All The Subconscious Reasons You're Attracted To Certain People

Have you ever met someone who was perfect for you in every way except one? In other words, they checked off all the boxes on your wish list, but you just weren't attracted to them. You're not imagining it - subconscious attractions aren't made up. In fact, attraction is rooted in science.

According to science, there are many different causes of physical attraction. Some of them are more practical, based on physical convenience; others seem to follow no rationale. If love were a potion, it would consist of an eclectic mix of chemical reactions, enticing aromas, dizzying emotional charges, and a pinch of some secret ingredient.

Listen to what your body is trying to tell you when you fall for someone - there's a method behind the madness!

Photo: Ibrahim Asad / Pexels

  • You Like The Way They Smell

    Pop culture has persuaded us to believe in love at first sight. In truth, when it comes to attraction, your nostrils are the first to fall for a mate. What initially attracts you to a person is their pheromones, which send chemical messages to the nose. These pheromones interact with the hypothalamus, a section of the brain that controls emotional activity.

    If the scent signals are strong enough, your heartbeat may increase, your body temperature may rise, and your mood may shift. This is, essentially, the first stage of love. But research suggests that while all this activity is taking place between two sets of nostrils, the humans involved aren't consciously aware of the scent they're inhaling or sending out.

  • Their Face Is Symmetrical

    Beauty is an ever-evolving concept, but there's no arguing the fact symmetry plays a major role in attraction. If a potential mate passes the nose test, your eyes will then scan their face for symmetry. Under these circumstances, it would seem logical a perfectly symmetrical face would be considered the epitome of beauty.

    As it turns out, though, nobody's face is perfectly symmetrical.

  • They Look Average - In A Good Way

    Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt your looks were just average compared to everyone else? Well, congratulations - that makes you attractive. While "average" can be vague and subjective, it probably conjures a rather bland, commonplace appearance with no outstanding characteristics. But several studies have concluded both men and women find "average" synonymous with "attractive," meaning the more you look like other people, the higher your chances are of attracting a romantic partner.

    Heterosexual men tend to desire a combination of average facial features with an overall youthful glow. Researchers surmise that on a subconscious level, these men are seeking out the most fertile-seeming mate.

  • Your Bacteria Get Along

    You're familiar with the idea of someone getting under your skin, but did you know that special someone could be attracted to the bacteria under your skin, too? Emotional and chemical reactions aside, your microbes might be digging on each other without you even knowing.

    Here's roughly how it happens: When you kiss someone, you exchange millions of undetectable bacteria. If your bacteria and their bacteria get along, the kiss will induce warm sentiments.

  • They Get Your Heart Beating Faster

    Love is often compared to a roller coaster because of the intensity of the emotions involved. Did you know riding a roller coaster with someone can make you fall for them romantically? A roller coaster ride ignites similar sensations to love in the body, brain, and heart.

    So, if you engage in any activity that causes your heart to beat rapidly, hands and fingers to sweat profusely, and body to feel simultaneously aroused and passionate, you run the chance of associating these characteristics with your fellow rider, as opposed to the roller coaster itself.

  • They're At A Certain Stage In Their Cycle

    Ovulation kits, apps, and calendars are all the rage these days, but science says that, at least for heterosexual couples, there's another way to track a woman's menstrual cycle. The key is to tune in to the male partner's behavior as opposed to the female reproductive system. As further proof that heterosexual men subconsciously seek fertility in their mate, it turns out they are almost always more attracted to women at the time of ovulation.

    In fact, the entire makeup industry is fueled by this concept - for example, blushing is believed to be a subtle sign of fertility.