Psych of Attraction

25 12 2006

me: is it possible to be attracted to someone because you think you want to be attracted to them?

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31 responses

26 12 2006
fromthecloverbottoms

I believe it possible. Given that with each individual there are certain preconceived standards by which we measure others and adjust as necessary. Particular qualities or characteristics of another that stand out might cause us to weigh the good and bad; or perhaps even due to some type of social conditioning. It could even be loneliness.

26 12 2006
25 cent life

So attraction could be mostly social, as opposed to natural?

26 12 2006
fromthecloverbottoms

Personallly, I believe much of attraction is learned socially, although there is something to say about the role of pheromones. What are your thoughts on that very same question?

26 12 2006
25 cent life

I believe in pheromones; however, I should agree (from experience) that attraction is mostly social. I also believe that there are certain physical aspects each person finds inherently attractive — outside of the norms.

For an Asian to be raised in a predominantly white society, it’s perfectly feasible for that person to be mostly attracted to white people. (Personal experience) At the same time, I do not like all people who are supposedly the ‘most beautiful’ or ‘sexiest’ according to People magazine.

26 12 2006
fromthecloverbottoms

I can speak only to experience myself and exposure at the peer level while growing up, I think, has definite impact. People seem to be typically attracted to those who are considered by their peers as socially acceptable.

For instance, having myself been raised in the South along with most in my family, there is a sharp distinction between generations as to what is considered socially acceptable. Where my grandfather’s and father’s generations would not have considered people of “color,” that is to say those from varying ethnic backgrounds, to be attractive because of the social standards of the time, my generation is very different. At least in terms of physical appearance, my generation has become increasingly more progressive. There was actually a time growing up that I remember racially-mixed couples to be unusual in the South but now it is commonplace and unremarkable. Which I hope speaks toward a change in the Southern stereotype.

I again agree with you that those considered the ‘sexiest’ by a plurality are not always so. Something I have yet to understand is why nice ‘girls’ always seem to go for ‘bad’ boys! It’s been that way since I was in high school and I’ve never quite figured it out.

26 12 2006
25 cent life

Are ‘bad boys’ considered socially acceptable then? It seems to me that your last statement is contradicting your first paragraph.

In this day and age, it’s impossible to tell what is considered ‘nice’ and what is considered ‘bad’.

26 12 2006
sarcazm

bad boys are NOT considered socially acceptable. if they WERE socially acceptable they wouldn’t be considered bad in the slightest. it’s the rebelliousness of women that attracts them to the bad boys, even if they are, by their very nature, not good for them. this is why in the good girl + bad boy scenario the good girl is typically younger.

as we age and mature we find different qualities attractive, as at different stages in our lives we want different things. the bad boy on the motorcycle is least likely to appear biologically sound enough to provide a stable and financially secure home environment for a good girl’s offspring, and thusly she’ll turn to eyeing up the suit with the fat wallet. and the suits with fat wallets are looking to spawn just like any other mammal at it’s prime, and he stops snorting coke off of toilet seats in fancy clubs in the meat packing district and starts growing a pot belly, losing his hair, and saving his pennis for a nice 2 bedroom apartment in gramercy.

attraction when we are younger might be based on social generalities, but as we mature and grow up into our own individualities we learn which things we want out of life and which we can live without. in these modern times fewer and fewer people want the cookie cutter epitome of the 50’s home, and so what could be considered a social norm instilled in us from our parents in our youth might no longer be attractive to us as we age.

27 12 2006
John S

The “social norm” is a farce. We are the controllers of our own fate!

Are bad boys socially acceptable? Yes, for a while. As we start to get older we all want to be rebellious. That is nature talking.

“the bad boy on the motorcycle is least likely to appear biologically sound enough to provide a stable and financially secure home environment for a good girl’s offspring”

Interesting point, BUT I AM a bad boy on the motorcycle and have several college degrees and provided a stable home. The more appropriate thing to say would be that IF that bad boy doesn’t grow up he’ll be useless.

Attraction is such a fascinating and yet dangerous part of life that we all must face on our own. Sure we’ll get advice from family and friends. Some will be good, some bad and even some that seems ridiculous. But only one person will ultimately make the decision of whether someone is worth a second look and that’s you. Are you the type of person that worries about what people might think if you are seen with a certain someone? Or are you more concerned with your own feelings and interests? That is what needs to be thought about.

Sometimes the most beautiful diamond is in the rough.

Bad decisions are made everyday. It’s kind of like watching someone get burned on the stove. You see their pain, you even know its wrong and yet sometimes you have to experience it for yourself just to TRULY understand.

That’s called life. It’s what makes us who and what we are.

27 12 2006
sarcazm

so what you’re saying is that you’re a reformed bad boy.

sorry darlin’ but that makes you a bad boy turned good.

27 12 2006
sarcazm

so what you’re really saying is that you’re a reformed bad boy.

which actually makes you a nouveau good boy. you made a choice, and waved bye-bye to your sex appeal in hopes to cast a wider net. your potential as a life-mate is greater now.

or, quite possibly, you were a good boy yearning to be bad. good boys can buy motorcycles too. it’s a sort of role-playing game. like WoW in real life.

either way i really don’t see how any of this negates what i’ve said.

27 12 2006
John S

No one ever said I stopped being a bad boy.
Waved bye-bye to my sex appeal???

What do you think happens after you hit a certain age? Your personal parts just shrivel up???

You really need to get out more.

Here is a way to look at life

I took a walk in the rain one day on the wrong side of the tracks.
I stood on the rail till I that train just to see how my heart would I react.
Now some people say you should not tempt fate and for them I could not disagree
But I never learned nothing from playing it safe I say FATE SHOULD NOT TEMPT ME.

27 12 2006
sarcazm

“i take my chances” by mary chapin carpenter. in the future, for all of our sakes, please quote properly and give credit where credit is rightfully due.

and um, actually, as you age your biological parts DO start to shrivel up. your body no longer produces as much collagen and elastin as it did in your youth.

27 12 2006
John S

Never said I was quoting myself. I said its a great way to look at life. (And I am impressed you know the artist)

And if you think you only have a few fleeting moments to attain what you want be it physical, material or otherwise you are not a very smart person.

Life is ENTIRELY what you make it. Age means nothing if you don’t let it.

27 12 2006
sarcazm

except for the fact that statistically speaking the older you are the more likely you are to die of course.

27 12 2006
John S

Good point!

But if you are not willing to take a chance, take a risk, live life as best you can then who cares how old you are when you die?

What is that someone said?

Its not the memories you leave behind but the memories you leave for others.

27 12 2006
Embrace the Unknown

“bad boys are NOT considered socially acceptable. if they WERE socially acceptable they wouldn’t be considered bad in the slightest. it’s the rebelliousness of women that attracts them to the bad boys, even if they are, by their very nature, not good for them. this is why in the good girl + bad boy scenario the good girl is typically younger.”

– you know in that movie, glory road, one of the actors said “bad means good”

“the bad boy on the motorcycle is least likely to appear biologically sound enough to provide a stable and financially secure home environment for a good girl’s offspring”

– i was about to hit john up about this comment but then i realized he was quoting sarcasm. . .
– i am going to the gym, then shit shave shower so i can chat more about this later

a) all men and women have the same objective in life – to survive and replicate…

b) women are more emotional, less about looks, less about money

c) guys base attraction/value more on physical things – imagine, a beautiful girl with long hair… now imagine a girl who cut her hair REALLY short, to a man, shes less beautiful, because of evolution and health… long hair shows a sign of better health

d) all “people” have a survival value or replication value

e) courtship is a funny thing – men that arent dead from their motorcycle prove not only to be more adventerous, +1 on value, but they have survived a dangerous activity, +1 on survival and replication – because of this, in ANY woman’s eyes they are more able to provide healthy babies, that will survive

i.e – one man pulls out a credit card, which is a symbol of money, while the other pulls out a stack of 100’s – which do you guys think could provide more REAL value?

is this all based on opinion and experience – or has anyone read about it?

27 12 2006
25 cent life

a) survival and replication can be mutually exclusive. one does not have to replicate in order to survive.

b) most women are more emotional. quit your generalizing.

c) your opinion. i’m not a guy. i don’t pretend to know.

d) why is people in quotes?

27 12 2006
sarcazm

is anyone responding actually even trying to argue my points?

27 12 2006
Beaker

I apologize for being late to the fray, but I wanted to comment on some of the replies here. This whole thing got derailed by the “Good girls / Bad boys” comment. Not to say that’s a bad thing. Anything that leads to more discussion is a good thing.

“Why do nice girls always seem to go for bad boys?” It’s Nice Guy Lament #1. The guys who ask this question in all seriousness are usually those who have been burned (maybe burned is too strong a word. Ignored? Dumped?) by the girl they’ve been pining for, because she decided to go out with the greaser / guy with the bitchin’ Camaro / captain of the football team. The guy is too ‘nice’ to make a move, to take that first step. He’s going to be passed over for the guy who is bold enough to make the first move. The problem here is that, for the nice guy, any action that would deviate from how he would handle the situation would be considered bad, so the guy who wasn’t afraid to make the first move would be the ‘bad’ guy. Nice? Who wants a boring boyfriend? Of course, this is what you’d find in High School and College, because who’s serious about life? The problem is, High School and College are our major formative years, socially, so all the bad things that happen to us (getting burned for the Bad boy) we take as “this is how life is and always will be” because it’s all we know. I know how it is. I’ve fallen into the Nice Guy trap. Then I grew up and grew a pair.

No, ‘bad boys’ aren’t socially acceptable. The term ‘bad’ says it all. I don’t care if People Magazine comes out with it’s top 100 Bad Boys list. That doesn’t make it socially acceptable. Lists like that comes out because it gives people something to giggle about with their friends as they imagine being a social deviant (and with whatever hot guy is topping the list this year). I’m not going to double sarcazm’s post. It’s to the point enough.

However, John. Wow, just wow. Let’s start from the beginning. I think you’re confusing “What teenage girls want” with what’s socially acceptable. As we get older, we get less rebellious, not more. That is, until we hit the mid-life crisis, which is a whole ‘nother ballgame. Calling yourself a Bad boy automatically knocks yourself out of the Bad boy category. Sorry, please turn in your sunglasses and cigs at the door. You’re saying that a Bad boy on a motorcycle is biologically unsound, but if you have several college degrees and can provide a stable home, that makes you more sound. Nope, you’re still an unsound specimen riding a motorcycle.

Side note here, I have nothing against motorcycles. I like them; however calling yourself a badass because you ride a chopper is just sad, really.

Sarcazm called you on that, too. You might have been a bad boy in your youth, but now you just come across as someone who’s desperately trying to hang on to that last shred of rebelliousness you might have once had, as it slowly fades away, kind of like your hairline (oh snap I went there). This makes a good segue into your next “what” moment. Your personal parts DO just shrivel up!!! (Three exclamation points to counter your use of three question marks. That means I’m thrice as serious). People get old, they shrivel up, and they die. Cynical? Yes, but it’s true.

And finally (man, I’m cranky tonight. This is why I rarely take vacations from work. I don’t know how to spend my free time), I don’t care what someone once said. I don’t care about Mary Chapin Carpenter lyrics. I care about what YOU have to say. (Mis)quoting people more profound than yourself, in an attempt to be profound, makes you come off sounding, well, the opposite of good.

In a thinly-veiled attempt to re-rail the discussion, I do think it’s possible to be attracted to someone because you think you want to be attracted to them. However, I don’t think attractions like that last very long. They’re weak bonds, at best. I don’t fully agree with From, however, when he talks about people in the South and people of “color”. Now, I won’t say I know his ancestors better than he, so I’m just going with the hypothetical here.

Sure, it wasn’t socially acceptable, but that didn’t stop slave owners from sleeping with slaves, did it? Why would a white man want to sleep with one of his slaves if it was such a taboo thing to do? Let’s look at this from a very crude perspective for a minute. I’m sure there were plenty of white men who were attracted to black women back in the day. I mean, if they found one of their slaves to be a hot little number, they would act on it. Sure, they wouldn’t want to raise children and bring her to meet the parents, but that doesn’t stop the purely physical attraction. Socially acceptable? Of course not, but that doesn’t mean the pure physical attraction’s not there.

Now, should I end this post with an obscure quote in an attempt at making the readers go “whoa, this guy’s smart”? Nah. After all, Google’s taken all the fun out of that.

28 12 2006
25 cent life

I love how this post has degenerated. First, my original question, then someone brings up bad boys and nice girls. Now, some people just like to read what they type.

i don’t know if i can actually answer my own question here, but if a person is conditioned to believe (and is adequately gullible and easily led) that a certain standard is considered attractive — even though their gut instincts tell them otherwise. this could be best explained in LGBT acting ‘straight’ growing up because that is the accepted norm — not what they want to think. there is also fear of ostracizing — but that’s not the issue. if i grew up in a different environment, perhaps i would have a different standard of what attractive is or should be.

nice girls vs bad boys: the whole concept of the nice girl+bad boy or the nice guy finishing last — are more often than not held by the younger set. we have more room to be experimental, try out different things, try a new flavor of the month. younger people go for the moment, what feels cool now. usually what’s cool, is going against whatever older generations say. older generations define ‘bad’. it’s fine to ‘corrupt’. corrupt is just getting out of your little sheltered life. so when you get older, you’re more apt to look at all your options and see what’s best in the long term. this is where the nice guys finally win out. bad boys don’t appear to have any lasting stable power. nice guys do.

::i.e – one man pulls out a credit card, which is a symbol of money, while the other pulls out a stack of 100’s – which do you guys think could provide more REAL value?::

a man who pulls out a stack of 100’s — is showing off. there’s arrogance, there’s cockiness, there are too many negative connotations there. show me a man with intelligence, wit, and charm. the money and the success come naturally. no need to shove it in my face. i’m not saying that physical attributes don’t factor in. but a hot guy throwing around money is less attractive to me than an intelligent hot guy who shows his… value in the long run.

28 12 2006
embrace the unknown

your missing my point… we are discussing symbols – the money is a tangible REAL symbol… a credit card is diluted

lol – i dont have the time, sorry – i could barely read these long posts.. sarcasm’s post was the easiet to read, and for her – since i havent had time to read this all – sorry sarcasm i dont know what your poitns where, but if u bullet them – ill surely shoot the shit

28 12 2006
sarcazm

and now back to our regularly scheduled topic of conversation…

beaker has many fine points, and i agree with him on nearly all of them. i have a slightly different reason for saying no to the question posed above though. and to reiterate, let’s bring it back down to the bottom of the thread:

me: is it possible to be attracted to someone because you think you want to be attracted to them?

as corinne and i had previously discussed, my answer to this question is no, and i’ll state my reason as plainly as possible. if you wanted to be attracted to someone and attempted then to grow attracted to a person, all you are doing, in essence, is psyching yourself out. it’s thinly veiled psychology with no actual root basis, and nothing substantial can take any form from it. optimists could disagree, saying that if they smile often enough they feel happy. smiling might even increase seratonin levels and endorphins, i’m not sure. but has anything circumstantial actually made you happy besides your own desire to be (enough to try and fake it)? no. at the end of the day you get tired of trying and find yourself unhappy and suffering from TMD, and likewise not attracted to the person you would like to be attracted to.

and furthermore, to argue with beaker’s example re: WASPy men sleeping with their black slaves, more research would turn up that most of the sexual unions were due to biological need more than anything else. we’re talking about people who were taught that sex is a vile sin and would send you straight to hell, unless it was for the sole purpose of procreation. it’s not like thomas jefferson, when jonesin’ for some nookie, could look over at his wife martha, lift an eyebrow, and have her on her knees and eager to please.

yeah. no.

but! he had a ton of nubile young black chicks that he owned and were slaves to his bidding. sometimes his bidding exceeded the realm of picking cotton or harvesting tobacco. it doesn’t necessarily mean he even found them attractive, it’s just what he had at his disposal, the same as many early american slave owners.

28 12 2006
25 cent life

to: embrace the unknown

well, if you put it that way. then one would take the real over the diluted.

however. your courtship explanation would work for the younger set, as i’ve explained above. it wouldn’t work for the long term, safer, older set. adventurous/potentially dangerous — not good for survival. unless you actually liked that sort of thing. regardless of whether or not you’ve survived dangerous activities — they have the potential to shorten your life, and that’s not survival value.

you forget i am female, i don’t follow that logic.

and nearly all of what i write is based on experience. im sure there IS a book on it somewhere. i’m not about to write a research paper for you.

28 12 2006
sarcazm

wait, why the hell are people who can’t read even joining in this discussion anyway?

28 12 2006
embrace the unknown

ok i am leaving a last post for the night

25 cent chick – you are wrong… if its logic, its all based on underlying emotions

it works for every type of woman because you are all very insecure, just that more beautiful women are used to being complimented and treated a certain way, and im not going to breakdown how to court a gorgeous chick, but in the end, my point about value was, the $$$ is real, its authentic, and subconsciously a woman would choose the guy with the 100’billz because she feels he is more likely to help her survive, compared to a credit card, piece of plastic, its all symbolic leading to value and survival and replication

yeah sarcasm – you can make yourself like somenoe, peole do it all the time, its called being lonely – anyone with real standards would screen others, court them, and treat themselves as the “prize”

gl

28 12 2006
25 cent life

to sarcazm:

i was trying to look at both sides. but one really can’t ignore the natural gut reaction.

28 12 2006
Beaker

–“this could be best explained in LGBT acting ’straight’ growing up because that is the accepted norm — not what they want to think.”

This is, in a way, my argument. Attractions like that don’t last long. Eventually, the LGBT comes into their own, and any attractions based on preconceived notions of the social norm go right out the window.

–“it’s thinly veiled psychology with no actual root basis, and nothing substantial can take any form from it.”

Yes, however, something CAN come of it, however insubstantial. Now we’re just arguing semantics. And don’t you be dissin’ TJ. He and Franklin were pimps. Founding fathers, indeed.

28 12 2006
Beaker

I’m sorry for double posting, but Embrace, are you writing this all tongue-in-cheek, or are you so deluded that you think that’s how people really are? I mean, I’m as cynical as the next guy, but look at your posts. Pull your head out of your ass.

28 12 2006
25 cent life

so we’re down to attraction and S+R value.

-“my point about value was, the $$$ is real, its authentic, and subconsciously a woman would choose the guy with the 100′billz because she feels he is more likely to help her survive, compared to a credit card, piece of plastic, its all symbolic leading to value and survival and replication”

however, this would apply to the ideology that women NEED men to survive. no, we don’t. it’s the weaker ones who think they ‘need’ something as superficial as that. technically, we’d need them to replicate, but it’s just some bodily fluid — not the whole man.

it is unfair and untrue that you would say all women are insecure. the women who can recognize that we don’t need a man to survive or feel complete — are completely secure with themselves.

i am not debating the illusion v reality bit.

28 12 2006
Beaker

I would be careful when talking about absolute needs, strengths, and weaknesses. You toe a fine line between being independent and being a feminazi. Humans are a social animal. The desire for others is there, even if we have convinced ourselves that we’re perfectly happy alone.

28 12 2006
25 cent life

i don’t deny the social animal part. i was merely stating that Embrace’s statements on ALL women are unfair. or ALL men for that matter.

perhaps the logic behind subconsciously seeking value (regardless if it’s S+R or whatever) is sound, but applying it absolutely to all groups is not.

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