A long time ago someone who had made spirituality the main focus of his life and who had studied a lot of Gurdjieff told me something about relationships. He told me that attraction happens on five levels: spiritual, emotional, intellectual, physical and sexual.
I believe Buddha Bear, as I used to call him, was right. I believe we are attracted to these five different things and for a relationship to work they need to be a match. Not a 100% match, nothing ever is, but high enough.
In the past I used to be scared of ending up with the wrong guy, because, let’s face it: maybe it’s just the physical, sexual and intellectual that’s a match, but if you’re scoring 99% on each of those, you can get a bit blinded. Just a little bit…
Likewise, maybe you have a friend and the spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical are all pretty high up there, but one day you fall into bed with each other and realize that the sexual is really not a match. You’re already emotionally invested, so then what?
What I came to realize over the years is that if it isn’t working on one, or more, of these planes, the attraction fades. You don’t get hurt, your life doesn’t turn into a mess, friendships don’t die, you simply lose interest in more than friendship. The only pain is the void you feel; the void you were hoping to fill with Mister-Who-Didn’t-Turn-Out-Right. It’s a little bit harder to let go of those who were close to being right, because we all have emotional and sexual needs, but that’s about it.
The only time you get hurt is when people don’t communicate, or simply just treat you badly.
When I was younger I did get hurt for other reasons, but that was because I didn’t understand any better and let myself get led astray by one form of attraction or another, thinking that was the real deal, then being horrified when it wasn’t. I also had a tremendous amount of ego thrown into the equation; needing to be liked.
There’s also what I call “false attraction” which is basically being attracted to people who reflect your scars by proving them to be true, as opposed to being attracted to people who reflect your true nture; your heart. It’s part of emotional attraction, but as the story goes you are drawn to those who are where you are at emotionally, so if you haven’t sorted those childhood wounds… In short, being an emotional fit isn’t always a good thing!
Even today I believe the best approach is to take things very slow in the beginning, because I don’t think anyone knows if they’re a fit on all levels when they first meet someone. You don’t need to know. You can just slowly find out. Being a fit doesn’t mean you care for each other, or are emotionally invested in each other, either – that takes time. And there’s more to it than being a fit: you also have to be willing to create a beautiful relationships and build your dreams together. That takes work. Work not everyone’s willing to do and that’s their perrogative – we all have different goals in life.
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