I need some help! I’m 36, and would really like to meet a guy I could have a family with. There are a lot of things that are important to me in a potential partner, but the long and short of it is that I’d like to date a guy whom I genuinely like and am excited to be with, and who is also excited to be with me. There are some more particulars, but that’s the meat of it.
About a year ago, I met a guy who seemed to have some promise, and we’ve been dating since. He has a lot to offer—he’s smart, educated, successful, seems to think seriously about relationships and wants a family. His interest in me also seems really sincere and hasn’t faded over time. We talk easily, and I haven’t met a lot of guys with all of these qualities, so I’m really reluctant to give them up.
But: I’m not attracted to him. Which feels like a horrible, disloyal, superficial thing to say, and I feel guilty even typing it into this anonymous submission box. It’s not that he’s not attractive. In fact, when I arrived for our third date (almost a year ago) and before I walked inside, I saw him through the window. I didn’t immediately recognize him, and I thought, “Oh, wow, that guy’s cute.” I felt guilty for having those thoughts when I was going to meet someone else, but then I happily realized that actually WAS my guy.
All that to say, it’s not that he’s not attractive. It’s that, for some reason, I don’t want to kiss him, or have sex with him. Without going into detail, I can say this has not been a problem for me in other relationships, and it’s not the case that my interest in sex is gone. I just don’t want a physical relationship with this guy. In fact, when we do kiss, it makes my stomach kind of hurt, because I’m doing something that I don’t want to be doing.
I can’t really imagine giving up on the idea of a happy full sexual and physical relationship, and wouldn’t even be entertaining the idea of continuing this relationship, except that he has other qualities I want and like in great quantities, and those qualities have proved so hard to find.
I actually Googled “What do I do if I’m not attracted to my boyfriend”—and only got as far as “What do I do if I’m not” when Google auto-filled the rest for me, so I guess I’m not the only one with this problem—but the results weren’t super helpful. So, if you can just tell me what to do, it’d be much appreciated. A numbered list of steps would be especially helpful.
I know that feeling, and I’m glad to provide an answer in the format you requested. I hope this helps!
1. Break up with him.
Why? Because you’re settling, and that’s all you’re doing. You and this man have no future together. You want to be in a relationship, so you’re choosing not being alone over being with someone you actually like. How are you supposed to meet the person you might actually marry and procreate with when you’re bored in a placeholder relationship? Not to mention there is probably a person dying to sidle up to your boo while you occupy that space in his life.
I know you don’t mean any harm, but you are doing harm to both of you. I would never encourage or advise a person to deny their true selves or fake any aspect of their lives for propriety’s sake. Break up with him so you can both move on and get happy.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.