ERP 106: What To Do When You Are Attracted To Someone Else [Transcript]
ERP 106: What To Do When You Are Attracted To Someone Else
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Welcome to The Empowered Relationship Podcast, helping you turn relationship challenges into opportunities and setting you up for relationship success. Your host, Dr. Jessica Higgins, is a licensed psychologist and relationship coach who shares valuable tips, tools and resources for you to dramatically improve your relationship.
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Hi, thank you for joining today’s podcast episode. Today’s episode is 106, titled What To Do When You Are Attracted To Someone else, and that is someone other than your partner, your wife, your husband, your long-term significant other.
This is in response to a listener’s question… The last two episodes I have been addressing that same question. It was multi-faceted, so I’ve been taking time because I know that this is something that a lot of people have encountered or struggled with. In episode 104, titled “How Infidelity Can Make Your Relationship Stronger” I read this listener’s question, who’s asking about infidelity, affairs, and how that could possibly bring two people to a closer, stronger relationship. She shares a little bit about her story, and she also asks about limerence. In podcast episode 105, my last podcast episode, I address the topic of limerence.
Limerence is essentially the state of — some people would call it infatuation, or love sickness… It’s being completely overwhelmed and almost obsessing about someone else, and that could be just what happens in the beginning stages of relationship, and other people deem it as an entirely different thing.
Most notably here, it’s just the dopamine and the neurochemicals that are going on to support this high is extremely intense. The feeling of love is fueled by the dopamine and all those neurochemicals, so it can be really confusing to navigate. Today I’m going to be addressing what to do when you are attracted to someone else.
Before we get started, I wanna take a moment to just thank those of you who are continued listeners on the Empowered Relationship podcast. And those of you that are just joining, I thank you as well. Those of you that have been continued listeners have had to have a little more patience with me over the last several weeks. Oh, my goodness… My husband and I moved – local move, so I didn’t anticipate it to be such a big undertaking, yet I should know better… Any move is a big undertaking, and it’s actually a great move. We are in a beautiful part of Santa Barbara. We’re kind of up high and we actually can see the ocean from the street, which is beautiful, and we’re just a couple blocks away. They call it Mesa Lane, these stairs that you walk down to the beach… So that will be lovely.
The home that we moved in has a little more space and it’s a little more accommodating for us, yet the home does need some TLC. She said she got it cleaned, but every little nook and cranny and shelves need to be cleaned… I don’t know, maybe it’s the perfectionist in me, but I want everything cleaned before we put stuff in. So it’s just been a lot of organizing and getting settled, and it’s just taken me off of my schedule a little bit, so I just wanna acknowledge my delay in this episode AND in the last episode. Thank you for that. Had I anticipated it a little bit more correctly, I would have frontloaded my episodes so I wouldn’t run into this.
If you are a new listener, basically the intention for this podcast is more than anything helping uplift you in the matters of love and relationship. As we discuss on the show relationship, romantic intimacy, lasting long-term intimacy can be tricky. It can provoke, evoke a lot of unexpected emotions, insecurities, fears, and we sometimes have no idea how to deal with any of those reactions, and we are looking at how to do that more skillfully, how to increase the capacity for continued growth and expansion in yourself and in your relationship, as well as how to have more care, intention and mindfulness around the hard, tender, vulnerable places in yourself and in your relationship. So that’s what this is all about.
Periodically, I take questions from listeners, whether or not they submit them via e-mail or would actually even like to be on the show. So I answer people’s questions via e-mail to the best of my ability, and then for people that wanna be on the show I schedule a time and I offer laser coaching around their particular concerns, situation and question, with the understanding that that episode or that conversation will be turned into an episode for listeners and for everybody to learn from and grow from. So that’s part of another opportunity.
I also have guests that are on the show that are other experts in the field. I have some really great people that are gonna be sharing with you in the next few weeks, and they’re gonna be on the show. I really look forward to that.
In last week’s podcast episode I talked about sharing with you some of the upcoming topics that I’m gonna be creating episodes about, and I think it would be wonderful to hear some of your specific challenges with that topic, or experiences, or where you’re getting stuck. It would be great to weave you into these episodes. So for each topic I will be accepting different questions, and then that will help support the specifics of what I talk about.
I have several topics to share with you, so instead of naming them all, what I would love for you to do is go to the show notes for today’s episode… Again, today’s episode is 106. To find the show notes, you can click on your Empowered Relationship logo from your smartphone or whatever electronic device you are looking at or listening on. You can also go to my website, which is DrJessicaHiggins.com and click on Podcast. You can find all of the recent episodes there at the top, and you can scroll down and find older episodes as well.
Again, today’s episode is 106, What To Do When You Are Attracted To Someone Else. Find the show notes, and you can find the link that’s gonna give you basically the poll of all the different topics that I have, and it will give you an opportunity to enter your specific wonderings about those topics. Some of the topics are like trust and forgiveness – big topics that definitely impact relationship, and I imagine you have more specific wonderings about that general topic, and I would love to just include what’s most important to you on this show.
Alright, for today’s episode I wanna start with just the understanding and the normalcy that every single person in my mind is sexual – has a sexual energy, has sexual organs, has that as a part of their experience. Just like we’re all wired up to have emotions, have thoughts, have behaviors and our physicalness… Sexuality is a part of the human aspect of living and breathing. That’s the platform that I’m standing on now, that’s the belief that I hold, and I also believe that sexuality is each person’s personal right to themselves. It’s up to each person to decide how they wanna share in sexual intimacy or sexual interactions with others. Just like my emotions are really mine, and my responsibility, mine to take care of, and they inform me and bring me important information, and I get to choose how I share those emotions with someone else, and how I interact with someone emotionally.
I can be really open, or I can be really closed, and that’s my choice. I believe the same is true for sexuality. Now, I will absolutely concur and agree with those people in the field that really underscore the primal urges of our biology. We have hormones that highly influence our sexual attraction towards others, and there’s a lot of research that talks about the difference between men and women, and the neural pathways that support sexuality for men is far greater than the ones that are for women. That’s not to say that men are more sexual than women, it’s just to say especially in those young adult years – I’m framing that from teenage to a lot older, probably 30s – the higher levels of testosterone that are fueling that age bracket definitely impact the experience of thinking about sex, being interested in sex and all of those things. So that’s absolutely real.
And again, I stand in that place that it’s each person’s responsibility – yes, we might have a certain biology and certain primal urges, that it’s really truly a part of being more aware and more conscious that we’re not victim to that. We are not just swayed by that, like “Oh, I had no choice, I had no control…” I believe that we are responsible as we evolve and grow to be mindful about how we’re holding our own energy.
I had Serena Stone as a guest – I had her on back-to-back twice – and she was talking about caring for our sexual energy, and that it actually fuels our health. I think she does a phenomenal work of just helping people really befriend themselves, love themselves, but more from this place of just health and wellness from within, and that sexuality is a part of that.
Okay, I didn’t wanna get too far off on a tangent. So where I feel this becomes most problematic is when we are in a long-term relationship like a marriage, and the expectation or the implicit agreement is that I will never, ever feel anything for anyone else. Ever. I don’t know that that’s actually helpful, because I think it’s likely and normal for you to feel a certain response to other people that you’re in relationship with. Again, for you to encounter whoever you encounter in your day, even if it’s someone that’s helping you check out at the coffee shop or the cafe or the grocery store, you’re having an exchange… And emotionally – again, I’m using this as a little bit of a reference point here – you might feel something in that exchange, whether it’s not “Oh, gosh, they’re not very friendly” or “I didn’t feel so great having that exchange with them.” And I giggle to myself because the first example that pops up in my mind is I don’t know why, but at the airport, particularly when we lived in Boulder and we’d go to Denver, the parking attendants at the airport – I would almost do this game with them of like trying to get them to say hi. They wouldn’t even usually say hello, nonetheless smile, or any of that. So that’s kind of the relational exchange.
When we think about encountering someone else that we have a physical attraction towards, we might even not even expect it, but it would come up and we would feel that responsiveness. In my mind, that just means like “You’re healthy, you’re alive” and it’s really what you do with that that’s the most important, critical piece, when you’re in a long-term relationship and you feel some attraction towards someone else. It’s what you do with it that’s the most important piece, and that’s gonna be where we’re gonna spend most of our time today in our conversation.
Before we go there, I wanna say a little bit more about that. Again, in my mind, that just means you’re healthy, you’re vital and you’re awake. I can’t imagine anyone that goes through life that would encounter someone beautiful, vivacious, handsome, strong, confident, sexy, whatever attributes you might have admiration for, and to have no responsiveness to. Like no admiration, no acknowledgement, no physical attraction… It just feels like dead end, or numb.
If we also even think about it on the converse, if you were to be attracted to many people and you were like, “Oh, that means something”, there’s no way you could physically have enough time to pursue all your physical attractions. It’s just not viable. So I’m kind of painting two exaggerated examples around how neither one is really realistic.
For me, what that poses is perhaps a foundation where you and your significant other – and this is where the difficult relational work happens, but the recognition that it’s okay, that it’s healthy, that it’s part of being human… And it’s more of like “Okay…” Honestly, as I’m talking about this, I wanna be fair that I think most relationships on a surface level have some degree of acceptance and freedom around acknowledging other people, like “She’s hot” or “She’s cute” or “He’s handsome”… There’s just different ways that couples negotiate that, in varying degrees. But what we’re really talking about where it becomes more threatening is when it activates something more significant.
This could look like — in my podcast episode 104, talking about infidelity, is where something starts to build, and there’s lots of reasons why that can build in. If you wanna hear that conversation, I encourage you to check out that episode.
Again, I just wanna paint a picture of what’s really typical – people will feel some attraction. They will be kind of denying it, and then they’ll be exchanging with that other person, and emotional intimacy starts to develop. They start sharing things with one another, they start enjoying their dialogue, and when — if I’m talking about, okay, for me example, if I were doing this with somebody other than my husband and I was doing what was typical, I would be enjoying the connection with someone else but telling myself “Oh, this is nothing, we’re just friends” and justifying it and minimizing it, but not really acknowledging my emotional experience and not exploring it.
What then happens is I begin to feel divided. I have this growing attraction towards someone else, and then I have my relationship with my husband, and I start to get conflicted. Then I start having to do all these dances around “Why is this feeling better? Why am I not getting this in my marriage?” and then I start distorting things, and then I start really playing a lot of games with myself. It just gets extremely complicated in my perception, and then I start making up stories, and it can just get really messy.
What the truth is and what we’re gonna get to today is that the attraction that I am having towards someone else – if I were to take a different route, which I’m gonna suggest to you today, that’s not typical, is to give space and acceptance for the feelings and the attraction so that I can learn and grow through what’s emerging in me. So I’m gonna give you some steps around how to do that, because it’s ultimately not about the other person, not at all.
And again, what I find that’s most difficult for people is more of the self acknowledgement and acceptance, and the willingness to explore it. We wanna cut it off, make it go away, and feel that it’s like “Oh, it’s too threatening” or we might just deny or feel shame about it. We’ll try to hide it and conceal it, and probably with good intention. We don’t wanna hurt our partner, we don’t wanna indicate that for some reason our feelings have changed, so we will tend to withhold. But then when we withhold and we conceal, we’re denying our own experience, when there could be real value to looking at what’s going on there. I’m gonna give you some examples and we’re gonna talk about that today.
So the first tip I have, which I kind of indicated already, is just to give space and acceptance for the feelings and the attraction. When I thought about this episode, I actually was reminded of a book, and this is by Gay Hendricks. Him and his wife, Kathleen – Kathleen was a guest on this show several episodes ago when we talked about criticism… And this book was actually published several years ago, let’s see… It was published in 2000. They have basically the Hendricks Institute, so you can find them online and I will also post a link to their website, as well as this book, on the show notes. This is the book “Conscious Living: Finding Joy In The Real World”, by Gay Hendricks.
This is about facing. Everything begins with a choice to face something or to avoid facing in. Facing is the choice that saves most lives. Failure to face something is the choice that destroys most lives. If you are not happy and creative, look first at what you are not facing in your life. When lives are not working, there’s always at least one thing we are not facing. This can be examples of something in work, or a conflict with someone else… And again, for today we’re looking at what are your feelings, what’s the reality of your experience.
In the book he is talking about are there agreements that you’re not following through with…? If you take a moment to reflect, is there anything that you are not facing? There might be a few conversation that you haven’t followed up on, or commitments that you said “Yes, I will do that” and then you haven’t, or uncleared resentment. If I have issue with someone and they’re important to me, I have a commitment to myself or a value to try to work that out with them, and it’s kind of my job to raise my hand and say “Hey, do you have a second? I wanna clear something with you. When this and this happened, this is what happened for me, this was my experience. That’s kind of on me.” So the facing.
In the example of what to do when you’re attracted to someone else, for my husband and I, we have an understanding and a welcoming of it’s okay that if we have attraction towards someone else, that we wanna create safety in our relationship to bring that back. Now, we haven’t had a lot of circumstances where we’ve been tested in that arena. There’s one example I can think of, and that’s when we first moved to Boulder… I remember just commenting in playfulness, “Oh, the men in Boulder are really good-looking.” I think there’s a stereotype of Boulder people in general – men and women – that they’re extremely physically fit, and there’s just this little bit of a [unintelligible 00:25:27.02] because it’s in Colorado, and… Anyway, I remember just mentioning it to him, and he was… He’s really great, he doesn’t ever seem threatened, at least that I can tell… And then actually I was going to yoga, and there was this particular yoga instructor — god, as I say it, it sounds so cliché… This is not a common experience for me to have crushes on teachers or coaches or yoga instructors… Because it is a real cliché thing that someone who’s guiding you or leading you to develop these affinity feelings towards and develop crushes.
Anyway, so there’s this yoga instructor in Boulder – this was many years ago – and I was just really enjoying his energy and his positivity. I thought he was extremely playful and charismatic, and really dynamic. I was just noticing myself in class, and I almost felt uncomfortable taking class with him because I was crushing on him. So I was like, “Okay, I probably need to talk to my husband about this.” It felt like no genuine threat, I had not crossed the boundary, I hadn’t been flirting with him or introducing myself or trying to get lunch or any of that… I hadn’t taken any steps in that way.
My husband and I were on a hike and I was just sharing with him, and it was such a sweet, sweet interaction, because he was just listening, and it really gave me the opportunity to just take the hiding, the shame… I don’t remember having a lot of shame, but if I was concealing it, there could have been very well some shame around “I feel disloyal” or “I feel like I’m dishonoring my husband.”
So by sharing with him, it was definitely uncomfortable. I didn’t feel proud of it, yet us having the understanding that it’s also human, it created more safety and welcomeness to that experience. Again, I remember feeling such okayness in it.
Honestly, for me, I learned that it was really just for me wanting more of that playfulness, and what I needed to do – because we had made this move and we were both putting these huge pushes… I was developing practice in Boulder and he was building his business in the area, and we both got serious. So that playfulness, that dynamic, charismatic energy I was just vibing on. And for me to recognize that – I tell you, from then on, it shifted everything. It was like that’s all I needed, and it was kind of like done. It was no more. It wasn’t a thing for us anymore. It wasn’t a thing for me. It was never a thing with us, but it wasn’t a thing for me anymore.
So that number one tip essentially is give space and acceptance for feelings of attraction. This is something you can do personally. You don’t even have to have this agreement necessarily with your partner, but in the future steps I’m gonna say what the benefits are of actually bringing it up to your partner. But first I just wanna say, for yourself, be willing to just say “Okay… Hello. Alright, let me acknowledge that”, because most likely there’s certain characteristics or traits about the person. It’s usually not even about the other person, it’s about what they’re bringing up in you, or what gets activated by your exchange with them or your relationship with them. Maybe feeling special, feeling heard and seen in a unique, really focused, special way.
I’m actually getting into my second point here – attraction is more about you than it is about anyone else. In my personal example, I was needing to be more playful. When I say that now, I’m like “Oh gosh, of course…” That’s a big part of what has been important to me in my life. All of my life is enjoying playfulness, and having play in my life. Just being silly with people that I love, or doing really playful activities or doing things in a carefree way… Just that lightness – that’s a deep, important thing for me. If I was not giving any space and then I meet somebody that’s fully in their playfulness, of course I’m gonna be like “Oh, that’s attractive!” but it’s really in me that I’m longing for that.
A lot of my clients, when they talk about even affairs they’ve had or people they’ve been attracted to… If I spend time with them and I help them get to a place where they can go deeper with what’s underneath the feelings of attraction, what does it do for them, what does it allow them to feel, what gets activated… I’ve never experienced someone to say “It was just about that other person”, it was always about what they were needing and what they were wanting. I guess more emotional intimacy, more adventure, that excitement, that newness that sometimes in long-term relationship gets lost.
I’m gonna talk about that in my next point. Or even just feeling worthy, because in relationships sometimes we can over time, unfortunately, take each other for granted. So when somebody new is looking at you and they’re enamored, and they’re like “Oh, you’re so great, you’re so this and that!”, you’re feeling this acknowledgement and affirmation and flattery almost from someone else, you’re like “Oh, yeah… I do like that about myself.” It just feels good to get that positive feedback, especially when we’re not getting any kind of specific energy from our partner that’s like genuine, that’s not the day-to-day “Oh, thank you for taking out the garbage, or making dinner, or doing the laundry or whatever.” There’s not a lot of juice to that, so when somebody new is bringing that new energy, it can definitely create sparks.
Alright, so number one, just to recap here – give space and acceptance for feelings of attraction.
Number two, attraction is more about you than it is anyone else.
Number three, bring authenticity and what’s live and fresh back to the relationship. Again, many times we think that’s a threat, but in all reality it’s what continues to fuel the passion of your relationship. I think I mentioned in episode 104 about how infidelity can actually make your relationship stronger. I think I made a note or a mention around how many couples will tell me “We’re having deeper conversation than we have in years. We’re having better sex than ever before”, and what really is happening is there’s this sense that people are really showing up genuinely. Here I am, here’s what’s real. They’re not just doing the “Here’s what I can show you that’s in our box.” Couples have these implicit agreements, things that they think are the norms, and they don’t wanna go outside of that, because they don’t wanna hurt their partner, they don’t wanna rock the boat, there’s too much to risk, they’re not sure what’s gonna happen, and it feels scary. They’re not used to being that fully honest and genuine, especially if it seems like it’s labeled unacceptable or not okay. But again, if you can redefine consciously your relational agreement, that “We want to bring ourselves fully, even if it means having difficult conversations. We wanna honor that authenticity.”
Some of the people that I love that really support this kind of work in relationship is Gay and Kathleen Hendricks. Also, one of my big teachers was David Schnarch, and reading all his curriculum and his book. He does do trainings… He can be a little heady and he can be a little more extreme, but he is all about holding on to yourself, claiming yourself, knowing who you are. The couples will get into what he calls gridlock, and it’s kind of same-same, it’s really prioritizing what feels like security for the relationship and not being willing to risk, and it gets people really stuck. He does a lot in the way of sexuality; he’s saying “Your dynamics are gonna be reflected in your sexual intimacy.”
I love his work, so if you’re interested in getting a link to him or some of his books – again, check out the show notes for today’s episode (Episode 106 – What To Do When You’re Attracted To Someone Else). You may even be interested in episode 43 of the Empowered Relationship Podcast – How To Transform Jealousy Into Passion And Excitement. I have two guests that I interview, and we really talk about this a little bit… How bringing that back to the relationship does really bring a sense of newness and excitement and vitality to the dynamic, because again, it’s giving space for growth and what’s new and what’s real. And when we don’t do that, long-term relationship/marriage can be very routine, can be very predictable, monotonous over time. That seeking security, keeping things comfortable, keeping things the same and not risking. I get the intention there – I’m really protective of the bubble and I really wanna prioritize that, yet if we don’t give space for this type of dialogue and authenticity, it really does compromise; it has an opposite effect.
Again, number three – bring authenticity, what is alive, what is true and fresh. Fresh is what’s really current, what’s new — I think of vegetables, like what’s mostly recently picked. We wanna have the most recent experience and what’s in the moment, giving space for that.
A moment ago I was saying how often people feel truly terrified — I was gonna say uncomfortable, but fearful and sometimes terrified to bring what’s true to the table, because they’re afraid they’re gonna hurt their partner, they’re afraid that it’s gonna threaten the bond or the relationship. And what I see over and over and over and over again is that it actually is the thing that brings connection, that brings a sense of “Oh my god, that’s exactly what I needed to hear”, ironically.
An example of this – I have many examples of this, but one that’s coming to my mind is a husband and wife; they are both successful, and he definitely runs that ambitious, motivated go-getter, capable kind of thing. He’s usually on his game and does a lot for a lot of people. And he got sick. Very, very sick, where there’s complications… It basically took him out. He wasn’t able to function at his normal rate, and that was uncomfortable for him for sure, and he wasn’t sure how much it was okay to try to need from his wife or rely on her, and she was also like “I don’t know, this is overwhelming… I’m scared, I don’t know what to do”, and the way that they negotiated it created pain, because he felt judged, and he wasn’t doing enough to get healthy, and he felt essentially that she was kicking him while he was down. She felt like “That’s just not how I do things. You’ve gotta fight if the ship is sinking”, and just the way they were circling…
But when I asked them to get really into what was true, when I asked her to get vulnerable, for her it was like “I feel overwhelmed, I’m scared, and I don’t know how to help, I don’t know what to do.” For her, that felt like failure, like admitting defeat, and yet that was exactly what he needed to hear. “Oh my god, this has been overwhelming and scary for me too, and the fact that you don’t know is totally fine” and just the fact that there’s some acknowledgement around that she’s feeling something and that it feels real to him was incredibly powerful. Yet, I will tell you it was the exact same thing that she was afraid to say. She was like “I couldn’t have ever said this.” Basically, she thought it was the very thing that she couldn’t say to him, and he’s like “No, it was exactly what I needed to hear.”
So this is just one example, but I can tell you over and over and over again that this is what happens. When we’re trying to protect each other, we’re trying to not hurt each other and we’re trying to bypass certain feelings, we’re actually usually circling and creating more complications. So I just wanna encourage the importance of authenticity, because really, what else is there? You could pretend, and that’s usually not gonna get you very far, or you could keep up the pretense, and that probably is not gonna get you very far because you’re gonna lose yourself. What other options are there, besides being true and real, when we really get down to it? And I could say a lot more about that. That could be even a podcast show.
Okay, number four, in closing, is talk about your experience with your partner if you can, and this is where you might need to get support to create safety. In some ways you feel like “I’m changing the rules, and I don’t know if they’re with it or not, and I don’t wanna blindside them, but I really wanna open up this space to have these conversations.” I encourage you to seek support. Let me know.
I’m actually thinking I could create a little eBook or article on how to open this up if it’s not been your history; if you wanna essentially change the rules, how to propose this. Let me know, e-mail me at email@example.com
Okay, I’m gonna close with this – from the same book I mentioned, Conscious Living by Gay Hendricks… He has a personal story that he shares about having a sexual attraction towards someone else. This is on page 90:
“I felt some sexual attraction for another woman in 1995. Kathleen and I fortunately have two agreements that made the process that unfolded much easier. One agreement is that we are committed to hearing the unvarnished truth from each other. Another is that we are committed to telling each other the truth as soon as we are aware of it.
The initial attraction took place at a party, so I was able to tell Kathleen about my feelings within seconds of feeling them. She felt angry and told me so, but then appreciated me for leveling with her. I let myself feel the sexual attraction consciously, rather than harboring it as a guilty secret. I told the other woman about the feelings too, and the three of us spent a stimulating 20 minutes talking things over. As I kept tuning in to my feelings, I became clear that I did not wanna have actual physical sex with her. As I listened to my deeper self, I realized she was a metaphor for something I was losing touch with in myself. She was young, vital and free-spirited. I felt I was losing those qualities in favor of becoming a prosperous citizen. As I opened up to accepting the sexual feelings, I also opened to accepting a part of myself that I really needed to look at.
I was rolling into my 50s, and although I was reaping the harvest of 25 years of focused work, I was also losing touch with the impoverished but passionate young fellow who would get all belongings into his VW bus. I kept having fantasies of driving off into the redwoods of Northern California in a VW bus with the young woman in question, her shimmering blonde hair blowing in the wind. We would live in the woods, far from fax machines and 30k/month overhead, and we would grow organic vegetables, swim in mountain streams and make love with abandon.
Accepting these feelings consciously made me aware of many other things I needed to accept – the loss of youth, the inevitability of death, the need for a way to bring wildness back into my life. As I welcomed all this into myself – not without the screeching of my psychic breaks on occasion – I felt connected with my essence again. I realized I had drifted into the seductions of comfort, and its traveling companions rust and sluggishness.
I was losing touch with my essence in favor of trying to be all things to all people. By reaching a certain level of success in the world, I had developed an entourage of dependence – staff members, family, publicist, the like. Everyone seemed to want something from me, and they seemed to need it by yesterday. I had been overlooking the brushfire of unconscious resentment that had begun to smolder in me. Thank goodness for the sexual attraction to the magnificent young woman who caught my eye! By following the feelings to the core, I learned something about me that no physical encounter could have given me. In fact, the physical sexual relationship would have locked me into a drama that probably would have obscured the real issues beneath the surface.
My relationship with Kathleen became much stronger after this experience, and the wild woman who inspired all of this became a treasured friend to both of us. In fact, she and her husband-to-be invited us to help officiate their wedding. I don’t think I could have reaped such a rich harvest of learning unless I accepted and told the truth about all of me, sexual feelings and all. By doing so, I was flooded with awarenesses that enriched my life in unimaginable ways.”
This excerpt, again, is out of Conscious Living by Gay Hendricks.
To recap the tips that I have to offer you about what to do when you are attracted to someone else…
1. Give space and acceptance for your feelings and attraction.
2. Attraction is more about you than it is about anyone else.
3. Bring authenticity – what is alive and fresh – back to the relationship.
4. Talk about your experience with your partner.
Thank you for listening. If you have a comment, you can comment on the show notes directly, and you can find that on my website, which is DrJessicaHiggins.com, and you can find Podcast and find all the episodes listed there. Again, this is episode 106, What To Do When You’re Attracted To Someone Else. And again, please find that poll, so you can give me your vote on which topics to prioritize, and if you have specifics about that topic, I will make sure to include that in the conversation.
I appreciate your listenership more than you know, and I love spending this time with you. Even in my hiatus, I have had you on my mind and you’ve been in my heart, and definitely have the deepest commitment to supporting you and your relationship in the most positive, growthful way possible.
If you have anything you feel I can support you with or need help with, you can contact me again via e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, I hope you take great care.
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