Attraction Explained: 3 Couples On What Pulled Them Together
Desire isn't only about sex appeal. Sure, it is often a factor, but it's not what drives us. As we discovered from your votes in our Top 99 Most Desirable Women, it is something more intangible than that -- a complete package of, yes, looks, but also intelligence, talent and career success. That got us thinking about what's behind other forms of desire. What attracts us to physical objects, like cars and Apple products? What is it about certain places that stimulates our wanderlust? We explore these questions in our new (free!) iPad app. Download it now."From shaggy hair to quiet confidence, here's what made the difference between a fling and the real thing."
We all know how attraction works... sort of. But we still can't quite figure out exactly what draws us toward someone to the point of no return. How our initial interest in the girl sitting in front of the class with the uneven bangs becomes wanting to know what her hair feels like, what it's like to eat breakfast with her and whether she sings in the shower.
We took a look behind the scenes at three different relationships and asked both partners to pinpoint what initially attracted them to each other. From shaggy hair to quiet confidence, here's what made the difference between a fling and the real thing.
Couple No. 1: Charlie & Emily
When I finally got to meet Emily properly, I was instantly smitten. I was also instantly petrified. I knew very, very quickly that life was now irreparably altered. I was now charged with a mission to woo this gorgeous, funny and kind girl, and there really wasn't much to be done about it. And instinctively realising you've chanced upon the girl you're certain one day you'll be proposing to changes everything. Without realising, you find yourself thumbing your nose at all those "dating rules" you've previously adhered to. I cared not how quickly I held off replying to a message, it was not my concern if I appeared keen by poring over mix CDs (and drawing their sleeves in felt-tip pens), and I couldn't wait to meet her family and friends. I wanted in, entirely.
I suppose I'm clumsily suggesting that when you meet "The One," it sneaks up on you. It's an un-self-conscious sensation that you're wholly unprepared to negotiate. I can certainly pinpoint exactly what it was -- and still is -- about Emily I fell for. Physically, she's exactly my type: brunette (with Deschanel-slaying bangs), gifted with toned curves, an unwavering sense of style and an unassuming manner that told me she, incredibly, had no real idea of her appeal. It sounds horribly selfish written down, but I wanted to be the one who was around when she realised her appeal. I quickly recognised how I wanted to better myself when around her -- she continues to possess a wonderful capacity to amplify the better aspects of my personality and inspire me to much better police the self-indulgent, navel gazing that fuelled my early 20s. After three years, I'm still totally bewitched and I couldn't be happier
I can't quite pinpoint when I first met Charlie -- we worked on the same floor for at least a year before I even remember us having a conversation -- but I had certainly noticed him early on for his infectious smile and quirky sense of style.
Back then he had golden hair, in a sort of shaggy, surfer-y way, which was a brightening contrast to the greyness of city life. I used to watch him sometimes as he'd walk past my part of the office and think I'd like to run my hands through it -- not something I had ever envisioned doing to a man before.
He is just such a fun, thoughtful, warm person, and as I started to get to know him as friends, he'd always spend time finding out about me and figuring out ways to make me smile -- whether it be by leaving a mix CD on my desk or sending me cute emails in giant font so that no one could miss the fact that we were clearly smitten with each other.
I just love how much effort Charlie makes to make people feel special. I guess that's the true sign of charisma. And when you know that you're the most special person in their life, well, that is an amazing feeling.
But the thing that keeps the attraction going strong is that there's fire between us. We're both strong characters, and although we have very similar values in life, we often have very different opinions on things. And we're both stubborn, so we fight it out to try and bring the other round to our way of thinking. I guess that’s because we care deeply what the other thinks, and that's the real chemistry between us. Life wouldn't be exciting if we didn’t feel like we wanted to sway each other every single day.
I think that Charlie is the other half of me. He's creative, passionate, spontaneous and thoughtful (and, yes, of course he’s handsome, too) -- the perfect complement for my often over-structured, sometimes not-so-confident self. Which is why I hope he’ll always be mine (cringe!).Next Page >>