1. Physical attraction is built from mental attraction. Your perception of someone’s appearance changes as you get to know them – for better (and for worse). This is because physical attraction is a very one-dimensional kind of experience, and after a few minutes, you inevitably seek (or come to understand) more about a person than how they look. All of this to say: mental attraction isn’t a nice alternative, it’s a requirement to build the kind of physical attraction that lasts.
2. Being connected by your brains is so much hotter than being connected by your bodies. Sex is holistic – that is, if you want to do it well. That electric, physical connection most people are seeking comes from the idea of who you’re doing it with – not just the fact that you’re doing it.
3. Smart is sexy. To be interesting, you have to be interested. If human attraction is based on some kind of survivalist desire to bond and procreate, it only makes sense that we’d desire someone who would make a good partner or co-parent. These may not be our conscious goals of sex or love or attraction, but they are certainly the evolutionary forces at play.
4. Mental attraction grows, physical attraction fades. If you’re interested in someone because of who they are, your love or affection for them will only grow as you open up to experiencing more and more of them. Physical attraction fades, hormones die down, skin sags, bodies age, and so on.
5. Physical attraction is temporarily engaging, mental attraction is consuming. As they say: looks will grab someone’s attention, but your heart will make them fall in love. This, of course, is not to discount casual, detached sex, but just to note that few people report that being as fulfilling as the alternative (though it is often liberating).
6. It’s not beautiful people who have love (or sex) – it’s people who know who they are. This is such a destructive myth for people who constantly feel as though they must work on how they look to find a special connection with someone, as opposed to who (and how) they are.
7. Attraction is just perception. This is to say that there are a lot of physically beautiful people who aren’t attractive just because who they are isn’t desirable. Being physically beautiful and overall attractive are not always one-in-the-same. They may overlap sometimes, but not indefinitely so.
8. Mentally attractive people exude a deep confidence. Confidence is sexy because it’s contagious. When someone knows they deserve to be in your life – or your arms, or your bedroom – because of who they are, you also begin to feel like you’re worthy of their affection as well.