Is it wrong to have a physical 'type'?


#1

I am a single Catholic man who is still not entirely sure whether called to marriage or religious life. I can’t see how I’ll ever find out unless I try to explore both though. I’m praying the office and going to mass regularly, but also considering dating.

Is it wrong to begin the dating process by asking myself whether I am attracted to someone physically? I have always found myself attracted to a certain physical ‘type’ which is not the type promoted by the secular media, but it’s still something that I find attractive. Is this a wrong question to ask while dating? Surely physical attractiveness, although not everything, is important if you’re going to have the kind of love that is part of marriage?


#2

I think that most people have some set of characteristics that draws their attention more than others. I know that I prefer men of a certain complexion and hair color. It does not mean that I’m incapable of finding someone way outside of that category attractive.

I’ve found over the years that one of the most important factors (so long as I’m not physically repelled by the person) is their brain. A person can turn me OFF in an instant with certain remarks or behavior. For instance, I would never continue to see someone who treated service people such as wait staff poorly.

My mother used to tell me that looks will fade eventually and then you are left with what is on the inside. If you choose someone mainly on looks and they do the same to you, what happens if either of you changes significantly? I don’t think that looks are a good basis for a lasting relationship, but it is not wrong to want someone who you find physically attractive in addition to other things.


#3

i do know that physical attraction is important and you do get initially attracted to someone who is a certain “type” but try to look beyond it and give the others a chance too…
sometimes, while u go searching for the perfect one, you are missing out on a lot of great ones… attraction is sustained over long periods of time when you love the person on the inside not the outside…


#4

Nothing wrong at all. You have to be attracted to your wife.

BTW, do you have a spiritual advisor? You probably should if you are discerning religious life.

God Bless


#5

My only issue is with the idea of BEGINNING the dating process by thinking about looks. I mean, certainly when you meet somebody, your first impression is generally visual. However, you should be putting some thought into the dating process before you even meet the girl. You should have some idea of what you’re looking for, and what things are deal-breakers. Looks, although they are easier to recognize, are really more of an afterthought. That’s not to say that they’re not important, but they’re not the primary objective.

When you meet a girl, though, it’s certainly reasonable to assess how physically attracted you are to her. If she’s stick-thin and you tend to be attracted to curvy girls, or if you can’t concentrate on what she’s saying because her teeth are so bad, that may not be something you can get over. Or maybe you can - I don’t know. But to limit your search to brunettes over 5’8 might be an excessive way to go about it.


#6

I’ll be honest. I don’t think I could ever have a sexual relationship(thus a marriage) with anyone I wasn’t physically attracted to, so I feel like I’d just be leading them on if I really didn’t find them attractive. Certain physical attributes like shaved heads, a lot of freckles, and a lot of extra weight, turn me off. I can’t help it. I want a hot latin man! He has to have much more to him than good looks though.


#7

It isn’t “wrong,” but it might limit your options if your standards are too narrow. If you marry someone who isn’t your “type” and whom you find only marginally attractive, and then someone else comes along later who is your type and you have a mutual attraction, that can make for some serious problems. But don’t automatically exclude those who don’t fit the mold of your ideal woman – you could be missing out on someone wonderful that way.


#8

I think most people have at least vague ideas of what they are physically attracted to. My Mom mentioned to me that most of the guys she dated as she grew up share certain physical traits with my Dad. I’ve also noticed that while the men I’ve been attracted to don’t always look the same in terms of hair/eye color/skin color, they all tend to be around the same height. It’s not something planned or even considered when I’m attracted to a guy (it’s all about the intelligence) but it’s just an interesting pattern I’ve picked up on.

So no, there’s nothing wrong with a few general ideas of what you’re physically attracted to. But like others have said, you shouldn’t be mapping out the ideal female body and comparing it to every woman you meet. :wink:


#9

There’s nothing wrong with a physical preference, I believe.

It might, however, become unreasonable at some point, such as dismissing very good and compatible people because of an isolated physical trait of minor importance. Or heeding general public opinions instead of one’s own and dismissing a person to whom we are attacted, but to whom the general public wouldn’t be.

I must say I care for looks, but I don’t have a single type. Most of my exes and could-have-beens have had dark brown hair, often curly, shoulder length, and certain similarities in silhouette, maybe a couple of non-physical traits relating to disposition. This does not mean I haven’t been attracted to other types - in fact, I very much have, but my exes and could-have-beens certainly have much more in common than the larger group of women I’ve ever been attracted to. Whether I like the looks (or like them “that way”, which isn’t always the same) generally differs from person to person and I can’t always tell at first glance. You could probably explain it in some Freudian ways, but I think my preferences reflect the course of my life, including what I’ve read, watched, where I’ve been, what’s dear to me.

It’s hard to say how important physical traits are to me since if something turns me off, it’s rarely just about a physical trait. There’s always the matter of choosing a style I don’t agree with, having a taste different from my own, showing a certain pattern of behaviour I can’t get along with.

Oh, and a recent finding I’ve made is that girls who go to church are generally prettier than those who don’t. :smiley:


#10

Having a type is nothing more than finding yourself attracted to some and not to others and noticing a pattern. What does it matter? I don’t think you need to define your type and then consciously go out looking. It sounds to calculated. How about if you are attracted, then you are attracted, and leave it at that?


#11

You have emotions about one type of person that you don’t have about another.

Nothing wrong with that. God created our various emotions. It’s a start, it might be the thing that gets you to walk across a room to talk to someone that you might otherwise not. Even Father Corapi has said that there is nothing wrong with physical attractiveness. It’s where you go from there that’s important. It might end up going nowhere, it might go to marriage.

Of course, for any relationship to go anywhere, true love must eventually be there. And we all know that’s far deeper then physical attractiveness. But there is nothing wrong with a little emotion being the “spark” that get’s two people to meet.:cool:


#12

Of course having a “type” is fine.

Just don’t let your “type” be the deal-breaker. 99.999% of the women I’ve ever been attracted to have been brunette. So of course, I married a blonde. :slight_smile:


#13

I don’t think there’s much chance of that.

Thanks to everybody for your responses, I’m not limiting my options, but have found myself turning down one very conventionally attractive, very holy young lady’s obvious interest in me just because I wasn’t attracted, and it worried me that maybe I’d done the wrong thing.

Like I said, I’m not heeding general opinions over my own preferences, quite the opposite. Something else worries me though, whether one of the traits that attracts me is in fact a symptom of the sins of gluttony and sloth, and therefore might not be a right thing to be attracted to (can we help who we’re attracted to?)

If you’re going to reply, please say something based on holiness and following God, and not based on general prejudice against overweight people.


closed #14

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