Hi, is it possible to love someone that you are not physically attracted to? can they still be married and be happy?  what does the church say about true love?

The choice of partners for marriage is truly up to the partners themselves.  Different people will have different criteria, some valuing wealth or status or good family upbringing, others valuing beauty or amiability or whatever.  The key thing is that marriage is a final commitment, one that is not to be undone (and cannot, really, be undone, however much some have pretended) so long as both partners live.  Any criteria whatsoever which is sufficient for the partners themselves is sufficient for the requirements of the Church (assuming marriage is validly possible).  And of course, even within any of these criteria, different people will have different tastes for what they find attractive.
So, can love be for one that a person is not attracted to?  Certainly it can.  Will you commit to that love, irrevocably, remaining loyal and faithful to that person, even in the presence of others who may have all their desirable qualities but also be strikingly beautiful as well?  A person must look into their own heart and make that decision.
The only other consideration here is this.  It is one thing if, out of all persons around the whole world, one's clear and evident soul mate happens, unfortunately, to be born with face and/or figure that one does not find at all attractive.  But it is quite another to merely "settle" for a person they are not attracted to, perhaps because they are desperate for a marriage partner, or because they are under some threat.  In any such circumstances one must examine the basis of their "love" for the unattractive person.  Is their character that truly great and noble and worthy, or their resources that capable of meeting some expensive personal tastes, or their reputation family and breeding so good that physical ugliness is "out of place" in such a one?  Or is it merely some basic need to find someone to love, however ill-fitting, just so as to not have to be alone?  One can, after all, find oneself pinned to someone who could make them wish they were alone, and having them be ugly to boot would only add to quite a considerable cross to bear for the remainder of one's life.
Marriage is for keeps.  Can you truly be content with the life this person offers, turning your back on all (possibly much better) alternatives that may yet arise in the years to come?  On that, you should base your answer.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Griff Ruby


I focus on the "why" and "how" questions of the Faith and one`s need for the Church to overcome sin, live the life God wishes us, and to become what God wants us to be. I seek to provide insight and information such that you are then able to see for yourself the answer to your questions.


Years of extensive research, thought, and prayerful meditation on many of the issues that trouble Catholics today, taught catechetical classes to teenagers and adults, answered many questions already.

Legion of Mary, Knights of Columbus

©2016 All rights reserved.