As this is the season of love, I thought I’d write about the power of attraction.

How many times have you met someone, had an initial chat, found some common ground, felt yourself getting a little excited about the fact that you actually feel attracted to this relative stranger and then walked away thinking, “this could be the one”?

Isn’t it interesting how quickly we can fall for someone, and think maybe, just maybe, this one could be the right one?  Am I the only one who does this?!  I don’t think so.  A dear friend once said she met someone and within minutes she was imagining herself walking down the aisle with him!  I have this great greetings card in my kitchen of a woman dressed in a wedding dress, looking eager and happy, and the caption says, “She wondered if it was too much for the first date”.

Be honest with yourself…have you got into something with someone just because you had a huge crush on them that perhaps blinded you to any red flags on the way?  And did you invest the time in really getting to know if this person was actually right for you?  Of course I speak from personal experience!

Last night I went to a volunteers’ meeting.  I go there every couple of months.  I habitually sit on one side of the room, but this particular evening I decided to change up and sit on the other side.  I took my seat next to a couple of guys who were chatting to each other.  We said hello, and after a few seconds, being me, I joined in with their conversation.  The man sitting next to me turned his attention away from his friend towards me and we spoke to each other for 10 minutes or so.  The more we talked, the more drawn in to him I felt.  He knew quite a bit about my line of work and as the conversation developed, I discovered we also shared some common interests.

As we continued to talk, I found myself feeling rather attracted to him; he wasn’t bad looking, he was dressed well and had a nice manner about him.   Well, my mind started ticking: “he’s cute, he’s not wearing a wedding band, maybe he’s available…”  These thoughts were rolling round my head as the Chair of the Committee signaled the start of the meeting.  Of course, I had one half of my mind on the meeting, and the other on him.  And when he happily helped me with a question I had by looking up the answer on his phone, well I was smitten.

Since my late husband’s death, there have been several occasions when I’ve met men who I’ve considered as potential partners.  Some I didn’t know, apart from a brief meeting like last night.  Some I had a few dates with, some I had full-blown relationships with.  But these men turned out not to be the ones for me.  In fact, when the dalliances or relationships ended, and I was left in either a state of devastation or mild annoyance that another relationship had bitten the dust, with hindsight I realised these men were absolutely not right for me and thanked God for the fact that I didn’t stay with them, or they with me.  Isn’t hindsight a wonderful thing?  However, when you’re in it, you can’t see it, and even when you’re in pain in the relationship, if you’re anything like me you’ll hang on like a Rottweiler trying to make it work. 

 Attraction is such a powerful force; it can sweep us up and take us on a journey that with our rational thinking applied, we might not choose to go on.  How often have I jumped in with both feet because of the attraction I felt and the hope I had that this one could be the one without stopping to consider taking the time to get to know this person first and find out if I like him as well as feeling attracted to him.  It may sound obvious, but just because you’re attracted to someone doesn’t mean they’re someone to be in a relationship with!  Pure attraction alone does not mean you’ll have a successful and enduring relationship.

When we choose our friends, we spend the time getting to know them, seeing if our values align with theirs, finding out if we like the same kinds of things, how our compatibility works.  Heck even when I’m shopping I generally won’t buy on impulse!  I’ll take my time, look at some other shops and similar products before I make the commitment to buy, yet with people we fancy, before we know it we’re sharing our bodies and emotions on a deep, intimate level without really knowing them.

So this Valentine’s Day, if you’re out and about and you feel the force of attraction, heed this health warning.  Acknowledge the feelings without letting them run you; spend time getting to know that person.  Enjoy the journey of discovery.  If they’re meant to be in your life, they will be, whether it will be for a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Happy Day of Love in Connection!