It’s probably not destiny.
According to the research, love and attraction happen thanks to your hormones, your interests, and what your parents look like.
We’ve scoured the studies and collected some of the weird psychological reasons someone might fall in love with you.
This is an updated version of an article originally written by Maggie Zhang.
Decades of studies have shown that the cliché that 'opposites attract' is totally off.
'Partners who are similar in broad dispositions, like personality, are more likely to feel the same way in their day-to-day lives,' said Gian Gonzaga, lead author of a study of couples who met on eHarmony. 'This may make it easier for partners to understand each other.'
University of St Andrews psychologist David Perrett and his colleagues found that people are attracted to folks with hair and eye colour like their parents -- and the age range they saw at birth.
'We found that women born to 'old' parents (over 30) were less impressed by youth, and more attracted to age cues in male faces than women with 'young' parents (under 30),' the authors wrote. 'For men, preferences for female faces were influenced by their mother's age and not their father's age, but only for long-term relationships.'
According to a University of Southern California study, when women are ovulating, they prefer the smell of t-shirts worn by men with high levels of testosterone.
This matched with other hormone-based instincts: Women also preferred men with a strong jaw line when they were ovulating.
University of Massachussets psychologist Joan Kellerman asked 72 unacquainted undergrads to pair off and stare into each others eyes for two minutes.
'They later reported they had increased feelings of passionate love and affection towards the other person,' Scientific American reports. 'This suggests that long periods of eye contact can connect you to someone and even ignite feelings of love inside you for that person you have never previously met.'
In 1974, Donald Dutton and Arthur Aron wanted to test the connection between sexual attraction and anxiety. They put men into two conditions. They either walked across a high, shaky bridge or a low, sturdy bridge. Afterward, they met a female experimenter who asked a series of questions and gave the men her phone number 'just in case.'
The men who met the woman after walking on the high bridge were more likely to call her than the men who met her on the low bridge. Psychologists call this phenomenon the 'misattribution of arousal.' The high bridge created a sense of arousal from the anxiety, but men mistakenly thought it was from the attraction to the woman.
That's why doing exciting things -- like going for bike rides, riding a roller coaster -- makes for many first dates.
We've all heard that women are attracted to men with nice cars. But men also appear more attractive if they are photographed in a luxury apartment. In a
Cardiff Metropolitan University study, a man was photographed with a casual posture in a 'high status' luxury apartment and a 'neutral status' standard apartment context.
The men with the luxury apartments were rated significantly higher for attractiveness when presented to the female subjects. Researchers determined that the illusion of status-linked property ownership had a high impact on attraction, and that context can make all the difference.
In a 1996 study, each participant was rated on physical attractiveness and then randomly assigned to date another participant. Then, participants were asked to rate their satisfaction with their dates. The participants who were more attractive were harsher in their judgments -- even if they were both equally attractive. The better looking someone was, the less satisfied they were likely to be.
But this only applies to the really attractive people. For the rest of us, according to the matching hypothesis, we are more likely to love those who are equally as attractive as us.
In a European study about facial age and attractiveness, researchers wanted to determine whether Botox actually does help women find partners.
The women who went through facial procedures experienced a significant reduction in perceived age, and people rated them as much more attractive and healthy. The more treatments the women received, the more they were considered youthful, healthy, and attractive.
Researchers in France found that musical practice is associated with sexual selection. In an experiment, a young man holding either a guitar case or sports bag asked 300 young women on the street for their numbers. When the man held the guitar case, more women were willing to give him their number.
In a Slovakian research study, women who wore the colour red were more successful in mating-game scenarios. This can be attributed to sexual signaling, because women use the colour red to attract potential mates.
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