The Four States of Attraction

I do not, for one moment, imagine that we live in a society which is delighted by the physical attraction and appeased by visual entities alone, but it has been a point of discussion for so very long to wonder whether physical attraction is all there ever is to courtship.

Now, I address this matter with something different. I put it to you that, no, romance and love are not simply born through physical attraction- at least, a lasting love isn’t. Though the state of physical attraction is one which may help the coming together of two who might work as a team, it is a preliminary in which the other states are cultivated; without a combination of the four connective bonds between humans, a depth of love cannot be achieved. I am not giving an adamant, decisive point on the matter of whether the term ‘true love’ exists in more than simply the imaginations of writers and philosophers; I am simply casting down a condition.

These ‘other states’ I give my interpretation of:

  • Physical attraction- the state of being attracted to someone's image, be it in a romantic type that one fits into (and here I give the example of the constantly-suit-wearing male who may actually attract because of his inference of success and money) or in the sense of their physical form, such as curves in ‘all the right places’.

Under the banner of physical also comes the idea of sexual attraction. This, through empirical experience, is most often that form of physical attraction that can be unaccounted for, such as the thought of “wow, this person sends me tingling, but I cannot conceive why except that I might be attracted to them.”

Physical attraction, so it seems, comes in many forms, from liking their smell to adoring the many colours in their hair. But I digress.

  • Mental attraction- this is a state of the same ideas, similar interests, and similar ways of going about tasks.

Conversely, there are the existences of 'pepper-pot[1]' couples, whose mental attractions come from disattraction or conflict in that state of mental attraction. It is there that the challenge of dealing with someone who contrasts your own opinion comes to be a point of romantic optimism. Like a judge of English Literature, the task is to compare, rather than to pick out only the differences in attraction.

  • Spiritual attraction- granted, this one could be removed by an atheist, but I am of the belief that marriage is one of the keys to getting to Heaven; a husband must help his wife to be a better person and to be stronger spiritually, and a wife must do the same for her husband. Thus, through this, the path to Heaven opens.
  • Soul attraction- This is the least clear of the four states to me, because I have a relatively young soul. As far as I can conceive, this state is μετά γνώσης[2]by some sort of epistemic distance[3]. It may be a combination of two latter states above, where the belief of a better life is hindered by a mental attraction that clashes and needs a balancing level to continue. Most often, soul attraction is not obvious and its powers are both beyond reasoning and beyond motivation to change.

With soul attraction follows the idea of 'knowing' when one is meant to be with another. This is the state of crossed emotions and crossed reasons, in which a lover finds themselves asking “why do I hate what I love, and how is it possible to? How can I not have any true reasons for loving this person, and yet I keep coming up with so many reasons, some of which are consistently contradictory?” The state of soul attraction is most certainly the last to come, and it has left many a lover bewildered. However, it remains the strongest bond of all.

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[1]ie. salt and pepper: work perfectly together, but are so very different. One could also use the metaphor of opposite poles connecting, as in magnets.

[2]Meta gnoseis: beyond knowledge

[3]Here I use a Philosophic term that describes how humans are never meant to understand God, thus experience His Greatness through a positive nonsciens (not-knowing). It is a religious metaphor because the soul can be considered of a religious entity (see Plato's dualism).

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