at·trac·tion /əˈtrakSHən/ noun
1. A person or thing that draws, allures or entices.
2. A characteristic or quality that provides pleasure.
These are definitions of attraction.
Some people call attraction, “swagger.” You may hear someone say, “He has a magnetic personality.” That’s another way of describing attraction.
Lots of things play a part in today’s relationships. Chemistry is important. Purpose, destiny, vision, growth, even compatibility are highly relevant to a relationship in today’s society. They are necessary components of having a successful relationship.
My favorite three components of a relationship are Love, Honor and Respect. They are the foundation and backbone of any healthy relationship. The reality is that relationships can exist without one or more of any of the preceding traits. An unhealthy relationship can exist with a lack of respect, for example. Even without respect, there remains some level of attraction. The one trait that a relationship must have to start is an attraction. There has to be something to make him or her want to get to know you better. For that matter, there should be something to make them want to talk to you in the first place.
Whatever that thing is…it’s attraction.
Attraction is not always physical. The really great thing about attraction is whether it’s physical or not, it’s often irresistible. Physical beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Attraction is more than that.
Attraction can be in the way someone takes charge. Attraction can be in the way someone laughs at your jokes. Attraction can exist in the way someone sits attentively and listens. We’re all probably a little more self-centered than we should be…who wouldn’t want someone who listens?
Attraction Does Not Equal Type-casting
Singles frequently discuss having a “type.” Guys might say something like, “I want a woman about 5’5”, shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle, cute dimples and a nice smile. Oh…and she has to have good feet!” (Whatever that means…lol!) That’s not attraction. That’s a fantasy floating around in his mind of what woman he would choose if he could build her and give her every perfect attribute he could come up with. Including good feet.
A man can be attracted to some of those traits, but having a type is more a discussion of demographics and physical features. Race and more importantly, culture sometimes plays a part in what we consider a “type” we tend to gravitate towards as a mate. Whether that’s important in your situation or not, we should realize type and attraction are different things. You can date, fall in love and marry someone who is not necessarily your “type,” but you won’t do any of those things if you are not attracted to them. In our country and society today, attraction is typically a non-negotiable requirement of any relationship.
The Great Equalizer
I consider attraction the great equalizer because it eliminates any physical detriment one may have. Keep in mind, some women or men just aren’t going to date someone without a perfect body or what is in their mind the perfect face or perfect “look.” That’s fine, it’s their prerogative. You will sometimes see people who make this choice often have a tough time in dating because they are simply going on superficial qualities and not on what really attracts us to other people.
Here are some facts to consider: Women love to laugh. Men like to feel taken care of. Men like to have a woman who is more than a lover; we want a friend, as well. Women like to feel appreciated. It’s not that any of these things can’t be appreciated by the other gender (they can and they are). It’s simply a fact these are some of the traits of attraction in relationships. They are more important than physical traits in most cases and with most people. There are many traits of attraction, but I wanted to mention a few examples to understand what attraction looks like.
No matter what environment you’re in, as long as you’re at least clean and well groomed (important to get to the attraction stage); you can be yourself and have someone find an attractive trait about you. You won’t be attractive to everyone, but you will be attractive to someone!
Dressing well and grooming is imperative, but it’s really more of a ticket to entry than the attraction itself.
It doesn’t matter how sexy your dress is or how handsome you look on a particular evening, if you can’t engage someone in a way that is attractive, you aren’t getting anywhere.
The Essence of Attraction
Being attractive is not about putting on airs. It’s all about being the best you that you can be. Being confident (yet humble), spirited (yet thoughtful) and captivating (but not overbearing).
Think of your life as a PowerPoint presentation. What would you talk about? How would you sound as you discuss different parts of your life? What would your body language present? All of that is how you come off when you meet someone for the first time and they subconsciously decide if they are attracted to you or not. You are presenting yourself to the world (without the slides) and they are deciding if they are interested in your presentation.
Notice, I said presentation…not necessarily what you said, but how you presented yourself. If you are being yourself while following the points at the start of the last paragraph, you will be an attractive person. You won’t be attractive to everyone, but to more than you might think.
You can watch the seed of that initial attraction grow into what every single person wants…a conversation with another single (and available) person!
FOR DISCUSSION: Do you agree with Jay’s thought that “the one trait a relationship must have to start is attraction?”