First of all it is not only normal but healthy to have the desires that you have. You learn relationship skills or the lack there of from your parents as you grow up. Are you lacking in your relationship skills? Probably. Do you have a self image problem? Probably. Do you control your physical appearance as a reaction to your psychological state? Probably.
Here is my recommendation to you. Continue to seek out a relationship. Utilize all of the online dating services available to you. Begin counseling. Should a relationship begin with someone make sure that you are discussing this relationship and critiquing your behavior in that relationship as a central point in your therapy. Physical attraction is a part of most relationships, in fact the vast majority.
Who knows why or how we are attracted to another person but still we are. It is important in the initial attraction phase and is also important throughout the duration of the relationship. I have spent many hours listening to clients complain about how their partner has “let themselves go.” It is the changeable things that they complain about, not those that come from accident or the aging process. People can’t understand why their partner would choose to look less good than they could. I have rarely heard someone complain about their significant other’s wrinkles or missing toes or facial scar. I have instead heard them complain about gray hair that could be colored or weight that could be lost or clothes that could be more fashionable, etc.
I tell you this to let you know how people think. When you are looking for someone to date, realize how people think. I think they will see you much more positively if they think that you are the kind of person who tries to look their best. The opposite would be for them to think that you are the kind of person who really doesn’t care how they look or dress. It isn’t so much how you look but more so whether or not you care to present your best appearance. That is what seems to matter to them. So, with that in mind, do your best to present a good appearance. Aren’t we all being judged by others as we walk down the hallway of any mall?
You will be similarly judged by those who are attracted enough to you, to ask you for a date. What I am saying applies equally to men and women. Be well groomed. Present a good appearance. The fact that you care will have a positive impact on how others perceive you psychologically. People do care about what is inside you but sometimes their impression of the inside comes from their observations of the outside. No one can truly see inside you, so they do their best to guess from the clues that they can perceive. Let’s work on finding that relationship. It’s right for most people and it’s right for you. Take care.
This article has been updated from the original version, which was originally published here on April 13, 2009.