11 reasons you’re attracted to someone unattractive

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I confess I’ve had crushes on guys who most would consider ‘meh.’ As to why, I’ve never really known.

Until now.

In fact, let me share why you – and I – have been (or continue to be) attracted to people who some might say are unattractive.

Let’s begin.

1) They’re nice

They say nice guys finish last. But unbeknownst to many, this selflessness can make ‘unattractive’ people more appealing.

According to a report, “altruistic traits may well be a factor both men and women take into account when choosing a partner.”

Not only is it common sense to want to be with someone who treats you (and other people) nicely, it happens due to an evolutionary call as well.

“It would have been important for our ancestors to choose mates both willing and able to be good, long-term parents. Displays of altruism could well have provided accurate clues to this and genes linked to altruism would have been favored as a result.”

2) They’re oozing with confidence

As Blake Lively used to say, “The most beautiful thing you can wear is confidence.”

I – and most people – agree.

Most of us can’t help but be drawn to confidence because it’s an ”awareness of who you are, regardless of how you compare or measure up to others.”

“It shows people that you’re comfortable with yourself, which grants you a certain poise, charm, or assertiveness,” explains Mark D. White, Ph.D. in his Psychology Today post.

And if you ask me, the most attractive thing about confidence is this:
“It also implies that you don’t need to compete with anyone or belittle anyone else to lift yourself up; as a result, confident people are more willing to praise others because they aren’t worried about making themselves look worse.”

3) They make you laugh – a lot

Picture this: you went out with someone who isn’t as gorgeous as you’d hope they’d be, largely due to the coaxing of your ‘concerned’ friends.

You think the date will be a boon, but to your surprise, it went out better than expected. This person made you laugh – a lot – and now, you’re scheduling your second date.

It’s not a miracle, as others would put it. It’s human nature.

In fact, “research shows that heterosexual women are often attracted to men with humor, and that men are often looking for a woman who laughs about their jokes.”

Dr. Madelijn Strick of  Universiteit van Nederland explained that this happens “because the reward area of the brain becomes activated during such an activity. That positive feeling is connected to the person that you are experiencing it with.”

4) They’re just like you

My husband and I have a lot in common. We’re both nurses. We love traveling and going to historical sites/museums, among many other things.

I guess that’s why we clicked well.

And I believe this is one of the key reasons why some people fall for those who aren’t textbook hot.

It’s because they’re highly similar to them.

In a Mind Body Green (MBG) interview, anthropologist Helen Fisher, Ph.D. explained that this occurs because “we tend to be drawn to people who are similar to us. We’re commonly attracted to those who remind us of loved ones, such as parents, former significant others, or friends.”

So while opposite poles attract, there’s no denying that like begets like – especially in my case.

5) They’re intelligent

I must admit, I’ve liked a guy who’s not, by textbook definition, a looker. But he is damn intelligent!

We could talk about stimulating issues for on – and on – and on.

According to experts, if you’re attracted to a smart person, then you’re most likely a ‘sapiosexual.

It’s a sexual attraction “to highly intelligent people, so much so that they consider it to be the most important trait in a partner,” according to WebMD,

That’s why you “enjoy intellectual activity as an integral part of emotional bonding and even physical foreplay.”

In other words, their brain turns you on!

6) They’re ‘powerful’

Power is sexy. And I confess, I went out with several guys who are considered unattractive – largely because of the power they hold.

Corporate executives. Top-tier lawyers. Accomplished physicians.

And it’s not just me. I’ve bet you’ve seen many couples consisting of a smoking-hot partner and a regular Joe/Jane who’s a head honcho or who runs/owns this or that.

Power is seductive, and it’s actually proven by research.

According to a study published in the Asian Journal of Social Psychology, “results showed that high-power individuals, both men and women, recorded significantly greater sexual attraction to the images than did low-power individuals.”

And it’s not just beautiful women who are attracted to powerful men (think Melania.) It also happens the other way around.

That’s because the study has shown that  “power heightens sexual attraction to the opposite sex among heterosexual men and women.”

7) They’re loaded

Just like power, money can be intoxicating. Imagine being treated to 5-star restaurants, trips to private sandy beaches, and shopping excursions where the sky’s the limit.

I guess that’s why many young, beautiful women fall for rich and powerful men.

Quoting the 1986 study discussed in The Atlantic, “women said they valued ‘good earning capacity’ more highly than men did.”

I mean, I get it. Why go for a deadbeat dad, when you can go for a dad who can provide (a lot) for you – and your kids?

8) You feel ‘connected’ to them

We’ve all been there. Suddenly, we experience a spark with this person from out of nowhere.

And although they’re unattractive and not our usual type, we fall for them because of this unexplained connection.

Now if you ask me, I think that this happens because they’re your soulmate – or your twin flame.

A “soulmate is someone that we have a deep feeling of affinity and connection to. They “get us” and we “get them”, almost like we are cut from the same energetic cloth,” according to HackSpirit founder Lachlan Brown,

See the keyword here: connection.

A twin flame, on the other hand, “is your mirrored image.” According to Robbi King, they’re “a reflection of your spirit.”

Because of this, your twin flame can make you feel “as if you have known this person forever. Instinctually, you will feel safe and comfortable to be yourself, despite them being a stranger.”

9) It’s the way they talk

Someone who doesn’t look sexy – may indeed look sexier with the right voice (or accent.)

Just take the case of those with deep, sultry voices. Called “voix de chambre à coucher” by the French, it’s a tone that could seduce you in a minute.

According to a BBC report, this attraction takes place because men with deep voices have been linked with “hunting abilities, career success, and strength.”

As for women, it’s the opposite. Those with high-pitch voices are thought to be more attractive, for this type of tone is believed to be “a proxy for youth and therefore the number of future years of fertility.”

Apart from their voice, this person’s accent may draw you in as well. This is the case for most who have been allured by the world’s sexiest accents, which, according to a poll, are:

  • British
  • French
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Irish

10) It’s the way they smell (aka pheromones)

I remember being attracted to a guy whose smell enchanted me. I don’t know why – for he’s not my usual type.

But somehow, I went crazy over him.

Turns out it’s largely because of pheromones.

See, pheromones are substances our bodies secrete. They’re present in our breath, saliva, sweat, and ‘private’ secretions (if you know what I mean.)

According to a study, these pheromones contain steroidal compounds. One such kind, androstadienone, is present in droves in male sweat. It can also easily be ‘detected’ by women.

This study has shown that “exposure to androstadienone in women promotes attractiveness ratings of potential mates.”

In other words, women who smell these steroidal compounds were noted to have an ‘improved mood.’

And, unless you’ve been living under a rock, this mood has been “known to facilitate women’s sexual response, and increased focus improves sexual satisfaction.”

So even if this person you like does not really suit your traditional taste, you may end up falling for them because their ‘smell’ turns you on.

11) It’s what they eat

There’s an old saying that goes ‘you are what you eat.’ And, according to researchers, this diet can play a role in attraction too.

If you’re crushing over a man who’s not your usual physician type, it’s probably because his diet is rich in produce.

According to an Insider report, research has shown that women are more attracted to the sweat of healthy-eating guys than those “who had more refined carbs like pasta and bread.”

In other words, they eat healthily, so they smell healthy (as you see, pheromones play a role here yet again.)

I mean, who wouldn’t like to partner up with someone who’s in peak health?

Final thoughts

We’ve all liked someone unconventional, unattractive even. And it’s not because you’ve lost your taste, no.

As I’ve mentioned above, you may be enthralled by their confidence, humor, intelligence, status, or money, among many other things.

So if being with them feels right, I suggest you see where the situation takes you. Who knows? They may be your twin flame – even your soulmate. Not a lot of people find them, so consider yourself lucky!

Raychel Ria Agramon

I'm Raye, a nurse licensed in both the Philippines and the US. I also have a Master's degree in Public Management.

Just like helping my patients, I like to empower & motivate readers with research-backed articles.

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