The truth about how love and attraction really work

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dorkseid
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28 May 2021, 3:46 pm

Many people like to think that they choose their partners primarily based on characteristics like honesty, kindness, or things they share in common. They will often gush about how they love the way their partner smiles, or how good they are with children and animals. But this is hogwash, as the same people meet many others with those same characteristics but yet still feel no sexual attraction to them and relegate them to being "just friends".

This is how it actually works:

Whenever you meet a member of the opposite sex (or your own sex is that's what's applicable to you), you immediately determine whether you sexually attracted to them or not. Basically, you subconsciously divide everyone you meet into one of two categories: A) people you are physically attracted to, and B) people you are not physically attracted to.

What happens next is that you evaluate only the people in Category A for the secondary characteristics that are important to you in a partner. These may include honesty, work ethic, sense of humor, shared interest, etc. However, you've already decided that you have no romantic/sexual interest in any of the people in Category B from the start, so if any of them possess the same characteristics, you simply see them as "friend material". You will evaluate the people in Category A, and quickly lose interest in some because you have no common interests, and be completely turned off by others because you they're liars and cheaters. But you will always choose your partners from the people in Category A that you are comfortable with. However, for those Category B, no matter how much you may share in common, no matter how much they make you laugh, no matter how much you feel like you can open up and be yourself around them without fear of judgement or scorn; you will never consider them as anything more than "just friends".

Basically, you may choose an attractive person who's nice over an attractive person who isn't. But you will never choose an unattractive person who's nice.



kraftiekortie
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28 May 2021, 3:57 pm

I've seen some pretty unattractive people nuzzle up to attractive people on the train. Of both sexes. Unattractive man/attractive woman. Unattractive woman/attractive man.

I wish the people on your job would try to fix you up with someone.

In my life, I've been with both young women and old women. I've had the best times with the older women.



dorkseid
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28 May 2021, 4:12 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
I've seen some pretty unattractive people nuzzle up to attractive people on the train. Of both sexes. Unattractive man/attractive woman. Unattractive woman/attractive man.


Attractive/unattractive can mean different things to different people. Someone who seems unattractive to you might be attractive to someone else. Attraction isn't limited to superficial physical appearance, and even that is somewhat subjective.



kraftiekortie
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28 May 2021, 4:33 pm

Well then.....according to your logic, someone just might find you attractive.

I know it seemingly hasn't happened yet....but I wouldn't preclude it happening in the future, that's for sure.



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28 May 2021, 6:05 pm

I disagree with the OP, although I cannot speak for others.

I'm pretty sure, based on the partners I have chosen, that I am not picking partners out by their physical attributes. This is not to say I have picked out good partners in the past. Quite the contrary. But I didn't do it based on physical characteristics. :D

My current relationship, going on 15 years, was totally based on shared interests, what kind of "lifestyle" we wanted, and a commitment to spirituality.


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dorkseid
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28 May 2021, 7:09 pm

kraftiekortie wrote:
Well then.....according to your logic, someone just might find you attractive.

I know it seemingly hasn't happened yet....but I wouldn't preclude it happening in the future, that's for sure.


When that's happened in the past, it was always the ones I didn't want.



Gentleman Argentum
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28 May 2021, 7:32 pm

dorkseid wrote:
Many people like to think that they choose their partners primarily based on characteristics like honesty, kindness, or things they share in common. They will often gush about how they love the way their partner smiles, or how good they are with children and animals. But this is hogwash, as the same people meet many others with those same characteristics but yet still feel no sexual attraction to them and relegate them to being "just friends".

This is how it actually works:

Whenever you meet a member of the opposite sex (or your own sex is that's what's applicable to you), you immediately determine whether you sexually attracted to them or not. Basically, you subconsciously divide everyone you meet into one of two categories: A) people you are physically attracted to, and B) people you are not physically attracted to.

What happens next is that you evaluate only the people in Category A for the secondary characteristics that are important to you in a partner. These may include honesty, work ethic, sense of humor, shared interest, etc. However, you've already decided that you have no romantic/sexual interest in any of the people in Category B from the start, so if any of them possess the same characteristics, you simply see them as "friend material". You will evaluate the people in Category A, and quickly lose interest in some because you have no common interests, and be completely turned off by others because you they're liars and cheaters. But you will always choose your partners from the people in Category A that you are comfortable with. However, for those Category B, no matter how much you may share in common, no matter how much they make you laugh, no matter how much you feel like you can open up and be yourself around them without fear of judgement or scorn; you will never consider them as anything more than "just friends".

Basically, you may choose an attractive person who's nice over an attractive person who isn't. But you will never choose an unattractive person who's nice.


:afro: true dat

It's all the fault of these pesky genitals of ours! :evil:

If it weren't for sex, I swear I'd date every fat woman on the dating sites!

MAYBE... the secret to happiness is physical castration! :oops:

The only reason any guys are single, really and truly, is they are looking for a WILF...


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Mona Pereth
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29 May 2021, 4:25 am

dorkseid wrote:
This is how it actually works:

Whenever you meet a member of the opposite sex (or your own sex is that's what's applicable to you), you immediately determine whether you sexually attracted to them or not. Basically, you subconsciously divide everyone you meet into one of two categories: A) people you are physically attracted to, and B) people you are not physically attracted to.

What happens next is that you evaluate only the people in Category A for the secondary characteristics that are important to you in a partner. These may include honesty, work ethic, sense of humor, shared interest, etc. However, you've already decided that you have no romantic/sexual interest in any of the people in Category B from the start, so if any of them possess the same characteristics, you simply see them as "friend material". You will evaluate the people in Category A, and quickly lose interest in some because you have no common interests, and be completely turned off by others because you they're liars and cheaters. But you will always choose your partners from the people in Category A that you are comfortable with. However, for those Category B, no matter how much you may share in common, no matter how much they make you laugh, no matter how much you feel like you can open up and be yourself around them without fear of judgement or scorn; you will never consider them as anything more than "just friends".

That's how it works if you meet people in bars or via dating apps, and/or if you otherwise are meeting people for the specific purpose of choosing a sexual or romantic partner and making quick decisions about the people you meet.

But that's not how things worked between my boyfriend and me. Had today's dating apps existed back when we first met, in 2008, and had we both been using them at that time, neither of us would likely have chosen the other. Although we now have a solid relationship, neither of us was quite what the other one would have fancied back in 2008.

We were first introduced for a purely business-related purpose. We then gradually, slowly, over a period of a few years, became friends. We then had to help each other through some crises, which drew us a lot closer. Only then did an erotic relationship start to develop. It then took another few years for the relationship to become solid.

EDIT: More generally: Erotic attraction isn't necessarily an unchanging thing, determined solely upon first meeting. There have been people who seemed more attractive to me as I got to know them better, and other people who seemed less attractive to me as I got to know them better.


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Last edited by Mona Pereth on 29 May 2021, 6:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

Mona Pereth
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29 May 2021, 4:53 am

Gentleman Argentum wrote:
It's all the fault of these pesky genitals of ours! :evil:

If it weren't for sex, I swear I'd date every fat woman on the dating sites!

MAYBE... the secret to happiness is physical castration! :oops:

Or maybe just stop watching the mass media? Perhaps more women (though not all women) would appear beautiful to you if you didn't have movie stars to compare them to?


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Gentleman Argentum
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30 May 2021, 3:46 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Gentleman Argentum wrote:
It's all the fault of these pesky genitals of ours! :evil:

If it weren't for sex, I swear I'd date every fat woman on the dating sites!

MAYBE... the secret to happiness is physical castration! :oops:

Or maybe just stop watching the mass media? Perhaps more women (though not all women) would appear beautiful to you if you didn't have movie stars to compare them to?


Mass media reflects what is already present in the audience, it does not innovate. I think men are hardwired to find fit women attractive, and vice versa. Physical fitness is a turn-on. I am not talking about muscles or anything, just being normal size is all. Like take Japan or China for instance, the people there. in the West, people think it is OK to look like bowling balls instead of the pins. Everyone drinks alcohol and eats sugar-coated food every meal.


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dorkseid
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30 May 2021, 4:17 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
That's how it works if you meet people in bars or via dating apps, and/or if you otherwise are meeting people for the specific purpose of choosing a sexual or romantic partner and making quick decisions about the people you meet.


Over the years, I have met countless women through school, work, social groups, or mutual friends. Many of them have found me funny and charming and have gone out of their way to get to know and spend time with me. And every last one of them made it abundantly clear that they are only interested in me as a friend.



badRobot
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30 May 2021, 5:37 am

dorkseid wrote:
Many people like to think that they choose their partners primarily based on characteristics like honesty, kindness, or things they share in common. They will often gush about how they love the way their partner smiles, or how good they are with children and animals. But this is hogwash, as the same people meet many others with those same characteristics but yet still feel no sexual attraction to them and relegate them to being "just friends".

This is how it actually works:
...


Yes, I believe this is like 90% of how it works. I used to believe I'm an extremely picky person, that I have a very specific type of women I'm attracted to, I was looking for some character traits, common interests, mostly intellectually.

Now I believe I'm a late bloomer and my puberty hit me when I was already chronically depressed and it clouded my capability to feel real attraction, might have lowered my testosterone or something.

After I started paying more attention to my physical health and got rid of depression I suddenly realized I feel attraction to a lot of women I'm not supposed to like, my body doesn't care about a lot of things I used to believe intellectually. And the other way around, I don't feel a lot of attraction to some "Big Tiddy Goth Geek Girl" who meet all the formal criteria when I meet them in person.

With some women there is some low level interaction happening I've never had before, a few glances is enough to understand there is mutual attraction and whatever I say is not that important at this point, just any move as acknowledgement of this attraction is enough.

On intellectual level I still feel like I'm a panda living among grisly bears, even when there is underlying attraction, long term relationship with majority of women would be challenging, require too much effort to workout.



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30 May 2021, 6:28 am

Hmm... "Love and attraction" are pretty subjective. I'm apparently what some call "demi-sexual" and I feel no sexual attraction to someone I don't already have fairly deep feelings for. I'm not "lying to myself" about this. It's different for everyone. Don't get too attached to just one way of looking at things. It may be the way you function, but not necessarily the rest of us.
Not trying to be argumentative, just wanted to say that there are other ways of being, that's all. When I meet someone, I may think they are aesthetically pleasing (and yes, those are the terms in my head) or not, but that has nothing to do with anything for me. The people I have developed romantic/sexual feelings for have always been people who were in my life for a bit already. I have never felt sexual attraction for anyone other than a partner, at least since my mid-teens or so. Demi's are on the "asexual spectrum" and I pretty much never think about sex unless it's pretty clear that it's happening soon. I realize from your posts that's not your experience, I just wanted to let you know that there's a lot more ways it can be.



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30 May 2021, 6:34 am

Have these friends told you why you wouldn’t be romantically suitable?

If they are such good friends, and know you well, they should seek to help you in this sort of thing. Give you advice. Things like that. I can’t give you suitable advice because I don’t really know you.

You might not like what I say sometimes....but I don’t believe total resignation, thoughts of suicide, and all the rest are the way to go for a person who has accomplished what you’ve accomplished. Nor for any person, really, unless they are in pain and terminally ill.

I guess I would be upset, too, if I wasn’t successful romantically. I haven’t been a total success...yet I am still here. I’m married, but not really happy with it. Being in a relationship is no panacea....trust me!

No sir. I don’t believe there is anything seriously wrong with you. I believe luck hasn’t been on your side romantically.



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30 May 2021, 8:43 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Have these friends told you why you wouldn’t be romantically suitable?


The thing is, they don't know either. Rational explanations people come up with, like "you are too nice" don't make any sense.

We share up to 99.8% of our DNA with other mammals like chimps who we wouldn't even expect to be happy and reproduce in the same conditions modern humans created for themselves. It doesn't make any sense that less than 1% of our DNA responsible for our higher nervous activity could play such a huge role in attraction and procreation as we believe.

We really need to acknowledge our primal evolutionary roots, spend more time doing something at least resembling conditions of millions of years of evolution: sunlight, open spaces, beautiful nature, fresh air, a lot of time spent moving around, looking for food and water, hunting, sometimes fighting off predators.

Living in urban environment and doing passive stuff like watching movies or reading books just doesn't push any genetic buttons for these genes responsible for attraction and stuff to express properly.



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30 May 2021, 10:58 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
Have these friends told you why you wouldn’t be romantically suitable?

If they are such good friends, and know you well, they should seek to help you in this sort of thing. Give you advice. Things like that. I can’t give you suitable advice because I don’t really know you.


No. As far as can tell, they don't have a clue. They often say things like "I'm sure there's someone out there for you", but everyone I meet says the same things. Where the h*ll is this someone?! !

A few years ago, a co-worker set me up on a date with a friend of hers. When we met we actually had a lot in common and really enjoyed hanging out and talking with each other. But despite that, neither of us felt any sexual chemistry or attraction. My co-worker was puzzled, as she had thought we'd make a perfect match.

kraftiekortie wrote:
You might not like what I say sometimes....but I don’t believe total resignation, thoughts of suicide, and all the rest are the way to go for a person who has accomplished what you’ve accomplished. Nor for any person, really, unless they are in pain and terminally ill.


I'm in more pain than you can imagine.

kraftiekortie wrote:
I guess I would be upset, too, if I wasn’t successful romantically. I haven’t been a total success...yet I am still here. I’m married, but not really happy with it. Being in a relationship is no panacea....trust me!


If you're not happy, then why haven't you gotten a divorce?

Let me ask you this: when you were single, did you still has casual encounters? Could you have them now if you were divorced? Women aren't any more interested in casual sex with me than they are in relationships.

kraftiekortie wrote:
No sir. I don’t believe there is anything seriously wrong with you. I believe luck hasn’t been on your side romantically.


Luck (good or bad) can only go so far. Nobody has wanted to be my girlfriend or have sex with me in over 10 years. Even the worst luck would've run out at some point, and just by sheer numbers there should have been some women who were attracted to me. It is not possible for anything to persist this consistently for this many years by mere chance.