Create attraction How to Use Familiarity to Create Attraction Craigslist

Create attraction
Internet / Dating


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 “Become a regular”
One of the things I regularly advise people to do when they’re looking to meet someone is “become a regular.” I know from personal experience that there’s a sort of relationship that develops among people who consistently hang out in the same place. The other women who love Spinning classes, the guys who work on their laptops at my local Peet’s. It’s natural to make eye contact, smile, and sometimes even to chat.

The term consequential strangers was coined by psychologist Karen L. Fingerman, who collaborated with journalist Melinda Blau on a book of the same name:
“Decades of research have shown the importance of primary relationships in both psychological and physiological well being. Yet an analysis of the broader social landscape suggests that consequential strangers provide many of the same benefits as intimates as well as many distinct and complementary functions. They are not universally beneficial-–undesirable consequential strangers who cannot be avoided can be found in the workplace, neighborhoods and organizations. But to thrive in a modern society, research suggests, it is vital to have a variety of connections.”

This has enormous implications for relationships. Is there a way to capitalize on the weak ties we have with strangers we encounter repeatedly? I’ve hypothesized that if eye contact and a smile are encouragement enough for a man in a nightspot, why not at the local cafe? Indeed, a woman may feel more inclined to give such encouragement during the day, when she is less likely to be thought sexually assertive, and more likely to be perceived as friendly. Risking that friendly overture makes more sense – is less “out of left field,” when it is also a form of acknowledgement that the two of you happen to like the same thing, whether it be lattes or books.

It turns out that there is significant research showing that familiarity is positively linked to attraction. Known as the exposure effect, it is “a psychological phenomenon by which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them…In studies of interpersonal attraction, the more often a person is seen by someone, the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be.”

Long Island

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 Proximity on attraction
In addition, there has been considerable research on the effect of proximity on attraction – it’s clear that being in close proximity to another person produces liking, and it’s believed this results from repeated exposure to the same people, i.e. familiarity. This may explain in part why it’s easier to find a partner in a town of 2,000 than in New York City.

Familiarity Does Indeed Promote Attraction in Live Interaction is a new study published this month in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Reis, Maniaci, Caprariello, Eastwick and Finkel). This was the first experiment conducted with real interaction, rather than just measuring responses to various stimuli simulating familiarity.

The researchers offer four reasons for the positive effect of familiarity:
Because most social experience is mildly positive in affective tone, or at least not aversive, more frequently encountered others become paired with positive affect.
For evolutionary reasons, novel stimuli foster uncertainty and wary reactions, which tend to diminish once repeated exposure has shown the novel stimulus to be benign.
Familiar stimuli tend to be processed perceptually and cognitively in a more fluent manner, and fluency tends to be experienced in relatively positive affective ways.
Familiarity, or repeated exposure, creates opportunities for interaction.
It is very important here to state what perhaps may be obvious. Unlike other forms of social interaction, dating emphasizes sexual attraction. Sexual arousal may depend on novelty, especially in men. Casual sex is often pursued for this reason. In a recent BBC article about relationships, it is noted that inhibitions are more easily cast aside with a stranger. In addition, even today there is a sense among participants that casual sex is naughty or forbidden, which adds an element of risk that many find arousing.

Research also clearly shows that impressions on first dates are highly correlated to perceived physical attractiveness. In other words, familiarity will not create sexual attraction in and of itself if the parties do not find one another physically attractive. Those who have unhappily found themselves in the friend zone know this all too well. For this reason, the study was done looking at same-sex interactions only. Still, familiarity produces the following:
identification of common ground
responsiveness, including encouragement, support, humor
mutual self-disclosure
feeling liked produces reciprocity of liking
downplays critical assessment, which interferes with social engagement
feelings of comfort and safety

New Orleans
San Antonio
Grand Rapids

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 Last kind of passionate experience
Note that this is far from a description of limerence, that feeling of being so passionately in love that thoughts of the other intrude constantly in an obsessive way. Ellen Berscheid is a psychologist who has studied that kind of all-consuming love, which is generally short-lived, at least in this form. She identifies three necessary ingredients for that kind of passion: excitement, fear and frustration.

Many women today desperately seek this last kind of passionate experience, as portrayed in countless novels and films. They become addicted to the cycle of passion, or drama. They are seeking to be “swept off their feet,” literally unmoored by these feelings of excitement, fear and frustration. Such women will not respond well to friendly overtures and increasing familiarity. A lack of immediate “sparks” will consign a male to the discard pile.
Some men are expert at knowing how to generate these intense feelings in women, and they too are not cut out for a strategy of becoming acquainted with someone in a friendly way through the use of familiarity.

That leaves the rest of us, who may benefit from chance encounters of the familiar kind. If you’re attracted, you must communicate that before allowing yourself to be relegated to the friend zone. The good news is you don’t have to do it right this minute. Engage in a friendly way and escalate steadily as you receive positive feedback. If the vibe is strictly friendly, consider whether this person might be a good addition to your life or know other interesting people. If you’re not already doing this, you should be. It beats making drunky talk with total strangers, it increases your general network, and it gives you practice approaching the opposite sex.

Green Bay

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Opgericht: 25-08-2022
Gewijzigd: 08-09-2023
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