Tag Archives: gay dating

How Can You Be More Attractive Without Actually Doing Anything?

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Have A Decoy.

Whether it be digital cameras, puppies, restaurant entrees, cosmetics or love, we all view things relative to the things around it. Take the image above for example; this graphic depicts the illusion of relativity. Although the circles in the middle are the same size, (you can measure them if you don’t believe me) when placed within the smaller circles on the left the circle seems bigger than when it is placed within the larger circles on the right.

Dan Ariely explains relativity from Predictably Irrational:

When Williams-Sonoma first introduced a home “bread bakery” machine (for $275), most consumers were not interested. What was a home bread-making machine, anyway? Was it good or bad? Did one really need home-baked bread? Why not just buy a fancy coffeemaker sitting nearby instead? Flustered by poor sales, the manufacturer of the bread machine brought in a marketing research firm, which suggested a fix: introduce an additional model of the bread maker, one that was not only larger but priced about 50 percent higher than the initial machine. Now sales began to rise (along with many loaves of bread), though it was not the large bread maker that was being sold. Why? Simply because consumers now had two models of bread makers to choose from. Since one was clearly larger and much more expensive than the other, people didn’t have to make their decision in a vacuum. They could say: “Well, I don’t know much about bread makers, but I do know that if I were to buy one, I’d rather have the smaller one for less money.” And that’s when bread makers began to fly off the shelves.

But enough with bread makers. Let’s now take a look at relativity and how a decoy would work in a completely different situation.

What if you are single, and want to appeal to as many attractive potential dating partners as possible? Simple: Bring a friend who has your basic physical characteristics but is slightly less attractive than you. People tend to compare things with one another but they also tend to focus on comparing things that are easily comparable – and avoid comparing things that are dissimilar. So if you’re Asian, 5’8”, slim build, and upscale-casually dressed, bring along another friend who is also Asian, around 5’8”, has a similar body-type, and slightly less well-dressed. If your best friend happens to be Caucasian, 6’2”, muscular, and wearing a sports jersey, he’ll do you no good. Why? Because the folks you want to attract will have a hard time evaluating you with no comparables around. However, if you are compared with a “you (-1),” the decoy friend will do a lot to make you look better, not just in comparison with the decoy but also in general, and in comparison with all the other people around.

There. Look awesome with no extra effort on your part.

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And now that you know this secret, be careful: when a similar but better-looking friend of the same sex asks you to accompany him or her for a night out, you might wonder whether you have been invited along for your company or merely as a decoy.  –Dan Ariely

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Where’s A Great Place to Find A Date?

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The Gym. Seriously. 

Why? Here’s some background:

The technical term is “misattribution of arousal.” In one study, heterosexual men walked across either a very high and unstable suspension bridge (an anxiety-inducing experience) or a bridge that was closer to the ground and wasn’t scary at all. In the middle of the bridge, each man was approached by an attractive female research assistant, who gave them a survey to fill out. Upon completing the questionnaire, she provided the man with her phone number and asked him to give her a call later that night if he had any questions about the study. It turned out that the men who walked across the shaky bridge were much more likely to call the woman than the men who walked across the stable bridge.

What’s happening? When the men who crossed the safe bridge saw the research assistant, most of them looked at her and saw just that, a studious research assistant. But for the men who crossed rickety, unstable bridge, anxiety and adrenaline translated into a heightened romantic interest in the assistant. 

In a more related study, male participants were asked to run on a treadmill for either a few minutes or a few seconds. Afterward, they rated their degree of sexual and romantic attraction toward a female college student they observed in a video. Results indicated that the men who exercised longer were more attracted to the woman than the men who did not get their blood pumping as much. That is, when there are competing explanations for the arousal (you aren’t sure if your heart is pounding because you just exercised or because you just met someone really hot), people seem to err on the side of attributing it to the new person. Wonderful.

So get out there, work up a sweat, and approach that hot guy or girl who is equally working hard. You’re more likely to make a stronger first impression than somewhere more sedated and they might even make the mistake of attributing some of the arousal from the workout to you! Plus, going to the gym is like killing two birds with one stone. You get in better shape, which increases your overall physical attractiveness and there’s the added bonus of potentially finding a date. Just go already! 

To learn more about how (irrationally) our minds work and how to take advantage of them, I recommend these two great books: Predictably Irrational and The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home.

Sources:

Dutton, Donald G.; Aron, Arthur P. “Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, (1974)
White, G. L., & Kight, T. D. “Misattribution of arousal and attraction: Effects of salience of explanations for arousal.”  Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, (1984)
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