What makes you attractive to others


Understandably, we pay a lot of attention to attractiveness in our society. It’s pretty biological, after all. Indeed, common signals of attractiveness are signs of health and resistance to disease that display themselves as bilateral facial symmetry, large bright pupils, full lips, youthful skin, and melanin-rich hair. Would you have figured all that?

Many of the things that make us attractive to other people are even less obvious. To find out what they are, click through this gallery.


Not only are we attracted to other people’s smells on an individual basis, but some people’s smells are more attractive than others in general, too.


Women smell better to men when they have high estrogen and low progesterone levels (indicating high fertility).


It’s been shown that men who have a diet high in fresh produce smell more attractive to women.


If people are healthy, they will generally smell better too.

Importance of kissing

In general though, humans don’t have the strongest sense of smell, so kissing means a lot from a psychological point of view.

Immune systems
Immune systems

We are attracted to people who have different immune responses to us and kissing allows us to get a sense of this.

Women’s voicesFertility

Men rate women’s voices as more attractive when the women’s progesterone levels were low and estrogen levels were high.

Women's voices

Fertility can affect how women’s voices sound too.

Men with low voicesMen with low voices

Just before women start ovulating, they are more attracted to men with lower voices.

Low voices in ancient timesLow voices in ancient times

A possible evolutionary reason for this is that having a lower voice may indicate that someone was bigger (and stronger) and may have been better able to survive in the wild.

Sexually active people are more attractiveSexually active people are more attractive

When strangers are asked to rate the attractiveness of people’s voices, the people who are most sexually active are rated the highest.

Hormonal balanceHormonal balance

Our hormonal balances may play a bigger role than we think in who we become attracted to.


For example, men with higher levels of testosterone may be attracted to women with more feminine faces (i.e. big eyes, high eyebrows, and thin jawlines).


When women are ovulating, they are generally more attracted to men with wider jaws.

Testosterone increases libidoTestosterone increases libido

While we tend to associate testosterone with men and estrogen with women, they both play a role in all genders and testosterone increases libido for everyone.

Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin Dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin

When you’re attracted to another person, your brain releases dopamine, and oxytocin is produced, and your serotonin levels increase.

“Feel good chemicals”"Feel good chemicals"

These “feel good chemicals” are what make us feel good around someone, inducing feelings of safety, warmth, and comfort.

Norepinephrine and giddinessNorepinephrine and giddiness

Another chemical at play when we’re attracted to someone is norepinephrine, which together with dopamine makes us feel giddy.


Attraction is also driven by the release of serotonin, which is the happy hormone. Hugging and sexual contact releases oxytocin, the love hormone.

Quality timeQuality time

Attraction is generally increased by spending a lot of time with someone and physical touch (when it is welcome, of course) also tends to speed up the process.


Kindness makes people more attractive, which makes a lot of sense. It makes people more likable.

Kindness implies sharingKindness implies sharing

It makes sense that this would be one of the most favored characteristics in a mate when we consider how it implies sharing and looking after one another.

The photograph testThe photograph test

Putting positive characteristics against someone’s photograph makes them appear better looking to other people.

Opposites attractOpposites attract

Not only are we attracted to people who are a little different from us so that our offspring benefit from genetic variability, but because they may just make up for what we don’t have (for example, maybe they’re great at cooking and we’re not).


In men, attractiveness is perceived (in part) positively by masculinity, symmetry, and averageness, and negatively by adiposity (being overweight or obese).


In women, attractiveness is affected positively by femininity and negatively by adiposity.

Health rules supremeHealth rules supreme

Health makes us attractive to other people more than nearly any other factor, and the signals which communicate health are what make us seem attractive to others.

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