Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

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bestillandknow
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Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby bestillandknow » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:01 am

Wanted to start a discussion here based on one an irl friend and I were having yesterday. I'd like to hear others' perspectives.

Sometimes in the Christian community we put so much emphasis on the value of unseen qualities in a relationship, like compatibility, solidity of character, stability in relationship with God, etc-- as being the focal point in choosing a mate. But at least among my Christian friends when I was young, the idea of being very physically attracted to each other was sort of a lesser priority. As if love could overcome being only "sort of" attracted to someone. Or that the typical flaming hormones of youth could make up for the lack of real attraction between the two. I hope this is making sense...

My friend and I were pondering how often this kind of perspective has led to refusal in marriage, on either side, simply because the one spouse wasn't really *that* attractive to the other, and after a while it sort of comes out irl?

I know that I did not make mutual attraction a priority AT. ALL. in searching for a spouse. I mistakenly assumed that that aspect would work itself out, maybe magically appear after the wedding. Well, I was TOTALLY wrong. Perhaps my case is a bit extreme, but it makes me wonder.

My friend and I decided we are definitely making a point to communicate this to the nice, young folks we know (including our own children)-- that it is both "okay" and WISE to look for someone you think is totally HOT as well as all the other good stuff mentioned above.

But what are your thoughts?
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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Blovesme » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:40 am

I see 2 things here.

First, too many men will not even consider a woman if there is not an immediate physical attraction. I think that sometimes that will come as you get to know someone....as in the case of a friend of mine who wouldnt go out with a girl i suggested. It took me 6 months and he just did it to shut me up. One date and bang he was attracted! They have been married 16 years now.

Then second, sometimes a person will marry someone because they are a good match and they get along well but there is no chemistry like with my husband and his first wife. She didnt feel it either and the whole marriage of 15 years was a disaster.

So I agree with you. It is fine to chose a mate based on other things but it sure helps for a happy life if they make your heart skip. :wink:

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby dr_parsley » Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:54 am

For me, with some caveats, initial physical attraction is not important. When one decides to love another, then ones definition of attractive will converge to their attributes if one doesn't allow intruding competing thoughts. After all, thousands of times, you'll be thinking, "it is this person who is making me feel so good". Those caveats would be - good hygiene, a generosity, making me feel desired, etc. I can only imagine that 99% of women would be suitable *physical* matches. But it might just be me - maybe I'm not all that fussy!

The problem with the alternative is that those feelings of attraction are very likely to fade eventually and when it happens you'd better have something more solid underneath them. But it's difficult to make good judgments in the presence of those strong physical attractions. I believe it's the emotional and spiritual love that generates the long-term physical attraction between spouses.
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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Leah » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:04 pm

Attraction would definitely have to be there, but I would be more interested in general character qualities. If a man demonstrates excellence in what he does and how he conducts himself, the chances are good that he would approach relationships the same way.
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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby jokerman » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:07 pm

It's nice, but isn't the total package.

If you are married to a physically perfect spouse but find their personality atrocious, eventually you begin to think a lot more about their lousy personality than their awesome looking face and body. And eventually you probably end up avoiding sex with this great-looking person because you're just totally turned off by other qualities.

I think attraction is based on the total package.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby poetess » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:12 pm

I've never understood why chemistry is seen as so important. Historically it has just not been part of the equation, and surely we haven't suddenly gotten it "right" when everyone else had it wrong. (If chemistry was foundational, then our divorce rate should be pretty low!)

Chemistry plays no part of the biblical counsel to husbands and wives; it simply isn't required to have chemistry for a wife to honor and respect her husband and a husband to love his wife. Is it nice? Definitely. But it's nice in the way dessert is nice--as an extra.

Through the years I've seen many, many stories of people turning down a good match because there was no "chemistry" and then finding a person with whom there was instant chemistry but it was obviously a bad match. (The guy wasn't a believe, or he was an abuser, or they didn't have any common interests or background.) Sometimes they've married the good chemistry/bad match, and sometimes they haven't. "Chemistry" has been the igniter of many adulterous relationships through the years; it simply is a weak measurement of whether a couple is a good match. A nice extra, yes. Foundational, no.

People's personalities are radically different. To one person / couple, "love" might "need" to be constant passion and excitement; to another couple, settled contentment is great. Some couples have to "work" harder than others to stay connected. (My husband and I are a lot alike, so we understand what the other is thinking, and have done so since very early in our relationship. It's less "work." And neither of us is the sort seeking fireworks.)

The more attracted a husband and wife are to each other, the better. But lots of times that attraction is something that is chosen and cultivated. You choose to put the other person first, to honor him/her, to do acts of love . . . and never mind if some other marriage looks more passionate, easier, or whatever.
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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby SeekingChange » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:35 pm

Character qualities have a big impact on a persons "attractiveness". One could be gorgeous to the world, but have the ugliest, most selfish heart and then they aren't so attractive. And just the same, a "ho-hum" looking person, can exude love, kindness, and so much more and then their attractiveness has just gone up.
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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby HisWarrior » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:42 pm

Hubby said he was attracted to me. He said I was cute. His friend didn't think I was pretty at all and hubby could do better. But something about me caught hubby's eye and as he decided to like me more, he found me more attractive. Now, he says I am just getting better with age. That being said, he is not one of these husbands who says he's married to the most beautiful woman in the world. He obviously finds other women physically attractive, but since he chose me, my attractiveness is different. So, yes, there was a basic physical attraction, but it evolved as our relationship grew. Hubby knows women who are physically drop dead gorgeous, but he finds them unattractive because of their personality.

As for me, I, too, thought hubby was cute, but certainly not an Adonis. When I first saw hubby, there were actually two other fellows who really caught my eye. But, when hubby started paying attention to me, I was attracted to that. As we got to know each other, I became more physically attracted to him. To be honest, the better he treats me and the more manly and Godly he is, the more physically attractive I find him. Yes, there are other men that I find very attractive but they don't hold a candle to hubby.

So looks weren't hugely important...we're just two average Joes.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby landschooner » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:23 pm

I believe physical attraction is as important as any other deal breaking factor.

Not a christian. - no.
Not physically attractive to me - no.
Not respectful - No.
We don't get along well - No.
(Not an exhaustive list. Just giving examples...)

As far as "initial" physical attraction or "eventual" physical attraction, I have no opinion except to say that physical attraction needs to be there eventually.

The bible does imply it to be important via Paul in his recommendation to marry so that you don't continue to burn with lust. It doesn't make sense that the solution would be to marry someone you DIDN'T burn for.

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Last edited by landschooner on Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby bestillandknow » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:24 pm

Great thoughts!

I certainly wouldn't advocate attraction as being the central point of choosing a mate. I guess I thought it was sort of given that being attracted to someone physically who is a bad match in other ways would not mean you should get married. Ha. I'm forgetting what life was like at 18! ;)

And by attraction, I'm absolutely NOT meaning physical perfection. I do mean chemistry, though.

And I think it's true that a person with solid character in general, and a true love for God, would be attractive to me without doubt, so maybe I don't mean chemistry like the world means...

I appreciate the views; I know I've lived in a very warped world for 15 years, so it's hard for me to see clear.

I still wonder what would you say to young people seeking a mate regarding this?
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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Kilarin » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:34 pm

I believe that physical attraction is important, but I think that physical attraction often FOLLOWS mental and spiritual attraction.

Saw a quote online today that said, "It's more important to find someone worth waking up to than to find someone to sleep with"

Of course, all of the different kinds of attractions get all tangled up together when a marriage is approached with generous and non selfish love.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby HisWarrior » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:41 pm

Landschooner, I am curious how you feel about if your spouse does become physically unattractive:

Gains a lot of weight
Gets disfigured in a fire or accident
Doesn't age well
Sickness takes over outwardly

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Kilarin » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:05 pm

landschooner wrote:It doesn't make sense that the solution would be to marry someone you DIDN'T burn for.

My friends from India who have arranged marriages would say that you get married first, THEN you ignite the fire.
NOT that I want to move to arranged marriages by any means. But I think there is a valid point here that it IS possible for a couple to ignite (or re-ignite) the sparks of physical passion based on other elements of the relationship. But it is only possible when approached with generous and unselfish love.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Leah » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:15 pm

Sure, it's possible. It's just not something we do here, as a rule. And that wasn't the basic question. The basic question was about if we had it to do over again, is it something to which we would give more consideration.
Leah

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby landschooner » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:18 pm

So I spent like 10 minutes thumb tapping on tapatalk, in response but after pressing "send" it disappeared. Tapatalk does this from time to time but works regularly enough that I begin to trust it.......then whack ha ha! Killed you post! Ill try to hop online tonight and re post. : ).

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Dgenerous » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:33 pm

There are a lot more people I find physically attractive than that I feel potential for an emotional connection. <<grammar fail, but you know what I mean, right?

So it's not warranted much thought from me except I still struggle with worries that my DH doesn't find me attractive. If that's the case I think he's handling it well and choosing for me to be his standard of beauty. He's not doing anything wrong. It's just I fear it takes a more deliberate effort on his part than on mine.

I find him irresistible.
I have found the one whom my soul loves.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby HisWarrior » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:36 pm

Leah wrote:Sure, it's possible. It's just not something we do here, as a rule. And that wasn't the basic question. The basic question was about if we had it to do over again, is it something to which we would give more consideration.


Then, I didn't really answer completely, either. No, I would not have taken his attractiveness into greater consideration if I had to do it over again. Other things, yes, but not his looks.

Landschooner, thank you for taking the time to answer me..twice. :-).

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby littleblackcloud » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:40 pm

When I was a teenager my friends and I used to describe some of the young men we knew as "nice but grim". We knew we wanted Godly husbands but also realised that no matter how lovely someone is, if the thought of being in bed with them makes you feel squeamish, it's just not going to work.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Blovesme » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:33 pm

I am a little confused here. Maybe because I am a woman. But, some comments are referring to physical beauty according to the world's standards as the same as chemistry/attraction.

I don't see a connection between the two. I once dated a man that to the world would not have been attractive but we had great chemistry. I was very attracted to him. He "became" very good looking in my eyes because of that chemistry.

I feel like that with my dh now. Although to the world he would be considered good looking, I feel I would still have the same chemistry/attraction to him if he became disfigured.

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Re: Basic physical attraction-- how important is it?

Postby Leah » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:06 pm

Sorry, I'm not going to apologize for marrying a handsome man. :lol:

He's also thin and very fit. He looks better now than he did 34 years ago.
Leah

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