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Why You Should Date the Man You Like (but who doesn't make you swoon)


Ted Huston, Ph.D., professor at the University of Texas at Austin, says that marriages that begin with romantic bliss and high intensity are particularly divorce-prone because such intensity cannot be maintained.

As you can imagine, this causes big problems when romantic intensity that cannot be maintained, collides with an expectation that it should be maintained, or that it should last forever. 

When a woman believes it must be true love because we quickly feel strong attraction for a man, we are in danger of being disappointed later when infatuation dies. I’ve seen this happen over and over—even with older women.

Emotional and physical intensity at the beginning of a relationship are no guarantee that a relationship is good or that two people should be together.

In the book, “The Truth About Love,” by Patricia Love, Dr. Huston notes that happier couples don’t consider the end of infatuation a crushing blow, but rather a “natural transition from the ‘romantic relationship’ to a ‘working partnership.” He also says that many couples begin as friends and then later add romantic love to their bond.

So, what does this mean for you?

It means you should consider going out with that guy who is your good friend—or who could become a good friend.

You should date the guy you respect, admire, and really enjoy being with.

You should date the guy who likes you for you and doesn’t try to change your personality.

You should date the guy you trust, makes you laugh, and with whom you feel at home.  

Certainly, a high level of intensity won’t last, but the things I mentioned above can.

But don't I have to be attracted to him?

When I suggest to women to consider dating a friend, they always ask, “But don’t I have to be physically attracted to him?”

Sure. There has to be some attraction. You shouldn’t ever date someone that you don’t find at all physically desirable. That would be unwise.

But you don’t have to be physically blown away by a man. He doesn’t have to make you swoon or make your heart go pitter-patter. It doesn’t have to be like the movies.

Culture, films, books, and conversations with our girlfriends, have taught us to value the idealism of intense romance above all, which is often connected to the rush of physical chemistry. This often hasn’t served us well when it comes to finding lasting love.

We were just buds

My husband, Clark, and I fall into the “they started as friends” category.

When we first met, we weren’t interested in each other romantically. But we really enjoyed talking with one another. Then, “like” turned into deep respect and admiration, which turned into romantic love.

I knew it was a safe and healthy relationship when Clark liked me for me, and I liked him for who he was, too.

My husband once told me that he loved me as a friend before he ever loved me as a girlfriend. And, I have told him, “Being married to your best friend is the bomb!”

Because we started out as friends, I was able to be myself without the pressure of feeling as if I had to meet a certain set of expectations, which had often been the case in other relationships I experienced that started out on a romantic high. Over time, our love has grown and I can’t imagine anyone would be a better match for me.

Forget zero attraction 

Again, I’m not suggesting you date someone you have zero attraction for, that you don’t like a lot or like being with, or someone who you can’t imagine being sexually intimate with. That would be unwise.

And, don’t try to make someone into a date or mate with whom your values and interests are not compatible. That’s a recipe for disaster, too.

But I am suggesting that you consider going out with men who don’t automatically make you think “I think this is ‘the one.’” Go out with the guy who at first glance doesn’t seem like your “type.” Go out with the guy who doesn’t make you swoon.

It could lead to a happy ending

Rather than getting all caught up in how a particular guy makes you feel because of romance or physical chemistry, ask yourself, “Do I really enjoy being with this person?”

You may find that a guy that you had not previously considered could be a good very, very good match for you and make you deeply happy. And, you could make him happy too.

I'm rooting for you! 

Your dating and relationship coach, 
Shana Schutte

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