Here's why men who are already taken are more attractive to women
The old saying goes that 'you always want something which you can't have'. It's certainly true in a lot of cases; you want those trainers that you can't afford, or you want that bit of cake even though you're on a diet. It also rings true when it comes to dating and relationships.
As anyone who has been in the dating world will know, it can often seem as if all the good people in the world are taken and what is left is a cesspit of idiots and creeps. And, as anyone in a relationship will affirm, it can also seem like no one wants you when you're single, but when you're dating someone, you're suddenly hot stuff again.
Well, as it turns out, this longing for someone who is in a relationship is a legit thing, and even more amazingly, there is an actual scientific explanation behind it.
According to a recent study that was published in Scientific Reports, men who are in a relationship with a woman receive something which is known as an 'attractiveness boost', meaning that they are perceived to be hotter than they'd normally be. The reason behind this phenomenon is apparently because if a man has a girlfriend, she is essentially confirming that he is a hottie and an all round good egg.
In the study, researchers asked the female participants to rate pictures of men, their hands and abstract art. The researchers then told the participants how other women in the study had voted and, upon hearing how others had rated the pictures, it was noted that the women altered their ratings to match the others.
"Women in our study found men's faces more attractive if other women had given that face high ratings. But the same goes for pictures of abstract artworks," said head researcher Dr. Kate Cross. "Women appear to copy the mate preferences of other women, but this might simply be because humans have a general tendency to be influenced by the opinions of others.”
Essentially, by having a girlfriend, a man has a big sign waving over his head which reads: "This guy is super hot and you should 100 percent date him." Which, upon seeing it, other women then think that you are super hot and that they should 100 percent date you.
The researchers say that this is a result of something called mate-choice copying. So, when a man is picked to be a potential partner by someone, it could mean that he is 'higher quality' than all the other males who are single.
"Social influence affects every area of our lives, and this could include partner choice," explained joint author Dr. Sally Street of Durham University. "But there isn't, at the moment, clear experimental evidence of a specialized mate-choice copying mechanism in humans."
I mean, it makes sense when you think about it: if someone tells you that your outfit - of which you are unsure of - is nice, you are more likely to suddenly like the clothes you're wearing. So, if you want to make yourself an eligible bachelor to the ladies, simply pay your female friend to pretend that she's your girlfriend and you might be onto a winner. Actually, definitely don't do that.