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I Want You, Go Away: The Dangers of Attraction

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We've all seen the movies: Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liasons, the ones where the man is married and the woman wants to steal him away or perish, where the woman is married and the man wants to pretend he's the "real" husband; or, as in a very disturbing book I read recently, both parties are married and simply switch partners. Wow. It happens.

Sometimes, though, we just feel our attraction is in the wrong feeling to have. This doesn't have to be due to the fact that it's tied to infidelity; in some cases we just feel the person we're getting all sweaty over is simply not a nice person; or they're far too old for us, or too young. Maybe they did something we consider to be anathema to our value system and yet we long for them anyway.

What do we do with these pent up emotions? If it's a work situation it can be very awkward. Making contact on a regular basis can work both in and out of your favor. For example, let's say you, Maria, have to see him, Malachi, every single day at the office. You have to ask him about memos, faxes, coffee filters. You don't want to want him because he's kind of an obnoxious character - he steals stuff, little stuff, like office supplies. He laughs at jokes that put others down. But he's sexy and cute and you like him too much anyway.

What should you do? First, acknowledge the feelings you have. By stuffing them into the back part of the closet of your heart and mind you will not reduce them, in fact, they will fester and blossom and begin running the show. Next, take apart the attraction; try to get in touch with the reasons why you are feeling this way. Does he pay more attention to you than your current boyfriend/partner - and, if you're single, is it this attention that feels so very good?
Is he similar to your father/brother/step uncle/first cousin in ways that feel familiar yet also push your buttons? Does he give you vibes that remind you of other people, places, or times?
Finally, by thinking about these levels in your attraction, you can get some distance from it.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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