Thursday, February 17, 2011

How important is attraction when it comes to dating?

How important is attraction when it comes to dating?
Photo by Terry O'Neill

Hair, face, height, bone structure, eyes, teeth, lips, legs, ass, style, nose, hands, shoulders, chest, feet: these are all things we notice first in a person. Don't lie. There is no way you notice a person's passion for feeding the homeless before their perfectly coiffed hair.

A study at Long Beach State University proved a woman's chest, ass and hair are the first three things men notice in the opposite sex.

Women, on the other hand, said they notice height, eyes and feet first. I don't know about feet, I would say body structure or face over feet, but height is probably the first thing I see.

Physical attraction is what draws us to each other, but is it what keeps us drawn? Hell no. Then what is attraction anyway?

When it comes to attraction and being drawn to someone--setting the physical aside--there are theories on why people gravitate to each other.

The first is the Attraction Theory: based on attractiveness and similarity, people who are similar to us are attractive to us (this isn't similar to the 'pet owners start looking like their cat's theory').

So does this mean opposites don't attract? Maybe. I don’t recall being into someone with different interests and it working out.

Of course, you don’t want everything in common. A relationship should involve learning and teaching each other new things. A guy who is into witches and warlocks just wouldn’t work for me even if he was great in bed and the hottest thing to walk this earth.

The second is the Mere Exposure Effect: Constant exposure to someone or something will tend to produce a liking for that object (yes, you’re just an object in this thing called dating) even if the initial response was negative (aka: red flag).

I have a problem with this one. I’d like to rename this "the boredom theory."

When I think of constant exposure, I think of a person being forced to watch a documentary on the Holocaust until finally giving in and agreeing with Hitler. No.

It seems like people get bored with who is available and because we are sexual beings that yearn for companionship, we don’t wait for the right person. Instead, we date a lot of "right now’s" as opposed to "right's (which are hard to come by)."

Of course there are people who meet someone they detest and eventually end up happily every after, but speaking from my own mere exposure experiences, pay attention to those red flags and don't let persistence get the best of you.

The third is the hard-to-get-phenomenon: those who are unattainable are more desirable which probably explains my longing for Ryan Gosling.

Along with these theories, we look for someone who can satisfy our desires and expectancies in the opposite sex.

Someone who is socially attractive (a person we would like to hang out with), task oriented (driven and passionate in their work) and someone with personal qualities that reward us (sex, fun, affection, companionship and financial resources).

Physical attraction plays a large role in dating, but the bigger role is personal attraction. Good looks can only go so far.

11 comments :

  1. i can never rely on looks. a person can be hot as hell but her personality can be shit. she can also be dense.

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  2. If only I had taken notice of those red flags, I would have saved myself a good deal of trouble!

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  3. This is very true!

    My boyfriend is definitely not my typical physical type. But there was just some kind of intense magnetism despite that. Because of that attraction and common interests, I find him attractive.

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  4. I love this and it could not be more true. I think most of us just walk around looking for any opportunity to find "the one", the problem is that we look for "the one that is right in front of us at that moment" rather than the one that will be good in the long-term.

    Great things to think about... thanks for sharing!


    xoxo
    Jenna

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  8. What are the theories with same-sex/gender attraction, I wonder?
    Oh, and not ALL of us are sexual beings! :-)

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  9. thanks for this nice post 111213

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  10. What about red headed men? Are they doomed?

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  11. What about red headed men?

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