The importance of physical attraction in a relationship


#1

Hi,

Does God want you to be physically attracted to a person for marriage?

I know that most people would simply answer that question with No, but let me explain why it isn’t that simple.

Lets say you met a woman who was very fat but had a heart of gold and would do anything for you. Is it wrong to reject her if you find her attractive personality wise but not physically.

I know for a fact that I would have a very hard time starting a relationship with a woman who I was not physically attracted to. I would always feel bad inside and it would always feel as if I’m not being truthfull to her.

Would God not want you to feel attracted to that person in everyway?


#2

God created sex between a man and a woman. He created all that is holy that goes along with it including sexual attraction. However, he did not create all that man has deviated it from. Our late Pope wrote a book called Theology of the Body and another man, Christopher West wrote a commentary or explanation of it in easier language that goes along with the pope’s book. This is the link that gives a further explanation about it. Physical attraction is the first step, but only the first step towards a long lasting relationship in marriage. Remember that physical beauty does not last forever despite Hollywood’s efforts at keeping people youthful in appearance through plastic surgery. Look beyond the physical to what is inside of a person. We are all created in God’s image.
pauline.org/store/moreinfo/theobody.html


#3

[quote=kev7]Does God want you to be physically attracted to a person for marriage?
[/quote]

I think physical attraction is important in a relationship. We are attracted to good-looking people for a reason.

Lets say you met a woman who was very fat but had a heart of gold and would do anything for you. Is it wrong to reject her if you find her attractive personality wise but not physically.

No, but I wouldn’t marry an overweight person just because she’s unattractive. Health considerations would be important. I can think of several cases where a healthy man married a fat woman (or vice-versa), and now he is quite fat. Ever notice that fat parents have fat children? It ain’t just genetics.

I know for a fact that I would have a very hard time starting a relationship with a woman who I was not physically attracted to.

There’s nothing wrong with thinking like that. There’s more to a good relationship than looks, but it’s not right to think that looks are unimportant.


#4

kev7,

You have a good heart for asking these questions.

Remember that there are four types of love in the Greek. One of these types, Eros, the physical attraction/sexual love, is necessary in only one relationship in your entire life, and that is with your spouse. The attraction part of Eros is, as you have discovered, very necessary to going into a marital relationship with anyone. You must be able to procreate with and unite to that person once you are married, and your body knows it cannot do that initially without some sort of attraction.

Why do I say initially? Because there are many cases in which one spouse or both loses physical attractiveness months or years after the wedding. Do we no longer love this person? Of course not! But by that point we have, ideally, come to a place in our Agape love (unconditional) that allows us to remain attracted to this person regardless of the changes. And, of course, no one can predict what his bride will look like (or weigh!) in a year, five years, ten years, etc.

But the initial attraction is key to forming some sort of relationship. Now, some may take this idea to an extreme, as society would have us do, and begin to use movie stars and supermodels as yardsticks by which to measure all women. This would be a perversion that requires some repentance and re-wiring. But if a man is attracted to natural, every-day women, without the implants and tummy-tucks, then his attraction is normal.

The other side of the coin is this: A man must not expect to “land” a woman who is more attractive than he is! If the man is 30 pounds overweight, he must be realistic about the options avaialable: either lose 30 pounds so the healthier women will be attracted to him, or expect to marry a woman who is also 30 pounds overweight. If he’s not attracted to those women, he ought to consider buying himself a treadmill!


#5

“A man must not expect to “land” a woman who is more attractive than he is!”

What??? Attractive is in the eye of the beholder. I hate broccoli, you love broccoli. Some women like burly dark men, some like slender fair men. Some find chest hair attractive, some find it appalling. It is all very subjective.

From my observations, women tend to look at the whole person while men tend to be drawn to the superficial. Go on a people watching excursion – you are likely to see more “beautiful” women with older, balding, out of shape husbands than you are to see male models with grey haired middle aged wives. With the “disabled”, it is striking – mixed couples (one disabled, one not) are disproportionably a disabled man with non-disabled woman vs. disabled woman with non-disabled man.

IMHO, physical attraction is more important to men than to women. (This opinion comes from a middle aged, grey haired woman with dwarfism who is 15 years happily married.)


#6

[quote=kev7]Hi,

Does God want you to be physically attracted to a person for marriage?

[/quote]

You’ll find the answer in The Song of Solomon. Don’t read it if you’re single and underage. This is high-powered erotic poetry about marriage. To those who would claim it is about the love of God for Israel, to those who say it is about the love of Christ for the Church, to those who say it is about physical intimacy, I reply:

All of the above!


#7

ok well good. No one here thinks it is wrong.
I’m not looking for perfection I just don’t want to be with someone who I’m not attracted to.

I’ve made a few fat girls cry because of this but it isn’t my fault.
I’m just being honest.


#8

Certainly didn’t mean to upset you.

My point is that I have encountered some men who hold women to strict standards of physical beauty while making no such demands of attractiveness on themselves. This is not only unrealistic, it’s hypocritical. I have heard many overweight men talk about how they can’t go out with overweight women because they can’t find them attractive.

Even though it happens at times that a woman will settle for a man who looks less than ideal to her, men should not automatically expect this and should adhere to no double standard. If the man is only attracted to athletic women, he should anticipate that these women will want a man who is at least reasonably in shape. Though you may see a very athletic woman marry an only moderately athletic man, you almost never see her marry an obese one.

[quote=kage_ar]“A man must not expect to “land” a woman who is more attractive than he is!”

What??? Attractive is in the eye of the beholder. I hate broccoli, you love broccoli. Some women like burly dark men, some like slender fair men. Some find chest hair attractive, some find it appalling. It is all very subjective.

From my observations, women tend to look at the whole person while men tend to be drawn to the superficial. Go on a people watching excursion – you are likely to see more “beautiful” women with older, balding, out of shape husbands than you are to see male models with grey haired middle aged wives. With the “disabled”, it is striking – mixed couples (one disabled, one not) are disproportionably a disabled man with non-disabled woman vs. disabled woman with non-disabled man.

IMHO, physical attraction is more important to men than to women. (This opinion comes from a middle aged, grey haired woman with dwarfism who is 15 years happily married.)
[/quote]


#9

As an afterthought, on the idea that attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder…

I agree with Benedictus: “I think physical attraction is important in a relationship. We are attracted to good-looking people for a reason.” While attraction varies wildly with respect to facial features, ethnic features, colors, body shapes, etc., we all know when a person is physically unhealthy.

In the Renaissance women with a little extra flesh were considered voluptuous and ideal, and now the trend has shifted to women with more muscle tone and sometimes even boyish figures (as C.S. Lewis would say). Still, men are without a doubt still inherently attracted to the child-bearing characteristics, and women remain attracted to more non-physical traits, such as the ability to protect and provide for a family.

Deviations from the norm will always occur, but I don’t believe we will ever see a shift in natural attraction from that for the healthy to that for the unhealthy.


#10

[quote=kage_ar]“A man must not expect to “land” a woman who is more attractive than he is!”

What??? Attractive is in the eye of the beholder. I hate broccoli, you love broccoli. Some women like burly dark men, some like slender fair men. Some find chest hair attractive, some find it appalling. It is all very subjective.

From my observations, women tend to look at the whole person while men tend to be drawn to the superficial. Go on a people watching excursion – you are likely to see more “beautiful” women with older, balding, out of shape husbands than you are to see male models with grey haired middle aged wives. With the “disabled”, it is striking – mixed couples (one disabled, one not) are disproportionably a disabled man with non-disabled woman vs. disabled woman with non-disabled man.

IMHO, physical attraction is more important to men than to women. (This opinion comes from a middle aged, grey haired woman with dwarfism who is 15 years happily married.)
[/quote]

kage_ar I think you are a good woman, I just don’t know how you can say that men are more superficial. From what I’ve observed men and women are equally superficial but we are superficial in different ways.

The reason women are attracted to balding out of shape men is because they exhibit other qualities that are attractive. Power, money, and confidence are attractive to women. These same things are not attractive to men. Men are more focused on looks. As a man I can honestly say that I don’t care how much a woman makes and I don’t care how much confidence she has. After all, as a man I’m looking for a nurturer and not a provider. Women and men have very different perspectives on what is attractive. There is also a lot of confusion in modern society regarding attraction. Most of the modern rhetoric goes against what men and women naturally find attractive. Women today are told to look for the feminized man who wears fancy clothing, nice shoes, and beautifies himself. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard a woman say that the perfect man is a Gay guy. It attempts to blur the genders and it creates allot confusion. Men today don’t grow up learning how to be real men. We are told to focus on what women say they want and not what women naturally need. We are also told that being masculine (as God intended) is wrong. This creates a lot of confusion and a lot of hardship – I should know I experienced it. My success with women only occurred when I realized what it means to be a man and how important it is to stay true to my faith.

Men and women who have faith in God are not subject to these stupid superficial ideals. It is only important to realize that some degree of physical attraction is a good thing. After all God created us to be physically attractive to each other.


#11

[quote=surfinpure]Certainly didn’t mean to upset you.

My point is that I have encountered some men who hold women to strict standards of physical beauty while making no such demands of attractiveness on themselves. This is not only unrealistic, it’s hypocritical. I have heard many overweight men talk about how they can’t go out with overweight women because they can’t find them attractive.

Even though it happens at times that a woman will settle for a man who looks less than ideal to her, men should not automatically expect this and should adhere to no double standard. If the man is only attracted to athletic women, he should anticipate that these women will want a man who is at least reasonably in shape. Though you may see a very athletic woman marry an only moderately athletic man, you almost never see her marry an obese one.
[/quote]

Some of these men have other qualities that let them get away with it. Power, Money, and confidence are just a few.


#12

[quote=kev7]kage_ar I think you are a good woman, I just don’t know how you can say that men are more superficial. From what I’ve observed men and women are equally superficial but we are superficial in different ways.

[/quote]

I do agree - there are some women who will overlook a world of physical stuff in favor of a nice balance sheet :slight_smile:

Of course, I disagree about confidence - would you really not care that a woman is confident? Cowering in the corner in fear is not attractive in anyone…

Physical attraction is important, but, it people can become attracted to someone who at first glance they would toss away - when they learn to know the whole person.


#13

[quote=kev7]ok well good. No one here thinks it is wrong.
I’m not looking for perfection I just don’t want to be with someone who I’m not attracted to.

I’ve made a few fat girls cry because of this but it isn’t my fault.
I’m just being honest.
[/quote]

What an unkind attitude!


#14

[quote=kage_ar]What an unkind attitude!
[/quote]

Sometimes the truth hurts.


#15

[quote=Benedictus]Sometimes the truth hurts.
[/quote]

The “truth” is that if you did not find these girls attractive, you should not have allowed them to get close enough to you to cry over you. There’s more to this than what you find attractive.


#16

[quote=mercygate]The “truth” is that if you did not find these girls attractive, you should not have allowed them to get close enough to you to cry over you. There’s more to this than what you find attractive.
[/quote]

Exactly…


#17

[quote=kage_ar]What an unkind attitude!
[/quote]

I should of been more clear, I it really hurts me that I’ve made them cry. But at the same time I’m just being true to them and to myself.


#18

[quote=mercygate]The “truth” is that if you did not find these girls attractive, you should not have allowed them to get close enough to you to cry over you. There’s more to this than what you find attractive.
[/quote]

I did not allow them to get close to me they did it anyway and that is what made them cry. Sometimes I’m too nice or friendly to them and they take it the wrong way. These women do things for me that no other women in my life have and they are always saying that I am a good man . That is what hurts me the most… it is only the fat girls who I don’t find attractive that are that great. It is very difficult to be honest with them.


#19

[quote=kage_ar]I do agree - there are some women who will overlook a world of physical stuff in favor of a nice balance sheet :slight_smile:

Of course, I disagree about confidence - would you really not care that a woman is confident? Cowering in the corner in fear is not attractive in anyone…

Physical attraction is important, but, it people can become attracted to someone who at first glance they would toss away - when they learn to know the whole person.
[/quote]

Yes, I don’t care if a woman is unsure of herself. she can be very insecure and it wouldn’t bother me. I would always be there for her. What I value in a woman is what is in her heart. She can cry or be afraid it won’t bother me. I’ll be there for her as her man to protect her if needed. My presence should be a reassuring one in such a case.

Women on the other hand find men who are confident attractive because they want a man who will do the above.

The women I know on the other hand are always saying that they don’t like men who are not assertive and not confident in themselves.


#20

Weight can go up, and weight can go down. The inherent goodness of a person is something that is likely to endure much longer than physical beauty.

You can marry a slender supermodel, but in all likelihood once she has children and grows older, she’ll find it harder to maintain that trim figure. Many people gain weight as they grow older. It’s hard to tell who will and who won’t when they’re young. So what your wife looks like when she’s 25 may have little bearing on how she looks when she’s 50 and when she’s 75. You may be on the right track if you can honestly say to yourself that you’re not concerned about that. Just the same as she would still love you if, say, a crocodile bites off your face. And if you can’t imagine saying that you would love somebody regardless of how they look, you may want to reconsider whether you’re ready to marry anyone at this point.

You didn’t specify if the person is obese to the point of causing severe health problems, and such. My one fear would be if she’s obese to the point that she would have a dramatically shorter life expectancy than you. Most people would like to grow old together, which means something different if there’s a good chance that the person won’t live past 40. But even such, there’s no saying that you won’t drop dead at age 32, and leave her as a widow at a young age. And no matter what, unless you both die together in some dramatic accident, one of you is going to leave the other one behind at some point. But you may want to consider the elevated risk of leaving children without their mother at a young age, and such.


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