Valentine’s Day has just passed leaving me wondering about attraction. What is it about another person that attracts our attention? Here’s a brief overview of 6 ideas.

Valentine’s Day has just passed leaving me wondering about attraction.  What is it about another person that attracts our attention?  According to Rhonda Byrne in her mega-selling book, The Secret, we attract similar energy, that’s to say, we attract people, places, and things that are comparable to ourselves or our thoughts.  I think that’s only part of the story.

Without going into great detail, Ms. Byrne’s perspective isn’t so much about what you say you want, it’s more about what you’ve programmed your unconscious mind to look for.  Ok, I agree and I’ll add that we may also be attracted by things that we don’t understand.

Looks are deceiving

What about the notion that opposites attract?  In support of The Secret’s ideas, experts say that we aren’t really attracted to opposites at all; it just may appear that way on the outside.  On the inside (unconsciously) we are recognizing and attracted to a familiar pattern that fills an unmet need.  Though many of these relationships function well, I think more often than not, they just function or rather dysfunction.

Pick a card – any card

While writing this post, I found myself heading in many directions.  It’s an indication that I really haven’t clarified my thoughts.  I almost scrapped the idea moving on to write about the times pleasure isn’t fun or being proud of your kids.  I couldn’t though; it’s got me so curious.  So, I’ve decided to offer a brief overview of my top 6 ideas about why we are attracted to people.  Please share what you think about attraction and what you’ve experienced.  Thanks in advance.

1. Challenge

We love a good challenge and a good game.   Gameification is the new buzzword and there’s a rush to add the energy giving elements of game play to everything, even on-line dating.  The energy given to both sides in opposition is huge.  Engaging is an adrenaline rush and an adventure.  We stimulate our brains out of the sleepy everyday humdrum.  Could the challenges faced in dating your opposite be the reason for the attraction?

2. Wholeness

Yin needs yang to be complete.  A person who is introverted may be attracted to an extravert as a way to balance the scales between yin and yang.   I’m not sure it makes for a smooth relationship (if there is such a thing) because there may be a gap in understanding.  If I’m an introvert, I’ll have difficulty understanding the needs and motivations of my extrovert partner and vice versa.  I might go along anyway and I might resent the heck out of it, too.  Could the desire for completeness be the reason for attraction?

3. Plausible Deniability

Having a really good reason not to do something relieves you of the pressure to go out and do it.  What if the reason some people choose the opposite of what they truly want is to avoid having to risk the disappointment of not getting it?  If you’re in one bad relationship after another, you simply don’t have the space in your life or the time and energy to look for something better.  If it’s too scary to risk rejection from a winner, you might settle for acceptance from a loser.  Could fear of rejection be the reason for attraction?

4. Survival

Humans are curious beyond conscious awareness.  Since our physical body hasn’t evolved much since the stone ages, we are still subject to the same hard-wired survival instincts; survive first—think later.  Civilization has gotten rid of many threats but that doesn’t mean we aren’t still on the lookout.  In the brain, the hippocampus is tasked with all things memory.  It’s responsible for identifying incoming data for storage.  It’s also where curiosity resides because it’s always on the lookout for new and unusual things in our environment.  It wants to be sure everything in your environment has been properly identified to ensure any possible threat is uncovered.  Could unconscious curiosity be the reason for attraction?

5. What’s Love Got To Do With It?

We learn by association and remember by repetition.  If a child learns about love from her experiences with a narcissistic parent, it’s likely the whole concept of love and attraction will be highly skewed.  Could the programming of our parents be the reason for attraction?

6. Hot Bods

Studies have verified what everyday people already know:  healthy fit bodies are very attractive.  Somewhere in our unconscious brain is a set of physical characteristics that denote beauty and a good match for procreation.  Our genes have a mind of their own.  Could our desire to reproduce be the reason for attraction?

Who Knows?

I have other curious thoughts about this, but in the end, the reasons for our attraction are whatever we say they are.  Nothing has absolute meaning because meaning is given by you.


How about this, why not try becoming the person you’d most like to attract?  Become romantic, trustworthy, healthy, adventurous, well read, funny, or whatever your heart desires.  This way, you won’t have to worry about who you are attracted to because all your perfect matches will find you first.

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Author: Lorraine Esposito

Lorraine Esposito 914-410-7502 Lorraine Esposito is a certified professional life coach, mentor coach, owner of The Center for Coaching Mastery at Westchester Community College in New York, and nationally recognized author of The Peacemaker Parent, Solving Problems for Today, Teaching Independence for a Lifetime, Lorraine is the featured life coach for a popular New York radio station, WFAS 103.9 FM and is in collaboration with and featured blogger for the National Football League and USA Football adding a ‘coach approach’ to coaching youth sports. Lorraine’s client base includes CEO’s in the entertainment industry, White House and Capitol Hill public affairs staff, entrepreneurs, global TED speakers, award winning writers, new coaches just starting out, successful business women between 40 and 55 looking for more out of life, and parents needing a little help making good on their parenting promises. Lorraine’s career matches the diversity in her coaching practices. Starting out in the rural mid-west, Lorraine has owned four small businesses; the first, an automobile repair center, started at age 16. Her corporate experience is mainly in negotiating multimillion dollar contracts as the buyer of domestic in-flight food and beverages for Trans World Airlines and then as a procurement manager for the New York City Transit Authority. Lorraine’s strength has always been creatively finding solutions to even the most complicated goal. In addition, Lorraine’s 30 years as a professional fitness coach continues to add depth to all her endeavors. She has been featured in various print, broadcast, and on-line media and is a public speaker regarding personal leadership to community and school-based audiences. Lorraine lives in New York with her husband and two teenage sons.