Why am I so picky when it comes to dating? (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris!

It’s been a very long while since I was last in the dating scene, but I think I’m well over my ex now, and so I’m doing my best to find someone new.

What I don’t understand is why I’m attracted to so few of the ladies I meet. Often I like the look of someone across the room, but once we get within talking distance, my interest fades.

It’s hard enough finding someone who’s available for a relationship with a man of my age, so why am I being so picky?

Too Picky by Far

Chris says,


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Hi Too Picky by Far!

Don’t laugh, but what often causes a loss of interest as you get closer to a potential date is their smell! I don’t mean the state of their personal hygiene, I mean their basic, normal human smell.

Which is as distinctive as a fingerprint, because both men and women have scent glands in their armpits, groin, and around their nipples. Unlike the rest of the body, which hardly smells at all, these glands produce a liquid which bacteria on the skin convert into the well-known smell of perspiration.

And believe it or not, experiments show clearly that while people say - and mean it - that they don’t like the smell of sweat, there’s no doubt that it does have a very real subconscious effect on them.

Someone’s smell can also release a host of subconscious memories. So the right human smell at the right moment can trigger that first, stunning moment of romance - or just the opposite.

It’s not just smell of course. Long ago, you developed a mental map that determines what you find arousing. Some people get turned on by a smart suit. Or by a uniform. A gentle touch or an infectious laugh.

These maps form during childhood, from the way we feel about our parents and other adults who’re important to us. Like our childhood heroes, adolescent crushes, people who were kind to us - and people who weren’t.

There are also a few things that work for everyone. We’re all attracted to people with good skin. Everywhere people prefer partners to be clean. Men are especially attracted to signs of youth, and women go for anything that suggests that a man’s wealthy.

And can you guess what’s the biggest turn on of all? An even and symmetrical face. Because that implies health, and it’s the reason we find model’s faces so appealing.

You feel attractions like these within moments of getting close for the first time. Or feel turned off because they don’t match your sub-conscious love map. Without knowing why, because it’s all completely subconscious. But don’t worry, one day soon you’ll meet someone who’s a perfect fit. And whose smell is simply intoxicating.

All the best,