deconstructing attraction

Most of us are pretty good at noticing when we’re attracted to someone. And often, we don’t take the time to analyze why or what it all means. So let’s take a moment to break this down:

  • There’s the obvious physical attraction, which may have to do with appearance, style, smile, eyes, pheromones or any number of other external characteristics.
  • There’s intellectual attraction, which I’ll define as getting turned on by the way someone thinks or expresses himself, and is often experienced when you get the feeling you could talk to the guy forever and never get bored. Of course, this needn’t require the object of affection to be a genius. Sometimes simply being able to hold a conversation and have presence and attention is enough. And we’ll lump those things into this category.
  • And there’s emotional attraction. It’s a bit slippery to try to define this one, because for women it often gets muddled right into the other two without a lot of thought. We often mistake an intellectual connection for an emotional bond. In fact, many of us (both men and women) use the words “think” and “feel” interchangeably at times.

Yet I’ve been learning that there’s a distinct difference for men. Men can be attracted physically and intellectually to a wonderful woman, and still not feel an emotional connection to her. They may want enjoy conversation with her, totally want to bone her and still not be drawn to her. (All this is the summary version of what I’ve learned on relationship expert Chris Carter’s site.)

As both an intelligent and highly physical women, this is a difficult concept for me to get my arms around. I never thought too much about it, because chemistry seemed to come so easily and naturally for me — and it was usually mutual. But I am beginning to understand my part in emotionally attracting men, which is to use those “I feel” statements relationship expert Rori Raye talks about. Learning to do so is forcing me to be more authentic and in the moment in all of my daily interactions, whether with men or women, in person or over the phone.

While this way of communicating is not entirely intuitive to me and I sometimes have to think about it, I like the response I’m getting. I can feel myself drawing others in. And maybe somewhere along the way I’ll draw in some special guy with some super ninja emotional magnetism!

falling into the feminine

I have already mentioned my all-out assault on beliefs and habits that have limited me, as well as how I’ve bungled many a relationship.

I’m ready for some major transformations, and I’m ready to invite some male attention back into my life. Rather than just flirting within the safe realm of old flames, I’m going to go out and meet some new men and start dating. I’m not ready to meet Mr. Right just yet, but I am ready to practice the things I’d like to do once I meet him.

Thus, after years of having to be the hard-driving, get-it-done masculine energy in my home, I’m ready to surrender into my feminine nature. And I’m turning to some experts to learn how this is done.

One of the tips I’ve gleaned from relationship expert Rori Raye is to say what you want, demonstrate emotional resilience and communicate clearly by using “I feel…” This gives a man an opportunity fulfill his nurturing role and take care of you. As an example, “I’m feeling a little hungry” gives a man an opportunity to offer to take you out for a bite.
You can add to this “What do you think?” to further appeal to your man’s desire to solve problems. Call it a new way of negotiating.

Since there is no man in my life, I asked a co-worker to test this new method of getting what you want. She and her husband have been arguing over the thermostat all winter. So… she went home and said, “I feel a little chilly. What do you think?”

He:  “You’re wearing three sweaters. How can you be cold?”

She:  “I had to sleep in my robe the other night.”

He doesn’t respond. She goes to bed cold and irritable, thinking that, yet again, she hasn’t gotten through to him. In the morning, he wakes up and says, “You know? It is a little chilly in here. Maybe we should turn up the thermostat.”

After weeks of arguing and a final night of thinking she was being dismissed, my co-worker was finally heard and her husband finally turned up the heat.

“I feel…” followed by “What do you think?” Pretty simple stuff. I think I’ll try it for myself next time there’s a man in the vicinity.