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How Important Is Attraction in Relationships?

Group Therapy: Should I Pursue a Guy I'm Not Attracted To?

This question is an excerpt from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

I am 22, and left a 5 year relationship last year. For the past year I have been living the so called "single life" although I tend to focus on my studies and looking after my three dogs, I still managed to go on dates etc, but really I hate being single I love being a partner.

Recently I met an older man (he is 37) at a neuroscience conference, we got talking afterward, and we just click . . . although there was not that lust or deep sexual attraction that I had in a previous relationship. We can talk for three hours easy. He moved back to where he is working (on the other side of the world), but we have been communicating by e-mail and on the phone frequently, he has implied that he wants me to travel with him, and he would be interested in dating me and he ultimately wants marriage. Now while this suits me perfectly, I will still have time to finish my degree while he is overseas, during which he will financially support me and he is very very caring, reliable, well everything you could ask for in a man, except I still have not felt that sexual feeling overwhelm me as it has previously.

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Do you think I should call this off? I would love to be married to someone who is so supportive and caring, do you need that sexual spark or can that grow over time?

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community.


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Join The Conversation
themeek001 themeek001 6 years
I commend you for saying that you valued sex after marriage rather than before. I'm the same age as you and my boyfriend is actually 35. I'm a student too and know how difficult student life can be. All the study and very little income (at least for me) can be hard to cope with. I have to admit I just love it when my bf helps me out financially. As for sexual chemistry, it is important in a relationship but not the most important thing. Follow your gut and heart and hold onto your values.
tidakpedulidengananda tidakpedulidengananda 6 years
If he doesn't 'imply' on paying your tuition and affording you a life of academic pursuit, will you still want to get to know him? You guys ain't local, so it's super hard to know how it really is with this guy in real life. Talking is one thing, but sex and live the day-to-day thing is completely different animal. I'm doubtful sexual spark will grow over time (never happened to me), but beside the 'creepy' factor of him calling up your dad asking you to go on vacation with him, I'd reconsider making him the no.1 beau in your book, if I were u, I'd still look around (LOCAL PROSPECT). If he's that concerned about your virtue, he should make your dad take a vacation with you and him as a chaperone.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 6 years
Would agree with Lenay. For me, if the attraction isn't there initially, it just isn't. I know people here are telling you sexual attraction can grow, maybe, but I have my doubts. You may like him enough to not be disgusted having sex with him, but that knock-down-drag-out feeling that we all want at least initially in a lover will be absent. No thanks.
Lenay Lenay 6 years
If you're not attracted to him now, you probably never will be. Attraction decreases over time as people age. So, the question you really have to ask yourself is "Are common interests and great conversation enough to sustain you?" If you feel that you need to have a good sex life to be happy, keep looking.
the-nerd-nextdoor the-nerd-nextdoor 6 years
I've been in a similar situation. Him and I have known each other for some odd months and went on a date for the first time. Everything was there, but to me that physical attraction wasn't. I tried getting to know him a bit more, but still no spark. However I do agree that getting to know him more on a deeper level could possibly make you feel physically attracted to him. Never hurts to try.
stephley stephley 6 years
Hmm, if he's calling your dad, he's pushing way too hard. I'd bail.
bisou002 bisou002 6 years
Oh dear. I've been in a situation a bit like this. I dated a wonderful guy (only 3 years older than I was) for about 2 years. He was an absolute prince. And while he wasn't footing the bill for my education or anything like that, he treated me like gold. But even though we got along great, made each other laugh, and had a great time, in the end, I couldn't bear to be with him anymore because I wasn't sexually attracted to him. It's as simple as that. You need the spark. It was a devastating breakup for both of us, but you need the whole package, not just the pieces.
michelle-c42934 michelle-c42934 6 years
When I was 22 I dated a a very wealthy 35 year old guy and switched to a med school closest to him so we could be together while I finished my studies. He offered to support me, but I declined and figured out a way to support myself, which was lucky, because he broke up with me just as I started the course last year. So, just as a word of warning, never rely on a guy, be an independent woman, he'll respect you more, and you'll respect yourself more. Also, you shouldn't settle. I might be a hopeless romantic, but you should look for the guy with the complete package.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
ITA with Pistil. Still even if you've reworded it, it came out the same. If he's been that accepting, be honest with him how you don't find him sexually attractive, and you're not a believer of sex before marriage, hence that thing about vacationing even with separate rooms sounds..very..suspect. Nevermind that, since you can talk to him about everything, just be honest that you're not attracted to him physically, but you care/like him in other ways. If he's that understanding, then, hey great for you. Just be cautious, and if I were you, I'd consult my parents more about this.
brightonrock brightonrock 6 years
Thank you Anon. that is my problem we are perfectly matched in every regards except my physical attraction to him. I will consider this some more, I have been honest with him and he has been very accepting.
inlove23 inlove23 6 years
NEVER SETTLE!!!! You will find someone that is incredible, stable in finances, and someone you can love/lust. If you guys date you will eventually have sex and why would you just go through the motions when you could be enjoying mind blowing sex with someone else. Btw, I'm only 3 years younger and while I love being in a relationship I would never want to be in a relationship just for the sake of it. Put yourself in his shoes, how would you feel if you loved someone and found out they weren't even attracted to you??
brightonrock brightonrock 6 years
Thank you all for the help, he has been ringing me alot and he rang my father to ask if he could take me on holiday (staying in separate rooms) I told him that because I have not felt attracted to him this is only cruel to him and I do not want to lead him on. I really dont think he was looking at me as a sugar baby or whatever, because all we talk about is neuroscience...but you are all right the attraction has to be there and I was being naive.
dikke-kus dikke-kus 6 years
Your vulnerable now so its understandable you are lonely and wanting to jump at certain opportunities. But be careful. You're saying you're not attracted to him. That's becuase he's an old man - 14 years older. At 22, mother nature kicks in no matter what. Instincts are a powerful motivator with relationships and marriage and sex. You need to trust those instincts. A younger man more your age will understand you better and be more your equal. A younger man will also be able to provide and help you with children when that day comes. A man your age will guarantee great sex, longevity, vitality and grow with you. Not act like your father. You don't sound like you're in need of a father. Having a partner in life, one that you feel is right for you, is not something money and stability can satisfy. I would not go so far as to getting very serious with him. He will bore you to death.
Pistil Pistil 6 years
brightonrock, even when you reword it, I'd still be wary.
brightonrock brightonrock 6 years
woooohhh, must of worded this wrong.. he has NOT offerd to pay for me in terms of affection like that.. he simply said that if things work out between us (after a year of dating) and I was to move to live with him, I wouldnt have to worry about student load (which was my main concern)
cambrianoelle cambrianoelle 6 years
I completely agree with anonymous (post 12). I think attraction is just as important to a relationship as the "clicking' part is. ESPECIALLY since you're only 22. you're so young and you haven't really LIVED life. I am only 24 so I'm not much older than you and I'm not saying that I have lived life either. But to settle for a guy that has all the things you want BUT you're not attracted to? If y'all begin dating, there's a high chance that after awhile you'll just feel like you're with a friend when he wants more and you can't give it to him. It's a bad road to go down. Trust me, just like anonymous, I've entered relationships with guys that I've REALLY liked - but only their personality. There was an initial spark of interest/attraction but over time, i realized I was only attracted to their personalities and was not attracted to them at all. It puts such a strain on a relationship when one is attracted to the other and the other is not. It's just generally a bad idea. I would wait until you find someone else you "click" with AND are attracted to. Another take on it - my mom married my dad and realized she never felt that "in love" feeling with him (the strong attraction part) and they ended up divorcing after 20 years because she met someone else and realized these feelings she thought she never could feel. Please wait for that special someone that you are attracted to AND click with... And PLEASE, like everyone else has said, DONT take his money!!! That's just a scary situation.... !!!
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 6 years
This letter is all sorts of creepy.
bonniewyy bonniewyy 6 years
i agree with everybody else.... i was 20 when i met my better half whose 15 years older than me. we're still together now, but i did NOT let him pay for anything of mine at the time.. I know he's sincere now, but you gotta be a little more cautious.....
Helen-Danger Helen-Danger 6 years
You say he has implied that he wants to marry you. Sorry, but guys imply things all the time. It isn't out of malice, they just want to please us and say things to make us happy. If he doesn't come out and propose and spell out the whens and hows, it doesn't count. A ring would be a good start if he is really that serious. Just date and keep looking for the right guy. This guy is a bad bet because he doesn't live near you. Everything has a price. Stay independent, hon. You can't fall in love with someone unless you are around them a lot and experience their faults as well as their best image. Email isn't real. If you can't tell the difference, you should probably stop talking with him--just to protect your heart. To answer your question: yes. The sexual spark can grow over time. If he learns what you like, you can end up quite satisfied.
stephley stephley 6 years
I think you're too young, and have spent too much of your life with one person to be pursuing more with this man. You want the comfort and security of a relationship, but I don't think you've experienced enough to make a good decision. It doesn't sound as if you know enough about the 'sparks' to be certain what, if anything, they signal. (They can mean your insecurities feel as if they've found a travel buddy - they aren't always signs you've met 'the one') If you genuinely like this man, tell him that - but that you can't make any decisions or commitments as to where time you spend together will lead. If he can respect that, and give you time & space to grow, you might have something.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
You barely know the guy, he lives across the world from you, and you just met him, and you just assume that he's an HONEST rich man who will actually pay for your tuition or living? What if he's in debt? What if he's just boasting to impress a 22-yrs-old? How do you know if this isn't a scam? What if he just comes across sincere but in actuality, he's a snake? You don't know him at all b/c this is an online-long distance relationship. I agree with Pistil, there's the creepy factor when a guy who just met you offers to pay for your education, not knowing really about your skills, potential, only what you told him and your apperance to him--his attraction to you (Again, you may not you're not this gorgeous nymph, but to his eyes, you may as well be). If I were you, don't be so quick to jump into a relationship with this man. Date others casually as well. Plus your arrangement do sound like a sugar daddy type of arrangement since you're expecting your tuition paid in exchange of your affection. If you sincerely can say now that you will date this man, marry him when he's completely poor, no money whatsoever then go ahead and DATE HIM FIRST.
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