A Theory of Attraction

Magnetic AttractionThere is an experience that almost every man can relate to. Imagine that there’s an attractive girl that you would like to flirt with at the office. Some guy called Rufus walks up to her and casually says, “Hey Gloria, you’re looking sexy today.” Gloria responds by giggling and bashfully telling him to stop, even though she doesn’t really mean it. You decide to go up to try this on a different girl. Because it worked so well for Rufus, why not try it yourself? So you walk up to Meredith and say, “Hey Meredith, you’re looking sexy today.” However, Meredith doesn’t giggle. Instead she looks at you with the expression you might have from watching a dog eat horse poop and starts calling HR to report you. While you’re waiting for someone in HR to come humiliate you, you’re standing there wondering, “But I did exactly what Rufus did, so how come it’s having the opposite effect for me?”

The confusion stems from the failure to be sufficiently aware about how attraction works for women. In this case, Rufus is tall, well groomed, and wearing a $2,000 suit. Meanwhile you forgot to shower this morning, your hair is a tangle, and you’ve taken advantage of casual Friday and are in flip flops and wearing a t-shirt. In short, Rufus is the kind of man a woman would like to get attention from, while you are not a man a woman wants anywhere near her. It has nothing to do with what you said, but everything to do with who you are and the choices you have made so far in your life. It might seem really unfair how Meredith reacted to you, and you might be tempted to get angry with her for being “creeped out” but consider this: Just say you were at a party and a fat hairy-faced woman covered in acne started rubbing herself up against you. This is what it feels like to a woman when an unattractive man flirts with her.If you want to flirt with girls and not be afraid of rejection, you need to understand some very basic maths and facts about women. There is a method for working out the odds that your flirtations with a particular woman will be welcomed versus being rejected as creepy. It isn’t actually that hard, but the first step is understanding the three big things women find attractive in roughly equal measure to each other: looks, intelligence, and wealth. This might be hard for men to get because men don’t see these three things of being roughly equal value. Men tend to think: looks, looks, and looks. However, a man will never understand how courtship works if he doesn’t learn to see things from the female perspective. The best date in a woman’s mind is a well-rounded man, not a man who’s only got one part of his life sorted out. Certainly, some women will just want an overly attractive looking guy, and some women will just want an overly wealthy guy, but almost all women will find a man who is better than mediocre in all three areas to be attractive if not irresistible.

Before we go on, it is important to define our terms. What do I mean when I say: looks, intelligence, and wealth? When talking about what people find attractive, I use a broader definition than the common usage of these words.

Criteria for Assessing Attractiveness

A. Looks are a measurement of:

1. Natural beauty (physical)
2. Fashion sense (clothing)
3. Body language (posture, facial expression, etc.)
4. Voice (how pleasant sounding their voice is, elocution)
5. Fitness level (how healthy and old they are)

B. Intelligence is a measurement of:

1. Humour (ability to make creative and funny jokes)
2. Skills (usefulness – things that other people want – i.e. carpentry, chemistry, musical talent)
3. Knowledge (From knowing how to do basic tasks to knowing where to look for solutions)
4. Problem solving ability (Logical, rational, creative)
5. Soundness of mind, kindness and empathy (stability, reliability, overall mental health, etc.)

C. Wealth is a measurement of:

1. Savings (How much have they saved?)
2. Earning potential (How much money can they earn?)
3. Inheritance (How much potential money do they have?)
4. Frugality (How good are they are managing money?)
5. Assets (What non-monetary assets do they have? Car, house, business, tools, etc…)

Some of these things you can’t control, others you can with more or less effort.

I have listed three categories with 5 items in each thus making a total of 15 items for measuring your level of attractiveness to the opposite sex. Let’s say that each item is worth 2 points for now to keep it simple. This means that each category is worth 10 points total. Since women typically treat all three categories of items as being of equal value we can use the following metric for calculating a man attractiveness to the typical woman:

(A + B + C) / 3 = x (Attractiveness score for women)

However, for calculating a woman’s attractiveness to men it is slightly more complicated, below we assume an 8:1:1 ratio common to teenage boys and young men, although some men might be more 6:3:1 for example.

(A * 0.8) + ((B / 10) + (C / 10)) = y (Attractiveness score for men)

Just a note about appreciating how attractive women are to men: While most women are close to the 1:1:1 ratio (looks : intelligence : wealth) in appreciating how attractive men are, men tend to have a 8:1:1 ratio when appreciating women’s attraction. This over-emphasis on looks leads men into a lot of trouble in dating, as they’re often courting the femme fatale instead of the wholesome lifelong companion type of woman. Considering how much harm a crazy woman can do to you, it would be worthwhile to learn to value intelligence and wealth in a woman a little more than your natural inclination, especially her intelligence

To illustrate how attractiveness works allow me to introduce our friend Larry who has the following characteristics:

Average natural beauty (+1)
No fashion sense (0)
Frigid awkward body language conveying insecurity (0)
Rambles about unimportant things when talking (0)
Is young, in his 20s, but a bit overweight from poor diet (+1)
Looks total = 2

He laughs at the right things, but mostly tells bad or crude jokes (+1)
He doesn’t know any skills, except basic things like driving. (0)
He reads a lot of fiction books, but never non-fiction (+1)
He has good problem solving ability, but only uses it for computer games (+1)
While he is gentle, generous and understanding, he is often anxious which leads to poor decision making (+1)
Intelligence total = 4

He has a credit card debt and no savings (0)
While he is employed, it is only entry level and casual hours (+1)
He will inherit $50,000 (+1)
He lives pay check to pay check and has run up a credit card debt (0)
He owns a car (+1)
Wealth total = 3

(2 + 4 + 3) / 3 = 3

These results are remarkably common. Many young men in their 20s these days are in roughly the same situation as Larry. Our man Larry has gone to a party with three single women.

Nadine is short, fat, broad-shouldered, has some facial hair, and speaks with a nasally voice. So let’s says she’s a 1/10 for overall attractiveness.

Sally is average height, a typical womanly shape, but with short legs and a spotty complexion. She’s about 5/10 for overall attractiveness.

Sabrina is a tall natural blonde with perfect skin, long hair, and an hourglass figure. She’s about a 10/10 for overall attractiveness, as she’s also quite smart and earns a large income.

So considering all this, what do you think will happen with Larry if he flirts with each of these women?

Table of attraction

When Larry complains about finding it hard to make it in the dating world, it might not be obvious to the untrained male eye why most women would pass straight over him. However, to most female eyes, which are far more discerning of overall attractiveness across the three categories, it’s puzzling why a guy like Larry might think he stands even a reasonable chance with a woman like Sally.

Other Factors to Consider

For the sake comprehensiveness, there are a few other factors at play. Self-esteem has the biggest impact. If Sally underestimates her true value in attraction, she might think she’s a 4/10 when she’s really a 6/10. She will act according to what she believes her worth to be, not what her actual worth is. Likewise, Sabrina might have anorexia or out of control anxieties and think she’s only a 5/10. On average, men tend to give themselves +2 to their perceived sexual worth rather than face the unpleasant reality that they simply aren’t as attractive to women as they wish they were. Women tend to underestimate their worth and men tend to exaggerate theirs.

I have heard Dr. Jordan B. Peterson (JBP) often say that women like dangerous men. Personally, I think this is too simplistic, but it depends on what he means. If by dangerous, he means men that can hurt other men, then that’s just wrong: women hate it when two men they consider part of their in-group are fighting with each other. There’s nothing women want more than to have the men from their in-groups working co-operatively together. Certainly, women do like seeing the men from their in-group competing successfully against the men from an out-group, as female sporting fans will attest to.

Women typically feel revulsion towards men who hurt women, although there are certainly delusional women out there who think they can control violent men; this is probably more about them testing their sexual powers than the attraction to male violence itself. However, if JBP means powerful men, then I would agree. By powerful, I mean men who are exceptional physically, intellectually, or in terms of wealth. They’re more than two standard deviations from the mean and therefore out-perform the vast majority of men in these areas. A powerful wrestler, a powerful public speaker, and a powerful businessman look almost nothing alike but they all have the quality of excellence in at least one aspect of the three that matter the most for women. Let’s face it: we need all three types of exceptional men in our society, so it’s probably good for everyone if women aren’t always 1:1:1 but a mixture of variations like: 1:2:1, 2:1:1, 1:1:2, and so on as it maintains a population of men exceptional in these areas for when they’re needed.

The number of previous sexual partners a person has appears to matter, as well. Despite a lot of people throwing verbal abuse at people who don’t like it when their date has slept with other people before them, this does matter to people, especially those who are looking for someone to start a family with. It doesn’t matter if it is a man or a women; being told on a date that they’ve had over a dozen different sexual partners before you is going to reduce their attractiveness substantially, unless your goal is a one night stand with someone easy to seduce. Some people might say more partners means more experience, however, having over twelve sexual partners by the age of 21 merely proves that one is completely incapable of a serious long term relationship. A virgin is always going to get a bonus point of +1. For women, this might even be +2 bonus points. I suspect that the non-virgins hate hearing this because they’re envious of other people who have retained their sexual purity and that’s why there is so much hate directed towards people who want partners with low numbers of previous sexual partners.

Back to Larry

With those detours aside, let’s return to Larry because our boy is not done. He wants to flirt confidently so Larry decides to go into therapy to find out why his life is such a mess, and through the therapeutic process, Larry learns to be honest with himself and recognise all the bad decisions he is making in his life, and the false beliefs that are holding him back, and he makes changes to himself so that after 5 years we need to come back and reassess his level of attractiveness for all 15 items and see what’s changed from above.

Average natural beauty (+1)
Now dresses smartly in clean clothes (+1)
Confident (+1)
Speaks articulately (+1)
Still young at 30, good health and exercises often (+2)
Looks total = 6

He has a good sense of humour, that’s never crude (+2)
He has studied hard to master plumbing to a professional degree. (+2)
He reads a lot of books and articles, both fiction and non-fiction (+2)
He has good problem solving ability and uses it for practical purposes (+2)
He is still empathetic and patient, but also sleeps well and makes decisions carefully (+2)
Intelligence total = 10

He has no debts and $50,000 savings (+2)
He has an full time job, earning an average income (+2)
He will inherit $50,000 (+1)
He budgets carefully and resists impulse spending (+2)
He owns a car, a small house, and has some useful tools for plumbing (+2)
Wealth total = 9

Total score (6 + 10 + 9) / 3 = 8.3

Larry now has an attractiveness value of 8.3 which is more than double than it was five years earlier. What happens if Larry asks a girl like Sally out? That’s a 8.3/10 versus a 5/10. She’s almost certainly not going to reject him, rather she would be over-joyed by his attention and he could say things like she’s got a sexy arse and he can feel confident that she would respond positively. But here’s the thing, Sabrina, the woman who was completely out of his league before, because she was a 10/10, but he’s now within range of her, or rather a woman like her. This means our guy, Larry, the one-time loser, is actually in with a chance of getting a positive response from Sabrina or at the least a polite, respectful rejection.

Overall, hopefully this theory on attractiveness will provide some inspiration for the men who often seem to think if they aren’t born with looks or wealth, then they’re doomed romantically. There are 15 items one can work on to improve one’s level of attractiveness to women and most of them are completely under your control. The situation is bleaker for women because men tend to emphasise looks so much and that’s harder for women to control than other behaviours. Both sexes have a lot of challenges when it comes to dating, even pretty girls have a really tough time because so many liars and cheaters are lining up to harass them and it easily gets overwhelming for them. A rule of thumb: if you’re getting angry with men or women in general for your lack of success in dating, then you are probably holding onto some unrealistic expectations and you should probably talk to a therapist instead of nursing a grudge against half the human race. Because as self-righteous as it feels to be angry, it is like any other distraction: it doesn’t solve your problems and you only end up older, not wiser, for it.

One thought on “A Theory of Attraction

  1. Pingback: Virtues, Gifts, and Principles in Dating | Philosophical Therapist

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