The way you’re attracted into a relationship can often provide vital clues as to the outcome…

Photo by Andrew Nicholson. Sometimes we can't see the wood for the trees...

Have you ever really thought about the way in which you set out to attract a new partner, or the way in which you find yourself being attracted into a new relationship? It’s such a vital element to think about, because ultimately, it can tell you so much about the kind of relationship that is likely to unfold.

It works for both sexes equally, and there are very few people who haven’t exhibited one or more of the patterns shared in this article in the search for love. Quite simply, we all respond to the stimuli around us – men and women alike. We all set out to stimulate and be stimulated in the search for love.

Infatuation can so easily blind us to reality. When someone makes us feel good, we often can’t see beyond that and only consider the surface level experience which feels great, in other words “Fantastic! Someone likes me!” Sometimes we quite literally can’t see the wood for the trees. We don’t look beneath the surface for vital signs of what this tells us about who they actually are as an individual, or at the clues as to what this means for the relationship itself should we choose to embark on it. Instead we subconsciously ignore it. This is called willful blindness. Added to this, we also tend to think we can change people, or that people will change through our love.

It goes without saying that the points we’ve raised below are not in any way set in stone. This is simply an awareness, something to think about.

Having worked closely with the Enneagram types for many years now, we’ve outlined in this article some very real scenarios that specific Enneatypes will play subconsciously as part of their default behavioural patterns. Many people tell us that they tend to keep attracting the same type of partner, and therefore these patterns keep playing, over and over again.

So here we go…

If someone begins clearly flirting with you while they are with their partner, but only when their partner isn’t looking, then it’s a fairly good indication of how they are likely to show up in a relationship. If someone is not considering the feelings of the person they’re with, then it’s only courteous to leave that relationship before giving others the impression that they are available. If they haven’t done that, then they’re also telling you from the start that they don’t feel any guilt when it comes to infidelity, lies or hurting others. They have no boundaries. There’s little to suggest that if you follow through with the flirting, that they are likely to treat you any differently to how they are treating their current partner once the novelty of the relationship has worn off.

If you set out to attract a partner through declarations of wealth; in other words, by using an expensive car, designer clothes, or high powered job and salary as a motivator to be with you, then you shouldn’t be too surprised when you attract someone who is more interested in your wealth than they are in you as an individual. It’s wonderful to have wealth, so this isn’t about money itself, it’s about using it specifically to attract a partner. If a potentially new partner is attracting you in this way, then it’s worth remembering that someone who has accumulated this kind of wealth is usually motivated in the main by achievement and success, and can often work long hours to accumulate more. Frequently they are more interested in material things than matters of the heart. Are they really going to meet your relationship needs if the majority of their time and focus is tuned into success and achievement instead of you? Are they likely to be at home much? So you need to consider whether you would really be okay with their not having a great deal of time to devote to your relationship.

If you intentionally set out to attract a partner by wearing excessively sexy and revealing clothes, then you shouldn’t be too surprised when you attract someone who is more interested in having sex with you, than in how you feel, or in having a committed relationship. We are all perfectly entitled to wear whatever we want, and I’m not by any means saying don’t set out to look good. What I am saying is that we do know from working with a great number of people, that the kind of partner that some consider to be relationship material  can often differ greatly to the kind of partner someone would quite happily share a one night stand with. For some, sex can quite simply be a quick fix, yet for others sex is often equated with intimacy and feelings. Yes, of course a great relationship can happen in this way, but it’s certainly not something that should be assumed. So just consider that if you’re setting out to attract a potential partner using your clothing and body as the motivators, then are you stimulating them into wanting a relationship, or into simply wanting sex?

If you’re attracted to someone who charms you instantly, sweeping you off your feet with a fun, adventurous and playful side, then it’s pretty likely that they’ve had a great deal of practice in doing this. Some are experts at it, yet when we’re being charmed, we don’t seem to consider this because the feeling of infatuation blinds us. You won’t be the first they’ve charmed, and you’re unlikely to be the last. Are you really going to be okay with them charming others on a regular basis as easily and effortlessly as they charmed you, because it’s fairly likely they have a string of adoring admirers in tow. Charmers can feel irresistible to be around and know exactly how to manipulate someone into feeling special very quickly. Natural charmers are generally fun and adventurous, with a twinkle in their eyes and the patter to match. They have a great sense of humour and can leave others quite smitten. It’s worth knowing however, that this wonderful nature comes ultimately from a motivating drive for freedom, and they therefore often find it quite difficult to commit to a relationship if it means they will lose the same sense of freedom, which in part gives them this irresistible nature in the first place. Similarly, they can get bored easily when it all becomes too much effort and tend to think the grass is greener…

If a man approaches a woman with his weakness or problems, then is he looking for sympathy and/or looking for her to fix him, solve his problems or make her responsible for his happiness? Is he looking for her to mother him? He’s basically saying right from the start that she is going to be the stronger one. It’s a wonderful feeling for women to be able to help someone (it comes very naturally), but it can also become a problem if a man is not willing to take responsibility for his own happiness. It’s also worth considering why a woman has such a strong desire to be in a relationship where she’s effectively looking after the man in her life? Is she a fixer? Is he not meant to be protecting her? What happens when his problems are resolved? Who will he then become in the relationship? Will she be okay with that?

If a woman sets out to attract a man with her problems, making him feel like a knight in shining armour because men love to solve problems, then might she be attracting a fixer too, or indeed even a predator, who may well see her as somewhat broken, something that he needs to fix, a project for him to work on? Might he also be more of a father figure to her? What happens when she’s fixed? One other thing we’ve noticed here, is that women can sometimes use this ‘save me’ tactic to attract a man who is already in a committed relationship, thereby leaving him with little alternative other than to either solve the problem for her whilst upsetting his partner, or step out of his natural masculine instinct to be a solution finder and refuse. Men can often find this a dilemma when a seemingly vulnerable woman is standing in front of them needing their help. Whilst he doesn’t see the tactic being used, his committed partner will however. It’s simply an awareness, that’s all. Just be sure that the cry for help is genuine, in which case, help away…

If you find yourself being flirted with by someone who is fully aware that you are in a committed relationship, then they are letting you know right from the start that they are willing to ride rough-shot over others to get what they want. This can often arise from a highly competitive nature, and so although it feels wonderful to be in demand, that demand may fall short the moment you actually take up the offer and the competitive edge is no longer there.

I think pretty much everyone comes across scenarios like this at some point. Just remember to see beyond the initial buzz of someone else being attracted to you, and into the reality of what it’s actually telling you about the person doing the attracting. Also look at whether there are any patterns in the ways you have set out to attract partners in the past.

It’s absolutely vital to be able to see clearly. We can’t be upset with the kind of relationships we attract, if we set out to attract partners in a certain way, or are blind to the ways in which we allow ourselves to become attracted. Being prepared to see and acknowledge these patterns in ourselves and in others is part of growing up. They are adolescent and egoic patterns that are fine for the playground and our teenage years, but they do not serve us as adults.

Ultimately, how a partner treats you every day, how they step up for you, how present they are, how open and honest they are, how safe you feel with them, how they pay attention to your needs, how healthy their boundaries are, how faithful they are, how they communicate with you… will tell you everything you need to know.

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