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  • Sometimes, that physical attraction doesn’t come naturally in a relationship—and it can cause those involved to worry about their connection and future.
  • While it might be worrisome, the lack of a physical connection isn’t necessarily a red flag; instead, it can take time for one to develop this attraction as they get to know the other individual better.
  • It’s important to focus on the mental and emotional connection, as this can lead one into progressing their feelings and building a solid foundation for their relationship.
  • If you think about it, the things we value most in a partner are often their personality traits—when asked about our dream boyfriend or girlfriend, we often want someone who is kind or funny.
  • In summary, if you aren’t where you want to be physically or intimately in your relationship, work on getting to know each other and building your connection—there is hope for developing that physical attraction you long for.

A few years back, I remember reading a Humans of New York post on Facebook, in which a man explained complicated feelings for his girlfriend. If you aren’t familiar with Humans of New York, it’s a photoblog that provides its audience with a glimpse into the lives of passersby in New York City—each post featuring a picture of and quote from the subject. This particular subject’s face was not shown; instead, the picture was a close-up of his entangled hands. The man revealed how torn he was in his new relationship. He explained that he was smitten and intrigued by his girlfriend, he loved and adored her—but he just wasn’t sexually attracted to her. And he wrestled with whether or not this was a dealbreaker. While this topic isn’t widely discussed, it is a topic of concern for many, as these circumstances beg important questions like: Where does my relationship stand? Can this sexual attraction develop over time? Is there hope for us?

The Heart of the Matter

Here’s the thing: love doesn’t always start with a physical connection. Sure, we hear those stories about people being pulled together like magnets when they first meet, unable to keep their hands off each other—but this isn’t the case for every couple. Instead, it can take time to develop this physical attraction, as you get to know each other mentally and emotionally first. Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert at Maple Holistics, explains:

“When people speak about the spark or clicking with somebody, they’re not necessarily talking about a physical attraction, but a mental one. Similarly, the way you feel about someone can have nothing to do with their appearance. A classic case of this would be online relationships—nothing says you can’t fall in love with someone’s personality without having any idea what they look like.

The more you get to know each other on a non-physical level, the more the physical attraction will grow on its own. This is largely due to the fact that you’ll come to appreciate the person beyond their ‘packaging’ and see their essence (aka their personality). That’s why people will often list their top priority in a partner as funny or kind—personality traits, not physical attributes.”

The moral of the story is that physical attraction doesn’t always come naturally—it can take time to develop this connection, and it will likely progress as you get to know each other from the inside out. So, if you aren’t experiencing the level of physical attraction toward your love interest that you would like, hold tight—you can get there.

My Love Connection: Is It a Hit or Miss?

The individual in the Humans of New York post questioned whether his relationship was valid without this physical attraction and intimacy. People flooded the comments, some calling him a jerk for finding his girlfriend unattractive and others offering support, as they’d been there before. Here was the consensus: one, he was respected for being so honest; two, there was certainly hope for his relationship. “While physical attraction plays an important evolutionary role in reproduction, there’s nothing to say that a lack of sexual attraction will negatively impact a relationship,” Backe explains. Additionally, the mental is what matters most: “Mental attraction is a prerequisite for maintaining a lasting, healthy relationship. Someone who is in love with, but not attracted to, an individual should still pursue this love connection as this is the connection that will last.

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is a staff writer at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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