I notice that often people seem to believe that any attraction to someone else must be for the purpose of a romantic love relationship and if it is not that, it is not of interest to them. Attraction is not simply about romantic love.
There are many kinds of attractions and many purposes for them. Usually I see an attraction to someone as a kind of invitation that indicates there is something important here, some business to be done between the two people. It may be to do something together or to learn from each other or to share something.
Attraction may occur if two people are of like mind or on the same ‘wave length’. I may intuit that a person across the room may have similar interests or priorities. Sometimes people come into our lives to accomplish a particular goal and when that has been done, they are no longer there with us.
Some people come for a long time and travel quite a distance with us. Some people help us with our work in the world and some with families or health or money or life and death or all of the above.
Some of the questions we might ask ourselves when we meet someone new are as follows:
- What is our purpose?
- Why are we meeting now?
- What have we to do together or to learn from each other?
Something in my life may change by meeting this person but that may not be romantically.
You may love the people with whom you work on a common goal, the people who have made a difference in your life, the people who have taught you things, the people with whom you simply have fun and laughs, the people you have known for a long period of time who somehow hold your history.
We love in so many different ways.
Think of the variety of things that you love. You may love nature or the night sky or music or parents or children or friends or movies or theatre or your partner or chocolate or God or angels or loved ones who have passed on and are now in the next life if you believe in that.
Those are just a few examples. And you may love dogs, cats, horses, wild animals from a distance or close up, and many, many more things. You may still love your ex partners and recognise a deep friendship with them that is no longer a romantic connection even if it once was.
This may seem simple but I would urge you to question yourself each time you meet someone about what might be the purpose of the meeting and not assume that each ‘connection’ is about romantic love. Why were you drawn together at this time and in this circumstance?
Another issue that often comes up is the feeling that there is only ever ‘The One’ in anybody’s life, and by that I mean there is one person in the world with whom you can have a romantic love relationship in your life.
I feel as if that is a curious position to hold and it may make sense in recent decades when people live longer than at the beginning of the last century. There was a time when people who were committed to each other in marriage were absolutely sure that one of them would die relatively early and they would be prepared to find another spouse/partner after the first one died. There was almost no question about that because the mortality rate was high and people died young and it was rare to have a partner for life.
Now when people live longer, it will still happen that one will die first. It may be perfectly reasonable for the partner who was left behind to fall in love with another and commit to them. In that case there would be ‘The Two’ or more rather than ‘The One’! The result of being loyal to only one person may be living out the remaining years of your life alone which may not really be what serves you.
Love is very big and it only grows as we exercise it and feel love for many people and other things for many different reasons in many different circumstances. Love is not selfish or limited. There is plenty of it to go around. The more we love and receive love, the more our capacity to do so grows. Often it is people who have had real committed and happy relationships who are able to go on to have another after they have had time to grieve the loss of a beloved partner.
Bearing in mind the richness of love in the universe and the variety of opportunities to love, finding a committed relationship with someone we love who loves us, gives us strength and confidence and we are better able to be the best we can be and to do what we feel drawn to do.
A truly loving relationship often gives life a sense of more purpose and meaning. There is tremendous joy and fun and pleasure to be had in a loving committed relationship. Equally there is a lot of joy to be had in many types of close relationships. It may be time to think about love and attraction and relationship and see them from a new perspective.