What you need to know:
- Although your sexual attractions cannot be controlled, they can be reengineered and tailored to embrace the person who would be good for you.
- While sexual and physical attraction is vital in a relationship, they should not be confused with love.
- After the rosy glow of love is gone, and you no longer feel what you used to before, you must decide if you want to love this person and commit to them or not.
Ideally, people want to be in a romantic relationship with someone they love, and one who also reciprocates their love. But this is not always the case. You may be in a relationship or marriage with someone who loves you, but you don’t feel the same way. You may choose to stay because they are the most ideal person you have ever dated, or because you don’t want to break their heart, or because you are heavily dependent on them due to socio-economic circumstances.
Can you learn to love someone you’re not into?
According to Ken Page, a psychotherapist and the author of Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy, although your sexual attractions cannot be controlled, they can be reengineered and tailored to embrace the person who would be good for you. “Sexual attraction is much more mutable than we have been taught,” he says. Nonetheless, he is quick to point out that you are unlikely to get attracted to someone who is not physically appealing to you. “If you are meeting someone for the first time, don’t make a snap decision based on whether you are instantly attracted on a physical level or not,” he says.
You may not feel a blood rush when you see your partner. In fact, you may have never experienced any butterflies in your stomach. He has brought you to sexual climax multiple times, but he still doesn’t excite you. According to Dr. Robert Epstein, a relationship author, and researcher, while sexual and physical attraction is vital in a relationship, they should not be confused with love. “Intense physical attraction is actually the euphemism for lust. Many people who think they love their partners actually only lust after them,” he says.
According to psychologist Patrick Musau, love that lasts for decades is based on more than just feelings. “Relationships that last are more of a choice rather than a feeling. Feelings usually have a short lifespan, but choices, followed by conscious acts of commitment can last long,” he says. This partly explains why arranged marriages among young couples of age have higher success rates. For example, according to the United Nations Women’s flagship report titled Progress of the World’s Women 2019–2020: Families in a Changing World, the divorce rate among arranged marriages is low at 6.3 percent. However, whether you stay or leave someone you don’t love is a personal decision.
According to psychologist Kurt Smith, if you feel that you’re no longer into someone, you must make the decision to either love them or let them go. “After the rosy glow of love is gone, and you no longer feel what you used to before, you must decide if you want to love this person and commit to them or not,” he says. If you decide to learn to love them, you will be making the choice to see the good in your partner rather than focusing majorly on why you don’t love him. When making this choice, you must try to see where you can go with them in the future and what sort of partner he will evolve to be,” says Musau.
This could be one of the tricks that will turn your feelings into affection. The more you care for your partner, the more you will want to make them your own. “When you start to care deeply about someone, the way you think, your sexual thoughts and longings change. Your psyche and sexuality begin to create an attachment to this person in order to make them your own,” says Ken.