What do women want? Although it may seem like every woman has a long list of ‘must haves’ and an even longer list of ‘have nots’, there are some things you can do to up your appeal. To help improve your chances of finding a girlfriend, we’ve tapped into some qualities that are scientifically proven to help you be more attractive to the the female population.
- Build some muscle, but not too much.
If you’re looking for a long term, serious relationship, forget the washboard abs and rippling biceps. To understand what women found attractive, researchers at UCLA showed 250+ women pictures of shirtless men and asked them which ones would make the best long and short term partners.
For shorter term relationships, i.e. flings, the women preferred the muscular builds however, for long-term relationships, the women preferred a medium build. When asked for an explanation, the women associated the muscular builds with sexual prowess and physical dominance, but also assumed that these same men would be less likely to commit. Unsurprisingly, the women weren’t wrong; the muscular men reported more lifetime sexual partners and more affairs than their less muscular counterparts.
- Wear deodorant.
It’s no surprise that women prefer men who smell great; however, it’s not for the reason you might expect. While studying two groups of men, researchers gave the first group of men a scented spray and the second group of men an unscented version. When women watched both groups of men from a separate room, they rated those given the scented fragrance more attractive than those without the fragrance. Apparently, the men who smelled better acted more confidently earning higher ratings.
- Throw some food in the mix.
According to a 2014 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, sharing food is the best way to create interpersonal closeness. Going out to dinner is a strong start, but crossing into each other’s personal space via eating off each other’s plates will help your date feel closer and more comfortable.
Food and intimacy have a strong link. Nursing usually our first, most intimate food experience has a comforting effect for both giver and receiver. As we grow, sharing meals continues to establish positive feelings, but it is the actual transfer of food item from plate to plate that encourages deeper connectivity. Research on nonverbal behavior—including this type of action—reveals that, `In general, the greater the intimacy of the relationship between the partners, the higher the level of mutual involvement will be’ (Patterson, 1991, p. 470). In other words, sharing food reveals a higher level of shared intimacy.
- Grow some facial hair, but stay groomed.
Try ditching your razor for a couple weeks or at least until you have a healthy amount of stubble. According to research published in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, Australian researchers Dixson and Brooks had women rate male attractiveness and masculinity of male subjects with varying amounts of facial hair growth. In each test, women rated heavy stubble as most attractive followed by light stubble, heavy beard, and clean shaven.
Love your beard? You’re in luck.
As for perceived masculinity, both men and women rated the men with full beards as most masculine, best equipped to parent, and healthiest.
- Make her laugh.
According to researchers at the University of Louisville and Lakehead University, a sense of humor can help take your relationship to the next level, but only if you’ve already established mutual attraction. How much can your wit help you? A lot. In one experiment, the confederate who told jokes was 3 times more likely to walk away with a phone number than the confederate who didn’t.
According to researcher Jeffrey Hall, humor is also part of the social script we’re all following: “Men act like jokers, and women play along. ‘The script is powerful and it is enduring, and it dictates everything from asking someone out to picking up the tab’.”
- Avoid millennial talk
Yes, we’re all busy, but it’s in your best interest to take the time to spell out words in your texts and emails. According to OkCupid, the average man has a 37% response rate. This percentage can plummet to 10% if someone opts for ‘ur’ instead of ‘you’re’ and ‘wat’ instead of ‘what’.
- Try some community service
Women in the market for a long-term relationship “significantly preferred” altruistic men. According to a study published in the Journal of Research and Personality, women considered men who donated time or helped others in a pinch as altruistic. Seeing men operate in this capacity also leads to a positive halo effect. In other words, if a woman sees you do something dutifully for others, she will use this visual as a proxy to assign a judgment for your entire character.
- Wear something red.
In a 2010 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, women rated the men wearing red in front of a red background more sexually desirable than the men donning other colors. The perceived characteristics stopped at desirability, though; the women did not rate the men wearing red as more extroverted, likeable, or agreeable.