Whether or not you are college students, middle-aged, or a seasoned citizen, it is likely you have been attracted to someone in your lifetime. This is a natural phenomenon designed to get humans to populate the Earth, however, this can tend to cause some bumps on the road of a relationship–but it shouldn’t.
As stated above, attraction is a natural phenomenon–i.e. it is a hormone-driven aspect of human behavior. During a relationship, we tend to dislike if our partners find themselves attracted to another person or other people. This causes fights that stem from confusion and jealousy, but there’s absolutely no reason to fight over something that nobody can help. The problem does not arise until your S.O. acts on those feelings of attraction; until that moment, the attraction is simply a biological inevitability. Most of us will find a passing-by stranger attractive, and then 5 minutes later, when the said stranger is long gone from your life, the wave of attraction passes, and your partner is still the person you are choosing to value (romantically) above all others.
Some of us may feel guilty about these feelings of enchantment. Please don’t! Our culture tells us that once we’re in a relationship, or in love, that’s supposed to be the end of the story. If we get flirted with and enjoy it, or if we catch ourselves having a random sexual fantasy (sans partner), there must be something wrong with us or our relationship. That is simply not the case. In truth, it’s healthier to allow oneself to experience these feelings and then let them go. Learning to accept feelings, analyze them, and then let them pass you by is so much better for your mental state (and your relationships) than bottling feelings up until they puppeteer your feelings and actions. Those who suppress feelings, in my experience, are more likely to eventually succumb to them–or project them onto their partners.
On to my next point: attraction is not necessarily sexual. I, on many occasions, have found myself attracted to a particularly crisp leaf that left that perfect crunch under my boot–something that the Forest Grove Campus is ripe with this time of year. The definition of attraction is the action or power of evoking interest, pleasure, or liking for someone or something. Being attracted to someone doesn’t mean you want to ride off into the sunset with them–it may just be their clothes or general aesthetic that draws your attention.
Attractiveness is everywhere. Intimacy is not. Whether or not you are the partner of someone who’s feeling attraction, or the partner who’s feeling it, let it go unless it’s a consistent problem! If you do find yourself having to deal with the same things over and over again, please sit down with your partner and have an appropriate conversation about your feelings and how your partner is impacting them, and how both of you can work together towards a common goal. — Haley Berger