When looking for a partner, there are many ways in which you can speed along the courtship process. Whether it’s waiting three days to text back, or binge watching every rom-com from the last decade, everyone has their own dating “rules” that they swear by. Although there are both age old rules of dating and modern tips on attraction, there is one side that is often overlooked – the science.
Psychologists and scientists from all corners of the globe have dedicated years and years of their lives to figuring out how to attract a mate, and also how to tell whether someone is attracted to you. Even though it may not work for every single case, there are a few pointers that consistently pop up whilst debating the law of attraction.
It definitely sound cliché, and it definitely sounds like something a confident person made up when asked about their secrets. According to science, though, confidence is the single most attractive trait in a human. Even if you think of yourself as a shrinking violet, acting confident can get you a long way. If you’re in a room full of people and find yourself attracted to someone, the worst thing you can do is find yourself a quite corner and hide in it for the rest of the night.
Confidence doesn’t mean arrogance. There’s no need to think that if anyone views you as confident then that means they view you as cocky. Treat it the same as a job interview. If you walk in there, head hanging low not making eye contact and fidgeting a lot, it is far less appealing than someone who walks in, with their head held high and smiling. The bad news is, this may not necessarily work every single time, but the good news is, confidence can and will be, built up over time of you really want it to.
Whether it’s wearing a red dress, red lipstick, red nail polish, or even just carrying a red clutch bag, many different studies have proven that scarlet hues are definitely a good way to attract attention. There’s even a hypothesis named after it – “The Red Dress effect”. There is no solid explanation as to why men find women in red more attractive, but the same also applies in the opposite scenario. Women find men wearing red more attractive too.
Unfortunately, like everything, there is a downside – the findings show that wearing the colour of danger can only “enhance” the attraction. Red may not help you find a date straight away, but if you already have that date, it will boost you from quite attractive to downright sexy. Linking with the first point, wearing a bright, bold colour also exude confidence. So if you don’t fancy yourself as a confident person, you can fake it by splashing on a vibrant colour – especially red.
Again, it is an old cliché, but it works. Spotting attraction is easy once you know what signals to look out for. Although humans are arguably the most advanced species in the animal kingdom, there are still animalistic and instinctive behavioural attributes when it comes to “mating” – especially for men. Ever noticed how it is the male peacock that has the big, elaborate feathered tail? Or that the male butterflies are always the most colourful? Well, this applies for almost all males regardless of species – they all like to compete to win the females over.
Well the same applies to humans. If you’re in a bar for instance, signs to look out for in men would be intense eye contact and the “chest thrust”. Men subliminally stand with their shoulders back and chest sticking out when they are attracted to someone, especially if there are other men in the vicinity. This technique goes way back to when we were mere Neanderthals unable to communicate now, but still instinctively creeps through now and again. In women, the signs are different. Women tend to engage in more subtle physical language by mostly using eye contact and small hand gestures.
If you are socially engaging with someone, and their body language is closed off, I.e. arms crossed or hands on face, then chances are they are not particularly interested. However, if the person seems more open, using hand gestures when they talk and has their torso uncovered, then you may be in luck. Another thing to look out for is the mimicking of moments. If you’re standing with your hands by your side and then change the position and they follow suit, it could be an indication that they attracted to you. Also if you notice someone constantly looking at your lips or mouth, it might be a sign of them wanting to kiss you.
Sense of smell if often overlooked and deemed as the most pointless of the five senses. Nevertheless, it’s also the scent that is most closely connected to memory. Every person on Earth has their own personal scent. A woman’s cycle gives heightened ability to smell male pheromones on certain days of the month, meaning that some weeks you could find someone more attractive than the last time you saw them.
To be technical about it, women and men are drawn closer to those that have a different immune system structure to their own, which in itself is pretty amazing, considering that humans are pretty far down the list in terms of nasal capability. One way to use the power of the nose in terms of sexual attraction, is to wear a “signature” perfume or aftershave. Eventually someone will become accustomed to your scent and will now associate you with it. Meaning whenever they catch a whiff of it, you will automatically pop into their mind. Basically what this all means is both men and women’s hormone levels can be altered, in just one sniff!
Now this one from the first glance sounds completely insane, however a lot of scientific studies, from all over the world have shown that most people are more physically attracted to people who bear a resemblance to themselves or close family. This, again all down to instincts from dating in the last (around 40,000 years ago) when cavemen had to reproduce the strongest offspring. Okay, so it’s not that straight forward and animalistic these days (thank God) but some of the same biological instincts remain.
Dating and relationships all fall under “finding a mate” therefore people are more naturally more attracted to others whose genes and DNA fit with their own. Strong genes in men typically include chiselled jaw line, prominent cheekbones, being tall and having broad shoulders for men, whereas men tend to go for women with big hips and big legs, and – according to Charles Darwin, but contrary to popular belief – brunettes.
It’s not just physical similarities, but also physical symmetry. The more symmetrical a face is, the more generically attractive it is. That’s why when people are drunk, they tend to be effected by “beer goggles”. People are appear more attractive because you are less likely to notice the asymmetry of their features. Now before you go rushing off reading up on Freud’s theories or dying your hair the same colour as someone’s mum, just remember that this might be applicable in every case.
The heart is often regarded as the centre of the human soul, throughout various different cultures – thinking with your heart, being heartbroken, someone stealing your heart etc. Well, unfortunately it’s just a muscle that has no emotional attachment to anyone or anything, it jumps pumps blood. However, it can be very easily used during the process of attracting a lover.
Chemical reactions in the human brain sometimes have difficulties differentiating between physical and emotional situations. This means that, to the brain, a racing heart can only ever mean excitement, nervousness or anxiety. So, using this to your advantage can be simple. Basically this means that if you ask someone out at the gym after a heavy cardio session then they are more likely to say yes – because the adrenaline is already pumping full force through their veins. They associate the racing heartbeat with the one you feel when you meet someone you’re attracted to for the first time. Essentially, you can use a treadmill to fight half the battle for you.
Another way to utilise the heart is to watch horror movies together – especially on a first date. Anything that gets the heart pounding is an excellent way to start the attraction.
Whether you’re struggling with chemistry or maybe you feel you don’t know enough about biology, science can be a good starting point. With everything, though, humans can be very unpredictable. Just because a person isn’t displaying these typical behaviours, it does not mean they aren’t attracted to you. Now time to get physic-al!