Ever wonder why some cuties at a party or singles event catch your eye while others go virtually unnoticed? Your menstrual cycle may play a key role: According to a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, once you reach the ovulation phase of your cycle (which is at the end of Week 2–about 11 to 14 days after the onset of your period), you’re more likely to notice and be more attracted to potential partners who own and display brand-name items or luxury products, for instance, who are tapping away on the latest high-tech smartphone or wearing a pricey Tag Heuer watch. The theory: As you reach the fertile phase of your cycle, items that denote a high social status subconsciously send a signal to your brain that this is a mate who’s genetically and/or financially fit enough to have children with and is, therefore, more attractive.
So, does this study reinforce the negative stereotype that women are only attracted to those with money? Not really. After all, this effect only kicks in for a few days out of the month–and most women aren’t even aware it’s happening. What’s more, many folks with oodles of cash are far more low-key about it nowadays. (Seriously, if you spotted Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates at a party, would you think either of them were gazillionaires?) In fact, the researchers who conducted this study point out that many people who flash pricey products are actually mired in debt and living off their credit cards, making this a less than ideal way to guess their bank balance. Many people have simply learned to use luxury goods in a similar way that you don makeup, jewelry and attractive clothing: To up their chance of getting noticed.
The takeaway: If you find yourself gravitating toward someone who happens to be writing with a Mont Blanc pen in a BMW while wearing Louis Vuitton sunglasses, check your menstrual calendar to make sure it’s not just your egg being a little pushy. Then take a second glance around to make sure there isn’t someone else who’s more compatible to sidle up to.