The Psychology of Love and Attraction (Or Attraction Is Not A Choice)
The psychology of love and attraction is complicated. No one can say it is simple, because there are too many obvious and vague factors that affect your attractiveness and others' attraction for you.
However, we can still condense it to an outline that's easier to be studied and used such as this article (emotional needs) .
In this article I want to talk about PROXIMITY. Proximity refers to the geographic distance between people. The reason I want to talk about this is because many people don't think about proximity when comes to love and relationship. The distance you live with the another affects the relationship between you two.
Basically, the closer people lived to each other, the more likely they were to become friends. That's why many people become best friends with their classmates, colleagues, and neighbors because they are geographically close.
This phenomena is stated in a theory called mere expose effect said that people tend to become attracted to a novel stimuli if it was repeated many times. Close proximity in both space and time allows more exposure to happen and attraction to grow.
The psychology of love and attraction - triangular theory of love
I want to use triangular theory of love to explain how physical proximity affects the attraction.
The explanation below is what I exactly copied down from Wikipedia.
Intimacy – Which encompasses feelings of attachment, closeness, connectedness, and bondedness.
Passion – Which encompasses drives connected to both limerence and sexual attraction.
Commitment – Which encompasses, in the short term, the decision to remain with another, and in the long term, plans made with that other.
The "proximity" I mentioned refers to "intimacy" that stated in the triangular theory. I used different terms in other articles as well, but they are the same things. For example:
Passion= sexual attraction Intimacy= emotional attraction Commitment= mental attraction
As you can see from the diagram, there's no good love if there's no intimacy. Without intimacy your love is either "Infatuation", "Fatuous love" or "Empty love". But if intimacy exists, your love at least is companionate, romantic or even consummate.
Can you see how important is "proximity" now?
The power of proximity
That's why I said meeting and interacting with a girl regularly is very powerful because of the mere expose effect.
We tend to forget about someone or something when the exposure is rare even if we liked it. By contrast, a person's attractiveness increases when continuous exposure happens.
Therefore, one of the ways to increase your attractiveness is to provide the opportunity for her to see you, become familiar with you and know you. Emotional attraction can grow from there.
Proximity is one of the fundamentals for success with women. It's important that you have a social circle that allows you to meet and interact with her on a regular basis. It's important to learn how to connect with other people, you need to know some social skills in order to build a social circle that helps you in success with women.
“Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
There are two factors that help keep long distance relationships alive:
Tell each other more intimate information.
Have a more idealized view of their partner.
When these two factors are satisfied, long distance couple can have similar levels of relationship satisfaction as those who are geographically close to each other.
Love at first sight
Love (emotional attraction) can happen when you meet and interact with her on a regular basis. However, does love at first sight exist?
According to the research, falling in love can happen as fast as one-fifth of a second. This can happen when you meet someone who is sexually attractive to you and exactly meets your subconscious criteria - she meets your need for status so you like her immediately. In this condition when you notice she is sociable your mind will instantly become emotionally attracted to her, so you are into her. All these can be happened in one-fifth of a second.
However, love is not enough. Love doesn't mean you two are compatible, love doesn't necessarily solve your relationship problems, love is not always worth sacrificing yourself and so on. See: love is not enough
Here's again where the proximity should takes place - meet and interact with her on a regular basis. If you both are in a same social circle, thing becomes easy and natural, obviously. Become her friend, understand her and let her understand you through the interaction. Good communication will help to improve the connection and strengthen the bond.
What else other than proximity?
Don't get me wrong. Proximity on its own doesn't cause attraction. According to the diagram, merely existing of intimacy is "liking". In other words, it's nothing more than friend, you have been placed in friend zone.
I explained in this article that if sexual attraction doesn't come first, love can't exist. Continuous exposure increases a person's attractiveness only if he is already sexually attractive. If a person that you dislike often appears you will only dislike him more.
Intimacy is emotional attraction, people want to feel connection with others. When you are sexually attractive and you have similar interests, hobbies, tastes, the list goes on - with her, she will become attracted to you naturally. She can't control it, attraction is not a choice. The similarity creates familiarity which makes the her feel comfortable being with you. Consequently, fall in love with you.
As mentioned intimacy is just a small part of the psychology of love and attraction. There are still other psychological and biological factors that affect the love and attraction, each factor on its own might not do anything unless it works with other factors.
In short, to improve your dating and relationships you need to view everything and analyze from big picture. There's no single tactic or tip to help you success with women. There's no magic pill. To make it work the only way is constant improvement.
About the author
Rio Yee is the Founder of WealthyLoveLife and is super passionate about helping people change their mind and take action to improve your important areas in life such as dating & relationships, personal finance and productivity.