I would not throw away what you have with this guy, but it bothers you. So consider letting him go. Look st it from his perspective: he deserves better. he deserves someone who loves him and is attracted to him.

gailcalled's avatar

Here’s another telling point.

but I never found a desire to be with anyone else when we were apart. We just connect on a different level than I do with others

You find other men attractive except when you are free to have a relationship with one of them. Then you choose not to.

This nice, amazing, intelligent, productive, and likable guy (who is good in bed) may decide soon that you are no prize.

luigigurl's avatar

@gailcalled false. I find other guys attractive with and without him. I just don’t have a desire to actually BE with them though because of inside stuff. I’ve talked to them when I was single, but no one picked up my interest in the same way

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I think it is you, and staying with or dumping this guy is not the issue. You seem to be the type of person who will never be satisfied with what you have. I am not judging that. I am asking you whether or not you are the type of person who will always be chasing the next shiny thing.

cutiepi92's avatar

hmm your personality traits (manga, anime, etc) sound a lot like mine lol. I say stay though. Like you said, love is hard to find and I think that attraction grows. My bf and I weren’t exactly “love at first sight” but he’s definitely the one for me now :)

wundayatta's avatar

I was with a couple of women that I loved for their insides. I also found them good looking at first, but over time, something changed, and it seemed like I just didn’t feel drawn to them any more. It felt physical; based on looks; but I’m not so sure. Sometimes I think that there is something about a person that bothers us, but we translate it, intuitively into their looks. But it isn’t really. It’s more than that.

For me, I have to have a strong attraction to a person. It has to be sexual, especially. I need a strong physical connection. If it goes away, I am not a happy camper and it’s really miserable to be in a relationship where I can’t look at my SO and feel good about her.

It sounds to me like there may be more to this than looks. Your lack of attraction to his looks may stand for some other thing you do not find attractive, but are unable to identify consciously. I would pay serious attention to this. If you always feel this pulling back from him, it won’t be good. If you are always questioning him in your mind, that is not good for you. If you can’t quell this unease, I think the best thing may be to end it.

On the other hand, a good relationship is not something to give up lightly. They don’t come easily for some people. I don’t know if you have had an easy or hard time finding lovers in the past, but if you have had a hard time, I would work really hard to get over this feeling, because it sounds pretty good otherwise.

Coloma's avatar

Real love is about caring not hot attraction.
Lust fades, caring does not.
There is a saying that ” Immature “love” is hot and mature love is warm.”
“Love” real “love” is ALWAYS about wanting what is best for the other person, even if that means you need to exit the picture.

It takes courage to ask this question but it takes more courage to not allow someone else to be held prisoner by your fickle desire. Have you actually expressed your feelings to your partner? Maybe time to ask him ” How would you feel if you knew I care for you but am not attracted to you? Let him decide if he can live with that revelation.

This would be a show of true integrity, having the balls to be open and honest and not allow another person to live in the shadow of your ambivalence.

burntbonez's avatar

I think there are different kinds of people. For some, lust does not fade. They physicality of a relationship is always there, even in your 90s. For others, the physicality diminishes and isn’t important, and people don’t miss it. The caring is there in either kind of relationship. Without that, you don’t really have love.

So it depends on what kind of person you are. If you need to be attracted, then that’s what you need. You’ll never feel complete without that. But if you are a person who is more into caring and not into looks or sex, then you can go along without feeling attracted to your partner.

luigigurl's avatar

@Coloma I’ve mentioned it, not in full detail like this but I have brought it up. He said that he doesn’t care if it’s not undying lust, just as long as I’m attracted to him in some way. I personally think that’s one of the reasons he is trying to lose weight. Deep down I know it probably hurts him, but the main thing that is making me want to stay is the fact that he is still trying to work on his appearance when he shouldn’t have to. I feel like not many people would be able to take that, I know even I wouldn’t. But then again, when it comes to him I’m not sure about that…

@wundayatta the thing is, our relationship is pretty strong otherwise. When I am not thinking about his looks, I am the happiest girl in the world. I’ve never really had strong luck with relationships in the past. I tend to be picky all around, outside and inside. It’s kind of like a list you know? I have things that I want in a person and of course I go towards the guy that fits the most. He honestly fits the most, just not the “outside” stuff. But I feel as though the inside should matter more, as I have met many an attractive person who I found utterly jerkish or boring otherwise.

Coloma's avatar

@luigigurl It’s tough…if the outside attraction isn’t there, it just isn’t there.
Sounds like you have some soul searching to do.
Good luck!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

How can he be good in bed as you say, to you, but not be attractive to you, sexually?

wundayatta's avatar

What you said just sparked an idea in me. Sometimes, for whatever reason, low self esteem makes us feel that we don’t really deserve to be loved. When it’s like that, you find a way to say that a guy just isn’t what you really want. Then you use that as a way to get annoyed with him and that gives you a way to start pushing him away. You just find a way to sabotage the relationship.

Seems to me like this could be a function of something niggling inside you that is telling you you aren’t allowed to have someone really love you. If that’s the case, then a little therapy could help. I’m not saying it is the case. Just something that might be part of the issue.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I’m sorry but I have learned in this thing we call life no one is perfect. If you are looking for perfect you are setting yourself up for failure.

Why do you have such high standards? But then I also wonder if you are not happy why are you stringing this guy along? Short from major body surgery his appearance is obviously not going to make you happy.

Why do you deserve better and if you can find it then why are you with this guy. I have many questions about this.

I just really think if you were as in love & attracted to him as you say you are there would be no questioning it.

And maybe its as simple as the fact that you aren’t ready for a commitment so you are finding other reasons to talk yourself out of it.

gailcalled's avatar

As I brood about this question, I imagine you with your clipboard, taking notes and ticking off this nice man’s flaws as you see them.

He’s too short
HIs nose isn’t long enough (??!)
He has small hands
Slightly overweight

What will prevent you from coming up with other arbitrary lists whenever you feel like it?
What Hollywood fantasy are you presently buying into?
Why would any man want to live with the arbitrary judgment and criticism?
How about suggesting plastic surgery, liposuction, botox, stomach stapling and then perhaps a lobotomy so that he finds you worthy of this bizarre transformation.

And god forbid that he outgrows manga and video games, what then?

Are you planning on not aging or changing physically in any way from now on?

burntbonez's avatar

@gailcalled It does seem like these things are just a convenient sign of some inner, deeper struggle. It’s not about what it appears to be about on the surface. There’s something underneath that that hasn’t been identified.

hearkat's avatar

I dated a man for whom my weight became an issue after a coworker of his made a comment that he could do better than me when my bf was showing him pics of our camping vacation. We were off an on for several months trying to make it work, but he no longer found me attractive.

It hurt a lot, because my appearance hadn’t been an issue for the first several months. Otherwise, we got along very well and had good chemistry. I really envisioned a future with him and it took a lot to get over the loss.

But ultimately, I realized that it is his problem. Yeah, I could lose weight and grow my hair long and wear contacts and look quite pretty with makeup—but that’s not me. And what would happen if we had gotten married and then I were sick or disfigured by illness or injury – would he dump me then because I was no longer attractive? I realized I was better off finding someone who sees my heart when he looks in my eyes, not the wrinkles around them.

So now you just ask yourself what do you mean when you think the “you can do better”? How do you measure the value of a man as a life partner? Can your boyfriend do better than you in finding someone who will respect and appreciate his character and who will be devoted to him through the decades to come?

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Most women would be overjoyed with a man like that!
You must be very young because after a certain age, you won’t even be considering half of all this! Let the man go to someone who will appreciate him.

CWOTUS's avatar

I don’t think that you really love him as much as you protest that you do. I think if you did, you’d understand the truth of the saying (as it applies when a man says about a woman): “She’s beautiful because I love her.”

It seems to me that you’ve stated some of your reasons for wanting him, which may be true enough:
– he’s good in bed
– he’s good to you
– you share interests and values, and
- you get jealous at the thought of him being with anyone else

That seems, to this outsider, to be the clincher here: It’s all about you wanting to keep what you have. It’s not that you love him, but he’s yours, and you don’t want anyone else to have him. I’m sure there’s also a rational part of your brain that says to yourself, “We have all of these other things going for us, too! I should love him.”

Maybe in time you will love him, but I don’t think that you do now. I think you’re somewhat possessive and selfish. I’m not trying to be judgmental or saying that you’re a bad person, but… this is what I see.

It’s possible that if you stay with him and allow it to happen, you may mature and your love may become real.

My advice would be to show him this thread, warts and all, and have an honest conversation with him about how you really feel. If he’s as in love with you as he seems to be (and who knows what he’s not telling you, too!) it could lead to some real growth on your part if he lets you go, to see if you’ll come back.

Sunny2's avatar

Shut your eyes when you make love. A truly mature person would not choose or reject a lifetime mate solely because of his looks or by his lack of them. If you marry a very handsome man, you may have to put up with arrogance, self-absorption, selfish expectations, excessive preening, too much worrying about his physical appearance etc. Not that every handsome man is like that, but those things are possibilities. Still, you have to go with your own feelings. Good luck.

livelaughlove21's avatar

If you were truly in love with him, you wouldn’t have posted this question. Sounds like the classic “I love you, but I’m not IN love with you” scenario. No, looks shouldn’t matter, but they obviously do if you’re this concerned about it.

Yes, you would be settling if you stayed with him. If he’s so great, don’t you think he deserves someone that is attracted to him? Or at least someone who won’t be asking strangers if it’s okay to be with someone even if you think they’re not physically attractive? I wonder how he’d feel if he read this.

You know, my husband is really handsome, but I don’t think I drool when I see him from across a room. That’s something you imagined having forever? After looking at the same guy for a few years, I think that drool dries up. You can find someone attractive without swooning whenever they flash a grin at at you.

The “shut your eyes when you make love” suggestion cracks me up. If I knew a guy had to close his eyes to have sex with me, I don’t think I’d feel that great about it.

Someone loving YOU isn’t a good enough reason to be with them. He sounds like he’d be a great friend.

Shippy's avatar

Oddly I understand this question. I don’t see you as shallow or anything of the sort. we do like to see our partners as attractive. At least to us. Sometimes life is like that, you can fall for a looker who is an empty person, or a looker who is not. Or a less attractive person who has all other qualities.

I have also heard people judge good looking people harshly by the way, just because they are good looking.
He sounds like a really quality guy, perhaps he needs to spunk it up a bit more? A good haircut, a sense of style some great clothes that suite him, can bring back that punch factor. Have you thought of maybe doing that? Some partners, might find this unnecessary too for them.
I have a thing for hands too on a male I hate weak hands on a male, but of course you cannot buy him new hands loll.

All partners should make an effort that is acceptable to them both, to look good for their spouse.

OpryLeigh's avatar

When I first met my boyfriend I wasn’t physically attracted to him, he wasn’t ugly but I didn’t consider him to fit the image of my “dream man” looks wise. However, as I fell in love with his personality I started to find him more and more physically attractive to the point that now, I think he is the best looking man in the world and I never doubt my physical attraction to him.

I believe physical attraction is somewhat important in a sexual relationship and I couldn’t imagine being with someone that I was constantly comparing to others or trying to convince myself was attractive in my mind. I’m not saying that looks are the most important thing but if it is weighing on your mind the way it seems to be then something is not quite right and, if you have been together for this long, love his personality but still don’t find yourself all that attracted to him then I can’t see that changing.

Can you imagine being with him in ten years time and still comparing him to others in your mind. Is that fair on either of you? I worry that you could grow to resent him if you feel that you can do better. I don’t consider you shallow at all, we can’t help what we are attracted to and I don’t blame you for wanting to look at your partner and think he is the sexiest person alive. Whilst looks don’t last it is nice to feel that way about your partner in the initial stages.

The biggest problem I see here is that you are in doubt about your feelings for this man, whether that is to do with his looks or personality is irrelevant, doubt in a relationship is not good especially if it has remained for four years. Having to convince yourself that it is right is not healthy, you should just know it after all this time.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Don’t beat yourself up, girl, I’ve loved a few guys whom others probably wouldn’t find attractive. Sometimes there is a connection of the mind, the spirit, the heart, whatever that transcends money, looks, or anything else.

If he’s working on himself, perhaps someday you will find him physically attractive, or do a makeover on him if he’s good with that. Until then just know that finding someone who ‘gets’ you, is very rare, especially if the sex is good as well.

Just remember that a life partner means different things to different people. To me it’s about who you can love in a worst-case scenerio, like if they were disfigured or you had to change a diaper. If you don’t love him enough to do that, then you may want to consider moving on.

snapdragon24's avatar

Hmmmm this thread has some very harsh responses…but this is what I grasped:

I think your trying to fill in a void…and his appearance is an excuse… I just dont think you love him anymore…and by having him workout and looking a bit better for you makes you feel like the relationship can be saved…and you wont have the guilt of having to breakup with him…yet…because he is ‘perfect’ in a way…but this relationship is lacking something from your part…if you did really love him…you wouldnt even notice or give a damn…he sounds great…but maybe he is not for you. It doesnt make you shallow, it doesnt make you a bad person…so dont force yourself or him to keep the fire between you going! Be real to yourself…

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