You may think you ended up with your partner because they turn you on and make you laugh. But it’s not quite as simple as that. Sexual attraction is based on a complex series of hidden messages that you’re totally unaware of. You may be attracted by a funny monkey impression or a pair of sparkly eyes, but the real draw is all down to pheromones, where you went to school, background and even hand size.
SIMILAR BACKGROUND — This one’s pretty obvious: Couples with similar backgrounds are attracted to each other, even when they have no conscious knowledge of whether the other grew up in a pit or a palace. Most successful marriages are made between couples who have comparable childhoods in education, religion, and social class.
CHEMICAL MESSENGERS — An awful lot has been talked about pheromones — the hidden chemical smells that determine attraction. Pheromones are concealed in fresh, non-smelly sweat and act as silent messengers. Your body can recognize compatible scents which suggest a good genetic match and, therefore, healthier children.
FACE SHAPE — Similar facial shapes can determine attraction, too. Your noses don’t have to be a perfect match, of course, but the closer someone’s ratio of lip to nose, and eyes to lips is to yours, the more likely you are to be attracted to their looks.
MIDDLE FINGER — Researchers have found that highly compatible couples generally have middle fingers of exactly corresponding lengths. They don’t fully understand why this should be the case, but if you want an inside track on whether your love will go the distance, it’s worth pressing your hand flat against your partner’s and measuring.
WHAT WERE YOUR PARENTS LIKE? — Your relationship with your mom and dad is perhaps the most important indicator of the sort of mate you’ll be attracted to. If they offered stability, balanced parenting and a reasonable amount of responsibility to you as a child, you’ll probably grow up attracted to equally well-balanced types. But if dad was a cheater, or mom told you all about her boyfriend troubles, psychologists believe you’re more likely to seek out similar people with whom you can re-enact your childhood problems — hoping for a different outcome. That’s why some people are “rescuers” who are attracted to addicts or those who are violent or emotionally troubled.