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Understanding Attraction and How It Applies to You

"Opposites attract." This is as far as electromagnetism is concerned. How about in human relationships, is there such a law of attraction? Is attraction a matter of chemistry? In the animal kingdom, the attraction between animals of the opposite sex is all about chemicals called pheromones. The effect of pheromones in behavior of insects is the most studied to date.

In some experiments involving ant colonies, pheromones are responsible for communication among same species. Some species of apes rub pheromone containing urine on the feet of potential mates to attract them. Some scientists believe that female insects and mammals send chemical signals that help their mates distinguish species. The perfume industry has capitalized on pheromones as a means to increase one's sexual attractiveness to the opposite sex. People hunt animals, such as the whale and the musk deer, for these chemicals. Lately, scientists are looking into the existence of human pheromones and its role in mate selection.

There are many conflicting views in the realms of biology, chemistry, genetics, and psychology. Most scientists would assert that these chemicals do not exist, or if these indeed exist, these chemicals do not play a role in sexual attraction between a man and a woman. However, Swiss researchers from the University of Bern, led by Klaus Wedekind, are making scientists rethink their stand.

The experiment involved women sniffing cotton shirts of different men during their ovulation period. The study showed that women prefer the smell of shirts of men who shared similarities with the women's genes. Like the case of insects and other mammals, this was to ensure healthier characteristics for their future children. The said researchers cautioned that preference for male odor is also affected by women's ovulation period, the food that men eat, perfumes and other scented body products, and the use of contraceptive pills.

Does personality figure in sexual attraction? According to a research conducted by Klohnen, E.C., & S. Luo in 2003, a person's sense of self-security and the person's perception of his/her partner were strong determinants of attraction in hypothetical situations. What does this tell you? You may have preference with regard to personality types and this explains your attraction to a particular person.

However, the actual personality of the person can only be verified through close interaction through time. In this case, it is your perception of your potential partner's personality that attracts you to him/her. So, how does attraction figure in relationships? You have probably heard that attraction is just a prelude. Attraction alone cannot make a relationship work. Attraction makes you notice a person from the opposite sex, but once you get to know the person more, attraction is just one consideration. Shared values, dreams, and passions become more significant in establishing long-term relationships.

If this is the case, should you stop trying to become attractive? More than trying to become physically attractive, you should work on all aspects of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being. Physical attraction is a precursor. Biology predisposes you to choose the partner with the healthiest genes. Just ask yourself, "Would you want to spend time with a person who feels insecure about him/herself?" Probably not! There is wisdom in knowing yourself.

Never pretend to be someone you are not. Fooling another person by making him/her think that you share the same values and beliefs is only going to cause disappointments. As mentioned in the Klohnen and Luo's research, a person's sense of self-security matters more than just physical attractiveness. Just be yourself!.

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