Since humankind began, people have been trying to improve their allure. Yet it seems elusive for many, even though some elements seem obvious:
- Attractive appearance. A willingness to consciously make yourself appealing to those you want to attract. I have no idea, then, why so many online profiles feature hideous pictures. And even with a reasonable picture, why men show up unkempt apparently not passing a mirror before leaving their house or office.
- Pleasant personality. Charm can trump physical attractiveness. Being complimentary and nice pulls someone to you much more than insults and meanness. Yet millions of people haven’t seemed to learn this basic concept.
Yesterday a midlife gal pal and I were comparing dating stories. We shared what we’ve gleaned that men seem to be drawn to. We examined our own dating success and felt it boiled down to a few key areas.
- The men were lonely and happy to have any pleasant, reasonably attractive woman’s company. We both qualified with these basic qualities.
But beyond this, we felt there were other behaviors comprising appeal that apparently few women have figured out.
- Actively listening. This may seem like a “duh,” but the truth is, not many people are truly good listeners, gently asking relevant questions that show interest. Few people have a natural curiosity when it comes to others. Some who do, ask questions that are intrusive or combative, rather than in a gently caring way. Most people respond positively to another who takes a genuine interest in them.
By actively listening you can learn a lot about someone. After a few email interactions and a few hours in person, a man told me that I knew more about him than most of his friends. I think I listened better and seemed more interested in him than his friends.
In a recent exploratory conversation, a 55-year-old man told me that he’d returned to school to sharpen his skills since he was laid off two years ago. He’d created a summer-focused business and I asked how he supported himself through the winter. He said, “With student loans.” That was enough to tell me we were at different places in our lives and I wasn’t interested in progressing.
- Eye contact. Again, this should be common sense. But I now know that many midlife people feel invisible, marginalized by the lack of people noticing them other than those obligated to do so. If you focus on someone during a conversation that is such an unusual and exhilarating experience for some they are immediately drawn to you.
During the break in my presentation recently, a man came up and asked me a question. He was sort of geeky looking, overweight, and bespectacled. I doubted many woman gave him much attention. I held eye contact during our brief conversation. After my speech, he came up and asked if he could help me pack up and continued to talk with me. I think the eye contact made him feel that someone had noticed him and this was a warm, wonderful, and unusual experience.
So allure can be simple. One does not have to have stunningly good looks to be alluring. Simple sincere behaviors can make you more attractive.
What else would you add to this short list of alluring elements?
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