You clock your crush – your palms go clammy, your heart starts racing, your uncontrollable eye contact leads your jaw to drop open. Ever panicked over why this happens? No sweat. The S word is here to explain why you’re acting like a complete smitten kitten.
Consider your current, and think back to your previous, boyfriends/girlfriends, crushes, one night stands, and everything in between. Do they look similar or far apart? Since coming to University, and being open to viewing men outside the restrains of the classroom walls, I’ve noticed I have definitely formulated ‘a type.’
That type is dark hair, bright blue eyes and medium build. I also like guys a little rugged around the edges, have a weakness for stubble and a soft spot for a gargantuan sum of chest hair – and there’s no denying studying Heathcliff for my A Level English might have something to do with it.
But whether you like those bad boys, skinny boys, muscular, dark or fair, geek or jock, there must be a reason why time and time again we go for the same type? And research backs up our samey choices.
Traditionally, women have been known to seek characteristics in men such as commitment and loyalty. But a study conducted by the University of Barcelona shows that the more educated a woman is, the more these traditional policies in partner seeking soon become void.
Chartered psychologist Dr Adriana McCormack said: “Education offers individual access to higher and more sophisticated ‘life skills,’ which in turn enhance self-esteem, and promote decision making, assertiveness, responsibility and independence.”
In other words, us girls have realised we don’t need men, but they are in fact nice to look at. Jokes aside, an empowering cauldron of contraception, change in societal norms, and education has allowed women to enjoy sex for pleasure rather than it being a marital duty. Guiltless, women are free to choose partners based on whatever the hell they want, and our first priority is now attractiveness and physique.
A sure-fire way of doing this is Tinder. Tinder lover, Emily Hallam, 22, said: “I’ve read studies that say we determine whether we fancy someone between 90 seconds and 4 minutes, but I figure it out even quicker on Tinder!
“You’ve got to like what you see to fancy them, and first impressions mean everything.”
On the other hand, Chloe Smithson, 20, Tinder hater, said: “It’s so shallow! My friend’s finger swipes left within about 0.5 seconds – how can you even see what they look like in that time?!
“Tinder has no way of showing how they come across, and most often than not, the good looking ones are far too cocky ‘in real life’ for my liking.”
The reason why we take our fancy and ‘swipe right’ in the first place is down to our primal, sexual instinct, something Sigmund Freud described as one of the most motivating human forces – sexual desire, aka the libido. When assessing your target, you’re actually thinking just how amazing your children will be – heavy going?
While you might be dazzled by his strong jawline, a testosterone topped grand physique, and the perfect symmetrical face, deep down; you’re thinking his sperm will be spectacular.
When it comes to what you’re attracted to, there’s no right or wrong answer. As well as the ‘tall, dark and handsome’ stereotype making women go weak at the knees –cue Ryan Reynolds, studies show women are drawn to men from similar socioeconomic backgrounds, but then at the same time, we’re told opposites attract. So who do we trust?
The only truth lies in the science. That sudden rush of ‘chemistry’ when you catch the eye of your crush isn’t just a saying that you tell your friends, but is in fact a literal, undeniable chemical reaction happening all over your body.
Neurobiologist Professor Marysia Placzek, from the University of Sheffield said: “Scientists have looked at brain scans and found that the brain was lit up in certain areas showing they were madly in love, which is triggered by our body chemistry.”
“The hormone, oxytocin, is released from the pituitary gland in the brain and circulates throughout the body to sexually draw you to your partner. This is released through eye contact, a touch of the hand, and primarily, sex.”
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