We throw out all sorts of words to describe meeting the person who you wind up falling in love with — sparks, chemistry, magic, etc.
But have you ever wondered why it is you’re drawn towards the people you find attractive? And not just physically attractive, but that funny little trigger that goes off when you meet someone new and you think “I feel like I already know this person”?
In part one of a four-part video series, out New York therapist Matthew Dempsey explores this topic by first sharing his own very relatable experience — meeting that special someone, experiencing a blissful “honeymoon phase,” then feeling reality sink in.
But as he puts it, being aware of why we’re drawn to the people that we are gives us the tools to work through issues that arise in any relationship, be that the one with your partner or the one with yourself.
Here’s the video:
He makes some decent points, but man are his looks a serious distraction
I think the man is very attractive and I’d certainly go on a date with him.
However, his theories were supported by any factual research. His idea we are attracted to people that we “recognize” as reminding of us of previous care-givers was not followed by any published studies supporting this idea. Just as sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, sometimes the guy is just hot. I would be much more comfortable adopting his ideas if he had anything to back them up other than just sounding good and having a pretty face.
@Xzamilio: I can’t even watch the video, he’s so pretty. I’ll listen to it while imagining that someone I’m not attracted to is speaking. It’s the only way I can listen objectively. Sounds shallow, I know, but it’s true.
@asa1973: You’re not the only one, man. He’s a little too pretty for me, but he’s definitely a looker. Unfortunately, he’s not saying anything new, but I did like his video on superficiality… although a little ironic lol
@MacAdvisor: I also disagree with his basic premise that you are most attracted to people who subconsciously remind you of caregivers from your childhood. I much more agree with a therapist I had years ago whose theory was that you are attracted to people in whom you recognize qualities you feel you do not have and want to possess…. explaining why so often “opposites attract.” This was more true for me. Still, no matter the underlying theory, Mr Dempsey’s proposal that you use relationship conflicts to actually work on and understand yourself is completely valuable and useful. Also, are cardigans back? I did not know this.
Yes, shawl-collared, cable cardigans have been back for a few years! Rock on Mr. Rodgers, with a twist.
* Mr. Rogers. (Been quite a few years. . . )
Ugh, what is this not-even-psychological-sounding babble?
If he’s not actually referencing peer-reviewed journals or books then he should tell the audience that he’s just summoning generic folk woo and that there are a multiplicity of other ways to have and to feel relationships and romance that do not fit this very Hallmark pattern.
His theory on why we find our mates attractive is interesting, but it comes off as apocryphal. What evidence is there? This reminds me of the rubbish years ago on why gay people are gay. We (sic) had distant fathers and overattentive mothers. We (sic) had some early childhood trauma. But, there was no evidence for these theories. These explanations were just wise-sounding bullshit offered by highly-degreed intellectuals. So how is what he is saying here any more true? Does he have peer-reviewed data? Were there clinical studies? Or, is this just something that sounds smart, but really has no basis in fact?
i’ve never felt that.
Yeah, this doesn’t sound like any theory supported by peer reviewed studies that I know of. It sounds more like he’s drawing from his own experience and how he interprets it in hindsight. Sounds more like he is taking classic attachment theory and running wild with it.
Anyone heard of “parataxic distortion?”
Another idiot psychotherapist publishing half assed bullshit as a way to drum up business for their practice.
Simple minded people always try to find so easy explanation and stick to it, truth is life is not black and white and each situation is different, and falling in love cannot be explained, it just happen…
IF there is an explanation, we are still very far from understanding it, and for sure
it is an extremely complex one.
There are many ways to disprove M. Dempsey theory, but the easiest one is that
attraction that “can” soon becomes love when we meet some one that is truly attractive, and I am not talking about a “made up to look good” person like Dempsey , but a truly handsome by nature guy, you know what I am talking about.
Does that super good looking guy represents our past? Our emotional scars or caretakers? No it is simply our human need to have a good looking guy (for many reasons)in our life, nice try Mr Dempsey , but you are nowhere near the universal truth, perhaps your theory applies to you, and not many others…
Lets not be negative, lets lift and support our fellow gay men.
A great companion book to the article and film clip is… ’10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love’ by Joe Kort. The book guides the reader to explore father issues, mother issues, personal baggage, etc. Great read.
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