Estimated reading time: 15 minutes
I often hear people say that attraction isn’t a choice, and that got me thinking. Is attraction really not a choice? If attraction isn’t a choice, does that mean we didn’t play any role in who we are attracted to? What do you think? I don’t believe that attraction isn’t a choice because we definitely have a role to play when it comes to who we are attracted to.
Please note: I don’t expect you to finish reading this article at once. If you can, please do and if not, you should bookmark it so that you can come back to continue reading from where you stopped.
Let me tell you what happened in an interview I went for years ago. I was there solely for the job, and I swear my mind was fixed on getting that job. In fact, I didn’t even have my breakfast before leaving home because I wanted to be there on time. I believe that first impression matters, also getting there on time will help me calm my nerves, and control my nervousness. I wouldn’t say I like it when I get anxious; my system becomes disoriented, and I start to act like an alien.
That day, when I saw the HR manager, I felt my heart divorced my body for a minute; I was like a newborn baby trying to breathe. Perhaps, I will have to learn how to breathe again. There was no doubt that I was attracted to the HR manager. I sat there, trying so hard to talk sense to my hormones, and coordinate their flow because, at that moment, they were flowing south instead of north.
To make the situation worse, I could see that the HR manager was obviously attracted to me as well. Jeez! I have gone there looking for a job, not for a date. My heart acceleration was faster than a power bike, and I didn’t know where to look as my eyes became super shy. And my pupils were doing hide and seek. Yeah, it was an intense feeling, and it took me by surprise.
Is attraction not a choice?
I don’t think I did well for the interview because I struggled to act normal, and my focus was close to zero. However, it turned out that I wasn’t the only one doing badly; it seems the HR manager lost words to say as well. Yeah, we are aware that we have to act professionally, so we were like robots with programmed conversation lines. All through that day, I couldn’t stop thinking of the manager as my hormones rebelled against me.
Did I ever manage to get the job? Did I date the HR manager? I know you want to know the answers. If you read to the end, you will get to know.
I kept asking myself why would I let myself be attracted to someone when I am supposed to only focus on getting the job. Maybe, it is true that attraction is not a choice. Or maybe, it was my choice to feel attracted to the HR manager, who knows? All I know was that something was happening within me, and I couldn’t think straight.
Why is it that sometimes we meet someone for the first time and suddenly feel attracted to them? I know you can as well relate to this story. So, I have decided to write this article to help you understand attraction better and experience a deserving love life. Is attraction a choice or not? You are about to find out; you need to keep reading.
Understanding attraction: The truth about attraction
Attraction happens all the time. We meet some people, and we suddenly develop feelings for them. This is something we didn’t plan; it just happened. At times, it could be that we have known the person for a long time and then suddenly, we start getting attracted to that person. Many at times, we had to fight the attraction. We are like, “oh my God, I am not supposed to feel this way for my best friend.” Or “this person is not my type yet I can’t stop thinking about this person.” After questioning everything and we couldn’t have a concrete answer, we might be tempted to conclude that after all, attraction isn’t a choice.
What is the truth about attraction?
Here’s the truth about attraction that most of us don’t understand. Attraction is like our ‘browser history’. Like our browser history, it comprised a record of desirable traits we have looked in on in our past fantasy or desire session. What do I mean? All of us have a picture of who our ideal partner should be and how s/he should look. We all have traits that we desire to see in our future partner.
The truth is that at one point or another, we all had fantasized about our ideal partner. Our desirable traits fantasy vary from height, shape, beauty, gender, culture, belief, race, character etc. For example, someone’s desirable traits in a future partner could be tall and dark. Another person’s desirable traits could be beautiful, intelligent, and god-fearing. Some could say they want their ideal partner to be caring, have a good sense of humour, be kindhearted, etc.
We all can agree that we definitely have desirable traits we want in our ideal partner? Then what happens to these traits? All these desirable traits become saved in our heart as either a browser corresponding URL, cache, cookies, or password. As we grow older or get more exposed or become more knowledgeable, our desirable traits in a future partner continue to change and our desirable traits keep compiling.
Our heart keeps history of our desirable traits
Remember, the more you become knowledgeable or grow older, your taste/desirable traits in a future partner change. However, because attraction works like browser history, it will not overwrite the previous desirable traits; instead, it will just compile all desirable traits. It means ‘attraction’ keeps saving all of your desirable traits (both new and old).
So what happens when you meet someone? When you meet someone, your ‘desire’ starts to work like a crawler to visit your pool of desirable traits. It begins to read your fantasy history and other desirable traits information stored in your heart. As soon as there is a match, it sends a signal in the form of attraction to your brain, and your heart skips all of a sudden. Your body receives this signal (attraction), and your hormones start to react too. That’s how you get caught in the web.
Damn it! I just realized that I’m a genius. I gave you a brilliant explanation of how attraction works. Oh, you disagree that I am a genius? No hard feeling, I can cope with that (wink).
Let’s do a quick case study
Have you ever been attracted to someone before and you liked absolutely nothing about that person? Hmm, think it through. Of course, not because there is always something you like about the person you are attracted to. However, sometimes what we like about that person might not be what we were expecting to like about them, but suddenly that’s what we find the most attractive about them.
For example, let’s assume you desire a short, beautiful and funny person, but the person you feel attracted to now is far from being short and funny. That doesn’t mean there is absolutely nothing you don’t like about that person. You will realize that you like something else about that person. It could be the way the person talks or how the person dresses or the person’s personality and level of reasoning. The truth is that if you are attracted to that person, then there will always be something you like about that person.
You could say: But I want to feel attracted to a short, beautiful and funny person? I need you to understand that attraction is like a browser history of all our desirable traits.’ Short, beautiful and funny’ is your current desirable traits that you fantasize in your ideal partner. However, if you check it, you will realize that in the past, or at some point, you had desired those other traits you now like about that person you feel attracted to. Remember I told you that ‘attraction’ works based on your current and past desirable traits.
Are you still having doubt?
Perhaps, we are still not on the same page and that’s fine with me. However, I can still help clear your doubt about why you feel attracted to someone who doesn’t have your current desirable trait. Imagine this scenario, you visited a porn site 2 months ago and forgot to delete the browser history. Then your parent or religious leader asked to use your PC. Of course, you must have forgotten you had visited a porn site so didn’t hesitate to give them the laptop. And then, your parent or religious leader was typing to search a word on google and google completed the words with the porn URL. Haha, is it familiar?
What? At that moment, you know you can’t deny the fact that you had visited a porn site. You might say it was months ago, yes you are right it was months ago, but your browser didn’t lie either. Browser saves history for up to 90days, and this is the same thing that happens with attraction, it saves the desirable traits you had fantasized. So, whatever new traits you discover in that person you feel attracted to, know that that trait exists in your attraction browser.
But attraction could be partial
What do I mean by attraction could be partial? Every one of us has criteria that we want our ideal partner to meet. We all have a set of desirable traits in a future partner, and this set varies from person to person. In a set of desirable traits, you might have 10 desirable traits, and someone else might have 7 desirable traits they are looking for in a partner.
However, when it comes to attraction, you might not get attracted to someone who completely fulfils all your 10 desirable traits. And this is because attraction could be partial at times (if not most of the time). It browses your history for desirable traits and checks with that person and if at all one or two desirable trait matches, it ignores the other traits missing and sends the signal to your brain and react (feel attracted to that person).
Attraction is a choice but the choice might be limited
Everyone we feel attracted to is a product of our choice. We had our choice already inputted as our desirable traits. However, can we say attraction isn’t a choice when it comes to your whole set of desirable traits? What do I mean? For example, your desirable traits set could be ‘humour, beauty, kindness, intelligence.’ You might not have the choice to pick every trait in that set (in that order). You might found out that the person you feel attracted to has the trait ‘kindness, humour, intelligence’ but ‘beauty’ is missing or replaced with ‘good physique’. This happens at times, however, it is undeniable that every trait is still your choice.
If your desirable trait is ‘dress sense’, you will feel attracted to someone with a good dress sense. If it is ‘humour’, you will feel attracted to someone with a good sense of humour. But what happens when you have many people who certify your desirable traits? In this situation, you might not choose who exactly to feel attracted to because they all have the desirable traits. However, whoever that person might be, you are quite aware that you feel attracted to that person because they are among those that fulfilled your desirable trait.
Attraction depends on your choice; your desire. However, the fact that you are attracted to someone doesn’t mean that you have to start a relationship.Attraction is just the first step towards the possibility of having a relationship. Click To Tweet
Expectation vs Reality
People always wonder why a good girl or boy ends up with a bad partner. Everyone has noticed that sometimes good girls or boys are attracted to and end up with bad girls or boys. Some said it is because the bad boys or girls are always spontaneous, jovial, lively and fun to be with. Some said it has to do with the law of attraction, that opposite always attracts.
In my opinion, I will discard the hypothesis because I have seen a lot of good girls or boys who are not boring to be with. Also, the law of attraction (that opposite always attracts) does not operate in a relationship. If truly you are a good person, you will definitely dislike a bad person. If you are wise, you will dislike a foolish person. It is that simple.
That is why it is said, “show me your friend and I will tell you who you are”. This is because when it comes to a relationship, you get attracted to people of your own kind or similar to your own kind.
Who you are attracted to is your reflection
Your friend, spouse, or partner is an extension of YOU. However, they might be a better version or lower version of you. But they reflect YOU like a mirror. The major issue here is that people always ASSUME that a good person is naturally intelligent, smart and knows what s/he wants for her/himself. People expect a good boy or girl to pick the right choice, so they get shocked when the opposite is seen.
The truth is that there is no correlation between ‘good’ and ‘intelligent’. You could be a good person but lacks intelligence.
It takes intelligence to define what you really want in life or relationship and always go for that you want. The fact that you are good does not mean you are intelligent. Being good is not enough! I believe the lack of intelligence is the major reason these good ladies/ guys are attracted to bad ones and always suffer at the bad ones’ hands. This is because they don’t know what they want.
And in terms of attraction, there is also a possibility that sometimes the good boy or girl who is attracted to a bad girl or boy, might have hidden cravings for the bad trait, but tends not to express it. S/he might restrict him/herself from carrying out the bad traits because of fear of what people will say about them. People already have taken them to be good, so they want to keep the status quo. In the real sense, the good boy or girl might really not be good as they present themselves to be good.
No good and intelligent lady or guy will ever date a bad person except in the case where the bad ones disguised to be a good one. In such a case, it means that the good boy or girl failed to evaluate the person’s character thoroughly, and the relationship or the disguised partner was so great at disguising. A good and intelligent guy or lady will always have a plan for what they want. They will get attracted to someone of their own kind or similar to their kind, but never the opposite.
Attraction is not a good reason to enter a relationship.
Knowing what you want
The fact that you are attracted to someone doesn’t mean that you must date that person. It would help if you always remembered that the more exposed and knowledgeable you become, the more your desirable traits changes. However, you might still always get attracted to people who meet your old desirable traits instead of your new upgraded desirable traits. Therefore, it is imperative to know what you want in a relationship.
You should know what you can comprise and what you cannot compromise when it comes to relationship. When you already know what you want before entering a relationship, you become guided. Application of intelligence is critical when considering entering a relationship. It is worthy to note that intelligence varies from person to person, and culture to culture. The ability to acquire and apply knowledge, skills, reasoning, plan and solve a problem is intelligence.
You need to ask:
- Is this person good or bad for me?
- Does it worth it to date this person or not?
- Is this person’s belief in life similar to mine?
- Do we compliment each other?
- What are the likely challenges I will be faced with if I date this person?
Always remember that attraction is not a visa for relationship. Know what you want! That’s the first thing to do when considering a relationship with the person you are attracted to.
The fact that you are attracted to someone doesn’t mean that you are meant to be together in a relationship.
Letting go of unhealthy relationship.
Don’t let yourself be caught in the thought that attraction isn’t a choice and that you will have to follow through with it. You always have a choice! Though you might find it difficult to turn off the attraction, you don’t have to act on every attraction.
If you can’t picture that person in your future, then let them go.
Remember, as we grow older or get more knowledgeable, our desirable traits change because we get more crystal clear with what we want in life. However, because attraction works like browser history, it still keeps those desirable traits of the past, which we had outgrown. And sometimes, it could still be those desirable traits we had outgrown that send signals to our body. So, if that’s the case, don’t act on your attraction. Let the person go because you already know better. You are not compatible. The right person who truly deserves you will show up and the feelings would be right by then.
I hope this article helps you to understand the concept of attraction fully. Before I end this writeup, let me answer your question. Did I date the HR manager? No, I did not because the manager was already married. The attraction wasn’t right for me to act on. But did I get the job? I did, but I turned down the offer. Taking the offer is like learning to swim right in the midst of a tsunami (lol).
Don’t be afraid to leave that attraction behind because attraction is not a once in a lifetime thing.
In conclusion, attraction is a choice; however, it could either be a conscious or subconscious choice. Did you enjoy this article? Be the first to read my next article. Kindly subscribe now.
Copyright by Ayobami Abiodun