When you hear the word “attractive,” the first thing that probably comes to mind is physical attractiveness. While how a person looks is important to some, it is not the most important characteristics for many others. Having counseled countless couples and single men and women over the years, I have created a list of characteristics that make a person appealing and attractive to others. While you certainly will have at least one or two, the goal is to have many characteristics that make you appealing as a potential partner. If you don’t have some of these characteristics now, you can set a goal to change that. The more attractive characteristics you have, the more likely you will be to find a dating partner who is attractive overall – not because of the way they look.
The good listener. One of the things we all love to talk most about is…ourselves! Who doesn’t love to spend time with a good listener? Good listeners are human gems, making you feel important and cared about. If you are a good listener, this trait alone will make you extremely appealing to others. You should take pride in that and trust that you have at least one trait that makes you an appealing date.
Openness to try new experiences. When you start dating someone, you quickly see that this individual has a whole set of family, friends, and coworkers. You also realize that this individual has their own set of behaviors, interests, and hobbies that they have spent a life cultivating. If you are someone who is flexible and open to trying new things, remember that this is a huge plus. After all, there are many men and women who don’t want to date to begin with because they say dating feels like an obligation or takes too much work. If you’re someone who is open to new experiences, you actually enjoy the ride just as much as your enjoy arriving at the destination. Flexibility and openness marks an extremely attractive personality trait which you should pride yourself in if this describes you.
A sense of humor that makes people laugh out loud. Simply put, there are all kinds of funny. Still, some people are simply funnier than others. Some men and women have a sense of humor that is so quirky, quick or clever that you can’t help but laugh out loud at some of the things they say. If you have the kind of humor that makes people truly laugh, you ought to know that you bring with you one of the most attractive characteristics any man or woman could have.
Thoughtful, warm physical affection. To begin, I’m not talking about touch that is necessarily sexual. I’m talking about the way you touch a person when you’re walking down the street, having dinner with them, or sitting on the couch while watching a movie. A good friend of mine loves when her husband gently rubs his fingernails up and down her forearm slowly. That type of affection – and the willingness to make another person feel good and to connect physically with them in a nonsexual way – is a crowd-pleaser for many. Sure, some people don’t like to be touched a lot, but most people do. If you’re a very physically affectionate person, you should wear this badge proudly and know that many men or women will want to keep dating you because that characteristic makes them feel good and tended to emotionally and physically.
The gift of self-awareness and self-reflection. I always say, like singer Vanessa Williams, I had to save the best for last. Hands down, I’ve found that this is the characteristic that men and women value the most in their partner after many years together. In the beginning, someone may hook you by their appearance, their professional success, or their charm, but those aren’t the factors that keep a couple glued together years later. Long-term couples come face to face with resentments and challenges, but it helps if the person you’re with can take responsibility for their issues or things they’ve done that have hurt you. While immature or insecure men and women get defensive, flip the problem onto their partner, or blame the other person, men and women who self-reflect and have self-awareness will actually hear what you say, sincerely apologize when they’ve hurt you, and learn their lesson. If you are self-aware and can admit your weakness to your date and apologize meaningfully when you’re wrong, you ought to know that this characteristic makes you light years more attractive as a potential partner than, say, half the dating pool.
A final reminder: If you have some of these characteristics, that speaks well for your prospects to attract a good partner. But if you don’t have one or more of these characteristics, work on the ones you want to gain. We are all works in progress, and it is always good to set goals to improve your personality and behavior so that you become the best possible version of yourself.
About the Author:
Dr. Seth is a licensed clinical psychologist, author, Psychology Today blogger, and TV guest expert. He practices in Los Angeles and treats a wide range of issues and disorders and specializes in relationships, parenting, and addiction. He has had extensive training in conducting couples therapy and is the author of Dr. Seth’s Love Prescription: Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.