Romantic Attraction

Sometimes, it seems we are attracted towards people romantically in an inexplicable manner. We see someone and our romantic side sparks up. However, it is not a mystery to science and people who study sociology. There are definite causes as to why people become romantically attracted to each other. These factors are sexual attraction, similarity, communication, mystery, and sincerity.

Sexual attraction is often the primary way people become attracted to each other. However, romantic love and sexual attraction may not always have a direct link. According to Helen Fisher, PhD, “Sexual chemistry does not always equal love, and this is because we’ve evolved distinct brain systems for mating. One system controls the craving for sexual gratification. Another system rules over romantic love – that [is] obsessive thinking, craving, and focusing on one individual. They’re not always connected, which is why you can be madly in love with someone and only have so-so sex, while you can have intensely passionate sex with someone you never want to see again!” (“Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love”). So, even though sexual attraction is a guiding force, it does not equate to strong romantic attraction.

Though people often say opposites attract, similarity often connects individuals in a romantic way. In fact, based on research done by the University of Colorado Boulder, we tend to choose partners who have a similar DNA to ours (Whiteman, H.). Of course we cannot examine the DNA of others readily, but we can intuitively “feel” if people are a genetic match for us.

Communication is another essential factor in the romantic attraction equation. If we feel a deep connection to someone through the ease of talking with them, we are much more likely to be attracted to that person (Romantic Chemistry Explained). It is difficult to be romantically involved with someone you can barely communicate with. And as a side note, there are people we are not sexually attracted to, but after conversing with them for some time, we suddenly become romantically interested in them.

Being mysterious as a partner is another key. Women often say they want a mysterious man. Men are more habitual and regulated, whereas women often thrive on spontaneity. Therefore women often want their men to be more unpredictable and for them to have something to seek. If their partner is completely understood, romantic attraction to them lessens (Weinschenk, Susan). This type of preference is also backed by hormones. According to ambiancematchmaking.com, “Dopamine is also stimulated by unpredictability. When something happens that is not exactly predictable, it stimulates the dopamine system” (Romantic Chemistry Explained). So, women may be searching for a mysterious man based on hormones.

Friends often connect through noticing the sincerity of others, but this also lends to romantic attraction. According to Kelly Campbell, PhD, “Chemistry occurs most often between people who are down-to-earth and sincere. This is because if a person is comfortable with themselves, they are better able to express their true self to the world, which makes it easier to get to know them, even if perspectives on important matters differed” (Psychology Today). This adds to the perspective that easy communication between people contributes to romantic attraction.

Though falling in love may seem like something from outer space, there are causes behind it. Sexual attraction, similarity, an ease of communication, being mysterious, and sincerity all cause people to feel romantic attraction to each other. Usually, these causes are a mix in each romantic relationship, as not each couple attain all these facets in their partnerships.

References

Fisher, Helen, Ph.D. (2005, January 2). “Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love.” Retrieved from http://helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/04natofrl.pdf.

Whiteman, H. (2014, May 25). “People tend to choose partners with similar DNA, study suggests.” Medical News Today. Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277291.php.

Romantic Chemistry Explained. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.ambiancematchmaking.com/blog/chemistry-the-unexplainable-factor.

Weinschenk, Susan. (2009, November 7). “100 Things You Should Know About People: #8 — Dopamine Makes You Addicted To Seeking Information.” The Team W Blog. Retrieved from https://www.blog.theteamw.com/2009/11/07/100-things-you-should-know-about-people-8-dopamine-makes-us-addicted-to-seeking-information.

Campbell, Kelly, Ph.D. (2011, August 21). “Relationship Chemistry: Can Science Explain Instant Connections?” Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-chemistry/201108/relationship-chemistry-can-science-explain-instant-connections.

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