Let\’s talk about attraction
[kiss]From the moment we leave the house, our heads turn for many reasons. In an attempt to break it down, you’ll meet six people willing to expose what could possibly get the shirt off their back and hopefully reveal something about their hearts as well. Before delving into their stories, let’s review some psychology from allpsych.com. Their research found five key factors of attraction: proximity, association, similarity, reciprocal liking, and, of course, physical attraction. But you probably already knew that.
According to an article by livescience.com, the scent someone produces can be an incredibly attractive quality. While the article notes that physical features drive initial attraction, mental features drive long term attraction. Bjorn Carey writes, “When it comes to sticking together for the long haul, researchers have shown that likeness of personality, which can take more time to realize, means more.” As you’ll see from the following stories, all the research in the world could not predict what exactly will attract you to someone (and don\’t we all enjoy a little mystery in our attractions?). To explore this case-by-case science, we meet six people willing to tell you what turns them on.
Burn baby, burn
Journalism senior Matt Lieber faces an interesting dilemma. Upon receiving reciprocal liking, he loses attraction. “I don’t like people who play hard to get, yet when someone is attracted to me I tend to lose interest,” said Matt. Lieber is unsure where this stems from, but offers that a past relationship may be the cause. “I’m not sure if it was that, or that I just hadn’t noticed it until now.”
This begs the question, how did his current relationship pass the hurtle? “I always felt like she was better than me and to be honest, I liked that,” said Lieber. “It was like she was on a different level then me and she was batting down.”
For Lieber, attraction is pretty simple; his number one quality comes without hesitation: wit. “I feel like you can change a lot of your choices when it comes to types of women, but that wouldn’t change,” said Lieber. Basically, winning his heart is as simple as attacking his ego. “Burn me and do it really well,” he said. But as it goes, everyone has their interpretation of what’s a unique aesthetic turn on, and for Leiber, it comes in the form of fabric. “Denim jackets. I don’t know what it is, but it’s attractive,” he said.
Lessons in love
International relations senior Chris Gregg is a bit of the romantic type. He looks deep into a woman\’s soul and is interested in the way she presents herself. “Confidence is number one – not being afraid to share or care what other people are saying,” said Gregg. He has been in love twice and he describes the experience as “caring unconditionally,” and after much thought he added, “It’s not finishing each others\’ sentences, it’s saying something and having them at the same time say the same thing, that’s what I call ‘being on the level.’”
In addition, he recognizes the whole picture – although he emphasizes the face as a significant feature – he feels it’s everything together that causes his attraction. His quirk? “Back dimples.” Back dimples (for those not privy) are the two dots similar to dimples on the curves of the lower back. “My girlfriend has tattoos over hers, red and blue sparrows,” Gregg said, and for him, that is the most interesting turn on.
Twin bar stars
Advertising senior Sarah Gonzalez and packaging senior Jessie Krawczak are best friends who frequent the bar as self-proclaimed “boo-less” women, a.k.a., they\’re single. Almost on command they revealed their joint desire for someone to cuddle with. This is the most attractive quality to them and a deal breaker. In unison they sighed longingly when asked how smell factors into their attraction. “When you borrow a shirt and you can lift it up and smell their scent, that’s attraction,” said Krawczak, closing her eyes to reminisce. Both women are convinced that their perfect man will be able to condone their ridiculousness. “We like scenes,” said Gonzalez. “And we want a guy willing to make one.”
Show me your hands
English Junior Jennifer Rice is on a different path to relationships – she’s interested in hands. “Hands represent lots of things: strength, workers\’ hands, musicians\’ hands, or an artist…you can tell a lot about someone,” she said, smiling. Unlike many, Rice isn’t all that interested in looks when it comes to attraction. It\’s charisma that gets her attention. \”A guy can be fat and bald, but if he has that quality to put people at ease,” she paused, “I’m smitten.” So beyond having good hands and the ability to charm her, your chances of seeing her again outside the bar lie in the ability to strike up an intelligent conversation. “And buy me a drink,” she said with a smirk.
Spiritual attraction
Political science senior Alex Cobern, our last character, is interested in something much deeper: religion. “I probably wouldn’t find someone at a bar,” he said. “More likely at church or a bible study.” Alex is convinced that of the three girls he dated in high school, he could marry each of them. “They all have the things I look for in girls: faith, but willing to try new things and are still open minded.”
The thing that really grabs his attention, however, is eyes. “I have a weakness for eyes,\” said Cobern. \”It’s the most unchanging thing about someone – they’re timeless.” Like many mentioned before him, he finds confidence and opinions to be extremely attractive, “however, I don’t like arrogance,” he said. “I think the line is crossed when someone is talking too much about themself.” For him, “being on the level” is “when you start chatting and there are laughs in between and then it just keeps going without hesitation.”
Find \’the level\’
[heart]So what did we learn from this exercise – wear denim jackets and moisturize your hands? Not exactly, but it’s clear that confidence is key, humor and conversation are a huge turn on, and sometimes it’s just a matter of “being on the level.” This Valentine\’s Day, instead of stressing about making yourself more attractive to someone else, just take a tip from the people above: be yourself and be confident. And stick to your quirks – they\’re what make you you, even if it\’s back dimples.

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