She doesn't Turn me On

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
The main reason I'm not committed to a love relationship with my son's mother is because her body is not physically appealing to me. I feel that I'm depriving my son of a traditional "in the home daddy" because of my shallowness. Should I just get over it and marry the women. She's very in love with me. I believe she got pregnant to get me. Advice
People can spend lifetimes second guessing if someone got pregnant or did other things in order to 'get' a person, and usually all the second guessing causes more harm than anything else. The act of sex can always produce a child, even with protection, so it's sort of moot. By having sex with her, that was one of the risks. So it comes down to two things - your relationship with the woman, and your relationship with the child that now exists, however it was caused to exist.

First, the child. Children are happiest growing up in a happy, loving environment. That could be with their 2 natural parents, it could be with a grandparent, it could be with an adoptive mom. The child would much rather be somewhere stable, loving and secure than with 2 natural parents who are unhappy and fight. That fighting can really scar them for life and give them huge problems in their own relationships when they're grown. Parents who dislike each other and try to hide it can't hide it from a child that is there 24 hours a day. And the child thinks that their bizarre situation is *normal* and it affects how the child then finds his or her own partner in life. So you create another generation of bad situations.

So really for the child to be happy, you need to be happy, and the child's mom needs to be happy. That *could* happen with you two together of course, and that would be the ideal situation. So now you need to sit down and really think about this woman, and how well you can talk with her, share fun times with her, work through issues with her.

I really do feel physical attractiveness isn't a key to love and happiness. I am relatively attractive and have dated men who were very handsome, so it's not that I'm just saying this out of spite. But I've found in dating (and so have most other people I've talked with) that whatever you feel in those beginning stages - the "He's gorgeous!" or "She's beautiful!" is based on your life experience up to that point. So in essence you have that reaction because you've been trained that way by MTV or the movies or past loves or whatever. If you look at paintings over the centuries you'll see that different generations considered different woman shapes and sizes to be beautiful. Sometimes it's very thin and small-busted. Sometimes it's very round and huge-busted. And each time, a new generation of men became hooked on that ideal.

But again, that has to do with the initial draw. But if you talk to people who have been married for 10 or 20 years, they now see *the other person* when they look at their partner, and their reaction is based on what that person *is*. Your brain shapes your reality. So say you were married to a gorgeous model. Well first, after 10 or 20 years she wouldn't look like a teenager any more, and to marry her assuming she'll even care to keep up a model figure after 20 years is asking for trouble. But let's say she does. And say that she gets attention from other men all that time, and feels like a princess, and harps at you constantly for not treating her that way, and not buying her enough jewelry, and flirts with other guys when you're out together. Even though to others she might strike them as an 'attractive older woman', to you she could look very ugly and you could be repulsed by the thought of touching her. Look at all of the "beautiful women" whose husbands divorce them. So beauty is about the least important thing in a mate. It fades, and even if it doesn't, it's a poor substitute for love, respect, and a best friend.

On the other hand, relationships are based on friendship, honesty and communication. You can find those things in many packages. And if you can find that - a best friend who will share your life with you - that can get you through the ups and downs of life like nothing else can. And you really do find that someone you love becomes beautiful to you. Think of an extended Italian family with a beloved grandmother who bakes for them, listens to their stories, encourages them. She might be 'an old woman' to the taxi driver who picks her up. But to that entire family group, she is one of the most beautiful women in the world, and they are full of love and joy every time they see her.

So yes, this woman might not be a Playboy model. But you know, only a tiny fraction of women in the real world are - and even those women are only that way for a few years in their life. For real, long term relationships, those traits aren't much of a help, and the traits don't even last that long. It's best to go with the traits that DO help a relationship last, and love to grow.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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