We have a thousand questions for men! Michael Nast, columnist and relationship author from Berlin, responded to some of them for us. Today: Why do men sometimes feel drawn to women who do not actually fall into the prey scheme
The answer is very simple: alcohol. When you’re out and about in the evening, after the third gin and tonic, you may discover charms in a woman that you didn’t notice when you ordered the first. However, that is of course not an adequate answer to the question. It is the most striking answer, and striking sentences are always a good means of drawing the reader into the text. But quite apart from that, this answer also involves a major misunderstanding. The example isn’t about beauty – it’s about physical attractiveness. And when you are drunk, the perception shifts to a certain extent in dire straits. Alcohol creates a physical attraction that only lasts one night. There are other sustainable reasons that women can be attracted to.
You can now of course evolutionary biology explain why women can be very attractive to men. Men are unconsciously interested in women with whom they can produce the healthiest offspring because reproducing us is ultimately our very own trip. It has been found that men are most romantically attracted to women in their early twenties. However, we live in a system in which children are an issue for the second half of life, which actually shows quite well that something has been going in the wrong direction in our society for some time. In women, men subconsciously pay attention to indirect signs of health and fertility. For example, it has been found that one of the most important characteristics men look for is healthy-looking, clear skin.
But even the evolutionary approach does not refer to beauty, as I actually mean it – it also refers to physical attractiveness. It only describes the triggers for being interested in a woman in general. There is, of course, a huge difference between beauty and physical attractiveness. This is, among other things, the big misunderstanding about dating apps. There you only decide on the appearance. Dating apps persuade you to superficiality. It is consuming. Ultimately, these advantageously photographed photos only decide whether a man can imagine having love with the woman. Not more. And when you then meet, the physical attractiveness of a beautiful woman can quickly fall apart, for example, if she articulates herself stupidly or begins to argue with Nazi slogans.
Real beauty is made up of many components. And that’s my story of real beauty. A story that fits very well because the woman it’s about wasn’t actually my type at all.
The summer before last, I was sitting with my friend Gerry in the “Café am Neue See” in Berlin’s Tiergarten. We met in the afternoon and talked a long time before we left around midnight. As we got up, Gerry spotted an acquaintance who was sitting with his companion only three tables away. While the two greeted each other euphorically, I hoped that we would say goodbye quickly. I was tired, I wanted to go home. I looked at the woman whose features seemed somehow familiar. And now I noticed that she reminded me of an old friend’s ex-girlfriend.
I shook hands with the woman and she said, “Hello.” It was only a short word, but one that confused me – in a cool way. It was the way she said it. How she acted when she greeted me. Suddenly Gerry and her companion were no longer there. We talked no more than a quarter of an hour, but during our brief conversation, I felt how much this woman impressed me. It wasn’t the themes at all, it was the way she presented herself, her charisma. There was a pleasant naturalness, calm, and elegant sovereignty. It was one of those moments when you realize that beauty is an interplay of personality and appearance, a combination in which personality prevails. This is this real beauty that makes a man think about to give a new direction to one’s life. To wish for a perspective – with this woman.