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The 12 Rules of Attraction as Explained by Science

rules of attraction

Every game has rules, and in the game of love, rules are dictated by evolution, psychology, and biology. So let us decode attraction with these 12 rules.

Little did we know it really is all about calculation going beyond how we act and what we say to someone else. It is more about how we are biologically wired through our genes and our brains. Aside from this, much of how we find the opposite sex attractive also has something to do with every shape, angle, and curves of our faces and bodies. Therefore, the “right” person for you is governed by a complex formula dictated ultimately by the rules of attraction.

12 rules of attraction

Below we give you a short list of science-backed rules of attraction and how you can find a mate, if not for life, at least for the long haul.

#1 Hot or boring? According to our brains, being “hot” alone just won’t cut it. According to developmental molecular biologist, John Medina, the brain has a very short attention span.

As such, the brain is more drawn to people and things that are interesting, intriguing, and engaging. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you look attractive; if all you can manage off a conversation is a dull script of “How’s the weather?” then you’re out on the dating scene. [Read: 8 simple ways to stop being boring and annoying around others]

#2 30 seconds, go. Despite the quote “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” the reality is, people judge you by how you look the moment you step into a room. In fact, attraction can happen instantaneously, within just a matter of seconds—30 seconds, to be exact—as research would tell you about what they scientifically call as ‘thin-slicing.’

According to this study, our brains make incredibly and, surprisingly accurate, long-lasting snap-judgments of the person we meet within just a few seconds of seeing them.

#3 Red flag. Now, if you want to catch the attention of other people, or of someone you’re dating, red is the color to wear. From red lips to red shoes, research has shown both men and women who wear red are found to be more desirable. The color is widely associated with passion, lust, romance, and fertility.

#4 Symmetry. A University of New Mexico study by evolutionary biologists have found out both men and women find attractive those members of the opposite sex who have more symmetrical faces and bodies.

This is because our brains associate good symmetry with good genes. Undesirable genetic mutations skew symmetry, and these are not good choices for mating. The study also revealed that males with more symmetry enjoy more sexual partners than those with lower or less symmetry.

#5 Body shape. While there are many skinny women on television and in the magazines, research by psychologist Devendra Singh of the University of Texas has shown men still find curves desirable. Singh studied people’s waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), and this revealed men still find the hourglass figure much more desirable.

Those with a waist that is significantly narrower than the hips, particularly those with a 0.67 to 1.18 WHR, are much more attractive to men. As for women, they find desirable those guys who have 0.8 to 1.0 WHR, while men with broad shoulders are still a major turn-on. [Read: 18 physical turn ons that arouse a guy instantly]

#6 Body language. Many studies have proven time and again how an open body language is attractive to both men and women. This shows availability, which is a must in attracting people and encouraging the starting of new relationships.

Exposing your torso shows availability, while showing or even stroking your neck makes you more sexually attractive. Avoid crossing your arms on your torso, and make sure your hands are visible, as this also makes you more approachable.

#7 Face structure. Face structure is actually caused by what happens inside the body, as multiple studies through the years have shown. Estrogen contributes to bone growth in a woman’s face, particularly in her lower face, chin, and brow.

Meanwhile, testosterone shapes a man’s face, developing the lower face, jaw, and the prominent brow. Our brains automatically see such face structures as attractive, as they also show good reproductive health.

#8 Sniff and smell. A study has shown women smell and look more attractive to men at certain times of the month, as this has something to do with her hormonal cycles. Meanwhile, men with more symmetrical features are found to smell better. Additionally, women who are menstruating are also found to have a keener sense of smell, as they were more attracted to symmetrical men’s smells.

In a separate study, women and men who have particular similarities to their own genes find each other’s smells much more attractive. What’s more, many of these people can’t even detect a smell on the opposite sex’s clothes yet are still attracted, proof that the attraction goes beyond the senses to a subconscious level.

#9 Pitch perfect. Apparently, the way you sound plays a role in the rules of attraction too. Men find women with a high-pitched, trill voice more attractive. Meanwhile, men with deep voices are more desirable to women. This has something to do with hormones and both sexes’ reproductive developments, as the changes in pitch are affected by development.

Furthermore, small voices are associated with small women, which men also find more attractive; and big, deep voices in men are associated with their large size, which women also prefer.

#10 Single hottest trait. While structure, smell, and symmetry can play big roles in attraction, there’s one underrated trait that actually plays a huge part in all this: Availability. This is a true rule of attraction not only between dating people and friends, but also in other aspects of relationships such as business and socialization.

When it comes to availability, it’s not enough that you show up. You have to show you are able to connect. This is why smiling, pleasantness, and humor are big deal-makers. All these show you are physically, emotionally, and intellectually available. [Read: How to keep a conversation going with the opposite sex and appear available]

#11 True love explained. While romantic love is one of the most compelling and most powerful of all human experiences, science is still having a hard time explaining it. Still, there are studies that relentlessly trying to decode true love. In one study, the brain scans of people who say they are in love show more brain activity in areas related to love more than sex, proving true love is really more than just physical attraction.

In a separate study, it was found people looking for long-term partners found the following traits more desirable: physical attractiveness, social status, health, ambition, and faithfulness. The most desirable traits were physical appearance, family commitment, fidelity, and wealth, attributes which all relate to subconscious biological survival.

#12 A key to lasting relationships. A long-standing rule of attraction is like begets like. In fact, psychologist J. Philippe Rushton of the University of Western Ontario has told LiveScience some genes work well when combined with other genes, so these tend to cause an attraction between certain people.

This is why married couples eerily look alike. Furthermore, according to Rushton, genetics play 34% in friendship and mate selection. Therefore, if you are genetically similar to your partner, chances are you’re more likely to have a happy marriage, as altruism and willingness to sacrifice is higher when your partner is more like you genetically.

Despite many changes in civilizations, customs, traditions, and technologies over the centuries, only one thing stays the same: the rules of attraction. Indeed, we as humans are built to court, woo, attract, be attracted, fall in love, reproduce, and commit to another.

Behind this, beyond the looks and status, lies a more complex set of laws dictated by our evolution, our subconscious, and our genes. The right mix of all these factors determine how attractive we are to others and how we find others attractive.

[Read: 13 lusty signs of sexual attraction to keep an eye on]

These 12 rules of attraction show finding the right partner or mate isn’t just a matter of chemistry, or how good you are in bed together. There’s more to attraction than meets the eyes. In fact, the traits that develop and make you more compatible to another person develops even before you were born!

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Tiffany Reyes
Tiffany Grace Reyes
Tiffany is a wordsmith who has played with words ever since her letter-to-the-editor was published nationally at the age of 9. Since then her writing has gone f...
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3 thoughts on “The 12 Rules of Attraction as Explained by Science”

  1. dont care says:

    Being in love is feeling a friendship set on fire. It’s a feeling that fills you with a warmth and vigor like nothing else. It makes you feel a happiness and lust for everything like you never have before. That person is now a shining beacon of everything that’s wonderful. The effect that they have on you is warm comfort in which you feel that you can weather any storm. It shows you a side of yourself that can do anything, be anything, and have anything. It’s an energy that fills you with a red hot ball of life as you’ve never known it. Love is a sunshine that never darkens, even in your lowest moments. It’s that warmth of life that burns hot through any cold. It makes everything taste better, every song sound sweeter, and every moment filled with the hope of a new day. It picks you up before you can drop low. It’s the muse of life that makes you able to do things that you never thought possible. It’s a feeling of belonging and a lovely place to be at the end of any day. It’s a fire from within that makes you able to be what you never knew was possible. But that’s what makes it so dangerous. Love is the single most destructive force that you’ll ever invite. In order to feel this way we have to allow it to becomes a part of us. We have to remove our armor. We have to tear down the walls that we spend years strengthening. We have to give that person the ability to meet us at our very center of being. We need to do this because being in love involves having a piece of them enter your very core so that they become part of you. But, being in love or loved doesn’t makes someone good for you. When something goes wrong that pain now resides deep withing your very essence. Every other pain can be deflected by your armor but staved off by your walls. But not the pain of love. It’s a hurt that originates from the deepest, most vulnerable center of your being. Because that’s where it now lives. So when they hurt you it’s destroys you from within. It harms the regions in your heart that have never felt pain before. It burns with a confusing pain of emotion in a combination that you never knew existed. And when that person finally leaves they take with them a piece of your very happiness. Because that’s what they became to you. A part of what makes you, you. They rip it from your chest and leave you bloody and wounded. Love means giving someone the power to hurt you and hoping that they never do. Love fills you with an intensity for life that you never knew was possible. And when it’s gone it’s burns with the exact same fire. And when it’s all over, we never open up that much again. We never trust as easily again. The burn creates a wound that deadens our senses. We callous over. With every new time we feel the pain of love we lose more of the ability to feel it. That’s what love is. It’s the single strongest force in our lives – for better or for worse.

  2. Nathan S. says:

    Wow, I was sure that there has to be a bit of science in love, but this article is spell-binding. Reading about all these facts, I kind of think back at all the girls I have dated and I realize that there’s a pattern. Women with curves. Although, the media and the television put skinny models in the spotlight, I believe that bootylicious women have a certain unique beauty in them just like the study suggests. No matter what they say, men are still attracted to these kinds of women, because let’s face it, no one wants a stick in their bed.

  3. tran says:

    Sadly, there is no universal guide, at least not for women. Every time I look in these posts, all I see is “she laughs at your jokes, she is very active in conversation, she touches her hair etc. etc”. Out of my 4 girlfriends I had, 2 of them were introverted and even though they were attracted to me, they showed no signs what so ever, because it simply was not in their nature. When I started talking to my current fianc

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