Sunday, 20 November 2016

Emotional vs. Physical Attraction

It’s often said that if a woman is inclined to cheat, it’s because her emotional needs are not being met. On the flip side, if men cheat it’s because their sexual needs are not being met.

Image credit: Unsplash
Now obviously, this isn’t a hard and fast (excuse the pun 😉) rule, but I think it’s fair to say that women tend to be more enthusiastic about entering a relationship compared to men.

This is what causes a lot of dating woes – a mutual attraction between two people, but not exactly a meeting of minds when it comes to what they’re looking for in the opposite sex. Therefore, dating can be equally frustrating for all parties involved.

Generally speaking though, it’s usually pretty obvious if a guy you’re dating falls into the "serious" or "casual" category. A guy that’s not really looking for anything long-term isn’t, for example, going to ask you too many personal questions. He’ll avoid delving into deep and personal topics, and conversations are quite superficial in nature. When you meet up, it tends to be last minute. Fun and non-committal, kind of thing.

This was a situation I was confronted with when I reconnected with a blast from the past recently.

I’ve never really been one for casual relationships, but sometimes the types of interactions you have with people reflect the place where you’re at in your life. So surprisingly, this arrangement was perfectly fine for me.

I’m not quite sure how this happened. It may have something to do with peer pressure – my single gal pals and I are trying something new by adopting different (i.e. each other's) dating habits. But I've always considered myself more of a relationship-orientated person, on mere principle: why am I good enough for sex, but not worth the time and effort expected in a relationship? Besides, I can only really fool around with someone if there’s a certain degree of familiarity and attraction, the latter of which tends to grow the more time I spend with someone. It’s probably why I could never have a one night stand.

But perhaps this new easygoing attitude is down to getting older and realising that not every sexual encounter is destined to end in white picket fences, kids, shared cars and all that good stuff, especially in the modern-day dating arena.

I do also think my reluctance to get into something too emotionally-intense stems from a bunch of bad experiences lately, most of which have involved erratic men (and not just in a romantic context). This feeling has been further compounded after a brief-yet-intense encounter I had with a guy I met earlier this year. Which ended awfully. Given how cut-up about it I was (which is unusual for me)…well let’s just say, I’m in no rush to deal with those sorts of feelings again, anytime soon.

So for now, a casual no-pressure arrangement suits me just fine. That's just about all I have time for at the moment anyway.

Besides, I really do prefer being single – I feel more content and at peace. There’s no added worry or anxiety in my life, not to mention I’m not being irritated by inconsiderate and confusing male behaviour.

Take the guy I’ve been seeing recently – us hanging out again has just reaffirmed all the reasons why things didn’t work out when we briefly dated in the past.

Back then, I realised he wasn’t boyfriend material pretty early on (despite his protests that I was misjudging him), and so quickly cut him loose. I’m sure he got tired of the constant nagging as well, so was also happy to walk away. But as fate would have it, we could not stop bumping into each other. There was still some chemistry there and so things soon heated up again.

However, I don’t have particularly strong feelings for him. This is probably largely due to the fact that he’s quite self centred - conversations and plans revolve around him. He doesn’t really seem all that interested in finding out things about me.

This was exactly what is was like when we attempted to date before (although he didn’t seem to mind chatting, at length, about himself!). Whenever we hang out we chat, but it’s all polite surface-level stuff. When we’ve tried to delve into personal topics, it just gets awkward.

I suppose we both have friends for that, so we’ve now learnt to just save that stuff for them. Instead, we enjoy each other’s company in a different way.

But you can’t develop feelings for someone when the relationship doesn’t mature and is based entirely on something as superficial as attraction. It’s currently works because I’m just not interested in an emotional connection right now. Not with someone as selfish and immature as him anyway. And it looks like the feeling's mutual.

It’s definitely a different experience for me, and not something I’d usually engage in - physical relations have always, in the past, been strictly reserved for relationships.

And I can’t help but compare this to the connection I had with the guy I was seeing prior to him. With him, it was actually refreshing to hang-out and talk to someone who was keen to develop a relationship. Someone who doesn't play games or give off slick, player vibes. He was very open about his desire to settle down and wasn’t afraid of acting in a way that alluded to commitment.

There was a genuine interest in getting to know me and our conversations actually had depth to them. He wasn’t my usual type but it was his intelligence and conversational skills I was attracted to; this attraction grew because he was great company. We just instantly clicked, had loads in common, had a similar mindset and were on the same wavelength.

Things didn’t work out for reasons that would probably require its own blog post, but the fact that I was quite hurt when things ended, I think is a testament to how much I liked this guy. Whilst with the current guy, he's what you would call conventionally attractive, but if and when things end (again), I won’t lose sleep over it because the attraction is pretty much solely physical.

Don’t get me wrong, I find Mr Rugged charming enough. And I know I need some kind of personality to actually like a guy enough to mess around with him. Besides, bumping into him and starting things up again has allowed me to have some much-needed fun. It’s given me a bit of a boost and not only that, it’s allowed me to explore my sexuality in a safe way. In that regard, this guy has been nothing but respectful and accommodating. A total gent.

But you need more than looks and great sex to sustain a romantic relationship. This dude isn’t just a pretty face, he is actually intelligent too. He’s just too guarded and reserved so it’s difficult to connect on a deep and meaningful level. I guess like me, he’s just emotionally unavailable right now.

I’ve been discussing this issue with friends and I think it’s something everyone goes through – you meet someone who you find attractive, but there’s no deep connection. Or you find someone who you’re automatically comfortable around and get on really with, but you just don’t get the butterflies.

Sometimes, you meet someone who is both attractive and intelligent but, for whatever reason, isn’t available to pursue a relationship. And so the romantic connection flounders in frustration. It’s difficult to find someone who has the whole package.

Image credit: gabrielaraujo_ferraz0
In an ideal world, you meet someone with whom you click with in all senses – physically, emotionally and spiritually. You want your partner to be your friend AND your lover. But this isn't an ideal world.

And so the search continues.

Having said that, looking back at the last few guys I’ve dated, each one has always had something that the guy before was missing; it almost feels like each guy I subsequently date is an upgrade from the last.

So who knows, maybe with the next guy I meet we’ll instantly click, have the right chemistry and everything will fall into place, seamlessly.


  1. It's hard to find someone that can "tick" all the boxes for you. It might take years to find the right person, or even months. When you do, you'll know. I think that you have to be in the right mindset to find someone like this as well.
    Good luck :)

    Lindsey Elyse | lindseyginge

    1. Absolutely...true love is very hard to find these days, but I truly believe things have a way of happening when they're supposed to.

      Thanks for taking the time to read :]

      - Lubna

  2. Loved reading this, I can deffo relate to some of the points. Please check out my Black Friday promo codes and best sales post!

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    1. Hey glad you can relate! Will defo check out your blog for some good deals :]

      - Lubna

  3. I don't know what brought me here, curiosity over an aforementioned fellow-blogger... but the part about connecting with someone physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually (in that order) is possible. Keep looking :)
    The world is what we make it.

    1. Hey glad you stumbled across my blog, thanks so much for the encouraging words :) Indeed, you never know when the next opportunity, be that work, romance or anything else, is around the corner, and often arises when you least expect it. A watched pot, so to speak.

      - Lubna