November 25, 2012

Attraction or Lust? It’s Not All Madly Instinctual.

Photo S. Wright Osment

The Sudden Attraction Factor?

A woman meets a guy and doesn’t think much of him. A few weeks later he walks by while she’s having coffee with her friends.

“Isn’t that guy the Internet millionaire I saw on the news?”

Next thing you know they’re dating…

Have you ever seen how people react when they hear someone they have already met is famous, or rich or ultra-successful? Sudden attraction factor switches on. Zoink. Just like that (zero to hero). Clearly, attraction is at least partly in the mind.

Why are we indelibly attracted to some people and totally repelled by others?

What’s up with attraction?

Is there any choice involved, or what? Are we just helpless to stop our feelings? Or worse—genetically preprogrammed?

We can like a person and yet, not feel that deeper quest for connection that wells up from the deepest recesses of our being. Attraction is just not logical.

Why do some attract someone who reflects their unhealed shadow self, while others attract their soulmate…a cold-hearted, clinical partner versus a warmhearted, compassionate one?

Sometimes we attract our opposite just like the adage, “opposites attract.” Yet, this is seldom the case for lifelong romances. There is a delicious appeal in doing something naughty, dirty, raunchy with someone previously untouchable. There’s a coming of age redemption in going places we may have only fantasized about. Yet, after the buzz is over, we go back to what is familiar. Some fantasies remain just fantasies, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Some of us are gifted with a multitude of choices for romantic partners especially at certain times in our lives. For instance, some find that they met the most potential partners at college. Some people report hitting the ground running when they reach a successful place in their careers, or when they were at the peak of physical conditioning. Others seemed to peak when online dating took the world by storm. Or when they’ve divorced…

Youth is a factor. Certainly looking good makes you more attractive to potential romantic partners. Also hormones are raging in the young. However, sometimes it’s more about how you’re feeling about yourself and the timing of it.

What is the solution? To enter into relationships with awareness and detached objectivity, or to fly in with our hearts and forget our minds?

Where does bravery fit in?

“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.” ~ Caroline Myss

Have you ever taken a brave choice on love? How did it end up?

What are the facts about our attractions, our loves, our relationships?

Is it purely biochemical?

We know from our own experience and a variety of anthropological studies that men of all cultures place the highest value on physical attraction as defined by symmetrical features. Women are also most attracted to “symmetrical men” and are more likely to sleep with these types. This is accentuated when women are menstruating. When people get drunk, they don’t notice the asymmetry of a face, and hence become more likely to make “mistakes.”

According to facts.randomhistory.com, the oral contraceptive pill affects hormone levels, which affects which men a woman is attracted to—attracting her more to masculine features, which are linked to aggressive, testosterone-driven behavior. Ovulating women are subconsciously drawn to who would make the strongest kids, while maybe menstruating women figure a softer man will be more supportive.

Men are aroused by women’s bone structure that have a likeness to their mothers. According to Cosmopolitan, for example, “Guys are more likely to pair up with women whose bone structure is similar to their own mothers. It’s called ‘sexual imprinting,’ and suggests that the faces we find appealing as adults are determined in childhood.”

Some sources say that women are more likely to date men who smell like their fathers. Sexual imprinting is gene-based, as potential partners will find someone with similar genes as them more attractive.

Men find red attractive on women—perhaps because red may be a sign of fertility and arousal. They also feel tender and protective about women who wear soft fabrics like silk and fur.

According to the Smell and Taste Research Foundation in Chicago, a blend of lavender and pumpkin scent is a turn on for a guy. Whereas women are attracted to scents of cucumbers or black licorice.

Perhaps the greatest aphrodisiac in women is seeing other women find a man attractive. That and the ideal hunting physique—strong shoulders, broad chests and narrow waists.

Love is a great mystery that has been inspiring artists and poets for thousands of years, and will probably continue to do so forever.

On some level it is innately human to crave to be met in relationship, to feel connection to others, to be held by another. Always seeking communion with the Divine. Always seeking to feel received, to feel warmth, love, passion. Is it an unquenchable desire to be completed by another?

“When you reach the end of what you should know, you will be at the beginning of what you should sense.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

Attraction is something we sense—something we feel—it is not always logical. When we “let go” and surrender to the feelings, allowing them to wash over us, and indulge in their pure intensity, we open ourselves to experiencing life to its fullest.

Where will attraction and love take you? Where will you take it? For who drives the bus (… but you)?


Photo: Bryan Brenneman


Like elephant Love on Facebook.

Read 3 Comments and Reply

Read 3 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

David Starlyte  |  Contribution: 16,600