Is Physical Attraction Everything?

holding handspsychology of attraction review

Do you remember it?  That moment when you laid eyes on your person?  The first encounter – when you were intrigued, attracted, drawn in.  It may be hard to remember what first drew you to them – or perhaps you remember it like it was yesterday.  Was it their eyes, their laugh, their smile, that smokin’ hot body?  The way you felt in their presence?  You may be able to think back and remember the exact outfit you wore and place you met. Christy Cooper recently asked, “can you grow to love someone or is physical attraction everything?”

Men are physical beings, so of course physical attraction is a key factor to choosing a mate. Both genders are initially drawn to each other by physical appearance, but is it everything? From what I have seen – NO.  Love transcends the physical body, if not how could we explain partners who remain in the marriage after horrific tragedies that physically scar a spouse? Or chronic illnesses that dramatically change the appearance or capacity of an individual?  When we age, and our physical appearance has changed; love, communication, and friendship are the glue that binds the relationship together.

Dating websites such as eHarmony and Match.com help you get to know a potential love interest before you meet them. Many of us know the online photo is not always a true representation of the person we meet, but sometimes, even if the person isn’t “our type” we may still be attracted to who they are and their personality.  We may have so much in common that the physical appearance is secondary.

A ton of research has been conducted on the laws of attraction.  Mike Beede, a yahoo contributor cited some interesting scientific research that breaks down factors in attraction.

“Included in these factors are: physical proximity (Berscheid & Reis, 1998), similarity of personality and opinions (Byrne & Nelson, 1965), similarity of interpersonal style (Burleson & Samter, 1996), and similarity of experience (Byrne & Clore, 1970). In addition, it seems that warmth (Folkes & Seares, 1977) and competence (Leary, et al, 1986) are highly attractive qualities across time and geography. Finally, as a species, it seems that we tend to be attracted to those that find (and express) attraction in us. (Gold, Ryckman, and Mosley, 1984).”

So, basically, you are more likely to be attracted to someone who lives or works near you, shares the same core values, responds to events/situations in much the same manner that you would.  Also, you are more likely to feel a pull towards people who are confident, good at what they do and who are warm and friendly.

I also found a great powerpoint, if you are interested in additional research from PSYCHFUTURES.

One distinct lesson I have learned over the years is to surround yourself with people who make you better.  When you are in an environment where you feel that you can be who are, your genuine self, you are more apt to take on new challenges, stretch yourself and grow.  You and the person you love deserves the best possible you available. Take care of your inner you and your physical body.  Develop deep meaningful relationships,  exercise, and eat nutritionally; enjoy your leisure time, partake in hobbies that feed your soul. That will keep you healthy – mentally, spiritually and physically.  You will look good, and more importantly feel good.  When you are in your most natural state, your most genuine self – people are naturally drawn to you.  When that happens you aren’t so worried about the physical part.

I welcome comments, and different points of view!  Please comment.

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