In fact, everything that can please us can please and inspire our brain. Crying, laughing, experiencing fear, and kissing until your knees buckle are all influencing and being influenced by our brain. Is physical attraction important or all of these things do not depend directly on us? There actually many interesting things that happen inside our body when we fall in love.
What Is Physical Attraction?
Let’s take, for example, sexual desire. As neurophysiologists say, it consists of four components, and when they are all assembled in the right combination, we move from thoughts to actions.
The first components are perception and evaluation
In the beginning, there is always a stimulus, and this stimulus is a sexual object, and it does not matter whether it is a photo in a magazine or a pretty yoga instructor. Having received an impulse, the eyes urgently transmit information to the brain. The ventromedial cerebral cortex is involved: it is a part of the frontal lobes that is responsible, among other things, for emotions, risk assessment, and decision making.
The ventromedial cortex says to send a signal to the limbic system. It is responsible for a lot of different things, from the work of the internal organs to the storage of memories. In our case, it is the organ which decides that the object in front of us is a suitable sexual stimulus. At this moment, the focus of attention involuntarily shifts in the needed direction, and the zones in the brain responsible for processing the visual information (they are located in the temporal and occipital lobes of the brain) start working. A tiny brain area that specializes exclusively in the perception of the human body begins to work harder.
The second component is an emotion
Making a decision is important. In the temporal regions of the brain, the organ called amygdala is located, and it is responsible for the emotional context of the situation. Here strong emotions are formed, and here they are associated with memory: if something was exceptionally pleasant, the amygdala takes care of repeating the actions that led to it.
Processing the information received, the amygdala gives it emotional coloring, depending on the available memories. This process is directly related to the motivational centers of the brain, so its “decision” largely influences what your actions will be in the end.
It is interesting to note that during masturbation or orgasm, the amygdala is turned off. The emotional component of sexual desire is, we must say, not only “pure emotional.” Physical attraction is directly related to them, as well as sensations during sex. Because the same emotions also activate the left somatosensory cortex of the brain which is “directly connected” to the genitals. So, whether you like it or not, emotions really decide how good sex will be.
The third component is motivation
A sex object is recognized, emotions are included. Next comes dopamine, a neurotransmitter, that is, a substance that the brain produces to transmit nerve impulses. Dopamine performs a ton of different work in the body and in particular, is responsible for sexual arousal.
The fourth component is physiology
Acceleration of the heart rhythm, increase in blood pressure, the reaction of the genitals and hormonal changes are all the result of the work of the brain that “constitutes” sexual desire and signs of strong physical attraction. The anterior insular lobe of the large brain and the anterior cingulate brain, as well as the hypothalamus all, participate in the production of physiological responses to sexual arousal.
As you can see, a physical attraction in a relationship is a complex process and many things here depend on our brain and its reaction. Whether you believe in the chemistry of love or not, the science proved long ago that sympathy and attraction directly depend on the inner liquids and processes of our body.
Emotional Attraction vs Physical Attraction
How important is a physical attraction in comparison with the emotional one? Many people believe that if there are many types of connection between people, then emotional one is the strongest and most important of them.
Emotional attraction is necessary when it comes to successful relationships. It takes more time for men to build deep emotional connections. They need to carry out some assessment and take things into perspective when choosing a partner and allowing themselves to feel real emotional attraction. Physical attraction in a relationship is definitely important but not as much as emotional.
As a rule, we can have a physical attraction to many people. Signs of physical attraction between two people are liking the appearance of another person, enjoying the way they move, looking at their body with joy, liking their hair, smile, eyes, height, legs, thighs, chest and style of clothes. Signs of physical attraction of a man are that he pays attention to one or two features of the woman’s appearance and tries to make her a compliment on them.
Do not forget that feeling attracted to someone on the physical level is almost subconscious. We may be not aware of what kind of a person is our sexual object, but our brain does the job for us, determining who is worth our attention. This desire has nothing to do with human sympathy and does not indicate that we are ready to build a relationship with a person we like.
Of course, the emotional attraction is something that comes over time and is deeper in meaning, it is the kind of feeling we can control. Your personality determines how you feel about the world and the people around you. The opposite types of people attract each other. Some calm men like women with an impulsive temper, and others like indecisive or kind-hearted women. There can be an infinite number of variations. We may like a person who is just like us or someone who does not look like us at all.
Comparing emotional attraction vs physical attraction is an individual issue. For someone, everything is obvious, and they feel the thin line between these two notions while others cannot understand what they feel towards their partners even after years of marriage. But the science states for sure, physical chemistry is something we cannot control while emotional attraction is more complicated and develops over time.
Signs of Strong Physical Attraction
Our thoughts and feelings produce certain gestures and behaviors. And it is not difficult to understand that the representative of the opposite sex is having a sexual interest for you if you are attractive. Of course, women and men use different gestures to express their interest.
Moreover, women, according to experts, are more sophisticated in their flirting or subconscious revealing of the signs of physical attraction, while men are usually more natural in their actions. And yet there are so-called hidden body signals that indicate the true interest of both sexes.
Sexual Signals of Women
- Close contact. A woman seems to be accidentally very close to a man who attracts her, and a distance not exceeds 40 cm. This means that she is waiting for a response.
- Demonstration of neck and legs. A woman takes a relaxed posture so that the legs become visible or lean or exposes the neck as if unintentionally. If at the same time, she often changes the position of the legs (throws it on one another, weaves, shakes with a shoe), there is no doubt about her increased interest in a man.
- Playing with hair and jewelry without noticing it herself. If a woman looks into the eyes of her interlocutor and plays with her hair, it is a hidden signal.
Sexual Signals of Men
- Showing the interest. During a conversation with a woman, a man begins to touch his hair, and the toes of his legs are turned in her direction, then it is a sign that the lady is of keen interest.
- Serious intentions. A man openly demonstrates his palms during a conversation, a woman can be sure that he has some plans for her.
- The desire to be close. The distance between interlocutors from 1.5 to 3.5 meters is considered to be business, from 75 centimeters to 1.5 meters is friendly, and if it is less, then this is an intimate distance. If a man gradually approaches during a conversation, most likely his interest is by no means platonic.
- Touches. A man casually touches a woman’s hand or elbow. This means that she seems very cute to him.
Can You Have a Good Relationship Without Physical Attraction?
Accurately determining what is love is a difficult task. Many scientists believe that love is a state of euphoria people plunge in completely. Love makes men and women look at the world around them with different eyes. In modern life, love has many different forms, and only people in love determine which kind of relationship they prefer. Some of them choose to have a relationship without sex, but can you have a good relationship without physical attraction?
Virtual love. The age of technological progress gave a man such a thing as the Internet. Using it, we can communicate, and communication is both friendship and such an interesting form of love as relationships at a distance or love without sex. Different generations have an ambiguous opinion on such relationships. But sometimes it happens that people from different continents meet online and truly fall in love. Lovers communicate for hours, months, even years then. If this is not loving, then what?
Love at a distance. There are various life situations when married couples spend a long time without each other because of business trips or so. And if you were to ask, “Can physical attraction develop over time?” the answer, in this case, would be affirmative. The lack of sex in the relationship of two people who are currently away from each other does not do harm if they are long-term partners: being in different areas, cities, countries, they think about each other, constantly call back, and love lives in their memories and thoughts. It is safe to say that there are such families, and therefore love at a distance without sex exists.
Finally, is physical attraction important in long term relationship? Our answer is “Yes.” Love is an emotional attraction, spiritual intimacy, empathy and respect for each other, a state of joy and complete happiness when communicating with loved ones, it is a desire to be with a beloved one, to spend every moment together and accept a loved one the way they are, with their positive and negative character traits. All of the above forms of relationships can be called love. And yet, love without sex is devoid of sensual relationships. Emotions do not find their way out. It can lead to nervous breakdowns over time, which will inevitably provoke a relationship crisis and quarrels. Love and sex are closely linked, and if there is no sexual intercourse in a relationship, tender feelings may cool down over time.