It’s more than a feeling



Love has been a key component of human culture and society since the beginnings of civilization, helping guarantee the continuation of our species.

Our modern understanding of love and romance is tied to the formation of romantic relationships in 18th Century Europe. The societal norm of two partners per relationship derives from here.

The basic concept of a person finding an attractive mate to then later procreate and create lasting relationship with is heavily reinforced in our society, typically between a male and female.

Recent social movements have begun re-integrating the concept of homosexuality and polyamory, a relationship with more than two partners, into mainstream society.

Some struggle to understand how homosexuality is possible because it doesn’t help the continuation of the species, or because it conflicts with their religious doctrine.

The process of falling in love however is more complicated than basic attraction and evolutionary processes.

Love and attraction can be comprised of different factors for different individuals, meaning not every person is romanced the same way.

For males, physical attraction plays a large role in initial and longer-term attraction, according to research in the Social Science Journal on Dating Attitudes and Behaviors in American and Chinese students.

Similarly, physical attraction via pheromones and the state of sexual arousal can cause attraction to people that one would normally not deem attractive. Relationships based on these attractions often fade quickly and lead to an end of the relationship, according to a study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Another factor that plays role in determining attraction is physical and personality similarities, for instance, two people with more physically active lifestyles, will have more attraction compared to a person of a more sedentary lifestyle.

Similarities in personalities, whether connected to spiritual beliefs, political views or general upbringing, also establish a strong connection. A study in the Journal of Social Psychology showed that individuals with similar ideologies not only have a stronger sense of attraction, but also longer, healthier relationships.

When it comes to students, the factor that plays the largest role in creating the sense of attraction is personality. Students ages 18 and up value those with attractive personalities, such as a good sense of humor or sense of compassion, according to a study by Grand Valley State University in the McNair Scholarly Journal.

Homosexual attraction shares similar preferences to that of heterosexuals. The difference in the attraction in regard to the gender the partner varies because of a mutation cause by anti-H-Y antibodies.

“The fetus receives the anti-H-Y antibodies from mother, causing an alteration of sexual differential in the brain of these fetuses,” according Avalon University School of Medicine.

These alterations could affect how one perceives the same and opposite gender and ones attraction toward them.

Aside from predetermined attraction in regards to gender, most students will have similar desires in regards to attraction because of their similarities in age, environment and exposure.

While regional and cultural differences affect these factors differently, a nice smile and warm personality always help.