We’ve all been there. Someone compelling comes into view, and our heart rate speeds up and body temperature rises suddenly. Attraction comes over us like a wave, powerful and seemingly unstoppable. But what determines who will get our heart racing?
Sure, love is mysterious, but, in some ways, the attraction is not. Science actually has an explanation for why we are attracted to certain people and why we don’t give others the time of the day. It turns out that the rules of attraction aren’t that straightforward.
What is ‘Your type’ in attraction?
‘Describe your dream partner!’ ‘How do you want your mate to be? Any specifications?’ I am sure this thought has crossed over your mind many times. Or maybe you have had to deal with such questions asked by people around.
I am sure you would end up describing qualities and use all the adjectives you know to describe your type. But in reality, attraction is just not it. It is more than those discerned features we think it is. In other words, attraction is more than just looks.
The reasons why you find someone attractive can be confusing to everyone involved. However, it doesn’t just happen by coincidence. Human attraction is far more complex than it appears at first sight. Attraction can spark at first sight or sneak up on us, stealthily and unexpectedly. We can overcome an initial, unwise attraction, no matter how powerful, and be drawn to a great partner, even if it isn’t lusting at first sight. We also can take steps to attract the right person to us.
The heart wants what it wants
In general, people fall for people like themselves: those from the same cultural, religious or socioeconomic background, and level of intelligence or attractiveness. But throughout life, a person may run into hundreds of others who fit that description. So what causes a person to swoon over one person and not another?
It is our science that works much harder than our eyes. According to many psychologists around the world, the moment we feel attracted to somebody (other than their looks) our subconscious mind checks out their genes, personality, energy type, hormones, cultural and religious background, and many more.
Smells are more important than you know
After we meet the person, our noes pick up on natural chemical signals known as Pheromones. Men and women judge each other differently based on smell. A new study shows that when men smell T-shirts worn by women while ovulating, it triggers a surge in the sex hormone testosterone. While women like the smell of men whose MHC Molecules different from theirs. This is because the mind wants to choose a partner who can provide them with a stronger baby. And different MHC Molecules, mean a robust immune system. It is a protein the body uses to help keep track of which cells belong in the body, and which are invasive.
Or is it the chemicals?
Similarly, hormones play a huge role in creating your type. It turns out some personality types are attracted to people who are the opposite of them. While other types are attracted to people who are similar. Dopamine people may be attracted to other dopamine people. Serotonin people may be attracted to other serotonin people. While testosterone people are very analytical and tough and are attracted to their opposites, which are the estrogen or oxytocin people, who have more imaginative and nurturing traits. In other words, a dopamine person will often choose another dopamine person over a highly attractive testosterone person.
Oh, that sound!
Another component that makes you attracted to some people, is their voice. Researches show that men prefer a female voice type that indicates a small body, as a marker of feminity. While females prefer a low-pitched voice that indicates a large body size. Scientists have discovered that when a woman is fertile, her voice sounds more seductive to men.
Similar to the halo effect, people with attractive faces are assumed to have attractive personalities, people with attractive voices are assumed to be more warm, honest, likable, dominant, and competent. However, someone with an immature voice is assumed to be warm and honest, but not powerful and competent. While mature-sounding voices are believed to be associated with power, intelligence, and dominance
Attraction can make you dumb?
Scientists have found that certain sections of our brain turn on or off when you’re falling for someone. The amygdala, the part of the brain that controls fear responses, shows less activity when you’re in love. The frontal cortex of our brain is responsible for judgment and predicting future outcomes. When we’re falling for someone, that cortex goes dark (figuratively). When we’re attracted to someone, our brain basically becomes our hype man and dials down the parts of us that might make us more cautious.
Our attraction can also be defined by our life experiences. Maybe you had a tall teacher who defended you from bullies. Maybe your friend with small hands comforted you in tough times. All such past experiences contribute to ‘Your type’.
Maybe that’s why someone you find attractive doesn’t look attractive to your friend.
Everyone is attracted to someone
Attraction is an incredibly complicated thing, and science probably won’t be able to determine all the reasons you find someone attractive or vice versa. Often, what’s most important is your compatibility, and you’re unlikely to be able to quantify that.
Truth is that the world of attraction is incredibly diverse. You cannot change the way you look but you can change the way you see yourself. Whether an off-putting body odor or grating voice, it’s easy to understand how the nose and ears are just as important as the eyes in noticing someone attractive.
Forget the beauty standards and be confident.