What attracts you to someone?

As I lie here wide awake, I find myself thinking about past romantic relationships. I know, I know, WHY? Well, I don’t know why. My brain is weird like that. But it also made me ask myself what initially attracted me to that person. And of course, I got to thinking the same thing about all of my friends too.

What attracted me to them?

Why are they my friends?

What makes them special or unique?

It turns out the answer isn’t as cut and dry as I thought it was. But why should it be? I’ve never been someone who sees the world in strictly black and white, but in every shade of grey in between and every vibrant color that you could possible think of.

Up until a couple of years ago, when it came to what I looked for in a man’s appearance, I would’ve said, dark hair and light eyes. Or dark hair and dark eyes. Or I even remember saying as long as he’s not a ginger, we’re good. And boy, has that changed now. (Tom Hiddleston, Sam Hueghan, or Michael Fassbender, anyone?)

But, all of that was an outright lie.  At least when it comes to my Pinterest board of men that I think are attractive. That and well, I have a major thing for guys with long hair. HELLO, Brock O’Hurn, I’m talking about you, you beautiful majestic lion, you.

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And since Cass (the ex) had long hair, and I’m in lust with Brock. (Don’t worry, there’s countless others to join #TeamLongHair #TeamManBun) I’ve found that I now have to claim long hair as a total turn-on for me. I’m not saying that I wouldn’t date a guy with shorter hair but… I. Am. In. Love. With. Long. Locks. On. Dudes. There, I said it. I feel much better. 😀

Don’t get me started on tattoos. Wowza. Do I find tattoos on a person attractive. It’s like an instant connection to them, for me. It’s a ice-breaker and one that I love having. If I see someone out and I like their ink, I’m not afraid to tell them so. Male or female. Did I mention that my hero in Finding Tenley (current WIP) is modeled after Alex Minsky? Yup. Case is my version of a fictionalized Minsky. Besides being a war vet, he’s a pretty awesome dude, I respect him so much. And not only because he’s my muse for Case.

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Call me shallow, if you must. But, I will admit to finding a lot of people attractive… on the outside. But, that’s just surface stuff. Like any normal human, we like to present ourselves as well put-together on the outside. On the inside though? That’s where it truly matters. How we treat someone, says a lot about the person that we truly are. But, I’ll get back to that in a few minutes. I’m still touching the surface issues. 😉

Next up on my list… eyes. It’s true what they say, “eyes are the windows to the soul”. I’m a total sucker for a persons eyes. I’ve always been fascinated with them. As far back as I can remember, it’s always been what has attracted me to a person first. It’s like I could see their kindness shining through. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to realize that my theory is true. When I meet someone, if they keep eye contact with me during a conversation, I’m drawn to them so much more. And I’ve found in my writing, I make a point to write about my characters eyes, and having them keep eye contact, etc. I’m a sucker for a pair of baby blues. And I’m not afraid to tell a complete stranger walking down the street, that they have beautiful eyes. Because who knows, maybe they needed a smile, and if my telling them something nice made that happen, I feel good about doing so.

Which brings me to the next thing on my list, someones smile. Man, a good smile can truly brighten my day. Plain and simple.

And the last thing on my outside list… muscles. Oh sweet baby Jesus in a wicker basket. I’m not into the guys that are over-muscly, but I’m a sucker for a nice set of guns. And my reason is purely this, I love a good teddy bear hug. Holy wow. There’s this musician, Jerrod Niemann. Best. Hug. Giver. EVER.  When I met him, he gave me not 1, not 2, but 8 hugs. It was like he couldn’t stop hugging me. And I was 100% a-okay with that. Because the set of guns on this guy, I’m telling you. Pictures don’t do him justice, but I’ll share one anyway. I find myself till this day, comparing every hug I get to Jerrod’s hugs.

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Okay, now let’s talk about what really matters, what’s inside. Because yes, we can all be shallow and say, “hey I like this person because they have the best body, blah, blah, blah.” Whatever. It’s not about that. Not really.

It’s what is inside that makes someone truly beautiful.

Looks fade but true beauty doesn’t.

Kindness.

Selflessness.

A giving heart.

Honesty.

Loyalty.

Making someone laugh.

Being someones strength.

A good listener.

Open-mindedness.

Being vulnerable.

Forgiveness.

All of those things make up the people that surround me. Whether they know it or not, at some point in my life, I’ve needed them and they’ve shown these things to me. As I’ve grown older, I’ve weeded out the bad seeds, and tossed them away. And if they’ve grown into someone that has these qualities, they’ve come back.

Kindness. It’s SO easy to be kind. All it takes is a simple smile. Or the words, thank-you. Holding open a door for the person walking behind you. It doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. Sometimes the simplest smallest thing, is the most kind.

Selflessness. I know in this day and age, everyone is out for themselves and what they can gain. But it shouldn’t be about that. It should be about what kind of example you want to make on our younger generation. I know that I don’t want my nephews and niece to see me as someone who was always out for what I could get for doing something. I want them to see what I did for others.

A giving heart. That explains itself. Or it should. I know that every month when my Bookworm Box subscription renews, I feel good about myself. Knowing that the money will go to a good cause.

Honesty/Loyalty. Those qualities go hand in hand. And again, are self explanatory.

Making someone laugh. I’m a sucker for someone who makes me laugh. And I instantly like that person 10x more than someone who doesn’t. I’m sorry but it’s true. Laughter truly is the best medicine. As I’ve stated in my previous post, I have this group of friends that make me laugh on a daily basis. On the days when my pain level is excruciating, these assholes can make me laugh and for those few minutes, I forget about my stupid back issues. I swear, it’s like magic.

Being someones strength. I can’t begin to explain what this one means to me. Over the last (almost) decade, I’ve needed friends/family to be my strength more than I ever have before. Through surgeries, home-nursing, recovery and now pain shots, I don’t know what I’d do without having someone to lean on. Because admitting that I need help, is something that I hate to do, but I’ve needed others strength more than ever. And for that, my stubborn ass is extremely thankful to have these people in my life.

A good listener. Admit it. That turns you on. I know it does me. (Hello! It’s on my list.) I’m not just talking about someone who will listen to you with one ear while looking at their phone, not giving you their full attention. I’m talking about someone who focuses only on you. Who listens to you vent, or cry, or tell that funny story to.

Open-mindedness. Yup. This is a biggie. If it’s one thing I hate, it’s a bigot. I understand someones religious beliefs, and I’m okay with that. But for me it’s simple. Love is love is love is love. I’ll scream that from the mountain tops. All love is beautiful.

Being vulnerable. Yup. It makes you human. Shit, I’ve clearly admitted things in this post that make me vulnerable. It makes me like a person that much more if they do the same.

Forgiveness. This one is simple but also hard. Coming from someone who has been wronged, it’s hard. But forgiving doesn’t always mean you have to forget. There’s always a reason that things happen the way that they do. Listen. Forgive. More forward.

With age comes knowledge. And with knowledge comes beauty.

Being beautiful means realizing this moment is a new opportunity to be who you want to be, and making the effort to seize it. And that my friends, is how I’ve chosen to live the rest of my life. With an open mind and heart.

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