This one is in reference to relationships.
A very long time ago, I developed this idea of there being five types of attraction between people. They are: physical, sexual, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. One person I told this to suggested a sixth: financial. I don’t know; I think I’d place that under intellectual and emotional since money tends to straddle those two places, but I understood her point. She was pregnant with his baby and realizing she didn’t like how he handled money. Needless to say, one child and a very MESSY break-up later. Well… he sees his kid — occasionally (if by occasionally you consider every other Christmas an occasion). SIGH.
Part of the reason that I started thinking about this was that I was absolutely sick, tired, and feed up to here with people who were in CLEARLY DYSFUNCTIONAL relationships telling me (or having others tell me about them), “But we/they LOVE each other.” OK… While the Beatles will tell you All You Need Is Love, Depeche Mode pointed out that Most of the Time, Love’s Not Enough. And I say truly after watching some of the interactions, I’m so very happy that no one has felt the need to love me that way. I don’t think I could live through it. If that’s love, NO THANK YOU. What type of love are we talking about anyway?
You might be thinking “Love is love.” However, it isn’t. Think about it. There are people you find physically attractive, but you wouldn’t want to have sex with them. Right? Now consider people you’ve found sexy, but didn’t think were all that an a bag of chips in the looks department. Clearly there was SOMETHING. That’s sexual attraction. Your brain may not like them, but your body is right there.
Case in point: You love your parents, your children, and your family, but you’re not (I hope) sexually attracted to them. Same with 90% of your friends. There are many kinds of love. For this, I’m sticking to ROMANTIC love.
Your body thinks ROMANTIC love is passion. Passion comes from wanting to stick your body parts onto another human with extreme frequency. I think that’s good. I don’t, however, think it’s enough. What happens when you find your bed-buddy boring? How sad is that for everyone involved? There has to be more.
There is. The other part of this is your brain. It needs more than one type of stimulation. There are those people who stimulate your intellect — thus intellectually attractive. They’re fun to chat with, play games with, spar with. If that’s all there is, they are FRIENDS. If there’s more, well, they are romantic partners (hopefully not friends with benefits which is just creepy). Sometimes though, you’re just sympathetic with someone. You feel right around them. They know what to say; they’re easy to be around. That’s emotional attraction. Spiritual attraction is harder to define, but it does concern religion or how you view your place in the world. I don’t really think you can have a minister marry an atheist and have it work. Not unless the underlying beliefs structures about the world and humankind’s role in it are married. I’d say this attraction is your heart.
Now here’s where the magic, chemistry or cooking comes in. If you hit the holy motherlode, 5 out of 5 (or 6 out of 6 if you’re E), then I would call that “soul mates”. Seriously, if you find someone with whom you share all these traits (AND THEY ARE RECIPROCATED, that’s part of the soul mate deal. Both parties have to agree to it.), then count yourself very lucky. I imagine this is rare.
For a relationship to work, I feel you need 3/5 or 4/6. You need your body, heart, and brain all wanting the same person. Most relationships start from the sexual attraction (two magnets just drawn together), and then they try to build around it. That doesn’t work. All you have is sex in common. Think of it as red hot chili peppers. Sure, they add zing. How long is that going to last? Can you have a diet of only zing? I don’t think so.
That said, I also think it would be very hard to be in a relationship with NO sexual attraction. Imagine, food with no spice. How boring. I imagine this is what is meant by a “loveless” marriage. There is no passion left between the two. The magnetic pull has reversed itself. While comfortable, not completely fulfilling. Someone is going to go try to get some chocolate cake eventually.
Successful relationships have a lot of components. They take work. I also feel that, if you really examine this, you’ll find that you have 3-4 of these areas in common with your partner (heart, body, brain). If you don’t, check to see if you did. If you never did, COOL BEANS. Keep it up and tell us what’s working. If not, what can you do differently? Can you re-attract yourself? Have you committed your mind, body and soul? Is there truth to that?
Like I said, it’s a crackpot theory. That said, I think I may be onto something (as opposed to being on something. 🙂
P.S. Sick quote: This is my absolute favorite for those people who CAN’T live without someone. “If you can’t live without me, why aren’t you dead yet?” Mean, but poignent, don’t you think?