The 4 Core Elements Of Romantic Attraction, According To Psychology

The 4 Core Elements Of Romantic Attraction, According To Psychology

Have you ever wondered why you are more attracted to some people than others? These people seem to have this magical thing that tends to draw us towards them. Could there possibly be any science behind this?

Well first, let’s have a look at what attraction is. Attraction is defined as having positive feelings towards somebody. It can have a lot of forms like love, liking, admiration, respect, friendship, lust, etc. This attraction is what makes us want to be with that person, or around that person.

Psychology And Attraction

The branch of science which deals with attraction is called social psychology. It aims to examine interpersonal connections among people. It uses evidence from psychological theories to try and establish concepts, which can define why we feel for some people, the way we feel. There can be various aspects that can make a person attractive like looks, physique, material wealth, skills, attitude, personality, etc.

However, some people seem to be attractive, regardless of these factors. They just seem to draw people towards them. This is why, in this article, we have tried to explain what causes that irresistible urge towards a specific person, using theories from psychology. Although attraction can take many forms, we are referring to romantic or intimate attraction here.

Related: The Psychology Behind Sexual Attraction: How We Become Attracted

4 Main Elements Of Attraction

Theories on attraction in psychology tend to encompass the four main factors, which are also known as the 4 elements of attraction. They are proximity, similarity, physical attractiveness, and reciprocity.

1. Proximity

In layman’s terms, proximity is simply how close a person is to you. This element of attraction states that you are more likely to be attracted to a person who is in close proximity to you.

A 1951 study verified this with experiments, which proved that the closer you are to a person, the more attracted you are going to be towards that person. It also indicates that the closer you are to someone, the chances of you two interacting will rise, thus resulting in mutual likeness for one another. For proximity to work, two people should be directly communicating with one another, face to face.

Proximity here can be broken down into physical proximity and social proximity. Physical proximity means when the person is living in the same city or town as you. Social proximity means that the person is in the same school, college, or club as you are. Studies on couples found out that people who live in close proximity to one another are also more likely to become friends.

2. Similarity

The term here suggests exactly what comes into our minds. We are more likely to be attracted to a person when they are similar to us or have similar traits. The term “Opposites attract” here gets contradicted as studies have found that people are more likely to get attracted to similar people.

This similarity can be in terms of appearance, values, political and religious beliefs, age, educational and professional background among other demographic aspects. We tend to make a positive evaluation of people who are similar to us, in their attitude, personality, and taste.

When we find people who are similar to us and have the same ideas and beliefs, we reinforce our values and ideas and tend to accept them more ‘openly.’ It validates our own beliefs, ideas, attitude, tastes, etc. and they become more attractive to us. Another study found that we tend to choose partners who look like us or are physically similar. Thus, this element suggests that introverts will get attracted towards other introverts, a liberal will date another liberal, and so on.

The 4 Core Elements Of Romantic Attraction, According To Psychology
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