There are going to be a lot of big words, theories, principles and epiphanies. Hang on because this is going be an exciting ride.
Lesson 1: Familiarity
“People are more attracted to familiar others.”
You can become a “familiar other” through the “proximity effect.” Simply put, the more often he sees you and interacts with you, the more likely he is to be your friend, and eventually fall in love with you. Remember how you have that one not-so-cute friend who totally flipped a switch and you completely forget you didn’t originally think she was conventionally attractive? It’s like that. The more he sees you, the more attractive he will find you. Being “facey” in social situations is in your best interest.
Lesson 2: Physical Attractiveness
“People tend to prefer physically attractive to unattractive others.”
What qualifies as physical attractiveness is different for everyone as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But not really. Across all ages and cultures, most people generally agree on which faces are attractive and which are not, based on symmetry — once you have a symmetrical face, then it comes down to personal taste. Certain features are reliably associated with judgments of attractiveness – body shape, skin coloring, assets, and so on. Apparently what we find as universally attractive features on a male are childlike-big eyes, narrower facial shape, less fat, full and symmetrical lips, darker eye brow and lashes, upper half of the face broader in relation to the lower half, higher cheek bones and a prominent lower jaw, and chin. So, if you’re a dude and don’t look identical to Brad Pitt, you’re shit out of luck. The universal attractive features for females aren’t too different than those of the male. A female is deemed attractive if she has childlike big eyes, a narrower facial shape, less fat, fuller lips, slightly bigger distance between eyes, dark and narrow eye brows, long and dark lashes, higher cheek bones and a narrower nose — in short, Scarlett Johansson.
Physical attractiveness is a little different than facial attractiveness. Men are attracted to features that signal heath and fertility. This is evaluated through a woman’s skin condition because it reflects her ratio of hormones, a low waist-to-hip ratio of body fat distribution and a youthful appearance. Men are more drawn to women who are shorter than they are, have full breasts and full lips. On the other hand, women tend to be attracted to men who are taller than they are, have broad shoulders, a relatively narrow waist and a V-shaped torso. So keep those gym visits frequent and I guess that means pizza and fast food are only a “sometimes” indulgence.
Because of this sort of formula for beauty, the guy you have a crush on since forever will often start dating the basic hot girl, even though she is also the dumbest, most boring girl on the planet. This is known as the “Halo Effect.” We associate physical attractiveness with the principle: “what is beautiful, is good.” People are more likely to rate attractive individuals more favorable for their personality traits or characteristics than those who are less attractive. But this attractiveness stereotype can also be a double-edged sword. Some studies found people are more likely to believe that good-looing individuals are vain, dishonest and likely to use their good looks to manipulate others. So take that, hot bitches of the world.
Lesson 3: Similarity
“People tend to be attracted to similar others.”
When you see two attractive people together, it’s not a coincidence. The “matching hypothesis” tells us that people are more likely to form relationships with similarly attractive others. On average, it is rare to see someone who is extremely attractive with someone who is not. But people prefer romantic partners who are similar in personality, too. So the really cool guy dating the totally boring hot girl will most likely get bored and be more attracted to someone with a more vibrant personality. Attitudes are a huge part of similarity and attraction. We like people who have the same values as us. There is a higher chance of being attracted to someone with a similar attitude than there is physical activeness and personality. So maybe going to 9 am mass with your family every Sunday was worth the torture.
Lesson 4: Reciprocal Liking
“People like people who like them.”
There was a study done in 1986 by two psychologists where participants were paired up. The experimenter privately told participants that their partner either does or does not like them. The participants then met up again. After this second meeting, the partners rated each other. In every case, the participants who thought their partner liked them rated their partner higher than if they were told their partner disliked them. This study concluded that people act differently and more positively if they think the others like them. Taking a chance and putting yourself out there isn’t as risky as you once thought, so go for it.
Lesson 5: Reactance
“People want what they can’t have.”
Who knew this wasn’t just a myth to get girls to shut up about their boy problems? Reactance simply means that when people feel their freedom to do something is threatened, they respond by performing that behavior. The reason we also want people that are “bad” for us, or someone we can’t take home to Mom and Dad is due to the “Romeo and Juliet” effect. When there is parental or social opposition in a romantic relationship that only intensifies attraction. So, I guess playing “hard to get” actually does work.
Lesson 6: Secrecy
“People are more attracted to others when the relationship is hidden.”
Past relationships that people think about most are likely to have been a secret. In 1994 there was a “Secret Footsie Study” to test out the relationship between attraction and secrecy. Strangers were told to play footsie under a table with another pair of participants present. The other people either knew or did not know. After the study, the participants were surveyed on how attractive they thought their partner and the other opposite-sex participant at the table was. In the pairs that had no contact, the ratings of their partner and the other team member were almost identical. In the pairs that had non-secret contact the attraction towards their partner was slightly higher than the other team member. In the pairs that had secret contact the attraction rating was significantly higher than the rating of the other team member. I means look at Chandler and Monica. They may have never made it if their relationship wasn’t such a secret in the beginning stages.
Who knew science was the key to a flourishing love life? To sum up everything you have just learned, here are the secrets of attraction revealed:
1. “Go where they go and be accessible.” But don’t forget to still play hard to get.
2. “Highlight features of physical attractiveness.” Hello contouring, push-up bras, spanx and spray tans – all day every day.
3. “Look for similar others.” Maybe it’s time to finally approach that hot guy you see at the gym everyday, or the hot guy you see at the late night pizza place every Wednesday through Saturday – no judgments here.
4. “Mimic desired others.” Oh my gosh. You like ’70s and ’80s hits?? Me too! *Secretly Googles “top hits of the ’70s and ’80s.”*
5. “Reciprocate liking.” I like you, you like me, let’s go.
6. “Play hard to get.” A tactic that has been in our back pockets since the beginning of time.
7. “Keep your relationship secret.” I won’t tell anyone if you don’t tell anyone.
So there you have it. Thanks a million, science!.