6 Ways you can make yourself appear more attractive to women according to science
Setting up an online dating profile is one of the modern man's biggest challenges. Like, you're only allowed to post a handful of photos to present your best self, and the text field on most profiles usually isn't huge either. With all these limitations, it can be hard to know exactly what to display so that you can put your most attractive self forward.
But it turns out there are a few general rules about what people find most attractive. In fact, science and research can tell us a lot about what is most attractive – in this case – in a man. Here are six key points to take from various studies of heterosexual adults taken in recent years.
1. Flash a bit of stubble
A 2013 study of beards at the University of New South Wales found that women love a bit of facial hair – especially heavy stubble. They found stubble more attractive than a full-on beard because it showed maturity and masculinity, without making the man seem too dominant or aggressive.
2. Tell jokes
No, not knock-knock jokes – just be funny in general. Multiple studies show that women are generally much more attracted to someone who can make them laugh. On top of that, smiling and giving off kind vibes via a sense of humour or a positive attitude are also more likely to make you seem like a total catch, according to a 2014 Chinese study.
3. Look a little older
Psychologists don't call it the "George Clooney Effect" for nothing – a 2010 study of more than 3,700 people found that most women do prefer older men. Especially as women become more financially independent, their attraction to silver foxes increases even further. It could be because they become more confident, therefore attracting other powerful – and generally a bit older – men. Plus, there's nothing worse than an immature guy with no life experience who's afraid of commitment.
4. Live on the edge
A 2014 study from the University of Alaska looked at how attractive men were to women based on the day-to-day risks they took. They found that women still have primal tendencies to find "hunter-gatherer risks" attractive, which might include extreme sports like mountain biking. Low-risk behaviours like cycling sensibly along paved paths weren't seen as attractive in comparison. Interestingly, modern-day "risks" like not updating anti-virus software on your computer or plagiarizing an academic paper were not seen as attractive - just plain dumb.
5. Be more posh
Men who were pictured standing next to a red Ford Fiesta are seen as far less attractive than those photographed standing with a silver Bentley Continental GT, according to a 2010 study from the University of Wales Institute. While I'm fully aware that most of us can't afford Bentleys, you could channel this with other things. Like – I don't know – choose sparkling water when you're out for dinner together, or at the very least make sure you fix your cracked iPhone screen before you see her again next.
6. Be muscly, but not too muscly
A 2007 study from the University of California saw 286 women look at pictures of shirtless men and rate which ones they found most attractive. More specifically, they were asked which they thought would be the best long-term and short-term partners. Interestingly, women chose the guys with the biggest muscles for short flings only, while less-muscular men seemed more suitable for long-term relationships.
But you know what? Science can tell you to "be this" and "do that", but you're not really being yourself anymore then, are you? And that's the real waste of time for anyone who wants to get to know you. Know these things, but take them with a grain of salt. You shouldn't be "trying" to appear more attractive to women, because – frankly – there's nothing really attractive about that at all.