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The Hidden, Unconscious Reasons We Are Attracted To Someone

Your conscious mind isn’t necessarily your best guide.

The Hidden, Unconscious Reasons We Are Attracted To Someone

We are attracted to people for many different reasons, some of them conscious, some unconscious.

Some of the conscious reasons have to do with how the person looks, how they act, the sound of their voice, the sensation of their touch, and other sensory cues. These are things we can identify and recognize; they are obvious and self-evident.

Yet lying below the surface of our conscious awareness are subtle, less apparent factors that contribute to the degree of attractiveness we find in others.

These factors relate to unspoken, even unknown wishes and desires for what we might be able to experience with this person. They involve the agenda of the heart and they often are very distinct from the desires of the mind. Such an agenda can include the hopes of fulfillment, the healing of buried wounds, or a realization of our deepest life potential.

There are also other factors that make a person attractive to us, which have to do with what we sense we can experience with them, and how to think they can enhance the quality of our life. We may feel that they have the capacity to bring more healing, passion, peace, exuberance, ease, fulfillment, or joy into our life.

 

The vast majority of us come into adulthood with some degree of unhealed childhood wounds, damage to our sense of self, and diminished self-esteem, self-worth, and self-trust. Consequently, we don’t experience ourselves as being complete, or sufficient.

Often, what makes certain people particularly attractive to us is that when we are really with them we experience ourselves as being more whole. In the process of being in the relationship, we may come to identify the places in ourselves where we feel fragmented and begin to heal those places that are in need of our attention. The healing process involves a willingness on our part to bring an accepting, loving awareness to places in ourselves that are in need of care and compassion and to be open to accepting the same from others. When the level of trust in our relationship has sufficiently deepened, past-unacknowledged wounds will naturally arise into awareness. In the presence of a trusted partner, that which has previously been unbearable can be borne. What had been repressed and denied can be exposed to the light of conscious awareness. It is this exposure and the compassion and acceptance of a loving presence that can transform pain into love.

 

There is a wide range of experiences that can wound our sense of self.

Living in a family where all the interactions are superficial and shallow can cause a wound that may limit the capacity for meaningful connections with others. Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, rejection, extreme punishment, humiliation, ridicule, and abandonment can also be the source of unhealed wounds. Growing up inevitably entails the process of going through ordeals, struggles, challenges, and difficulties. Some circumstances are extreme in regard to the degree of violence, suffering, and terror such as those that occur in times of war, or when caregivers are severely mentally disabled.

Written by Linda and Charlie Bloom

Linda Bloom, LCSW and Charlie Bloom, MSW have been trained as psychotherapists and relationship counselors and have worked with individuals, couples, groups, and organizations since 1975. They have lectured and taught at universities and learning institutes throughout the USA, including the Esalen Institute, the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, 1440 Multiversity, and many others.  They have taught seminars in many countries throughout the world. They have co-authored four books, 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last, Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth From Real Couples About Lasting Love, Happily Ever After And 39 Other Myths About Love, and That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They have been married since 1972 and are the parents of two adult children and three grandsons. Linda and Charlie live in Santa Cruz, California. Their website is www.bloomwork.com.

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