I've talked a lot about attraction over on RSDN. Sometimes guys over there worry about their age, their thinning hair, their weight, their lack of a car (lol :-), and so forth. I always tell them attraction, for men and women, has very little to do with any of those superficial factors and everything to do with their vibe. Hotness is an energy.
In a previous blog entry, I noted how this got driven home to me on the ski lifts. Guys on the lift chairs strike up conversations with me on a regular basis, ask for my number, ski with me, etc., even though they cannot see what I look like. Another example of the effect of one's aura: Just this morning, I was reparking my car, and something happened that has happened a bunch of times lately but never used to happen at all. A guy on the street stopped and, without my asking, started giving me directions and helping me park. Approachability is a vibe. The willingness to accept a guy's help and attention is a vibe.
What is this attraction vibe anyway? Well, I believe it has to do with how in touch we are with our aliveness: our moment-to-moment feelings and needs. Marshall Rosenberg talks a lot about what a huge gift it is to reveal ourselves and share our aliveness with other people. Of course it's easy to share in other people's joy. But Marshall also teaches to learn to enjoy other people's pain, not in a sadistic way, but in a compassionate way. He teaches that when we can learn how to connect with other people's pain (such as their hurt or disappointment that was triggered by something we did), we can have a way deeper connection with them. We can give them empathy and help bring them back to a feeling of wholeness, and bond deeply with them in the process.
Over the holidays, I was reminded of this cuz I've been in deep conversation with the guy from the Neediness and Dating Rules post. There was definitely some pain between us, it definitely was not all warm and fuzzy, but we just stayed with the connection. When he revealed his negative emotions, that made it much easier for me to connect with him -- and also to be vulnerable myself.
The conversation gave me a lot more clarity about my own painful feelings. I realized that what I had really wanted was to be heard and seen by him. Really a simple thing but so easily overlooked by all of us at times. I wanted him to understand what a rite of passage it was for me to cross the threshold into physical intimacy again, and how much I wanted to share all aspects of that emotional experience. I wanted him to see how important it was to me that our connection be just as strong after crossing that threshold as before. For his part, among other things, he wanted me to see that sometimes intimacy can feel a little overwhelming, and people might need a breather. He wanted me to see that he wants to give the same care and consideration to his other relationships as he gives to me. He wanted me to take responsibility for my emotional reaction rather than put the responsibility on him. And so on ...
One key for me in this type of conversation is to steer far clear of strategies. When people are in pain, the last thing you want to talk about is "what are we going to do next." Insisting on a particular outcome is one of the quickest ways to disconnect and for the other person not to feel heard. It's way more important to get the feelings and needs out on the table. The rest will tend to take care of itself.
During the course of this conversation, I noticed a few interesting things. One was that I also got scared sometimes and needed to take a break and breathe after we connected deeply. That made it easier for me to relate to his distancing himself after physical intimacy. It was like -- oh yes, this happens to me, too! It's nothing to take personally.
It seemed like we started being way more honest with each other, like we were on our first few dates. It felt like such a huge relief when he got really honest and said he knew exactly what I'd been thinking before I even sent my first text message. I knew he knew!!! And I had really wanted him to acknowledge that. Ah, now THERE is the guy I decided to get intimate with -- I knew he was still in there somewhere, lol ;-)
I also noticed that it felt like my heart reconnected to him. I started feeling a lot of liquid glowing energy in my heart chakra. I noticed what felt to me like an increasing amount of non-verbal long-distance communication (telepathy) between us. And -- listen carefully, aspiring suitors -- I noticed starting to feel aroused and turned on again. Empathy does wonders for a girl's libido.
So there you have it. I told you what they said when we went to 10 days of NVC training in Albuquerque, New Mexico: "Be careful guys, non-violent communication often leads to sex."
I have no idea what will happen in this particular situation, but I know that after being heard and understood, I feel much better.