DEAR CAROLYN: For almost a decade now, I have been close friends with an incredibly kind, compassionate, sweet and altogether special man. I am beginning to envision a romantic future with him.
Unfortunately, I have one hang-up that makes me feel incredibly vain and shallow: I don’t find him physically attractive. Maintaining a level of physical fitness and wellness is incredibly important to me. My friend doesn’t exercise – never has – and while I didn’t think it bothered me, it does.
Does physical attraction develop over time?
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DEAR FRIEND: The time to be a better, deeper and less vain person is after you’ve committed yourself to someone. When you’re on the threshold of romance, with nothing invested beyond some mental what-ifs, that’s when you want to listen to the pettiest side of yourself, and recognize you won’t be happy unless that side is happy.
You may not be proud of it, but it’s part of you – arguably the most honest part. So while, yes, physical attraction does often develop over time, so do resentment and disgust – and it’s usually when you bank on one that you get the other.
Last thought: Someone chiseled now can sag later. “Would I still love him squishy?” is something you especially need to ask yourself, because fairness demands that you hold out for “yes.”
Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.