Reflecting On the Role of Physical Attraction
Attraction is such a funny thing in dating. Sometimes I feel like it gets in the way of seeing the actual person. It’s like we pass up on so many opportunities with potentially outstanding partners because of another person’s looks.
Gone are the days where people marry for practical reasons like safety and security. Now we marry for intangible reasons like love and connection. These are things that are built over time after years of companionship. I’m not arguing with the current arrangement, I just find it interesting to think about.
I recently ended another dating experience. The lack of physical attraction was a big part of that ending.
For sure I was attracted enough to get into something, but I am not sure if there was ever enough attraction to keep me interested.
I’ve noticed that I have a pattern of dating people because they like me. Regardless of how strong my attraction may or may not be, I allow myself to get sucked in to the novelty of a new relationship, especially if our personalities play well together.
In a podcast, I recently heard two single men talk about instances where they each have had sex with someone they’re not necessarily attracted to. That’s probably okay if both people understand that it’s just sex. But in my case, there wasn’t communication about the sexual encounter being just casual. From my understanding, there was a hope of something more, and the sexual act was part of the evolution of the relationship.
I have to stop doing this shit. I allow myself to get into situations I am not exactly sure are good for me. And this results in someone feeling hurt or misled. At least that’s the story I am telling myself about it.
In my recent experience, the onus was not entirely on me for how things ended, but practicing personal accountability is about realizing the role you play in an outcome. There were so many instances where I could have handled the situation differently.
For me it comes down to honesty. Honesty about what I want, and what I don’t want. This has been something I’ve struggled with in the past. But with each dating experience, I get a little better. Now if I can be better about this before things get physical, that would be quite the achievement (not that I am sleeping around).
I’m thinking there is a lot of value in intentionally keeping sex off the table for a predetermined time period. At the very least, I will know the person a lot better and have more clarity about our physical and intellectual connection.
It’s not lost on me that physical attributes change over time. We all know this truth. But I think there is something to be said about having both a strong physical and emotional connection with someone, at least in the beginning. However, it takes a connection that goes beyond physical to make a great relationship with someone. The journey continues.