Valentine’s Day is underway. The candy hearts and Instagrams of your exes are just a friendly reminder that you will be avoiding the crowds and accepting a bottle of wine as your date on February 14th.
But how did you get here? Why is Becky with Brian? Why are you not Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively?
At times like these it is easy to reflect on where you went wrong, but don’t worry. It’s not you, it’s science. The attraction theory breaks down the six components that contribute to making a personal connection.
As much as you might say that looks aren’t important, they are. It’s human nature to appreciate attractiveness and it stems from the idea that healthy people produce healthy babies. It’s not about looking like a movie star, but according to theory a person who maintains a strong and well-kept body is more likely to be attractive. So eat some kale and trim the beard and you’ll be turning heads.
Most likely you will fall in love with the guy you sit next to in class or the girl that you take spin class with five times a week. An increase in encounters makes it more likely to make a first connection. The idea of “love at first sight” is more like love after eight sightings. So keep “accidentally” bumping into your crush – it’s working!
We like people who like the same crap that we do. It’s why you and your best friend bonded over someone you both hated. It’s also the reason that there are thousands of clubs and organizations that people find friends and unity in. No, you don’t have to have everything in common. The importance of similarity is being able to make a single, lasting connection. A first impression can be made in seconds, so choose your common ground wisely.
Every human is different. You can find people who have similar interests but it’s also important to find someone who complements you. This is the idea behind “opposites attract.” Back in caveman times, humans used differences to be able to tell if someone was their relative. Luckily, we don’t have to rely on instincts to make sure someone is not our cousin, but the idea of complementary personalities is still important. Someone who is shy is more likely to pair with someone who is outgoing. The differences can be even smaller like different taste in movies or music.
People need to enjoy the time that they spend with you. If you would describe yourself as petty, annoying, dramatic (or all of the above) you might need to reconsider your interactions with your crush. Each of these traits can be a lovable part of someone’s personality but be wary of how they change the mood of your interactions. People are more likely to be drawn to you if they feel positive and cared for after a conversation.
We like people who like us. Someone has to make the first move. It’s flattering to know someone likes and appreciates you whether it be on a romantic level or not. Those who feel good about themselves when they are around someone report higher levels of attraction.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at your relationships, both romantic and platonic, and think about what made the two of you stick. Whether it’s a common passion for video games or working in a group project with them for the entire semester, you’re bound to find some of these six key factors.
Call it what you want, but your true love story wasn’t written in the stars—it was crafted by science.