Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Should I Date Someone I'm Not Attracted To?

Q - Is it wrong to not want to date someone that you aren't physically attracted to, even though you enjoy spending time with them?

A - Thanks for the question. I am guessing that you are not already dating this person, by the way you have phrased your question.

You are under no obligation to date anyone. Many Christians have been taught that all that really counts is what is inside. I would like to tweak that statement. What is "inside" is more important, but physical attraction does matter. There is such a thing as physical beauty and it really does make a difference in a relationship which might lead to marriage - the thing dating should be about.

While physical attraction is less important than finding someone you are attracted to in other areas (faith, personality, interests, etc.) it really does matter in a relationship and you should not feel bad about wanting to date someone that you are physically attracted to.

I don't think any of us would be here if our parents were not physically attracted to each other!

One caution - be careful of how you are defining "beauty". Most people are not made by God to look like models and yet our society has held this up as the standard of beauty and looks. Men and women are made come in different sizes, shapes, colors, etc. All have different features which stand out. Yet, all can be said to contain some kind of physical beauty.

Now, I am not saying all people are objectively equal physically, but rather we must be careful to remember beauty can come in many different ways. In other words, don't let the culture alone define "beauty" for you.

The most beautiful woman this world has ever seen may not have been the most physically beautiful women (by our culture's standards) - Mary.

I hope this helps.

**How Far Is Too Far?


teddygrl1012 said...

I think God gave us the answer to this question in our bodies, and in many ways our society's culture of pornography has twisted the natural course of human attraction. Females today are expected to act like males and respond to visual stimuli, but biologically speaking that is not necessarily how women are stimulated.

Based on our sex (male or female) and the normal biological process of reproduction or just sexual intercourse in general, it seems to me that we should respond differently to appearances. Women should not necessarily be basing their relationships on physical attractiveness, especially if all the other aspects are there. This natural process ensures that children are brought up into homes with stable father figures rather than male models. Beauty will fade after all.

Becky said...

I dated a guy I wasn't phsycially attracted to. We met in Church and I liked him for other qualities. After being married for 22 years and raising 11 kids together, I am NOW very much attracted to him and we love each other very much. When two people grow in love for one another, physcial attraction blooms as well.

Marcel said...

This is not always the case. Physical attraction doesn't always bloom.

Sarah said...

Who we are attracted to and who we are drawn to can be a personal and very subjective thing (sometimes for subtle reasons we aren’t even aware of!), so I’m not sure it could be “wrong” to not want to date someone. It is okay to not be attracted to everyone. :) In fact, that would be quite the problem if you were!

Having said that, I do think it is helpful to watch patterns in our lives. If we find we regularly enjoy peoples’ company, but are only attracted to a very specific “type” of person (and thus don’t ever date) we might take time to explore that in prayer. Sometimes when we have a very specific “type” (only attracted to tall men, thin women, blonde hair, outgoing personality, etc.) there can be something underlying that. Maybe a girl is attracted to only strong, muscular men because it helps her feel pretty or protected, or a man is attracted to thin model-type women because it makes him feel manly or desirable. In those cases, it might be worth exploring our own insecurities and weaknesses to see if we are trying to compensate for them by dating a specific “type” that makes us “feel” a specific way.

For a long while my “type” was very outgoing, center-of-attention men. I much preferred them to carry the conversation, crack the jokes, and take center stage. But then I met someone who was quite introverted and a man of few words. Having some things in common and finding him interesting, I took the time to get to know him. Through that process I realized I actually had a lot to say when given the chance, and my own sense of humor came out more too. Point being, I would never have discovered those things about myself had I stuck with my “type”. Previously sticking with my type enabled me to hang back and let the other person do much of the work in conversation. Branching out enabled me to bring more of who I am to a relationship.

Also, often for women (I can’t really speak for the men) a man becomes more attractive as we get to know their personality, so attraction can certainly blossom after first impressions. We definitely shouldn’t marry someone we aren’t attracted to! But going on a few dates to get to know someone we aren’t initially attracted to physically could be a great experience. We can often be surprised when we step out in openness to get to know another person.