4 Levels Of Attraction & Why You Get Pickier In Middle Age Dating

In John Gray’s book, Mars and Venus on a Date, he talks about the 4 levels of attraction and how men and women go through them differently in the early stages of dating. This, like many differences between men and women, causes difficulty, anger and confusion at times.  If one or both party has an understanding of the differences than things may go more smoothly during dating.


The four levels of attraction are soul, mental, emotional and physical.  My favorite quote in the book was about the differences of these three levels:

“On the level of the soul, you are the same throughout your life. The person who was a little child is the same person you are now. You are you all your life. The soul is that part of you that doesn’t change. The way you physically look, the way you feel, and the way you think about things, however, do change.dating couple
The most change happens on the physical level. Everything on the physical plane is always changing. As we progress to the emotional plane, we change less. All adults can easily reflect back and still feel many of the feelings they had in childhood or young adulthood. On the mental plane, change is even less. We tend to be interested in the same sort of things our entire lives. Certainly there is some change, but not as much as on the physical level. On the soul plane we are always the same.”

As you can see, for the first three levels of attraction, men and women are running opposite of each other. This leads to common dating problems. For example, he says that when men are on level one, women think they are already on level 3 if they don’t understand how we are different from each other. Or they just think men are pigs….yeah, we know that is how women think!


He says if you can be kind and understanding, you should end up at stage 4 together, despite your separate paths, if you are good for each other.

A woman first evaluates if she is attracted to a man mentally.  She can be attracted mentally to a lot of men, just like a man can be attracted physically to a lot of women.  When you light up all four stages in each other you are still not at the marriage stage though. He says many people can cause attraction at all four levels but that doesn’t mean they are the right one for you.

Why you get pickier with dating as you age

An interesting part of this for me, as a middle aged dater, was how he explained you get better as you age at immediately recognizing people who light up the stages for you.  This explains why your early year dates were so different from each other and why as you aged you gradually got more and more picky.  By the time you are middle aged, even if you were married most of the time, you are really good at realizing who lights you up and who does not. This explains why middle aged dating is so sparse since you will not just go out with anyone on a dating site but are able to week out fairly thoroughly, just from a photo and profile, who is likely to attract you at at least the first 3 levels.


This dating book, Mars and Venus on A Date, is the best one I have read so far and I highly recommend it for daters and married people alike.

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