Forget about ripped abs, bulging biceps, and a flat stomach, as well as a fat bank account, friends in high places, and your own private jet. These six personality traits power the pull of magnetic attraction.
It’s nearing the end of the day and the weekend’s approaching. Are you getting ready to go home to your lover and making fun weekend plans? Or are you reading advice articles and wondering why, despite your hours at the gym and in those continuing ed classes, that special someone you desire so dearly to date—and perhaps move in with or marry—never seems to materialize? Some people choose a single life, and embracing solitude doesn’t mean staying solitary or feeling unfulfilled. But for those who are seeking—and not finding—the perfect partner of your dreams, the list below offers some surprises on what people truly find irresistible.
1. Consistency. Myth: Consistent people are dull and boring; they lack spontaneity and a sense of adventure. Consistency may be the hobgoblin of small minds, but it is the heart of successful relationships. Being consistent doesn’t rule out “Surprising your mate with an unexpected [whatever the magazine recommends].” You can be consistently surprising, consistently out of the box, consistently different. What being consistent does mean is showing up when you say you will. It means working steadily at projects until you finish. It means having values and principles and sticking to them, especially when they’re challenged. And it means maintaining healthy emotional and physical life habits. Consistent people know that being present in the same way every day beats the occasional grand gesture hands down every time. Consistency is … tempting.
2. Balance. Myth: All passionate lovers are emotionally unstable basket cases. Being balanced doesn’t mean you don’t possess strong passions—in the conference room or the bedroom—or that you dutifully list the pros and cons before your every move. Being balanced means you have a center and can navigate rough waters and roll with the surges. It means you don’t easily get upset or thrown off your game. It means you can understand and accept a person’s feelings while respectfully disagreeing. And it means you don’t internalize the anxiety of the people around you. Balanced people have their own thermometer that remains at body temperature when things around them start to bubble and boil. Balance is … hot.
3. Openness. Myth: Open people lack conviction and don’t know what they want. Being open doesn’t mean being willing to do anything or answering every question with, “whatever, you choose.” Being open means being open-minded, open to new experiences and experiments. Being open means listening before you decide or judge. Being open means joining your partner in an unpleasant emotion—frustration, disappointment, sadness—even if it is not your own and even if you are the cause. Being open also means never, ever being dismissive and always being open to discussion. Being open means being open-eyed and aware of your own issues. And being open means being generous and acting with an open heart and open hands. Openness is … alluring.
4. Impulse control. Myth: Impulsive people are the only ones who are free be themselves, generate excitement, and pursue their dreams. Having impulse control doesn’t mean suppressing your true nature, measuring out your life with coffee spoons, or never taking a risk or blowing the budget on something big. Having impulse control means not behaving in a self-destructive manner. It means not gossiping or indulging negativity. It means putting your best interest ahead of your self-interest—most of the time—and leaning towards your better nature. It means holding back even when you’re enraged and holding your tongue as well. It means not thinking from below the waist. And it means responding instead of reacting. Impulse control is … seductive.
5. Tenderness. Myth: Tender people are weak and oversensitive. Tenderness is not the opposite of strength but the foundation of strength, and sensitivity is a strong quality. Being tender means baring your heart, exposing your soft parts with a confident vulnerability. It means acting gently and with compassion, a stance that requires courage. It means humbly acknowledging your own frailty as you lend support to others, knowing they will lean on you and make you bend. It means not just drying tears and dusting someone off but affirming that it’s OK to cry. It means when someone is pushed and stumbles, you shout “man down” instead of “man up.” It means foreplay is an act in itself. Tenderness is … arousing.
6. Boundaries. Myth: Boundaries are those silly things you let go of when you fall in love. Boundaries are absolutely the most important thing you can bring to and maintain in every type of relationship and especially in intimate ones. Having boundaries eliminates confusion and lets you be clear when you communicate. Having boundaries means you don’t secretly resent what you allow. Having boundaries means you have self-respect, without which you’re not capable of respecting your partner. Having boundaries means you always know where you stand with each other and what happens if you cross the line. Having boundaries means understanding that healthy relationships are based on accommodation, not sacrifice. Having boundaries is … sexy.
Not what you were expecting? Don’t worry, and don’t ditch the gym membership. A hard body is still a good thing. And all of these are qualities that anyone can develop, strengthen through exercise, and start showing off when you’re ready to roll.