You experience unhealthy attraction if you feel inferior to the person you are attracted to, or if you feel incomplete without them.

Unhealthy attraction is filled with drama and unnecessary stress, which tend to affect other areas of your life as well.

It is fairly common to experience unhealthy attraction to someone, especially if there are underlying issues that affect the way you see or communicate to others.

Some examples:

  • Lack of self-worth or self-esteem
  • Limiting beliefs about love and dating
  • Neediness, or a sense of urgency
  • Dissatisfaction with your own life
  • Inability to receive, or give, love
  • Emotional abuse in the past

Can attraction be unhealthy?

Definitely! Attraction can be unhealthy, even when you are attracted to the right person.

And like I said, it’s actually quite common. The key is to identify unhealthy attraction as soon as possible, and see what is the issue behind it.

It could be you or the person you’re attracted to. It could be poor self-esteem or a superiority complex. It could be fear of opening up, of being vulnerable.

Here are the top five signs of an unhealthy attraction. Read the list and notice if any of these resonate with you, if they apply to the attraction you feel to someone right now, or someone in the past.

Keep in mind, this list is by no means complete or exhaustive. But I find that most types of unhealthy attraction cause (or are caused by) at least one of the following…

Signs of an unhealthy attraction

1. Needing instead of wanting

When we are deeply attracted to someone, it can be hard to distinguish the two. Yet neediness can only lead to the kind of attraction that’s unhealthy for both you and the other person.

When you say you need someone to feel complete, to feel happy about yourself, you also imply that you are incomplete, that you are broken, that you are not in charge of your own emotional wellbeing.

You need to address that first. No one can give you that. You have to feel complete first, and only then will you be able to attract others (and be attracted to others) in a healthy way.

2. A sense of inferiority

If you are attracted to someone, naturally you will tend to idolize them, to idealize them, to only notice the positive traits and subconsciously ignore the bad traits.

However, this should never translate to a sense of inferiority. If deep inside you believe the person you’re attracted to is better than you, if you believe they are superior, that’s going to lead to a lack of balance.

To give and receive love, you want to be on the same page, you want balance. You want to perceive the other person the same way they perceive you. If either person feels inferior (or superior, for that matter), your attraction will be unhealthy.

3. Other areas of your life are affected

Healthy attraction empowers you and positively affects virtually all other areas of your life. Unhealthy attraction drains you and negatively affects virtually all other areas of your life.

Once you reach a higher level of awareness in life, you start to realize that all things tend to be interconnected, that an event in your love life will usually affect your work life as well, or your health, or your attitude, and vice versa.

The third sign of an unhealthy attraction is if it “magically” causes poor performance, physical sickness, mental health issues, or stress that seems to appear out of nowhere. Or any other negative changes in your life. 

4. Emotional frustration

When you are attracted to the other person, do you feel a constant, frustrating feeling of dissatisfaction? Does the person you’re attracted to satisfy you emotionally? Do they reciprocate your love? Do they even care about you?

Attraction is healthy if it leads to expression — expressing your emotions, giving and receiving love, fulfilling your desires. It’s energy that flows. In an unhealthy attraction, energy is blocked.

Keep in mind, it may not be the other person’s fault; it may be your own. You may have unrealistic standards, you may struggle to open up or be vulnerable enough; you may idealize the relationship and never allow yourself to be happy about it.

5. Chasing and/or mind games

Attraction is a fun game. It’s supposed to be fun. But some people like to make it miserable. Their idea of dating involves endless chasing, mind games, manipulation, drama, pretending to be unavailable.

The whole concept of not being available is probably the worst advice ever in the dating world. It suggests that attraction is a fight rather than a game; it justifies lying, pretending to be someone you’re not.

The fifth and last sign of an unhealthy attraction is if it’s filled with all these things. And if you’re unable to imagine a different type of attraction, do yourself a favor and be kind to yourself, and realize that love and dating don’t need to be so complicated.