Men hoping to find romance are often torn between contradicting forms of advice, suggests Jeremy Nicholson, doctor of social and personality psychology, in his Psychology Today article, "Why Are Men Frustrated with Dating?" Some advice leads men toward playing the role of cocky, assertive bad boys that women can't resist. But societal norms call for compliant, respectful men. Trouble arises when the bad boys are labeled "intolerable jerks," and the nice guy behavior leads to the label of "push-over." Rather than aim for the title Mr. Nice Guy or Mr. Bad Boy, men looking for love should examine individual traits that women commonly find attractive.
Have a Sense of Humor
Embrace your playful side if you want to attract the woman of your dreams, suggests the study, "Effect of Humor on Interpersonal Attraction and Mate Selection," by researchers Elizabeth McGee of the University of California and psychology professor Mark Shevlin of the University of Ulster. The study asked women to rate the attractiveness and long-term suitability of very humorous men versus men with average humor or no humor. The funniest men landed the highest ratings. So from silly observations and gentle teasing to self-deprecation, be creative and entertain your date.
Learn to Relax
High levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress levels, could limit your attractiveness in the eyes of the woman you're trying to woo. This information comes from a study titled "Glucocorticoids in Mate Choice" by University of Dundee, U.K., researcher and psychology professor Fhionna Moore. According to Moore's research, during mate selection, most women look for men with low levels of stress. With this in mind, work on reducing your cortisol levels with relaxation exercises. Not only will this improve your dating odds, it will improve your physical and mental health.
Borrow Bad Boy Traits
With their disrespectful attitudes and unfaithful tendencies, it might be difficult to understand the allure of the "bad boys." But these men do come with several understandably attractive traits. Rather than trying to don the full guise of a bad boy, practice being independent and assertive, suggests clinical psychologist Nando Pelusi in his Psychology Today article, "Neanderthink: The Appeal of the Bad Boy." After all, few people want a partner who requires constant attention, is afraid to stand up for himself and lacks a sense of personal identity.
Smile. Or Not.
A University of British Columbia study revealed that women are more sexually attracted to pictures of men with proud or brooding expressions, according to clinical psychologist Craig Malkin in his Psychology Today article, "Are Happy Guys a Turn-Off?" In the study, men with smiling photos received lower ratings. Malkin points out that these ratings are based on initial sexual attraction, not the potential for long-term attraction. He also stresses that the study focused on pictures of emotions, not actual personalities, so you might not want to exchange your humor for a solemn expression just yet. In fact, people who tend to offer a genuine smile when in front of a camera are less likely to divorce later in life, reports psychologist Gil Greengross in his Psychology Today article, "The Long-Lasting Effect of a Smile." If you want to build a lasting relationship, don't hide your smile.
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- Psychology Today: Why Are Men Frustrated With Dating?
- U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of Humor on Interpersonal Attraction and Mate Selection
- Intech: Glucocorticoids in Mate Choice
- Psychology Today: Neanderthink: The Appeal of the Bad Boy
- Psychology Today: The Long-Lasting Effect of a Smile
- Psychology Today: Are Happy Guys A Turn-Off?
Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.
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