Scroll on any social media platform for at least 10 minutes and you’re bound to come across some relationship ‘guru’ dishing out advice about what makes up the perfect relationship. Hell, I’ve even delved into this sea myself (See my blog ‘Dating in the New World’, ahem). Beware of falling into the social media rabbit hole – memes and quotes and Tik-Tok therapists telling you how to deal with that break up or in what way you or that man are defective.
I’m here to assure you that there is NO right or wrong for what makes sense in the best relationship for you. We all have different subtle nuances within ourselves that allow us to appreciate, compromise on and detest different things in each union we embark on. No two people are the same and no two people will interact together in the same way as they will interact with others that they find attractive – attraction is an experience unique to each match.
Much of the time we are complex and unconsciously animals, with nuances constantly and acutely firing up, sometimes by previous learned experiences, sometimes by instinct and sometimes by god given genetic engineering.
In my own world, I don’t know why I’m turned off by classically handsome men. Smooth and slick, they represent something in me that I can’t quite put my finger on but I just ‘feel’ it– I don’t know why I am turned on to guyswho are usually slightly more battered by life, sometimes paunchy and definitely quirky in some way. A recent man I dated was heavy – no disrespect to heavy men but not my usual type – but I was sooooo attracted to him, sexually and mentally! The fact that he was essentially egocentric, not actually interested in who I am one jot and lied to me was brushed aside by my brain whenever I was in close proximity to his beard – yes, his beard of all things – and his larger than life charisma! Ultimately, this is the thing that broke the relationship, it didn’t last long and I came to my senses of course, but, had I have been forced to describe or explain this strange attraction to him to anyone else, it would have sounded lame and confusing – I couldn’t explain it to myself even!
My point here is that we each have a complex vast combination of tiny triggers, positive and negative, within a relationship and we cannot help ourselves around what we are attracted to. Over time and with conscious awareness, the triggers can become more stabilised and we can learn to understand them better; that they may make us desire a particular person, but also know when a person is not healthy for us.
In any case, do NOT spend time on blame or self-loathing when you fall for the power of attraction only to later realise it’s damaging you – treat yourself with kindness and give yourself time. Open your mind to the learning you can take from it, moving forward. By all means, listen to gurus and ‘well-meaner’s’ but don’t lose sight of the fact that only you know your own thoughts and feelings and, hopefully, triggers.
You are your own best teacher and you will find someone whose own triggers complement you. Find forgiveness inside for yourself for every attraction that goes wrong or is short-lived – it doesn’t matter, there will be others x