Do guys prefer average girls?
So you think your gorgeous, smart, stylish friend with the killer figure can get any guy she wants? It turns out she can't. Despite men placing looks high in their priority list, when it comes to finding a keeper guys prefer an "average" girl who can laugh at their jokes. That's right when it comes to actual attraction, good banter is going to place you higher in the stakes than cutting a lean figure.
A recent social experiment at Northwestern University sent 163 students speed dating to investigate attraction. Published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology* researchers first asked men to indicate what they preferred in a mate: physical attractiveness, earning potential or personality qualities. Being cliché, men overwhelmingly went for physical attractiveness. But next they hooked some of them up with people who fit their ideal "type" (read: we're super-duper hotties). And when women actually opened their mouths and talked to the dudes, something changed. The guinea pig men found just because a gal might look good in a photo, doesn't mean they will necessarily have a spark with them.
Psychotherapist Phillip Owens says, "Men looking for long term relationships are looking for qualities that make them feel comfortable and empowered as they move forward. They are looking for the ability to trust their partner."
He adds, "The problem with glamazons, there's a fear of losing them. 'What if I'm not good enough? How can I keep someone like that?' Those who feel like that will select somebody who seems a more reasonable option, who doesn't stretch them outside the comfort zone. It's also an evolutionary thing."
So basically the researchers found that once men started to converse with actual human beings (rather than stare at pictures of Victoria's Secret Angels), they found that they were crushing on girls who they liked as people, not the girl they thought was hottest. They would rather be with an average, interesting girl than some sort of fantasy being. Hurrah.
Daily Mail relationship expert Tracey Cox says, "Turns out the things women believe make them more appealing to men - good looks, youth, being super confident, intelligent, body perfect - aren't top of men's wish list after all.
Having an OK figure that's curvy, looking "nice", appearing kind, listening, being trustworthy, laughing at his jokes and letting him look after you - these are the qualities men most frequently seek in long-term partners."
Owens says, "With all the behind-the-scenes reality shows for celebrities, men are now seeing that glamazons are more than a magazine cover. They are more aware of the full package."
This isn't the first study to suggest personality plays an important role in attraction. An article published in the Journal of Social Psychology found men were more likely to dig a girl (who they hadn't been so into before) when they associated her with appealing traits like emotional stability or openness.
In short it's time to break out the chocolate and swap sit ups for small talk. It's going to get you a lot further in the dating game apparently.