Dating and Relationship Advice

What is mutual attraction?

It is the rumored-to-be-rare but necessary phenomenon between two people that calls each to be their best selves, show more respect and work hard to be worthy of the attention and affection of the other. We hear the word "attraction" and think "shallow," but that's because we are used to one-sided attraction that causes people to behave badly, disrespectfully, or in self-debasing ways that will not result in a lasting, healthy relationship. Mutual attraction is part of the necessary foundation, the magnetic pull that keeps two people together. It is subjective as it is based on the alignment of two people's individual preferences that have been formed over a lifetime of experiences are not necessarily conscious or chosen.

How can you recognize mutual attraction?

Some of the strongest signs of unspoken mutual attraction, according to science, are mimicking or mirroring the other person's behavior, initiating conversation, and wanting to be in close physical proximity. Reciprocity comes with ease: if you feel like you're receiving as much as you're giving and really enjoying yourself, you're probably experiencing mutual attraction. Also, eye contact: if someone's attracted to you, they'll keep their eyes on you (your face/upper body initially but will check out the hip/waist/leg area as well - this goes for both men and women) whether they're aware of it or not and you'll be doing the same. And both people's pupils will dilate. Another way to detect mutual attraction is mutual curiosity: do you remember random details about their life and do they remember random details about yours? Do you find yourself lingering in brief conversations and they're doing the same? Do you both find yourselves going out of your way to do something for each other, not out of a sense of deprivation or lack but from a place of excitement in bringing the other joy?

Other more subtle signs of mutual attraction may be harder to detect, but they all are nonverbal cues of "opening" rather than "closing:" your arms will uncross and so will theirs; your hips will face each other's when you're talking; you like their smell and they like yours; they find small, nonintrusive ways to make or maintain physical contact and you find yourself doing the same; both of your breathing will get deeper; you will mirror each other's subtle actions, including matching their walking and talking pace.

Mutual Attraction Does Not Make Everything Easy

It's not all kittens and moonbeams, though. One of the common experiences people in mutual attraction is that they will be nervous around each other. This is a little different than the first-date jitters most people experience; the kind of nervousness that comes with mutual attraction is a signal that there is something significant happening between you and another person--significant enough that it should be where we start when looking for a long-term relationship. Mutual attraction is exactly where Iris, the only app of its kind, starts, putting it at the center rather than an afterthought you hope will develop after all these other boxes are checked.

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