Jump to content

Can I make this work?


jack1434
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone, I (30M) am 2 years into a relationship with my (25 F) girlfriend. I'd really appreciate your advice. 

When I first met her I remember feeling that she was a very special person and this remains the case. She is loving, kind, funny, down to earth, loyal, intelligent, from similar backgrounds, great family... essentially everything you could ever wish for in a long term partner. We can talk all night and have fun all the time. I feel I could trust her with my life and that she would be a fantastic mother in the future.

At the start of the relationship I recognised she was not necessarily the best looking girl I had been with, but clearly felt enough attraction to continue as I felt this may grow with time. I don't remember huge sparks and much of a honeymoon period as a result... and about 6 months into our relationship I noticed it becoming a real issue.

Now unfortunately I feel I have over time, developed something of an obsession with my partners physical flaws and I am very focused on them. In particular I am finding it difficult to find her attractive due to her large facial features, and at times can feel somewhat repulsed by the idea of being intimate. I often feel angry and depressed when I see other women I find truly attractive and sometimes long for the desire and passion I have felt for other women in the past. My partner is aware that I am having issues with commitment but I obviously do not feel I can reveal my true reasoning behind this.

I lack the courage to leave the relationship as I feel she is such a incredible person and by spending more time with her over the past 2 years I only see this more and more. I certainly love her but do not think I am 'in love' with her. I worry that by leaving her for such superficial reasons I will come to regret my decision when I perhaps inevitably end up in a relationship with someone I find more attractive but do not have the same connection to. I think because of my age, seeing lots of people settling down, having children and getting married is making me feel even more spooked about what seems like such a crucial fork in the road.

I feel like this question mark about committing to the relationship or leaving has become a dominant thought pattern in my life and I am paralysed by indecision regarding it. Do you think this relationship can be salvaged and the issues worked through? and how do you think this could be achieved?

Edited by jack1434
Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, jack1434 said:

We can talk all night and have fun all the time. I feel I could trust her with my life and that she would be a fantastic mother in the future.

BUT ......

 

33 minutes ago, jack1434 said:

At the start of the relationship I recognised she was not necessarily the best looking girl I had been with, but clearly felt enough attraction to continue as I felt this may grow with time. I don't remember huge sparks and much of a honeymoon period as a result... and about 6 months into our relationship I noticed it becoming a real issue.

Now unfortunately I feel I have over time, developed something of an obsession with my partners physical flaws and I am very focused on them. In particular I am finding it difficult to find her attractive due to her large facial features, and at times can feel somewhat repulsed by the idea of being intimate.

All of this spells for disaster, as YOU will never be fully satisfied with this woman.

You have no desire to be physical?  Well, that is a part of a healthy relationship.

I feel you have over stayed this relationship - pretty much since you started to see differences you didn't fancy ( after those 6 months..).

As you said, you do care for her.. but are not 'in love;.. it happens.

So, now you be honest!  You inform her of this.. that is just isn't there 😕 .

We can only 'fake it' for so long..

And never stay with someone out of fear of your future! 

Just because Tommy has a toy truck, does not mean you need to have on as well.

We all go at our own speeds throughout our lives... My brother did not marry until his late 30's and was single, by choice for almost 10 years. 

So, best to be honest and end this with her, so she can accept, heal & move on with her own life.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let her go.  You are not being shallow you simply don't find her attractive and that's ok.  I knew a guy -really good looking -who was divorced -he spoke similarly about his ex but he said the sex was really good but -ugh -he had to often not look at her face.  I mean how awful.  He did miss her a great deal.  She deserves someone who finds her attractive and desirable. 

Many years ago I worked with a woman in her early 30s who was absolutely not attractive looking.  She was funny looking.  Lovely person.  Her husband was also not attractive looking and similarly funny looking.  One day I saw her wearing a crayola watch and I guessed- correctly -that she was expecting.  I told her this when she told me she was pregnant.  And she said her husband told her "you are the most beautiful pregnant woman I've ever seen!"  They've been married over 25 years and made a great couple back then too. 

This is what your girlfriend deserves.  Someone who looks at her and sees a beautiful person inside and out.  Even if she is not conventionally attractive.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

No it cannot be salvaged and it should have never gone on this long to begin with. 

What you describe in terms of qualities you like about her and value, describes most women out there. The fact that you are not physically/sexually attracted to her isn't going to change and yes, as time goes by you will feel more and more repulsed by her. This is not fair to her or to you. Please stop wasting her time and end this yesterday. In short, stop being so selfish and using her companionship while you lust after other women. Enough is enough.

Please realize that if you carry on wasting time on her, eventually you will end up cheating on her. She deserves better than that. You also deserve to be with someone you actually feel attracted to who is also everything else you are looking for. Again, with heavy emphasis, your needs are not that unique and she isn't so special that no other woman could live up to that.

Attraction and good qualities are not mutually exclusive qualities.

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, jack1434 said:

 I feel I have over time, developed something of an obsession with my partners physical flaws and I am very focused on them. In particular I am finding it difficult to find her attractive due to her large facial features, and at times can feel somewhat repulsed by the idea of being intimate.

Do you think this relationship can be salvaged and the issues worked through?

No. Absolutely no. Seriously dude, reverse the above to HER saying she finds you unattractive, your physical flaws, your large facial features and being repulsed by YOU.  Would you really believe this can be solved?

Stop using her for your own selfish reasons just because you're too much of a coward to leave the relationship.  This says a lot more about you, than her.

No, you can't make this work.  Man-up and grow a set by doing the right thing and leave.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are literally the definition what would in Sternberg "Triangular theory of love"  be called companionate love. Sternberg has a theory where love is based on 3 different scales: passion, intimacy and commitment. Companionate love would be the type of love where passion is either not there at all or was there but faded over time. Its usually the kind of love you have for friends but on a partner level scale because commitment is also there. All the feelings you described, how you can talk all night, have fun, even to the feelings how she would be the great mother of your kids, would be something people in companionate love would feel. Also companionate love could be long lasting one. IF you accept it as such. Meaning if you would be satisfyed with other emotions you would feel such as trust, care, respect, loyalty etc. And not be based on physical attraction. There are a lot of couples that are going through nicely without much passion for each other later. Especially married one. However, if physical attraction is very important to you(and sounds like it is) and you cant get passed that, its better to just leave now. You dont want to get into situation where down the line you will meet some pretty girl at work and get into affair because your wife doesnt attract you. 

Edited by Kwothe28
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, jack1434 said:

I often feel angry and depressed when I see other women I find truly attractive and sometimes long for the desire and passion I have felt for other women in the past.

In what sense did you think attraction would grow over time with your current partner - physically, emotionally? And how have you felt with these other women? Like, what's that desire and passion you're talking about that seems to be missing right now?

You know, your situation reminded me of Lorelai's from a TV show. I'm sharing this with you hoping that it helps you somehow. So, she's trying very hard to make it work with Chris, who's the father of their daughter. This is what she says:

Quote

Lorelai : You've always been this possibility for me. This wonderful possibility. But it's just not right. And I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry.

Christopher : Yeah. I guess I should have known, huh? It took me twenty years to get you to say yes.

Lorelai : [crying]  I need you to know that you're the man I want to want.

Christopher : I know.

Lorelai : You have no idea how badly I wish...

Christopher : I do. I do know. I do.

Basically, she wants to want him because of how wonderful he is and she's trying really hard. But her heart isn't in it.

What I'm trying to convey is, there will always be someone who's more beautiful, with better features and so on. Still, it's your heart that speaks volumes and you need to look within it. Your heart knows whether you can work on whatever is currently missing or whether it was never there to begin with.

All the best!

 

ETA: Kwothe28, I did not know that! I hadn't heard of Robert J. Sternberg, so checking him out. Really interesting stuff.

Edited by greendots
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I always feel sad when I read stuff like this.  And I never know what the answer is.  All I know I would never want someone to feel that way about me.  

On the other hand, my brother met and married a gorgeous woman.  They're divorced now and he's all set up with alimony payments and lost his house, etc.  But at least she was/is pretty.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, waffle said:

I always feel sad when I read stuff like this.  And I never know what the answer is.  All I know I would never want someone to feel that way about me.  

On the other hand, my brother met and married a gorgeous woman.  They're divorced now and he's all set up with alimony payments and lost his house, etc.  But at least she was/is pretty.

But pretty looking and attraction often are not the same.  What he finds to be flaws others may find cute or beautiful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also OP not to put too fine a point but "can I make this work" really belongs in categories like "I got a job offer 300 miles away for my dream job but my girlfriend wants to live near her parents in our home town - can I make this work?" or "my girlfriend hates camping but I love the outdoors and do a camping trip at least once a year -can we make this work?"  It's got to be more in the nature of practical stuff, where the love and chemistry and passion is a given but there are these obstacles which require tough conversations and potential compromise where one might not be too happy.  But you can't compromise on the basics - love/attraction/compatible values and goals.  Then there's nothing to "make work" - your "work" would be wasted time.

Edited by Batya33
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, waffle said:

I always feel sad when I read stuff like this.  And I never know what the answer is.  All I know I would never want someone to feel that way about me. 

And even worse, he is repulsed by her to the point he doesn't even want to be intimate with her and lusting after  other attractive women and in his past relationships. Horrendous.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, jack1434 said:

Now unfortunately I feel I have over time, developed something of an obsession with my partners physical flaws and I am very focused on them.

This would concern me in a longer term relationship as you could also be looking for flaws where there aren't any once comfortable or established in a relationship.

Additionally, you were able to look past this at the start. Her physical features didn't seem to be an issue at the beginning but now they are indicating a change of thought or feeling. You were able to overlook those features so what caused you to overlook features that aren't inherently attractive to you? Were you desperate to have a family soon or feeling social pressure to settle down, have a steady gf, keeping up with the Jones' so to speak? 

I'm not suggesting that you're a bad person or selfish or wrong but this in itself would disturb me, personally speaking, if I felt this way about a long term partner. What that person means to me would be so much more than what's at skin deep and regardless of what they look like what matters is that I get to spend my life with that person (wow, what a gift). I'd also wonder what caused me to get caught up in a romance with someone whom I wasn't attracted to at the start? Some things to ponder. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are staying for all the wrong reasons.

I have to say you come off as an extremely selfish person.  I didn't see one sentence from you about her happiness, her having a man in her life that truly thinks she is pretty.  All you wrote about was you.

How about you step back and think of her and her future happiness.  Should she be wasting one more minute of her life on a man that isn't In Love with her and finds her unattractive physically?

 

Do the right thing but be as gentle and kind as possible.  Do Not under any circumstances tell her she is not pretty enough.

Lost

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, jack1434 said:

Do you think this relationship can be salvaged and the issues worked through?

Personally, no, I don't. 

You aren't attracted to her. Plain and simple. You can't force yourself to be, and it can't be "worked through." 

Do the kind thing and let her go. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You know you can't keep stringing her along as a security blanket.

You're too cowardly to commit, you're too cowardly to leave.

This isn't about her appearance. It's about your conflicts with yourself.

All of a sudden after 2 years her face is ugly? Give me a break.

Let her go. It's that simple.

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You need to be physically attracted to your partner. It's one of the main ingredients for a good relationship. Nothing superficial or to feel guilty about.

My friend started dating a guy recently. What did she first tell me? "He's not good looking" for her. And you know what I said? Then, don't. Don't do it. She was like "oh, but he's so nice to me, does all these things, we have so many things in common,...". It doesn't matter. One day she will start eyeing other men and we all know how that will end. Her bf will be very hurt.

OP the longer you stay, the worst it'll be for both of you. Simply part ways. A good partner admires the beauty of the other. Not the opposite.

It's okay to realize it's not working. It's good to honour and acknowledge your needs. It's also good to be honest with yourself and her and let each other go.

Find the best way to say this... You don't have to say you're not attracted physically to her,cause I imagine how she'll feel hurt that you even slept with her all these years.

I'm sorry. This has to end. Stop living a lie.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, greendots said:

ETA: Kwothe28, I did not know that! I hadn't heard of Robert J. Sternberg, so checking him out. Really interesting stuff.

I had a psychology class in college where our professor thought us that theory and different kinds of love coming from it. It was one of those classes that really stuck to me.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, jack1434 said:

somewhat repulsed by the idea of being intimate.

This doesn't make you a horrible person, but it makes no sense to deprive this woman of a future with someone who can view her through the right lens to adore her--looks and all.

Most people are NOT our match. That's not cynical, it's natural odds. We all have unique vision, and true simpatico happens when we and our potential partner BOTH view one another through the right 'love goggles'.

Otherwise, we suffer the struggle of trying to fit the wrong puzzle pieces together. Sure, we can trick ourselves for a time, but the overall picture won't come together--ever.

So why do that to yourself--and her?

Nobody can tell you that a breakup is easy, but the longer you stay, the more 'false' you'll continue to feel, and the more time of your life you'll deprive both of you that you can never get back again to relive for a do-over.

Skip that. If you need the help of a therapist to help you through this, then hire one. People have no trouble hiring a plumber to fix pipes or an accountant to handle their money, but when it comes to one of the most important impacts on quality of life, expert help can make all of the difference.

Head high, and write more if it helps.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Capricorn3 said:

And even worse, he is repulsed by her to the point he doesn't even want to be intimate with her and lusting after  other attractive women and in his past relationships. Horrendous.

I am with you 100% Capri. 

16 hours ago, jack1434 said:

Do you think this relationship can be salvaged and the issues worked through? and how do you think this could be achieved?

How can you even ASK that question OP! You have said you are repulsed by this woman. You've wasted her time over two years and you know full well you should have given up at the six-month mark when you became quite aware that you were not attracted to her.  Indeed you saw what you call her large facial features the first time you met her. 

Repulsion and disgust at the idea of intimacy are most certainly very valid reasons why you should. Unless, of course, you are planning to put a bag over her head each time you make love.

8 hours ago, DarkCh0c0 said:

You need to be physically attracted to your partner. It's one of the main ingredients for a good relationship. Nothing superficial or to feel guilty about.

I utterly agree, Choco. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the others.  This cannot be salvaged.  you've recieved a lot of good advice here.  And I will add:

Do NOT tell her the reason is your attraction level or her looks.  This will destroy her self confidence.  And frankly, WHO ARE YOU to decide she is attractive or not.

I agree physical attraction is important.  I also recognize physical looks do fade.  But you should not start out a marriage or continue a romantic relationship where you feel repulsed by the person.

Do the kind thing.  End it because you don't see a future.  And if you end up regretting it, then you have to live with that.  You probably won't. because this is not the woman for you.  You should not feel the pressure of time to settle with anyone.  Your age is the wrong reason to settle.  You will regret that.  

you're not a bad person for not being attracted or for wanting to be attracted to your partner.  In a lot of ways, attraction is the only difference between friendship and romance.  

At some point, we all struggle with a seemingly great person on paper but something is missing.

It's ok.  Just end it.  Do it in a way that you set her free with love and compassion.  She deserves that.  She's done nothing to deserve being put down for something that is just your opinion. 

Not seeing a future is a reason.  You can say you are sorry you can't explain it but you respect her too much to waste her time.  You've enjoyed your time and will always want good things for her.  And in time she will see this is for the best.  

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for your replies everyone

On 9/17/2021 at 11:57 PM, Batya33 said:

Let her go.  You are not being shallow you simply don't find her attractive and that's ok. 

I think I should have stated that in my original post I seem to have times that I find her more attractive than others. I am aware that some people have better angles and lighting can play a large factor. Sometimes the attraction is not a problem but at others it really does get to the point it gets me down and sends me into a spiral of doubt and shame... I think it is this that has confused me for all this time. If I did not find her attractive at any point I would have ended the relationship a long time ago. 

22 hours ago, sadchick83 said:

Going to be bold here, but, can I ask what are the features that bother you?

17 hours ago, LaHermes said:

Indeed you saw what you call her large facial features the first time you met her. 

She has a large nose and quite a large jaw. She clearly had these features at the very start of the relationship therefore I can't work out if this is something I have fixated/overanalysed overtime n or is simply something I have noticed as the 'newness' of the dating process wore off. I have researched relationship OCD and wonder whether I have traits of this, yet there is always the chance that it simply is that this relationship is not a good fit in that respect.

18 hours ago, catfeeder said:

Most people are NOT our match. That's not cynical, it's natural odds. We all have unique vision, and true simpatico happens when we and our potential partner BOTH view one another through the right 'love goggles'.

On 9/18/2021 at 3:22 AM, lostandhurt said:

I have to say you come off as an extremely selfish person.  I didn't see one sentence from you about her happiness, her having a man in her life that truly thinks she is pretty.  All you wrote about was you.

This is a really good point. Clearly she deserves someone who finds her truly attractive and desirable on the outside aswell as inside. As I say above, my conflict is that sometimes I can feel that way! (just not all the time)However, I am also full of worry that I could deprive her some of her best years with someone who truly values her in everyway, everyday, but I am desperate for that person to be me!

On 9/17/2021 at 11:57 PM, DancingFool said:

Attraction and good qualities are not mutually exclusive qualities.

I think some of my issue has been that in past relationships that I have been very attracted to my partner I have found them to be more selfish and less kind/loving. So perhaps have developed an unfortunate sense that these qualities are in fact mutually exclusive in a partner. 

On 9/17/2021 at 11:26 PM, SooSad33 said:

So, best to be honest and end this with her, so she can accept, heal & move on with her own life.

This is the advice from everyone, loud and clear essentially. I would be so sad to leave her and I know it will devastate both of us. It is this fluctuating attraction being the only issue that makes me so anxious I will regret this decision. Can I try lots of gratitude or try and fixate on the positive aspects of her looks (beautiful eyes, nice body etc)

Having said this, I'm also aware that after 2 years I am having to come on an Internet forum (talking to friends about this feels horrible) to mull over through this dilemma clearly something is not right and I will likely have to end things. It just feels like such a shame as she feels like my 'soul mate' in every single other way. 

Again all your help is much appreciated.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, jack1434 said:

It is this fluctuating attraction being the only issue

But it's a huge issue, OP. 

It affects the very core intimacy of your relationship, which is a big part of what distinguishes a romantic partner from a friend. It's not as though this is a minor niggle. It is a problem that cannot be corrected, and it impacts your ability to be intimate with her. 

I do not think you will regret letting her go. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Top Discussions this Week

  • Our picks

    • Why You Should NEVER Chase Your Ex
      You should NEVER chase your ex, no matter what... even if you want to get back together. In this video, I’ll explain what exactly I mean by that… and why it’s so important if you want your ex back. Here's the simple truth: if you DO want to give yourself the best possible chance of starting over with your ex, you simply CANNOT let yourself start chasing them… it just doesn’t work, even though it’s the natural human reaction to a breakup and often feels like the right way to get them back. Even if you DON'T want your ex back, you still shouldn't let yourself chase after them. Watch the full video to find out why...

       
      • 0 replies
    • How Do You Know She’s The One? 5 Signs She’s The One & 1 Red Flag! 🚩
      How Do You Know She’s The One? 5 Signs She’s The One & 1 Red Flag! 🚩... In this dating advice video, I will explain to you how to know she’s the one and give you five signs she’s the one as well as give you one red flag that you need to look out for. You may want to know whether she’s the one on first dates, online dating, or somewhere in the dating process. Take heed to these dating tips and be sure to watch the entire video.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 5 Odd Signs You're Seeking Approval from Others Outside of Yourself
      In this YouTube Video, Lisa A Romano discusses 5 signs that indicate you're still seeking approval from others outside of you. If you are codependent, and you struggle with self-love, you may not realize the signs you're seeking approval from others. Childhood trauma and emotional neglect lead to a sense of feeling unseen. If you feel unseen, you may seek approval in odd ways. It may not be obvious when you are looking for validation from others. In this video, Lisa A Romano breaks down these 5 signs, and what they mean; hypervigilance, neediness, low self-worth, never feeling fulfilled and what it means when you become a perpetual seeker.

       
      • 0 replies
    • 3 Simple Strategies To Ditch The Imposter Syndrome
      Have you ever felt like you're a fraud who doesn't belong? According to a recent article published in the International Journal of Behavioral Science, seven in every ten people have or will experience impostor syndrome at some point in their lives. We couldn't see our tribe suffering from this anymore, so we brought in the person who'll help you ditch this feeling for good. In this video, peak performance expert Shadé Zahrai joins Vishen to discuss how to supercharge your life and improve your self-esteem by constructing your own reality, leveraging your self-awareness, and regaining control over your inner critic

       
      • 0 replies
    • 5 Things People Who’ve Been Mentally Abused Do
      Do you know how common mental abuse is? According to The National Center for Biotechnology Information, 80 percent of the population has experienced some form of abusive relationship and behavior. However, despite how frequent it is, emotional abuse is still hard to spot. Unlike physical abuse, mental abuse doesn’t leave any visible scars; instead, it affects someone’s behavior, mindset, and mentality. This means some people deny they’ve been mentally abused, and others may not even recognize the toxic behavior. So, whether you’re reading this to be able to recognize emotional abuse in others or recognize it in yourself, these a few things people who’ve been mentally abused do are sure to help you be more empathetic and kinder.

       
      • 0 replies
×
×
  • Create New...