i think the worst thing about the romance meme is the criteria for how ppl become romantically attracted to each other. sensible criteria on the matter seem to me things like: current closeness, impressiveness (to you, not in general), interest in person's worldview, shared interests.
one implication of my criteria is that as people became better friends, they would be more attracted to each other. another is not being attracted to someone who's worldview you know nothing about.
the actual criteria are something of a mystery to me. i know appearance is one. i know of the badboy/girl meme. i know people say they want someone "smart, funny, beautiful/hot". i know most people have different taste in friends and lovers (my criteria approximately are what people use for friendship). if anyone understands the romantic criteria better, do comment.
Another criterion is: is he popular? In particular, do my friends fancy him?
I'm not sure whether this is "romantic" criteria, but one criteria I have thought of as important is open-mindedness. Basically, is the person open to changing and questioning their ideas?
FYI impressiveness is about synonymous w/ coolness and competence (high degree of).
becky: i don't think that's a romantic one. but it's a good one.