I’ve had a “friends with benefits” type relationship for a while now. He is a wonderful man and wants more from me. I’ve been through so much heartbreak that I’m not so sure about getting involved seriously again. He’s not attractive, but I try to overlook it, but sometimes I find it to be an issue and hold back from doing a lot of things. How do I get over both the fear of a relationship and being shallow about outward appearance so I can be happy with a man that I care for and who cares for me?
Dear Lisa, thank you so much for this excellent question. You know, physical attraction is a very potent issue. And I’m sorry to report that there is no hope at all for joy in life with a partner you don’t enjoy making love with. In fact, to bind yourself to someone you honestly don’t find physically appealing is a sure track to disaster. There are no healing properties in it, no grand redemption, no gifts for assumed nobility. Just drudgery and heartache for both of you.
We all want to believe that there is some grand reward if we struggle against our natural vanity or forgo our quests for aesthetic acquisition. Our spiritual teachers rail against material desire, warn of us of the disasters sure to follow if we lust and long for what is on the surface. I fear such advice most often comes from people quite ignorant as to the workings of mother nature. That Lady has a plan, a most remarkable one that has worked well for us for a very long time. We like pretty things, we like sexy things, and there’s a reason. What we find appealing resonates in our need for expression. It defines the very foundation of self. For this reason, beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder.
The trick is to stay away from standards of socially conditioned beauty. For a lot of folks, this isn’t easy. People can forget their inner nature as they mill amongst the herd. They start thinking this person is gorgeous because other people do, or because the latest edition of People magazine tells them they should think so. Many times, they bypass their true desire and mate with someone for the sake of social acceptance. A woman may not date a man who is shorter than herself for this reason, even though she thinks he’s wicked cute. A man may not date a girl deemed the local trollop, even though he loves the gleam in her eyes, because of what his friends might think. How much joy is lost due to such nonsense?
In regard to your situation, I want you to search deeply and be sure that this man isn’t on your B list because he has qualities you fear your friends might criticize. Here is the test: In bed, you go wild at his touch, but you’d rather not be seen with him in public. If this is the case, you’re a toady to social artifice. And, yes, a very shallow gal. But I’m doubting very much that is the case. And therefore, the problem isn’t quite so solvable. I sense that you are not shallow. Wanting to be with someone who you want to dig into and make love to constantly is a normal human desire. It’s not wrong, or bad, or shallow. In fact, it’s rather essential for life to happen at all. Beauty really is relative. You’re not attracted to this man because he simply doesn’t appeal to your body. You have a very natural aversion to mating with him, and to force yourself to submit to this act, simply because he’s a good chap, is ludicrous. Your mind cannot make your body accept what it doesn’t find acceptable. And your body is the master here, no matter what you’d like to believe.
It is not shallow to be haunted by what we personally deem beautiful, or to wish to surrender to that standard. If this urge did not exist, many grand works of art, music, and literature would not exist either. Lust is poetry. Don’t deny yourself this human right. Part ways with this man as soon as you can, because he deserves to have a partner who wants to be in his bed. He’ll only come to resent you if you continue this facade, and then it will be too late. A man knows when a woman doesn’t truly blush and bruise like ripened fruit under his caresses. As years pass, he’ll come to hate you. Spare yourself this path, and remember that a little sting now will make all the difference later.
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