In my opinion at least, a successful relationship is made up of 3 main components.
Originally, I was going to call this post “The Three Components Of Love”, however, I realised there is a definite order in which we notice these qualities. From my experience, the first quality must be there for us to notice the second quality, and so on. In a way, love works a bit like an onion, where one layer must be peeled to access the next layer.
So what are the three layers of love?
1. Physical Attraction
The first layer of love is fairly obvious- physical attraction. People may argue to the contrary with me here, but I believe that to truly be attracted to someone, you need some level of visual chemistry. Not saying they have to be good looking (although that helps), but they need to have some features that hit your subconscious attraction points. For example, my ex-boyfriend wasn’t very good looking, but I like tall guys, and lean towards the blonde hair/ blue eyes combination, and he was tall, blonde, and blue-eyed, so on a subconscious level, there was some physical attraction there. The beauty of this is that all of our attraction points are different, so we all fancy different people, and it’s not just the supermodels who find love.
Of course, personality is what you ultimately fall for. But I also think you wouldn’t notice personality if there was’t some degree of physical attraction there. I’m sure we can all think of people who we liked who won us over due to their great personality, but I feel like if we didn’t also like their looks to a certain degree, we wouldn’t have gone there.
2. Personality & Chemistry
But looks are just the outer shell. The second layer of love is personality and chemistry. Maybe you could kiss someone of looks alone. Some people could even sleep with them. However, to truly fancy someone, you need a mental attraction too. If someone has model looks but can’t hold a conversation, there’s only so far you can go.
Again, this is partly subjective. Most people like confidence, but some prefer shy. We click with some people more than we do with others. And sometimes, you can like someone’s looks and their personality just fine, but the chemistry just isn’t there.
The second layer of love is crucial to feel a real attraction, rather than just “she/ he’s fit”. However, without the first layer of love, they’re just a friend.
Attraction is all well and good, but to make a relationship last, the final layer of love you need is compatibility. Sexual attraction is important, but you also need to be able to just get on with them. And of course the practical considerations like similar values, goals, living (or intending to live) in the same place, and so on.
This is the trickiest level of them all. You can scream at people until you’re blue in the face that the dating market isn’t stacked in their favour, their biological clock is ticking, or that you don’t think they’re attractive enough to get the kind of person that they’re looking for, but ultimately people aren’t going to date or sleep with someone they’re not attracted to. They’re just not. So it’s actually very hard to “settle” in that respect. But it’s very easy to settle in regards to compatibility. Attraction is all-consuming, and it’s rare to find that kind of chemistry, so people to overlook all kinds of bad behaviour when they feel it. But we shouldn’t.
Of course, compatibility alone is not enough. Without the two previous layers, even if you have one of them, you experience the “perfect on paper” scenario where you find someone who’s a great match… but you just wouldn’t sleep with them. But without the final layer of love, all you have is unbridled passion which will either blow up in flames or eventually fade. Which is fine in the short-term, but for the long-term, you need someone who can take you right down to the core of the onion of love.
Have you experienced the three layers of love? Let me know in the comments!