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The X-factor that awakens Mr Cupid

By - Perpetual Wangeri | December 8th 2012 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Men and women look for certain things in partners of their choice. Why do we fall in love with some people and not others? Perpetual Wangeri finds out

There is a certain type of woman men find irresistible. On doing a mental assessment of her attributes, you cannot place your finger on what is so fascinating about her. She is attractive, but not with the kind of beauty that slaps you right in the face. Her dressing is neither revealing nor outstanding. The woman has that femme fatale effect on men that makes them stand at attention when she walks into the room. 

Then there is the man who every woman wants by her side. The women will change their walking style in his presence and drop pens right in front of him, just to get his attention. He is not usually the most handsome, the richest or the smartest in the room.  This guy has that X-factor that arouses romantic interest in women.

Laws of Attraction

In a study of 10,000 people in 37 societies, men and women were asked to rank attractive characteristics in a long-term partner. Both sexes ranked love, mutual attraction, dependable character, emotional maturity and a pleasing personality as important in choosing a long-term partner.

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Kindness, smartness, education level, health and interest in home and family life were also ranked as important.

Men and women also value specific attributes in their long term partners

Who men choose

Women whose waists circumference is 70 per cent of the hips: An American psychologist, Devendra Singh, found that globally, men prefer a woman whose waist circumference is about 70 per cent of  her hips. Singh linked this waist-to-hip ratio to health and fertility in a woman. Incidentally, at around the time of ovulation, the bodies of women usually change to get closer to this waist-hip ratio.

Women who appear youthful and beautiful:  In her book entitled Why we love, Helen Fisher notes that men favour women who display visual signs of youth and beauty, such as smooth skin, snow white teeth, sparkling eyes, shiny hair, taut muscles and a lively personality. Men also generally marry women who are three to eight years younger.

Women who need some help: Being problem solvers, men have a tendency to choose women they feel they can help. The male brain is well built to assist women.  A man will value a woman who makes him feel needed, especially if she balances it by not being overly dependent and clingy.

Feminine women: In the century old book entitled Secrets of Fascinating Womanhood, the authors wrote that men desire women who display feminine traits. This book advocates for women to wear feminine clothes, long hair and to carry themselves in gentle feminine manner.

Who women choose

Men with financial muscle: Fisher also observes that in the world over, women favour men with higher levels of education, ambition, wealth, respect, status and position, compared to themselves.

Tall masculine men: Women select men with masculine cheek bones and a strong jaw. Height is associated with prestige and bodily defense. In Song of Songs of the Old testament written between 900 and 300 BC, the woman wrote “My lover is shining ruddy./He is the tallest in a crowd of 10,000 men/ His arms are like rods of gold. His legs are pillars of marble.”

Biologist Randy Thornhill stipulates that around the time of ovulation, women are attracted to men with good genes and during other times of the menstrual cycle, women favour men who display signs of commitment.

Men with a healthy sense of Self-confidence: Women prefer men who are self-assured, assertive and who have self-respect.

Men with a Good sense of humor: Women love men who have a great sense of humour. Laughter elicits good feelings and the women learn to associate these good feelings with the man with whom this laughter is shared.

Quick fix men

Generous men: Women are also more likely to choose men who are willing to share their rank, money, and position. This indicates a sense of responsibility over his family.

Who men and women choose for short-term casual relationships

Hellen Fisher notes that for short-term romance, both sexes are more flexible with their choice of partner.

 Women may select healthy looking, fun-loving, free spending men with attractive physical features.

Men on the prowl for short-term romance will over-look the woman’s level of intelligence and loyalty and settle for physical attractiveness and availability. The woman’s past history of having many lovers may not bother the men, as they hope that history will repeat itself.



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