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Can physical attraction develop over time?

(33 Posts)
duckeggblue01 Sun 05-Aug-18 20:39:19

Hi all,
I'm new to mumsnet but I hear you all give good advice, so here goes grin
I've been in a relationship with a lovely, caring guy for just over a year. He's okay in the bedroom (I've had better, I've had worse!) and is nice to look at. He's 30, I'm 24. He's basically been single, just dated briefly, since he was 24ish and I have pretty much been in relationships since I was 15. I don't mind being single, I am just a relationships kinda girl. Prefer to be with someone than sleeping around!
DP has always been a bit awkward about pda, and it feels like I am having to teach him everything. We have only just moved from cheek to lips kiss when we greet each other, though in our own space we have obvs slept together etc. We don't live together; both still living with our parents and saving separately for moving out.
I don't want to make him uncomfortable and sometimes it feels like he lacks some emotional intelligence confused. He stayed at mine last night, no cuddles etc, and planned to go home in the morning. I said I'd go to the station with him... and then this morning came.. He just got up out of my bed, got dressed, went to the bathroom and came back. I tried pulling him for a cuddle but he just tapped my hand away and said "come on, let's get ready to go"
There are several other instances of him perhaps just not reading the situation well..
I like his company but this has been such a slow build of a relationship that I wonder if I can only see him platonically.
I don't know what to think - he's so incredibly thoughtful and caring in other ways, I just worry that I am relying on an "i want to rip your clothes off" feeling eventually, hopefully arising..

This is a bit of a brain dump, so I'm sorry if it's not clear. I just feel a bit lost with this one!!

Starlings27 Sun 05-Aug-18 20:41:46

To be honest, it sounds very like a relationship I was in where the guy mostly saw ME platonically! It doesn’t sound like either of you are very attracted to each other. I’m sorry, I probably would call it a day on this.

LeavingLasVegasForGood Sun 05-Aug-18 20:43:36

If it's been over a year, you will never want to rip his clothes off. Up to you if that's a deal breaker or not.

EmmaC78 Sun 05-Aug-18 20:46:38

After a year I would probably say call it a day too. The ripping each others clothes off stage should be at the start. I don't will just develop after a year from nowhere.

usernamefromhell Sun 05-Aug-18 20:46:57

The title of your post asks about physical attraction but its not clear from what you've written above if you're suggesting you're not attracted to him or vice versa. Or both.

Based on what you've written here he sounds dry and lacking in empathy and not very sexually demonstrative. Hard to know if that's what he's like generally or if there's just no sexual chemistry between you but it doesn't sound very promising.

To answer your question sexual attraction can build over time, yes, but it has to be based on some initial spark. After a year and if the relationship is heading in the right direction you'd expect the intimacy -- both sexual and emotional -- to deepen. Unless there's a specific reason for his behaviour that's linked to external factors such as work stress or trauma I'd say call it a day. You shouldn't be feeling like this after a year. The fact that he's "caring" makes him a good friend but not a good sexual partner.

dirtybadger Sun 05-Aug-18 20:49:35

It doesnt sound like an issue with him "not reading things", it sounds more like you arent attracted to one another.

duckeggblue01 Sun 05-Aug-18 20:53:35

Thanks all, I think that's the conclusion I'm coming to as well - I just worried 'what if this is the nice guy I'm meant to be with?' you know?
Other guys I've been with I've had the spark from the start and they never worked out, so I thought this was maybe different. confused

@usernamefromhell I am asking about developing a sexual attraction to him haha. Though it's probably not there on his side either tbh!

I have wondered about trauma etc on his side, as he is such a closed book..
I really appreciate all your honesty!!

scrabbled01 Sun 05-Aug-18 20:55:30

Sounds like you're just not right for each other. I think physical attraction can grow but that doesn't sound like the issue here. It sounds like neither of you are mad about each other.

Also there's nothing wrong with being single in your twenties. It's usually a lot better than being in an unfulfilling relationship and you don't have to sleep around. Although, by sleeping around a little bit I found out what I found attractive and what I didn't...

scrabbled01 Sun 05-Aug-18 20:56:51

At 24 I wouldn't be wasting time worrying about anyone being 'the nice guy I'm meant to be with' if I didn't fancy them.

bubbles108 Sun 05-Aug-18 20:57:46

Get rid

And spend some time being you , out of a relationship. Use a vibrator 😊

jaffacakeany1 Sun 05-Aug-18 21:01:50

I'm sorry to say this but it's screaming at me that he may be gay and using you for cover. Is there any reason he wouldn't just come out and be done with it?? Probably miles from the truth but surely after a year there'd be more affection.. again sorry but it's just my thought. 🙊

duckeggblue01 Sun 05-Aug-18 21:02:54

thanks @scrabbled01

I'm not at all worried about being single - I think I am worried about maybe losing a good thing.. though objective consensus seems to be that I wouldn't be haha!

and yes, @bubbles108 I was beginning to think being single would probably do me some good!

mistermagpie Sun 05-Aug-18 21:05:48

What you describe is basically the way my first marriage became just before I left my husband for another man. So... not a great sign, no.

duckeggblue01 Sun 05-Aug-18 21:06:42

@jaffacakeany1 you know what, I'd never thought this. But I guess it's always a possibility!

I get the impression that he's from a strict family, so maybe he wouldn't feel comfortable coming out?
Anyone got any advice on how to get an answer to this?!

Verbena87 Sun 05-Aug-18 21:10:14

Attraction can definitely develop over time in my experience, but not sure about after you get together.

Met my husband through mutual friends and initially didn’t consider whether he was attractive or not, just found him really comfortable to be around, would lose hours chatting about nothing, and felt more myself when I was near him. Thought I’d found a friend with a lovely soul and left it at that. After a few months someone said “I think he likes you” and it hit me like a ton of bricks that I’d somehow fallen head over heels for him and not noticed it happening. Luckily it was a mutual thing and once we both realised, we were together straight away and it felt beautiful and obvious (and yes there was a very strong spark, but without the fear you get with an unknown partner because we were already sure we got on like w house on fire)

SoyDora Sun 05-Aug-18 21:11:25

It’s been over a year, if it’s not there now it never will be. The first year is supposed to be the ripping each other’s clothes off, honeymoon period. I thought you were going to say you’d been on one date and weren’t sure if you fancied him or something.
I also got the impression from the title that you were talking about you finding him physically attractive, but then reading your post it sounds as though it’s potentially him who sees you platonically/doesn’t find you attractive? Either way it’s a lost cause IMO.

AhAgain Sun 05-Aug-18 21:33:54

I think that you van grow attraction for someone, but I would be more concerned about his lack of affection (as you say - lacking emotional intelligence). You can teach people things, but that sounds like his basic personality. I would want someone naturally warmer and more affectionate. I think you may regret if you settled...

usernamefromhell Sun 05-Aug-18 21:56:50

I don't think there's any such thing as anyone you're "meant to be with". There are a wide range of people out there, some of whom you'll be compatible with, some of whom you won't. You can't force yourself to feel attracted to someone just because they're "nice" and right on paper. Otherwise you'd just date your friends.

He also sounds at best to be emotionally and sexually withdrawn and at worst he may not even fancy you. You could let this go for a few weeks but after this month of time if things haven't progressed I don't think its worth the grief. You are very young and will meet someone you are compatible with: don't waste time with someone who doesn't float your boat.

StrawberryLaces0 Sun 05-Aug-18 23:28:12

I dated a lovely kind caring man who did romantic things...but there wasn't that spark for me...So I called it a day. It wasn't going to appear later on. He's a lovely guy but not for me. You know in your guts how you feel, and you shouldn't just settle. Life is short enough....But plenty of time to meet Mr right who you will have that spark with that has those qualities!

LellyMcKelly Mon 06-Aug-18 00:39:39

My first thought was gay as well. He may not even have acknowledged it himself yet if he’s had a really strict upbringing . I was in the same position as you when I was 27. He was, and still is, a really great guy, and I was mad about him. Got engaged after 11 months, managed to have 2 kids, and then 18 years later (the last 6 years with no sex at all, but very infrequent before then) he came out. I’ve since met a man who really made me realise what I was missing in a loving relationship. If you’re not spending the first year ripping the clothes off each other then it’s never going to happen.

Scott72 Mon 06-Aug-18 00:44:54

In societies with arranged marriages and where divorce is taboo you read about physical attraction developing over time, although that may be exaggerated. In modern western societies? I don't think so. There probably needs to be strong mutual physical attraction from the outset to maximize the chance of the marriage lasting.

He's probably not gay. He possibly has autistic tendencies, but probably not. He's probably just shy and awkward with displays of affection. In any case, you two don't seem compatible.

delphguelph Mon 06-Aug-18 01:29:02

He's not the one for you, no.

duckeggblue01 Fri 10-Aug-18 20:55:07

Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. There is a resounding answer there, and I think I knew it all along..!

Monstrous Fri 10-Aug-18 21:07:15

I dated someone like this OP. Nothing physical at all unless very forced.
He flinched one morning when I put my arms around his waist while he was cooking breakfast.
I asked him if he was gay. He said he thought it was something he would have to give some thought to.

He was a lovely guy. His best friend was female (and lovely) and had clearly been completely in love with him for years bless her.
We broke up. I have no idea what happened to him. In my head I hope I did him a favour and he later plucked up the courage to come out and is now with him dream partner. I’ve no idea what actually happened...

Tryingagain1 Fri 10-Aug-18 21:16:46

Waste of time OP, sorry.

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