Many people are of the mindset that physical attraction has no explanation. If you are attracted to someone, you just are attracted. There’s no rhyme or reason to it and there’s nothing you can point your finger at that would explain ‘why’. However, science tells us that there are specific reasons why we are attracted to some people and not attracted to others – and our genetic composition or makeup has a lot to do with who gets our heart’s beating fast.
The science behind attraction
Many of us like to think that we aren’t prejudiced and that we don’t prejudge who we choose to hang out with, hire for employment or become friends with at work, based on appearances. Yet, research has shown that people who have physical appearances that are the most appealing to the general population are more likely to be selected for jobs, get the best tables at restaurants, receive preferential treatment and they are more likely to be approached for friendships.
Whether we know it or not our brains are judging people up based on how healthy they appear and this information is judged subconsciously by a person’s face symmetry. If our brains are being that judgmental for non-romantic connections… it goes into overdrive when it comes to romantic connections.
When it comes to romantic relationships, a person’s personality and intelligence can attract us, but it’s their biology or genetic makeup that gets our attention first – and it can close the deal. When we are interacting with a potential romantic partner our brains are sizing them up and judging whether they are showing/exhibiting traits of producing suitable offspring – whether we are interested in having children or not. All we know is we are attracted… our hearts may beat faster, our breathing may speed up and we may feel butterflies tickling our insides. All of these feelings are nature’s way of alerting us that the person we are interacting with is a good reproduction match for us.
Article continues below...
Women should know that hormone levels can complicate these impulses. Hormones can greatly impact how we judge people. Many women have said they felt attracted to someone, only to lose interest the next time they were together. If this has happened to you, chalk it up to hormones.
Attraction changes over time
What is considered beautiful or attractive changes with the times. What was considered ideal clothing, body shapes and hair styles a hundred or so years ago isn’t the same today. These ‘culture ideas’ of beauty change fast – sometimes decade by decade. However, our brains are wired so that no matter the era, it is seeking out a particular standard of beauty/health in a partner that is ideal for us as individuals. The standard our brains operate within is often a general result of the society or region we live in and it has little to do with trends.
The brain knows when it’s within range of a good match. Have you ever met someone and felt like you couldn’t think straight when he was around? Did you feel that you were behaving oddly? Did you feel that all reason flew out of your mind and that you were simply drawn to this person like a magnet? Attraction breaks through common sense and even intelligence. You may know you’re acting like a fool, but you can’t help yourself. All you know is, you want to get closer. It’s only after we get to know the other person that these overpowering feelings dissipate a bit so we are able to get to know the person’s true self, focus on who he is as an individual and possibly develop something concrete with him.
The debate will continue as to whether attraction is purely a biological/chemical process. Yet, whether the reason is biological, emotional or cultural, we generally will never be able to predict who will send our radar’s off. We just know when we do feel it. The next time someone you meet someone and you are drawn in like a moth to a flame and you wonder ‘why’ – perhaps he doesn’t meet the idea of what you think you should be attracted to – take a moment to realize that there’s more than just your own personal ideas involved in attraction. Nature works in mysterious ways and often times it doesn’t care whether you agree if the attraction should be there or not. It is just there.