Question: I live as a couple. My partner and I have a very good relationship: we trust each other, we talk, we chose to be together… yet I sometimes still feel attracted to other people and I don’t know how to handle these attractions. What would you suggest?
Answer: Even if you get on well with your partner, it is natural – and healthy – that you feel attracted to other people, both of the same and of different sex.
Human beings contain such a wide range of potentials that we can never develop them all, no matter how many years we live
At the moment of conception we receive a multitude of potentials, through our parents and from Life, Perennial Energy, Yahweh, God, the Nameless – or however you wish to call this. Some of these potentials are already awakened, in an active, dynamic state, and others are in a dormant, inactive state, on “stand by”, we could say. Those that we receive already in an active state demand to be taken care of and developed, since this is an active energy that needs to be transformed. As the law of thermodynamics states: “energy is not created or destroyed, it is transformed”. The potentials that we receive in an inactive state may awaken and be activated through diverse experiences throughout life. They can also be activated through attractions, by resonance.
We have so many potentials that no person in the world is capable of unfurling them all
The attraction you feel for someone, either a man or woman, can be caused by some inactive aspect or part of you, on “stand by”, which resonates at the same frequency as the aspect or part of the person you are attracted to. The resonance awakens your inactive aspect by feeling desire, which offers you the opportunity to know, recognize and integrate a new aspect of your unknown potential. If you know how to handle this opportunity correctly, you will be enriched as an individual, and this will also have an impact on your partner, relationship, and whole family.
Therefore, when you feel attracted to someone, neither repress it nor rush into anything, but follow these steps:
- Increase your awareness of the attraction, welcome it with a receptive and grateful attitude, let yourself feel, breathe, hold and gestate it.
- Observe the feeling and ask yourself what traits or aspects attract you to the other person, and write them down.
- Look at the different aspects that you have noted as if they were a mirror that reflects aspects of yourself that you do not see. All the qualities that you see in the other are surely also within you, you simply haven’t yet had the opportunity to develop them.
- Put everything that you become aware of into words. If your partner is a respectful and open person, share your experience with him or her. If you cannot share it with your partner, share it with someone who can listen without judgement and accompany this process unconditionally. Another option is to use a recording device.
In most cases, this short four-step process will be enough to integrate the aspects that you have discovered in yourself into your identity, thanks to the resonance that has occurred with the person for whom you felt attraction.
If this short process doesn’t result in sufficient clarity and peace, you could go into more depth with a therapist who can offer professional accompaniment for this type of integral development processes.
It is very important that a couple can speak to each other with respect and unconditional trust about the attraction they feel for others
The ability to speak freely, openly and without judgement guarantees constructive evolution both as individuals and as a couple.
Attractions are always opportunities to discover and develop hidden aspects of ourselves, whether we live as a couple or not
Desire is an engine of evolution, and it awakens when there is a person who vibrates at the same frequency as any unknown aspect of ourselves. This desire is the “voice” of our ignored aspects, demanding that we attend to them and open channels for their transformation. Repressing desire can be as harmful as acting on it compulsively, without following the process described above.
Many couples come together due to a physical and/or emotional attraction, neither of them going through the four-step process. This is one of the possible causes for a couple to enter a crisis, when they realise their mistake of basing a life project on a deceptive attraction. The deception lies turning the focus on the other, who has simply awakened a genuine desire to know and develop an aspect of oneself.
What I have just said in relation to personal attraction can also be applied to non-personal attraction. For example, when we contemplate a landscape, or a painting, or something else, and feel such a deep emotion that it reaches our soul.
In short, we can say that what often attracts us is not the other person or thing, but some hidden aspect of our inner world that we project and see outside of ourself.
It should be noted that the four steps explained for managing and attending to the attractions, in general can also be applied to rejection, that is, when we feel a visceral rejection towards someone. As in the case of attraction, we can also affirm that sometimes, when we feel rejection towards a person or situation, it is not the person or situation that we reject but something of ourselves that we project and see outside.
This topic deserves to be discussed more extensively, since there are very important aspects and nuances, but I will not develop this here as it does not answer the initial question.
Ramon V. Albareda
Psychologist. Theologian. Sexologist.
Founder of Estel, Centre for Personal Growth and School of Integral Studies