Hi Dr Love,I am a male in my late 40s dating for the past year a woman also in her late 40s. Neither of us has ever been married before. She is a wonderful women and I do love her. She is intelligent and caring.The problem is that I don’t have a strong physical attraction to her. She is attractive but the problem is on my side in that I have this physical expectation of what I would be sexually attracted to and she is not quite it.We have discussed this before and she is trying to get into shape and dieting. I am very appreciative of her for doing that. I know she wants to get married and she would be a great spouse for me so the question is how can I change my expectations to want her more physically.
Sexual attraction is an involuntary response to a set of stimuli. What turns a person on is beyond control. Think of your favorite ice cream flavor. You can’t help liking it, no matter what. Now think of a flavor that you hate. You can’t help hating it, no matter how you try. Sexual attraction is the same. Your tastes and preferences are what they are.This being said, you need to realize that you can’t have it all in life. You might find a woman who you are more attracted to, but she may not have your girlfriend’s personal qualities. Relationships always involve trade offs. It’s true, you could decide to spend your life seeking a higher ideal, that is someone with the right personal qualities combined with great sex appeal. You could spend your life searching and never find the right combination.You need to ask yourself whether you are sufficiently attracted to your girlfriend to make a life with her? Keep in mind that a strong emotional connection can actually intensify feelings of attraction, so your sexual feelings for her could get stronger as your love for her grows.You also would be wise to examine your priorities. It sounds like you place physical characteristics on the top of your list. It also appears to me that you have been chasing an ideal–what you refer to as your ‘expectations. ‘You speak in hypothetical terms when you talk about what you would like, as though you are more invested in the fantasy, ideal woman in your head, rather than the real woman in your life. Even if you could meet this ideal woman in real life, how long is her physical perfection going to last. We all grow old and lose our youthful charms. If you place such a high priority on the package, what will you do when the wrapping gets tattered?I think it’s very possible that your expectations are a smoke screen, a cover that conceals your fear to commit. You’re in your late 40s and you’ve never married. I know you would say that you’ve never married because you’ve never found the right woman.You have a great woman now, and still she isn’t quite right. If you found the sex bomb of your dreams tomorrow, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found something wrong with her personality. I think it will be most fruitful for you to view your high expectations as the shield that protects you from taking the plunge.Face your real fear head on and work through the issues that have you holding back. When you work these issues out, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that your girlfriend becomes far more appealing to you.Let me know how you do.