Why do partners attract one another?

I am regularly asked why two people are attracted to each other. This is not something that just happens. There is always a dynamic in the attraction and there are many layers that play a role in this attraction.

The promise

On a conscious level, partners know exactly what they find attractive in one another. We are attracted to qualities such as kindness, beauty, playfulness, humour, adventurousness, etc. But the real promise, which is initially subconscious, lies hidden on a much deeper level.

Things may go well for weeks, months or even years in which the partners are happy together. But sooner or later, one of them will start to get irritated by the other. Reproaches are made, needs are not met, they disappoint one another; there are disruptions on the ‘relationship line’.

The project

Sometimes the role one of the partners plays is much more obvious and visible because he/she goes into a survival mode of fighting, fleeing or freezing. This partner is often pushed to the foreground as 'the project' to be worked on. This partner is 'the problem' and if only he/she were to solve this problem, then all would be well again in the relationship.

If only it were that simple.

Both partners, however, have an equal share in the dynamic, even though it may sometimes seem as though one partner’s share is greater than the others, or that one of the partners has a problem.

Directly proportional

The partner ‘without a problem’ however always has an interest in the other partner’s dynamic. In this way their own subconscious issues can remain hidden. If the ‘problem’ partner does start working on their own issues, the hidden layers of the 'perfect' partner, such as deeply hidden existential fear, may also surface. These issues, which could remain submerged at first, as though there was nothing wrong with the ‘perfect’ partner, come to the surface as soon as something in the ‘problem’ partner changes.

The more obvious and visible one partner's share in the dynamic is, the more surreptitiously well-hidden the other's share often is. In the dynamic between partners, blame is never one-sided. One partner’s share is always directly proportional to the other’s whether it is visible or not.


In the love phobic dance, it is often the partner with a fear of commitment who needs to be 'tinkered with'. It is this partner who appears to stand most in the way of real intimacy. Often though, the partner with fear of abandonment has a huge blind spot: 'There is nothing wrong with me! After all, I do want to commit.' Should their partner then do some real inner work, the boomerang will most definitely come back to confront them with their own inabilities.


This directly proportional dynamic plays a role in every love relationship, not just in the love phobic dynamic. There is always an attraction containing the gift of a promise because there is no shadow too deep for love to shine its light onto. The greater the love, the deeper its light can penetrate to illuminate the shadows still hidden in the furthest corners. Love gives us a gift. It is up to us to decide whether or not we are willing to unwrap it.

Unwrapping this gift is often not done as enthusiastically as would unwrapping a birthday or Christmas gift. It is often accompanied by huge resistance; we fight against it and project it unvarnished onto our partner or the outside world. We can keep doing so until there is no longer any escape and we are gently forced to bow down, take the fall and land in our deepest hidden pain, insecurity or emptiness.


If we dare to take that fall, we can reap the fruit of the promise, unwrap the gift and regain the potential that has remained hidden in the shadows. Partners attract one another in order to heal themselves in each other's mirrors, and so to be able to love ever more unconditionally.

The leap is huge, but the gift is proportionally great!

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