If you read this blog, you know by now that I am a big fan of The Book of Life. They have a publishing house and have released lots of wonderful little books. I just picked up this one, and I admire the concise way in which it explains why we fall in love with particular people over others. In it’s estimation, there are three components that guide attraction:
- The Instinct for Completion – All of us are incomplete, and it is as if we recognize this on some unconscious level, such that we experience and attraction whenever we enter the orbit of someone who possesses a complementary quality. Because we all have different ways in which we are incomplete, we will find different people attractive than, say, someone our best friend may find attractive. An example may be that I am stunningly unathletic. To whom am I married? A lifelong athlete and coach.
- The Instinct for Endorsement – We all have many issues that contribute to our complex personalities and natures. Some of these are challenging to be understood by others. It is for this reason, then, that we might be attracted to someone who understands the parts of us that are foreign, unpopular, strange, and offbeat. It is so wonderful when another “gets” us and validates us, in all of our uniqueness. How nice it is to have our love of documentary films celebrated by our beloved. And although they might not share our preference to, say, keep family at arms length, they certainly understand why me might do so.
- The Instinct for Familiarity – The way we approach love as adults is HIGHLY shaped by how we experienced love as children. In adulthood, we will be attracted to people who remind us, perhaps unconsciously, of the people we loved as children. The affections of our parters can end up tinged with a feeling of familiarity. The similarities may be subtle or unmistakable. If we ponder long enough, we often will see them.
As you reflect on your primary adult attachment relationships, do the above ring true, and if so how?
Until next time, Peace.