So, you’ve found someone you really like. They are funny, and they care about you. However, you don’t find them hot, but there is an unexplained attraction. Can you still date them and eventually fall in love?
You can fall in love with someone you are not physically attracted to by spending a lot of time with them as you grow accustomed to each other’s presence. Knowing someone better builds physical attraction gradually. However, if you value physical intimacy right off the bat, love might be tricky.
In reality, love and attraction are multi-faceted and manifest differently for everyone and might surprise you. Here are some possible and impossible scenarios where falling in love without physical attraction has been discussed.
Love and attraction grow over time. You might be interested in a person because of how they look at the world, take care of you, or make you feel about yourself.
Delightful aspects about them other than physical attraction might be enough to keep you hooked.
Here’s how you could fall in love with someone without being physically attracted to them:
Someone who is asexual experiences little to no physical attraction. However, that does mean they do not want to pursue a romantic relationship.
Asexual people have the same emotional needs as anyone else and want to build the same bonds and connections.
They might be attracted to the opposite gender, the same gender, or both genders.
Since love and attraction are different, asexual people can love their partners and want to be in relationships with them.
They might pursue these relationships with other asexual people or people who do experience physical attraction.
Not everyone enters a relationship with the same list of core qualities that they value in their partner.
If physical attraction is nowhere near the top of your list, then it’s quite possible that you would be able to fall in love with someone you are not physically attracted to.
Emotional and intellectual attraction might be more important to you.
If your partner meets all your other needs and desires from a relationship, then a lack of physical attraction might not be a huge deterrent in the progression of your relationship.
It might be possible that you open physically to your partners too quickly, which leads to problems later in the relationship.
If you find yourself falling prey to this, it might be time to step back and focus on building a relationship on other pillars like values and emotional connection.
You might want to take it slow this time and not focus on the physical aspect of your relationship from the very beginning.
Waiting to be physically intimate would also help you understand whether your partner values other things about you or is just looking for a good time in the bedroom.
Building an emotional connection is the foundation of any solid relationship.
One of the ways to build an emotional connection with your partner is to have a lot in common.
This could be hobbies, interests, backgrounds, or even life experiences. Having a lot in common gives you things to talk about and bond over.
In addition, it becomes easier to connect over these experiences as there is relatability, and you feel like your partner understands you.
When your partner understands you, the relationship becomes easier and more loving and fulfilling.
Sometimes the crazy chemistry or spark you feel at the beginning of a relationship fizzles out a few months into the relationship without leaving anything substantial behind.
If you want to build something meaningful with your partner, you might not want to overvalue any lack of physical attraction, especially in the beginning.
If both of you see a future with each other despite there not being a lot of physical attraction, then it’s clear that love and a solid connection exist.
That might be more than enough to stay together for a long time or even forever.
While we all have our physical needs and desires, they take a back seat when our emotional needs are not met. Human beings are social creatures.
Therefore, our desire to bond with people emotionally is a very strong driver of our behavior.
If in previous relationships you have been satisfied physically but have been neglected emotionally, you might feel inclined to try something new and be with someone who fulfills your emotional needs first.
Finding someone who looks after you emotionally might be enough for you to fall in love with them, even if you are not attracted to them physically.
You might have been trying things out a certain way, but they might not be working out for you.
Too often, what we think is our type is someone that we don’t need or get along with. What we need from a partner might not be something we know.
To figure that out, try something new. Become bolder and take risks to see if they will pay off.
Trying a romantic relationship with someone you aren’t physically attracted to would be a courageous decision that might pay great dividends in the future if that person actually becomes your type.
The first thing we notice about a person is their looks. If their looks do not make us feel something, it might make you uninterested in pursuing them.
At the same time, if you are not attracted to your partner, it might cause you to end up in a relationship where your physical needs are not met.
If you resonate with any of these, you are better off with someone you are physically attracted to:
The physical aspect of a romantic relationship could be very important to you and not something you would be willing to compromise on.
Or you could just be very particular about your physical needs.
If being intimate with your partner is a way to build a deeper bond, then being in a relationship with someone you are not physically attracted to would prevent you from doing so.
With an important aspect of your desires (physical or emotional) not being met, any potential relationship with someone you do not want physically would be unfulfilling.
It would be impossible for you to fall in love with such a person.
If you want to have children with your partner, the most common way of having them is by being physically intimate.
However, being physically intimate with your partner would be difficult if you were not attracted to them.
If you do not spend time together in the bedroom, you will not be able to have children.
While there are other ways to have children which do not involve intimacy, like IVF, surrogacy, or adoption, most people prefer having children of their own through the natural process.
Unfortunately, this often becomes a dealbreaker for couples in the dating phase, marking the end of a potential relationship.
As members of society, we inherit and internalize a lot of biases, prejudices, and opinions stemming from the ideological positions we identify with.
The Halo effect is one such way in which we do this.
We often equate good looks and physical attractiveness with other positive qualities such as intelligence, morality, and even sound physical and mental health.
It’s not easy getting over such deeply ingrained biases, and consciously or unconsciously, they might impact your relationship by getting in the way of you being able to connect with your partner truly.
Telling your romantic partner that you might not be physically attracted to them sounds difficult.
Telling them the truth about this lack of physical attraction would surely hurt them.
You might genuinely like the person and care about their feelings, and would not want to hurt them.
Hence, dealing with the prospect of the same might feel like a tremendous burden to you, one that might not let you build a deeper connection with them.
Even if you envision yourself being in a relationship with someone you are not attracted to, it’s not certain that they might not feel the same way about you.
If your partner is physically attracted to you, they might want to be intimate with you at some point in the relationship.
You might feel guilty for turning them down, as there is an expectation from couples to be physically involved in a relationship.
This might make you think of yourself as a bad person and make it harder for you to give your partner and the relationship a real chance.
You will realize that not being physically attracted to someone is a sign of something amiss. And it is often difficult for you to shake that feeling.
For some people, not being physically attracted to their partners is a dealbreaker, signifying that the relationship cannot proceed.
Since attraction and love are interlinked for most people, you might believe your inability to be attracted to your partner might also affect your love for them.
This would make the two of you incompatible, as you would not be able to give the relationship your one hundred percent.
When you have a history of being intimate with your exes, you enter a relationship with certain expectations.
Those expectations end up playing a role in your relationship, either making it fulfilling or unsatisfying depending on whether or not they are fulfilled.
For example, if you find yourself not physically attracted to a person, you might consider them worse than your exes.
Given how we all want to date better people than our exes, this might be a stumbling block you may not get over at all.
Physical attraction can develop over time only if your partner starts ticking all the boxes that visually stimulate you. For example, if you like fit people, but your partner is not in the best of shapes, they’ll have to focus on physical fitness. The same goes for how they groom and dress.
Physical attraction is something that builds over time for many people.
As much as we would like to believe it, attraction does not happen at first sight for everyone. Instead, it grows as you discover more about your partner.
As you understand the essence of your partner, your physical attraction toward them will grow.
Here’s how you could find yourself being physically attracted to your partner over time:
An emotional connection can enkindle that physical chemistry that you found missing at the start.
Sometimes we find ourselves attracted to only a certain type of person.
However, when we allow ourselves to explore things with other types, we find that physical attraction to them is not impossible.
Having a little patience with yourself and actively working on fostering a meaningful emotional connection with your partner might make you realize that they don’t have to fit your usual type.
Demisexuality is a sexual orientation in which physical attraction is felt by a person only after they form a strong emotional bond with their partner.
It’s not the same as needing an emotional connection to ease apprehensions regarding partners. Instead, there is no attraction unless there is an emotional connection.
If you identify with this sexual orientation, then it is very likely that you will start feeling physical attraction once there is a substantial bond between you and your partner.
What you think of as a complete lack of physical attraction might just be something you’re unfamiliar with.
Popular culture and media can set utterly unrealistic expectations of what physical attraction and desire are supposed to look and feel like.
Rarely are things like that in real life.
You might start identifying feelings of physical attraction once you let go of those expectations and focus on cultivating the kind of chemistry and intimacy that feels right and authentic to you.
If you are with someone you really like or even love, and you want a future with them, but you just do not feel physically attracted to them, you must consider the possibility that there is a deep-seated reason behind this.
With the right professional help, you might be able to feel that physical attraction for your partner.
Consider exploring and understanding parts of you in therapy that hinder you from experiencing physical attraction for someone you otherwise like and love.
You could also go for couples therapy to help better navigate the situation.
Sometimes all you need to do is give time some time.
Holding off on getting physically intimate right off the bat and letting it simmer for a while can actually help intensify or even create physical attraction and chemistry.
Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing and being willing enough to take a chance on someone you think is worth it without knowing exactly how things will shape up.
That willingness alone might be enough to sow the seeds of attraction.
Love is complicated, and it has no predefined rules. You could fall in love with someone first and find yourself attracted to them later.
Or you could choose to only be with someone who gives you the butterflies from the very first look. In the end, it is for you to choose your path!