The surprising way to tell if someone finds you attractive

The festive period is a great time to spark new romances. Whether it’s with someone you’ve had your eye on for a while, or a complete stranger. But what exactly is the best way to tell if someone fancies you?

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We’re often told that the best way to figure out if someone finds you attractive is to listen to what they’re saying. But new research suggests that it isn’t what they’re saying that matters but the how they say it.

Research from the University of Sussex found that people tend to lower their pitch when they’re with someone they find attractive. This is because it is a ‘subtle, subconscious sign’ that developed as an evolutionary tool to attract a partner.

The study published in The Royal Society Proceedings B, was conducted as researchers listened to 30 speed daters, each attending six-minute long dates. At the end, daters were asked to rate their dates, confirming whether they would want to meet the person again. This was when the research team then compared the pitch of the daters’ voices with their list of who they fancied and found that both men and women lowered their voices when speaking to them.

Interesting.

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The study also found that men lowered their voices when talking to attractive women, even if they did not completely fancy the woman themselves while women only lowered their voice for men they fancied.

However, the study’s lead author Katarzyna Pisanski explained that she was slightly ‘surprised’ by the latter result, saying: ‘Quite a few studies have shown men tend to favour a higher pitch in women because it is feminine and youthful, while women tend to like men to have deeper voices that are seen as more masculine and linked to testosterone.’

She continued: ‘Perhaps things are changing and women are trying to portray other values when they use a lower pitch. It might communicate competence, maturity or even dominance.’

Well, we’ll certainly be keeping that in mind next time we see someone who tickles our fancy.