Growing up, I always believed certain things about relationships and how they were to develop, such as big, romantic feelings, violins, and all that jazz. I thought that feelings like this, once two people revealed that they shared them, were a sure sign that they should be together, that kind of "love conquers all" line of thinking. Then the reality of dating life in my teens and twenties hit the fan. I've been the one with the feelings while the other person was really just looking for something casual or simply didn't share those feelings. I've been the one who cares for the person as a friend but without those romantic feelings. A few years ago, I dealt with a painful yet powerfully eye-opening situation where there were strong feelings on both sides, but he wisely chose duty to his own culture and religion (this was before I was Catholic). And, most recently, I'm in a difficult situation where someone (a fellow Catholic) has very strong romantic feelings and has tried to become physically intimate on a number of occasions, but I just don't share those feelings even though everyone kept calling us a couple from very early on (and there are other issues as well, such as any relationship that formed would be a very long distance one in a matter of days).
Since entering the Church, I've understood that romantic feelings and what builds a solid partnership go hand in hand. I've wisened up about the guys who are looking for something casual and physical and am keeping an eye out for that potential husband, someone who values commitment enough to want to stay beyond the passion and violins but with whom those feelings can be shared, if not always in the more conventional ways. But then I've heard from people who say they didn't have those feelings at the start (kind of like an arranged marriage), but saw the wisdom of commitment and wanted each other as life partners. So, the question is, how much should initial passion/romantic feelings/physical attraction be considered when discerning marriage? Is there some other "pull" that single Catholics should be looking for? I've found that, more often than not, the man is very enthusiastic about pursuing something in the beginning, but then this interest wanes just as we really get to know each other. For those who've done it, how did you find that one who will accept you, "warts and all"?
My apologies if this discussion has been done before, I poked around a bit but couldn't find any threads quite on topic.