It can take between 90 seconds and four minutes for you to fall in “like” and then just 90 minutes more to fall in love – so you had better make the most of the open window of opportunity and let Cupid’s arrow find its mark.
New York psychologist Professor Arthur Arun succeeded in making two complete strangers fall in love in a laboratory 20 years ago – in just 94 minutes. The study involved a combination of four minutes of staring into each other’s eyes, and 90 minutes of intimate conversation using pre-determined questions. They ended up marrying.
Although it takes a whole lot more for a solid relationship, “love at first sight” certainly does rely on the allure of appearance.
Dr Salome Gurgenidze, co-founder of Johannesburg aesthetic centre Radiance for You, explains how to make the best of your looks.
“It is absolutely true that first impressions last,” she says.
So, if you only have four minutes to create the first impression, where should you start? “With the windows to your soul,” she says.
According to another study, the eyes are the first feature both men and women notice on the opposite sex. And while some people are fortunate enough to be born with bright eyes, fringed with lush lashes and perfect brows, the reality is most could do with a little help.
“If your glasses make you self-conscious, try contact lenses, or look into laser surgery. If your eyes are constantly red and bloodshot, use eyedrops to keep them moist and bright.
“Then there’s basic grooming. Have your brows shaped and trimmed and keep them that way.”
If the problems are less superficial, such as deep hollows under your eyes that make you look tired, or crow’s feet and frown lines, there are cosmetic remedies.
“These days, there are numerous non-invasive means of improving your eye area, such as dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injectables.”
However, ensure the practitioner is not too enthusiastic about erasing every little line.
“A real smile should always reach your eyes, but it can’t if the area around your eyes is frozen,” says Gurgenidze.
The next item on the St Valentine’s Day warm-up list is the smile – the second feature most noticed by both men and women.
“Happiness is contagious and magnetic. In fact, the mere act of smiling has been proven to improve your own mood, and that of those around you, influencing how you feel inside and how others respond to you,” says Gurgenidze.
“Look after your teeth: brush and floss, go to the dentist or the orthodontist, if required. Not everyone has perfect teeth, but healthy ones are the foundation of a charismatic smile.”
She says the mouth area does not age well – lips lose definition, volume and colour, and gain fine wrinkles. “Fortunately, modern science has a solution: dermal fillers can be used to plump up and hydrate lips, as well as fill fine lines around the mouth area.”
The third item on her list is body language. One of the highlights from Arun’s initial study on the mechanics of falling in love revealed 55% of initial attraction was determined by body language.
“It’s true, your body talks,” says Gurgenidze. “And the key is selfconfidence. It’s not about how your body looks, but how you look in your body. What really attracts people is that ability to walk into a room with your head up and chest out, eyes open and smile at the ready.”
That should take less than four minutes. The next 90 are far more than skin deep!
-The Herald Reporter