I Married A Guy I Wasn’t Attracted To
I’m sure every person has a mental picture of what they would like their soul mate to look like. When I was growing up I knew that I wanted a man who was tall, lean, with light skin and elegant hands (I have a thing about stubby fingers). He would be a respected man in the community, be very educated, and be super romantic. To be completely honest, I wanted to be a pastor’s wife. So when I met the man who would become my husband, I didn’t spare him a second look. In fact, I didn’t really bother to make note of his existence. He really didn’t look like anyone I would usually be attracted to: he was tall, yes, but very bulky and slightly overweight; matter of fact, his face still had the baby chubby look to it.
We started off as friends, so I didn’t really take time to contemplate his looks. Our friendship started really casually and kind of happened without me even noticing. Our churches had the same pastor and we would see each other at youth events. We started taking a youth leader class together with a few other mutual friends and had some projects to complete before we could get our certificates from the class. So in the last month of our program we started meeting up to work on the projects together. He invited me to Bible studies and they were really amazing, so we would end up having long talks about God, life, and everything else in between.
It wasn’t until he expressed to me that he was starting to become attracted to me that I realized he was totally opposite of what I wanted my man to be like (or so I thought). So I let him know immediately that I didn’t see him that way, and he was okay with that. We continued being friends, but the more time I spent with him, the more my heart was touched by his sincerity and integrity. And he was just a really good friend: encouraging and always willing to listen and give godly advice. He would remember little details of our conversations and surprise me with encouraging text messages, cards, and other small gifts. And that made me….. panic.
As time passed I became more and more anxious because I could feel myself “falling” in love with him even though I didn’t want to love him. I kept reminding myself over and over that his looks weren’t what I was looking for, that we weren’t compatible because I was done with school and he wasn’t. I was already working in my career and he was still trying to figure out what his calling was. I came from a close-knit family and he came from a very broken up home. It just seemed like aside from being sincere Christians we were opposites in every way.
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The Bible says that there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. That friend is the one you should marry. And believe me, the emotional attraction that you start to develop with that person will soon become a physical attraction as well. It’s kind of the natural order of things that when someone captures your heart, you’ll start to see them in a new light. Once I let myself fall in love with my husband, the physical attraction grew on its own. I love my chocolate honey bear! So my take-home message is: don’t automatically friend-zone people who don’t meet “standards” that are actually superficial preferences. It’s okay to have them, but don’t make them more important than the person’s character or the connection you have with them.
If you want to learn more about how attraction works in relationships and dating check out this interesting book “Dating From the Inside Out.” by Dr. Paulette Sherman. It has really good information on how to prepare yourself for meaningful dating.