Attraction

Posted on July 13, 2012 by


Attraction is such a fascinating topic – but it can be really difficult to pin down the exact components of it.  What causes men to be attracted to women?  And what causes women to be attracted to men?

I’m not an expert here – but let’s at least get a conversation going and start thinking about this topic.

WHAT ATTRACTS A MAN TO A WOMAN?

In my mind, men are a little easier to understand than women in regards to the attraction thing.  Obviously, a man will be attracted to physical beauty first.  But what exactly is it that first grabs his attention?

  • her figure
  • her hair
  • her posture (don’t underestimate this one!)
  • her eye contact with him whenever he looks her way, and then often she’ll drop her eyes (probably to try to hide the fact her heart is racing and about to make her pass out!)
  • her open body language
  • her wardrobe (especially the more feminine it is)
  • her face
  • her SMILE and the way her eyes sparkle – a woman will often smile almost uncontrollably at a man when she is deeply attracted to him.
  • her laughter
  • her friendliness toward him specifically

What is it that KEEPS him with her?

  • her friendly,  interesting personality
  • her appreciation of his sense of humor
  • her acceptance of him
  • her admiration for him
  • her cooperation with his goals, plans, dreams and career
  • her seeing the best in him
  • her willingness to really listen to him and hear him when he shares his heart
  • her faith in him
  • her faith in God – if he is a believer this is going to be paramount to him!
  • her ability to roll with changes in plans and setbacks
  • her willingness to be positive about life, to be optimistic, to expect the best, to see the good in situations and people (negativity and complaining are NOT ATTRACTIVE!)
  • her ability to share about herself (BUT NOT TOO MUCH TOO SOON!)
  • her sense of humor
  • her lack of fear and anxiety

Guys – you are welcome to add to these lists if you’d like!

WHAT IS IT THAT ATTRACTS A WOMAN TO A MAN?

This is where things get a bit more complicated.  Appearance is definitely part of the equation, but not all of it.  Here are some things I think are involved:

  • his sense of confidence or being an “alpha male” (if it turns to cockiness, that can be a turn off, though)  In my mind, from a Christian woman’s perspective, the most attractive thing would be his confidence in Christ and his identity in Christ and confidence in his masculinity – but tempered by genuine humility.  I don’t know if that makes sense to the guys, but it does to me.
  • He is not afraid of her
  • He doesn’t idolize her
  • He doesn’t try to do everything she wants and change himself just to please her and to try to be “nice.”  He doesn’t change who is his for her.  He knows who is is. (“nice” does not evoke feelings of admiration from women)
  • his sense of humor
  • his ability to be comfortable in his skin and comfortable around her
  • he may tease her gently and that can catch her off guard, but can be very magnetic for a woman
  • he has interesting stories, but does not completely monopolize the conversation
  • he is interested in her heart and soul, not just her body
  • he may be tall, broad jaw, broad shoulders and athletic – but personality can overcome appearance with women!
  • his eyes capture her attention
  • there may be a flirty chemistry about him
  • his interesting personality
  • his charm
  • his masculinity, a sense of his strong, powerful masculine presence – but in a controlled form – he’s not quick to fight or lose his temper
  • his faith in God – the light in his eyes when he talks about Jesus
  • his interest in her life
  • his chivalry
  • he makes her feel more feminine just by his presence
  • he knows how to use words in a way that deeply impacts her.  Words are for women, like Bob Grant says. And a man who knows how to use the right words at the right time is one powerful man!

Ladies – you are welcome to add to this list!

BUT!!!!!!!!

Ladies – there are LOTS of “bad boy” types out there who know VERY well how to build attraction in a woman.  These dudes are experts in creating attraction for themselves in scores of women.  They sometimes even take classes or read books about how to cause women to fall in love with them.  And you know what?  That stuff works.  It’s kind of scary.  You may want to acquaint yourself with some of the techniques that are being peddled out there.  There are guys who don’t care a thing about your heart and soul who will come across as magnetic, charming, flirty and fascinating who will destroy your life!

Just because you feel a strong attraction or chemistry with a guy does NOT mean he is the ONE for you!   It could be that he knows how to manipulate your emotions because of techniques he has learned in his vast experience with dozens or even hundreds of women, or through a class he took or online book he read. 

There are some great guys who are good at attraction, too.  But this is where you need to really look at a guy’s character to be sure you understand what you are getting!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE understand that you need a godly man.  And here’s the kicker.  Some of the things that can reliably create attraction in almost all women are techniques and ploys that the non-bad guys wouldn’t dream of using.  Some of the bad boys will flirt for awhile, then insult a woman in some calculated way to make her feel imperfect and like a reject and then the guy acts like she’s not worthy of him or worth his time  – and a lot of times girls will start pursuing these guys to try to prove them wrong.  The guy acts all disinterested and snobby and the girl wants him because he is exploiting a well-known trait of human nature that we want what we can’t have.  He has her groveling at his feet!  NO!!!!  This is not the kind of guy we need.  This is often an effective tactic, but not necessarily a God-honoring one and this is not the kind of guy to fall for.

We really don’t want a “nice” guy who is a wimp and who is afraid of us!  We want a good guy who stands up for what he believes is right and who can lead, even when it is against our own desires and feelings.  Not many of us can really articulate this.  But I have heard it said, “The only thing worse than a man you can’t control – is a man you can!”  That is SO TRUE!  We don’t want a guy who worships us and thinks we can do no wrong.  We need a guy who will worship GOD and confront us in love when we sin.  We need a guy who is concerned more about what God thinks than what we want.

The attraction thing doesn’t mean the man is good for you.  It might just mean he knows what he is doing with women and he knows the words to say and the buttons to push and he’s got experience under his belt.

AND

Just because you DON’T feel a strong attraction immediately with a godly guy does not mean you’ll never feel it.  People fall slowly in love all the time.  Lots of times coworkers gradually develop a connection and an attraction for one another that wasn’t there the first day of the relationship – that is how countless thousands of affairs start!   Sometimes it takes months or years, but given the right ingredients, the attraction can grow.

Am I saying you should hang with a guy for a long time that you don’t feel attraction for – no.  But be aware that attraction alone is fickle and is exploitable and is not necessarily a very reliable indicator of how wonderful a husband a guy would be.

CONTROLLING OUR ATTRACTION

There is a degree of control we have over our attraction that we often don’t realize.  We think it is so mysterious and uncontrollable and that attraction just happens.  But here’s the deal.  You CAN build your attraction for a guy by focusing on his good points.  The more you respect him and focus on your admiration for him, guess what?  The more attracted you’ll be to him.  This is how wives who have become disrespectful and hateful are able to change by God’s power and obeying His Word and begin to respect again and develop a new attraction and chemistry that had died before – even if it had been dead for years – even if her hubby has gained weight or lost hair or has some flaws.

When people are dating, they expect attraction to happen almost magically.  Sometimes that does happen – that is called infatuation and it is extremely intoxicating.  In fact, the same hormones are flooding your brain during infatuation as if you were high on some illicit drugs.  Seriously.  Infatuation and being “in love” are VERY addictive feelings because of the cocktail of neurotransmitters that make you float on air and feel euphoric. 

But in marriage, attraction and romance and loving/respectful feelings happen because you do the work to MAKE them happen.  In marriage, the work comes first, then the feelings follow – and even the neurotransmitters can kick back in eventually in a different way.  It’s usually the opposite in dating.  When you start  dating a guy, you are attracted and have the romantic feelings first, and you want to do the work it takes to maintain the feelings because you love the feelings.  But the work has to be done for there to be feelings.  It’s just less obvious when you have the giddiness of infatuation that you are creating that atmosphere for romance and excitement and attraction.  After you are married and begin to face difficulties, you learn that you can have lots of great feelings if you are willing to put in the time and the RIGHT effort.  It just depends how big of a commitment you have and how big of a priority it is for you and it depends if you understand God’s design for marriage or not.

You can also decide NOT to be attracted to someone.  I know this sounds far-fetched.  But here is the plan.  You ONLY think about the guy’s negative qualities.  You ignore every positive trait the man has and you replay his faults, his sins, his weaknesses and failures over and over in your mind.  Your mind is THAT powerful.  You can actually choose to be attracted or not to a large degree by how you think about someone.

This is exactly what happens as marriages unravel and people go through divorce.  They meditate constantly on the person’s flaws, shortcomings, sins, mistakes and annoying habits.  Whatever you focus on with someone will grow.  When you focus on the good, that will grow and blossom until you can barely see the negative things.  And when you focus on the bad, that will grow and blossom until you can barely see the positives anymore.

I am NOT saying to date guys who repulse you.   Not a great idea.  

THINGS THAT CAN KILL ATTRACTION

One of the biggest things is a peron’s sin against you  – that can destroy just about any level of attraction.  And we are ALL sinners.  That is a problem! 

But also, poor hygiene, underdeveloped social skills, being controlling or demanding, differing values, smothering someone, annoying habits, neediness, insecurity, anxiety, fear, arrogance, and a HOST of other issues can dampen attraction.

THE STUFF THAT MATTERS

Sometimes the attraction thing can be over-rated.   It’s a great thing.  But attraction alone isn’t going to ensure a great relationship. What will hold water in the end is the man’s character and Christ-likeness.  God’s design for marriage is that the husband represent the sacrificial, servant-leader love of Christ for His church to his bride.  To really feel loved, cherished, adored, protected, well-provided for and fulfilled – you are going to need a man who is like Christ.  The ungodly guys out there are going to disappoint you.  Ok… even the godly ones will disappoint you – because they are sinful humans just like we are.  But the ones who aren’t pursuing Christ are going to REALLY, REALLY, DEEPLY, PERMANENTLY WOUND YOU in the most agonizing ways imaginable. 

I would like there to be a lot of attraction when you are dating a godly man – but attraction during dating/courting doesn’t necessarily mean there will still be attraction after 5, 10, 20 or 30 years of marriage.   Please keep in mind that some of the most attractive, “exciting” guys also end up being some of the most horrible husbands and fathers!  (Some women think “exciting” means: likes to party, likes adrenaline rushes, likes to be a daredevil… these kinds of “exciting” traits may not bode well for a husband.)  And some of the more “boring” responsible guys end up being the most amazing husbands and fathers.  To me, “excitement” is to have a guy who loves to talk deeply with me, who cherishes me, who has dreams and aspirations, who loves God, who takes care of his family, who is dependable, who is stable, who is committed to obeying God’s Word. 

Attraction can come and go.  Romantic feelings can come and go.  Those are not solid foundations upon which to build a marriage in my personal opinion.  Christ alone will stand the test of time.  Obedience to His Word ensures a healthy, vibrant, strong marriage.  Being with someone who is Spirit-filled and who desires to honor God will create a strong marriage.

So, while attraction is important, it may not need to be as big of a priority as we sometimes make it.  And PLEASE be aware of how easily our emotions can be manipulated by dangerous men.  Don’t trust your attraction alone!

In my mind, our biggest priority needs to be seeking God’s wisdom, direction and His will for our life no matter what we are facing each day.  Please stay close to Jesus and spend plenty of time with Him and look for His blessing and His hand to be at work.

What do YOU think?  What makes someone attractive?  How much control have you had over your level of attraction?  How important is attraction to you?

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