Attraction: Is It Worth It?
Author: Audrey King
The Common Scenario:
Your partner is hardly ever home to give you attention and when he is home, he's preoccupied with his own routine. The two of you then start picking on the little things about each other. This makes you feel unappreciated and lonely; down on yourself.
One day, you're running household errands after work and notice a male co-worker. He comes up to you and asks you to join him for coffee. You accept and the two of you talk and laugh. You then exchange email addresses and next thing you know, you're looking forward to talking with him again and maybe even liking your job a little more.
Weeks go by, and the excitement ebbs just a little as you begin to feel guilty and confused. You begin to have obsessive thoughts as your co-worker wants the two of you to have sometime alone. Your wandering if he could bring you the happiness that's lacking in your home life, if the grass is truly greener on the other side.
What do you do?
You're Only Human:
It's human nature for you to know that you're desired or loved and wanted. Of course, some are just plain addicted to the feeling of excitement one gets while going through an attraction with another person other than their partner. Insecure feelings and lack of self confidence can make a person think and sometimes do regrettable things when receiving attention from another. In fact, 274 out of 703 people are lacking intimacy altogether from their partner. Most people yearn for passion in their lives almost more than they want or need money. The media puts great emphasis on it through internet, movies, television, radio, magazines and books. I can't count how many times I've read a juicy romance novel and wanted to pummel my husband with it as he was sacked out on the sofa.
Paying The Piper Of Desire:
Desire with love is over rated and misunderstood everywhere and many relationships are torn apart by perceptions of what a person thinks they need to fill a void in their life. They'll practically sell their souls for romance, passion, desire and excitement. Something that their partner can't or won't give. But then, most never communicate with their partners about what they need so how can they know that they can't get it? The few that have discussed their needs and wants with their partners still don't receive it which momentarily justifies their actions. Very rarely does either party gain anything but guilt and even self-loathsome. Not to mention, what others feel and think about them when they choose to act upon their attraction or infatuation.
Phase In...Phase Out:
Infatuation is a strong, foolish, yet transitory, attachment to someone or something. Attraction is similar but less worded. In a survey I conducted, the average person that experienced attraction or infatuation was in the thirty-something category. Many people, especially women, go through an extreme transition at this stage in life. Primping in the mirror and finding the crows feet forming or the laugh lines. Looking back to see what has been accomplished and what hasn't. Wondering what's out there. We all go through it and it does take a toll on our self-esteem.
Use It Or Lose It:
Personally, infatuation over someone other than your partner can actually put spark into a stale relationship. According to my own survey, 19% said that their relationship and feelings with their partner were positively stronger after their infatuation with another. On the other hand, 31% said it never changed their relationship at all because they never told their partner and never acted on their feelings.
Most people do make the undeniable mistake of acting on their infatuation while otherwise committed to another. Out of 294 males, 124 have cheated on their partner and 122 out of 326 females did the same. Approximately, 30% of my personal survey takers advise others in similar situations to "be careful" because "it's not worth it" or "recognize the attraction for what it is and don't read more into it." On a positive note, 37% of those that took the survey did not act upon their attraction.
Is This Love?
The definition of love is, a feeling that animates a person who is devoted to, and sincerely fond of another person or thing that they desire actively. No wonder so many confuse infatuation and attraction with love! The similarities are quite evident. But the key words are "devoted" and "desire actively". Love for another is long-lasting, a more grounded feeling than infatuation or attraction. None of the situations mentioned in my own survey resulted in love or marriage with the other person. Although, 44% resulted in a serious, sexual relationship but neither case ended up as just a one-night-stand. For the most part, 27% say that it's just a memory that they'd rather forget. And only 27% hope to see that person again.
Rewind And Redefine:
So why are most of us so hell-bent on the excitement of infatuation or always wondering if the next person is "the one" even though we are already in a commitment? It's all about ourselves. What we're not getting and refuse to ask for and give in return. How we feel about or see ourselves through another's eyes. Our boredom with a current situation. Not to mention, some of us are just thrill-seekers and taboo-addicts.
Recently, I came upon a quote from SavvyMale.com on attraction.
"We go to the garden to look at the flowers, not the weeds. People are attracted to different looking flowers. But even some pretty flowers stink once we try to smell them."
In my opinion, the moral of this quote is, physical attraction is important at first. Only when we attempt to explore more qualities will we know if a chemistry exists and most of the time it doesn't. However, if we are already committed to another, we can still look at the pretty flowers; just leave them alone. Instead, share your feelings of their beauty with your partner and cultivate your own beautiful garden as a couple. There's a greater chance of your grass being the greenest of all.
About the author
© Audrey King 2005
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