Familiarity Breeds Attraction

The stats are clear enough: around one third of people find someone to date (or even marry) at work. That’s a big enough chunk of us to assume that something important is going on in all those cubes and warehouses, something useful.

The same kind of something happens in social groups too, away from work. The active word here, in my opinion, is familiarity. Familiarity (for our purpose here) works something like this:

+ You work (or socialize regularly) with someone, who is vaguely compatible.

+ There is limited visceral reaction nor attraction, or not enough to engage.

+ After a time, after many days or weeks or encounters, observation of the person leads to appreciation of their personality, character, sense of humor – one or a number of higher-level qualities.

+ Similarly, you find yourself less worried about what did NOT interest you in the beginning, and more enthusiastic about what does so now.

+ Your thinking shifts; you modifying your behavior to better fit that person’s way of being. Just a little. Consider it social spooning.

+ You have to ask them on a date, lest you die for not knowing if they feel the same way.

My point here is the initial lack of attraction is supplanted by attraction of a different kind. The romantic limerence of lower-you attraction is no predictor of higher-you attraction, because they are only tenuously connected.

Can we draw a conclusion from all this? Sure we can. If you are having trouble finding someone, spend time with a lot of people. From the general comes the specific; from familiarity, attraction.

It’s a Lovenado

It's not love, Tara

So, Sharknado 3 is in production, proof that bad ideas do not die, they just get worse.

Here’s another bad idea, from someone who has seen a few: Tara Reid is “…in love with being in love.”

Let’s be clear. Tara, or anyone else who has those stomach butterflies is not in love, she’s in limerence.

Big difference. Obsessive romantic love characterized by a “strong desire for reciprocation of one’s feelings” is not love. The question to ask is whether this feeling emanates from one’s lower self, or one’s higher self?

Is this feeling of being in love as ephemeral as a Sharknado movie or is it something deeper?

 

HT: Kregg for introducing me to the concept of limerence.

Photo credit: UK Daily Mail

First Dates

First dates assume an importance beyond their value, in my opinion. I am the same, by the way, not immune to the fear of being judged inadequate or worse…unattractive. Ugh.

Here are some useful links from among the many that are not: let me know what you think.

Kimberly Ferguson (a young mature dater) with clear advice.

Yes! Think differently about the questions you ask.

Kinda science, but not really. Interesting nonetheless.

 

What Should I Do?

Somewhere along the line, we lost the ability to figure out what works and what doesn’t; how to avoid person-traps and generally stay on track.

There used to be a framework of how to make all the required decisions we make to stay more-or-less upright on that track. Choices come with rewards and consequences. Put mayo on your sandwich every day, you have a taste sensation that lasts ten minutes. Consequently, you notice after a few weeks that your pants are a little snug. While the timing might not match, the cause and effect certainly do.

It is the same with people. If I continually overlook the behavior of a woman who consistently flirts with other men when I am with her, then I will have to live with my jealousy. The choice is whether to break up, or accept that she will always flirt. Decide, young man, the outcome is yours.

In this case, the choice is more simple that you might think. She flirts. I become jealous. I cannot change her behavior. I must decide to stay dating her or not. No. We must part. (Unless I am forevermore willing to swallow my reaction, like an idiot.)

That’s it. The framework exists, but it is made of cold logical steel.