attraction

I realize this is a silly superficial question. I am taking my first TOB right now so understand there are different kinds of love and also a very special purpose to the nuptial union.

How important is attraction when getting to know someone? I understand that beauty fades as we get older. But in the beginning stages of a relationship, or even getting to know someone (with the intention of figuring out whether a relationship is possible), shouldn’t there be an initial attraction to someone, even if it is minimal?

I have been getting to know a very nice fellow from a dating site, and I am confused because while I like him on “soul” level, I do not find him physically attractive. There are also educational differences between us so how we discuss things are on different levels. He is very simple, and I don’t know what I think about that. I think he would make a very good boyfriend and husband but … it is very superficial. I don’t think I’ve gone down the chastity road to a point where I can’t find a man attractive because there are plenty of other men on the site who catch my eye. But this one doesn’t, and I don’t want to lose a good guy if it’s something I’ll learn to love - but it also feels wrong to take his time if I’m not fully drawn to him.

I think you could grow to find him more and more physically attractive as you get to know him better (there’s actual research on this), but I would be most worried about the lack of an intellectual connection.

It would be hard to be married to a man if you don’t respect him intellectually, particularly when facing disagreements about how to manage financial, domestic or childcare issues. And if you take a strong male leadership view, it could be particularly difficult.

I would pass on this one and hope you both find somebody who is a better match.

Thank you. The attraction part is harder for me because I have always been drawn to taller men - its always been one of my more superficial qualities. He lists his height as closer to mine and I am pretty short. Perhaps I should start praying about getting over this superficial desire (for a taller man), because I don’t want to cut out a good chunk of my already slim dating pool based on something so ridiculous.

As for the intelligence quality, yes, I see that. I have two science degrees, and at some point in my life I’d like to do a Masters. I would also like someone who can read different books (the early Fathers, Church theology, etc), with me, and be able to discuss them. He has already stated he isn’t really able to understand theology books and mostly listens to simpler prayer CDs. The only thing is his faith is amazing!

I will continue to pray about this, but yes, I am thinking I might have to keep searching. Marriage is a long time to be with someone so I understand the gravity of the decision - even when deciding whether to continue to get to know someone.

May I offer a guy’s perspective?

–IMHO marriages between people of very different levels of education (or intellect) rarely work. I had a very nice relationship go sour once for little reason other than my then-girlfriend & I had very different levels of intellectual curiosity (it wasn’t even that I was smarter than her; she just had zero curiosity about things). Now, my wife & I both have professional degrees and can communicate intellectually about absolutely anything. If I can’t do that…who can I communicate with?

–I tell people all the time: “You can make my life easy or you can make it hard.” If someone offers you a million dollars annually to do an easy job you love, they make your life easy. Yet they also make it easy when they offer you a pittance to do a job you’d hate and you’d have to move anyway. They make it hard when they offer you somewhere in the middle – maybe a job doing something you’d like but for less money than you’d want, i.e., you have to think hard about it…

…and that’s where you are with your man-friend: He has some good qualities but not all those you’re looking for, so your decisionmaking is rather hard here. If he had zero good qualities, it’d be easy.

A smart friend once told me: The question isn’t whether someone is a great person; the question is, “are they great for you?” It sounds like maybe, in the quiet of your heart, you know he’s great for someone but maybe not great for you? If so – move on.

I have heard, not sure if it’s true, that with men, they need to feel an initial attraction, that generally, if there isn’t the initial attraction, it’s harder to develop a relationship later on.

With women, I’ve heard they can develop attraction later on, even if it isn’t present, initially. I think attraction is probably quite important in a relationship if it is to go to the marriage level.

I once tried marrying a man I wasn’t really attracted to, and it really hurt our intimacy. I just found I had a hard time being intimate with someone I didn’t feel the least attracted to. We later divorced for many reasons and it got annuled.

Sometimes, attraction can come and go, but it’s good if there can at least be some attraction at the beginning.

I would be open to hearing other opinions on the matter, though.

Also, what’s a TOB?

I say it’s Theology of the Body, Humanae Vitae … I have seen TOB used numerous times, that’s what I would think.

have you ever meet him in person or can you? I think I would wait on judging if this is the one or if it can get more serious until you can met him in person. There must be something about him that touches you. Maybe his simplicity is the attraction. Sometimes opposites attrack so maybe the fact that you seem much more complex and he is simple complement each other. Great marriages are based on great friendship and can lead to marital love. Yes, there is needs to be a commonality for a basis but sometimes having the opposite lead to a kind of attraction which can be a great basis of marriage. I know for me, I’m a fast type of person, like to do things quick. My husband is a slow methodical type of guy. Together, we balance it out. While the education differences could be a concern, I wouldn’t write it off yet because of that and wait to met him in person and talk face to face which will tell you much more than over the internet. God bless you and I’ll pray that God will show you if this is the one or not.

Why don’t you just give it a chance and see. Nothing ventured, nothing gained…:slight_smile:

If some time passes and you still don’t feel much attraction for him, then…that’s probably a sign.

God Bless.

Tricky online boyfriend?

;):thumbsup:

Thanks, ya’ all!

lol

Sounds like a plan…

When I was in marriage counseling, I couldn’t feel attraction, and my counselor recommended that I try ways that might help that.

One way is to do it backwards…to do things you do when you feel attraction…like write love letters, etc., and on occasion, that can stimulate the feeling, in at least some cases.

Attraction is a biological signal to get people involved. If your lack of attraction will not let you get and stay with a potential spouse for your entire life then its a problem. If you will later wonder if you would have later found an “attractive” mate then your life would be better then there is a problem.

I’m purposely not going to get into who has the problem, but many don’t really overcome this sort of problem; so, don’t do anything permanent like marriage until you’re very sure.

Then again this problem may be easier to overcome than having a very outwardly attractive, but not an otherwise good mate. Either way there is caution needed to be sure, but very worth while when it’s right.

You’ve mentioned enough negatives that I think you’ve already decided it’s not right. Your just hanging on for other reasons.

At the risk of sounding a bit silly…attraction is important if it is important.

Which is to say, for some people it matters a lot, for some people it doesn’t matter at all, and most people fall somewhere in between. But wherever you fall, I think it is very hard to ignore it. You can try to ignore it, but then you run this risk of resenting the less-than-attractive person you decided to date against your natural inclinations.

I.dont see why you want to talk yourself into a relationship with someone you’re not attracted to. Whether its their looks or personality that makes them attractive to you; it doesnt matter how you got to finding them attractive. The thing is, you need to.find them attractive, & only you can know whether you find them attractive.

I was so pooped from my travels yesterday that I fell asleep and missed this whole discussion! After xantippe’s post and my reply, I realized how important all four things are to me (intelligence, attraction, spirituality, and emotional maturity). While he had the last two, the first two are also important. Babies need to be made somehow and theology of the body states it’s a giving of self - a gift in which I should envision myself appreciating.

I can’t recall if I wrote more of the story but he is looking for a wife to come to him and be a stay at home mom and home school the children. I don’t mind some of that for a short period but God didn’t put me through so much school and training to be an RN and not help people, no matter how infrequently over the years. I’d also envisioned myself doing a Masters at some point.

Dating for me is hard right now because I live in such a remote area. I am open to online dating because I have had such interesting conversations from people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. But until God tells me to up and move here i am :slight_smile:

She is afraid of not finding a more suitable partner. That is not a good reason to remain in a relationship, in my opinion.

Right :slight_smile: I’m taking it online through Notre Dames Step - it helps unpack it a little :slight_smile:

No, incorrect. I am okay if it turns out I’m meant to be single or I don’t meet the right guy for a long time. I am afraid of my superficial nature.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.