The Brain may Have Ultimate Say Over the Rules of Attraction

By Rebecca Jones

Falling in love may seem like a mysterious emotional phenomenon controlled more by the heart than the brain but the latest research reveals that there’s more to falling in love than chance encounters and fireworks. While the laws of attraction may always be cloaked in at least a little mystery there are some specific things that tend to promote attraction and relationships. Next time you get butterflies in your stomach at the sight of your sweetheart one of these reasons could be behind it.

The Appeal of Symmetry

Numerous testes have been conducted and the results indicate that people find symmetrical faces more attractive that asymmetrical ones. The leading theory is that symmetry is a sign of good health and an indication of a strong potential mate. It appears that these laws of symmetry don’t only apply to humans; bees are more attracted to symmetrical flowers and healthy male peacocks have more symmetrical tail feathers that make them more attractive to a mate.

The Marilyn Monroe affect

While no one doubts that physical appearance plays a big role in attraction it turns out that the waist to hip ratio in women plays a bigger role in attraction than a specific weight or size. Research indicates that a low waist-to-hip ratio is more attractive to men than a wider waist in relation to hip size. Researchers theorize that this ratio is an overall indicator of health and reproductive ability that men respond to on a subliminal level.


Believe it or not, in a recent study conducted by Rice University, researchers found that more couples shared common political views than they did personality traits, appearance or religious affiliation. Our political leanings tend to reflect a deeply rooted set of values and beliefs making it difficult to be in a long term relationship with someone that doesn’t share those beliefs.


It’s not just about long distance relationships; people who live in the same geographic locations tend to share cultural values. These values even affect what characteristics you find physically attractive in others; a recent study in Psychological Science found that heavier women are considered more attractive in countries where food and money are scarce and thin women are considered more attractive in wealthier countries.

Opposites Attract?

Turns out that when it comes to opposites attracting it is usually only for short term relationships based more on lust than compatibility. When it comes to long term relationships, people tended to be more attracted to and trusting of people with faces similar to their own.