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Dating With Science: Being Honest Makes You More Physically Attractive

Dating With Science: Being Honest Makes You More Physically Attractive

You, the reader, are probably a guy, and you are probably interested in dating girls, who are probably girls. At the risk of generalization, this feature will deal with ways that guys can attract and hold onto girls, using facts that come from scientists.

Science Fact: Women find a guy more physically attractive if they believe he has other positive traits.

Explanation: You have certainly seen this effect demonstrated in your daily life. Maybe you overhear a girl you like going on and on about her favorite emo frontman as you lurk around pointlessly in the background. "Did you hear Angsty McSad's new song about the fact that he is sad? Every time he shrieks about his broken heart, I just want to marry him!" she gushes, and that gets your attention, because Angsty McSad looks like a fish. You look way better than that guy. "His bony chicken-legs are aesthetically pleasing, and his soulful wailing makes me want to kiss his wounded soul and for our souls to have babies!!" the girl continues. "I wrote a song about denominators!" you chime in, but nobody cares.

The Science: There are lots of studies on this effect, and it happens with both guys and girls. One study tried to reconcile body-shape attractiveness with behavioral traits, and it found that the range of body shapes men found attractive depended on their perceptions of women's personalities. In short, they might look at one woman and go "AUGH, SHE LOOKS LIKE A BARGE," but then you tell them she's awesome and fun, and they beat each other into comas as they scramble to ask her on a date. Another study paired yearbook photos with various positive descriptions (Activities: Loving friends, snuggling puppies!!) or negative descriptions (Activities: Eating mold, failure), and found that positive descriptions again made photos appear more physically attractive. A third study found that honesty in particular made people more appear attractive (and also made them seem healthier and nicer).

So What Should I Do About It?
The short and probably obvious answer here is that you should strive to be an innately good dude (and not just to get dates). If you see an old lady in a wheelchair rolling alarmingly toward a crate that says CAUTION: POISON BEES, you should impulsively want to intervene. If given the choice between truthfulness or dishonesty, you should be the type of dude who tries not to lie (unless the lie is about whether or not you carelessly left your crate of experimental bees lying around).

But the larger point here is about the "why do good guys finish last??" grumbling that seems to be so common on the cyber-highways of the intertubes. As it turns out, women absolutely are more attracted to good guys than to not-good guys, all other things being equal. This subject deserves a post of its own, but for now, here's your takeaway point: we have actual science sentences from a laboratory man proving that whatever women are attracted to, it's not dudes who are jerks (or at least it's not the jerkishness). It's something else, which we will have to get into at a later date. For now, just take comfort in the knowledge that women don't need you to bench press a dinosaur or score a football before they are willing to jump your bones. Being a decent person is attractive in and of itself. As for being bold and interesting enough to do something with that attraction, well, that part is up to you.

Do you find honesty attractive?

Tags: dating, girls, life, dating with science

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