How To Be Attractive
The First Steps To Fall In Love
Maybe it was the third week of class you noticed her. The hair, the backpack, the shoes, the laugh. The university classroom was filled for the first two weeks, but by the third week, the lazy ones were no-shows. And that's when you noticed her sitting with her friends.
The lecture of the day was on auteurism - including the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Federico Fellini, Stanley Kubrick, and your favourite, Martin Scorsese. And to your heart-throbbing surprise, she could answer all the questions on Scorsese. Who was she?!
Walking out of class, you overhear her with her friends, talking about her favourite director Akira Kurosawa - a filmmaker you know nothing about but have always been curious of. Your hands get sweaty from excitement. Destiny?
You quickly find an empty bench in the students centre, log in to your online course page, click on the class list, cross reference names with their facebook profiles, and BAM. You found her name and face. Everything else is private, but that's okay because you'd rather date someone who doesn't want a lot of attention. Plus, in her display picture she's wearing an ABBA t-shirt – the band you'd happily listen to with your mom as you cleaned the house as a child.
You need to meet her. You need to ask her out. "She's honestly a match made in heaven", you tell your friends. But how do you attract someone you're so attracted to?
It turns out, the answer to this is in yourself.
The way to become attractive is to look at what you're attracted to and understand the following. Based on the story above, the countless wedding stories I've witnessed and edited, and the reoccurring ideas by many a relationship therapist/expert, there are 3 main factors that define our attractiveness to others.
3 Ways To Become More Attractive
1. Be complementary
2. Be accepting
3. Be familiar
Disclosure: before I go into detail about each, I do not advocate completely changing who you are to match the person you are trying to attract. This is a) unhealthy, and b) dishonest.
Don't ever change who you are or who you want to be in order to impress a specific person. The only person you truly need to live up to is yourself.
The following 3 tips are grounded in human nature -- drawing on our primal need for affection. The trick is to advertise the right parts about you like a marketing campaign for a new clothing line. You may not be perfect in the way you were created, but you want to focus your ideal customer on the best parts about your product. (Reminder: YOU, as a person, are your product).
As well, these attributes tend to be for psychological attraction, but could just as well be attributed to physical attraction. It's up to you to find out how to best share who you are.
1. Become Attractive By Being Complementary
The girl in class didn't share the same love for Scorsese as you, but she did have a strong attachment to Kurosawa. She probably knows a lot about Japanese filmmaking that could add to your American-biased filmmaking style. The goal, after all, is to improve and keep growing as a filmmaker. Why not gain artistic inspiration from even more artists? She could help.
You think to yourself "wow, she completes me".
We all think and do that. The girl in class thinks that about someone (at least to a degree). Our ancestors thought about that when looking for adequate partners. Heck, animals do this. You take care of me, and I take care of you. Let's grow together.
The current zeitgeist places an emphasis on this, too. Where we are clearly our own person and individual, but can understand when another helps to make more sense and present more balance to our life.
We're attracted to those who bring us balance and completion.
Maybe she's living a comfortable life. In which case she could be subconsciously attracted to chaos or surprise in another human. Maybe she's had an unpredictable education moving from school to school, leading to a subconscious attraction to consistency and planning. Or maybe her work requires a lot of running around and talking to people, where a calm and relaxing partner is her fancy.
We can see this in other aspects of our life, too. When we see the paintings of Rebrandt or Rubens, we could either be attracted to it, or appalled by it. Whichever side of this spectrum we sway, we may attribute this to our longing for completion. To be balanced and complementary.
Maybe we see too much contrast and shadow in our own lives and don't particularly find the chiaroscuro of Rembrandt and Rubens a needed addition. Or maybe we're bombarded by bright and airy wedding photography on social media, and perhaps need some low-key lighting of the Baroque masters.
The same goes for another human being.
2. Become Attractive By Being Accepting
In addition to completing their opposite, we must also show acceptance. Be accepting of who they are.
The girl in class may have liked Kurosawa, but she also had an appreciation for Scorsese's work. Your favourite director that you swear by. And she accepts that, so you're hooked.
The same goes for the reverse. Others are attracted to those who accept them.
Yes, we generally like our classmates who accept our choice of haircut or glasses, but to stick out and be extra attractive amongst the crowd requires extra acceptance. Acceptance for things we're not normally, or can easily be, accepted for.
Things like our hidden love for pickles. Our habit of wandering through the bookstore for hours. The strange playlists we put on repeat that include a range of Italian trap music and Netflix theme songs.
We all have our secrets that don't fit the mainstream. We repress these little things and save them to enjoy in our own time. But when we find someone who accepts this -- and not even with the same intensity as you, either -- we form strong connections.
Like that groomsman you met at that wedding, or that cute Club Monaco stylist, or even your grade 12 biology teacher. Either of them could have complimented you on a secret you unknowingly blurted out. And when you realize they accept you for it, you like them.
The rapport others make on you can easily be made on others. Look for your similar tastes that aren't normally talked about, and let it be known that you happily accept this.
3. Become Attractive By Being Familiar
Then there's the attribute of being familiar. The factor that connects the previous two items -- you could familiarly be a complimentary opposite or familiarly be acceptingly similar. To be attractively familiar is somewhere along that spectrum.
Show signs of familiarity.
We've all heard the adage that a girl is attracted to someone most like her father, and a boy to someone like his mother. It's cliché for a reason. This theory and it's results show up time and time again between couples I meet and books I've read.
When someone realizes their significant other's resemblance to their parent, it's always destiny/fate/spirituality that they accredit their union to. And I can agree with that.
There's something about finding a fatherly/motherly figure we can confide in. And it's the continuing research on attachment theory that points to our baseline affection. The affection we felt at birth from our caregivers are the gold standard for what emotional attachment is. And once we grow out of childhood, we continue to look for that baseline, that standard, of affection from another.
Like with the girl in the classroom. You found her Facebook profile picture and noticed her fandom over ABBA. The band you listened to with your affectionate mother. Subconsciously, you're attracted to her because there is hope that she could bring back that time of affection you long for in adulthood.
We can't keep relationships we had as happy-go-lucky children the same, so we look for similar ones that could potentially spark similar emotions as adults. You know, those highs of excitement when playing hide and seek, getting a new toy, or climbing the top of a tree. We long for our childhood freedom and love.
We tend to be on the look out for something familiar because it's what made us the person we are today. (Granted, we may not like this at all and could specifically look for someone completely unfamiliar to us -- but I'll save that for another post).
Find out what their relationships were like growing up, and find out if you resemble any of their loving figures. If so, show them how you can be familiarly affectionate.
The 3 attributes of attraction and how to be attractive. Use them to your liking and use them wisely. Again, don't change who you are for anyone other than yourself. That'll either hurt them or hurt you, and most likely both.
The secret in using attraction to find love is finding someone who doesn't need you to drastically change. No relationship is perfect, so you will need to find a compromise in how you act or what you do at certain times, but the healthy relationships don't force it.
If you do show more characteristics of a complementary behaviour, it's because you choose to do it.
If you do show more characteristics of an accepting behaviour, it's because you choose to do it.
If you do show more characteristics of a familiar behaviour, it's because you choose to do it.
And you choose to do it because it's the type of person you want to grow in to.
And if they can also reciprocate your growth needs as well, that classroom-crush could be the start of something more than just attraction.
P.S. - Leave a comment if you’ve unknowingly been attracted to people for these reasons! I’d also love to see how this relates to your platonic relationships