He Said/She Said: Can I Be In Love With No Attraction?

He Said/She Said: Can I Be In Love With No Attraction?

Dear Aaron & Rachel, 

I recently separated from my wife of twelve years.  I loved her very, very deeply, but, honestly, I was never very attracted to her.  So when she had to leave town for a job, we kind of fell apart – at my initiative. 

My question is, can this deep love circumvent the attraction issue? I love her so much but I guess I hope there is more to a relationship than obligatory sex and, for her, more than a relationship where your partner just makes love to you out of duty. I love her more than I can say, and we have years of beautiful memories. But must I let her go, though this separation just continues to break one another’s hearts. I fear I’m walking away from the best person I’ve ever known and ever will know, and hurting her irreparably in the process.

Sincerely, 

Loving With No Attraction

She Said

Like most men, you are a visual creature. You need to feel a physical attraction to enjoy sex and romance with your partner. It sounds like you’ve hoped and tried to feel this for a long time with your wife – because of your deep love for her – but it hasn’t been there. If you were never very physically attracted to her, what attracted you to her and kept you interested enough to stay in the marriage for all these years? Maybe it would help to recall the things that you did find initially attractive about her. Are they still there? Can they be rekindled?

Do you think there is anything she can do to be more physically attractive to you? Is it as simple as losing weight or changing her hair style? Or is it something much deeper that prevents you from feeling attraction? On the other hand, do you think you can change something about your mindset and find a way to enjoy sex with her even if you don’t think she’s your “dream girl” in the looks department?

If the two of you can’t find that passion, it would be hard to sustain a romantic/sexual relationship. Your love would be platonic friendship or like the close relationship of a sister and a brother. You have to ask yourself: If things do not change, would the companionship be enough for you both, or do you need to be in a marriage with passion and romance? What would make you happiest? There are a lot of questions to be answered. Following the truth will lead you in the right direction. Best of luck to you both!

He Said

This is a tough one. Scientists have identified at least three critical components of love. These include: passion, romance and commitment. All three of these are important components to a loving relationship – but you don’t equal amounts of all three, Some couples have strong commitment to each other but not a lot of passion or romance – and they’re happy like that. Other couples have a lot of passion and commitment but not a lot of romance. And they’re happy like that, too. No two relationships are alike And what makes you feel in love is a very personal thing that only you can answer for yourself.
You obviously have a lot of consideration for your partner and don’t want to hurt her feelings but you don’t mention a lot of passion or romance. You also don’t mention a lot of commitment if you have recently separated. So it doesn’t seem like there are many of the three types of love going on. You need to ask yourself what really makes you want to stay.
In the end, I wholeheartedly believe that a couple can make just about any relationship work if they’re willing to do the work and compromise. You need to ask yourself what will make yourself feel attracted to her (if anything) and if you feel you could be happy in a relationship with her again if you’re attracted to her. Don’t judge your relationship by external standards and use your own internal compass as to what you feel you want your relationship to look like in order for you (and your partner) to be happy.

One Response to He Said/She Said: Can I Be In Love With No Attraction?

  1. Sounds like a classic Mid Life crisis to me.

    My suggestion: think about yourself and your relationship with your spouse when you will be 60, 70, and 80. What will be the important glue to a strong relationship then? Commitment, trust, and history together or physical attraction and sex?

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