Should Attraction Matter?

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I recently received this question from one of my followers. She asked, “Is attraction important in a relationship? If the man is really a great guy, but he is not attractive to my eyes, should I still pursue this?”

I’m going to answer her question with another question: Why on earth would you do that?

Sadly, this is a familiar story. Two divorced women I coached in the past ended up marrying men they weren’t attracted to. Both men were “great” guys. They were attracted to the women, but the women weren’t attracted to them. Both men’s appeal was their willingness to marry and provide for the women, and they were open to having a family. Both women wanted to have children, and no other man had stepped forward and been willing to take on the responsibility.

In short, their biological clocks were ticking, and they were desperate. So they settled. They didn’t marry the men because they wanted the men, but because they wanted a family. In the end, neither woman became pregnant. No family. Each is now committed to life with a man who lacks the ability to make her heart flutter.

Quite honestly, some women really don’t care about romance, and that’s fine if it’s truly the case. But since my viewer asked the question, attraction must be important to her. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have reached out. So I’m back to my own question: Why on earth would you marry someone you’re not attracted to?

A family isn’t guaranteed for anyone. And kids grow up, leaving you with a man you can’t get excited about. Sooner or later, he’ll react to your lukewarm to cold feelings toward him. That could play out in a variety of ways, too numerous to mention here. Men want to be wanted. Men need to be wanted for who they are. And they are hypersensitive to their wives. And to being used.

To marry someone for what you can get from him means you are using him, not loving him. And men need to be loved. Desperately.

To be fair, these men were also using the women they married. Yes, they were attracted to them. They were lovely ladies. But to marry someone who has told you straight out that she doesn’t love you or is not attracted to you, means you are also using her. The men married the women for companionship, but mostly so they’d have arm candy and a higher social standing. They were not only willing to share their financial assets, but also to sacrifice their emotional needs. Forever. That’s sad. So very sad.

So does that mean you can build a great marriage on sexual attraction alone? Of course, not. You can be all fired up about one another and still have an unhappy marriage. You still need to develop relationship skills that demonstrate respect for your gender differences. Otherwise, your passion will be fleeting, coming and going on a whim or any time things don’t happen to go your way.

Yes, you can learn relationship skills with someone you aren’t crazy about. But passion isn’t so easy to generate with someone you don’t find appealing. Pretty much, it’s either there, or it isn’t. And if it isn’t, there is a higher probability that one or both of you will eventually stumble upon someone else who can light your fire.

So should you pursue a relationship with someone you’re not attracted to?

If you’ve read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice or watched the series, just think about the difference between Elizabeth Bennett and Charlotte Lucas, and how they responded to Mr. Collins’ marriage proposals to each of them.

Elizabeth, his first choice, was not attracted to him. Despite the fact that he would have been a good match and provider for her, she turned him down flat.

On the other hand, Charlotte didn’t care about romance. She wasn’t attracted to Mr. Collins either, but she was more interested in being married and financially secure than she was in finding love. After their wedding, she spent most of her days encouraging his absence from her presence. That doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

What do you think?