Why We Find Certain People More Attractive Than Others, According to Science

PG would not normally post an item that indicates by its title that it relies on “Science” but will make an exception in this case.

From Medium:

If I were to ask you what you find attractive, what would you say? Would you date someone shorter/much taller than you? Do you think you could fall in love with someone who is not your type?

I decided to look for meaningful connections with people instead of falling for looks, and it’s the best decision I ever made. The first message I received from my boyfriend on the online dating app was not the best introduction of all times. However, we did have a great conversation, and I liked his profile pictures. When we first met, I felt happy instantly. We had arranged to meet at a park on a beautiful sunny Sunday. He stood there with his bicycle and grinned at me. I liked his charisma, which radiated pure optimism and joy, which blew me away. After the first awkward seconds of saying hello, we had such a ball, laughing, giggling, and talking for five hours straight. In short: We hit it off right away.

Today, I love our conversations and his opinion on the many things I write about. Truth be told, he influences much of what I write and is an avid critic of my work. Also, I think he is the most handsome guy on this planet — seriously, he is awesome in any way imaginable. Just recently, I asked him what he thought when he saw me for the first time. His answer: I think I thought you were hot and easy to talk to.

Easy communication influences attractiveness

Although we had sent each other several messages beforehand, I couldn’t tell for sure from the photos whether I found him truly attractive. How could I? I didn’t know how old or new the photos were, whether he still had his hair like that, or whether he had gained or lost weight in the meantime. And, more importantly, I wanted to get to know the person behind the profile.

A study found that after a good in-person meeting, people find their future dates more attractive. With online dating platforms such as Tinder, users try to manage the vast number of profiles by picking the seemingly most attractive people. However, rating someone’s attractiveness by judging pictures is not the best way to find a partner. We can overlook crucial aspects such as what makes for a good conversation. The qualities of a good conversational partner influence how attractive they are in our eyes.

But not only smooth communication impact the attractiveness of our date, but also whether the person radiates certain security and commitment. While dating and throughout relationships, we want to know how our partner feels about us and know their intentions. This is why uncertainty, at least to some extent, is a relationship killer.

Being uncertain about love interests is devastating

Before we met for the first time, he told me that he could definitely commit to a relationship. Therefore, we both knew what we were getting into and what our intentions were. For me, it was not like additional pressure, but a kind of security, which I liked very much. So I knew that I was going to meet someone who cared about getting to know me. That was very important to me at that moment.

It’s exactly that sense of security we need, according to several studies. Furthermore, being unsure of a potential romantic partner’s interest in you could cause you to view them as less sexually appealing. Basically, since we are afraid of disappointment, we deceive ourselves into thinking that someone is less desirable. Because we want to know how much our date likes us — if someone doesn’t let us know how they feel, we are inclined to see that person as less attractive.

But it’s not just our fear of possible rejection that influences whether or not we find someone attractive, but also how often we see a person. Or, to put it another way: Proximity plays an integral role in who we find attractive.

Link to the rest at Medium

The OP includes several links to a website called Futurity, which PG had not encountered before. Futurity appears to cite at least some of its articles to individuals who say they are related to one university or another, e.g. “Algorithm Takes the Grunt Work Out of Quilting” – “Stanford” by a person who is apparently writing a doctoral dissertation for the Computer Science Department in the vicinity of Palo Alto.

PG has enough experience in his field to judge articles written by lawyers about legal issues, but claims no expertise with respect to quilting or computer science (although he’s not diametrically opposed or non-diametrically opposed to either field of endeavor (whatever winds your clock)).

Whenever PG reads an article like the OP, he is very grateful to have been married to Mrs. PG for a long time and hopes to remain in that state for a much longer time in the future.

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