I've often wondered about the forces of attraction, and what makes human beings attracted to one particular person over another?
I have also spent time contemplating how vulnerable I have felt during the times of attraction, and the beginning stages of forming a new relationship. Even with Dave, I felt vulnerable. But somehow, we both seemed to assuage each other's fears and find our way together.
That has not always been the case for me though.
Shattered - Self Portrait from emotional vulnerability, Artist Selina Shapland 2008.
I think the word 'relationship' is synonymous with 'vulnerability,' because I have found that during every stage of my previous relationships - I have had to face certain fears and deal with them front on.
These fears have not allowed me to hide from myself, and I have had to take the emotional sword off my back and cut through them to see reality.
The negative inner voice of fear can have such power over us. It can make us do and say the silliest things. We can be overrun with anxiety about all manner of insignificant things.
Talk about confusion central!
Personally, I have been vulnerable for all sorts of reasons. I have feared being alone for the rest of my life, and for dying in a small flat with only a goldfish for company; not eaten by Alsatians like Bridget Jones, but still single, alone and slowly decaying on the floor.
Oh so dramatic.
I have feared losing the man I love.
I have been hurt because 'they' didn't want to be with me, whether it was a rational or irrational decision.
Now, I have to say "next!", because that was one less to have to interview for the job of Selina's life partner.
Honestly, I spent way too much time worrying about why that dude from the past didn't want me. Now, I know it's because I had an awesome dude coming into my life, and I had to get rid of the dead wood so I could be in a position to meet the right guy. That is very liberating.
I have worried about 'him' seeing the cellulite on my bottom, as well as my fatty bits and waking up with bad breath in the morning to name.
Then I have worried about whether or not he will actually call when he says he will.
I've fretted about being too interested and worried over how to look interested without crowding the dude, or making him run for the hills.
I've turned myself inside out trying to figure out if I should text, call and/or email? Or do I stay cool and detached, and act as if I have no heart beat at all?
In the end I have given up and after my brain has screamed "What the hell does he want?"
My mind has had me going in circles and pulling myself to pieces. It is utterly ridiculous.
In the end, I think that this may be called 'Hopelessly Romantic Anxiety Disorder.' I'm not a psychologist, but I am sure this disorder exists. The amount of girlfriends that I have heard tell me the exact same thing - its phenomenal.
I think when the right person comes along who actually has similar core values as your own and cares about you from a genuine level then these fears lose their power over us.
It seems to me that attraction is mother natures way of pulling two people together, often for reasons beyond the need to procreate - although we do not necessarily know or understand that.
Our hormones enter into 'the dance of lurve', and we Rumba away like nothing else exists until those rosie little tinted glasses are shattered in a moment of stomach turning reality check. That is often the lesson coming to gate crash the party.
I think that it is natural that attraction brings out our vulnerabilities and helps us see the shadow parts of ourselves that we may have been in extreme denial about.
Life and love are very interesting roller coasters. It has come to my attention that some of our partners stay for a very brief moment in time, and some are meant to be with us our whole lives.
We do not know for sure how long anyone will be in our lives; we can only keep moving along in life and checking in with our partners to see if 'we" are still on the same emotional, physical and spiritual trajectory.
That's when course correction or the cross-roads of Hell come to our attention. Which will we choose?