I don’t think I speak for only myself when I state that attraction is a bewildering beast…
But allow me to give you a little more back story.
I was waiting for the tube this morning and as it pulled into the platform, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a figure standing next to me. My first thought was “is this person going to be one of those rude types that pushes onto the train before me, even though I’ve been waiting? Or allow me to get on first?”
Yes, this is a genuine concern I have often when waiting on the London Underground. After 3 years of living in London I probably shouldn’t allow this behaviour to bother me but coming from the middle of England where the norm is to queue and allow those that have been waiting longer than you to alight public transport first, it often irks me that in the capital the culture of ‘every man for himself’ is so readily accepted and approved. However in this instance the as yet unidentified person was the latter.
Once on the tube train I took myself over to the wall to lean and (we’ll call them) “the polite stranger” happened to go and stand directly across from me. At which point I became aware that “the polite stranger” was of the male variety.
Now, unfortunately (for me) I am one of those girls that has a ‘type’. Now to be clear, when I talk about my ‘type’ I am talking about those guys that I am instantly attracted to, the ones who catch my eye and that I’m unable to tear my gaze away from. And my ‘type’ is TALL, ATHLETIC and PRETTY. Essentially you’re quintessential “fuckboy” or player if you will. I also have a massive thing for dimples. There isn’t a particular ethnicity I prefer as such, but generally with people of the Caucasian persuasion I prefer them darker or what you might term Mediterranean looking…In other words I like ’em dark haired and tanned.
Now the reason I’m going into so much detail about what pleases me aesthetically is when I got a look at “the polite stranger” opposite, I can’t really explain it but there was something about him that kept drawing my eye. However based on my ‘type’ he could probably be described as the opposite. He was fair haired, quite pale of face, and while I wouldn’t deem him unattractive I couldn’t say that there was anything striking about his features either. Added to all this when filling out his dating profile I’m sure he himself would select ‘body type – average’. But for the 5 minutes or so that I was across from him on the tube I just could not stop myself from continually glancing at him.
Maybe the small kindness he bestowed me by allowing me to get on the train first warmed me a little but that can’t really explain the incredible magnet effect he had on my wandering eyes…can it?
Studies on Human attraction suggest that women are physically attracted to men who exude traditionally masculine traits as an indicator of virility. Which I guess explains my instant attraction for men with athletic physiques. Another article I read also claimed that men with masculine facial features were associated with negative behavioural traits such as arrogance and dishonesty. Thus women prefer men with slightly more feminine features such as large eyes and a big smile, which I can wholeheartedly agree is a bit of me. But doesn’t help me identify why I found someone so unlike my usual ‘type’ grabbing my attention.
So I did some more research. Well… I read a few more articles.
And there have been some studies that explain that pheromones have a large part to play in sexual attraction in animals (of course including us). Pheromones are chemicals which are secreted through human bodily fluids including sweat. And without getting too science-y there is a part of our olfactory system located in the nasal passage which can ‘smell’ these chemicals, which then stimulates the hypothalamus, the area in the brain that controls the production of emotions and the associated responses. The most important thing to note is that pheromones are detected subconsciously.
So maybe this man’s pheromones happened to be the type that I found attractive? But then that begs the question how closely do you have to be standing to someone to detect and ultimately respond to their pheromones. Through my “research” I couldn’t find a conclusive answer to how close one would have to be. So that theory doesn’t necessarily help either.
I also came across information that suggested that dependent on a woman’s monthly cycle this could have an effect on how sensitive she was to a mans natural body odour which also could have an effect on how attractive she found the man, essentially we find certain men more attractive when we are at our most fertile. And there have even been some findings to show that women who take the contraceptive pill differ from woman not on the pill. And who said we were slaves to our hormones?
I also read an article which stated that the person we find most attractive is the person who appears to be the most self confident and or happiest. People who possess an inner confidence can strike us as having more presence and therefore draw our eye. But I guess the problem is some people can exude that fake confidence that doesn’t necessarily denote self esteem or the lack of insecurity.
Ultimately dear friends my research didn’t exactly enlighten me as to why I found “the polite stranger” so mesmerising. And as I stated at the beginning of this post attraction and the underlying reasons for why we are attracted to who we are attracted to is confusing at best. There are so many factors that could be at play we may never be able to pinpoint why we’re attracted to certain people and not to others.
Have you ever been attracted to someone and then seen them again later and wondered why. Well if you’re female perhaps you were ovulating the first time? Or maybe you happened to just be close enough on that day to get a whiff of their pheromones? Or perhaps their self esteem had taken a recent battering.
I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to answer this question but I’m willing to take one for science and go on the hunt for some good looking men to try and figure it out!
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