Understanding attraction is complex and multi-faceted. It’s something that many people struggle with, both in and outside of relationships. It happens on a variety of different levels--physical, emotional, and intellectual and there are no “one size fits” all recipes. One day you may be attracted to someone and the next day that feeling may be gone. Sometimes we can get it back and sometimes we can’t. If it’s never been there at all, (you’re best friends but were never physically attracted to each other) and end up together, it can doom your relationship.
I had the opportunity to explore attraction at a recent workshop I attended. We were asked to walk around the room and notice the people we were physically attracted to and ask them if they wanted to have sex, knowing this was not going to happen. It was pretty easy for me to identify the people I was attracted to. I noticed that I do this all the time. I’m constantly scanning a room, using my intuition and my energy to “see” who I’m drawn to.
Let's start with talking about exploring what attraction means in a relationship
Because of this, it's not at all uncommon for me to have this wild, crazy connection with somebody where there is all of this energy and juice between me and this other person. This physical connection can get so intense that it’s actually visible to strangers. A few years ago, I was walking on the streets of NYC with a man who I had an intense physical connection with. A stranger stopped us and said, “‘Oh my God, I can actually see the sexual charge between the two of you.”
I used to think this was exactly what I needed.and wanted. An intense physical attraction that literally made me want to jump out of my skin and left me breathless. Through trial and error, and lots of pain, I’ve come to realize that for me, such a strong sexual attraction and energy, at the beginning of a relationship is not healthy. It clouds my judgment and can easily mask serious red flags, which I had been willing to sweep under the table because the attraction was so strong.
I’ve learned that slowing things down and building the sexual connection slowly, as the relationship builds, is a much safer way for me to explore attraction and intimacy. In this space, I can get to know someone, assess the relationship for red flags, and decide how emotionally connected and safe I feel with this person before I fully open myself up sexually to them.
In this same workshop, we also had the opportunity to partner with people who we were not attracted to. This was extremely challenging for me because this person knew I was not attracted to them. The whole time I felt like I was being judged for judging them. AWKWARD!
But an interesting shift happened in the exercise when I was forced to connect and converse with this person.
I could feel myself soften to that person. I started to actually see their deliciousness, their juiciness, their divine, and their vulnerability. I started to notice that as we dropped into conversation and connection, I shed my judgment about their physical appearance a level of attraction to this person. Maybe not to engage sexually in any way but there definitely was more attraction there.
This was an eye-opening experience for me and has helped me to better understand how attractions works in my life and how to help my clients when they are also struggling with it in their own relationships.
Tune back in next week for the second part!