OK there is nothing like a sexy girl on the outside to excite the senses. But then many men say it is also the inside of women that is important. I can not agree more, but often, getting past the exterior is difficult.
So many times, a women’s inside is just like a diamond waiting to be found. And sometimes, what we men find inside women, is just plain disappointing.
Which Matters More, Looks or Personality
There’s a lot of debate about building attraction when it comes to dating. One of the perennial debates is whether looks make a bigger difference than, say, one’s personality. It’s the Star Wars vs. Star Trek debates as both sides try to convince the rest of the world that the other are shallow homonculi or people deluding themselves about their chances.
Except, as it turns out, there’s actually an answer. One backed by science, in fact.
Now, don’t get me wrong. It’s a generally accepted truth that people who are conventionally physically attractive have an advantage when it comes to dating.
“Actually, it’s a major inconvenience. You have no idea how troublesome it is having to handle women throwing themselves at me all the time.”
Not only do visual signs of health – clear skin, facial symmetry, etc. – stir certain instincts in us all but attractive people also benefit from the halo effect. Because they’re good looking, they’re alsoseen as being more trustworthy, kinder and smarter – all very attractive traits to have. And by virtue of being more attractive, they tend to have more attractive girlfriends and wives – after all, people tend to date other people at their “level” of attractiveness, no?
One would assume that the plain, even homely, people out there are for all intents and purposes, shit out of luck. If you’re not blessed with Tyson Beckford’s smile, Ryan Gosling’s dreamy eyes and Brad Pitt’s abs, you may as well just hope to find someone who’s willing to put up with you in order to avoid a life of desperate loneliness, right?
Well… not so much as it turns out.
In fact, the attractiveness of physical looks changes rather drastically over time. While being stunningly good looking helps with initial impressions, its value levels off very quickly and becomes much less important over the long term while other factors increase dramatically. While good looks certainly help, science has found that desirability and building attraction is about more than appearance.
So if you’re not the best looking man around, let’s talk a little about how one goes about building attraction over time.
Good Looks vs Personality:
In evo-psych circles, a lot is made out of one’s “mating value” : that is, the aspects of attraction which are intrinsically based on certain favorable traits. Some, like financial success or social status, help ensure that any child will be raised successfully to adulthood. Others, like physical attractiveness and athleticism, are inheritable traits that help assure the child’s own reproductive success.
Except science has shown that this isn’t strictly true. In fact, UT Austin researchers Paul Eastwick and Lucy Hunt have found that it’s uniqueness that defines attractiveness over time rather than just looks or charisma. In their paper, Relational Mate Value: Consensus and Uniqueness in Romantic Evaluations, Eastwick and Hunt found that over time, who we consider attractive changes – people we may have seen as “alright” at first become far more appealing to us while people who are hot as a four alarm fire at first actually find that their advantages decline in importance.
In their paper, Eastwick and Hunt point out that in general, people tend to form a relatively uniform consensus1 about somebody’s appeal fairly quickly. For example: people would generally agree that Channing Tatum is a good-looking, charming guy for a potato. Jonah Hill is somewhat less so while Steve Buscemi is considerably less physically attractive (read more).
- The Power of Red Lipstick. ~ Jennifer Umberg (elephantjournal.com)
- Unfamiliar Surroundings (capturetheworldchannel.wordpress.com)
- Gratitude Everyday (spiritualmysticism.wordpress.com)
- Our Conscious Attention: A Quick Snidbit (mirrorsonthewall.org)
- Know the Difference (dranilj1.wordpress.com)
- IBM Predicts Computers, Smartphones with Five Senses (cio-today.com)