Attraction is a complicated matter. Although people value personality traits such as intelligence, humor, and kindness, the fact that they aren’t physically attracted may keep them from pursuing a relationship.
People on dating profiles may claim that they don’t care about physical appearance, but the truth of the matter is that they only examine the profiles of those they find physically attractive. According to studies, people may not prioritize physical attractiveness but it does serve as a gatekeeper for many relationships; it helps you “get through the door” so to speak.
So does that mean relationships can’t exist without physical attraction? How important is physical attraction in a relationship?
Let’s take a look:
Physical Attraction is Needed For Intimacy
Having a healthy sex life can become incredibly difficult when you aren’t attracted to your partner. When one partner continues to turn down sex for whatever reason, it will eventually take a toll on the physical and emotional wellbeing of the other partner. In the worst cases, partners may start looking for physical intimacy elsewhere.
People that are physically attracted to their partners have a hard time keeping their hands off each other; intimacy comes more naturally to them.
Affection Without Attraction is Difficult
We have a harder time showing affection to people we’re not attracted to. When couples aren’t attracted to each other, they aren’t as affectionate with each other. Cuddling, handholding, hugging and kissing, are all needed for healthy physical relationships between a couple.
Cuddling when watching TV or holding hands when they’re out and about are meaningful ways to show affection towards each other. If you’re a couple that doesn’t show affection, over time, you’ll become more like roommates instead of romantic partners.
The Link Between Physical Attraction and Respect
Some social psychologists have found a link between physical attraction and respect. They claim that when we find an individual attractive, we act positively toward them by making more of an effort to appear likeable. We show them respect and expect the same in return.
If you’re no longer attracted to a partner and are struggling to maintain a healthy physical relationship, consider seeing a sexologist or a relationship counselor.
Azizeh Rezaiyan is a relationship counselor and sexologist at Silicon Valley Marriage Counseling based in Palo Alto in the Bay Area. She specializes in couple’s counseling, family meditation, anxiety treatments, and other psychotherapy treatments.
Call (650) 206-9973 to book an appointment.