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Despite what movies, television, and books may have us believe, romantic love does not always erupt at first site.


Often, love evolves as two people grow more and more familiar with each other over a longer period of time. Each gives more and more of themselves, their defining quirks, and the dynamics of their personality to the other person.

Until eventually, both people realize they keep wanting to be near that other person.

But that path is hardly a regular, fluid crescendo. Rather, it lurches forward one moment here, one moment there, when somebody shows an inner aspect of themselves that the other truly values.

Redditor Gordonski73 recently asked people what, for them, are those key traits:

"What makes someone instantly more attractive?"

Many people discussed the surface-level elements of a person. Whether we want to admit it or not, these more superficial attributes are still so important to our attraction.

Both Impossible to Fake

"Good hygiene and an honest smile." -- JustGiveMeAUsernam

"Does horny one work too" -- heartscaredbroken

"What if I have mild facial paralysis and I have to fake my smile to make it look kinda genuine?" -- VillaGave

Classic

"That coy secretly flirty smile when they see you enter the room. Nothing better than someone who likes you, even a little."

"Even better if they come find you because they just want to talk."

-- Badm

A Sensory Experience

"Smell, their scent." -- SuperJohnBravo

"It doesn't even have to be perfume or whatever. Some people have a certain natural scent to them that just wrecks havoc in my horniness mechanism." -- ZualaPips

Others highlighted the signs that a person has done enough personal, emotional work to navigate life in a healthy, secure way.

There's nothing more attractive than not needing to coddle somebody.

Low Maintenance

"Competence. It doesn't matter what it is, it could be negotiating, playing an instrument, working or cooking. There is something attractive in someone who knows what he/she is doing."

-- MxAxX

Not Necessarily Automatic

"Being independent and capable of adult responsibilities. I know this seems obvious but I watched my sister and cousins marry men who have no idea how to do laundry or make a doctor's appt."

"My boyfriend lived on his own in the city and was fully capable of being an adult on his own. It was hot."

-- TheWildNerd87

Standing Firm

"Being their authentic self and not agreeing with everything someone says, just to look 'cool' " -- Prestigious-Gene-19

"Not a fan of joe rogan, eh?" -- YoureMySunshine-

And some discussed that they're deeply affected by the ways a person interacts with others. You can learn a whole lot about somebody by watching the way they carry themselves in a social situation.

Against the Odds

"I met a man once who, I am embarrassed to admit, I immediately found unappealing. I was forced by circumstances to sit across from him at a function, and he started communicating with me."

"Note that I didn't say that he started talking to me. He communicated. He listened, he spoke thoughtfully, he commiserated, he shared. By the end of our time together I felt that he was probably the most attractive man I had ever met."

-- Electronic_Speech563

Community is Hot

"Warmth."

"There is something to be said about average looking people but you see them opening their heart to other people, and I don't know...it's just so enticing."

"That, and smarts. But like, interesting, engaging smarts. Not 'lemme talk at you about english WWII battles without leaving you any space to participate in my dogmatic monologue.' "

-- ChibiSailorMercury

A Humble Posture

"when they don't judge other people and when they are passionate about something" -- Goalreacher

"This one, because some people can be amazingly funny and interesting but then judge others for their passions and its such a turn-off." -- chocolatebone45

No Sweat

"Just be normal. Everyone is trying to impose being special when meeting first. Do the opposite and just be normal. Say: 'Hi, I'm (XYZ) - and who are you? How are you? What's that thing over there?' "

"Your opposite just want to ensure they meet safely a normal being, not a creepy psychopath!"

-- Arkon_Meyer

For all you single people out there--take note! There are plenty of common threads among these that can help you be a more attractive person.

But the real kicker? You'll find that improving yourself has so many deeper benefits than getting a date.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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