Unspoken Attraction Between Two People: How To Let Go

Updated September 6, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Attraction is a funny thing. Although it seems as though attraction is the precursor to a legitimate connection, this isn’t always the case. Attraction can sometimes be wholly physical without an emotional component, or entirely emotional without a physical interest. Attraction may also never materialize into anything other than a strong physical reaction to the presence of another human being. While the attraction between two people can often signal the start of something beautiful and new, it can just as often signal the presence of nothing more than that: simple physical attraction.

Attraction Versus Connection

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Wondering If The Attraction is Mutual?

Attraction is the process by which one person is drawn toward another person. There are many different kinds of attraction, including physical attraction, emotional attraction, and mental attraction. In some scenarios, all three types of attraction are present, but it is just as common to see only one of the three types involved in two people attracted to one another, or for it to be unspoken attraction.

Conversely, connection is typically used to denote a deeper, more personal connection between two people. While attraction can happen with people of any background, belief system, or level of attractiveness, the connection is usually reserved for people who have some things in common, such as interests, belief systems, likes, or wants. Connection is usually the meat that keeps a relationship going, while attraction is typically the whisper of possibility that gives a new relationship its legs.

Connection is not commonly experienced at first sight or even necessarily on the first interaction. At the same time, attraction usually comes from a first-time interaction or at least soon after an initial interaction. Attraction does not have to be long-lasting, while connection usually is. When assessing flirtations and whether or not they are likely to develop into anything else, differentiating between connection and attraction is important and can help you avoid heartaches.

Signs Of Unspoken Mutual Attraction

The signs of physical attraction between two people are usually easy to identify, both by the two people involved and those in the immediate vicinity. The most common indication of mutual attraction is chemistry. Two people with physical chemistry might almost seem to be drawn to one another and seem to be physically near one another constantly. In friendly settings, these people might regularly be seen sitting together, eating together, or congregating in similar social circles.

These people might also tease one another and seem to be at ease in one another’s company.

When two people experience intense mutual attraction, it is usually visible to both them and the world around them. Your friends might comment on the two of you when they see you together, or co-workers might comment on the chemistry you have. You might be mistaken for a couple.. If this regularly happens to you and the person you are with, it is likely a clear-cut indication that the two of you have a mutual attraction. If you are working together, these can be signs co-workers are attracted to each other.

You will also likely feel an intensity to your relationship, even if your interactions have been few and far between. You might notice heat spiking up along your pores and adrenaline flooding your limbs. You might find yourself almost giddy when you see them and notice a familiar eagerness in their appearance and interactions with you. You might also notice that the person with whom you share attraction seems to pay you special attention, whether that means dropping little gifts by for you, writing you quick notes, always seeming to show up when you are around, or creating inside jokes for the two of you. These little interactions typically indicate some interest, even if that interest is small or is not intended to go anywhere.

When Attraction Is Just Attraction

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Despite all of the signs and symptoms of intense physical, emotional, or mental attraction, your relationship might have stalled there. You don’t ask the person for their number, they don’t ask you for yours, or the two of you exchange texts and calls without the promise – -or even the hint – of developing a romantic relationship. You might find yourself wondering about this person but not truly considering a relationship, or you might notice that the person you are attracted to never seems interested in exploring your interactions further despite your constant flirting and pleasant interactions.

In some cases, this can indicate that one or both of you are too scared to take the next step, but it can also indicate that you do not want more than what you already have. In these cases, the best thing to do is recognize and enjoy your friendship, realize that it is the extent of your relationship, and relieve yourself of the expectation or anticipation of anything further happening. The reasons for this can vary dramatically from person to person and situation to situation, so make sure you examine your motives, needs, and wants before you continue your flirtatious relationship.

When the attraction is just attraction, emotional attachment is unlikely to develop. This can happen when two people are otherwise attached, are too different to function well as a couple, or when two people only like one another for a few aspects of their personality, or in small doses. Not every instance of attraction warrants further exploration, just as not every pleasant interaction carries a multitude of meaning behind it. Sometimes, pleasant interactions are pleasant interactions, and attraction is little more than a concoction created by familiarity, proximity, and compatible personalities.

How To Know It Is Time To Let Go

The clearest sign that it is time to let go is when plenty of time has passed (weeks or months) without either of you pursuing something further. If you are usually the aggressor in your relationships but you find yourself hesitating or making excuses for not taking your flirtation further, this is a clear indication that you have some misgivings about the situation and you may need to let go of the (non)relationship.

If you have made some overtures about possibly taking your flirtation further and they have been continually rebuffed, this is another indication that it is time to let go. Your flirtatious friend might enjoy the flattery of your attention and might get a small ego boost each time you interact, but may not see the two of you with the potential for anything more than the occasional enjoyable interaction. It could also be that the person you are flirting with is already involved with someone else and enjoys their interactions with you too much to give them up altogether. In either case,while you can continue to enjoy your mutual attraction, you would do well to let go of the idea of it being anything other than a casual series of interactions rather than the beginning of a legitimate relationship.

Unspoken Attraction And Letting Go

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Wondering If The Attraction is Mutual?

Unspoken attraction can be a beautiful thing. Two people who feel plenty of physical attraction and even sexual tension toward one another can provide an enormous boost to self-esteem and offer a sense of purpose or hope. In many situations, a case of mutual physical attraction never materializes into anything more and remains at the initial attraction stage. 

Letting go of the expectations that often accompany attraction can be difficult, particularly if you are going through a trying time or are experiencing a period of  intense loneliness. Feeling attraction toward someone,  and feeling someone else’s attraction for you, can seem like a beacon of hope during an otherwise difficult time. However, letting go of the expectation of further development can leave you both open to enjoying one another’s attention and interest without the accompanying feelings of anger, frustration, or inadequacy. 

Learning how to better handle loneliness and create healthy self-esteem, personal boundaries, and ideas regarding relationships and romance are far more effectively done with a mental health professional than with the person you might be interested in seeing. The professional relationship counselors at Regain can help you work through feelings of loneliness, along with other mental health concerns you may have.

The most used type of therapy for loneliness and many other mental health concerns is cognitive behavior therapy, which works by help identify false thinking and beliefs, then reframing how patients think about and respond to certain situations. With the social distancing measures put in place during 2020, several studies were conducted to determine the efficacy of internet-based CBT (iCBT). Research has found that online-based CBT can be effective in helping with loneliness, as well as many other mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. For example, one study found that iCBT interventions helped reduced loneliness, and the treatment benefits were sustained up to two years after the intervention ended. 

Takeaway

For some, the feeling of just knowing that you are attractive and seen by someone else is enough. For some, anything less than an all-out attachment is seen as little more than a failure or a character flaw. There is a reasonable, pleasant middle ground, though, wherein the both of you are free to enjoy the attention, attraction, and flattery of one another, without the promise, lure, or guarantee of anything more. And that, though ambiguous, can be a wonderful place to be. If you need help navigating attraction or other relationship issues, reach out to Regain and let us help. 

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