Go ahead and throw out your copy of Cosmo, or Seventeen Magazine, or whatever. You don't need their dating advice any more. In honor of Valentine's Day I offer here a theory I discovered and tested while I was in college (a long time ago in a galaxy far far away). Although its power is profound, I must begin with the caveats. Subjects of the study have all been heterosexual females who were around 5-10 years of age at the time they first saw "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope." I have no idea whether the theory holds for any other demographic group. I would, however, be delighted to accept for future analysis any data you can provide.
The basic premise of the theory is that women reveal what sort of men they're attracted to in their attitude towards the two main heroes of "Star Wars," -- but it's important to remember that it works only with girls who first saw the movie at the correct age. If you fall within this demographic, remember very carefully how you felt the first time you saw "Star Wars Episode IV." Whom did you prefer: Han Solo or Luke Skywalker? Think carefully, and be sure your answer represents your attitude at the time. The vast majority of women prefer Han Solo when they get older, but that's irrelevant. If you had more of a crush on Artoo-Detoo or Obi Wan Kenobi than either of the others, that doesn't count, either. But if you distinctly remember loving either Luke or Han, then my "Star Wars" Theory of Attraction ™ can provide you with a valuable tool for analyzing your own dating habits.
Let me explain how the "Star Wars" Effect works. When you see the movie at the right age, it isn't important that Han Solo has a sense of humor, or that he's Harrison Ford and gorgeous. It isn't important that Luke Skywalker is a teenager with a tendency to whine. All that matters is that Luke is a good, idealistic guy who's trying to do the right thing, while Han is an unpredictable, exciting adventurer. If you are a Han woman, you consider romance an adventure. You are attracted to "dangerous" and exciting men and reckless relationships. If you are a Luke woman, you go for genuinely nice guys and you want your relationships to be safe and comfortable.
But perhaps you don't see the importance of knowing whether you're a Han woman or a Luke woman. Knowing what type you are can help you guard against the traps you're most likely to be caught in.
A Han woman, if she isn't careful, sets herself up to be knocked down. In extreme cases a woman can think that being treated badly is part of the excitement of the relationship. A Han woman often thinks that she's the one who will tame the "dangerous" man she's chosen. Or even if she picks a man who seems nice enough, she may throw caution to the winds and conduct her relationship at a breakneck pace. Han women must guard against the illusion that bad is good. But don't despair. After all, Han Solo himself was a true hero, and there are men who are right and also exciting.
A Luke woman isn't even attracted to a man unless she thinks he's basically a good guy. But there are plenty of men who are superficially nice but definitely the wrong man underneath. A Luke woman must guard against letting her desire for security lull her into relying too completely on her man. Her desire for stability may keep her working to maintain a relationship with a False Luke - a guy who said all the right things at first, but then begins to take you for granted or make you feel insecure or otherwise unhappy. But let your instincts for a good man guide you and you'll end up with a truly heroic Luke.
So there it is, the "Star Wars" Theory of Attraction: Better Living through Sci Fi and Fantasy! Happy Valentine's Day!
[Pictures: movie poster for "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope," 2004. I can't find the name of the designer.;
Han Solo, played by Harrison Ford;
Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill.]
Luke Skywalker, played by Mark Hamill.]