Should I Marry Without Romance and Attraction?
- Kris Swiatocho and Cliff Young
- 2013 11 Jul
EDITOR'S NOTE: He Said-She Said is a biweekly advice column for singles featuring a question from a Crosswalk.com reader with responses from a male and female point of view. If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org (selected questions will be posted anonymously).
QUESTION: After my share of bad relationships, I re-dedicated my life to the Lord and I am dating, essentially, the "perfect man." He wants to marry me, he is a believer, and he fits every quality I want in a husband. However, I feel empty inside. He is not physically my type, he looks and dresses in the opposite way from what I find attractive, I don't find him handsome, and can't feel attraction for him the way I have felt in previous relationships. My friends say I'm crazy for doubting our relationship. I know that "romance" and "physical attraction" are not in the dictionary of God's word, but I get scared and panic sometimes when I think about marrying without any attraction or romance. What keeps me going is God's promise that my marriage will be favored and blessed and "every other thing will be added." But that doesn't close up the hollow feeling or give me peace. Please advise.
We’ve been groomed by society to look for the “Perfect Man” or the “Perfect Woman.” Reality shows portray groups of contestants vying for the heart of one person believing they are the “perfect person.”
However, what I have found far more important is to seek the perfect person for me and being the perfect person for someone (not everyone).
I do believe there is a person who God made for you, someone who will complement who you are, and someone you will be attracted to.
“Romance” and “physical attraction” may not be in "the dictionary of God’s Word," however, the book Song of Solomon is. If you’ve never studied it, you may want to before you further your relationship.
How handsome you are, my lover! (Song of Solomon 1:16)
My lover is like a gazelle or a young stag (Song of Solomon 2:9).
My beloved is dazzling and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. His head is like gold, pure gold; his locks are like clusters of dates and black as a raven. His eyes are like doves beside streams of water, bathed in milk, and reposed in their setting. His cheeks are like a bed of balsam, banks of sweet-scented herbs; his lips are lilies dripping with liquid myrrh. His hands are rods of gold Set with beryl; his abdomen is carved ivory Inlaid with sapphires. His legs are pillars of alabaster Set on pedestals of pure gold; his appearance is like Lebanon choice as the cedars. His mouth is full of sweetness. And he is wholly desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem (Song of Solomon 5:10-16).
These are not the words from someone who felt no romance or physical attraction, but these are the words of God from a woman who was seriously enamored by her beau.
As a male (with a slight ego), I don’t want my significant other to settle for or gag at the sight of me; then again I’m not trying to be on People Magazine’s Most Beautiful List either. My wish is for the “right one for me” to feel some of the emotion the woman in Song of Solomon had for her man and me for her.
I can’t imagine your boyfriend wouldn’t want the same.
What may be “perfect” for your friends may not be for you.
While I am thrilled you found someone who is wonderful and perfect in many ways, a very critical part of your relationship has to be an attraction to him physically. To paraphrase a wonderful author and friend, Dick Purnell: There are 5 parts of a healthy relationship: Mental, Emotional, Spiritual, Social and Physical, based on his book Finding a Lasting Love. Now, it is true in all relationships there may be weaker areas than others. You may have a few things in common, but as you date you find you have more. You may have even gone to separate churches but eventually started attending the same church together.
I once was friends with a guy for 3 years. We did all kinds of things together but never dated. Then one day I was like, whoohoo is he cute. Lord, where did that come from? So I shared my feelings with him, we have a few dates but quickly realized we lacked other key areas to maintain a relationship.
So with that, what do you do? Well, as much as I feel God can change your attraction to your boyfriend to be what you want it to be, I don't think God operates that way when you’re IN the relationship. I do think over time, especially as you lean towards marriage and after marriage, your physical attraction will grow because your love grows. However, it can't grow if there is no seed to begin with. So my advice is to tell him what you are feeling. He deserves to know. If you were to get married you would be lying to him, feeling forced to have kiss him, be romantic, and make love. No one deserves that, or deserves to be deceived about it. Recognizing the great husband-material qualities about your current boyfriend should reassure you that waiting for the right "one" is indeed worth waiting for.
Oh, and do know the Bible is full of scripture regarding love and romance. Believe me, God invented it. Check out the Song of Solomon.
May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer—may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love (Proverbs 5:18-19).
HE is … Cliff Young, a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades. He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.
SHE is … Kris Swiatocho, the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is also the author of four books.
DISCLAIMER: We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals. We're just average folk who understand what it's like to live the solo life in the twenty-first century. We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life's questions, and it's where we'll go for guidance when responding to your questions. Also, it's important to note that we write our answers separately.
GOT A QUESTION? If you've got a question about anything related to singleness or living the single life, please submit it to email@example.com (selected questions will be posted anonymously). While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that this column will be an encouragement to you. Click here to visit the He Said-She Said archives.
Publication date: July 11, 2013