Can True love exist without physical attraction?

I want to know does love have a portion of lust mixed into it? or is it possible to be completely happy in a relationship without kissing and love making yet still be in deep love with them?

I know a friend who has been dating his girlfriend for over a year now and he didn't truly find her as attractive to begin with but he still loves her and wants to be with her only yet they dont kiss or have sex. It got me thinking about a lot of things.

So is it possible? Could you do it?

Best answer goes out to the best insightful person.

  • Yes
    53% (54)36% (25)46% (79)Vote
  • No
    47% (48)64% (44)54% (92)Vote
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Most Helpful Guy

  • I don't think so. Physical attraction is not the same as lust.

    Physical attraction is what draws you to the other person at the beginning. What matters is what becomes of that attraction over the course of time. If it draws you deeper into that person, their life, and their traits, values, and habits that make them who they are, then that's the beginning of true love.

    If you continue to be attracted to that person, but you choose to see nothing more than their sexual value, then it's lust. This is possible even after they're a couple.

    Sexual-physical attraction is really what makes a romantic relationship different than other bonds like family and friends. It will come and go throughout the course of the relationship. It might not even sprout until long after the guy and girl have met and it won't just show up suddenly. It can develop over the course of time. I knew a guy once who'd been friends with his wife for ten years before they started dating and got married.

    Now, if we take highest form of love as defined by the Ancient Greeks, "agape", then yes, it can. "Agape" is an unconditional self-giving, the highest form of love. It may be the highest, but it can be practiced in small ways, like helping a friend clean their house, a parent helping their child with homework, cooking a meal for someone, etc. Paraphrasing Mother Teresa, it means doing small things with great love.

    So to answer your question, in the context of a romantic relationship, I don't see how it could. Like I already said, the physical attraction is what makes the romantic bond different.

    I'd written an article about this exact thing, but it didn't get featured before GAG switched to this new format. I plan to repost it once GAG restores the article feature (assuming they haven't already).

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What Girls Said 48

  • In the words of one woman who understood true love, "Everybody always talks about how beautiful I am. I’ve got a mind, Westley. Talk about that.” Yes, that's the Princess Bride. If you haven't read it, you should. Wonderful movie but that's beside the point.

    The point is, that much like Westley and Buttercup (who obviously had the truest of true love), there cannot be true love if there is no physical attraction. Lust is compelling and mind blowing and important in any relationship. Obviously, you can have lust without love but love without lust can only be beautiful instead of stunning. Love is when you see two people and you think "How lovely", but true love is when the only thing you can think is "Wow."

    You can grow to find someone attractive, just as you can grow to love someone. And in that case, there can be true love. As Amy Pond (another wise woman with true love in her life) once said, " You meet them and you think, 'Not bad, they're okay,' and when you get to know them... their face just, sort of, becomes them, like their personality's written all over it, and they just — they turn into something so beautiful."

    True love requires that both be found- complete love and physical attraction. But physical attraction can come from total love- it does not need to exist before the love. Perhaps the most classic literary example of true love comes from Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth, and (while he arguably lied at this moment in time) he said "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me."

    In short, no. There must be physical attractive to make it true; but it can still be a wonderful and beautiful love without it.

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  • There was this show on ABC called "Dating in the Dark"... guys and girls chose each other largely on their personalities and seemed to get along just fine- but when the lights were turned on, a lot were so surprised by who they had been dating, how different these people were from their established physical preferences. Personally, I think it depends on the person, how important mental compatibility is versus physical compatibility, how much they care what other people will think about them, etc. If there was no one around to judge us, I think then yes, more people would be into loving another person without physical attraction. Your friend and his girlfriend sound like asexuals to me, no sex drive, so physical attraction may not be as important to them...Possibly.

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  • I believe you can have a greatly looking guy, but if his mind is not in sufficiently sync with the girl's values, there will be nothing long-term. However, now I think the problem, most girls and guys have today is that life has become so complex, unstable, and now, such a growing gulf in areas of information age skills and attitudes from stereotyping of genders in the gender war and its lack of trust, many guys and girls have simplified their communication with the opposite to only the very short areas of sex, parcels of acceptance, and even as tools to accomplish some other goal. So in another world that offers more common arrays of communication, shared values, goals, etc. such areas of attraction would easily become less valuable, but in this world with such short-term goals so in vogue, it appears the only thing seen these days.

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  • hmmm…. i think it is possible, but many people, including myself, probably wouldn't b able to do so. needless to say that this doesn't mean physical attraction is the determining factor in choosing a partner. i would say it is the… catalyst… which aids in the escalation of emotion in a relationship.

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  • Interesting question. The answer to it is not black or white. But I'm leaning towards yes.

    Personality sometimes has a lot to do with how you view a person. I know some people who, when I first met them, I thought they were very pretty or handsome. Once I got to know them and see how much their personality sucks, their looks faded in a way and I don't think they're all that physically attractive anymore. Their unattractive personality outshines their attractive outer appearance. On the other hand, I know people who I didn't think were all that attractive at first. I still don't think they're physically attractive. But their personalities take the focus off of their looks and shines.

    In general, it's usually easier for women to fall into true love without physical attraction than it is for men. There's nothing wrong with that. It's usually just better in the long run for a man to be with a woman he also finds physically attractive along with her attractive personality. Whereas I know quite a few women who are very happy with men they will readily admit they do not think are all that good-looking.

    So basically, the answer to your question is yes in the sense that one can develop feelings for an outwardly unattractive person if the person has a great personality that, in a sense, makes you blind to or forget the fact that you do not find them all that physically attractive.

    To be honest, I know a guy who I do not find physically attractive AT ALL. I doubt the day will ever come that I find that guy attractive unless he gets a whole new face and body. But here comes the big HOWEVER xD I've had some very interesting conversations with him, and my discussions with him have been more serious/deeper than what I've had with any other guy. Despite the intense lack of physical attraction, I cannot lie and say I'd never consider a relationship with him. His intelligence, conversational skills, and logic have the ability to make up for it.

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  • To me physical intimacy is part of a fully rounded adult relationship, so I voted no... But to me physical attraction isn't just 100% visual, it's that chemistry/feeling you get when you see them and are physically around them, their voice, mannerisms, etc.. My brain kind of melds impressions together, so a guy who just looks good but is a jerk "looks" unappealing to me.
    Guys have claimed to be in love with me even though they had almost no physical attraction to me at all. Some of them I think really "thought" they did, because they loved me like a mother and really wanted me to be one for them. I really find it hard to believe any guy would want to stay in a serious relationship with a girl he found too repulsive to touch unless he wanted to use her financially/emotionally because he had some kind of issue (s) or just wasn't grown up enough to take care of himself. I would kill myself before knowingly getting into another relationship like this again.

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  • That's a question for the asexuals.

    Some people feel no lust, but are still in relationships, because they desire that special companionship that's beyond friendship.

    So yes, I think it does exist without rubbing nasties. It's not for me, but it exists for others.

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  • Yes it can happen. But it would be something closer to admiration. You know, you think that person is so amazing and incredible and they become your god. Example, like when people say they love George Martin. It doesn't mean they want to make passionate love with him lol.
    I love A LOT my best girl friend and she loves me too but it doesn't mean we're lesbians or would kiss each other.
    The same kind of love and admiration can happen between people of different sexes. But it would be weird if someone starts dating their "god" if there's no physical attraction... Their "god" probably would have lust, or they relationship wouldn't be more than just a friendship.
    I think the stronger kind of love is when you love someone as if they're your god and there's physical attraction too. Doesn't mean that love without physical attalravtion doesn't exist though.

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  • No. True, healthy and lasting love has many components, sex is one of them.
    What you depict is not "love". Thought it may appear to be.

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  • I am fully, truly, 100% head over heels in love. My S/O isn't attractive. Feelings came before I was physically attracted to him, then lust followed. It's certainly possible. Love is blind. Based on looks alone he isn't attractive but his personality is. That's the most important factor.
    Looks fade, eventually we all age and grow ugly. Personality is all that's left. I think it's all that matters in the end.
    That and health. As long as you don't find them to be utterly revolting, there's hope.

    In your friend's case, a year but not even kissing sounds fishy. Sounds like friendship love, not romantic love.

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  • Of course it's possible. I mean, there are people who are asexual, but not aromatic, but they're still entirely capable of love. There's different kinds of love. Just because theirs isn't the normal kind doesn't mean it can't be just as real.

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  • Yeah...I think it can...I'll use myself as an example...I'm not really physically attracted to my BF but I love him so much...he's the only one I've loved and I don't want anyone else.

    He's said he's physically attracted to me, though...I'm not sure if it's true but that's what he says...and he loves me...so he says

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  • Attraction is a major part of love- it's science. You can be in love with someone you're not attracted to, but it's going to be a lot harder than being in a relationship with someone better looking. Obviously people can love each other without being attracted to one another.. But true love is a different story. How can it be true if you don't even like the way they look?

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  • No. Even if they did fall in love, the chances of one person cheating with someone who he/she finds more attractive is very big. So I'd say that even if the two people fell in love in the first place, it would never last.

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  • This absolutely exists. Try googling the terms "asexual" and "aromantic"-- plenty of people can fall in love without feeling attraction in the conventional sense.

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  • To be honest I don't really know, I haven't met anyone who I have truly been in love with so it's hard to say. But I can say this that I have meet guys who I didn't find attractive in the beginning but later then got more attractive as I got them to know. This however always just resulted in friendship (since I didn't feel like kissing them or anything else). So if I absolutely had to answer I would say no, because this is the difference between friendship and love. Physical attraction.

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  • No. Even with strangers, I NEED to tap them on the arm when talking, I can't communicate without some physical acknowledgement that I accept the person I'm talking to. Let alone in a romantic relationship! I'd go nuts if I were to go more than a day without some cuddling.

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  • No I don't think so. Sex is way of communication. Feelings are overwhelming in love, you contact to your partner in this way.
    Your friend loves her, but he doesn't see her as a partner. They are friends, not in relationship.

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  • As humans, we fully expect romantic love to be a part of the equation - to be swept off our feet - both guys and girls want this. If we get less, we can exist without it, but we will always long it.

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  • Yes, and it's called platonic love.

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  • I do believe so. There was this couple who got into a huge plane crash and both survived. The husband had some burn marks on his body but his was was severely disfigured practically head to toe. She was an extremely beautiful woman beforehand. They are still together and recently had I believe their third child. I think it most certainly exists when love is on a higher plane

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  • Yes its possible. It gives MUCH more room for talking and truly getting to know the person and tLking to them without getting physical. Its Almost refreshing

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  • I guess it's possible if someone is doing it but for me, no. I connect affection with touch, not just sexual but sexual too. Not because I put too much value on sex or anything, (I'm a virgin) but just cause it seems to be hardwired into our brains to associate love with physical attraction.

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  • If u have a high sex drive and feel like you can't go without it or that you "need" it than it is an unhealthy relationship. But if he and she can go without and aren't really needing sex than its totally fine and good and possible

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  • True love exists without physical attraction because physical attraction fades with age. If granny and gramps are still together purely on "physical attraction" then they must have some weird fetishes.

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  • I recently dated a guy who adored me, but there was NO physical attraction. He would have been loyal and good to me, but I just couldn't get past the weight. I know it's shallow, but I am human. I talked to him online and had seen face shots, but when I met him in person I couldn't do it. I tried, I really did.

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    • If you try too hard and its not a natural chemistry then there is only one outcome

  • I think i could not love someone without physical attraction. If it would happened it would not last long.

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  • How would humans reproduce if they don't have sex? It is in our nature and this intimacy is a very important aspect of a romantic relationship because you connect on another level. You do not have this kind of connection with your family and friends and that is what makes a romantic relationship so much more special.

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  • Love for your spouse/partner maybe not but for a child or relative yes.

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  • Yes I do believe it is possible. I don't believe true love can be changed by something as superficial as looks; if it can, i'd question whether it was true love.

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What Guys Said 35

  • I'm kinda 50/50 on it. For one our desires physically seem to be instilled into us at an early age. I notice fetishes are a huge thing now for example. It seems like everyone has some sort of sexual fetish whether it be feet, overweight women, etc.

    But as people get older I notice, especially among elderly couples, that it doesn't seem to matter at all and that a lot of couples I notice, simply want companionship. They look for someone they simply get along with and go from there without looking for the physical features and so on.

    Plus couples of any age tend to enter relationships for different reasons. But I think it's also important to note if the person knows how to obtain that "true love" from a relationship. Like many bitter guys complain about women flocking to men with money but many can also point out how "money can't buy happiness." At the same time men seem to chase "physically attractive women" yet may not be compatible yet these men will rationalize their chase by insisting they are compatible when they are not.

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  • True love?

    Searching for the definitive is a waste of time. True love. That implies false love; multiple kinds of love.

    Please categorize your idea of "true" love and it's definitive characteristic traits and then we shall see if their relationship fits your criteria.

    That's what we do.

    We create ideas in our heads and then do everything in our power to make it a reality. And when things turn out to be of their own making, a class of it's own, we reject them.

    Why? because the entity doesn't match the concept.

    When you're exploring something as unique as human emotions, you simply can't do it.

    Be square! be square! shit... round.

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  • No. You can't have true love without some sort of physical attraction. How do you not kiss or have sex in an adult relationship. How does your boys girl feel about this?

    I also don't like this notion that a lack of physical attraction = platonic/familial love. There is a lot more to romantic attraction and love that distinguishes it from the love we have for family or friends

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  • This is an extremely tough question to answer, because I personally would not want to date someone on the long term who I don't really find attractive (or rather, someone whom I find unattractive), but I AM dating an asexual girl, who obviously doesn't find me *unattractive*, but I'm guessing you can tell that she's not in it for the physical thing. So as someone who does experience sexual attraction, I'd say I wouldn't want to not have it, but her existence kinda proves it's not impossible to live without it.

    However, I should clearly add that the reason this kinda works, is because you can pull a somewhat fine line between the concepts of "friendship", "display of affection", and "sexuality". Although there are overlaps if that's the way your concepts work (I'd consider sexuality a specific physical intimate display of affection), you can clearly tell that you just can't be as affectionate with a friend than someone with whom you're mutually in a relationship with. Now whether you actually do have sex is up to the two of you.

    I would have broken off the relationship if there was no hugging/kissing/hand-holding/touching of any kind involved, because although I do experience lust, the emotional reciprocation and such simpler physical ways of displaying affection are what are really important to me - the feeling that you are loved by someone you love.

    Although this answer came off as kinda rambly, I hope it helps.

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  • An alpha male Canadian Tundra wolf and I bonded as brothers about a decade ago. I loved him so much I quit doing drugs, and hanging out with thugs, selling drugs. Nothing could reach me, not man, nor woman, but he did. So yeah it can exist without being sexual. I am sure it can exist between two people as well. But you must be in control of your faculties. That is a rare thing these days.

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  • True TRUE love is the one that a parent has for his/her child. Nothing is comparable. Everything else can be replaced.

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  • This is certainly love, but love comes in many forms. What you've described is a deep emotional bond, not a romantic relationship. Physical attraction, physical contact, and (at some point) sex are not the only ingredients in a romantic relationship...but they are important ones. If nothing else they distinguish it from friendship. There's nothing wrong with the type of relationship your friend and girlfriend have, but let's not label it more than what it is.

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  • Me personally, if I'm not attracted at the beginning at all, that's the way it stays. I wouldn't say it isn't possible. It's likely that someone think "well they're kinda cute" and attraction builds. I think falling for someone you have no physical attraction might not be impossible, but pretty darn unlikely.

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  • True love depicted in the movies is an illusion that the man has to generate for the woman. It's surprisingly effortless.

    a lot of people use the word love loosely, to the point that I would argue, modernly, it has no meaning. Too often love is used as an excuse because someone is afraid of being alone, the change, or they have low self esteem and consider their partner extremely important in their self evaluation.

    I myself am a huge romantic, so I am unhappy to have these opinions, but they are the opinions yielded by research.

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  • No.

    However, I can find someone not physically attractive from the beginning, and then feel that way later when I fall for them. That can happen a lot easier than it would sound.

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  • Of course it can. Some people don't care if they are attracted to their s.o. or not. Im sure this is the exception, not the rule. I would have a hard time even becoming interested in someone if Im not physically attracted to them. Others however, may not have the same ideas as me. Maybe they have been friends for a long time and they fall in love. Think about older people, I will bet many of them are not attracted to their s.o. anymore but they still love them.

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  • No, I don't think so. And there's nothing wrong with that, either.

    I do think that the physical aspects are exaggerated, though. I'm a highly sexual person too, but sometimes it can get a little tiring that things are always about hotness and sex, sex, sex!!!

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  • I'm 67, my wife is 6 months younger and there IS true love between us. (it was there after about a month of knowing each other quite well)
    Yes, I still like to grab her.
    I hope this (nearly answers your question.

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  • what does kissing and love making have anything to do with love? i'm sure there was attraction. attraction doesn't have to be sexual all the time.

    why do you like a girl? because she is pretty, charming and cute or because you want to sleep with her and that's it? that's not love.

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  • I would say no, BUT my opinion of what kind of woman I find physical attractive can be slightly flexible. I am not attracted to girls who are over weight, what so ever.

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  • Wow, the ladies are split exactly down the middle on this one. No surprise that there are twice as many guys saying that looks are a must. Physical attraction is a must for me to fall in love.

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  • I never knew you could have a romantic relationship with someone and not have sex, let alone even kiss. Maybe your friend is on a different level than the rest of us.

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    • Thats what I think, I kinda felt ashamed for desiring such a thing in a relationship.

  • I love my dog.. And as for if im attracted to him, thats can obviously be talked about later but i dont think so as for your question ;;)

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  • Absolutely it exist. You love your Mom Dad Grandma Grampa Brother/s and Sister/s right? That proves it does exist.

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  • That is the nature of love. At some point you realize the fun part doesn't last forever. Some guys get married. Others turn serial monogamist.

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  • When it comes to true love you haft to have mental plus physical attraction, you can't have one with out the other. Normally it's the physical attraction that gets you their, while it's the mental attraction that keeps you their.

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  • Well, yes it can. I tend to think it is less likely, however.

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  • Nope, physical attraction is part of the manifestation of love... i mean, do u want to fall in love with a rock that has a great personality?

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  • Yes. I saw a skinny guy (130lbs) madly in love with an extremely overweight women (she is at least 270lbs) She was also madly in love with him

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    • I have known many skinny guys really into heavy women. This guy likely is one of them.

  • Yes I my mom loves me

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  • love comes from within

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  • Love has different form , except man-woman l, all other forms are free from physical attractions.

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  • True love surpasses physical attraction. If you consider physical attraction as love, then its just plain infatuation. Whereas true love is illogical, unreasonable and unconditional.

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  • No.

    Humans merely rationalize that they "love" a person.

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  • Theoretically it is neurologically possible, sure.

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