The keys to allure

Since humankind began, people have been trying to improve their allure. Yet it seems elusive for many, even though some elements seem obvious:

  • Attractive appearance. A willingness to consciously make yourself appealing to those you want to attract. I have no idea, then, why so many online profiles feature hideous pictures. And even with a reasonable picture, why men show up unkempt apparently not passing a mirror before leaving their house or office.
  • Pleasant personality. Charm can trump physical attractiveness. Being complimentary and nice pulls someone to you much more than insults and meanness. Yet millions of people haven’t seemed to learn this basic concept.

Yesterday a midlife gal pal and I were comparing dating stories. We  shared what we’ve gleaned that men seem to be drawn to. We examined our own dating success and felt it boiled down to a few key areas.

  • The men were lonely and happy to have any pleasant, reasonably attractive woman’s company. We both qualified with these basic qualities.

But beyond this, we felt there were other behaviors comprising appeal that apparently few women have figured out.

  • Actively listening. This may seem like a “duh,” but the truth is, not many people are truly good listeners, gently asking relevant questions that show interest. Few people have a natural curiosity when it comes to others. Some who do, ask questions that are intrusive or combative, rather than in a gently caring way. Most people respond positively to another who takes a genuine interest in them.

By actively listening you can learn a lot about someone. After a few email interactions and a few hours in person, a man told me that I knew more about him than most of his friends. I think I listened better and seemed more interested in him than his friends.

In a recent exploratory conversation, a 55-year-old man told me that he’d returned to school to sharpen his skills since he was laid off two years ago. He’d created a summer-focused business and I asked how he supported himself through the winter. He said, “With student loans.” That was enough to tell me we were at different places in our lives and I wasn’t interested in progressing.

  • Eye contact. Again, this should be common sense. But I now know that many midlife people feel invisible, marginalized by the lack of people noticing them other than those obligated to do so. If you focus on someone during a conversation that is such an unusual and exhilarating experience for some they are immediately drawn to you.

During the break in my presentation recently, a man came up and asked me a question. He was sort of geeky looking, overweight, and bespectacled. I doubted many woman gave him much attention. I held eye contact during our brief conversation. After my speech, he came up and asked if he could help me pack up and continued to talk with me. I think the eye contact made him feel that someone had noticed him and this was a warm, wonderful, and unusual experience.

So allure can be simple. One does not have to have stunningly good looks to be alluring. Simple sincere behaviors can make you more attractive.

What else would you add to this short list of alluring elements?


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8 responses to “The keys to allure”

  1. Katie Avatar

    MANNERS. A potential partner can have all of the above, but if s/he lacks manners, it besmudges the rest and the allure is gone. It doesn’t have to be perfect “Miss Manners” etiquette, but there must be social comportment and a way of behaving with reference to polite standards.

  2. Catherine Avatar

    These are great tips. I would add smiling and/or laughing when someone tells a joke. It really makes them feel appreciated and wanted. Don’t you want people to appreciate your jokes?

  3. Dating Goddess Avatar

    Katie and Catherine — both good additions!

    After I posted this, I remembered I had meant to include “A hint of vulnerability.” I had two delightful encounters this last weekend with an alluring man. Part of his charm was he shared stories where he was the brunt of the joke, as well as things that he’s less than confident about. That, mixed with general confidence, made him enticing. Plus, he was smart, thoughtful, respectful and cute! 🙂

  4. Mitsy Avatar

    I agree with the manners part. That goes back to all the men who say they will call or simply go “poof” after you’ve gone out with them a few times. I still say online dating makes it easier for men (and likely women too) to forget their manners if they ever had any to begin with. Being behind a computer screen seems to relinquish them from behaving like they would if they only interacted with someone in person.

    Doing what you say you will do goes a LONG way in the dating game. Not following through with things shows what kind of character you lack for sure.

  5. Mitsy Avatar

    I have another comment or question & wasn’t sure where to put it. I have been told by a few people over the years (and even 1 advice columnist) that I needed to “move” in order to find a guy. I own my own home and have friends & family & will have retirement in the next 5-6 years where I live now. I’ve also known people who moved to larger cities and were still single 5 years after moving there. I say moving is no guarantee of finding someone and when you weigh what you have versus what you “might” could attain, the gamble is not worth it for me. I could not afford a home in a larger city and once I retire, I won’t be looking to relocate and start another career. I think doing so on the slim chance that I might meet someone is putting a lot of eggs into a virtual basket. What do you all think? Would you be willing to uproot yourself and your life simply for the notion that you might find Mr. Right somewhere else? I know I wouldn’t be but I know my odds of finding someone where I live are slim as well. It just has not happened.

    I think getting out more is the key and I’m trying to do that by going to concerts and trying to connect with new people through venues other than dating sites.

    What are your thoughts?

  6. Julie Avatar

    Mitsy- my sister was in that situation… midlife dater, small town, could not meet anyone… went on for years. She looked in to moving… didnt move, life went on. Finally she met someone in her little town on His wife had passed away a few years earlier – and they had seen each other before in town. They have a very good marriage. He’s educated, enjoys his career… she doesnt have to work. Regarding meeting her now husband, my sister used to say ‘it’s a miracle’.. lol When she met him she was on her last leg financially, too. Kind of a prince charming thing…

  7. Ronnie Ann Ryan - The Dating Coach Avatar

    So much of allure is how you feel about yourself. I tell my dating coaching clients that 80% of your beauty is related to your self image. With that in mind, I recommend doing whatever you can to improve your self-image which might include a new hairstyle, pampering, some new dating outfits, working with a personal trainer, or sexy lingerie that is just for you.

    In addition, I highly recommend starting a new practice of self-appreciation. Choose one thing you like about yourself and appreciate that daily in the mirror. Being grateful for what is good about you is a wonderful way to boost your self esteem and positive energy. Confidence is a very alluring quality.

  8. Yvette Francino Avatar

    All good ideas! I was going to add smiling, but I see that one was already mentioned by Catherine.

    How about a little bit of playfulness? Sometimes it’s hard to do this on a first meeting, but adding a innocently flirtatious comment with a wink or mysterious little smile will show him that you’re interested in playful banter.