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Attraction

Susannah

Susannah
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"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24​

This is mainly for those people in recovery who have turned their lives around and need advice . . .

I grew up reading novels about arranged marriages without love and was very grateful that in these days we can marry whoever we are attracted to. Unfortunately, as it turned out I was attracted to men who were narcissistic, sometimes abusive, and always unavailable, like my father. Still I continued to believe that a relationship had to begin with instantaneous attraction no matter how much trouble this got me in.

After numerous failed relationships, I came upon a book entitled, Challenge of the Heart, which explained that we had gone from the arranged marriages of long ago to marriage based on attraction and romantic love rather than compatibility.

This gave me some perspective and changed me. Today, I believe that if you too are one of those people who are dependent on attraction for choosing a partner you should know the following.

Attraction is mysterious. Just why do we become attracted to “certain” people? Part of the answer lies in our history. We are attracted to our first love which is usually the parent of the opposite sex. We are also attracted to people who remind us of others (real people, movie stars, magazine models, etc.) who stimulated us while we were growing up. But this is all we know about attraction, so we call it “chemistry” because the attraction stimulates certain chemicals that make us “high.” But let’s not allow the mystery of all this to worry us.

The most important thing we need to know about attraction is that it can be both a wonderful thing and a trap. If you are attracted to people capable of a healthy, fulfilling relationship then attraction is a good thing which leads to better things. If you are attracted people who are dysfunctional or unavailable, then attraction is not a good thing. I know I was always attracted to “wounded” men because my father was an alcoholic. This was not good. It got me into a lot of trouble.

If, for whatever reason, you are attracted to the wrong personality type what do you do about it? First of all, understand what is happening to you and then you avoid the people that get you into trouble. Begin to look for mature, available, kind, people in places like church or Christian gatherings.

Does this mean you have to give up attraction? No! You just need to train yourself to be attracted to the right type, like training yourself to eat right. You buy the right food and you eat it. You find a wonderful, healthy person and you let him or her grow on you.

It is a little known fact that chemistry is not always instantaneous. It can happen at any time. This does not mean you must hang in there with someone who bores you to death, it just means you might give the right people a little more time. Then is there is no chemistry you move on. But you never go backwards. Once you identify the “wrong type” you never try to make it happen with that type of person.

Put physical and sexual attraction into perspective. No too much and not too little.

Article: Attraction & the Bible
 

Who Me

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Attraction is mysterious. Just why do we become attracted to “certain” people? Part of the answer lies in our history. We are attracted to our first love which is usually the parent of the opposite sex. We are also attracted to people who remind us of others (real people, movie stars, magazine models, etc.) who stimulated us while we were growing up.

What we see as attractive is heavily influenced by our culture.
It is also influenced by how we think.

Marriage, the relationship that enables a man and a women to raise children to adulthood is a mixture of compromise and of accepting responsibilities and the subsequent loss of freedom.

For both men and women contemplating marriage need to prepare for marriage by taking responcibilities and loosing freedoms because of that responcibility.
They should also be looking for these qualities in any prospective partner.

Dating an exciting, yet irresponsible 'hot' boy may be fun, but how is he going to handle being woken at 3 in the morning because a child is sick, or visiting schools to choose the best one for his child.
Ditto a 'hot' chick is fun, will she knuckle down to raising your children, the loss of freedom, limit finance, lack of parties?

Stats give some interesting figures, like in dating there is no difference between who causes the break up but in divorce women initiate far more then men.

Stats also show that the sexualy active find it very hard to form permanent bonds with a partner.

Dating advice, look again at the serious hard working boy/girl who isn't in the 'in' group.
 

Susannah

Susannah
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San Francisco Bay Area
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Amen!

Dating with a Purpose
What to Look for in a Partner

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3:

Part of being a Christian is to grow in faith. This will not happen if you date just for the sake of having fun. It is ok to hang out with friends to have fun, but dating should lead to courtship and marriage. This is dating with a purpose.

These days single people have dating down to a science. They know where to meet people. They have an excellent online profile that says nothing about what they really want, but is guaranteed to get someone’s attention. They have the clothes they need to impress their date, and they are excellent conversationalists.

What they do not have is an understanding of how to get what they really want. They think impressing someone is enough. They want someone handsome or beautiful in their life to compensate for their own low self-esteem. They glide from one date to another hoping something magical will happen. In other words, they are not dating with the idea to find a partner who can help them grow in their faith.

The most important thing about dating is that one make a concerted effort to find out if there is enough compatibility to sustain a healthy relationship which includes romantic love, excitement, getting along, and a future together. In other words, dating with a purpose is like interviewing someone for the most important role in his or her life as your partner.

This is not always easy. It takes effort, patience, self-discipline and the wisdom of others who have gone through this process themselves and been successful.

Since selecting the right partner is one of the most important things we do in life, I have created a list of things one should look for in a relationship. You can use this as a guide.

1. Honesty that engenders trust;

2. Shared faith;

3. The ability to negotiate or compromise;

4. Self-awareness;

5. Self-esteem;

6. Communication skills;

7. Sexual compatibility;

8. There should be a recognition of the fact that each person had a different childhood experience;

9. Similar (but not necessarily identical) values: This includes such issues as money, monogamy, and parenting;

10. Patience and tolerance;

11. It is important to accept the fact that there will be days when the relationship seems very ordinary or even boring;

12. The willingness to substitute influencing for controlling: Saying something once and then letting it go. Being a role-model instead of nagging someone to change.;

13. Healthy boundaries;

14. Devotion;

15. Quality time together;

16. Knowing when to stay and when to leave;

17. It is also important to have compatibility and “ease” in a relationship: At the same time, it must be understood that no relationship is perfect;

18. The willingness to face your problems (without over-reacting);

19. Reciprocity (give and take);

21. Realistic expectations. After the honeymoon, relationships are not a romantic fantasy;

22. Readiness for a relationship (both partners).

I believe we cannot just start dating and hope that everything will fall in to place. I think we need to be honest from the beginning about what we are looking for and move on if we are not happy.
 
Last edited:

muddyservant

Member
Christian
Yes
Messages
64
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
"Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24​

This is mainly for those people in recovery who have turned their lives around and need advice . . .

I grew up reading novels about arranged marriages without love and was very grateful that in these days we can marry whoever we are attracted to. Unfortunately, as it turned out I was attracted to men who were narcissistic, sometimes abusive, and always unavailable, like my father. Still I continued to believe that a relationship had to begin with instantaneous attraction no matter how much trouble this got me in.

After numerous failed relationships, I came upon a book entitled, Challenge of the Heart, which explained that we had gone from the arranged marriages of long ago to marriage based on attraction and romantic love rather than compatibility.

This gave me some perspective and changed me. Today, I believe that if you too are one of those people who are dependent on attraction for choosing a partner you should know the following.

Attraction is mysterious. Just why do we become attracted to “certain” people? Part of the answer lies in our history. We are attracted to our first love which is usually the parent of the opposite sex. We are also attracted to people who remind us of others (real people, movie stars, magazine models, etc.) who stimulated us while we were growing up. But this is all we know about attraction, so we call it “chemistry” because the attraction stimulates certain chemicals that make us “high.” But let’s not allow the mystery of all this to worry us.

The most important thing we need to know about attraction is that it can be both a wonderful thing and a trap. If you are attracted to people capable of a healthy, fulfilling relationship then attraction is a good thing which leads to better things. If you are attracted people who are dysfunctional or unavailable, then attraction is not a good thing. I know I was always attracted to “wounded” men because my father was an alcoholic. This was not good. It got me into a lot of trouble.

If, for whatever reason, you are attracted to the wrong personality type what do you do about it? First of all, understand what is happening to you and then you avoid the people that get you into trouble. Begin to look for mature, available, kind, people in places like church or Christian gatherings.

Does this mean you have to give up attraction? No! You just need to train yourself to be attracted to the right type, like training yourself to eat right. You buy the right food and you eat it. You find a wonderful, healthy person and you let him or her grow on you.

It is a little known fact that chemistry is not always instantaneous. It can happen at any time. This does not mean you must hang in there with someone who bores you to death, it just means you might give the right people a little more time. Then is there is no chemistry you move on. But you never go backwards. Once you identify the “wrong type” you never try to make it happen with that type of person.

Put physical and sexual attraction into perspective. No too much and not too little.

Article: Attraction & the Bible
I was telling a friend recently about this guy I was in love with. I just knew instantly when I met him. It felt so mysteriousand magical at the time, I had never experienced something like this before. What my friend said and her insight was very interesting. She told me that because his physical appearance (color of his hair and eyes primarily, which is somewhat rare in population) matched my mother's and I loved my mother, that subconsciously this was a symbol for love for me. I believe she is correct. This was the 1st marker where he got my attention.
 
Last edited:

Susannah

Susannah
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From
San Francisco Bay Area
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Female
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Jan 11, 2020
Harville Hendrix created the Imago Theory. It says that we have an imaginary fantasy person in our head based on a composite of our parents or in my case my father. We've project this on to someone who reminds us in some way this person. And we obsess about them. They are standing in for one of our parents and we spend all our time trying to get them to love us like we would have wanted our parents to love us. If you want to talk more about this my website is brightertomorrow.net
 

muddyservant

Member
Christian
Yes
Messages
64
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
This sounds very accurate Susannah. If it helps your knowledge base, let me further say it works both ways for me. For me, this guy I love, like I said, has the rare combo (at least where i live) of color of hair and eyes that my mother had, and since I loved my mother very much, and she was a great mother, he represents love and comfort to me.

On the other hand, this guy also represents love to me emotionally and mentally, because is very comfortable with feelings and openness and authenticity, he values that, and this is actually how we bonded from the very beginning It was an emotional bond. It is faaaarrrrr away from my father, who was both emotionally and mentally abusive where he never valued my feelings and I was not allowed to express myself at all. He was a tyrant and a bully.

Interestingly, the guy I love is attracted to me because he has never met someone like me before. He has never had a Christian girlfriend (hes an atheist). He also comes from an abusive father, a dysfunctional family, and he thinks I am so nice and kind and sweet. He craves that, like I crave him.

So you can understand why I love him and am attracted to him so much, and him me. In a sense I think we are looking for a healthy relationship, not a broken and abusive one. We are both aware and careful and that is a really good thing in my opinion. As well, we are 'cut from the same cloth' having the same temperament and personality. I sense very strongly that we would be very compabible in that we would be very supportive of each other and help encourage each other. We have understanding. This however, doesn't mean we wouldn't have problems, I am not that naive to think it would be a fairytale but I believe that we would have something that could make a marriage works and be lasting. However he is not a Christian, so this is why I turned him down, as the Bible is clear not to be unequally yoked. I have to believe that he is not the one and never was meant to me.

But anyways, it is only been since writing about my experience in the last day, and reading your post(s) that I am becoming more astarting to understand. I will for sure look at your website. Thank you.
 
Last edited:

Susannah

Susannah
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Jan 11, 2020
You bring up an important point. We are attracted to the positive traits of our real parents and the idealized traits of our fantasy person. This is all very healthy. Some people, however, get in trouble when they are attracted to someone who has the negative traits of their parents and they just don't realize they are negative traits. For instance, my father was the strong, silent type. I admired this as a child. But when I married a man like this I felt lonely because he did not know how to communicate.
 

Link1983

Hold fast to saying the same thing (as the Word)
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Oslo
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Amen!

Dating with a Purpose
What to Look for in a Partner

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3:

Part of being a Christian is to grow in faith. This will not happen if you date just for the sake of having fun. It is ok to hang out with friends to have fun, but dating should lead to courtship and marriage. This is dating with a purpose.

These days single people have dating down to a science. They know where to meet people. They have an excellent online profile that says nothing about what they really want, but is guaranteed to get someone’s attention. They have the clothes they need to impress their date, and they are excellent conversationalists.

What they do not have is an understanding of how to get what they really want. They think impressing someone is enough. They want someone handsome or beautiful in their life to compensate for their own low self-esteem. They glide from one date to another hoping something magical will happen. In other words, they are not dating with the idea to find a partner who can help them grow in their faith.

The most important thing about dating is that one make a concerted effort to find out if there is enough compatibility to sustain a healthy relationship which includes romantic love, excitement, getting along, and a future together. In other words, dating with a purpose is like interviewing someone for the most important role in his or her life as your partner.

This is not always easy. It takes effort, patience, self-discipline and the wisdom of others who have gone through this process themselves and been successful.

Since selecting the right partner is one of the most important things we do in life, I have created a list of things one should look for in a relationship. You can use this as a guide.

1. Honesty that engenders trust;

2. Shared faith;

3. The ability to negotiate or compromise;

4. Self-awareness;

5. Self-esteem;

6. Communication skills;

7. Sexual compatibility;

8. There should be a recognition of the fact that each person had a different childhood experience;

9. Similar (but not necessarily identical) values: This includes such issues as money, monogamy, and parenting;

10. Patience and tolerance;

11. It is important to accept the fact that there will be days when the relationship seems very ordinary or even boring;

12. The willingness to substitute influencing for controlling: Saying something once and then letting it go. Being a role-model instead of nagging someone to change.;

13. Healthy boundaries;

14. Devotion;

15. Quality time together;

16. Knowing when to stay and when to leave;

17. It is also important to have compatibility and “ease” in a relationship: At the same time, it must be understood that no relationship is perfect;

18. The willingness to face your problems (without over-reacting);

19. Reciprocity (give and take);

21. Realistic expectations. After the honeymoon, relationships are not a romantic fantasy;

22. Readiness for a relationship (both partners).

I believe we cannot just start dating and hope that everything will fall in to place. I think we need to be honest from the beginning about what we are looking for and move on if we are not happy.
Being a man myself, i think that i would be too lonesome living the rest of my life without a woman by my side. So this is helpful advice for someone like me.
I think you make some good points about what too think about when we want to start a relationship with someone.
Thanks!
 

muddyservant

Member
Christian
Yes
Messages
64
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Susannah -- YES!!!!!!!!!!! Exactly!!!!!!!

My sister also married a man who was like my father,. I remember she told me she didn't want a nice sweet man. She wanted a cold man. I was so so shocked.. .like smh right? because even when I was 18 (when she married) I was looking for a man and I was atracted to everything opposite from my Dad, and If I didn't get that, I would rather be alone!!!!

But beiieve me when I tell you that NOW she is regretting it. He never helped her at all in their marriage, never was a father tho their children. She had to do it ALL. In fact he encouraged her and she willingly fell for it perhaps to please him. Perhaps this made her feel good in some dysfunctional way that was promoted by my father. But anyways, my sister and her husband never even got any counselling, either. She was very prideful about it, but now I think she sees.. I think it was just physical attraction that they married, I think they had intimacy before marriage which is not good because it lessens good judgement, because they have nothing in common personality wise or in interests.

It makes sense that you married your husband then, because you admired the qualities in him like your Father, but I have to honestly admit that I dont understand how you could admire those qualities.. Your father must have been very distant to you and not been very loving. But perhaps in his authority he was kind? I would be interested to hear more if you are willing to share.

P.s. I am so very sorry you are lonely because your husband doesnt know how to commuicate. Now that you know my story, you know 100% that i and am compassionate and understand to your plight. What you say just validates my own story with this guy I love and why I love him so much. I think we had something special that we found each other by accident without even looking for each other and yet he is not a Christian. This is what crushes me and breaks my heart. I wonder why God allowed this to happen. I wrote a post about it yesterday but no one has yet answered me.
 
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muddyservant

Member
Christian
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Messages
64
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Susannah, your website doesn't work.. Do you think that the term "soulmate" is biblical ? That there is one person out there that God has designed you to be with ?
 

Susannah

Susannah
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San Francisco Bay Area
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Female
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Susannah, your website doesn't work.. Do you think that the term "soulmate" is biblical ? That there is one person out there that God has designed you to be with ?
Yes, I do believe that God has picked someone special for you and you should let him help you pick your mate. But sometimes you have more than one soul mate because people die and people outgrow each other. There are life-time soul mates of course, but that is rare. I work with people who get addicted to the idea that someone they are attracted to (their Imago) is their soul mate when really that is a figment of their imagination. Until we are more mature and centered in God, we do not know who is right for us. This is why I wrote the article. It was written from someone who has learned through trial and error what makes for a healthy, satisfying, long-term relationship. As for the Bible, it does say that we should be "equally yoked." My first soul mate died and then I met my husband Frank who died a year ago. I do not know what God has in store for my future, so for now God is my soul mate. Take care. http://brightertomorrow.net/
 

muddyservant

Member
Christian
Yes
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64
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Jan 6, 2015
Thank you Susanna, I will check out your website! I'm glad to meet you, I think I have received a lot of insight from you already!

It sounds like you have had a lot of grief. I can't imagine losing a spouse any way.. it must be so hard. I love how you said God is your soul mate.. I guess God is mine, too, as long as I'm not married.

I have one burning question for you. Based on how you said that God has someone special for everyone, do you think that if someone doesn't pray for a husband that God will not give them their soulmate? thanks and God Bless you!
 

Susannah

Susannah
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San Francisco Bay Area
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Female
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Jan 11, 2020
Whether we pray or not God's will will be done. As long as you don't interfere with his will by consciously avoiding people and running away from love you will find someone if that is what he wants for you. There are some people that are so frightened of intimacy that they sabotage a wonderful relationship. I have done this in the past. Email me and we'll talk about it my contact number is on my website. ❤
 
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