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Connections - Wellness Blog

Come Up Smelling Roses – And Maybe Find a Date?

Posted by Taryn Emerson | Posted on February 7, 2018 | See all Connections posts | Latest Wellness Blog posts

With reading break and Valentine’s Day fast approaching, are you ready? Whether you’re a single pringle, or taken bacon (weak rhyme I know) do you know the laws of attraction?

Whether or not you consciously know it, there are processes in your mind and body that can dictate whether you are attracted to someone or not! Attraction may be based largely in whether or not you unconsciously identify someone to be a healthy partner in the long run. We are built to see traits that help ensure survival. (According to psychologists)

On a purely physical level, heterosexual men are drawn towards women they see as fertile or healthy. This can mean many different things, but for example, thick and shiny hair can be seen as a trait of health. This is the same for women, they can seek a partner who looks healthy to them, thick and shiny hair is also a sign of good health. Signs of stability and prosperity will also attract women! Things such as social intelligence, like a group of close friends and an education. Good news! If you meet someone while on campus, you know that both of you are seeking an education, so bonus points in the attraction box right away!

Of course these are some very basic examples of a very complex subject, especially as each person is completely unique in what they find attractive! Plus the hardest part is turning that initial attraction into a long term, and stable relationship!

Research has found that certain traits do matter to men and women! These are a few of the simple things you can do to help up your allure (if that’s what you wish to do)

  • Stand Up Straight
    • Not only is it good for your back, but a 2016 experiment found that in 144 speed dates, open body language, meaning shoulders back, and chest up, significantly improved a person’s chance of getting a second date!
  • Get Some Z’s
    • Once again, not only beneficial to you physically, but a small study in 2010 found that it can help you socially too. People were photographed after a good night’s sleep, and then again after being awake for 31 hours. When volunteers were shown the photos, the ones with lack of sleep were rated as less attractive and less healthy.
    • This seems to be an extreme example, in my opinion I don’t look good after being awake for 18 hours, let alone 31. But the ideal still stands, looking well rested can help boost the overall presence of health you have!

Other research (and googling on my part) suggests that first impressions are very important, and often happen much faster than you think! If I’ll be blunt, attraction can happen in as little as 30 seconds. Our brains can decide whether we don’t want to sleep with someone in 30 seconds. Not if we DOwant to sleep with someone, but it will decide if we flat out don’t. Harsh, I know! I wish it could be different, but that’s the way it is!

Another sign or process of attraction shows that a person’s single most attractive trait is… availability! So gosh darn it people, text that person back! One of the most overlooked aspects of the human process but it is extremely important as it is a part of every relationship you have!

In dating, it is about physical availability, like asking yourself, “Will this person do the four legged foxtrot with me?” (Yes I am using a ridiculous euphemism, and yes, I do mean sexual intercourse)

For friends and long-term partners, it is all about emotional availability! “Will this person open up to me?”

And finally, in business, it’s all about the E, the economics! “Will this person work with me?”

Connection is half the battle and it’s not just showing up, it’s about nonverbal, and verbal communication! Our availability might not be as obvious as we think. Simply stating “I was really looking forward to our date” or “I am so happy to be at this networking event, I was hoping to meet new people and make some connections”. You could be surprised at how responsive people are in return!

The final part of the “Science of Attraction” is smell. Note the title, smell, according to scientists can send signals to the brain about sex and attraction. Pheromones are a real biological happening, but there is no concrete evidence that suggests we humans have the sensitivity to smell these molecules, or that if we did, it would do anything. What does this mean for your love life? My best advice is simple, our noses are sensitive enough to smell body odour, and I mean the bad kind. So as we all heard in middle school, wash your bits, and don’t try and cover it up in axe body spray or cotton candy perfume.

If you’re trying to switch up your smell game, a study tested what essential oils smelled the best to a wide variety of people and cultural backgrounds. The winners were…

  • Lime (fruit)
  • Grapefruit (fruit)
  • Bergamot (similar to orange scent)
  • Orange (fruit)
  • Peppermint
  • Freesia (flower)
  • Amyl Acetate (a molecule that smells like apples and bananas)
  • Cassia (similar to cinnamon)
  • Mimosa (flowering tree… not the drink)
  • Fir (tree)

I have my own opinions about this list, but according to science these were the winners overall and we don’t know what the other options were! All that being said, if you choose to wear a scent whether it is a cologne, perfume, or body mist, find the one that suits you the best and that you love!

As a final note, everything I’ve said above can be used for fostering any kind of relationship. Friends, coworkers, or that special someone(s). Valentines Day shouldn’t be the only day we are more mindful about loving each other. (Plus it’s rather commercialized at this point.) We should try and remember that being kind doesn’t need to correspond with only certain dates, it should be something we try to do every day.

Heart-shaped hands in the sunset
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