I've been dating my boyfriend for almost 8 months. He's a wonderful man, with many qualities I like and admire: funny, creative, caring, sweet. Yes, he has his quirks, many of which are indeed annoying, but we all do. Overall, he's a marvelous, very sweet person. But: he's nearly 20 years older than I am (43; I'm 25), suffering from back problems, and I'm simply not attracted to him.
Our sex life is dreadful. Firstly, while I think he's cute in a way, I don't find him at all appealing sexually, so I never initiate contact and find it somewhat stressful even to kiss him. Secondly, his back condition means sex is painful for him, so I worry about hurting him and feel worried and fretful afterward while he takes Advil and is visibly achey and grouchy. He seems to know I feel this way, and consequently he gets very clingy and needy, and will cuddle, snuggle, and crowd me until I fall out of bed or become skittish and rude. I've begun to have panic attacks.
But he's a wonderful man, and I do love him as a person and value him as a friend, and I would miss his friendship, support, thoughts, and companionship if we were to end things. Is attraction irrelevant in the face of good companionship and caring? Or is a lifetime of unsatisfying sex necessarily a recipe for disaster?