How do you know if youre attracted to someone?
Merriam-Webster defines attraction as a feeling that makes someone romantically or sexually interested in another person.
But what does that actually mean, and how do you know when you really, truly feel it?
Is it like a supposed crush, where every time you see them, your face lights up as though you opened the best Christmas present ever? Is it just their features lining up so perfectly thatleave you in awe?
What if you think you feel the attraction, but arent sure if you actually do? And what if youre in a serious, long-term relationship with someone and are questioning whether or not youre attracted to them?
And what would happen if you told them?
Rest assured, I have been there. Here are the dos and donts of what to do whenyou realize yourenot attracted to your partner anymore:
Do: Tell them.
Its not a bad idea to tell them. In fact, its pretty necessary. You cant keep stringing them along.
Relationships are not built or strengthened on lies. No, theyre built through trust and open communication.
Do: Think about your SOs feelings.
Think about the best way to start your conversation so as to not upset them.
Remember, this is delicate.
Dont: Let them think its their fault.
Especially if you love them.
Dont act like its their fault for being so unattractive in your eyes.
Do: Let them know its an issue with you and the way you feel.
Let them know they are a wonderful human being. If you love them, tell them you love them. (I assume you do if you are in a long-term relationship.)
Explain to them that feelings change. And when they get sad, let them know its just something withinyouthat has changed and nothing else.
Dont: Try to change them to fit your ideas of attraction.
If they change on their own free will because they want you to find them attractive, thats one thing. Its another thing entirely to want to change someone to fit your own needs.
If you dont want to end the relationship but you know your sex life has been seriously impacted by your change of feelings, do talk to them and work it through.
Maybe you have some sexual preferences you want to explore? Now is the time to experiment; it could save your relationship.
Do: Come to a compromise.
Whatever agreement you come to, make sure you each have an equal part in contributing ideas.
Remember, its normal to notbe attracted to your SO at some point in your relationship, so dont expect things to be perfect all the time.
But just because things arent perfect doesnt mean you should end the relationship because of this issue. This can be resolved.
Trust me, Ive been in this situation before, myself.
I had fallen in love with a man. Ididnt fall in love with them because of hislooks, though. And I doubt you did either.
When wefirst got into this relationship (and when you got into yours), weagreed to be in a relationship with every part of each other, quirks and idiosyncrasies included.
Ourfeelings for each other were not just based their outer appearance, although, yes, it was a part of it.
Somewhere down the road, mylove for their quirks and idiosyncrasies no longer were enough to keep mehappy. And Im guessing the same thing has happened to you.
You wanted more, and you wanted to feel a deeper attraction. And thats OK. Its human to feel that way.
If you do decide to break up for this reason, do know that since you are in a long-term relationship, it will probably be best to not communicate for awhile afterward.
Its going to be a tough breakup, and you need to give them time to heal.
But dont make a big change inthe relationship without thinking and talking it through first.
Chances are, if you end the long-term relationship, you will probably miss them indefinitely, regardless of how attractive they are.
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