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Posted February 13, Reviewed by Davia Sills. An important message for every single person: The way we search for love usually determines the kind of love we find.

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In these relationships, our challenge is to accept our partner's caring, not win it. I believe that's the wisest path to love.

And as compelling as they are, they rarely lead to happiness or lasting love. True, her most intense attractions were toward unavailable men. People who devalue us make us want to convince them of our worth. Back Get Help. Choosing Happiness.

Attractions of inspiration come with their own unique challenges. These relationships can trigger a need and longing that robs us of our sense of balance.

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Personality Passive Aggression Personality Shyness. She could follow the compelling, scratch-the-itch attractions of deprivation, or she could follow the attractions that fed the best parts of her. But, as I explain in my book Deeper Datingwisest doesn't mean easy.

Humans are a lot like rubber bands: We shrink to a small, comfortable size unless we're held to greater expansion by forces outside ourselves. When these attractions let us down, we believe it's because of a lack in us, not because of a fatal flaw embedded in the attractions themselves.

We'll explore the work of love in attractions of inspiration in future posts. They make us feel love, not desperation. The problem was that she was looking for turn-on first, and inspiration later. In relationships of deprivation, we are prone to both self-judgment and disdain of our partner. My guess is that you'll develop a sharper "eye for inspiration," which will help you choose real love, and not new repetitions of old heartache. We've just never been taught how to distinguish between these attractions.

Most of us are wired to want the hard-to-get. Simply put, her order was off.

In my experience, however, the reverse is much more likely to apply. KenL. His insights about the search for love have been featured frequently in the media. Of course, she had to be physically attracted to someone, but she was sure that there were men out there who both attracted and inspired her! In some essential way, they leave us feeling inadequate. A person I know who suffered from a string of deprivational relationships had an epiphany one day in therapy.

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Because these are the most sneaky, seductive attractions of all. We can measure the quality of our lives by the relationships of mutual inspiration we've cultivated.

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Posted March 10, Reviewed by Davia Sills. You have found an attraction of inspiration, and you should treasure it. Let's explore both types of attractions, and discover how we can chart a path toward love that lasts. Whereas attractions of deprivation trigger fear of abandonment, attractions of inspiration trigger our fear of intimacy.

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These are our circuitries of deprivation. Gambling is a perfect example of intermittent reward—and the parallels are obvious! There are other reasons why these relationships keep trapping us, and we'll explore them in future posts. Noticing inspiration requires time and a conscious decision to look for it. These attractions often unfold slowly. Our partners might challenge us to be better, but at the bottom, they love us for who we are. Attractions of inspiration are fueled by the real sense of well-being that the relationship creates in us, not by the unrelenting itch for something that's denied us.

Family Life Child Development Parenting. They may take lots of work—but such relationships allow the work of intimacy. Try this approach for a few months, and watch what happens. And without these relationships, we too will wither, reverting to smaller, more defensive, and wounded versions of ourselves. All of these are real concerns, and we'll look at them with care in future posts. Be sure to write in and let us know your thoughts and experiences.

We keep feeling we have to do something to win our partner's love, approval, or care. Attractions of deprivation can be wildly compelling, while inspiring relationships hold challenges that few of us are trained to meet. Attractions of Inspiration and Attractions of Deprivation How to discern which attractions lead to pain, and which can lead to real love. Quick turn-on is simple; it takes care of itself.

As empowering as this tool of discrimination seems, readers might worry that it le to grandiosity, a judgmental attitude, or an inability to remain in relationships in times of conflict. In relationships of inspiration, we discover a capacity for patience; for humility, which allows us to lean on and deeper dating Minneapolis page our partners' deepest gifts.

Many of us believe that the attractions of deprivation are real love because they draw us in so powerfully. A great secret to finding love lies in choosing and cultivating only attractions of inspiration. We spend way too much time worrying about what we've done wrong, or what we can do differently to make things right.

Back Psychology Today.


It's the type that can sustain a future of love. If you haven't, come introduce yourself; I don't think we've met yet. Even if we have a hair-trigger attraction to negative relationships, that doesn't mean we can't be deeply attracted to inspiring ones! Without such inspiration, any love will wither.

If so, celebrate. Relationships of inspiration expand us to a size we could never achieve alone.

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She realized, with a new sense of hope, that she had two totally different systems of wiring—and that she could choose which to follow. They get richer as time goes on. But—and here's the all-important part—most of us also have the hardwiring to desire people who inspire us, value us, and are available.

Because they activate one of the most primordial human emotions: fear of abandonment. Ken L. Finding Love. Or that we can choose the healthier love, and then consciously cultivate its passion and sexual heat. Attractions of deprivation draw us in like an undertow and almost always get us hurt. If they cause so much pain, then why are they so hard to break free from? Read Next. For now, it's worthwhile to note that many attractions of deprivation are what behavioral theorists call "intermittent reward systems.

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But she was also able to fall in love with qualities of kindness, decency—and availability. These are the only relationships to build a life around, the only ones that deserve the gift of our most intimate self. Attractions of inspiration have a warmth and an easiness. They are the most compelling system of reinforcement—and the hardest to break free from.

And that's when her dating life really began to change. It's such a simple insight, yet it takes decades for most of us to arrive at this truth, if we ever do at all. About the Author. If I could only share one insight with my single readers, it would be this: Learn to distinguish between your "attractions of deprivation" and your " attractions of inspiration. Back Find a Therapist.