Attractions that lead to love and attractions that lead to pain

Attractions that lead to love and attractions to lead to pain, here’s how to know the difference. 


The wounded heart. When this is what you are starting with, by no fault of your own, when you are learned in the skills of denying your own self and truth in order to stay and to belong, then you will, again and again, be ensuring your heart will not find peace and real love. Real love is not feeling pain all the time or fear, or doubt.

In this we have a duty of care to ourselves, to begin our journey home.

When we don’t express ourselves authentically and suppress that part of ourselves, or live in our own authenticity, we usually then have to resort to ways of expressing ourselves in a way that doesn’t promote connection, i.e. blaming, rage, separation, judgement.

Vulnerable communication

What is this really and why do we feel good when we're engaged with it?

Isn’t it strange how when someone shares their truth with you, you feel a connection. This can sometimes be with a person you would never have thought you would or could do that with! A perfect example of this is when you are together in a group of some kind for a purpose.

This has happened to me many times when l was on a course, or in a group therapy environment, or sometimes when sat next to someone on a plane and during the flight,  you get talking and end up having a wonderful chat with them. I have made great friends like that when at first you look at them and think you have nothing in common, but when you are up in the air on a plane there is a vulnerability about it, where you are both at the mercy of the elements together.

When at first glance you look around and think, l am going to have nothing in common with these people here and then, as they begin to tell you their story, all of those feelings of “they aren’t like me” just vaporise. You don’t feel separate and your heart opens like a flower.

This is a wonderful surprise and you begin to relax. This creates a sense of belonging because authenticity is “allowed” through mutual vulnerability. Within this state of authenticity, through vulnerability, you are in touch with your truth and your true self. Anxiety levels drop, and you begin to feel safe.

As this is in life in general when we experience this sense of belonging, we also find we hold an important key to where we can find peace, love and happiness in our relationships. Both in our romantic ones and also our friendships. 

This is because we have “warmed” to who someone is, outside of attraction, there is a sense of kinsmanship. In our romantic relationships, this kinsmanship lives alongside attraction and we find we share something deeper.

We were originally tribal and if forced to live outside of that tribe, we basically perished. We had no fire or food or protection from the elements and predators. Even though we have evolved enormously, our primal state still feels threatened by non-inclusion, by being on the “outside looking in". We feel better, safer being a part of a whole. This is because we are “wired” to belong.

That is why the rejection and “ghosting” that exists in so many of our dating experiences feels so awful. We flounder around trying to make sense of it when we are discarded and dropped by someone without a reason when we weren’t prepared. It feels deeply threatening in a way that is confusing, but it triggers our survival.

When we look for romantic love, so many of us find ourselves repeating the same mistakes again and again. We are often drawn to thinking if we overcome the pain by “making it work” somehow we will banish that pain and prove ourselves “worthy” after all.

We suppress, we allow, and we fail to draw boundaries around what feels safe and right for us. We deny our uniqueness, we squash our sense and sensibilities, thinking that we can belong by doing so, with someone who not only doesn’t celebrate who we are but criticises us for being who we are.

Somehow in this doomed and impossible dynamic, they get to live and we get to feel invisible, by our own hand. Because by making waves or not agreeing we are terrified of being shunned.

These relationships are never, ever good for us to stay in, and many of us have been in them for such a long while, we also collude in the normalisation of the damage. This perpetuation of the lie of what historically became known as love to us, actually is what prevents us from being truly loved, both by ourselves through needed self-care, and by others whom we stay with upholding their hierarchy in lieu of being rejected and being alone.

This isn’t what we truly need, this isn’t what feeds us emotionally or brings us happiness. It is in fact just known and familiar because of our own historical unbearable familiarity with lack.

How do we find attractions that lead to love and not to pain?

We decide that this old dance is going to change. That we have a choice. To learn new steps. We re-examine our own approach to defining what love actually is.

Through self-care and raising the bar of what we will accept, we draw in different kinds of people, those people with whom we can share love and not pain.

It makes a magical change, we become attracted to those who are warmer, kinder people and in turn, as we self-nurture and accept better standards, those kinds of people are attracted to us.

It is the basis of all my work and coaching. How we can go through a reevaluation of what we believe are our own gifts, and heal through a deeper respect and understanding of who we are. Through celebrating what we previously thought of as weakness. Maybe because this was defined as weakness, and was so misunderstood by those who were supposed to love us, when we were children, and consequently later on those we chose as friends and romantic partners whom we hoped would love us.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London, N8
Written by Gail Berry, Emotional and Relationship Coach
London, N8

Written by Gail Berry Emotional Coach - both a therapist and an alternative medical practitioner who works with healing people’s core wounds and uses Bach Flower Remedies alongside talking and behavioural therapy to make real change and transformation possible.
07771 715072
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