Attraction to significant other


#1

Hi everyone,

I've visited this site occasionally and found some good, thoughtful advice from members so I thought I would give it a try. :)

I have a situation that I am trying to sort out, and would appreciate advice from those who are married or have been in long term relationships. I have been with my boyfriend for over four years, and we plan to be married (though not yet "officially" engaged). We have not had sex and are waiting until the wedding night. This is my concern: initially, it was a challenge to be chaste, especially since I live on my own and we have had every opportunity to be otherwise. However we remained so, and now many years later it is really no longer challenging at all. The attraction I initially felt and had a hard time with is no longer a problem for me, and I'm generally not even tempted.

I am wondering if maybe because we have done well at "waiting" that this is why it's become easier, because it's a habit now? I hope this is the case, because my main concern is that when we are married, I still will be indifferent to sex with him! (As an aside, I was extremely attracted to an ex boyfriend, dangerously so, and almost lost my virginity to him. Thankfully I did not, but when I compare what I felt for him to now, it's night and day and has me very concerned that I will never feel that way about my husband-to-be.)

I guess I am looking for some perspective from people who know better than I do. Will this all sort itself out, once I am married? Or is it a really big concern and should I reconsider whether this is right? I love him very much and he is an incredible guy and I will be blessed to be his wife. I'm just worried that this is an indication that there is something wrong, and wonder whether it's truly a problem I should be concerned about or not.


#2

[quote="Belle799, post:1, topic:224129"]
Hi everyone,

I've visited this site occasionally and found some good, thoughtful advice from members so I thought I would give it a try. :)

I have a situation that I am trying to sort out, and would appreciate advice from those who are married or have been in long term relationships. I have been with my boyfriend for over four years, and we plan to be married (though not yet "officially" engaged). We have not had sex and are waiting until the wedding night. This is my concern: initially, it was a challenge to be chaste, especially since I live on my own and we have had every opportunity to be otherwise. However we remained so, and now many years later it is really no longer challenging at all. The attraction I initially felt and had a hard time with is no longer a problem for me, and I'm generally not even tempted.

I am wondering if maybe because we have done well at "waiting" that this is why it's become easier, because it's a habit now? I hope this is the case, because my main concern is that when we are married, I still will be indifferent to sex with him! (As an aside, I was extremely attracted to an ex boyfriend, dangerously so, and almost lost my virginity to him. Thankfully I did not, but when I compare what I felt for him to now, it's night and day and has me very concerned that I will never feel that way about my husband-to-be.)

I guess I am looking for some perspective from people who know better than I do. Will this all sort itself out, once I am married? Or is it a really big concern and should I reconsider whether this is right? I love him very much and he is an incredible guy and I will be blessed to be his wife. I'm just worried that this is an indication that there is something wrong, and wonder whether it's truly a problem I should be concerned about or not.

[/quote]

I think the real problem may be your view on marriage/relationships, etc. It cannot be about "function" or anything like that. It has to be about persons. The difference between approaching marriage as a contract vs. a covenant is this: A contract is an agreement between two parties for the exchange of goods or services. A covenant is an agreement between two persons for the exchange of themselves. Are you looking at marriage as an exchange of persons, or an exchange of services? If it is the latter, I highly recommend you not get married. You most definitely won't be happy long-term. If you are looking at marriage as an exchange of persons, then it's not about what you "get" but about what you "give." In this case, you give yourself, not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually. And if you do that, then everything else should fall into place, barring some medical problem, which can usually be cured by a visit to your physician.

Does this help? :)


#3

Scooby offers some good insight.

I will only say that no, I don't think this will be a big issue so long as you are both on the same page. I think it will sort itself out. Obviously if you have been in this relationship this long without sex it speaks very highly of him as well.

The conflict you seem to be felling is likely based on the "worldly perception" of marriage and long term commitments etc. They see it and market it as this great overriding passion etc without examining the realities of day to day life.

I'm reminded of a scene in the old movie Yours-Mine-and Ours where the daughter is being pressured by her boyfriend and it all comes to a head on the night that Lucille Ball is going into Labor. The following is copied from IMBD
Colleen North: Larry says he'll never speak to me again unless I grow up. He says that I'm being ridiculous and I don't love him, but I do love him. Am I being ridiculous?
Frank Beardsley: You're not being ridiculous.
Colleen North: Well, do all the other girls, like Larry says? And am I just being old-fashioned?
Frank Beardsley: **The same idiots were passing the same rumors when I was your age, but if all the girls did, how come I always ended up with the ones who didn't?
**Colleen North:
But it's all different now!
Frank Beardsley: I don't know, they wrote Fanny Hill in 1742 and they haven't found anything new since.
Colleen North: [Helen is about to have a baby] I know this is a terrible time to talk about it, but Larry says...
Frank Beardsley: I've got a message for Larry. You tell him this is what it's all about. This is the real happening. If you want to know what love really is, take a look around you.
HelenNorth: What are you two talking about?
Frank Beardsley: Take a good look at your mother.
HelenNorth: Not now!
Frank Beardsley: Yes, now.
[to Colleen]
Frank Beardsley: It's giving life that counts. Until you're ready for it, all the rest is just a big fraud. All the crazy haircuts in the world won't keep it turning. Life isn't a love in, it's the dishes and the orthodontist and the shoe repairman and... ground round instead of roast beef. And I'll tell you something else: it isn't going to a bed with a man that proves you're in love with him; it's getting up in the morning and facing the drab, miserable, wonderful everyday world with him that counts.
[Leaving the house, they say good-bye to the little kids]
Frank Beardsley: I suppose having 19 kids is carrying it a bit too far, but if we had it to do over who would we skip... you?
HelenNorth: [getting into the car] Thank you, Frank. I never quite knew how to explain it to her.
Frank Beardsley: If we don't get you to the hospital fast, the rest of it's going to be explained right here!

Does any of this downplay the importantance of romantic Love and intimacy and the giving of one to the other? Of course not. But remember it is the mutual giving, you want to give to him so that he vbe happy, and he wants to give you you so that you be happy. Conversely neither asks or requires of the other things that make them unhappy...
If both are sensitive to the others needs, then all will be fine....

Peace
James


#4

I have been married to my husband for twelve years. I love him more today than I did yesterday and I am reasonably certain that tomorrow I will love him even more. We have are still attracted to each other physically; however, that is not the driving force behind our relationship. Our intimacy has grown in the years we have been married, but it has evolved. I am trying to be euphemistic...

What I am saying is that I wouldn't worry about how things are going to be after you are married. I would thank God that He has removed that tension from you at this stage as there are people who constantly have to fight it or, more often then not, seek it out because they believe that that is the way sex should be. Sex is important to a marriage, but not the linchpin. Good luck!


#5

[quote="Belle799, post:1, topic:224129"]
Hi everyone,

I've visited this site occasionally and found some good, thoughtful advice from members so I thought I would give it a try. :)

I have a situation that I am trying to sort out, and would appreciate advice from those who are married or have been in long term relationships. I have been with my boyfriend for over four years, and we plan to be married (though not yet "officially" engaged). We have not had sex and are waiting until the wedding night. This is my concern: initially, it was a challenge to be chaste, especially since I live on my own and we have had every opportunity to be otherwise. However we remained so, and now many years later it is really no longer challenging at all. The attraction I initially felt and had a hard time with is no longer a problem for me, and I'm generally not even tempted.

I am wondering if maybe because we have done well at "waiting" that this is why it's become easier, because it's a habit now? I hope this is the case, because my main concern is that when we are married, I still will be indifferent to sex with him! (As an aside, I was extremely attracted to an ex boyfriend, dangerously so, and almost lost my virginity to him. Thankfully I did not, but when I compare what I felt for him to now, it's night and day and has me very concerned that I will never feel that way about my husband-to-be.)

I guess I am looking for some perspective from people who know better than I do. Will this all sort itself out, once I am married? Or is it a really big concern and should I reconsider whether this is right? I love him very much and he is an incredible guy and I will be blessed to be his wife. I'm just worried that this is an indication that there is something wrong, and wonder whether it's truly a problem I should be concerned about or not.

[/quote]

I think the problem is that you have done nothing for over 4 years, toward marriage I mean. You "plan" to be married but your boyfriend hasn't proposed yet? Maybe you are tired of waiting for that commitment. To my mind, a year or two is the maximum time to be attached - time to fish or cut bait, so to speak. You are losing the mystery of not knowing the other person fully, you probably feel more like brother and sister at this point. Or good friends.

I don't know if you can get back that initial excitement after 4 years. I didn't go through it, so I can't offer anything on that aspect. But I also wouldn't think that a satisfying sex life requires the type of excitement that one has initially. That doesn't last anyway, it's lust only. The lust is the first thing to go when you get married! :)


#6

Similar for me and my husband as well.

I think it will sort itself out, OP. I think you are actually much further ahead in the game than you even realize. Like a previous poster said, you are comparing your relationship to the world view of marriage and sex. Think about how many people get married based on that intense attraction to their potential spouse but never bother to consider there is much more to a solid marriage than just sex. They don’t even know how to give themselves to each other unless its based purely on physical attraction. Many couples don’t know what to do when that intense attraction wanes, because they never took the time to really, really know each other. The attraction to the ex boyfriend, that’s pure lust, and not one you would want to base a lifetime relationship on.

I think you will find that as a married couple, you will feel very attracted to each other for other reasons than just the initial physical attraction. There is nothing sexier about a husband than watching him care for his infant child, or share his stories or goals that he will only share with his wife. The emotional connection will be much more powerful than any physical attraction you ever felt.


#7

Thanks for all of your thoughts :) General consensus seems to be that it will sort itself out, as long as we live out our vows the way we are supposed to and according to what a true Catholic marriage is supposed to be. This is what I've been thinking, but I became a little concerned and started wondering whether maybe something was wrong with our relationship, or wrong with myself. I don't really have a lot of guidance about these things, as my parents' relationship is not one to emulate, and all of my friends who have been married are now divorced (and I am not even 30 yet...). In any case, I love him very much but don't feel "in love" anymore. I know this is natural, but wasn't sure whether those feelings were supposed to fade before getting married.

I should probably clarify too, that the reason we aren't yet married is because of my own hesitation. He would have married me two years ago, had I been sure as I am now. It took me a lot longer than it took him to discern this. I'm very thankful that he was patient with me!


#8

[quote="PatriceA, post:6, topic:224129"]
Similar for me and my husband as well.

I think it will sort itself out, OP. I think you are actually much further ahead in the game than you even realize. Like a previous poster said, you are comparing your relationship to the world view of marriage and sex. Think about how many people get married based on that intense attraction to their potential spouse but never bother to consider there is much more to a solid marriage than just sex. They don't even know how to give themselves to each other unless its based purely on physical attraction. Many couples don't know what to do when that intense attraction wanes, because they never took the time to really, really know each other. The attraction to the ex boyfriend, that's pure lust, and not one you would want to base a lifetime relationship on.

I think you will find that as a married couple, you will feel very attracted to each other for other reasons than just the initial physical attraction. There is nothing sexier about a husband than watching him care for his infant child, or share his stories or goals that he will only share with his wife. The emotional connection will be much more powerful than any physical attraction you ever felt.

[/quote]

Oh, man, is this true! I felt the most attracted to my husband when he had stepped up and been the leader in our home. When he took the lead in discipline (rare) it was a huge turn on. I felt supported, cared for, secure. Our roles were in the right place. Man was that sexy!!! You see, I felt like a WOMAN when he was acting most like a MAN and head of his household.

Sounds funny, doesn't it??? In these days of media made-up hot and heavy sex, to feel a pull toward your husband because he grounded the rebellious teenager who has been making your life miserable! But that's the kind of thing you will experience as a married person. Maybe it's not like in the movies, but it works for me!

:thumbsup:


#9

[quote="Belle799, post:7, topic:224129"]
Thanks for all of your thoughts :) General consensus seems to be that it will sort itself out, as long as we live out our vows the way we are supposed to and according to what a true Catholic marriage is supposed to be. This is what I've been thinking, but I became a little concerned and started wondering whether maybe something was wrong with our relationship, or wrong with myself. I don't really have a lot of guidance about these things, as my parents' relationship is not one to emulate, and all of my friends who have been married are now divorced (and I am not even 30 yet...). In any case, I love him very much but don't feel "in love" anymore. I know this is natural, but wasn't sure whether those feelings were supposed to fade before getting married.

I should probably clarify too, that the reason we aren't yet married is because of my own hesitation. He would have married me two years ago, had I been sure as I am now. It took me a lot longer than it took him to discern this. I'm very thankful that he was patient with me!

[/quote]

I'd say you have a real keeper here. :thumbsup:

As for the sexual aspects etc. you will probably find that once you are married and have "full access" to each other you will both revel in the discovery process. From this will grow a new, deep and very intimate passion.

Peace
James


#10

My husband and I were initially sexually attracted to each other when we were dating, then it seemed like the chemistry faded and remaining chaste wasn’t a challenge at all (in fact, there were never moments of temptation). Our sex life did have a rocky start, but mainly because we expected it to be magical without any practice. Stupid of us!

I don’t think that upon marriage, the “full access” you will have to each other will magically make sex amazing. Sex is like every other sport–the more you practice with your spouse, the better you both will be.


#11

[quote="Augusta_Sans, post:10, topic:224129"]
My husband and I were initially sexually attracted to each other when we were dating, then it seemed like the chemistry faded and remaining chaste wasn't a challenge at all (in fact, there were never moments of temptation). Our sex life did have a rocky start, but mainly because we expected it to be magical without any practice. Stupid of us!

I don't think that upon marriage, the "full access" you will have to each other will magically make sex amazing. Sex is like every other sport--the more you practice with your spouse, the better you both will be.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:
I agree. There most certainly be a period early on where things are awkward and, as you say, "rocky". But if the the two parties are committed to the joy and pleasure and comfort of each other, then all will be well. Then as they grow in knowledge and experience, the sex act will become more and more beautiful to them.

Something that just occurred to me as I was typing this. One aspect of sex that is oftend discussed is "foreplay". My wife and I found that everything we did for each other throughout our days was, in fact, a form of "foreplay" because it all reinforced our love for each other. Not that it was any type of direct or indirect physical stimulus you understand but because it stimulated us emotionally and spiritually. We knew from how we treated each other every day, that we could trust each other completely - which of course included the bedroom.

This is an important feature in an intimate relationship - this element of being able to trust implictily and completely. It doesn't mean their won't be a "learning curve" and a "period of adjustment" but the understanding and trust you have for each other means that you can relax more, experiment more, and certainly laugh and enjoy the journey more.

At least that was our experience.

Peace
James


closed #12

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