When you want to give a new guy a chance, it can be hard if he ticks all the boxes except physical attraction. Do looks really matter, or should personality be enough? Physical attraction, although not the most important thing, is needed in a romantic relationship. But just because you do not find him attractive immediately, it does not mean you won't later on.
Importance of Physical Attraction
In a romantic relationship, physical attraction is assumed, otherwise what you have is a friendship. In “A New Survey Sheds Light on ‘The 7 Year Itch’” on “The Huffington Post,” psychologist Vivian Diller mentions the importance of physical attraction in relationships. Romantic relationships are usually sparked by physical attraction; it is often what gets someone interested in getting to know another person. In the first seven years of a relationship, if physical attraction fades -- even with a strong emotional connection -- the relationship stops being satisfying, Diller asserts. So while you might want to make a relationship work without physical attraction, it simply might not be enough.
Physical Attraction Can Develop
While physical attraction is important in a relationship, just because it is not there at first does not mean it cannot grow later. Writing for YourTango, matchmaker and dating coach Julie Ferman notes that her female clients have grown physically attracted to someone over a period of time. Therefore, even if the initial physical attraction is not there, it can develop if you become attracted to his personality. The study “Personality Goes a Long Way: The Malleability of Opposite-Sex Physical Attractiveness,” published in “Personal Relationships” in 2007, found that desirable personality traits can make someone appear more physically attractive to others. The study also showed that negative personality traits made someone appear less physically attractive to a person.
Could Lead to Hurt Feelings
You may care about the guy, but if you don't feel a physical attraction, you could be setting yourself up for disappointment and could end up hurting him. Some couples stay together without physical attraction and remain satisfied with the companionship, acknowledges marriage and family therapist Stephen J. Betchen, in “The Role of Physical Attraction in Your Relationship” on "Psychology Today." However, Betchen warns that you could also end up being worse off if you choose to stay with a partner you are not physically attracted to. When dating a guy, he will expect that you are physically attracted to him. If he later finds out that you aren't, he may feel that he was being lead on and lied to.
Physical attraction is an essential part of a relationship, and starting one without it only makes it harder to maintain the relationship later, asserts Betchen. If you care about someone but do not find yourself attracted to his appearance, opt to have him as a friend in your life instead of a romantic interest. This can save you both pain and heartbreak in the future when you realize that something is missing.
- Psychology Today: The Role of Physical Attraction in Your Relationship
- Personal Relationships; Personality Goes a Long Way: The Malleability of Opposite-Sex Physical Attractiveness; Gary W. Lewandowski Jr., et. al.
- The Huffington Post: A New Survey Sheds Light on "The Seven Year Itch"
- YourTango: Untangling the Sticky Science of Dating and Physical Attraction
- Image Source/Stockbyte/Getty Images