Knowing your attraction style can help you to play to your strengths when dating.
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Attraction – the magnetic force that pulls us towards certain people and away from others. It’s often used as a catch-all for the complex psychological forces that lead us to choose one person over another…
One kind of attraction is based on looks, money, status, and material possessions. It’s the attraction that makes you want to be seen with someone because they’re hot, or because they drive a fancy car, or because they have a cool job. This kind of attraction is based on what someone can give you, rather than who they are as a person or how they make you feel.
The other kind of attraction is about compatibility, connection, and shared values. It’s based on how comfortable, seen and accepted you see with someone else; and ultimately it’s the kind of attraction that makes you want to build a life with the person you’re with.
We call these two types: Superficial and Sustainable attraction. Here at Dating for Love, we believe a key ingredient to a long-term relationship is finding someone with whom you feel sustainable attraction.
Now, superficial attraction exists for a reason. When we don’t have much information about who someone really is, or how they actually make us feel, superficial attraction is all we have to go off.
In fact, it’s our default approach, and it’s the way that most high-school relationships work. Physical beauty and social status are visible indicators of attractiveness that most 18-year-olds are very tuned into.
However, after several more turns around the sun and the experience of different relationships, many people realise that external indicators like looks and money do not always translate into a safe and satisfying relationship.
This is why people often make very different relationship choices when they’re 18 and when they’re 28.
Some people, of course, tend to stick with superficial attraction and focus on looks over feels well into middle-age, hence the 50 year-old man with a hot 22 year-old girlfriend. In this case, he’s managed to find a great prom date who will look great on his arm – but will they be able to relate to each other? Will they be able to have fun conversations, and find common ground and understanding? It’s possible – but unlikely.
Sustainable attraction is what you experience around someone that you feel comfortable with, where you can be your authentic self and feel accepted. While the pleasure gained from dating someone with looks and riches will fade, the pleasure of being loved for who you are is much more durable.
This is why sustainable attraction is the key to a long-lasting relationship. If someone can make you laugh every day, will listen non-judgmentally when you’re being vulnerable, and has enough shared interests and friends that you don’t get bored together – they may be a keeper. They will likely be able to bring you far more long-lasting satisfaction than a superficially 10/10 attraction, even though it feels great for your ego to have a trophy on your arm.
Understanding your primary dating archetype takes you closer to truly understanding the dynamics of attraction, improving your relationship skills, and expanding your opportunities to find a great partner!
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