A great sage (I suspect it was the tireless Anon once again) said "Obey your instincts." Now in the haste of modern life many influences demand obedience, and sadly there are always stray people lacking direction who thus fall prey to confidence tricksters, simply because they seem to know what they are talking about. I'm always suspicious of people who primarily issue imperatives in their speech, maybe except my football coach, who literally barks orders. Now I need to be getting to the point, how our eyes need to stay open.
Let us telescopically zoom in on love and romance, the way modern culture depicts them. ( Not so close that we must stare at other people's displays of affection. Look in the mirror and you should see quite enough, thank you.) My view of the past presents me as an evangelical believer in the romantic tropes of back in the day. For example, The One: an exclusive soulmate figure with whom the matching agent is no less than Destiny and without whom there is no Happily Ever After.
With ideas like these filling my head I set out to search for love and soon thought I found it. But my instinct refused to believe the narrative I was forcing upon myself. I ignored the annoying instinct until one day it screamed out: "Love is not this way!" The attraction was compromised from the start by an unfortunate pink hue coming from rose-tinted glasses I was wearing at the time.
Let me explain myself; you see, attraction is a funny thing, it's like binary. When it's on, it's like two magnets close together, they slam into one another and cleave together. When it's off, nothing will happen, like preoccupied strangers in the street. Factors of attraction vary, from physical appearance to virtues and appealing character but there's got to be attraction, it's not magic.
The problem begins when romantic love is made the be-all and end-all of life and happiness, until misguided souls settle with insufficient attraction. The cart is before the horse. There may be other motives which do not qualify as attraction because they are only marginally related to the object of affection, like how the two of you will look, what others will think, other calculations, etc (which are given disproportionate weight despite only being by-products, side effects.) This is the real dynamic behind that oft-rehashed complaint now popularized by the movies: "I feel like you are in love with the idea of being in love and not in love with meeee!" **tears, and then an overdue break up***
In a lovesick mind, having to pep talk oneself every time before facing the partner is more tolerable than being alone. Consequently, these shut their eyes and ears from dissonant facts that indicate that they have been settled for, shielding themselves from the truth by going to extra lengths to obligate their partners to stay with them. But love is not this way. Granted, arranged marriages between total strangers have worked, which somewhat complicates my argument on the necessity of initial attraction. Never mind, I'll figure it out. All I'm saying here is, there's no faking love in a relationship, no matter how "romantic" it is made to look.
Why am I talking like this? How do I know? I've been that guy, I've been on both ends of an attraction imbalance, both settling for others when my options dried up and being settled for by others. One kind of feels a nagging pain in the instinct in either format. Unless an isostatic adjustment balances the inequality, which may not happen even with prolonged exposure, do not proceed by any means. Just wait. Keep your eyes wide open in the meantime.