Should I go out with someone if I’m not attracted to them?

There are many good reasons to go out with an unattractive person: to give you dating practice and improve your relational skills, to have fun without the pressure of being perfect, to make the person feel good and take the opportunity to find some hidden attractiveness.

Reasons not to go out with someone you are not attracted to

Hey if you’re not attracted to someone, then you’re not attracted to someone. Maybe that’s all there is to it. Let’s discuss some common reasons you would not want to go out with somebody who you’re not attracted to.

1. Wasting your time
First of all, you feel like you’re just wasting your time. You know that you’re not interested in that person, so to date somebody you have no desire to be with is not an efficient way of using your time. Instead of going out with this unattractive person, you could be a spending your time with much more attractive people. Or perhaps you could invest your time in trying to get a date with that awesome person who’s way more attractive than you.

I do have some sympathy for this point of view. I think most of us have been in this situation before. But we have to make sure that we are not becoming a perfectionist. While some people are awesomely attractive, hopefully that’s not the only people you consider dating. There are lots of people who are mildly attractive. With a little effort, you can see the attractive side in anyone.

2. It’s a turnoff
Another reason you may not want to date a person who you find unattractive, is that it’s just a turnoff. In a way, you feel somewhat offended at the concept of dating this person. Perhaps this person has asked you out and now you feel pressure to respond. It’s a very awkward situation because under no circumstances would you ever go out who has no chemistry with you. Or perhaps you have friends trying to set you up on a date with somebody and you just say to yourself, “No, no, no. I would never go out with this person.” Again, if that’s the way you feel, there’s nothing you could do about it. You just feel what you feel. But if you could lower your standard enough to move beyond feelings of disgust, you might find a deeper attraction hiding underneath.

3. Don’t want to lead them on
Another reason that you may not want to date this person you find unattractive is that you don’t want them to think that you find them attractive. Obviously, since most people date the people they find attractive, if you go on a date with this unattractive person, they might even begin to think that they are actually attractive. And you wouldn’t want that, would you? Another problem is that some form of relationship might develop, although that ought to be biologically impossible. So in order to avoid any future embarrassment, you must necessarily flat-out reject dating this unattractive person.

4. Publicly maintain your standards
The final reason why you may not want to date an unattractive person is that you need to publicly maintain your standards. What I mean is that you have a reputation to protect. You want to go out with Attractive people and you want Attractive people to think that you are Attractive, too. But if attractive people see you going out with unattractive people, they may immediately lower their judgment of you.

So in order to maintain your social reputation, you have to reject unattractive people. You may need to be very cruel and publicly reject them so that everybody can see that you maintain your high standards of attractiveness. Hopefully, you can pick up my sarcasm here. I don’t support this way of thinking but in fact, this is a common way people act. Especially in high school. Just as the rich don’t want to hang out with the poor, the attractive don’t want to hang out with the unattractive. It’s a form of public signaling.

Reasons to go out with someone you are not attracted to

There are a lot of reasons why is good to go out with somebody who is unattractive to you. I will list some that I have found in my own life and I hope they can help you as well.

1. Improve your dating skill
First of all, by going out with unattractive people you can improve your dating skill. You can consider this date a training session to become a better date in the future. Focus on listening, focus on maintaining a conversation, focus on treating the other person politely and respectfully. Then when you do go out with really attractive people, you’ll have already perfected your dating skills.

For example, in graduate school, I went out with a girl who I felt was unattractive, even though we had much in common. We had gone to the same University in another state and we also went to the same church. About 5 years before, I invited her and her roommates to have dinner at my house with my roommates. I saw her as boyish and unattractive, but I was interested in her French roommate.

Well here we were five years later in the same grad school, taking the same classes and somebody set us up on a date together. We did not have a successful date because we were both quiet and reserved. This was the wake-up call that I needed to improve my communication ability to be more fluid and more able to draw someone else out to find their hidden attractiveness. And so, over the years both for dating and also for work, I have learned how to communicate with people and find out interesting things about them and have fun together, regardless of how attractive they seem at first.

2. Low-pressure fun
Another reason to date an unattractive person is so that you can have fun in a low-pressure situation. You can find something you can do together that you both enjoy and you don’t have any pressure to impress the other person or make All the Right Moves. You can be yourself; you don’t have to pretend to be more impressive than you really are. And because you don’t expect a relationship, you can just share a good time together.

Once, in graduate school, a friend set me up with one of my Asian classmates. I had known her for a couple of years and my roommate dated her twin sister. Unfortunately, the twin sister that I dated was considered the unattractive one. We agreed to see a movie together and have dinner together. It was a nice time, I never did find her attractive but we enjoyed the movie and it had a nice time together. That’s all we were really looking for this situation.

3. Make someone else feel special
This could be a good opportunity to make an unattractive person feel special. Most unattractive people know that they are unattractive. They know that they don’t get to date Attractive people and they may not get very many dates at all. But when you go out with this person you have an opportunity to make them feel more attractive, more likable, even help them make their life a little bit worthwhile. This is called altruism and it’s a good thing.

For example, when I was in my late twenties, I went on an arranged date with a girl to her college graduation dinner. I found her completely unattractive; she was very overweight, with a plain face and a boring personality. She was not a person that I would even notice as I walked by on the campus. But a friend of mine told me that she needed a date for her college graduation dinner and asked me if I would help her out. So I dressed up, I bought her a gift, and escorted her to the graduation dinner. I sat around with her friends and socialized. I made sure not to draw too much attention to myself, even though I was years older than the others, and I made her feel like we completely belonged there. I did my best to see that she had a wonderful (platonic) evening. Then we parted ways and didn’t see each other again.

It’s my hope that she will always have a fun memory of our evening together with her friends looking up to her and impressed that she got an older guy to date her. That’s much better having a terrible memory of sitting alone at her graduation dinner and everybody looking down on her, saying she couldn’t even get a date. In the end we both felt good- a win-win situation.

4. Give someone a chance
The final reason why it’s good to date somebody you find unattractive is that if you just give them a chance, you might find something attractive about them, something that pulls you in and makes you want to spend more time together. Sometimes you have to look beyond the surface level and see the persons interests, their emotional depth, their intellectual side, or their sensibilities. There are many facets of attractiveness beyond just looks, wealth and status. By going on a date with this unattractive person, you don’t expect anything will happen. But by giving them a chance, perhaps you will discover a diamond in the rough.

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2 Responses

  1. Julian says:

    I agree that going out on a date with someone you may not be attracted to can be fun and you never know. A harmless date could turn into a great friendship or even a potential love interest. Opposites attract and you could be blown away. I have dated girls that maybe were not initially attractive to me but had amazing personalities. Also, they looked completely different in date clothes (yes that’s a thing).

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