Attraction Can Be No More Explained Than Side Effects Of Medication Can Be Predicted
explaining the unexplainable
I love the curiosity of science.
NPR recently interviewed a meteorologist in the wake of Hurricane Patricia passing over land. Hurricane Patricia is arguably the strongest hurricane ever in terms of wind speed, and this meteorologist discussed her peers and herself studying how the hurricane became so powerful. They couldn't explain it, but they were trying to understand how wind speeds picked up so quickly and forcefully.
Take that in.
Scientists are trying to understand what makes wind blow fast.
Not sure about you but this opens up more questions than it answers. Like, where does the wind come from in the first place? Where does it start? And while we're at it, who invented it? What is wind's purpose?
This is how trying to understand attraction is to me. Unexplainable.
The word attraction is such a broad term.
Are we talking physical, mental, spiritual attraction, or all? Assuming that we like to be attracted in all those ways to anyone with whom we're in a serious relationship, let's say we're discussing all.
God bless those patient enough to examine it, but there are too many moving parts not to mention the complexity of humans.
Over the years we've learned important things that scientists assert affect attraction: pheromones, face shape, hip size, hair thickness, a square jaw, and so on. It's as esoteric as studying what makes wind blow fast and as unpredictable as a reaction to new medication. It has no rhyme or reason and yet, there's not a shortage of experts laboring to explain the unexplainable.
Under A Microscope
Starting with a closer look at myself, I can recall the number of times I've found someone attractive right away only to see them as unattractive a short while later. I also remember at least two people I've wound up dating who I at first wasn't attracted to at all. To add to that, I've found that attraction to one area, say mental, can spark attraction to another, say physical.
Just understanding how unpredictable it is keeps me grounded and mostly unaffected if and when I don't do it for someone. I'm not cute to them? Bummer. Well, that's attraction for you!
Art explains it
Sometimes only art can capture the complexity of human experience. I'm glad the people who get this phenomenon is one of my favorite groups of all time. New Edition's song "You're Not My Kind Of Girl" explains a man who's not attracted to a woman who he admits he should be attracted to. On paper, she's everything any man would want, but he's not into her.
Oh girl I know that you're attracted to me
And I should feel the same about you
But there's just something wrong
I don't know what it is that keeps us from becoming a two
It's not your looks, you're very pretty
It's not your style, the way you dress is oh so fresh
It's not the way that you carry yourself
Oh, girl I'm sorry
You're not my kind of girl
You're the kind of girl that a man's dreams are made of
Oh, girl I'm sorry
You're not my kind of girl
You're the kind of girl that a man would be proud to call his own
Girl you're so pretty
I wouldn't change a thing about you
But I've been in love before so I know how it feels
The chemistry just isn't there
chem·is·try : ˈkeməstrē/ : noun
1. the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these processes to form new substances.
2. the complex emotional or psychological interaction between two people.
Since human beings are made up of matter and since we interact, combine, and certainly change, let's study number one.
Chemistry is the way properties interact. This interaction is natural and unforced. Now, consider relationships. There's an impulse to be friends, to get to know each other, to want to spend time together. There's a non-sexual desire to be in a person's presence and a curiosity about what they do and who they are.
Curiosity, let alone chemistry, can't be forced.
In medicine, highly trained researchers work incessantly to find cures for ailments. They mix compounds to find something that works, but even they can't predict how the chemical composition of the individual body will react to the medicine.
Same with humans. No one knows until the two mix and sometimes there's a viscereal reaction to two complex creatures coming together. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's bad. And sometimes the reaction is delayed or reversed. But it's always unpredictable.
What's The Point?
I was once attracted to Kurtis Blow, who is still fantastic by the way. But my eyes for him have changed because I've changed and will continue to.
The point is, no more than we can predict our body chemistry mixing with a new medicine making us nauseous or sending us to the restroom can we explain our attractions. In the same vein, we can't help when someone is attracted to us or not.
Knowing this reminds us that we don't have to force anything. And we don't have to guess why the wind blows fast in any direction; just enjoy the breeze.
Photo credit: Sky Captain Two via CC Flickr