[Having recently changed jobs, Im finding it difficult to keep up my posts. But I want to keep this project going. Last week, Donald Miller, author of Blue Like Jazz, posted some articles on his blog that contribute to our conversation, and I wanted to repost them here to keep a good thing going. Check it out and leave your comments.]
This week Im featuring posts from my newest release, Father Fiction. These are new writings, not previously released in the books original form. The book hits stores today.
We also want to understand why we are attracted to the opposite sex, and there are many reasons. I want to talk about the two dominant forces that draw you to the opposite sex. The first is the desire to reproduce. This is what your body wants. The second is the desire for redemption. This is what your soul wants.
At a young age your hormones were going crazy. We think we are in love but the truth is, we are in lust. We just want to have sex. But look around, look at how many couples are unhappy. So many of them got married because they wanted sex, not because they wanted the responsibility of taking care of another person and a family.
The other force is the desire for redemption. Psychologists theorize that we are deeply attracted (what feels like romantic love) to the negative characteristics of our primary caretakers. You know that intense feeling you get when you think you cant live without him or her? According to this theory, what you are really feeling is the desire to go back in time to when you were a baby and fix the relationship you had with your parents. Your subconscious recognizes the other person as having your parents characteristics, and takes your subconscious back to childhood. Thats why you feel like youve always known this person or that if you dont have him or her, you wont have security. Your brain assumes if you lose this person, youll lose the roof over your head, your daily food and love itself. Thats why you obsess about somebody you hardly know. Your subconscious brain thinks that person is your mommy or daddy. Your squirrel brain is picking up on the negative characterisitcs of your primary caretakers because those are the ones you hope to fix so that youll finally receive love. If your father had a bad temper, you might be attracted to a person with a bad temper. If your mother was controlling, you are going to be drawn to a mroe controlling person. And the whole time you are going to think you are madly in love, that this other person is going to complete you. The very sad news and the hard news is they wont. The greater the passion, oftentimes, the greater the let down. This is true because the subconscious brain doesnt get what it was hoping to get, which is a repaired relationship with mommy and daddy.
Nuts, isnt it? Insane. But I actually think this theory bears a lot of truth.
But what do you do with this?
Well, for starters, you dont let your squirrel brain drive all your decisions. When you fall in love, ask yourself what it is that is drawing you to this person. Is it sex? That wont last. It wont be long before youre sexually attracted to somebody else, and you might end up having many partners and the lonely life of a sailor on shore leave. Is it that they are controlling or have anger issues? That wont work either. They arent your mommy or daddy, and they arent going to make everything okay.
In fact, relationships, while rewarding, actually make life harder. They will bless your life, but they will bless your life through sacrifice. You are going to get more muscle out of it, and thats the attidute you have to have going into it in the first place. If you go into a relationship hoping to give love, hoping to create some of the security the other person is looking for, you are better off and your relationship stands a chance. And youll most likely get some love in return. But it will be realistic love, not redemption. Your spouse isnt Jesus.
So the real question to ask is, Can I put up with this person? That sounds awful, but its important. Does she like what I like, is he easy to talk to, is she a good friend? In other words, does this relationship have the stuff of terrific friendship? Of course, you have to be attracted to the person, just dont let that attraction hijack you into making stupid decisions.
That narrows the field considerably. You might be ticked at me right now because its hard enough to get a date, and Ive just taken ninety percent of the applicants out of the picture. But I promise you, people who know what they want and are choosy about their mates are infinitely more attrative to the opposite sex. Be choosy and I assure you people will be more drawn to you.
I wish somebody would have told me that when I was a kid.
Now, lets talk about what women really find attractive in men, and what men really find attractive in women
[Well will continue next week with Dons second article on What women really find attractive in men.]
Question: Have you ever been in a relationship with someone who reminded you of your father or mother?
(Read more at everythingispermissible.wordpress.com.)