8 Reasons For Dating Someone You’re Not Physically Attracted To
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Imagine this: you end up on a date with someone who seems to be your dream man. He calls and texts when he says he will. You’ve got many shared interests like yoga, cooking, and drinking fine wines. He’s kind, intelligent, and makes you laugh. He has a great job, and he hasn’t done any jail time. On paper, he’s the perfect match. It’s like the Universe finally answered the call you put out, and you can’t quite believe your luck.
Sounds great, right? There’s just one problem. The physical attraction isn’t quite there. It’s not that he’s a bad-looking guy (far from it), but the chemistry feels off. You’re not entirely sure what it is, but there’s a disconnect, and you wish there weren’t.
So, what do you do when this happens? Should you be dating someone you’re not 100% physically attracted to? Can that attraction build over time? Or is it unfair to keep dating a guy when you’re not fully into him, only to break things off in the near future?
Keep reading because I’ll be answering all of these questions and more.
Things to consider when dating someone you’re not physically attracted to
Do you want him or just want a relationship?
When you’re ready and open to meet someone and have a strong desire for a relationship, it’s easy to confuse that desire with attraction for someone. You don’t feel it for this guy, but you want to because you want to find love. So maybe you’re trying to force it to be a fit when it’s just not.
So before you go any further, ask yourself if you want someone in your life or this man in particular.
Are you emotionally distracted?
The second thing to consider is what else is going on in your life. If you went through a messy divorce or breakup, had a big career change, or have been under a lot of stress recently, this is likely to have flung you into an emotionally distracted state.
When you’ve already got too much on your plate, it’s difficult to be attracted to anyone, and it’s unfair to try and start something new when you don’t have the emotional capacity for it.
Give yourself the time you need to work through these emotions. Be honest with the man you’re dating right now. Only start dating again once you’re in the right head and heart space.
8 Reasons for dating someone you’re not physically attracted to at first
1. It takes the pressure off dating
The first reason why I would recommend dating someone you’re not attracted to is that it takes a heap of pressure off the dating process.
Do you remember the last time you met a guy who looked like the leading man straight out of a hit rom-com? Chances are you automatically became more self-conscious and found yourself in a fluster. Maybe you were trying hard to impress him or even presenting a version of yourself that you thought he would like. This is normal.
Remove the physical attraction, and you’ll no longer feel self-conscious about how you look, how you sound, or whether you’re interesting enough. There will be no pressure to “perform.” It’ll feel easy and comfortable, the same as it does when spending time with a friend. And you can focus all your energy on building emotional attraction with this man and seeing if your personalities and values match.
2. Remember that physical attraction fades
When you’re thinking long-term, it doesn’t matter how sexy you both are or how sexy you find each other. Because that physical spark will always fade over time, this is normal. Eventually, you get so used to someone’s appearance that the physical chemistry fizzles. This is as good of a reason as any to keep dating someone you’re not physically attracted to.
We live in a world that places such high importance on physical appearance. Many of us are obsessed with how we look and how other people look, most of which is perpetuated by the media. We only post photos on our social media that show us in our very best light and add filters to make further improvements. On dating apps, we make instant judgments about people based on a couple of photos of them.
Physical attraction is nice to have, but what if you shifted how you think about attraction? How attractive somebody is comes down to so much more than their appearance. You could meet the hunkiest man you’ve ever laid eyes on, only to find he has nothing interesting to say and is about as dull and dry as a cheese-less cracker.
If you’re looking for a relationship and love that lasts, it’s important to get to know guys on a deeper level and see if there is an emotional attraction.
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3. It can stop you from choosing the wrong men
Dating someone you’re not physically attracted to is a great way to avoid dating men who aren’t good for you.
You might have a “type” that you always go for. But just because your type is tall, dark, handsome bad boys who have tattoo sleeves and drive Harleys, that doesn’t mean you should only date guys who fit into this narrow box. You might love lobster rolls, but does that mean you should only consume lobster rolls? No! Imagine what you’d miss out on… ramen, pizza, mac & cheese, ice cream, peanut butter cups…
If you’ve been consistently unlucky in love and believe you’re under the one-date curse, it’s time to widen your search. There’s no better place to start than dating someone who looks different from your usual type. Someone who you might usually overlook. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but far too many of us are still guilty of this.
4. Attraction can take time to grow
How often have you witnessed a man and a woman start as friends only to develop romantic feelings for each other? This is a classic example of how attraction genuinely does take time to build.
When you meet someone in person for the first time, you see them in a very controlled, pre-planned setting. There’s only so much of them you can see when you go for a drink or grab dinner together. You haven’t yet had a chance to see how they interact with their friends and family, how they respond to stress or act in a crisis, or how generous and supportive they are.
Seeing a man in all of these other scenarios can make you more attracted to him. Sometimes it will hit you out of the blue, and he’ll go from being a “mergh” to a straight-up ten out of ten. But only if you give it a chance.
5. It helps you focus on his personality
Have you ever been blown away by how hot a man is that you couldn’t think about anything else? You ended the night knowing no more than his first name and maybe what he’d look like shirtless.
The whole point of dating is that you get to know someone on a deeper level, and sometimes, very good-looking people make it difficult to focus on that!
Dating someone you’re not immediately physically attracted to also gives you room to focus on other, more important, things like his personality. Ultimately, looks fade, but personality, intelligence, humor, and values last.
6. You might share some deep values
That brings me nicely to the next point, which is all about values. One of the most important factors in a relationship standing the test of time and lasting long-term is shared values. Are you aligned on where you want to live, the kind of lifestyle you want to lead, and whether you want to get married and have kids?
Dating someone you’re not physically attracted to allows you to discuss these important things and determine if you’re compatible in the long run. You might find you’re a sensational match when it comes to values.
Your time is far too precious to waste it dating men who don’t fit into the future you want to build.
7. It’s sexy when someone “gets you”
One of the best parts of a relationship is the closeness you form, where you are best friends and understand each other almost better than anyone else. It takes a long time for a connection to develop organically this way, which is why dating someone you’re not initially physically attracted to could lead to something special.
So if you’re unsure about the man you’re dating, ask yourself if you enjoy spending time with him. Is he a good listener? Is he demonstrating that he’s interested in learning more about who you are and what makes you tick? Are your love languages compatible? Do you feel comfortable with him?
When someone just “gets you” in a way that most others don’t, they score a ton of points on the sexy-ometer.
8. It will expand your mind
You know when you meet someone from a different country or culture, and they snap you out of the little bubble you’ve been living in, in a very good way? This is why we love to travel, eat new things, and have new experiences. All of it expands our horizons and brings something new to our lives. Dating someone you’re not physically attracted to can be a wonderful way to do this.
Dating someone who isn’t your “usual” type and who you wouldn’t usually spend time with will force you out of your comfort zone and help you have new, interesting conversations. This is the heart of all first dates: having a unique experience with a new person.
So what if it doesn’t end up leading somewhere? At least you put yourself out there, and you’ll learn a lot you can carry with you on your dating journey.
How to date someone you’re not physically attracted to
Have I convinced you to give that guy a chance and see if attraction builds? If so, here are some extra tips for dating someone you’re not physically attracted to.
1. Have an open mind
There is so much more to beauty than the narrow definition that society has come to over the years. Sometimes it takes a while to truly see and appreciate someone’s beauty. Maybe it’s when he wrinkles his nose when he laughs. Maybe his entire face lights up when he talks about his business.
When you let go of your learned definitions of beauty, you might just be surprised. Have an open mind with every man you date. After all, you’d want them to be open-minded about you and not judge you at face value, right?
2. Give him three dates
You don’t need me to tell you that first dates can be awkward. Half the population is introverted, and it takes a while to feel comfortable with someone new. People get nervous. Both of you are trying to present the best version of yourselves and figure out whether there are mutual grounds here that can develop into something.
My rule is if you’re dating someone you’re not physically attracted to and unsure if he’s right for you, give him three dates. Three dates is a good amount of time to see more of someone’s personality and gauge whether there’s emotional attraction. If there is, you can build on this.
3. Focus on what you like about him
As I mentioned, physical attraction always fades, and in a long-term relationship, you will spend a lot of time together. If most of your attraction to a man is physical, you’re not going to love living with him.
So, for now, forget the physical side of things, and focus on what you like about him. Is it that you have a similar sense of humor? Do you both love watching documentaries on Gaia or swimming in the ocean? These common interests and shared values are a great foundation for a happy, long-lasting relationship.
4. Think about long-term compatibility
It’s natural to initially judge someone based on appearance, especially when you don’t have much else to go on. This is why dating apps can be tricky to navigate because you’re usually basing your decision to chat with someone on how cute their profile photo is.
But if you’re looking for something long-term, you must think long-term instead of being blindsided by the here and now. How compatible are you? Are you both looking for similar things in a relationship? Do you want kids, and how do you want to raise them?
These things are way more important than how much you want to drag them into the bedroom with you. You’ve got to make sure that the man you choose is someone you can learn to love being around outside the bedroom too.
5. Build an emotional connection
Have you ever met a guy who was smoking hot, and you really liked him? But after a series of dates, things just naturally fizzled out. He got bored, didn’t want to commit, and pulled away.
This has happened to most women at least once in their life. Usually, it’s caused by focusing too much on a physical connection and not taking the time to build an emotional connection. This emotional attraction and connection take you from dating to wanting to be in a committed relationship.
So if you’re dating someone you’re not physically attracted to, this is a golden opportunity to open up and focus on building an emotional connection.
If there’s one thing I’d love you to take away from this article, it’s that physical attraction fades. Is there a better reason than that to date someone you’re not immediately attracted to?
What’s the worst that could happen? After three dates, you still don’t feel attracted to him in any way, so you don’t see him again, and you move on to the next guy.
Are you dating someone you’re not physically attracted to, or have you ever done so in the past? I’d love to hear your story, so drop it in the comments below!
I have never been about physical attraction really it’s personality that definitely has to be there . Period if I already know u and there is no spark then I’m nt even going. But if u are a stranger maybe.
This is interesting…how likely is a man do this? Date a woman he is not physically attracted to? Is his motivation the same as ours? I am open to it, just curious if it works the other way.
That is my question too! I know they say men are more visual then we are, so it seems one sided.
Curious to get Adam’s input here. If a man dates you but is only somewhat attracted to you, what should we expect? Can we win him over or will it fizzle out?
OMG! This message was for me. I have been contemplating on this issue with a guy who I am not physically attracted to, but I think about him all the time. I don’t know why! We’ve known each other since college , which had been over 20 years ago, and went on dates. He’s a great guy, very respectful, listens and adores me, but I sometimes look at his outer appearance and ask myself, could I possibly do better?? What is wrong with me? He wants long term with me. I have been with in dates with built, handsome guys… Read more »
This article is so timely it’s scary! Been dating a man for over a year, have known him for over 20 years, both recently widowed. On paper, it’s great, so many common interests including careers, it’s easy. BUT he is incredibly attracted to me, but I can’t help but compare my attraction level to him to my last crush which was crazy. I feel like this is my first grown up relationship even though I’m 55 so I guess I’ll see where it goes, lol. Thanks Adam!
You think about him all the time because amazing men who are good to you for longer than making you fall for them are hard to find. Plus usually if you have things in common and similar values, you become attracted to them anyway.
I agree with you. I’m in the same boat and the only things I keep thinking are “What if I can do better?” , and “what will people think?”. I think 3 things turned me around. 1) if this man was 2 inches taller and 30 pounds lighter, he’d be perfect. This is ridiculous. He is an amazing, solid, wonderful person that makes me feel safe and loved. I’ve never been able to find this my entire life so..No.. I can’t do better. 2) when I wouldn’t commit to him he showed interest in someone else. I was jealous and… Read more »
This is exactly what happened to me. The first time I met the man i love I was not physically attracted to him but he showed up with a dozen roses, took me out for dinner and I learned so many interesting things about him that I looked forward to seeing him again. We discovered that we had a lot in common and the more time I spent with him the more physically attractive he became. We have now been together for 6 months and we are talking about a future together. Your article is spot on.
How would this work for men, as they say they are more visual?
HAHAHHAHAH. I have done that. Only to find myself heart broken by a below average looking guy who all my friends were already saying didn’t deserve me lol
Marianna…I 100% agree with you. The same thing happened to me. Don’t do it ladies. Don’t date anyone you’re not attracted to. It’s a huge waste of time. And I’ll bet Adam’s partner is not below his ideal vision. Do not settle.
He DIDN’T say settle, he said give him a chance…3 dates. Duh!!
I agree. Someone I was familiar with but never really knew growing up reached out to me a couple months ago. I dismissed him initially because I wasn’t attracted to him. He is only a year and a half older than me but he looks older because he has had a career working outdoors on the water for the past 30 years. Plus, he was a heavy smoker, although he no longer smokes. I thought maybe I should at least give him a chance as a friend if nothing else so we went to dinner and had a nice time.… Read more »
Sorry, but if I need more than two alcoholic beverages to even think of kissing a guy, it’s game over. And I did try giving an unattractive guy a chance over several dates; just couldn’t be physically drawn to him.
I’m going on a third date this Sat. with a man I’m not physically attracted to, but we both love classical music. Thanks for the article, and I will see where it will go.
I’ve been dating a guy off and on for about 1 year. He’s a odd IT guy who over thinks everything and has no natural swagger… but the positives are he is very carrying, helps me and my daughters, and loves us authentically. ❤️ but there isn’t much in common, but he is a person I can have as a partner for life…I guess I’m going to try.it one final time because my other types are bad news ! But the lack of spark always leaves me looking for some thing better ….. Thoughts ?
Same here! We are always told the grass is not greener on the other side, however, if waiting for that guy we desire, turn out to be the wrong guy???
It doesn’t work for me. I tried it. One fellow, I had really liked on our first date. But we had remained seated, facing each other the whole time, talking over a drink. On our second date, a concert, I saw him standing. I saw that he was fat and I didn’t like his profile at all, I found him ugly. I thought, I’ll give it a go, because he makes me laugh and we have many things in common, but I never could get myself to be attracted to him. Another one, I really liked his intellect but I… Read more »
This is good advice Adam, I’m curious, did you give men this same formula when you were working with them?
I think it is rare that men do this, even your co host Gary Lewandowski and yourself have said the
physical attraction was the first thing that attracted you both to your wives. It often seems there are different rules for men and women. Your thoughts? … 🙂
When talking with this man on a dating app, I was so blown away by all our synchronicities. When we met in person I realized I would never have given him another thought if we had initially met in person. I was uncertain about him but he was very certain about me. I tried to think of all his positive traits. It has developed into the relationship of my dreams at my age of 74. Now I think he is the most beautiful man in the world! The best thing that ever happened to me!1
I am dating a man I wasn’t physically attracted to at first. My main issue was him being shorter than me. Behind that was societal pressure of the kind of man I “should” be with. I am a tall, beautiful, slender, Caucasian female and he is shorter, stout and Mexican. The stares we got (and still get) when we first started hanging out made me unsure. But he is an amazing man and everything I have ever wanted. It didn’t take me too long to realize I really don’t care what anyone thinks of us. I’m proud to be with… Read more »
No I have not ever dated anyone that I don’t at least have a physical attraction for. However, I am currently chatting and have met a couple of times with a guy who I have built a strong emotional connection with thanks to your training on the emotional triggers that I have been able to put into practice. We have connected on a deeper level, however due to schedules and distance we have not been able to meet more than twice. We chat every day and have been chatting every day for the last two months, never missing a day.… Read more »