“Love should not cause suffocation and death if it is truly love. Don’t bundle someone into an uncomfortable cage just because you want to ensure their safety in your life.”
~ Michael Bassey Johnson
Have you ever been in a situation where you really liked or even felt like you loved a guy when you barely knew him?
This can happen in the beginning of relationships when you have a strong physical or emotional reaction.
This is the romantic love stage. It is that feeling of not being able to stop thinking of the other person.
You can’t wait to see each other again, you want to look your best, and your heart skips a beat when they text or call. It feels wonderful, exciting, and fun. You have all those “feel good” hormones racing through your body. You see only the best in the other person. You want to spend as much time together as possible.
Sometimes this happens on the first date and it can be interpreted as “love at first sight”.
You might think the relationship is meant to be. We often call this chemistry. Chemistry really is just a mix of hormones and an emotional connection. It is not necessarily an indicator of an ideal partner.
When you experience that instant attraction, the next thing to do is get to know him better.
If you are attached to this initial judgment of this being “the one”, what happens when you start to notice red flags or things you do not really like about him.
Maybe you start to notice values that are not in alignment with yours or behaviors you are not happy with. You have a tendency to keep going back to the initial feeling of this person being “the one.” There is a danger in not balancing your initial attraction with the reality that unfolds.
It is important to balance your heart and your head.
What does this mean? It means, we want you to date consciously. Enjoy the feelings and attraction when they arise but also pay attention to your core values, your vision of the future, your relationship desires, and needs.
Balance your feelings, your thoughts, and your hormones in order to make the right decision about who will ultimately become your life partner.
If there is a great deal of chemistry in the beginning, you will have to work harder to balance your heart with your head.
Enjoy the feelings but also look at the reality of the situation. Is what you are learning about the other person in alignment with what you truly want in a relationship? If it is not then you are better off finding someone else.
Chemistry, no matter how strong it is, will not make up for someone who does not match your values and requirements.
Eventually the chemistry wears off and you are left with someone who is not the right fit for you.
I suggest you start where you are and give the person time.
Be open to getting to know more about them. Spend time together, relax, have fun, get to know each other. Enjoy the process and see what happens.
Lori Ann Davis, MA, CRS, CRC — www.lorianndavis.com
This makes sense given how attraction works…
Falling for someone doesn’t have a timeline. We don’t calculate a steady trajectory, such as, 1 point interest increase for 1 week of knowing.
No! We’re crazy and unpredictable creatures when it comes to attraction and romance.
Part of the reason for this is because of how chemicals associated with attraction and attachment work.
Testosterone and estrogen surge when we find ourselves sexually attracted to someone.
In addition to sexual attraction, when we find connection on emotional, intellectual, or spiritual levels our brains produce chemicals that feel good, such as
- Phenylethylamine (a stimulant, also found in chocolate),
- Norepinephrine (activates arousal and stimulation),
- Dopamine (pleasure and motivation),
- Serotonin (well-being and happiness),
- Oxytocin (a bonding chemical), and
- Endorphins (like opiates, they reduce stress, relieve pain, and calm anxiety).
When you find yourself drawn to someone, your body will often react in ways that increase the intensity of that attraction.
Do you have any worry about the short timeline and your high level of interest?
Most likely, if you’re worried about this, there’s a reason from your past.
Latching on to someone quickly likely stems from anxiety and poor boundaries.
These can come from codependency or an anxious attachment style.
Codependency often develops from childhood and having a parent with an addiction. Codependency is when one relinquishes their own boundaries and needs for the sake of the addict, in order to keep them in your life and keep them stable.
The psychological theory on attachment, which explains how people perceive and respond to intimacy in romantic relationships.
Those with an anxious attachment style crave intimacy, are preoccupied with their relationships, and worry about partner’s ability to love them back.
This attachment style worries that they are not worthy, and consistently looks to others for affirmation that they are.
- If you have an anxious attachment style, you are constantly looking for someone to latch on to.
- If you have a history of addiction in your family of origin, or you have an anxious attachment style, you may benefit from doing work to do recovery from your own codependency or growing a secure attachment.
If your friends are worried, listen to them.
They are your biggest cheerleaders and want the best for you. If they are concerned about your quick intensity, ask them why.
It’s likely connected to something they’ve seen in the past and they are trying to keep you safe in the future.
- Do you have a habit of jumping into a relationship quickly?
- Do you ignore signs from yourself or from him that this is unhealthy, you’re not being respected, or your needs aren’t being met?
If none of these concerns apply to you (or your friends), it may be love and you’re experiencing it quickly.
Love is fun, and the beginning is often enjoyable. It can be helpful to keep an eye on underlying issues that may lead to future challenges. But, also it may be love.
Stacey Schwenker, MDiv, LMFT – www.gardencitycenter.org
Ladies, there could be many reasons for this scenario. Before you get too carried away, consider the following information.
I’m sure there have been many times where women have felt that they really like or perhaps even love a man when they barely know him. Usually this intensity boils in the first interaction with the man.
Now, this feeling of deep connection or attraction may be very very real.
So if this has happened to you or if it does in the future, do not deny your experience, but truly experience it without worry and without attachment.
First, this intense attraction may occur out of unhealed patterns and wounds from past relationships with previous partners or with parents.
Sometimes, as humans who have deep emotional intelligence, we latch on to a mere similarity or reminder of what is comfortable.
This happens mostly UNCONSCIOUSLY, so do not beat yourself up if you have or do become conscious to this. We are unconsciously attracted to the lessons that still need deeper healing within us.
Second, sometimes, more rarely, but it is possible.
There are people that we connect with from the first moment we meet them. Depending on your beliefs, some people would say that they have known this person before (as if in a past life) because the connection is so unreal.
This is very possible. However, notice if you are connecting from a pure place of trust and un-attachment, or if you feel like you are latched and seeking attention from this person.
Is this connection mutual? Does the man feel the same way? Or are you being super intense and perhaps scaring him away?
This would be a great place to look at your attachment style to see if you have an anxious attachment style.
If you do, this scenario may happen to you more than you realize.
This would not be a time to judge yourself, or to put yourself down, but to look at how you can attract and be with a man from a secure place of trust and emotional intelligence.
Ananda Nelson, MSW – www.anandanelson.com
Part of why you fall so quickly has to do with issues of low self-worth and low self-esteem.
- Are you feeling desperate?
- Are you feeling left behind?
- Are you assuming if you don’t jump in now, you will never have someone in your life?
It’s good to be open and honest with yourself.
Perhaps you are feeling pressure from family and friends to get married. If you are feeling badly about your current single status, having it pointed out by friends and family can really rub salt in the wound. Because of this, you are jumping in quickly, even though you don’t know him that well.
Another thing to consider is that you don’t know what you really want.
It appears that anyone who shows you attention and is initially sweet, will get your love. But in reality, you must have some criteria on which to base your relationship.
In other words, who is your ideal partner?
Should he have your same religion, have financial stability, be close with his family, have strong community involvement, be honest, sincere and caring or can he be anybody who smiles at you?
It’s important for you to be more particular so that a guy you meet has some of what you are looking for and is not just any guy.
Then you won’t wonder why you like him so much. You will know because he has some of those characteristics you’ve been looking for and must have to involve yourself in the relationship.
Finally, next time, try not to fall so fast.
It’s up to you to pace the relationship.
Perhaps you need to keep the physical aspect delayed so you can more fully develop the emotional side. Perhaps you should keep the mystery of who you are and what you’re all about in the forefront so that he pursues you and is intrigued by who you are.
In that way, you are in control of the tempo and the speed of your involvement.
If you truly want to understand why you like him so much, even though you barely know him, question your motives and then shift direction.
Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com
Those of you who’ve read my contributions to this website know that occasionally I share some personal material.
This is one of those times.
When I was in my early 20’s my friends and I frequented a neighborhood bistro/bar.
I developed a serious crush on one of the waiters. He was polite but clearly had no interest in me at all.
This did not dampen my growing affection for him. I’ll admit he was very attractive, but he was also very aloof.
Most of the waiters were very friendly which is one of the big reasons we liked to hang out there; he really wasn’t. He wasn’t rude but he wasn’t a fun guy either.
My crush was inexplicable and even a little embarrassing to my friends.
I couldn’t really explain what I saw in him, but I was seriously infatuated.
- What did I see in him?
- Did I enjoy the feeling of rejection?
Nobody, including me, could understand my obsession with this guy.
Later I learned about a type of projection that involves assigning feelings and attributes to a person whom you don’t really know.
These projections are actually a part of you.
You are, in essence, creating a person out of your subconscious desires and fantasies.
Usually the object of your projection has some of the qualities that you find desirable, so you can understand the initial attraction.
In a way, that you DON’T know him better makes it easier to project your fantasy. Who he really is doesn’t get in the way.
I really don’t know why this happens. It could be that you are lonely or have experienced too much rejection. Maybe the part of you that knows he is unattainable makes the crush feel safer.
Dreaming about him and fantasizing about the happiness that the relationship will bring can be pretty consuming. Fantasies are by nature an escape from reality.
Real relationships take work and vulnerability; there is no magic.
Safety in a fantasy precludes the possibility of meeting a real potential partner. If you find yourself habitually falling for unavailable men you may not have enough confidence in yourself or maybe men in general, to try for the real thing.
When I look back on my crush, I can see that it came at a somewhat low point in my life.
Maybe the safety coupled with the enjoyment of the dream were all I was up for at that time.
You deserve a real-life partner who wants to be with you.
Sometimes therapy can help you find the confidence you need to search for the real thing. That is what you deserve; save the dreams for nighttime.
Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com
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