If you’d like to read the article in its entirety—a two-part special—I’ve posted it below.[[MORE]]
Certain skills can be enhanced with practice.
They’re usually mechanical in nature, where one learns proper technique and performance increases with repetition (e.g. shooting a basketball or parallel parking). Or, activities where you are repeatedly exposed to the elements of the field and tasked with synthesizing a solution (ex: an engineer using geometry to design a bridge).
Both instances are situations where your amount of dedicated practice is directly proportional to the chances of achieving your desired result.
Then, there are areas where the application of force may not guarantee outcomes. Instances where our efforts may be waylaid by the intangible.
This netherworld is where we find human attraction.
Yes, there are certain peripheral social skills, like initiating and maintaining conversation, that can be sharpened with practice, but emotional attraction—not infatuation or lust—falls outside of that. The notion that we can’t force people to love us is one of the few truisms we can grasp before we’ve even hit adolescence.
Falling in love is Zen—you don’t make it happen, you let it happen. You identify opportunities, take action, and see if anything comes of it. You never, ever force it, lest you be stuck pursuing something you don’t really want in the first place.
Empty relationships are built on the superficial. Preoccupation with money, status, or looks (without substance) lure many to ruin.
If there’s any uncertainty about who stands where, have a conversation and get all the cards on the table.
Is there mutual interest? Are your values compatible? Are there any ulterior motives lurking?
You might be a match made in heaven on paper, but only you know what’s in your heart. Are you hanging around because of who they are or what they represent?
If you’re there for the right reasons, make sure the feeling is mutual. If your partner-to-be has any semblance of integrity, they should have no problem letting you know where they stand.
Don’t let inertia keep you in something that won’t last for the long haul.
If genuine attraction is absent, no amount of begging, reasoning, bribing, or baby making will change that. Ignore this at your own emotional, financial, and physical risk.
A legitimate, shared emotional foundation along with compatible lifestyle preferences bodes well for the future of any couple.
Anything less is a house of cards.
But what do we do when the situation appears promising? Can we put ourselves in position to capitalize on that?
We’ll explore that in Part 2.