Should I start a relationship if I’m not attracted to her?

SelonNerias asks:

I’m a guy and I’ve a friend (who is a girl) where I’m getting along with extremely well. We talk about each others interests and lives, and seem to work really well together. My other friends kind of all think that we should be a couple, however I don’t think I’m attracted to her in a physical way (as in attracted to her body/the way she looks). On the other hand I am attracted to her in an emotional way, many times when I’m not with her (as in, in the same place/talking to her) I long to be with her, and I do sometimes feel a desire to kiss her, but still I’m not attracted to her in a physical way. I have seen pictures of her from a few years ago where I do think she is attractive in that way, so I think that there is very much the possibility of such an attraction developing, but at this moment it isn’t there.

One other issue I have about starting a relationship with her is that our age difference creeps me out a bit (she’s 7 years younger than me and looks even younger than that). What advice would you give me about this?

Demetrius says:

What a dilemma! I’ll be upfront and tell you that there isn’t a right answer per se, but there is a right answer for you. You’ll have to decide for yourself, but I’ll try to give you as much insight as possible so that your decision is a little bit easier to make. I am a big believer in the triangular theory of love and my advice when people are in this situation is based on the theory. If you’re too lazy to click, here’s a basic rundown:

Love consists of 3 parts: Intimacy, Passion, and Commitment. If you have all three, you have the Consummate love, the ideal version of love. If you have none, you don’t have love at all. If it’s just Passion you’re infatuated, only Intimacy is friendship or closeness, and Commitment is an empty kind of love, a love borne out of obligation. What you describe about your feelings for this girl sounds like you have Intimacy, which is a good start. You know her, you’re familiar with her, and love to be around her. You’re (maybe) currently lacking the Passion and the Commitment.

Right off the bat I’d be wary of starting a relationship if you only have a level of Intimacy and not much else. Let’s really explore what you said, because I think there might be a little bit more there. At first glance it sounds like you’re describing a closeness with your friend but there are hints that there is a little bit more there. No one says that they “long to be with her” about a girl that they’re not at least a little bit attracted to. You might not be physically attracted to her in a lustful sort of way, but you clearly feel a type of attraction for her. That’s a good start. As for the Commitment aspect, this is where you’ll really have to decide for yourself.

Ask yourself this, and be honest: Can I see myself being with her in 3, 6, or 9 Months AND be happy?

If you can even imagine a scenario where that’s true, that’s the Commitment aspect. The question isn’t “Can I do it?” because anyone can be with someone if they put their mind to it, what you’re asking yourself is “Can I see myself being happy committed to her?”. Physical attraction changes during some relationships, whether by growth or decline,  so it’s possible that it’s something you don’t necessarily need. Of course that’s for you to decide. Personally, I’ve never been in a relationship where I started off with all three types of love, but that’s because I had (or have, depending on how you look at it) commitment issues. If you can find two ways to love this girl I think you’ll do fine, but you really need to take a long hard look at whether or not you can commit to her.

Like I said, there is no right answer, but if I HAD to give you an answer I’d say: Go for it. Better to give it a try to experience heartbreak than to live your life asking “What if?”

Good Luck Out There.

Demetrius Figueroa

Demetrius is a sex, dating, and relationship writer based in Brooklyn.

2 thoughts on “Should I start a relationship if I’m not attracted to her?

  • May 27, 2015 at 6:55 am
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    I would suggest an alternative qualifying question:
    “Would you, in six months time, if someone better came along, be happy in the relationship, or would you want to leave it?”.

    IMO it is disruptive to your romantic endeavours if you’re not being honest with yourself, or the people you’re persuing. People will sense what you’re up to and lose respect for you.

    Basically, if you’re going into it with a nagging feeling that you’re not that into it, then it’s probably not for the best. Expand your social pool and find those who you are excited about.

    But if you are excited about this girl, then perhaps it’s simple socialised beauty that’s on your, in which case be honest with your feelings and nurture them.

    Reply

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