Familiarity Breeds Attraction

The stats are clear enough: around one third of people find someone to date (or even marry) at work. That’s a big enough chunk of us to assume that something important is going on in all those cubes and warehouses, something useful.

The same kind of something happens in social groups too, away from work. The active word here, in my opinion, is familiarity. Familiarity (for our purpose here) works something like this:

+ You work (or socialize regularly) with someone, who is vaguely compatible.

+ There is limited visceral reaction nor attraction, or not enough to engage.

+ After a time, after many days or weeks or encounters, observation of the person leads to appreciation of their personality, character, sense of humor – one or a number of higher-level qualities.

+ Similarly, you find yourself less worried about what did NOT interest you in the beginning, and more enthusiastic about what does so now.

+ Your thinking shifts; you modifying your behavior to better fit that person’s way of being. Just a little. Consider it social spooning.

+ You have to ask them on a date, lest you die for not knowing if they feel the same way.

My point here is the initial lack of attraction is supplanted by attraction of a different kind. The romantic limerence of lower-you attraction is no predictor of higher-you attraction, because they are only tenuously connected.

Can we draw a conclusion from all this? Sure we can. If you are having trouble finding someone, spend time with a lot of people. From the general comes the specific; from familiarity, attraction.

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