What Do Men Find Attractive?

What Do Men Find Attractive
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First of all, what do you think defines attractive? It’s interesting because a guy friend of mine said his girlfriend would be what he would call pretty even though he didn’t think she fit the mold of what society called pretty. Does that mean there can be an openness to different types? I’ve wondered. Exactly what makes someone pretty? I know this is a sensitive question so no pressure in answering.

Second, for whatever it is, can guys learn to compromise on looks or be open to different types? I’ve wondered because I thought about something for me that was similar. I will it admit in high school I only went after the charming popular guys. The high school jocks. I could have said well I can’t help what I like right? Then I realized I was being superficial and should instead go after less superficial things. So I now have a crush on a guy (that’s another story) who is less of the charming type but very likable. I realized I should see what’s important. It seems your dating advice encourages women (chemistry vs compatibility something like that right?) to focus on those things over things that people value in a more superficial sense.

Lastly I’ve wondered how much of the obsession with finding a hot girl is really about attraction. It seems like it would be an of course, guys want the pretty girl because she is pretty right? Then I thought of my old high school crushes. I realized some of them I liked not really because of them, but actually because I enjoyed the praise I felt of having won the attention over of someone so impressive. It made me feel important. Really though, frankly I think it’s actually using someone. I’ve wondered if that’s something our society could work on.

Let me know what you think! Deep questions I know. No pressure in answering.

Kath

Three different questions. Three different answers.

  1. What do you think defines attractive? Can there be an openness to different types? Exactly what makes someone pretty?

The reason this one is tricky is because the answer is both objective AND subjective.

Objectively, there are traits that are almost universally considered attractive. Per Wikipedia:

Men, on average, tend to be attracted to women who have a youthful appearance and exhibit features such as a  symmetrical face,  full breasts, full lips, and a low waist-hip ratio. Women, on average, tend to be attracted to men who are both taller than they are as well as taller than other men, display a high degree of facial symmetry, masculine facial  dimorphism, and who have broad shoulders, a relatively narrow waist, and a V-shaped torso.

Sounds about right. Look at the cover of most beauty and fashion magazines and you’ll see a lot of stereotypically attractive people staring back at you.

At the same time, everybody has personal tastes and preferences. Some men like women who are curvy. Some men like women who have no body fat whatsoever. Some guys are turned on by fake boobs. Some guys are turned off by them. Some prefer tattoos and piercings. Some wouldn’t look twice. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. Some prefer ethnic. Go to Pornhub and take a look at what men look at. Top searches include: lesbian, hentai, MILF and step mom. There was almost equal representation of men looking up “mom” and “teen.” So when you ask “what’s attractive?” I would only point out that there are broad generalizations on what women and men find appealing — and there are lots of exceptions to those generalizations as well.

  1. Can guys learn to compromise on looks or be open to different types?

Yes, but it’s important we get our definitions straight. I don’t believe you can talk yourself into finding someone attractive. Attraction is not a choice; it’s a feeling. When any client of mine goes out with a guy where the chemistry is less than a 6, I tell her to move along. However, as burgeoning couples get closer and more intimate, there are many (if not most) of my clients who discover that their 6 can develop into an 8 or a 9.

To your original question, a man generally won’t compromise on looks in terms of going out with someone he doesn’t find physically appealing. But are guys open to different women who aren’t their “type?” Absolutely. When I was in high school, I was into skinny model-types from all the magazines and TV shows I consumed. Then I dated someone my senior year who was short and curvy and discovered I loved that, too. To this day, my favorite physical type is short, curvy, dark-skinned brunettes. Salma Hayek, Kim Kardashian, etc. I have NEVER had a girlfriend who looked like that. To me, dating around is like fine dining: the more you are open to trying different things, the more developed your palate gets, the more you can eat in any restaurant and find something you like. But still, you’re going to have your favorite dishes — just don’t think you have to marry one of them to be happy.

  1. I’ve wondered how much of the obsession with finding a hot girl is really about attraction or about having won the attention over of someone so impressive?

I think it’s impossible for most people to separate their motives from their desires. How many women stop to think about WHY they like “bad boys” even though we all know objectively that they make for terrible long-term partners? They don’t. They feel something, go with the feeling, get burned, and go back for more of the feeling. The brain chemistry that is associated with attraction is very much like cocaine or meth — powerful highs that make people — men and women alike — do otherwise irrational things.

The brain chemistry that is associated with attraction is very much like cocaine or meth — powerful highs that make people — men and women alike — do otherwise irrational things.

My take as a 46-year-old former slut in a 10+ year marriage is this: I think the obsession with “hot” is largely a maturity thing.

When I was a kid, I was attracted to EVERY girl who fit the description in the Wikipedia entry. Essentially, if she was physically appealing, I would have a crush on her, regardless of what her personality was like. Now, I STILL find plenty of women physically appealing, and in an alternate universe where I was single, would gladly have NSA sex with 25% of the female population. But after all my experience, I know better than to think that strong attraction + good sex = happiness.

Which is why I can be attracted to so many people and be the world’s safest husband. It doesn’t occur to me for one second that I’d be happier with anyone other than my wife. That’s what I mean by maturity.

Men who are still driven by the need to get the hot girl literally only see women for their looks. They don’t see women as having value beyond that, so they place a disproportionately high premium on it. Witness the rich men/trophy wife phenomenon. But, as someone crude and wise once said to me, “See that hot woman over there? Some guy is getting sick of fucking her right now.” Which is precisely my point. Since most of life and marriage is not about sex and attraction, it seems short-sighted to place the highest value on sex and attraction. If a random guy asked me for blanket dating advice, I’d tell him to look for two qualities first: happy and sane. Brilliant is a bonus. Hot is a bonus. Because if you are with someone who is unhappy and unreasonable when dealing with conflict, you’re never going to have a great marriage — no matter how rich and attractive the both of you are.

Thanks for the thought-provoking question. If you liked my answer, please share it with a friend, and issue your comments below.

  

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Comments:

  1. 41
    Emily, to

    Marika,
    “Eg I mentioned some time ago I met a model-hot Brazilian. He was by far the most gorgeous man I’ve ever dated, and close to the most gorgeous man I’ve ever seen in normal life. Chemistry in person was weaker than his pics … I’ve also spoken about an overweight guy I met in Austria I wouldn’t have given a second glance to, but once he spoke and after we spent a few hours together my attraction went from a 4 to an 8.”
    I think the female posters understand this. I’m not sure the male posters do.They don’t experience attraction the same way.
    “But the people who are single in my social circle (and here) who constantly chase chemistry and ‘just know’, but actually are blind to the fact that this HAS NEVER worked out to produce a long-term, happy, loving relationship…I’m not sure what the point is in constantly justifying this approach.”
    I think everyone’s rethinking the chemistry thing, Marika, but dating without high chemistry requires making a conscious choice versus operating on feeling and impulse. It’s very different.

    1. 41.1
      Clare

      Emily,

      I think in some ways it’s natural human thing to chase a chemical high. It’s why people drink, take drugs, engage in extreme sports, dream of being famous, rush to get into bed with a stranger… However, hopefully many people realise the downsides of these activities. It doesn’t negate the pleasure that comes from them, but hopefully a different side of our brain kicks in and we realise a need to balance that pleasure-seeking with a need for self-preservation.

      Speaking for myself, I’m definitely a pleasure-seeking type, and definitely one who would get caught up in the high of a new relationship, which is driven by high chemistry with the other person. I think what turned it around for me was seeing repeatedly that that high does not last, and that’s when the unhappiness starts to seep through. After having numerous experiences like this, I got really sick of it, and my brain started (slowly) to put the pieces together: what made me happy, what made me unhappy, what qualities made for a consistent, caring and loyal boyfriend, what qualities I was prepared to compromise on. Mostly I think it was a self-preservation instinct – it was just an unwillingness to keep getting hurt, which I think is also a powerful motivator in humans.

      But it involved consciously looking at things like, how often, how consistently and how willingly does the guy communicate, how consistently does he make plans, how much effort does he put in. How caring and respectful is he. How reliable and responsible is he, how faithful is he. Does he have all the character traits in place that make for an objectively sound partner.

      That’s one layer of it. Then you move to the next one, which is subjective. Does he make for a good partner for me personally? Can I be around him consistently in a happy, relaxed manner, do I enjoy his company or does he irritate the ever-living shit out of me? Does his lifestyle complement mine? Do we have things to talk about? Do our values align? Can he respect and accept the way I live my life? Do I consistently want to have sex with him?

      So yeah, there’s a lot of thinking that takes place and as Evan rightly points out, it can’t happen in a few weeks or even a few months, and it’s hardly surprising that most relationships fizzle out at the chemistry stage. But I think you have more of a chance if you start with solid character traits.

      1. 41.1.1
        Emily, to

        Hi Clare,
        “I think what turned it around for me was seeing repeatedly that that high does not last, and that’s when the unhappiness starts to seep through. ”
        Ita but it still sucks. It’s a kick in the gut from the Creator. “I’m going to make some people hypnotically appealing to you but that feeling won’t last and when it wears out you’ll realize they’ll be all wrong for you. And after you get burned from that enough, you’ll start to look for exciting qualities like consistency and whether you can stand each other for long periods of time.” 🙂 Can I take this a step further? Look at the number the Creator did on women. Menstruation, childbirth, impossibly hot gay men (I mean, if you want to find the hottest men in any city, go to a gay bar, right?) …. Good night.

        1. Clare

          Emmo,

          I know you were being tongue-in-cheek here… although you can’t help but acknowledge that the Big Man gave men a pretty raw deal in some areas as well – shorter life expectancy, premature balding, heart disease, a sex drive which is MUCH higher than their ability to have actual, real life sex.

          For what it’s worth, I think men also have much the same experience when it comes to repeated heartbreak teaching them to place less of a premium on chemistry. The number of men I have met who have tales of woe of being cheated on by hot ex-girlfriends absolutely beggars the imagination. They finally come to the sad but mature realisation that hotness does not always = good girlfriend/wife material.

          For example, my current boyfriend’s ex-wife was a model. He followed her halfway across the world, so I think it’s fair to say there was high chemistry. She cheated on him repeatedly and also regularly used to break his things and verbally abuse his family members when she got into a rage.

          He learned from that experience to seek emotional stability, loyalty and a caring, calm disposition in a partner.

          Is that really such an uninspiring and cruel lesson designed to torture and humiliate us? Maybe a little. But quite frankly, I think what you are left with when you stop overvaluing chemistry and start truly appreciating good partnership qualities is something soooo superior to the chemical high.

          (I hear what you are saying. Why does the food that’s good for you need to taste like brussel sprouts? Except that it doesn’t. Some food is both insanely healthy and insanely tasty.)

        2. Evan Marc Katz

          Clare gets it. Marika gets it.

        3. Emily, to

          Clare,
          “Is that really such an uninspiring and cruel lesson designed to torture and humiliate us? Maybe a little. But quite frankly, I think what you are left with when you stop overvaluing chemistry and start truly appreciating good partnership qualities is something soooo superior to the chemical high.”
          You’re left with a really nice friendship that is kind of like one you’d have with a woman, only there’s sex.

          “(I hear what you are saying. Why does the food that’s good for you need to taste like brussel sprouts? Except that it doesn’t. Some food is both insanely healthy and insanely tasty.)”
          Which food is that? 🙂

        4. Clare

          Emily,

          “You’re left with a really nice friendship that is kind of like one you’d have with a woman, only there’s sex.”

          Ew. The way you describe that makes even my skin crawl. I don’t feel the way I feel about my boyfriend about *any* of my female friends.

          My boyfriend is hot (to me, at least). He is at least as hot as any guy I have had a more casual relationship with, and we have very good chemistry between us, I assure you. There is no lack of sex and no lack of wanting to have sex with each other. When I haven’t seen him in a few days, I literally dream of ripping his clothes off. I know this may be TMI, but I think it’s important to make my point. In this regard, our relationship is at least as exciting as any of the more unreliable flings I’ve had in the past.

          I say this because I really want to make the point that you don’t have to throw chemistry under the bus in order to get a great guy. Your description of a woman friendship with sex sounds so uninspiring… you couldn’t get me to sign up for that shit. I *have* in fact broken up with guys in the past who were great but who did not inspire any passion in me. Instead, I held out for a guy whom I felt strong attraction to *and* who was consistent, caring and committed. I genuinely feel as if I have won the jackpot, and if it was possible for me, it’s possible for others. There are 7.5 billion people in the world.

          So, as I pointed out, my current boyfriend definitely delivers in the chemistry department. And *on top of that*, he phones me every day, makes plans with me every weekend and during the week, has met my friends and family, is attentive, affectionate and kind, even-tempered and easygoing and never leaves me guessing. He *also* is fun and willing to have exciting adventures with me.

          If you tried to suggest to me for even one minute that what I have in some way compares unfavourably to the hot, unreliable guys of my past, I’d laugh heartily and probably feel a touch of sympathy.

          I know I’ve used my own life as an example a lot here, but it’s because I really believe that if someone with my dating history and experiences can experience great happiness and fulfillment in a relationship, others can too. I really don’t believe people have to “settle” if they don’t want to. They need to get clear on what they want and stop accepting anything else. And of course if what you want is *only* chemistry and unreliability and the dramatic highs and lows that come with that… well then, it’s hardly surprising that the road of love will be peppered with pain.

          “Which food is that? ”

          Avocado. Smoked salmon. Game meat (venison, warthog, etc.). Homemade pizza with a crispy base and loads of roasted vegetables and white cheese. Fresh spicy chicken salad. Strawberries. I could go on and on, but I think my point is it doesn’t have to be either/or. That is a false dichotomy.

        5. Emily, to

          Hi Clare,
          “Ew. The way you describe that makes even my skin crawl. I don’t feel the way I feel about my boyfriend about *any* of my female friends.”
          I guess my point was … to me, love is what else is there if you completely remove chemistry and sex from the table. And, yes, that is how I feel about female friends. Less so about family. I’m not close with my family. I don’t think, in my relationships with men, there’s been much else there besides chemistry and sex. I’m glad you have found both love and chemistry. I haven’t experienced that. I’m not saying it’s not possible.
          “Avocado. Smoked salmon. Game meat (venison, warthog, etc.). Homemade pizza with a crispy base and loads of roasted vegetables and white cheese. Fresh spicy chicken salad. Strawberries.”
          I don’t care for most of those foods, to be honest. Avocado is squishy! And no dairy is healthy. I don’t mind chicken, strawberries and some vegetables, but they’re all health foods. Last night I had some grass-feed ground beef, which I seasoned, and Brussels sprouts with coconut oil and balsamic vinegar. It was a filling meal, satisfying, tasty, but it could never compare to going face forward in the brownie pan with no thought to weight gain, a big old Diet Coke and 12 hours of Johnny Depp movies. 🙂 The first meal is a conscious choice to have some level of restraint and make better choices. The latter is beautiful, unadulterated abandon. 🙂

        6. SparklingEmerald

          Clare said : I say this because I really want to make the point that you don’t have to throw chemistry under the bus in order to get a great guy.***************************

          Clare, I am so happy for you, to have found a great guy who treats you well and floats your boat. You are right, you can have both, it’s not an either or.

          One doesn’t have to choose between brussel sprouts and twinkies. I LOVE your food list. Have you ever made chocolate pudding out of ripe avacado’s ? I make mine using raw cacao and stevia. Talk about insanely delicious and insanely healthy.

        7. SparklingEmerald

          Someone said : ““You’re left with a really nice friendship that is kind of like one you’d have with a woman, only there’s sex.”

          Sounds like FWB to me.

        8. Emily, to

          Sparkling Emerald,
          What’s the difference? I’m serious. Isn’t that what a relationship is? Someone you have a really close friendship with and someone you’re intimate with? So take away the sex, and you still have a close friendship. Haven’t you loved some of your platonic friends? You just didn’t want to have sex with them. Haven’t you ever had a male friend and people sensed your connection and people thought you were together? You clicked, just not sexually. Or a gay male friend you loved who would be perfect for you if only he was straight.The missing element is sexual.

        9. Clare

          Emily,

          “I don’t care for most of those foods, to be honest.”

          I love the fact that, as with with dating and food, we all have such different tastes! Variety and differences make the world go round. I’m not saying any of my food choices need to be your cup of tea, or that the way I went about finding a great relationship needs to be your way… We all can and should be finding our own way and our own version of what’s ideal. I was just using myself as an example.

          My point was that your life is limited only by your own imagination. If you can imagine and want your ideal relationship, I assure you it is possible. You may have to tweak your specs slightly along the way, but… you know… go for it! Don’t be held back by the (false) idea that relationships are some sort of cruel, ironic joke.

          “but it could never compare to going face forward in the brownie pan with no thought to weight gain, a big old Diet Coke and 12 hours of Johnny Depp movies. The first meal is a conscious choice to have some level of restraint and make better choices. The latter is beautiful, unadulterated abandon. ”

          To be perfectly honest, I indulge in the “face forward in the brownie pan” experience on a regular basis. Life is too short not to. A life without cake is a life I don’t care to live. I just balance it out with plenty of long walks and lots of lean food as well, but I sure as heck don’t deprive myself.

        10. Clare

          Sparkling Emerald,

          I have to be honest, I’ve never made chocolate pudding with ripe avocados. I can’t imagine it. Is it good?

          My best is to eat a whole ripe avocado on its own with a glass of milk. Breakfast of champions.

      2. 41.1.2
        emily, to

        Clare,
        “To be perfectly honest, I indulge in the “face forward in the brownie pan” experience on a regular basis. Life is too short not to. A life without cake is a life I don’t care to live. I just balance it out with plenty of long walks and lots of lean food as well, but I sure as heck don’t deprive myself.”
        Really? If I did that, I’d gain a bunch a weight. I’m all indulgence or restraint, I have to keep the shackles on or I start to veer … 🙂

      3. 41.1.3
        SparklingEmerald

        Clare said “To be perfectly honest, I indulge in the “face forward in the brownie pan” experience on a regular basis. Life is too short not to. A life without cake is a life I don’t care to live. I just balance it out with plenty of long walks and lots of lean food as well, but I sure as heck don’t deprive myself.”

        Oh I am so jealous. In my younger days that was my life style and I was skinny as a stick. And no, didn’t really exercise much. Now I drink green smoothies, eat salads and home mades soups and exercise 5-10 hours a week just to maintain a slightly overweight (about 10 pounds according the charts) Oh to be able to live on ice cream Sundaes and brownies and be too skinny !


        Clare said
        Sparkling Emerald,
        I have to be honest, I’ve never made chocolate pudding with ripe avocados. I can’t imagine it. Is it good? ***********************8

        I think it is orgasmically good, but then again, I am someone who can list the food I DON’T like on one hand. Which is good, because I can no longer live on the steady diet of junk food like I did in my youth, without blowing up like a life raft. Luckily, since I do enjoy almost every food, I can take high sugar, high fat recipes and tweak them to a healthier alternative, and be satisfied with healthier food choices. Another one of my “orgasmically healthy” food treats is bananas, strawberries and almond milk smoothies.

        If I could have been as satisfied with a variety of men, as I am with foods, I probably would have gotten married right out of high school.

        1. Clare

          Emm & Sparkling Emerald,

          I have me a fast metabolism, and I can still indulge in my love for cake, chocolate and full-fat dairy products and not put on weight.

          The good Lord needs to give us these compensations sometimes so that we don’t just end it all somewhere along the way, you know?

        2. Emily, to

          Clare,
          “The good Lord needs to give us these compensations sometimes so that we don’t just end it all somewhere along the way, you know?”
          Yeah, but He gave us cake like He gave us high chemistry. Something to dangle in front of our faces. Something we’d crave but isn’t good for us. Even if you can eat cake and not gain weight, sugar is bad for us. I think He’s standing outside of humanity, watching us and laughing his head off.

  2. 42
    Marika

    Hi Clare

    Still can’t use reply 🙁

    Yes, you’re right. Absolutely!

    Chill? Relax? Who the what now? 😉
    I exaggerate… I just don’t generally find first dates relaxing. Unless I find the guy completely meh. Second date on, yes I can relax. I still find *dates* themselves a bit full on, again, if I care and really like them.

    I think if I could find enough fun activities with lots of guys I would much prefer that to online dating. A few times I’ve just been doing my thing, wearing whatever and in a non datey vibe and met someone where there was a natural, unforced connection. Because there were no expectations. At all. No build up. No interviewing.

    I guess it’s about making any date feel like that. Someone mentioned semantics. I think changing it to ‘hanging out’ or whatever could be useful.

    S.

    I think the Believe In Love resource could help. Keeping the faith and enjoying the ride all the time believing, knowing it will all work out. I think as both the loved up Clare and Sparkling once said: online dating sucks…until it doesn’t. 🙂

    1. 42.1
      Clare

      Marika,

      I can’t reply either :/

      “I think if I could find enough fun activities with lots of guys I would much prefer that to online dating. A few times I’ve just been doing my thing, wearing whatever and in a non datey vibe and met someone where there was a natural, unforced connection. Because there were no expectations. At all. No build up. No interviewing.”

      I understand you a bit better now, and I have to say I agree with you. Personally, the ability of a person to put me at ease was one of the big things I looked for in dating. I would purposefully schedule very chilled out first dates because I loathe being interviewed and interrogated and would prefer a connection and getting to know each other happens organically and over time. A drink or two at a pub would be my first choice for a first date. Pubs are naturally very relaxed, and you can skip out after the first drink if you’re not feeling it, or decide to stay for dinner if you’re having a good time.

      However, like you mentioned, there have been times where meetings or time spent with a guy have taken a completely unconventional format and we’ve had the best time. Last minute plans or just randomly saying yes to some interesting suggestion that they make are often like that. I think it’s good to mix it up and be spontaneous and also be open to just “hanging out” and not always feeling like we have to religiously stick to the tried and true “date” formula. Frankly, the idea of having a three course dinner with a complete stranger in a stuffy restaurant, while being asked deep and probing questions about my plans for the future, makes me want to go out and hang myself by my own shoelaces.

  3. 43
    S.

    This is an interesting discussion. It’s rare that I date someone that I don’t have high chemistry for. It usually starts at least at 4 or 5 and goes to 7-8 if I keep dating him. By the time we are on date 4 – 5, it’s pretty high. These are average to below-average looking physically men but their personalities!!!! Makes me want to be on them like white on rice, seriously.

    I am examining my most recent crush. Lately, I really haven’t had the strong attraction as I’ve been meeting men in real life and just really connecting with them. I think for me the key is safety. It’s so rare for me to feel really safe with male-bodied people. Not about my physical safety but emotionally safe. It’s just rare for a man to understand me or take the time to understand me. That’s important cause I’m not typical. With online dating it was all about the physical. Sure, I messaged and phoned a lot but the mystery was, what will it be like in person?

    In person, for ME not every woman, I just try to connect with the person. Of course there has to be a baseline of meeting some physical requirements (for me clean cut, neat, and well groomed go a long way) but it doesn’t have to be strong. It could be a two, but personality/character an 8. I’ll date that guy as long as the attraction ramps up to 7-8 which it usually does. It’s so odd how a guy who isn’t that attractive physically can go to be super-attractive on personality alone. Also if he smells good. That guy smelled divine up until the day he broke up with me.

    And yes, there was a guy before him who was physically more attractive, but personally dialed that way, way down. I don’t think we ever even kissed.

    I like meeting men in real life. I like getting to know them as people first. I know I’m an anomaly but I’m a happy anomaly. Marika, 42.1, I’m enjoying the ride in a different way. Still putting myself out there because you have to show some vulnerability to be friends. But I’m learning that not all love has to be romantic and sexual. Some is and some isn’t. I’m grateful for all the different types of love in my life.

  4. 44
    Mike

    Interesting thread.

    Admittedly for us as men, attraction is much more closely tied to looks. Now, it CAN start off moderate (as in upon seeing her, to use the 0–10 scale, maybe a 6) and, over a period of several dates, go up much higher. Or it could go down too. But it is damn near impossible for myself anyway to find someone a from first appearance 4 say and have it go up.

    That said, I think many of us as men do not understand how attraction is triggered in women, but I would like to think that most of us know by the time we reach high school that it is not primarily triggered by our displaying passive value i.e., being good-looking. I would even go so far to say that a guy being good-looking can HURT his game so to speak. If he is really good-looking and smooth on the one hand, women have their guard up towards him and assume that he is a Player. If a guy is good-looking and socially awkward, on the other hand, then that actually comes across creepy, much more so than if he were as socially awkward but only average-looking. As in, the guy’s good looks makes his social awkwardness even more glaring. Maybe women are wondering why is this guy so awkward when he has so much going for him in terms of looks.

    1. 44.1
      Emily, to

      Hi Mike,
      “That said, I think many of us as men do not understand how attraction is triggered in women,”
      No, most men don’t. Sorry to blunt.
      ” I would even go so far to say that a guy being good-looking can HURT his game so to speak. If he is really good-looking and smooth on the one hand, women have their guard up towards him and assume that he is a Player.”
      I wouldn’t go that far. A good-looking guy with game … the world is his oyster. However, an average-looking guy with game can do really well. Confidence, game, personality and being able to approach and talk to women (a BIG element) can make up for a lot,

  5. 45
    Marika

    Sparkling

    I specifically said that it worked out for you and so all good. I even mentioned you by name. Other people I know have either stopped dating or keep getting burned, but still justify their approach as their only option. So for them I wonder why they don’t try something new. Especially if they are on here and it’s a key message of Evan’s.

    No need to be so defensive. Particularly when I said that clearly your approach worked for you.

    1. 45.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Hi Marika – “I specifically said that it worked out for you and so all good. I even mentioned you by name. ”

      Hi Marika – since reply wasn’t working I am not sure what specific post you are referring to. Sorry if I came across as “defensive”.

      I do remember you mentioning that it “worked out for me” so all good, but I think since it worked out for me, it can work out for others too. After all, I failed again and again, until I didn’t.

      Now, since I am getting lost in the thread, do you mind me asking (and again I mean no snark) if the “something new” you are suggesting going on a second date with someone whom there is ZERO chemistry and hope that it grows, or if your “something new” is not to look for SUPER HOT chemistry ?

      If your advice is to give ZERO chemistry guys another chance, how do you recommend handling the physical part of the second chance guys ? In my younger days, it was MUCH easier to date “second chance” guys (still never worked but easier) because sexual escalation timelines were much slower. Having sex on a third date wasn’t considered “waiting” and couples dating for 3-6 months before having full sex (usually rounding the bases) was actually quite normal.

      This time around, giving a guy a second chance, usually means he likely will attempt some sort of sexual escalation. So should you make out (heavy make out, not a quick peck on the lips) with someone you feel ZERO attraction for, and hope it grows ? What about light petting ? If Mr 2nd chance guy, goes for 2nd base on a 2nd date, and you still feel ZERO attraction, what then ? Honestly, I’m not trying to be difficult here, but this is why in my LAST incarnation of dating, any guys I gave a 2nd chance to, would go from ZERO attraction to ICK if they started with the heavy kissing or groping. In my very early days, at least 2nd chance guys wouldn’t be trying to ram their tongue down my throat or get their hands under my bra on a 2nd or 3rd date. So at least when I gave them a 2nd chance, I didn’t have to fight off unwanted sexual advances while I was trying to decide if I even wanted sexual advances.

      If you are just talking about giving moderate attraction a chance, I totally agree with you, but if you mean give zero attraction guys another chance, I respectfully (an non-defensively)disagree.

      1. 45.1.1
        Penny

        “Honestly, I’m not trying to be difficult here, but this is why in my LAST incarnation of dating, any guys I gave a 2nd chance to, would go from ZERO attraction to ICK if they started with the heavy kissing or groping. In my very early days, at least 2nd chance guys wouldn’t be trying to ram their tongue down my throat or get their hands under my bra on a 2nd or 3rd date. So at least when I gave them a 2nd chance, I didn’t have to fight off unwanted sexual advances while I was trying to decide if I even wanted sexual advances.”

        This is how it went for me. If I went on a second date, the man would try to grope me all over. In one case, I was interested in getting to know him first but he had other ideas. I accidentally hit him in the groin trying to fend him off (that didn’t deter him any though). I ended up not going out with him again because I didn’t want to be in that situation anymore.

  6. 46
    Marika

    Hi Mike

    Interesting what you say about good looking men. I’m not sure….I think good looking and smooth is a bit like cat nip. You wish you had a guard up but you (as a woman) can unfortunately be drawn to that! Damn!!

    Socially awkward is not great for me, but there’s a lid for every pot, I can see how it could be cute and appealing. I’ve met some friends’ partners who are all bumbling and they grow on you with their confused charm 🙂

    I think the worst is the hot guy (/girl?) who has relied on that and developed zero personality. That’s the worst for me. The arrogance of the idea they have come to believe you should value being around them just because they are hot. Their efforts are low, they don’t ask you any questions….*shudder*. Hard pass.

    The thing about the attraction numbers…out of interest, why would you be on a date with someone you felt such low attraction (4)? Or do you mean in general? I actually would have agreed a very low number can never grow, but it actually did for me and quickly, but to be fair it was only one time. I certainly wasn’t repulsed by him, he just was not on my radar…until he started speaking. Hellooo I’m in love 😉

    At the end of the day, certainly for women, personality, warmth, charm, goes a LONG way. It’s key. A charming, fun, engaging man can convince you he must be hotter than he appears. I’ve known a few men I thought were a bit gross. But they had a way about them…women were throwing themselves at them, heartbreaks, the lot. I kept thinking I must be missing something! PUA techniques work. They really do. I just hope those guys also work on being great partners. Both those guys I mentioned ended up being terrible partners. One was on his third divorce by his mid 30s and was involved in almost breaking up another marriage. The other was emotionally abusive. It’s scary when people have that appeal, the draw.. and use it for sinister purposes.

    1. 46.1
      Mike

      Hi Marika!

      As for the “4” comment, I am talking about a woman that you happen to meet e.g., a coworker, someone new at your CrossFit box ect., or someone who sits next to me at a bar. I would not be on a date with her. I definitely can recount instances where someone who initially registered as a “6” to me soon became the woman whom I couldn’t stop thinking about. Maybe it is the way she exuded confidence combined with the way she laughed at my jokes, sat in just a little too close, and gave me great eye contact.

      So yes, you said it right, personality, charm, and warmth, goes a long way. For both genders really! Truth be told, many of us dudes experience only rarely a woman being fascinated with us. And so a woman who is able to give a guy that experience tends to really be valued.

      Well, yeah……what you said in your last paragraph really does illustrate much of the frustration a lot of guys have with dating. On the one hand, you have plenty of guys who seemingly have a lot going for them–good career, looks, emotionally stable, interested in a relationship–who struggle with attraction and connection with women. These are the nice guys who look decent on paper who, on your first date with them, ask you all sorts of nice questions about your job and family. And on the other hand, you have dudes who seem to have nothing going for them who just draw attention to them. And so the nice guys are frustrated as hell–they kept hearing that women just want a decent guy, and yet despite these guys being just that, they keep getting rejected because they cannot inspire those feelings of chemistry in a woman.

    2. 46.2
      Mike

      I will tell you an [admittedly painful] story from a decade ago, when I had decided that I was going to get more control over my dating life.

      I had signed up for Match. I wrote a woman who seemed to be out of my league, but lo and behold, she was happy to hear from me. We met up for a date, and she was even better-looking in real-life than she was in her photos. Anyway, we got to talking about our experiences on the site.

      She mentioned how hard it was to meet a decent guy. Then she told me about the last guy she dated. Basically he showed up for their date not looking anything like his pictures. Supposedly according to her he had really let himself go physically. He also wouldn’t take off his baseball cap either. And, during the *second date*, she finds out that he lied about his job too. [I trust that you caught that key detail–despite everything going wrong on the first date, she still gave him a second date. When I noted that I was surprised there was a second date, she said “I am not a shallow person, I get that looks fade”.]

      Now, here I was at the time thinking I had this date in the bag. I had felt nervous meeting her at first, but it wasn’t like I was tripping over my words on anything. And she could google search to see that I was gainfully employed. And I looked like my pictures only, as I was lifting weights even more often that month, maybe even a bit better! And the conversation was flowing pretty well. I figured I had it way over that other guy whom she gave a second date to.

      Well, you can guess what really ended up happening. We do end up talking for about 2 1/2 hours at the bar–it was a worknight–and then I walk her to her car, a hug but no kiss. Then when I bring up us getting together again, she responds with “no chemistry”.

      That rejection stung. If I got told that because she is used to dating the likes of George Clooney, then yeah. But Mr Out-OF-Shape Schlub who lied about everything on his profile could inspire chemistry. And I could not, despite having things that he did not, like a decent job, looking good, and representing myself honestly. I do remember banging my head on the wall–well maybe not literally–wondering at the time what was wrong with me.

      1. 46.2.1
        Emily, to

        Mike,
        “That rejection stung. If I got told that because she is used to dating the likes of George Clooney, then yeah. But Mr Out-OF-Shape Schlub who lied about everything on his profile could inspire chemistry.”
        But, in my opinion, you can’t inspire chemistry. That’s something the manosphere has incorrectly told men. It’s there or it’s not. Have you not met really nice, reasonably attractive women who were making an effort with you but despite their efforts there was really nothing they could do to get you attracted to them? It’s the same thing. Now, if a certain amount of chemistry is there — it’s a hormonal, physiological response to someone that can’t be controlled or willed into existence — personality can help make up the rest and bump a medium, 5- or 6-level chemistry higher. But if it starts off at a 1 or 2 … that’s too much of a jump. Also, if a woman is really feeling the chemistry, a man has to do something really stupid to kill it. Scream at the waiter, be very rude, etc. He doesn’t have to be rico suave to win her over. She’ll give him lots of leeway.

        1. Buck25

          Emily,
          Exactly! Its not a conscious choice; a good bit of what we call “chemistry” operates mostly on a subliminal level, and contrary to the claims of a lot of PUAs, or “experts” touting books or videos purportedly telling men how to attract “any woman you want”, there is no magic bullet or secret formula that will create it when wanted. So far as I know, neither men nor women can just will ourselves to be attracted to someone when we just …aren’t. We all recognize the “white hot” kind of attraction when we feel it, but but more commonly, initial attraction is somewhat less. There has to be some minimal threshold of attraction in the beginning, though. So exactly how high is that? Different, and highly individual. You might need a higher threshold than say, Marika. You might need a lesser one then Sylvana. I might need a higher threshold of chemistry than Mike. Regardless, any prospect has to meet or exceed whatever our own attraction threshold is, or the other factors really won’t come into play. Obviously the same applies from their side(again, both genders). At or past that level of attraction, then personality and other characteristics come into play, and can result in attraction growing to a higher level. It has to have that basic starting point, something beyond repulsive, or just blah (like the date you mentioned).

          Mike,
          I think most of us have experienced something like you did on the date you described. Never feels good of course, but it is what it is, and it’s not personal, usually; best to see it in that light. In that case, you may have dodged a bullet anyway; some of her conversation would have definitely turned me off, for sure.

        2. Emily, to

          Buck25,

          “Exactly! Its not a conscious choice; a good bit of what we call “chemistry” operates mostly on a subliminal level, and contrary to the claims of a lot of PUAs, or “experts” touting books or videos purportedly telling men how to attract “any woman you want”, there is no magic bullet or secret formula that will create it when wanted.”
          Hi. Where you been? Ita with your statement. All anyone can do is show up as their best self — look their best, be witty, charming, attentive, listen, ask questions, etc. The rest of it is arbitrary and illogical. And turning someone down doesn’t mean you’re an asshole and that you haven’t given someone a chance, yada, yada, yada. I read somewhere that Marlon Brando actually turned down Elizabeth Taylor in her prime because he didn’t think her ass was big enough. Now if that isn’t a perfect example of how random, arbitrary, and completely inexplicable attraction is …. Who would turn down Elizabeth Taylor, unless he didn’t think he could handle her? 🙂

        3. SparklingEmerald

          Buck said “Buck25
          Emily,
          Exactly! Its not a conscious choice; a good bit of what we call “chemistry” operates mostly on a subliminal level, and contrary to the claims of a lot of PUAs, or “experts” touting books or videos purportedly telling men how to attract “any woman you want”, there is no magic bullet or secret formula that will create it when wanted. So far as I know, neither men nor women can just will ourselves to be attracted to someone when we just …aren’t.
          *****************
          Hi Buck – Good to see you posting again !

          I agree with you about chemistry not being something that can be willed or forced. But maybe it’s different for some people, due to all the debates about it.

          Also, I don’t get this “a little bit of chemistry”. To me it’s either moderate or intense (and I prefer moderate, I haven’t even hit that white hot intensity of my youth, thank goodness) I do have what I call “intellectual attraction” and that is someone who I think I SHOULD be attracted to, but I am not. They are physically attractive enough, and have a pleasant enough personality. Believe me, I have tried to FORCE myself into an attraction and have been very sad that I couldn’t, so I had to stop doing that. Maybe that’s what someone would call ” a little bit of attraction” and maybe some women can grow that, but I know from many years that I can’t (and in many cases, I wish I would) For me, the difference between “no attraction” and “low attraction” is like the difference between a D minus grade and a failing grade. Technically the D minus is a passing grade, but who on earth would settle for D minus ??????

          To me, dating a guy just because he didn’t turn me off, would be like being friends with people, simply because I didn’t hate or dislike them. I need to “click” with women in order to be friends. If it’s someone that I don’t particularly dislike, but I don’t really click with, I am polite and maybe friendly to them around the water cooler, but they get thrown into the “friendly acquaintence” category, not the friend category. And if I don’t “click” with someone (male or female), it doesn’t make either one of bitches or whatever.

          I think there is a reason why we call it “chemistry” “clicking” or even “a lid for every pot”. It is not about either person individually, it is about how well they fit together. A large pot and small pot lid wouldn’t work well together. Neither utensil is defective, just not right for each other.

          Now, if I refuse a 2nd date with someone for jerky behavior, I don’t call that “no chemistry”, I call that jerky behavior. Sometimes I refuse a 2nd date because of a glaring incompatibility that was uncovered during that time. (Case in point, one date admitted to being a regular pot smoker, and for me that was a “no”. ) So that wasn’t “no chemistry” and not even “jerky behavior”. I don’t really think pot smokers are bad people, but I didn’t want to deal with the legal ramifications. When I have refused 2nd dates due to no chemistry on my end, that’s all I mean. I just didn’t click with him. Neither one of us did anything wrong, we just didn’t click.

          Luckily, that part of my life is over, as I am now happily coupled up.

    3. 46.3
      Mike

      And….as far as the no kiss at the end of the first date, it wasn’t that I was too shy to make a move or anything. When we were face-to-face at the end of the date, she was the one who “turned the cheek” so to speak, and said “I don’t kiss on the first date”. [I do get that 2 out of 3 times this line is kind of a blow-off.]

  7. 47
    Marika

    Clare

    Haha, yes. I’ve had a few dates like that!! Oh my, just reading about the stuffy dinner with the probing questions took me instantly back to dates I’ve had with earnest types who were clearly interviewing me for role of potential wife and following some first date script …vomit! And to be fair after my divorce I think I was doing that for a while too. Live and learn.

    I was instantly taken back to a dinner with a man who clearly was not ready to date yet and spent most of the night talking about his ex. He chose quite an expensive restaurant, near him as it happened, and split the bill. When all this became obvious I thought ‘F-this’ and eventually said: “hey, if you don’t mind me saying, is it possible you’re not over your ex?”. Of course he didn’t like that, but it ended on an okay note. He was one of these text -later -saying ‘no chemistry’. Duh, really? The ones who’ve said no chemistry have often, I’ve noticed, in my experience (not targeting anyone specifically, just an observation) done nothing to create any chemistry.

    I think if there’s at least a base level of attraction, it can be good to at least consider what you personally did on the date to help make it go well, or not. Sometimes, of course, fair enough, it’s just not there and you actually would consider just being friends with the person. Other times they are crappy daters and blaming lack of chemistry.

    1. 47.1
      Clare

      Marika,

      “I think if there’s at least a base level of attraction, it can be good to at least consider what you personally did on the date to help make it go well, or not. Sometimes, of course, fair enough, it’s just not there and you actually would consider just being friends with the person. Other times they are crappy daters and blaming lack of chemistry.”

      Oh my word, I agree with you so much here! There have been so many times when I have looked at a guy’s behaviour/conversation on a date and thought how much different/better the date might have turned out the behaviour had been better. I haven’t often received the “no chemistry” text later, but on the one occasion that I did, I couldn’t help but think back on the date and remember that the guy: 1) spent a fair amount of time talking about his ex, 2) spent a fair amount of time talking about the illegal activities he engaged in in his misspent youth, 3) asked me hardly anything about myself, and 4) kissed me and asked if he could see me naked without getting *any* go-ahead signs from me.

      It was a pity because this guy was really cute and I think there definitely could have been chemistry if he was a more considerate/sophisticated dater.

      So yeah, I think some people are just not great daters but find it easier to blame “lack of chemistry” rather than look at themselves. I know I’ve talked a lot about the importance of being good company/ a good flirt/ a good conversationalist, and at the very least, having nice manners. These things can make the difference between chemistry/lack of chemistry and are part of being a pleasant human being that other people want to be around.

  8. 48
    Marika

    E THE E-ST OF E’S…

    Does it help to think about it like this: it actually should be the decision we take most seriously, with most thought, most care. Look at all the work and research we put into our career or buying a house. Anyone who’s gone through a divorce would agree, I think, that moving jobs or houses is a picnic compared to a divorce. If you think of it that way, choosing our partners because they are hot and funny is kinda ridiculous. Given how much emotional and logistical investment there is.

    1. 48.1
      Emily, to

      Marika,

      “Does it help to think about it like this: it actually should be the decision we take most seriously, with most thought, most care.”
      Is this to me? No, it doesn’t help. But, in all honesty, I’m still playing. I’ve had a really bad 2 years. All I want to do in the immediate future is have some fun. Nothing serious. Nothing heavy. I want to look at men in short shorts and go and out dance. 🙂 “All the single ladies, single lades, single ladies …”

  9. 49
    Marika

    Emeyonce

    That’s completely fine! Bring that cute-ass new haircut down here and I’ll take you out dancing. And find you a hot Aussie for the night. Different story.

    This thread started with me saying to Shaukat that my experience of the dating public, including my single friends is that they are all chemistry obsessed. So after one pressure filled hour in a pub/café they write someone off forever. Not thinking about whether making snap judgments leads to a long -term happy marriage, not thinking about their own dating skills or what they are contributing. For those who say they want a relationship.

    Somehow that read as ‘find a guy who repulses you and make him your husband’. Um, no.

    1. 49.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Welcome to my world.

      1. 49.1.1
        Marika

        Yep!… 🙁

    2. 49.2
      Emily, to

      Marika,
      “Bring that cute-ass new haircut down here and I’ll take you out dancing. And find you a hot Aussie for the night. Different story.”
      That sounds good. 🙂 Ah, the Aussie accent. 🙂 My hair isn’t all that different. I just styled it instead of throwing it back. I just haven’t given a shit in a long time because of weird work hours and never seeing hot guys. But I’m moving and will have normal work hours. One never know, do one? 🙂

      “This thread started with me saying to Shaukat that my experience of the dating public, including my single friends is that they are all chemistry obsessed. So after one pressure filled hour in a pub/café they write someone off forever. Not thinking about whether making snap judgments leads to a long -term happy marriage ”
      In different parts of the world other than the U.S., I was reading that young people hang out in groups more before one-on-one dating. It gives people a chance to get to know each other without dating pressure and, over time, EVEN MEN :), can find appealing members of the opposite sex they may not have initially noticed. It’s called familiarity breeds attempt.

      1. 49.2.1
        No Name To Give

        “One never know, do one?”

        Made me think of:

        Roses are red
        Violets are blue
        It don’t always be like that
        But sometimes it do

        1. Emily, to

          No Name to Give,
          “Roses are red
          Violets are blue
          It don’t always be like that
          But sometimes it do”

          Love it! 🙂

    3. 49.3
      Lynx

      Maria: “Somehow that read as ‘find a guy who repulses you and make him your husband’. Um, no.”

      But that would make dating SO much easier!

      1. 49.3.1
        Lynx

        (Autocorrect dubbed you, “Maria”)

  10. 50
    Marika

    Sparkling & sylvana

    Given one of you is married and one isn’t dating, why are you so invested in this? Why battle against this so hard?

    It’s nothing at all personal against either of you. The key message is just that for people who possibly can, it’s wise advice to give your dates a chance, as long as they aren’t completely unattractive to you and if you can grow in attraction towards someone. I get that it does’t work for you two, but maybe it does work for others, and it’s still good advice.

    1. 50.1
      SparklingEmerald

      Marika asked “Sparkling & sylvana
      Given one of you is married and one isn’t dating, why are you so invested in this?

      Good question, sometimes I ask myself the same thing. 🙂 I’m not really “invested”, but like many of the married/non daters, I am interested and find the conversation interesting. Also, occasionally someone will say they are glad that I still post because it gives them hope, so if I can give someone hope, I will.

      You also said ” it’s wise advice to give your dates a chance, as long as they aren’t completely unattractive to you ” By “aren’t completely unattractive ” do you mean no repulsed but still ZERO attraction ? Or do you mean, moderate attraction ? I have to respectfully disagree with setting the bar for attraction at “not repulsed” if that is what you mean. I have never not gone on a second date due to only moderate levels of attraction. I have only refused 2nd dates in the case of ZERO attraction, repulsed by, obvious non-compatibility, obnoxious behavior, obviously he’s only after sex, OR, I wasn’t asked for a 2nd date. I have never refused a second date due to ONLY moderate levels of chemistry, only ZERO.

      Not sure if you are advising women to give moderate attraction guys a chance or ZERO attraction guys a chance. If it’s the latter, I would have to respectfully disagree with that, if it’s the former, I totally agree with that.

      In my younger days, I wasn’t exactly “chasing” that wild high, more like it was chasing me. When it happened, I would act on it at some level, even when I knew it probably wouldn’t end well. But I also would go with the moderate attraction levels, and those actually worked best. And yes, in my much younger days, I really did try to give ZERO attraction guys a chance (zero, but not repulsed) but that never worked out. Sometimes it caused hard feelings, sometimes we remained friendly afterwards.

  11. 51
    S.

    @Emily, the one, the only

    Wish I could eat brownies all the time. But can’t. 🙂 I mean I could but there are consequences.

    So you do seem to get it about better choices and restraint. It ain’t just for brownies, lol!

    1. 51.1
      Emily, to

      S.,

      “Wish I could eat brownies all the time. But can’t. I mean I could but there are consequences.”
      Well, there are always consequences, with any choice. I have been eating the not-cardboard-but-still healthy food plan for EIGHT WEEKS. I am DYING for a brownie. I DREAM in brownies. But once I indulge in one brownie …. Well, it’ll be weeks of indulging in brownies. I have to contain that other Emily. 🙂

      1. 51.1.1
        S.

        And that’s similar to what it’s like dating a man with only 11 chemistry. Beautiful, unadulterated abandon. But then when you come up for air . . . and one always comes up for air. Nearly every man I’ve dated or kissed moved to 9 in chemistry by the time we were kissing. But we didn’t necessarily begin there. So in the end, I haven’t experienced intimacy with someone I have little chemistry with. And these are people I totally vet and get to know as people beforehand.

        7 chemistry that goes to 9 with a person you have more interest and in common with is just longer lasting. The 11 sounds good in theory but while the room is spinning, you’re not really assessing things as you should. At least I found difficulty with that.

        1. Emily to

          S.,
          “So in the end, I haven’t experienced intimacy with someone I have little chemistry with.
          Really? I’ve had all the way from “what-was-I thinking-i’m-leaving-asap almost negative chemistry to room is spinning” level chemistry with the people I’ve been to bed with.

          “7 chemistry that goes to 9 with a person you have more interest and in common with is just longer lasting. The 11 sounds good in theory but while the room is spinning, you’re not really assessing things as you should.”
          That was my point with the food analogy. Brownies are an 11 chemistry but once you come down off the hormonal high, you suddenly look across the room at the guy and think, “OMG. He’s just a guy.” And you hope you have some kind of connection and like each other. But the problem is that I’ve had the best sex with the high chemistry people,

        2. S.

          Nope. For me, it’s a package deal. You separate things like sex appeal, attraction, chemistry. When I want a guy I want all of him. Body, mind, everything. He’s usually my best friend while we date. It’s more than just physical intimacy which contributes to the 11. Now that doesn’t mean every single time it’s mindblowing. But the wanting is that intense. Mutually. The men have been so good to me. Even if later on we figure out we aren’t a match, they are so kind and loving, even if we’re not in love. It can be so good, Emily. 🙂

          Best sex? That’s a whole other can of worms. ‘Best’ means different for different people. Best physically? Best emotionally? Strongest orgasm? The best was with the guy I loved. We had this complete trust and safety with one another. Probably because we were friends first. We could do anything in that bedroom or *not* do anything and it would still end with us cuddling and giggling. It’s best when I completely can be myself. And he can too.

          And yeah, I do have better orgasms when I can be completely uninhibited and not hold anything, not even my emotions back. 😉

        3. Emily, to

          S.,
          “You separate things like sex appeal, attraction, chemistry.”
          I don’t separate those things (they’re all interconnected) but I separate sex and love. I mean, when you’re in the throws of intense attraction, you can think it’s love, but love to me is what’s there if you remove sex from the table. Would you still hang out together? Would you still have a connection? For you, I think sex and love are co-mingled.
          The best sex … 10-level chemistry and sexual compatibility. You like the way he kisses you, touches you, lays you out. Haven’t you ever kissed someone thinking tonight was the night … and you didn’t like it and couldn’t go further?

  12. 52
    Marika

    Sparkling

    Of course I don’t advocate second dates with someone you feel NO attraction for. Or first dates for that matter.

    Sorry, I didn’t read the rest of your comment because that is so ridiculous and not what I said. Ever.

    1. 52.1
      SparklingEmerald

      You also said ” it’s wise advice to give your dates a chance, as long as they aren’t completely unattractive to you ” By “aren’t completely unattractive ” do you mean no repulsed but still ZERO attraction ?

      Ok, maybe you think my questioning what you meant by your copy and pasted quote is “ridiculous” but honestly, if I was moderately attracted to someone, I would not describe that as “not being completely unattractive”. So even though you didn’t answer my question, I will take note of that when you say “no completely unattractive” you are indicating a moderate level of attraction. That however is how I would describe someone with whom I felt ZERO attraction (but wasn’t repulsed by)

      Again, sorry you are getting so angry at my attempts to understand what you mean. Not my intention at all.

  13. 53
    Marika

    Hi Sparkling

    I’m not angry, just frustrated.

    I think the disconnect is that you seem to have had a lot of first dates where by the end of the date your attraction had gone from moderate to zero or complete repulsion. In that case of course you wouldn’t see them again.

    I’m not sure that repeated experience is very common though.

    I think, or in some cases know, instead some people end the date with reasonable attraction, but want to be ‘gaga’, so never see them again. I think that’s too high an expectation for a first date. I also think you’re most likely to be immediately ‘gaga’ with hot/crazy, not good, calm, sane relationship potentials.

    I’d also wonder, for someone who wasn’t married, why their attraction keeps dropping so much. Obviously the teeth etc, fair enough. But maybe wonder what they were doing/not doing on the date to bring out the best in the other person. I know guys have ruined chemistry by dominating the conversation. By the end I felt like their therapist/mother. And that aint sexy! When those guys said some variation of ‘no chemistry’ I considered sending them a bill for my time 😉

    1. 53.1
      Emily, to

      Marika,
      “I think the disconnect is that you seem to have had a lot of first dates where by the end of the date your attraction had gone from moderate to zero or complete repulsion. In that case of course you wouldn’t see them again.”
      I didn’t read all of the posts but that sounds a bit dramatic. Isn’t it more likely that you go on a perfectly pleasant but bland date and see no reason to go again? Isn’t that the outcome of most dates? You write almost as if people aren’t doing their job on dates. But usually it’s no one’s fault. There’s just nothing there.

    2. 53.2
      AdaGrace

      @Marika

      “I know guys have ruined chemistry by dominating the conversation. By the end I felt like their therapist/mother. And that aint sexy! When those guys said some variation of ‘no chemistry’ I considered sending them a bill for my time”

      Ooh, I had one of those recently, I was looking forward to the date but as he went on and on about the problems he and his ex-wife had, his last two relationships, and his how hallucinogens had allegedly helped him to stop emotionally abusing his kids, I’m sure my body language reflected mmy increasing discomfort. He insisted on paying for my drink and then said he felt like we had no chemistry; I was glad I didn’t have to do the work of rejecting hiim, but in retrospect Iwould have been happier paying for my own drink and billing his insurance for a 90-minute session.

      1. 53.2.1
        AdaGrace

        (ugh… vision impairment + posting using a mobile device = typos)

    3. 53.3
      SparklingEmerald

      Hi again Marika – “I think the disconnect is that you seem to have had a lot of first dates where by the end of the date your attraction had gone from moderate to zero or complete repulsion. In that case of course you wouldn’t see them again.”

      Actually no. If our first date was through OLD, there was no initial chemistry, as I can only guage that in person. There would be a feeling on my part that there was POTENTIAL chemistry, but really, until that face to face, there is no real feeling of chemistry. So I have had some first dates that started and ended with no chemistry. Only one ended in repulsion, due to him posting a very old picture, and having gained much weight and gone considerable greyer. He also had a very boring personality. I politely told him we weren’t a match, and he still tried to kiss me. I mean, he came at me with an open mouth. OK, that repulsed me, but he’s the only one who went from Potential Chemistry to repulsion. Some dates it wasn’t a chemistry issue, it was a behavioral issue. And then again, I have had my fair share of BEING rejected. Sometimes they would say something along the lines of us not being a match, and sometimes they just never called again. I never thought a guy was a jerk if he simply wasn’t into me. So I’ve had many first dates that didn’t pan out into 2nd dates for various reasons, not just for lack of “chemistry” on my part.

      Marika said”I think, or in some cases know, instead some people end the date with reasonable attraction, but want to be ‘gaga’, so never see them again.”

      Actually, I don’t think that is very common, I think that is your interpretation.

      Emily said ” Isn’t it more likely that you go on a perfectly pleasant but bland date and see no reason to go again? Isn’t that the outcome of most dates? You write almost as if people aren’t doing their job on dates. But usually it’s no one’s fault. There’s just nothing there.”

      Yes, what Emily said ! Maybe I haven’t gotten my point across, maybe Emily did a better job of explaining, But yes, what she said. Nobody to blame, just nothing there.

      1. 53.3.1
        Clare

        Having read all the comments now, I see there is a lot of nuance in the discussion between Marika and Sparkling Emerald & Emily. I think a lot of it could be two ways of saying the same thing.

        But, I *think* in my case, I am more on the side of Sparkling and Emily. I have had numerous, really a lot, of first dates where the guy was perfectly nice, nothing wrong with him. He certainly didn’t repel me, and in an alternative universe, I could maybe see myself dating him. But because there was nothing compelling making me look forward to going out with him again, I didn’t. Most of the time, these guys did want to see me again, but because the chemistry/attraction level on my side was between 4 – 6, I politely declined.

        Sometimes it was things they said and did on the date that put me off, sometimes it was their look, sometimes it was a more chemical, primal thing like the way they smelled, or a combination of these. But it all added up to a lack of excitement.

        Somewhere along the way I learned that it was better to turn these guys down. This is a debatable, personal choice, but for me, it was essential. I could waste weeks or months with someone I wasn’t excited about, letting him get attached to me, and me to him, while I tried to talk myself into feeling more than I did. I knew ultimately that I wanted a relationship which was more pleasurable than that for me, so I knew it wouldn’t last. I tried it a few times, and it always ended in tears.

        Anyway, yeah for me, on this point I diverge with Marika. If I’m not excited about the guy, I do not see him again.

  14. 54
    Marika

    Hey Clare

    I think we’re very similar. In that, I always understand your comments and where you’re coming from. Always.
    Never think “Whaa..??” or “Damn! That chick’s whack….”

    So, can I say, you seem to have a good level of both comfort AND arousal with Mr Clare. If at the third date, when you were pretty into him, if he had pulled back on the comfort (but the arousal was still there), how would you have navigated that? Would you have found it easy to pull back on your feelings / efforts? Possible to switch off your feelings? Or to logically to l do that regardless of your strong attraction?

    1. 54.1
      Clare

      Marika,

      I put it down to the southey thing 😀 Whenever I watch Australian TV shows or movies, the characters always make sense to me. In fact, I think “Damn, they speak a lot of common sense.”

      “So, can I say, you seem to have a good level of both comfort AND arousal with Mr Clare.”

      I think this is true.

      “If at the third date, when you were pretty into him, if he had pulled back on the comfort (but the arousal was still there),”

      Could you clarify what you mean by “pulled back on the comfort”? Do you mean if he had stopped being consistent, communicative, safe-feeling? Maybe you can give me an example so I know what you mean?

      At the third date, I was not attached/invested yet, so I would have shrugged it off. However, I certainly got more invested and attached after a few weeks. We did hit a small speed wobble about a month into dating when I noticed him being not as all over me affection wise on a few occasions, and it did send me into panic mode a little bit. I definitely still felt high arousal for him and a growing sense of attachment/strong feelings, so it made me anxious. It was too soon to know what kind of a guy he really was, but far enough in for me to have feelings for him, so my panic stemmed from a fear of him doing a runner like so many other guys I’d met and me being hurt and disappointed.

      “Would you have found it easy to pull back on your feelings / efforts? Possible to switch off your feelings? Or to logically to l do that regardless of your strong attraction?”

      Using the above example I gave, I did not find it easy to pull back my feelings or efforts. There is a critical point in a relationship I think when you go from “not caring” to “caring.” When you start to care, your fear is activated. At least that is how it was for me. Fears of being hurt and disappointed like you have been in the past are not easy to diffuse, so no, once I had reached the point of “caring” for and feeling invested in him, I would not have found it easy to switch off my feelings. However, bear in mind that a good part of why I had strong feelings for him was because he *was* so nurturing, caring and consistent. I allowed myself to let my guard down because I felt more safe.

      “how would you have navigated that?”

      Before I start to care for and become attached to a guy, if they pull back on comfort, I could hardly care less. I just go about my day and figure they will come and find me and put the effort in if they want to see me/be with me. At this point I think it’s worth mentioning that I do not make a great deal of effort at the beginning of a relationship, nor do I initiate much, if any, of the communication. I let the guy make 90% of the plans, initiate 90% of the communication and make the effort to come and see me. So, if I don’t hear from a guy for a few hours or a day or 2 or 3, or he doesn’t make plans, I do… nothing. I go about my life and let him get in touch. This may sound old-fashioned, but it has stood me in very good stead.

      Once I start to care for/ become invested in/ become attached to a guy, it’s a little trickier because your feelings are involved and I can’t have the same cool detachment as before. This was a bit of trial and error. With the situation I tried above, I initially tried talking to him, and that he felt a bit distant/less affectionate than usual. This was not effective, and I realised this very soon.

      This is where being able to pull myself back a bit (even though it was difficult) and not rushing to initiate a conversation or overcompensate with my own efforts and try to “fix” the situation really came into its own. I realised that my absolute best bet was just to give him the benefit of the doubt and carry on as if everything was fine and let him come to me, and that’s exactly what he did. I learned that sometimes he is a little busy, or stressed, or preoccupied and that is his human right, and it has absolutely nothing to do with me, and that as his girlfriend, I needed to give him a little space and trust him to come back on his own. He always did, and I noticed as the weeks and months went by that he seemed to trust me more as well, knowing that I would not nag him or bombard him with clingy energy if he not all over me all the time. He almost seemed to become even closer to me when he “came back” than before. I eventually developed the security of knowing that he *would* always come back within a reasonable length of time (a few hours). I should say he is incredibly consistent, and has been from the beginning. We now have a really great balance.

      Had he stayed pulled away, had he become distant and less available and had this not come right on its own, I would have let him go. Life is too short, and I’ve had too many heartbreaks to waste my feelings and time on someone who cannot do a relationship, regardless of how much arousal I felt for him. It would have been difficult, but I would have made myself move on. However, my instincts told me that he was a good man who *was* looking for the same things as I was, and I was right.

  15. 55
    Mousteria

    I live in a quaint little beach resort town, not a mile away from our closest College. Most of the women are 5’7” and 110lbs and the men are between 5’7” and 5’9” at 140-150lbs 10% body fat. Most of the people I’ve met or see day-to-day don’t work out, relying on a healthy diet(mediterranean diet) to keep themselves slim.

    Considering I’m not a 28 year old Brad Pitt it’s not like I’m expecting a woman to look like Kylie Jenner for me to find her attractive. I’m averagish, short, but still acceptably short, so I’m not expecting a woman to be attractive, she just has be average-looking for me to be into her, at least physically that is.

    Now what makes me feel really attracted to someone? That the person in question has high self-esteem.

    I don’t approach women. This is what I do. When I see a woman I’m attracted to inside the subway, train, bookstore etc, I look at her for a few seconds and when she notices I’m looking at her I look down at the floor, then up at her again, lowering my gaze again to the floor to give her an indication of my interest.

    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and I don’t get approached. I was approached by my first college girlfriend(4’10”; 90lbs, very pretty) after I spent a week or close to 2 weeks giving her hints that I wanted her to approach me, but since she would just stand there waiting for me to approach, I reckoned she wasn’t interested, but turns out that she ended up approaching me, struck a conversation, asked for my phone number/facebook/, was the one to initate the conversation, asked me out first and made the first moves.

    My second college girlfriend, I wasn’t all that into before even thought she was a conventionally attractive young woman who used to work part-time as fashion model because she was 5’11” to my 5’8” and I didn’t feel masculine next to her, despite being 160lbs at 10% body fat to her 5’11” 135lbs.

    It was her confidence that made her ”hot” in my eyes, as the rest of the women despite being ”more” attractive would just sit there smiling at me and checking me out, and that’s a big-no. I have never approached a woman in my life and I never will.

    1. 55.1
      Emily, to

      Mousteria,
      “… the rest of the women despite being ”more” attractive would just sit there smiling at me and checking me out, and that’s a big-no.”
      That’s how most women feel about men who wont approach them. Your response to women is most women’s response to men.

    2. 55.2
      Clare

      Mousteria,

      “I have never approached a woman in my life and I never will.”

      Since your girlfriends are described using the past tense, I’m going to go ahead and assume this is not a winning strategy.

      1. 55.2.1
        Shaukat

        Clare,

        You do realize that relationships end for a variety of reasons, and the history of who happened to be the approacher usually has little to do with it?

        1. Clare

          Gosh Shaukat, really??

          And here I was thinking all the boyfriends I’ve had in the past simply got abducted by aliens.

          Excuse the sarcasm. Of course I know that.

          It was my own quick and non-rambling way of saying I don’t think Mousteria’s approach is a winning strategy.

      2. 55.2.2
        Shaukat

        @Clare,

        Lol, I get it and you know I like you. I just don’t see the logical connection between Mousteria’s outlook and the general outcome. After all, since I’m assuming you don’t directly ask out men, and aren’t yet married, I could also argue that your approach hasn’t been a winning strategy either.

        Of course, since most women don’t directly approach, I would agree that a guy who doesn’t ‘man-up’ and make a move either IRL or online likely won’t get any dates at all, but that’s a different issue.

        1. Clare

          Shaukat,

          I know that’s what you were saying. And I would agree there is no logical connection. I wasn’t trying to draw one. If I had been, my post would have been considerably longer (like they normally are). I was just writing a quick response on the fly – and like you, I simply think that a man who is unwilling to approach women *ever* is unlikely to have all that much luck.

          As to my success in dating, I’ve never, on this blog, claimed that I own the winning strategy or that someone should adopt my way of doing things. That is not something I believe. I believe I have valuable bits and bobs to share here and there, but by and large I think everyone needs to find their own way. The things I say here really are never about me “comparing” myself to other commenters.

          However, that doesn’t mean I don’t recognise ineffective behaviour when I see it.

  16. 56
    Marika Don

    Emily TO

    To be honest, I kept writing about this as Sparkling kept asking more questions and for me to clarify things. She also kept writing NO chemistry in capitals and about being repulsed. A lot. So I was responding to that. I don’t think I’m being dramatic at all.

    Personally, if I went on a pleasant date with no red flags I wouldn’t call that NO chemistry, and if they asked, I would see them again. You wouldn’t, and that’s fine. Whatever.

    1. 56.1
      Emily, to

      Marika,
      “Personally, if I went on a pleasant date with no red flags I wouldn’t call that NO chemistry, and if they asked, I would see them again. You wouldn’t, and that’s fine. Whatever.”
      Yeah, I would call that no chemistry. Or low chemistry. The last date I had was like that. A perfectly pleasant (if dull) lunch after which I didn’t care if I heard from him again. He didn’t do anything wrong. I just wasn’t feeling it, and I have to feel something. I have to be able to look at him and think, “Yeah, he’s kind of cute. I could see something happening.” Which is how I would describe a medium level of chemistry, which I believe this site advocates.

  17. 57
    Michelle

    Attractiveness is a combination of physical and personality traits. Confidence is very attractive in any gender and can make up for a lot of shortcomings (excessive weight, shorter heights, lower income). However, there are some universal truths; excessive weight diminishes your appeal (man and women) and dating pool. insecurity diminishes your appeal (only crazy people are attracted to insecure men and women). We are hard wired to be repulsed by weight. Insecurity, lack of personal awareness also not attractive. Wealth makes men attractive to women supposedly, but it’s not really the money (yes really) it’s the masculine energy and confidence that comes with it.

    Attraction is complex and it’s a combination of a person’s physical, emotional, spiritual makeup that attracts others. However, there are some fundamentals that make you attractive to wider audience and increases your chances; good physical health and pride in your appearance, slim to average build, confidence, positive energy, in touch with feminine side (women) and masculine side (men). Bitterness, insecurity, fear, defensiveness, will reduce your dating pool substantially. Age has little to do with this. It’s about what you put out, who you are and how well you take care of yourself. I am in my early fifties and have my pick, younger and older men because I take good care of my body, my face and mind, and it shows, and attracts a wide range of wonderful men.

  18. 58
    Marika

    Hey Mike,

    That’s a shame. Your date gave a second chance to a liar because there was ‘chemistry’ and no second chance to you, clearly a great guy who sounds like he’s got his shit together. Better to give a second chance to a great guy with relationship potential, not the liar. It’s two more hours of your life!

    That’s why I don’t get the strong justification of the importance of immediate chemistry. Particularly in this forum. And particularly amongst the long term singles.

    One thing I would mention, Mike, is that for me (and I’m sure I’m not the only one), talking about other dates is a massive buzz kill. It sounds like she brought it up, so it’s not on you, but I would shut that down asap. It’s amazing how many men (/women?) start the date asking how my other online experiences have been (Obviously not great or or I still wouldn’t be searching and how does talking about other bad dating experiences help us feel closer and more attracted??).

  19. 59
    Mike

    Hey Marika,

    Thank you. Meanwhile point well taken. I admit to have brought up the ‘what are your experiences on this site’ topic at least once….although that date was so long ago I don’t remember who brought it up in that particular instance. But you are right, it really should be obvious–if our experiences on the site so far were really that good we wouldn’t even be here in the first place!

    Emily,

    As far as the chemistry thing either being there or not there…you know it is interesting. Indeed I do know several women who have so much going for them….and yet I have no desire to sleep with them. And I have felt chemistry for women for whom it wasn’t instant powerful attraction at first sight. BUT, I couldn’t imagine myself feeling chemistry for someone who showed up for a first date seriously misrepresenting her looks. Even though I don’t need to feel intense attraction right from the start, I do need to find her appearance at least somewhat appealing. And I would be turned off that she already lied that much, before we had even met.

    But anyway yes, I have come to see that chemistry, for many many people, really is “illogical”. The date that I wrote about was 10 years ago but an eye-opener.

    Now, as far as chemistry either being there or not, I did go through a phase where I was bolder physically. I made a point of touching my dates more–on the hands, shoulders, even putting my arms around them [but taking my arm back if they didn’t seem to be into it of course]. I actually got some results from that….

    1. 59.1
      Emily, to

      Mike,
      “But anyway yes, I have come to see that chemistry, for many many people, really is “illogical”.”
      How could it be anything but illogical? Chemistry is based on feelings. For you, it’s logical? Are you a STEM person? I don’t say that sarcastically but I think there are some people who are very cerebral.

      “Now, as far as chemistry either being there or not, I did go through a phase where I was bolder physically. I made a point of touching my dates more–on the hands, shoulders, even putting my arms around them [but taking my arm back if they didn’t seem to be into it of course]. I actually got some results from that….”

      My guess is that these women already found you at least somewhat appealing. There’s nothing sexier than a bold move from a man you like, and nothing creepier than a bold move from a man you don’t like.

  20. 60
    Marika

    Hi Clare

    Thank you for your very hearfelt answer. I’m impressed how you handle your emotions. I guess lots of practice? I would have been at least somewhat attached by date 3 as I recall in what poetic terms you described meeting him and how excited you were. So difficult to pull back and see how things progress under those circumstances! And you’re still able to calmly assess his behaviour and treatment of you? Wow 🙂

    Oh and on behalf of all Australians I profusely apologize for Neighbours and Home & Away…

    Mike,

    I disagree with the ladies who say attraction can’t be, at least partly ‘manipulated’. Not in a bad way, but managed through certain behaviours or actions (eg PUA tactics). They exist for a reason. Shame they only focus on the attraction part, though, not the ‘being a great boyfriend’ part! Which is why they are scary. For me, talking about other people they’ve dated, and certainly complaining, can ruin or at least decrease attraction. It’s a big no-no for me (which is why I picked up on it in your example)

    1. 60.1
      Clare

      Marika,

      Yes, tons of practice and an innately extremely calm, even-tempered personality. Not that I wouldn’t have been disappointed if he had pulled back after 3 dates… I certainly would have. But I would not have been heartbroken. We had not had sex yet, which is a big thing. For me, greater attachment occurs the more I get to know someone and the more time I spend with them. So for me, there is a difference between being excited (which I definitely was, BIG time) and being attached/in love. I only started to feel attached at about a month in.

      I accept your apology for Neighbours and Home & Away 🙂 But please don’t ever apologise for McLeod’s Daughters!

      1. 60.1.1
        Mike

        Hey Marika,

        I do agree with you that a man can work on his confidence, body language, and conversation skills, not to mention becoming a bolder version of himself, and have more women feel attraction for him. I don’t claim EVERY woman, but certainly quite a few. I know this because I have much better results in dating when I find myself in certain mindsets, then when I am in other mindsets. Also, I have seen that a woman tends to start the first date at neutral/slightly positive and is willing to give things a chance, and then she will become more or less interested depending on how the conversation goes. As in, something like 15 minutes or so to see if there is a spark. Plenty of time to lead the conversation in a way that inspires connection. Meanwhile, I have felt neutral/slightly positive about someone I just met but then 20 minutes I know in my gut [and in my pants!] I want this date to keep going–and a second date.

        BUT, whether a guy wants to be a good boyfriend, is entirely on him. A guy cannot really be “taught” to want that.Especially if he is having too much fun playing the field!

        Emily,

        Actually I AM STEM Someone feeling chemistry for someone objectively unattractive who misrepresented him/herself and who appears to be lying about who knows what else, is definitely illogical indeed. I have felt chemistry for quite a range of ‘types’ but I do not think I am capable of feel chemistry in a situation like that. I thought what I meant by how “illogical” was clear from the context of my last couple of posts?

        At any rate, I just can’t imagine overlooking things on a first date such as him/her already lying, just because of a ‘spark’, to be anything close to a viable dating strategy. I mean, doesn’t that sound strange to you too?

        But indeed, many of us STEM types do have a problem. We are often so caught up in our heads that we can come across unemotional or disconnected from our sexual desires. We actually are good conversationalists because we know a lot about a lot of stuff. But it is often in the sense that Larry King is a good conversationalist. She may tell us that she went to France and we may have a nice intellectual conversation with her about all the landmarks in Paris we both saw, but we didn’t really connect with her so to speak. There wasn’t any masculine-feminine polarity. A big challenge for us is to learn how to lead the interaction so that this polarity and connection is there.

        **Moderator** please take this comment over my previous one–this is my previous comment editted for clarity

      2. 60.1.2
        Mike

        Clare,

        I think I inadvertently replied to your post instead of Marika’s. My apologies!

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