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In a 2009 study of speed daters, researcher Nicholas Gueguen trained women to mimic the nonverbal gestures and words of some male partners and not others: If the partner touched their arm, for example, they were instructed to touch his arm a few minutes later.
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And decreases in serotonin may make us more obsessed with one we love—in one study, serotonin levels in men who were recently in love were as low as in people with obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Another study showed that women in love had increased serotonin while men experienced decreases.
Researcher Art Aron and colleagues generated closeness and romantic attraction among opposite-sex strangers in 90 minutes by having them ask each other a series of personally revealing questions, stare into each others eyes without speaking for two minutes, and regularly tell each other what they liked about each other.
Effects were so strong for some couples that they actually dated and even married after the study: Aron’s first couple married six months later and invited the researchers to their wedding.
Physical Appearance and Body Type It isn’t fair, but studies show that one's chances of getting a second date or having an online prospect respond to a profile are heavily influenced by physical attractiveness.
It seems to convey a “halo effect” in which we assume a more attractive person will be more successful, sexy, interesting, and fun.In the final stage, the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin promote long-term bonding.Both are released during or after sexual intercourse, which may explain why sex is linked to couples' closeness and long-term satisfaction. Getting on the Same Wavelength Both men and women are attracted to people whom they perceive as being on the same wavelength.Low waist-to-hip ratio is a sign of health, youth, and fertility, since our bellies expand with stress and age, but the effect is relatively independent of overall weight, which means one doesn’t have to be skinny to benefit from the effect.We also find symmetrical faces more attractive (perhaps accounting for the prevalence of celebrity brow shapers in Hollywood). Hormones and Brain Chemicals Biological anthropologist Helen Fisher and her colleagues explain the chemical basis of love in a three-stage model: Not surprisingly, the early stage of attraction—the , our brains become more fixated on a particular person, releasing a cocktail of chemicals designed to focus our attention on our new beloved and make us want to spend lots of time with them.Other studies show that we are attracted to kind and friendly people, and to those who use open body language, such as sitting facing us directly, smiling, leaning in, and making eye contact.