I have been single and looking to mingle for some time so I started talking with a guy through chat and e-mail and we really hit it off. I had seen pictures but not the actual person himself until our first date about 10 days after we first started talking. By our first date, we had talked on the phone and e-mailed and realized that we were fully engaged in conversations, laughing at each other’s jokes, had the same sensibilities and interests, etc. The first date even went well; and the second date. But by that time, (two days ago) it became apparent to me that I’m not physically attracted to this person. I think he is cute and there is nothing out of the ordinary about his “look”, it just isn’t clicking with me. Now, it is my understanding from watching Will’s videos that there was an instant physical attraction to RJ and I’m convinced that physical attraction is one of the important parts of a loving relationship. I feel that no matter how well I (or anyone) get along with someone, that I’m not going to be physically attracted to everyone. Being horny and genuinely interested though, we fooled around at the end of our first date and played all cutesy the morning after. I don’t want to lead him on any more as I believe that he really likes me. I don’t think that I’m being shallow, but who knows. But really, I guess my question is, I really want to salvage this and turn it into a great friendship as I know it could be. What do you think the best approach is toward that goal?
I’m always hesitant to answer questions that begin with “How do I tell them…” because the answer is really very simple. You just need to be as honest and forthcoming as you can. Yes, it can be very difficult in situations like this, since you genuinely don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings. But being in a relationship requires compatibility, and if you two aren’t compatible, then it’s nothing personal. It’s simply reality, and it’s something that you can’t help. Say you’ve always wanted a Labrador retriever as a pet. That doesn’t mean that you have anything against a German shepherd or a Chihuahua or a St. Bernard. You may even adore them whenever you spend time with them. But that still doesn’t change the fact that a Lab is the right dog for you. So if you and this guy aren’t relationship material, then it’s no one’s fault. It’s just the reality of the situation.
But before you sit this guy down and try to hash things out with him, let me issue a bit of a warning, and it might help you grapple the “shallow” question. I know you probably have this picture in your head of what your ideal partner will be like. Hell, in your imagination, you can probably picture them and have even given them a name. Let me just say that it’s very likely that your actual ideal partner will be a bit different than the person in your head. When I first confessed my love for Will, I used the following statement: “you are everything that I never knew I always wanted”. Sure, it sounds like it came from some bad movie, but it’s true, and let me explain why.
Alright, here comes confession time. Will is a very handsome guy, for sure, but physically, he’s not the kind of guy I would typically go for. When he and I first met, I thought he was good-looking, but not in a way that immediately made me want to sleep with him. As fate would have it, Will thankfully had other plans, but even when we went on our first date, I still didn’t have very much of an interest in sleeping with him. Of course Will has a way of being very persuasive when he wants something. What made Will cross the line from handsome to sexy, in my mind was more his demeanor. His confidence was absolutely magnetic, and he was so comfortable in his own skill that it became very seductive to me. So he and I got physical, but even then, neither of us had an interest in pursuing a relationship with one another. We were, for lack of a better term, “fuck buddies”. It wasn’t until we began spending time together that either of us realized that we had a connection. We both recognized that the other person had a genuinely interesting and engaging personality. Mind you, we didn’t see it as a relationship as just the fact that we enjoyed spending time together. Next thing we knew, 8 months had passed, and it was time for me to return home for the summer. The entire drive back, I was sobbing, because I had never realized my true feelings for him. It took 8 long months for me to realize that, not only was Will right for me, but that I had fallen in love.
Here’s the point of me sharing that sappy story. You may have a clue as to what you want in an ideal partner, but chances are that you actually don’t. Hell, prior to Will, I thought I’d end up married to a woman, and I didn’t realize that he was right for me until I had him and then had to say goodbye to him. The stuff you mentioned about engaging conversations and making each other laugh is exactly what brought Will and me together. Sure, initially, it was physical attraction that brought us together. I would be lying if I said that looks don’t play a part in any relationship. Attraction is necessary for sex, and sex is an important part of the relationship equation. However, there are plenty of other things that sustain a relationship, and most of them operate independently from a person’s appearance. Physical attraction, especially the kind that leads to initial hook-ups, is a bit shallow. Ask any experienced floozy, and they’ll tell you that you don’t have to like someone to have sex with them. Meanwhile, you two are going to need to spend plenty of time together with your clothes on, and it helps if you guys truly enjoy that time. Also, the kind of attraction that Will and I experience now is different than the one we experienced when we first met. Our initial attraction was more about looks. Now, it’s more about intimacy. No one knows me like he does and vice-versa. This is how we stick together through our pretty skinny days and our bloated fat days.
The difference between being shallow and being realistic is simply knowing that looks are just one element in the equation, and that they don’t last forever. Plenty of gorgeous people lose their sexiness for me the moment they open their mouth, and plenty of people whom I normally wouldn’t go for become more attractive the more I interact with them. It’s simply a balancing act, and the balancing act is different for each person. Just like life, people have different priorities. So some may prioritize looks as more important than I do. That’s just how they are. Ultimately, you’re going to be the one to make the final call, I just want to make sure you keep those things in mind once you do.
Best wishes to both of you!