It’s Love At First Sight

Your personality comes second… Seriously

[… … … Wow! She doesn’t look too bad – absolutely amazing as a matter of fact. She pulls off that backless crimson-red dress effortlessly – the length is just right. I love how it carefully accentuates her hour-glass figure whilst showcasing the elegant contours of her porcelain skin back. Her legs epitomise the beauty of the female form with its length and tone as they extend into a pair of classic jet black 3.5 inch patent leather pumps – a cut-out detail at the peep toe reveals matching red nail polish. A gentle lift of her heel exhibits the signature red leather sole that provides a sharp contrast to the black patent leather but gives further prominence to her red dress. This girl dresses very well I must say – Check. I believe she’s Chinese. Her bob hairstyle with its subtle layering of her jet black hair gives her a very sophisticated look that brings attention to the sharpness of her symmetrical face. Her porcelain white skin is contrasted against the redness of her full-body lips. Her almond-shaped eyes, highlighted ever so slightly with mascara and long-curled lashes, provide a window of mystery to her inner sanctum. This girl looks gorgeous – Check … … …]

Ok – back to…

…reality! The above paragraph is what 1/10th of second looks like when we’re sizing up a potential sexual interest.

According to Dr. Helen Fischer, anthropologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, initial romantic interest is driven by 4 distinctive brain systems for mating and reproduction. These brain systems are sex drive, romantic love, attachment and emotional comfort. At the centre of all these systems is that the person you’re sexually attracted to fits within your love map i.e. a sub-conscious list of what you’re actually looking for in a person. However, you’re probably not going to give that lucky girl (or that lucky guy) a chance to fit into your love map if he (or she) doesn’t look the part – that’s a fact.

As you can see from the opening paragraph, looks plays a huge part in sexual attraction! Personality, common values, shared beliefs, ambitions etc. are very important factors in sustaining a relationship but if you can’t get pass the first breaking point of appealing to the opposite sex from a physical point of view then it is unlikely that a relationship will eventuate. Now if we want to further delve into this, if the person gets a green light and hence passes the first breaking point i.e. looks, we then pay attention to how that person speaks from the tone of their voice. If the tone and pitch of their voice is pleasing to our ears, another breaking point is cleared and it is only then that we delve into that person’s values, beliefs, views on life, likes, dislikes etc. As you can see, looking good is absolutely paramount in sexual attraction and as a starter, if it involves throwing away that Star Wars jacket from the 80s then it means throwing away that Star Wars jacket from the 80s!

Specifically when it comes to looking good, research has shown that men are more sexually attracted to female forms with the classical hour-glass body figure (think of a Coca-Cola bottle and you know what I mean). This is backed by evolution psychology which suggests that an hour-glass body figure reflects a woman in strong reproductive health i.e. she has high levels of oestrogen in her body. Now this really goes back to the fundamental evolution principle of creating the best off-spring possible with your mate. Women on the other hand are more sexually attracted to tall men with broad shoulders. When I mean tall, the man can be considered short amongst his peers but as long as he is taller than the woman then that is absolutely fine. Now having the height advantage and having broad shoulders is something that you really can’t control and this goes the same with your face (let’s exclude plastic surgery for the time being).

One of the greatest attributes of a sexually attractive face is that it is symmetrical. A symmetrical face with a radiant skin tone suggests that a woman is in strong reproductive health – such a woman is sure to attract the attention of the opposite sex. Now when a woman sizes up a man’s face, that face can tell her a lot in terms of the man’s personality. A face with a strong bone structure and facial hair suggests a man with high levels of testosterone. Come to think of it, Two-Face from the Batman series probably had a very time at attracting the opposite sex. Then again, who’s to say that his money derived from criminal activities can’t do the trick – we’ll save this for another day though.

From what is stated above, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that this is a somewhat shallow world we are living in but that’s just how we are programmed as human beings. At the end of the day, the down-to-earth girl who is sitting by herself at the bar or the intelligent guy who is standing on the train platform reading the newspaper are not going to be approached by the opposite sex if they are not able to stimulate the other person from a physical point of view.

Now if sexual attraction is initially based on looks, how do we overcome this hurdle if we’re not too pleasing to the eye?

You can’t change what nature has intended for you unless you want to attach some metal rods and screws to your legs to make them longer but what you can do is pay attention to how you dress and present yourself. For example, if you’re a guy with short and stubby legs, it is painfully obvious that you should not be wearing anything that begins with “skinny”. At the same time, if you then decide to wear white socks with black shoes, women will pinpoint this like a plane appearing on radar. For you women who love the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary, I’m sure you remember the scene where Bridget first meets Mark Darcy – just one glance at Mark Darcy’s reindeer jumper and it was over! There are a lot things that you can’t change from a physical point of view but for the things that you can, an extra 15 minutes at looking at how you present yourself can go a long way in creating that sexual attraction needed to succeed in the dating arena.

Although finding a partner who fits your love map is your ultimate goal, let’s not discount the fact that it is your physical attributes that plays the initial role in stimulating sexual attraction. It is somewhat shallow but that’s how our minds work when it comes to the fundamental activity of mating and reproduction. At the end of the day though, regardless if you’re too fat, too skinny, too handsome, too cute or even too anal, there will always be that someone who thinks you’re absolutely divine because beauty is really in the eye of the beholder.

But you know what? “Looks fade but dumb is forever” as Patti Stanger, the famous American matchmaker, so famously stated.

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13 thoughts on “It’s Love At First Sight

  1. this is such an interesting read. I really want to dig and find research on how people of different RACE may have similar lovemaps based on cultural norms. I know for a FACT that I am more attractive to men of two specific races and less so to my own…hmmm…

    The ‘pleasing voice’ finding is interesting, too. One of those subtle things that I bet few people realize is a factor!

  2. ..I just saw a news clip about how a woman’s face actually changes during ovulation and makes her more attractive.
    Yes, we are differntly driven by primal instincts of survival. the broad shoulder thing might have to do with the ability of a hunter to carry his hunt home and thus would be a better provider…I’m guessing at this one…

    😉

    ivonne

  3. Pingback: It’s Love At First Sight (via GentlemanPlayer) « [i]aleks

  4. Very true. I think looks are what draws you to a person initially but their values, morals, etc. are what keeps a relationship going.

    In addition to paying attention to dress and presentation, a person should also take note of body language. Of course no one would approach the girl sitting alone at the bar if she’s all the way at the end closing herself off to the everyone. A guy reading the paper is obviously more interested in the paper than meeting someone if he’s totally into it. So in addition to looks I think body language and eye contact can help too.

  5. @ datingdarling: Thanks – figured I would get some sceptics on this but it seems to be a consensus amongst my peers and from the blogging world so there you go.

    Let me know when you find some research on how people of different race may have similar love maps based on cultural norms – that would be very interesting.

    @ Dedia: Thanks for the comment.

    @Ivonne: Check out this site http://www.livescience.com/culture/stress-free-male-faces-cortisol-attractive-100914.html

    I’m sure you women like a hunky man-nugget regardless 😉

    @ misstaing: Definitely although men aren’t considered to be great readers of body language. Must be the fact that we’re primarily not good at multi-tasking – I’m against this though 🙂

  6. Very articulate. Kinda reminds me of that Chris Rock bit where he says that you know whether you would have sex with someone within 5 minutes of meeting that person. Doesn’t matter how nice the guy/girl is – if you can’t see yourself having sex with them, don’t waste your time on a romantic level.

  7. It’s so true, love beards and love tall men. I knew it was instinctual, or natural and in my case a very much undeniable force… thanks for the supporting evidence 🙂

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