If you're on the dating scene and trying to find a new partner, then you may want to arm yourself with some scientific facts about attraction. What brings two people together? And what makes some potential partners more irresistible than others? The research behind it all is incredibly interesting, and knowing a few facts can be helpful when trying to figure out who is right for you.
Of course, I'm not saying you'll need some scientific study to inform you when you find someone attractive. You'll likely just know. And yet, understanding what to look for — as well as signs you might really like someone — can be helpful.
So what, exactly, is attraction? As relationship therapist Rhonda Milrad, LCSW says, "[It's] the glue when getting to know someone. It temporarily bonds you as a couple and gives you the time to get to know each other and determine if your personalities are well-suited for one another."
In other words, it's their smell and their sexiness and their voice that reels you in and keeps you around long enough to figure out if there's enough chemistry for a relationship. (You know, one that might reach beyond simply enjoying each other's scents, voices, and sexiness.) Read on for some signs you're truly attracted and may want to build something more.
1. Scent Can Be Super Important
When two people are into each other, they'll love each other's scents. This is all thanks to pheromones, Mildrad tells me, which are the chemicals secreted in sweat. "For both men and women, how someone smells and whether you are innately drawn to that scent goes a long way in determining your attraction." If someone isn't for you, your nose will likely know.
2. Facial Symmetry May Play A Role
Do you find a certain someone particularly fetching, but can't quite put your finger on why? Apart from just thinking they're "beautiful," what you might be drawn to is the symmetry of their face. "Research shows that men and women find symmetrical faces more attractive than non-symmetrical ones," Milrad says. "The more a person's face is roughly the same on both sides, the more you are going to want to approach them."
3. Signs Of "Health" Are Important
Why is everyone attracted to rosy cheeks and clear skin? This is your biology searching for signs of "health" and weeding out partners who seem unfit for reproduction, Milrad tells me. If your date shows up looking unkempt and greasy, it may be a turn off. Of course, most of us probably know that health is never something you can tell judge by looking at someone, this weird fact may be helpful to understand why some people may seem more attractive than others.
5. Self-Confidence Wins People Over
While no one likes a show off, there's no denying the attractiveness of someone who's truly self-confident. As dating expert Marius Davorik says, "We have an innate desire to ensure our DNA survives many generations." If someone's giving off I-have-my-sh*t-together vibes, it may be worth investigating.
6. And So Does Charisma
Charismatic people are very approachable, Davorik tells me. They'll be the ones smiling, using expressive hand gestures, and joking around. These characteristics look approachable because they are approachable. So go up to them and see what happens.
7. Lots Of Eye Contact Is A Sign Of Attraction
If someone is into you, they'll likely be all about that eye contact. As Davorik tells me, you might notice your date leaning in, laughing loudly at your jokes, and giving you their full attention. These are (obviously) all good things.
8. Blushing Is A Good Thing
If your date is blushing a lot, take it as a sign you're winning them over. "Blushing signals to your love interest that you are attracted to them, or more accurately, aroused by them," says online dating specialist Alex Reddle. "The blood vessels in your face dilate upon arousal, leading to high color in your cheeks, full lips, and sparkling eyes." If you notice your date is getting a bit flushed, consider it a good thing.
9. Red Is The Most "Attractive" Color
It seems red is the official color of attraction. According to one study from the University of Manchester, men spent 7.3 seconds staring at images of red lips, 6.7 seconds on those with pink lips, and 2.2 seconds on those who wore no lipstick. If you want to catch someone's eye, or fill them with all sorts of sexy thoughts, crimson seems to be the way to go.
10. "Mirroring" Is Incredibly Important
If you two are hitting it off, you might find yourselves subconsciously mirroring each other. "Women tend to replicate whatever facial expression they see in the person in front of them, as this is a bonding behavior that comes automatically," said health writer Cecily Trowbridge on ThoughtCatalog.com. Giving it a try on purpose can put your date at ease and maybe even up your attraction levels.
11. Dog Owners Have More Luck Scoring A Date
There are a million good reasons to get a dog, but finding a partner may be one of them. "Men are three times more likely to get a woman's digits when a pup was accompanying him versus when he was riding solo," Trowbridge said. Of course, the same would be true for women, too. I mean, who wouldn't want to fall in love with a dog owner?
Whether it's a puppy, red lipstick, or someone's amazing scent, plenty of things can lead to more attraction. You just have to pay attention.
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