Have you ever felt unavoidably, intensely attracted to someone who is just wrong for you? Are you unable to escape their charm and attraction but repeatedly let down by them?
If so, you might have chalked the attraction up to “chemistry.”
“Our chemistry is just so powerful! I can’t let him go, even if I know he’s no good for me.”
While I don’t dismiss the importance of good chemistry in relationship, if you’re experiencing this, it’s a good idea to take a step back and ask yourself if there might be some other cause for the strong attraction.
Does this relationship fit a pattern in your life? Is the person you have such strong attraction to withholding and distant? Do you have a pattern of attracting these kinds of partners?
If so, you might be experiencing attachment issues – NOT chemistry.
What IS “Chemistry”?
First, let’s talk about what “chemistry” means in the context of relationship. Researchers have identified many components of chemistry, including attraction, high quality connections, spark, similarity, complementarity, mutual attentiveness, flow, and charisma.
While some people may be instantly attracted to each other, and this might be attributed to chemistry, the research suggests that “moments of connection must accumulate before enduring chemistry is felt and observed.” It takes time and shared experiences to determine whether true chemistry exists.
So if it’s not not true chemistry, what is it?
It might be Attachment Issues.
Attachment issues, as I discuss here, might be the real cause of the intense feelings of attraction you have for someone who just isn’t right for you.
If you find yourself continually wanting to connect with someone who draws you in, but they don’t offer you true connection, you might be experiencing anxious attachment.
Here are some warning signs that what you’re feeling is anxious attachment and not chemistry:
- Your attempts to communicate are not reciprocated.
- You try to connect, and they pull away.
- Their actions do not match their words.
So it’s not Chemistry… NOW what?!
If you’ve ascertained that what you’re experiencing is more likely an attachment issue and not chemistry, it’s a good idea to pull back your attention from that person and focus on your own unmet needs.
Consider where the attachment issue came from. When you were a child, were your caregivers inconsistently responsive to your needs? Can you re-parent your inner child to offer them the comfort and responsiveness your young self deserved? (If you can’t do this on your own, don’t feel bad; often people with these issues need effective therapy, and I can help.)
Now is the time for impeccable self care. Give yourself – both your present adult self and your inner child being – all the love and care you would give someone else you loved.
If you’ve determined that the person you were attracted to is just no good for you, take steps to limit (or completely avoid) interactions with them, and consider some spiritual or energetic healing to help release them from your life. You might consider doing a cord-cutting ceremony, which I discuss here.
And most importantly, know that you are a perfectly imperfect being, completely deserving of love.