There has always been debate about building attraction when it comes to the dating world. One of the most common topics people discuss is which makes a bigger difference when it comes to looks versus personality. It’s fairly obvious to assume that people who are conventionally physically attractive have an advantage when it comes to dating. These men and women not only have visual signs of good health and hygiene (clear skin, facial symmetry, etc.), but these attractive people also benefit from the halo effect. Because they’re good looking, they’re also seen as being more trustworthy, kinder and smarter – all very attractive traits to have. And by virtue of being more attractive, they tend to have more attractive girlfriends and wives. After all, people tend to date other people at their level of attractiveness, right? Well, according to science that isn’t exactly true.
When you fall in love with someone’s personality, everything about that person tends to become beautiful. The attractiveness of physical looks changes rather drastically over time, especially as we get to know someone better and begin to understand their personality. While being stunningly good looking will certainly help with your initial impression, its value levels off very quickly and becomes much less important over the long term while other factors increase dramatically. While good looks certainly help, science has found that desirability and building attraction is about more than appearance. This is exactly why often times women will find older men attractive. Older men usually won’t be able to compete with their younger counterparts in the looks department. However, they are much more competitive against younger men in just about every other area. So if you’re not the best looking man around, let’s talk a little about how you can go about building attraction over time.
Why is it that people who may not necessarily push our buttons right off the bat become much more attractive to us? It’s something pretty simple, actually. It’s because of a psychological quirk which marketers have long exploited: the Exposure Effect. When you’re exposed to something repeatedly, you tend to develop a taste for it. It becomes preferable to you because it’s familiar. Increased familiarity with somebody can make them seem more likable and pleasing. In fact, studies have shown that the more two people interact in a face-to-face setting, the more attracted they feel to one another. Attraction, after all, is about more than looks. It’s about how someone makes you feel. This is known as the Reward Theory of Attraction: the more somebody’s presence makes us feel good, the more we prioritize that relationship. We associate those feelings with that person and develop a new appreciation for them, a fondness for the things that make them uniquely them. This is why the way somebody wrinkles their nose when they laugh can make your heart race, even if they’re not objectively beautiful. It’s also why a gorgeous woman can leave us feeling cold. It isn’t just those little unique things we notice about someone, either. Do you know what your body language says about you? That’s something else that can change the way we look or feel about someone as well. Once you’ve experienced both the exposure effect and reward theory of attraction, you will be able to see someone’s true beauty and will love them for their personality and not their looks because you will see them in a completely different light.