Why Do We Find Some People More Attractive Than Others? Science Tells Us
- 03 Feb 2023
How would you quantify it if you were to think about who you are attracted to and why? Is it physical traits such as height or behavioral quirks, such as being too quiet or talkative? How do you quantify charm?
The answer lies in several studies that tried to analyze the basis of long-lasting, healthy relationships, and we’ve got the results right here:
Proximity births attraction
We’ve frequently come across people who met their partners at their workplace, childhood sweethearts who started dating in school, or actors who meet their future partners on the sets of a movie. All of this suggests that proximity (and the familiarity that comes with it) is a very powerful factor when it comes to creating a sustainable relationship. You get the idea that the ideal person is right there in front of you, which instills a sense of security while giving you the freedom to have more conversations to explore each other.
In terms of online dating, this translates simply as: Don’t judge someone based on just pictures. Sure, physical attractiveness is an important factor, but it shouldn’t be the essential one. Moving dates from phone screens to say, a cafe lets you have more personal, open, and healthy conversations and build a relationship which brings us to our second point.
Communication is key
Fashion sense and physical appearance vary over time, and in some cases, from picture to picture. But charm is permanent. A good conversational partner is key. Not only does it keep the relationship honest and transparent, but it also opens up the door to figuring out comfort spaces with each other while keeping the dynamic as lively as possible. Imagine being able to have a serious talk conversation about work while also leaving room for being playful.
A good communicator also exhibits a sense of security, a level of comfort about the topic of commitment, and a clear way to express how they feel about their partner and the relationship, all of which certainly make them more appealing. On the contrary, vagueness, and ambiguity tend to kill off a relationship quicker than you’d imagine.
Lack of certainty does a world of harm
Imagine dating someone who isn’t clear in communication. You wouldn’t know if you see them as a long-term partner or not, you wouldn’t know how well or poorly a conversation is going, and worst of all, you wouldn’t even know if they like you. And that last one is what tanks a relationship fast, as humans are innately afraid of being rejected by someone. Most relationships are built on not just honesty and communication, but positive reaffirmation and a necessary level of acknowledgment and validation, which people use to build trust. Not being clear or articulate tends to hit that fundamental bridge and make us wary of our date. However, science does do one more thing.
Science has room for everyone
The range of studies that have been conducted tell us that a lot of things are hard wired into us at some level. Take this study, for instance. Or this one. We might not agree with every study out there, but that’s what relationship science is all about: a study of a considerable sample size of humans to see what a common trend is, and whether it can be generalized for the entire human race. And almost always the answer is no. There are exceptions to every rule.
And even if we assume that the studies are applicable to all of us, it doesn’t change anything. These are factors we cannot control, and so we shouldn’t try to either. It is research’s job to explain the real world, and we shouldn’t be looking at it the other way around (i.e. using research as a rule book).
Do your own relationship experiences confirm these? Or have you been on a great date that doesn’t agree with us? Let us know! But if you’re waiting for the right person to go out with, why don’t you check out our very own online dating app, Pavo.