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You might feel like dating someone you’re not physically attracted to is a waste of time.
That couldn’t be further from the truth!
We live in such an appearance-focused society that we can easily forget about the value that lies beyond someone’s looks.
There are loads of reasons to get to know someone you might not be instantly attracted to, and they’re not all just about finding your perfect partner.
Take the time to get to know someone on a deeper level and see where things go…
1. You might really get on.
You might not find them incredibly physically attractive, but you might really enjoy getting to know them anyway.
If you have similar values and are interested in the same things, you’ll probably enjoy their company a lot more than just sitting and staring at someone and thinking about how attractive they are!
You might find that you’ve got a lot in common by just putting in the effort to chat to someone rather than rushing things and getting too attached to someone because of how they look.
If you’ve met or matched with them, there’s clearly something that attracted you to them – maybe their Tinder profile mentions a love of ceramics, which is something you’re looking for in a partner.
Focus on their personality and what you like about them, not just how they look, and you’ll get on really well.
2. Looks aren’t everything.
We live in such a visual world that we get really caught up on how people look.
We spend most of our time swiping on dating apps, making snap judgements based on people’s appearances, scrolling through Instagram making endless comparisons, and adding filters to our photos to make ourselves look ‘better.’
It’s hard to remember sometimes, but there really is more to being attractive than how someone looks!
The more open you are to getting to know someone, the more likely you are to find a genuine connection and someone who is a much better match for you long-term.
Physical attraction is great, but it can fizzle out pretty quickly when you get to know each other on a deeper level and find that there is nothing there.
You’re not shallow for wanting to be with someone really attractive, but, if you want to date someone long-term, go for a deeper connection and get to know someone even if you don’t find them physically attractive.
You might be pleasantly surprised…
3. You can be more yourself.
When we find someone very physically attractive, we become more self-conscious.
Compare yourself on a date with someone really hot to yourself hanging out with friends. You’re probably a lot more focused on how you come across when you fancy someone, because you want them to fancy you too!
This is normal, but it might mean that you’re not comfortable being yourself and might present a different version of yourself or go along with what you think they want you to be because you’re so keen to impress them.
By dating someone you’re not physically attracted to, you’re likely to feel a lot less pressure to ‘perform’ and you can just be yourself and chill.
This is key to any healthy, lasting relationship – it’ll mean that any connection between the two of you is genuine, and not a false version of yourself.
Less pressure is always good too! It can help you overcome any dating anxiety you might have.
4. It lets you get to know them.
When we’re really attracted to how someone looks, we can overlook their actual personality.
We get distracted by how much we want to kiss them, for example, and don’t pay enough attention to what they are actually saying or the personality traits they are demonstrating.
We’re also more likely to rush into something physical if we’re attracted to someone, which can really speed everything up – sometimes too much!
If you take the time to get to know someone that you’re not physically attracted to, you’ll be talking a lot more, having deeper conversations, and getting to know who they are behind their looks.
5. Your usual type doesn’t work anyway.
So, you might not instantly think they’re super hot, but, realistically, how many times has that ended well anyway?
A lot of us have a type, but, if we’re being honest with ourselves, our type isn’t always actually right for us.
You might always go for a ‘bad boy’ and then be hurt by them because they genuinely are ‘bad.’
Maybe your usual type is a wild girl who loves nights out, and you always get exhausted trying to keep up because you actually just love early nights!
It’s worth meeting other people and seeing how differently a relationship could be if you stop going for your usual type and branch out a bit.
6. You’ve got nothing to lose.
This one is pretty self-explanatory – you’re only really at risk of spending an evening with someone that doesn’t go that well.
And really bad dates are quite rare anyway – it’ll probably be enjoyable in some way.
If nothing else, it’s a story to share with your friends!
As long as you don’t lie or lead the other person on, you may as well hang out with them and get to know them more. You might be pleasantly surprised, after all!
7. You’ll learn something about yourself.
By spending time with someone you might not normally hang out with, you’ll be forced to have new conversations and think about different things.
You’ll probably chat about things that you wouldn’t normally chat about with your friendship group.
Maybe you’ll feel way less nervous than normal and can be more open about things you love that you might normally try to hide from a date you want to impress!
You might feel ‘too nerdy’ talking about your love of board games on a first date, but, if you’re hanging out with someone who you’re not desperate to impress, you might feel more comfortable opening up about things you’d normally keep to yourself.
You might learn more about yourself and the things you’re keen on when you have the opportunity to just talk freely and explore different subjects.
8. Attraction can grow.
Some things do take time to develop, so don’t feel disappointed if there aren’t any fireworks on the first date.
They might have been nervous and less confident than they normally are, so it’s worth giving them a second chance and seeing how another date goes.
You might end up finding their personality so attractive that the physical attraction blossoms over time.
If you enjoy spending time with them, they make you laugh, and you feel good when you’re with them, it’s worth holding out for the physical attraction to grow, as that kind of connection is pretty rare these days.
9. You might make a new friend.
You might get to know your date more and realize that the attraction just won’t happen.
This is completely fine and you shouldn’t feel any pressure to force it! It’s great to be open-minded, but it’s also fine to just call it a day and agree to be friends.
Like we’ve said, you decided to go on a date or talk to this person for a reason (like a common interest), and that’s a great reason to be friends.
As long as you’re both honest about how you feel and you’re not stringing the other person along, it’s a great outcome to come away with a new friend.
10. Love isn’t just physical.
Remember that love isn’t just about wanting to sleep with someone – that’s lust!
It’s easy to get confused by how your feelings should… feel.
Remember that not everyone is going to give you fireworks and make you want to jump on them, and that’s okay.
You can have really healthy relationships with people that you’re attracted to, even if their looks don’t quite match what you thought your dream partner would be like.
11. It helps you figure out what you don’t want.
Sometimes you need to experience something that doesn’t work for you in order to realize what you’re really looking for.
If you’re not attracted to someone and it doesn’t end in a relationship, you can still come away from it with more awareness of what does work for you and what kind of partner you’re looking for.
Dating someone you’re not physically attracted to can be a great way of learning more about yourself. And it gives you the chance to get to know people you might normally overlook.
You’ll probably have a fun time, even if it’s platonic and doesn’t go anywhere romantic.
If you come out of this with a friend, you’ve still gained something and you can look back on things fondly.
If you’re pleasantly surprised and end up falling for them? Even better.
Still not sure what to do about your attraction (or lack thereof) for someone? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you fall in love with someone you’re not physically attracted to?
There are many facets of love, besides just physical attraction to another person. While physical attraction is important and is a ‘nice to have’ aspect of a healthy relationship, it is not the only or the most important thing.
There is also emotional connection and intellectual appeal. Some might even say that healthy relationships also need a financial component for longevity. When all the other areas of love are fulfilled, it is very much possible to fall in love with someone you are not physically attracted to because they meet your needs on the other levels.
Emotionally, they “get” you. You don’t struggle to communicate with them or need to explain yourself because they understand you on a deep level. They have qualities you love, such as their sense of humor or how they relate to other people.
On an intellectual level, they challenge you. They open you up to new ideas or different perspectives. Engaging in conversations with them stretches your ideologies and long-held beliefs.
Even financially, as much as we’d like to pretend that money doesn’t matter, it is nice when you’re with someone who is not battling massive debt and can afford to go out on nice dates periodically.
When you find someone who stimulates you in these areas, it is very possible to fall in love with them regardless of their physical appearance. In fact, you’re likely to forget entirely that you don’t find them attractive. An added benefit to connecting with someone emotionally and intellectually is that usually, physical attraction grows from there.
Should I date a nice guy I’m not attracted to?
Don’t date a guy just because he’s nice or because you’re attracted to him. ‘Being nice’ is the bare minimum you should expect from a romantic partner and physical attraction can grow. Instead, date him because you have similar interests or you like his personality.
Physical attraction doesn’t always happen instantaneously. Sometimes it’s a slow occurrence that happens as you get to know the other person better. As you see other aspects of their personality, your feelings for them grow, your connection to them builds.
We all have our “type” of guy that we gravitate toward. When you meet someone who doesn’t fit your usual tastes, it can take a minute for attraction to kick in.
It doesn’t mean that they’re bad or even unattractive. They simply aren’t what you are used to, and you need some time to adjust to a different sort of man. Kind of like sampling a new dish or type of wine. Sometimes it takes a few tries before you fall in love with the unfamiliar taste.
Don’t rule a nice guy out because you weren’t automatically physically attracted to him when you first saw him. Give your attraction to them time to develop. Get to know him on an intellectual level. Let yourself have a chance to form an emotional connection with him.
You may find that physical attraction develops after a while. If not, you’ve allowed yourself the opportunity to make a new friend.
However, if after a while you realize that physical attraction is still not developing, then it’s a good idea to stop seeing the nice guy and find someone you find attractive physically, emotionally, and intellectually.
While it is ok to date a guy you are not initially attracted to, it is not a good idea to commit to a relationship with someone you do not find attractive, no matter how nice they are.
What should you do if you like someone’s personality but not their looks?
If you like someone’s personality but you’re not into their looks, give them a chance and yourself some time for physical attraction to align with your emotional or intellectual connection with them.
Remember that looks do not sustain a relationship and can fade over time. Liking someone because of their personality, however, can lead you to become more physically attracted to them.
A study titled, Personality Goes a Long Way: The Malleability of Opposite-Sex Physical Attractiveness showed that judgments concerning the physical attractiveness of a person of the opposite sex can change after one learns more about the personality of the individual.
The results also supported the premise that the desirability of a person’s personality leads to greater desirability as a friend, which then leads to greater desirability as a dating partner, and finally leads to the person being viewed as more physically attractive.
Basically, the more you get to know a person, the more you like them as a friend and then as a romantic partner.
So, give yourself sometime for their looks to grow on you. As your bond with them increases and you learn more about them, the greater chance there will be of you finding them physically attractive.
Should I settle for someone I’m not attracted to?
You should never “settle” for anyone. It never bodes well for a relationship when you feel as though you are accepting someone who is not exactly what you want because you think you cannot have what you want.
What happens if sometime down the line you find who you were looking for? Do you cheat on the partner you settled for or stay with them, gradually filling up with resentment and eventually mistreating them, or quickly break up with them and move on to greener pastures?
Not only is settling unfair to your partner, but it’s also hurtful being the person who was settled for. Imagine how they would feel if they learned you felt they did not meet your standards. That they were your second option. Or you were only with them because you are afraid to be alone. Probably not very good. And they did nothing to deserve to feel that way. All they did was fall for you.
While there is nothing wrong with casually dating someone you are not immediately physically attracted to, you should be upfront about your feelings once you realize that physical attraction is not developing.
It might feel as if you’re hurting their feelings now, but you will save them from a bigger heartbreak in the future. By being honest, you free both of you to find others who will love you and be happy to be with you.
But if you “settle” for them, neither of you can find that. Neither of you will be able to find someone who is excited to be with you, someone you connect with emotionally, intellectually, and physically.
In the long run, you’re only hurting yourself and the person you’re with but not attracted to.
Should you date someone you’re not sure about?
It’s perfectly ok to casually date someone you are not sure about. Love usually doesn’t happen as it does in the movies where you are walking along the road, minding your own business, only for you to glance across the street and fall madly, irrevocably in love with the stranger waiting at the stoplight, and they with you. For many people, love grows over time or through friendship.
Don’t automatically shoot someone down because you’re not sure of your feelings for them. Give them a chance to see if deeper feelings develop. There’s no need to rush into a romantic relationship; be their friend first. Get to know them on a platonic level and see where your feelings go from there.
You might find out that you connect with them on an intellectual level or love their sense of humor. Perhaps you have similar interests and values. Or maybe it’s a purely physical attraction that brought you together. Give it some time to see if more develops.
If more does not develop, then you need to decide if the aspect you do like about them is valuable enough for you to forgo the other aspect(s) that you’re not keen about.
For example, do you connect with the other person intellectually and physically, but not emotionally? You need to ask yourself how important an emotional connection is to you and for a healthy relationship. If it’s a critical component, then you need to be upfront about your feelings to the other person. If it’s not, then you are free to continue with the relationship.
Should you stay with someone you don’t fancy?
Ultimately, no, you should not stay with someone you don’t fancy. But before you come to that conclusion, you owe yourself, your partner, and the time you’ve spent together to put in your best effort at salvaging the relationship. This is particularly true if children are involved.
Before you end a long-term relationship because you’ve realized your feelings have changed, take some time to figure out what caused your change of heart.
Has your relationship hit a challenging phase that seems to never end? Have you fallen in love with someone else? Has your partner changed? Are you no longer attracted to them? The spark in your relationship, has it died?
Try to figure out what went wrong if you were happy before. This might require the help of a licensed therapist to figure out. Don’t shirk getting help to address your relationship problems.
Once you’ve worked out what or how it went wrong, you’ll have a better understanding of how possible it is to fix the problem. For example, if you’re no longer attracted to your partner, is it something they can work on? If the spark in your relationship has fizzled out, could regular date nights and reconnecting with your partner help to light the fire once again?
Before you give up on a relationship that you’ve been in for a while because your feelings have changed, try putting effort into the relationship to see if you can resolve the challenge(s). Sometimes, a little effort can open your eyes to the qualities of your partner that you’ve been taking for granted.
You might even just need some time together. Between work, life, and kids, you just haven’t had time to connect. So, it feels like you’re living separate lives. Communicate how you’re feeling with your partner and make plans to spend time together.
Give your relationship the last-ditch effort before you conclude that it’s not salvageable. If you do and still come to the conclusion that there is no fixing your relationship, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you tried your best.
Should I go for looks or personality?
Although being attracted to your partner’s looks is important to the physical aspect of your relationship, that alone cannot sustain a relationship. If you go for looks alone and have nothing else in common with the other person you are seeing, you’ll quickly realize that outside the bedroom, you have next to nothing in terms of a relationship. This can cause a relationship to quickly fizzle out.
But if you prioritize personality, there’s a chance that their looks will grow on you. Getting to know someone tends to make them more attractive. As your connection with them emotionally and intellectually increases, their looks are less repulsive or not your type and more quirky or cute in an endearing way. While beauty fades, emotional connection and intellectual stimulation can only grow stronger with time.
Haven’t you ever seen a couple where one partner is clearly more attractive than the other? If you’ve wondered what caused such a pairing, the answer is the person fell in love with their partner’s personality and was not swayed by their looks.
When it comes to the really important qualities that sustain a relationship, anyone in a healthy long-term relationship will tell you that looks are one of the least (if not the least) important factors. Much more important are things like values, communication skills, friendship, and so on. Good looks are a nice thing to have. But without them, a healthy relationship will still stand.
An online study of 20 countries supports the argument of personality over looks. In nearly every country surveyed, men and women valued personality over looks. Women generally all ranked personality, a sense of humor, and even intelligence as more important than looks. Looks proved to be a bit more important for men, but personality mostly won out except for three countries where it was equally or slightly more important.
You can’t go wrong if you prioritize personality over looks.
You may also like:
- How Important Is Physical Attraction In A Relationship?
- Can Attraction Grow? (+ How To Become Attracted To Someone)
- Do Opposites Attract In Relationships? Here’s What You Need To Know
- 6 Traits Of Truly Attractive People
- How To Know If You Are Attractive: 10 Signs To Look For
- Attracted to Intelligence? There’s A Reason For That