Would you date someone you weren't attracted to at all if they had most other qualities you desire?
Would you start a relationship with a person who you weren't physically attracted to at all but they displayed almost all of the other qualities you desire in a partner?
Being a man I can tell you that most men only approach women they (are) attracted to for dating purposes. Normally the priorities for selecting a woman to date are physical attraction, personality, and sense of humor.
Most men aren't looking for a woman concerning financial security so it's not unusual for a man to choose to date a "hot looking" restaurant hostess over a "plain Jane" doctor or attorney.
Any accomplishments she has beyond the attraction, personality, and sense of humor are "icing on the cake".
Having said that I've heard of women who will date men because they're nice, have a decent career, reliable, and dependable even if they're unattractive. Lori Gottlieb had a bestselling book titled:
"Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough"
I can't imagine anyone writing such a book for men and having it become a "bestseller". However I imagine there are women who have had it with dating dashingly handsome smooth talking playboy types and "bad boys" who make their hearts beat faster but also break their hearts time and time again.
They want someone who is "safe" and willing to commit. This may be the motivation for them to settle for "Mr. Good Enough" if he's treats her well, has a good job, and can be counted on. They convince themselves that they can "learn to love him".
Some people subscribe to the philosophy of "Don't marry someone (you) love. Marry someone who loves you." The person with the least amount of emotional investment in the relationship controls it.
In my opinion it's a cynical way to view relationships. I also would worry about being tempted to cheat on someone whom I didn't find attractive if the opportunity arose. I'd also hate the thought of finding out that I was some woman's "Mr. Good Enough". She only married me because I was nice and looked good on paper. That would hurt.
Odds are no one could maintain the passion and affection aspect of a relationship/marriage long-term with someone they considered unattractive. I imagine this contributes to many sexless marriages.
At the risk of sounding shallow, no. I did this with my first marriage. He was super nice and had a big heart, but I never really felt that intense attraction I feel for my current husband. I thought well, we have the same principles and he seems stable, so I should make this work. After all, he really seemed to love me and we wanted a lot of the same things in life etc.
As time went on in that first marriage, we both discovered that despite being nice people, our personalities weren't compatible either. It led to being in a very miserable marriage for both of us. Fortunately, we parted amicably and are still good friends, but yes, I made the wrong choice because I convinced myself that I should want a certain type of person, instead of waiting for what I truly wanted to arrive.
It was also grossly unfair to my first husband that I pursued that relationship when I didn't have it in me to give him what he truly wanted and deserved. We both were selfish in that respect - we were approaching marriage from a "what's in it for me" place - not as true partners. We were young, both wanted to get away from home, it was not a good match for many reasons. We settled for each other instead of doing the right thing.
When I started dating again; I told myself I will not settle for less than I want or deserve ever again. I didn't. Now, 8 years in my current hubby and I are still very happy together and I still think he's wonderful in every way. I find I grow more attracted to him in different ways all the time and I feel this is someone I can stay with for the duration.
When we came together it wasn't for selfish reasons - we were just two people who enjoyed one another and wanted to be together. We were attracted to each other, had compatible personalities and unselfish goals. That's what makes it work.
Christin, You don't sound shallow at all. Knowing what you want is key in selecting the (right mate) for oneself. I think women oftentimes are told to forgo attraction when it comes to finding a "good man". I can't imagine them truly being happy.
I don't believe that is shallow, I feel the same way. I am happy that you guys were able to end that marriage on a positive note and that you were able to learn as much as you have from it. Thank you for passing this knowledge along as well.
I would, yes. I'm someone whose attraction to someone is very very much centred around their personality; I have a type that I always fall for regardless of appearance. Someone who I would completely write off just by looking at a photo could become extremely attractive to me if they had the personality type that I'm attracted to. For me, looks is sort of a "bonus" and I can be attracted to someone on the whole without being attracted to them physically. But I'm also very open-minded when it comes to physical attractiveness, I can honestly say that there aren't many people I look at and think "oh, they're ugly." I'm usually pretty good at finding attractive features in people who might otherwise be considered conventionally unattractive.
I was actually just thinking the other day about how you often see very pretty girls with guys who would generally be considered to be unattractive, but I don't recall ever seeing a couple where I thought "wow, that guy is super hot and his girlfriend/wife is not that attractive." I'm sure such couples do exist, but in my own experience they must be much more rare.
Actually it's rare but I have at times seen men who look like they could have attracted a better looking partner. Maybe the woman is significantly overweight or has unattractive features. One never knows what drew him to her. Maybe timing.
You're right, it is much more common for the attractive girl/unattractive combo to happen than the opposite. This is because most men generally find the same qualities attractive in women, while women's preferences can vary widely.
Sharp Points, There are also some women who place a higher priority on a man's success/income than his looks. Hugh Hefner founder of Playboy Magazine was 86 when he married a 26 year old former centerfold. She could have a better looking man.
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