Attraction -- physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual -- is important, really important. None of us wants to hang out with a person who makes our stars fizzle or our minds yawn, but attraction must be healthy to create a great, or even a good, relationship. And the only way to determine if your attraction is of the healthy variety is to get downright honest about what inspired the connection. Of course no person wants to jump up and down exclaiming, "Look at me over here! I am dying to expose my messed up relationship!" but if we don't get real about the health of our attractions, we risk losing what's more important than anything else -- our selves.
One reason we often mistake unhealthy attraction for the healthy connections found in authentic partnerships is that most of us have never thought about it. When was the last time you sat down for a cup of tea and said, "I think I'll define what 'authentic connection' means to me today"? Even among those who have considered the source of their connection, most haven't been truthful about how healthy their attraction is or isn't. So, ignorant, blind, or in denial, we end up living in the grips of unhealthy attraction, feeling like something is missing or wrong, lacking the words to articulate what that something is. If we're lucky, after lots of pain and suffering caused by the times we engaged in unhealthy attraction, we finally free ourselves and learn about our desire for a true, healthy connection.
I have met more smart and successful women than I care to admit who've lost their minds, and themselves, in the throes of unhealthy attraction, dare I say insane infatuation? Same goes for nice, solid men who have a penchant for dating crazy women. I've watched many a wise woman or man lodge a person so deep in their wounds that they mistake the resulting feelings for the authentic, deep, loving connection they were waiting for.
Maybe for some the unhealthy attraction feels so fabulous because their catch comes with a first-class ticket to social status and financial security, filling their holes that come from the absence of self-worth or the fear of lack. Or maybe the person they meet seemingly gives them permission to be the wild child they always wanted to be but their parents never allowed, filling in their holes caused by never feeling like they fit with their family. Or maybe it is as simple as they crave love and attention so bad, that they are willing to take what they can get... or maybe even too afraid to end it for fear of how the other person will respond.
Regardless of our individual stories and corresponding wounds, when in the clutches of an unhealthy attraction, we are too entangled in our feelings to see the truth. You need to know the warning signs beforehand. Commit the following signals to memory and keep them for future reference.
WARNING SIGNS OF AN UNHEALTHY ATTRACTION
HOLE-STUFFING JUNKIE. Without a doubt, it's our emotions, hormones, and emotional wounds that control the show here. The feelings swirling inside our bodies and psyches are so intense that it seems impossible to control our actions or stop making self-destructive decisions. Convinced that this person is the love of our life, we experience the relationship as if it were a drug, and we become like a junkie. The person becomes the fix for our external needs and gaping holes, and the bigger our emotional holes, the more intensely we feel drawn to and attached to this one human being.
The physical connection is usually undeniable, like a gravitational pull we can't control. And our emotional and intellectual fantasies run rampant, which is why most people mistake these unhealthy relationships for authentic partnerships. But unlike healthy connections, which support us and encourage us to be our full and authentic selves, the unhealthy bonds lead to devastating and life-draining lows.
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