The tool is simply this; assess which of two camps an attraction falls into; an “attraction of deprivation”, or an “attraction of inspiration.” Attractions of deprivation draw us in like an undertow, and usually get us hurt.In these relationships, we keep feeling we have to to win our partners’ love, approval, or care.
I realized that I had two totally different systems of wiring—and I could choose which to follow.From that point, I began to look for people who inspired me with their goodness. If we aren’t trained to make this distinction, our romantic choices will be less wise, and our romantic futures bleaker. In attractions of inspiration, we don’t have to the work of intimacy.) Their beauty comes from shared kindness, and mutual respect.They make us feel full and loving, not desperate for love. Finding someone like that is like finding a needle in a haystack.” But when we decide that we’ll only pursue attractions of inspiration, we find ourselves meeting and dating more people who inspire us, and spending much less time with those who don’t.In this entry, I want to offer one of the most important intimacy tools I know.It’s a way to evaluate which attractions lead to real love, and which lead to pain.
Of course, it is very oversimplified, and no-one can forecast the future.
Still, it’s a powerful tool, and you can use it to evaluate every relationship in your life.
In intermittent reward systems, you get rewarded only sporadically, and you can’t control when the reward will come. I assumed that my relationships failed because of a lack in me, not because of a fatal flaw embedded in the attractions themselves. True, my intense attractions always included unavailability as a main ingredient.
Gambling is a perfect example of intermittent reward. But I was also able to fall deeply in love with qualities of kindness, decency – and availability.
The problem was that I was looking for turn-on first, and not inspiration.
Of course there had to be a spark of attraction, but there were certainly people who attracted me and inspired me too!