How The Science Of Attraction Affects Me

Updated March 21, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Have you ever met someone and instantly felt attracted to them? Maybe you've talked to someone online that you were super excited about, but as soon as you met them, you just knew that you weren’t attracted to them? That is the science of attraction at work. There are distinct features about the people you meet that your subconscious mind forms opinions about before you consciously realize anything. That’s why the reaction seems instantaneous because consciously, you don’t know what it is about them that suddenly attracts you (or detracts you).

What is the science of attraction?

To put it very simply, the science of attraction is what tells you, as soon as you meet someone, whether you’re attracted to them or not. It’s where love at first sight comes from and where that instant dislike for someone comes from, along with other instant judgments. But in truth, there are a lot of different factors that go into it. Even though you don’t notice it, all of your senses are tuned in to this person you're meeting, and each one gets to weigh in on the decision about what you think.

Your eyes

Does your mental health hold you back from feeling attraction?

Yes, the way someone looks plays the most important role in whether or not you like them. It may seem shallow or like something you would never do, but it is a very common factor. What may make you feel a little better is that it is not just one body type or look that everyone is looking for.

Healthy, clear skin, bright eyes, and shiny hair are some of the most important features thought of as attractive, and they can encompass a range of different body types, eye colors, hair colors, and skin colors (plus more). It has also been found that people who have a good childhood will be more attracted to people they think share common features with their opposite-sex parent.

Eye contact

When talking about eye contact and attraction, be aware that eye contact is an important factor of attraction. If eye contact is sustained with a person for longer than a few seconds, there may be something there. No, this does not mean that the guy who is always staring at you wherever you go should be your next big love interest. You may want to talk to someone about him because he sounds like a stalker. If you look at someone across the room, and every time you look, they look away because they were looking at you, this is also a sign of attraction.

Your nose

Yep, the way that someone smells has a role in how you feel about them as well. There are two different aspects to what you smell on a person, and it has nothing to do with their cologne or perfume. Instead, the first is about their immune system. Yep, you can smell their immune system. Bet you had no idea your nose could do that, did you? Women tend to be more attracted to a man whose immune system is the opposite of hers, and she can smell that.

 are the second aspect of smell when it comes to picking a mate. These are smells that you do not consciously notice, but they can play a role in how you feel. They are chemicals that leave your body and can be received by someone else. Women can smell testosterone, or rather the metabolites from testosterone, which signal strength. Men can smell copulins, which is a pheromone produced during ovulation in women. So yes, men are more attracted to ovulating women, but they do not even realize it is happening.

Your ears

The way someone sounds is likely to attract you as well. Men tend to like women with higher-pitched voices. Women tend to like men with deeper sounding voices. It makes sense, and it is hard-wired. Women have a hard time forgetting men with a deeper voice, and research has found that the deeper the voice, the more a woman will remember. It is something happening when you listen to how they talk, and you may become attracted as you talk to them more or listen to them more.

Is that other person laughing, or do they make you laugh for no reason? Do you find yourself laughing at their stupid jokes even though you know they are silly? That is a sign of attraction. It could be nervousness because we all know that we get nervous when we are around someone we like, even if we do not know that we like them. Or maybe they seem to laugh differently with you than they do with others. This is the science of attraction at work.

Your touch

Finally, we get to touch. We are not talking about touching that other person, though. We are talking about the things that you are touching when you come into contact with that person. Were you holding something hot or cold? Were you sitting somewhere comfortable or not?

These things can impact how you feel about a person instinctively and how you judge them as well. This is true even in non-romantic relationships and occurs when you’re meeting new people in general. You will want to try to feel comfortable and stick with warm rather than cold items to keep yourself more interested in the person you're with.


However, touching each other is another sign of attraction. If you accidentally brush up against someone or your fingers touch for just a second and you feel a tingle of excitement, you are attracted. That tingle of excitement is your hormones telling you that you are interested in this person and that they may be into you too.

If the person goes out of their way to casually touch you, they may be attracted to you and are trying to give you a hint. Take the initiative and touch their arm or hand and make eye contact with them and see where it goes from there.

The kiss

Finally, when everything else is over, and you have intrinsically started to make up your mind about the person, the first kiss may seal the deal. How the kiss goes will cause you to decide whether or not you move forward with the relationship or whether you want to cancel things before they get started. In fact, over 50% of men and women (59% of men and 66% of women) say they have ended a relationship because of the first kiss. That is a lot of pressure, but it is not all on you; it is also on your date.

Different types of attraction

However, there are different kinds of attractions. Sexual attraction is the easy one to figure out. This is the kind of electrical attraction you get when you want to be sexually intimate with someone else. This is an automatic response similar to breathing and eating, and you cannot stop it. However, you can control it, and you should because this attraction can get you into trouble if you react too quickly. For a good relationship, you need to have other forms of attraction as well.

Romantic attraction is the feeling of being interested in and caring about that other person. You may feel sexually attracted to this person, but you also want to be around the other person in general because you like them. This is where the difference between lust and love comes into play. Lust is when you are just sexually attracted to a person, but love is when you like the person and are interested in more than just sex.

You may feel a motherly or fatherly attraction to someone younger who seems to need help or comes to you for advice. Or you may meet a new friend and feel like you've known each other a long time. This is a form of emotional attraction. It drives us to be open with each other or invites others to open up to us. Did you ever notice that some people feel like they can tell you anything? Or maybe you feel like you can tell someone else things you would not tell anyone else. That is an emotional attraction.

Opening up to others

Does your mental health hold you back from feeling attraction?

If you are struggling with opening up to people, you might want to consider reaching out for help. There are plenty of amazing people out there in the world, and finding someone for you to be with is possible, if that's what you're looking for. If getting to know other people is difficult, however, it may be time to seek out professional help. Finding a professional that you feel comfortable with may make it easier for you to open up to others and feel more comfortable meeting new people. 

One way to get help is via online therapy. Online therapy has helped many people who struggle with finding and keeping relationships. With an online therapist, you can discover what's holding you back and you can work on strategies for getting to know more people and look for that attraction you may desire.

Regain is a great way for you to get the mental health support that you are looking for. No matter what you are currently going through, there are professionals out there who can help you.  Regain is a completely online service where you can talk to a therapist about anything and feel comfortable doing so. You can be sitting in your favorite chair, at the kitchen table, on vacation, at a business retreat, or anywhere at all. The only requirement is an internet connection and a willingness to help yourself.

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