When you find people you feel you are attracted to, do you know what makes them attractive to you in the first place? Sure, they may have a certain personality or career qualities that pique your interest, but what about them is just so attractive?
Why is it that many people have a “type” of person they like to date? It’s highly likely that our feelings and thought processes in selecting a partner are inherent and may even be in our human biology which has evolved and adapted through thousands of years.
So, let’s take a look at these six facts regarding attraction—many of them of which may actually surprise you:
1People tend to be attracted to those who look like them
Well now. This is a bit awkward. While this initially seems like a strange or uncomfortable idea, it actually has some form of scientific backing. A study conducted at St. Andrews University has found a direct correlation between facial similarity and attractiveness.
In this specific study, heterosexual men and women were provided photos of people and were asked to identify which people they were attracted to. One of the photos was actually a photo of themselves, photoshopped to look like the opposite sex. Overall, those who participated in this study selected the photoshopped photo of themselves as the most attractive. Strange, right?
This also supports the concept of people being attracted to individuals we see most often compared to others. So, perhaps it’s time you stopped looking at yourself in the mirror quite so much for fear of this slight chance of developing narcissistic tendencies. Thus, people find themselves more attracted to those they spend more time with and those they see frequently in their day-to-day lives.
2The “pill” can affect levels of attraction
Yes, that’s right. One of the most common forms of birth control can actually affect attraction. There have been studies that have shown how women may be attracted to different “types” of men depending on where she is in her monthly cycle.
When birth control pills are added to the mix, you are adding different levels of hormones which can definitely have an effect on mood, health, and therefore attraction.
3We are unconsciously attracted to people who are capable of reproducing
Men have been found to be more attracted to women when they are most fertile, and women are commonly more attracted to men who they feel would be a great father figure.
Biologically, humans are programmed to mate—when someone is able to identify, feel, or sense when someone is most fertile or even just knowing they can or want to reproduce, that person will find them more attractive.
This is not a conscious effort, but more of an internal, natural instinct that serves to ensure the ongoing survival of our species in the future.
4Men are often more attracted to women wearing red
According to a 2008 study, red amplifies the attractiveness of a woman to a man. Some researches show a connection between women wearing red and the moments when women become naturally pink or flushed before or during sexual arousal.
Because of these correlations, it also would appear that women who are wearing red may have a better chance of getting asked out on a date. (Heck, even a second date!)
5Men are truly more attracted to women with the hourglass shape
Because men are generally looking for women who are capable of reproducing (again, an internal drive to find a mate who you will reproduce with), they are looking for women with great reproductive capabilities.
They are not generally as fixated on a woman’s size. Rather, they are generally more attracted to someone with a 0.7 waist-to-hip ratio.
While men aren’t able to instantly measure that specific ratio with their naked eye in a split second, it stands that their eye will, by intuition, be most attracted to that figure. Men will subconsciously check for women capable of carrying his children.
6We are generally attracted to people who remind us of our parents
It’s fairly common for people to say that a woman is looking for a man who reminds her of her father. This not a sexual thing; it’s more of finding someone who will have a positive role in their lives. The same goes for men looking for a woman who reminds them of their mother.
We are looking for a mate who is a positive role model, will take care of us, and has physical attributes we are familiar with.
At the end of the day, we are attracted to who those we are attracted to. We may know our “types” or what our “ideal” person should be, but there is actually a lot more happening under the surface dictating those feelings and decisions. Biologically, we are made to find someone to mate with and someone who will provide us with not only passion but security as well. We can give our brains a huge thanks for figuring out all of those details for us, and sadly, the rest of our person gets the not-so-easy job of going on a good date.
While the right personality, temperament, and partner-fit are probably the most important factors when it comes to successful long-term relationships, when it comes to attracting a partner in the first place, how we look plays a much bigger part.