Think of the last guy you were attracted to. Someone you REALLY liked.
Did being with this guy make you feel:
- Like you’d be happy forever if only he’d commit to you? But first you’ve got to show him how great you are and how great his life would be with you?
- Like you’d be happy forever if only he’d change in some small way: treat you better, show up on time, get some ambition, or spend more time with you?
- Like you’d be happy forever if only you could change yourself: become less needy, better at relationships, or more physically attractive?
- Like you ARE pretty happy, already?
If you answered a, b, or c, what you experienced was an attraction of deprivation.
If you answered d, what you experienced was an attraction of inspiration.
And knowing the difference between the two could help you find the man of your dreams a whole lot faster.
Attractions of Deprivation
These terms were coined by psychotherapist Ken Page as a way to help singles identify the most promising relationships.
Attractions of deprivation are defined by need. He’s like an itch you need to scratch. You just need SOMETHING to make it perfect.
You need him to commit to you, you need him to stop drinking, or you need to stop doing whatever it is that’s pushing him away.
When you’re stuck in an attraction of deprivation, you feel deprived of this state of perfect happiness that you imagine you’ll find on the other side of your obstacles.
You’re driven to do whatever it takes. You work on yourself. You work on the relationship. You work on him.
You work and work and work…
Yet that elusive state of happiness seems further away than ever.
Attractions of Inspiration
Attractions of inspiration don’t feel as exciting in comparison.
You like this guy a LOT, but you don’t feel that same level of need for him.
Instead, you’re just content.
Attractions of inspiration don’t sweep you off your feet. They grow on you. You find yourself admiring and appreciating this man the more time you spend with him. He’s a good man. He’s kind, thoughtful, and caring.
Being with him brings out your best side. You don’t have to perform or censor yourself around him. Instead, you can relax and share what’s on your mind without fear of judgment.
At first, you’re not sure if that makes you feel special or not. He accepts you for who you are, but…then again, he accepts EVERYONE for who they are. He’s nothing like the alpha male who’s a jerk to everyone but the woman he loves.
He doesn’t seem to require anything from you, and that can leave you feeling confused. What are you supposed to do? In past relationships, you’ve done everything in your power to win the guy over. This guy doesn’t seem to need that.
Attractions of inspiration throw you off guard. They’re confusing because they’re so simple. He’s a good guy. He likes you. He makes you feel safe.
Some people break off these relationships because their system is wired to crave unpredictability and challenge. They gravitate towards partners who make them feel unworthy, because a dominant partner feels like more of a catch.
A good guy who makes you feel good can be … well, boring. You don’t feel that chemical addiction to him. You just feel enormous affection, enjoyment, and peace.
Guess which kind of relationship leads to lasting love?
Retrain Your “Picker”
You’ll know you’re headed in the direction of inspiration when kindness is one of your essential criteria in a mate.
And not just kindness to others. Kindness to YOU.
Men who enjoy dangling you on the end of a string do the kind thing sometimes but not always. Sometimes, they’re breathtakingly cruel.
It takes a lot of effort to think about someone’s feelings and needs. It takes even more effort to go out of your way to be kind.
But that’s the kind of effort the man of your dreams will make.
If you can find a man who accepts, appreciates, and respects you just as you are…
And inspires the best in you…
And kindles that physical spark of attraction…
Then you’ve found someone you could spend a lifetime with.
But if this guy makes you feel desperate and needy…
If you feel like you’re not good enough for him…
If he’s hijacked your life…
Then you’ve gotten hooked by an attraction of deprivation. HE isn’t good enough for YOU. Move on! Make space for the guy who makes you happy right now, as you are.