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The Mystery of Physical Attraction: What Draws Us to Each Other?

By Albulena Murturi


16 February 2024

Physical Attraction

©️ Netflix / YouTube

Since Valentine’s Day sweetness is still around the corner, let’s talk about the science behind love’s closest sibling, physical attraction! Have you ever wondered what makes someone catch your eye? It turns out, there is a lot more to attraction than just looks. From the way our brains are wired to our deepest instincts, the science behind what we find attractive is a fascinating journey into human nature. And who knows? Maybe understanding the science behind attraction will help you navigate the mysterious world of love a little better.

Factors Influencing Physical Attraction

The many factors that influence physical attraction include biology, sociology, and psychology. Physical attraction may look simple, but it is a complex subject that can not be looked at from only one perspective.

The Physical in “Physical Attraction”

1. Symmetry and Proportion

People are often drawn to faces and bodies that exhibit symmetry and proportion, as these are often perceived as indicators of health and genetic fitness.

2. Facial Features

Certain facial features, such as clear skin, well-defined jawlines, and symmetrical eyes and lips, can be considered attractive across different cultures.

Physical Attraction
©️ Gencraft

3. Body Shape and Size

Cultural norms and personal preferences play a role in determining which body shapes and sizes are considered attractive. However, factors like waist-to-hip ratio and overall fitness level can contribute to physical attractiveness.

4. Voice and Scent

Voice and scent are still physical and play a crucial role in who people find attractive.

5. Grooming and Presentation

How well-groomed and put-together a person is can significantly impact their attractiveness. Factors like hairstyle, clothing choice, and overall grooming habits contribute to someone’s physical appeal.

6. Non-Verbal Cues

Body language, posture, and movements can also influence physical attraction. Confidence, for example, can be attractive, as can subtle gestures like smiling and maintaining eye contact.

Back to Basics

Ever wondered why we are so drawn to certain people? Evolutionary psychology has some thoughts on that. It says that physical attraction isn’t just about looks – it’s nature’s way of nudging us toward partners who might be a good genetic match. So, when we are checking someone out, we are actually assessing their potential as a mate, whether we realize it or not.

Physical Attraction
©️ Freepik

Back in the day, our ancestors were on the lookout for mates who could help them create healthy, strong offspring. So, over time, we’ve developed a knack for spotting traits that signal good genes and reproductive potential. Think symmetrical faces, clear skin, and other signs of health. It’s like our brains are wired to seek out the best possible genetic match.

Let’s be real – when we meet someone new, their appearance is often the first thing we notice. It’s like our brains are wired to pay attention to how someone looks. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with being attracted to someone who catches our eye. It’s just the first step in the journey of getting to know someone.

The Biology of Attraction

But it’s not all about looks. Hormones like testosterone and estrogen play a big role too. They not only affect how we look but also influence our behavior. Ever heard someone say they are attracted to confidence? That is often linked to hormone levels. Plus, chemicals in our brains, like dopamine and serotonin, go into overdrive when we are attracted to someone. They are the reason why we feel all giddy and excited around our crushes.

Mind Games

Psychological factors also come into play. Our past experiences, cultural influences, and individual preferences all shape who we find attractive. So, while some traits might be universally appealing, like a nice smile or kind eyes, what we are drawn to can vary a lot from person to person.

The Society Factor

And let’s not forget about society’s role! Ever noticed how the media promotes certain beauty standards? Whether it’s through movies, TV shows, or advertising, we’re bombarded with images of what is considered attractive. And these standards can differ from one culture to another, shaping our perceptions of beauty in profound ways.

Physical Attraction
©️ kardashians / Instagram

Beyond Looks

While physical attraction is what often grabs our attention first, it’s not the whole story. Long-term compatibility is about more than just appearances. Things like personality, values, and shared interests play a huge role in building lasting connections.

Attraction is what makes the world of relationships so fascinating and unpredictable. So, the next time you find yourself drawn to someone, remember, that there is a whole lot more going on beneath the surface.

Visible Signs of Physical Attraction

Signs of physical attraction can be pretty subtle, but here are some things to look out for:

1. Eye Contact

According to this study, If someone keeps looking into your eyes or sneaking glances your way, it is a good sign they are attracted to you. Their pupils might even dilate a bit when they are around you, showing their interest.

Physical Attraction
©️ Racool_studio / Freepik

2. Smiling and Laughing

When someone is attracted to you, they tend to smile a lot around you, and they might even laugh at your jokes, even the not-so-funny ones!

3. Getting Close

People naturally want to be near someone they’re attracted to. So if they are always finding reasons to stand or sit closer to you, that is a pretty clear sign.

4. Copying Your Moves

Ever notice how sometimes people mimic the way you’re sitting or standing? It’s not just a coincidence; it is a sign they are into you!

5. Body Language

Check out their body language. If their arms are uncrossed, and they are facing toward you, that is a good sign. And if they start fixing their hair or adjusting their clothes when you’re around, they might be trying to look their best for you.

6. Butterflies and Jitters

Feeling a bit nervous or excited around someone? That could be because you are attracted to them! It’s like your body’s way of saying, “Hey, I really like this person!”

7. Sweet Talk and Teasing

Pay attention to the compliments and playful teasing they throw your way. It’s their way of showing they’re interested in you and trying to get your attention.

8. Lots of Attention

If someone is always asking you questions, remembering little details about your life, and genuinely seems interested in what you have to say, chances are they are attracted to you.

Physical Attraction
©️ Freepik

However, everyone is different, so not everyone will show these signs in the same way. But if you notice a few of these things happening when you are around someone, there is a good chance they’re into you!

There is still much to know about the science behind attraction. It is a subject that continues to attract attention from professional and ordinary people. But we hope this was enough for you to have a general view of it.

So, what do you find attractive? Tell us in the comments.

You may also like: Study Reveals Truth About ‘Opposites Attract’

Albulena Murturi

An enthusiastic learner rediscovering the joy of writing.