Dating and Relationship Advice

As I touched on in my last post (link to "Attraction is not shallow"), attraction can bring up difficult feelings. It can feel threatening when someone is attracted to you, especially if you're not attracted to them, because of our misuse of the word "attraction" to describe the motivators of people who seek to use or consume us rather than honor or respect us in romantic relationships. It has been modeled to use to excuse reckless, dehumanizing and disrespectful behavior with explanations like "he was "only" physically attracted to you" and the like, downgrading physical attraction to the level of instinctual behavior that is hard to override.

The importance of attraction

In this way, we've made too much of attraction in the wrong way. We've confused one-way attraction for the only kind of attraction there is and condemned the entire concept of attraction as dangerous, selfish and consumptive. If one-way attraction is all you've experienced, then it would make sense that the idea of attraction triggers anxiety for you.

Attraction that is not mutual

It's likely that you've also experienced the pain of attraction that wasn't mutual, which may have caused you to question your worth or desirability, which can cause anxiety about how attractive you actually are. This can also contribute to the belief that mutual attraction is rare and feeling like you have to settle for someone you are not attracted to based on your beliefs about how attractive (or not) you actually are. This can lead to attempting to change your appearance to fit some imagined objective standard of beauty instead of finding people with whom you have mutual attraction, which is what iris Dating focuses on.

Mutual attraction heals

Trying to change yourself to meet an external standard that has no clear definition will reinforce anxiety because each person attracted to different things. Objective attractiveness does exist, but that does not preclude anyone from finding a person they are mutually attracted to. Instead of taking it personally when someone is not attracted to you, start looking for mutual attraction. In our over-emphasis on one-way attraction, we have missed the importance of mutual attraction and thus have undervalued it. Dismissing attraction as necessary for the longevity of a relationship has added to attraction anxiety rather than diminished it because we continue to be caught in patterns of trying to change ourselves to fit what we're attracted to instead of focusing on the search for mutual attraction.

The sooner we are able to acknowledge the importance of mutual attraction, the sooner we will be able to release our anxiety about our own attractiveness and begin building healthy relationships that do not trigger feelings of inadequacy of reinforce the "hanging by a thread" syndrome that weigh down people who do not feel they are at the same level of attractiveness as their partners. Mutual attraction is not only possible and necessary but is healing.

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