commented on SL Letter of the Day: Get Your Twink On
I would definitely caution the LW to wait before considering a long term commitment here, until she knows what is most important to her.
I am a woman pretty much exclusively attracted to one type of man - not far away from the LW's type. I thought this was just a "physical ideal" and something I could compromise on. I also thought at times I was being shallow, and too picky.
I ended up in a relationship with a man who was tall, broad, quite muscular. A long way from my type. We spent nearly a decade in a relationship which despite trying and trying just didn't work sexually due to my lack of sexual attraction to him.
After a lot of kidding myself that my sex drive was in the wrong we split up for a bit, prompted in large part by me getting involved (with my partner's knowledge) with another guy who was much more my type. I realised then that it was really important to me to be with someone I had a strong sexual desire for.
Then my long-term partner and I got back together on the basis of having an open relationship to deal with my need for adorable hairless men with questionable sexual orientations, and on the basis he could get the sex he wasn't getting from me elsewhere. We did this because we get along so very well as people, we share finances so well, we trust each other so much, we share a lot of interests and dreams for the future, etc.
That lasted until I got involved with another guy who was more my type. Having real intimacy with someone I also desperately want to screw is something I now realise I really need, and I found myself closer and closer to the new partner and with less time for the long term one. I realised I really can't balance multiple serious partners - I focus on one person. This caused a whole load of friction, and before long a conversation where he and I realised we'd really done a lot of damage to each other's self esteem and sex drives. Both of us really needed a partner who offers more than commitment and stability, and really good sex once in a blue moon. I needed someone I really wanted, and he needed someone who really wanted him.
So we split up, but since we work so well and in a lot of ways we're sharing the house, the car, our finances, and so on. Why throw out the good bits? It was hard work but we're as close as ever, just minus the sexual/romantic relationship bit which really wasn't working.
I'm sure for some people compromising over the sexual attraction bit is workable. For other people I'm sure open or poly relationships help sort this situation out. But neither worked for me, and it took me years to figure out the solution. I'm very glad I didn't get married during those years, it would have made an already complicated and difficult situation even worse.
I would also like to echo those commentors who mentioned the effect this might have on your partner - my lack of desire definitely had an effect on my ex. Years of thinking or knowing that you can't turn on the person you desire and love would surely hurt anyone, if the situation is not resolved in some way. Don't ignore this situation and just try to put up with it for both of your sakes. I think there are a lot of potential ways to deal with it, but you need to figure out which one works best for you both.