A recent study on attraction from the University of British Columbia determined that women are least attracted to men who smile or appear happy and men are least attracted to women who are proud and confident.
I was so mad when I read the results of this study…this helps explain the current upside-down state of dating. No wonder everyone gets that cringy face when it’s time to enter the dating slush pile.
The exact findings of this study? (Prepare for a little Jenny-Ranting…)
The study found that women were least attracted to smiling, happy men, preferring those who looked proud and powerful or moody and ashamed. (Moody and ashamed? What, we’ve all regressed to junior high??)
In contrast, male participants were most sexually attracted to women who looked happy, and least attracted to women who appeared proud and confident. (This last part was the most disturbing to me…)
So, what does all this mean?
For years, women have been devouring books like Why Men Love Bitches (B.I.T.C.H. means Babe In Total Control of Herself) and this study calls that into question. Basically, it appears to highlight that women typically want to fix the moody, broody male and men want their women already fixed up and happy (but not too confident).
To get a little perspective on this, I went to the Self-Help section of Barnes and Noble online and clicked on Relationship: there were 3,491 items. That’s quite a bit of self-help. Even if we divide that down gender lines, that’s 1,745 and-a-half books that are out there for us to read in an attempt to understand relationships.
My husband contends that men are confused because women are confused. I gave him THE LOOK when he said it, but really…he has a point. I have friends who’ve been dating so long that they feel like they’ve tried everything. They change things up periodically in terms of their attitude and their expectations just to see if SOMETHING new will work.
You can be anyone you want to be on the internet and get attention from people who might never be attracted to you in real life. On the upside, building some mental attraction right out of the gate does help level the playing field. I’m currently mixed on my feelings about online dating.
I’ve been polling my daters of all ages and orientation for next week’s post on online dating. I wanted to get the scoop from the old, the young, males and females, gay and straight so I could share it all with you.
But back to this attraction study…it should be noted that this was done purely on visual attraction, the equivalent of “eyes-meeting-across-a-crowded-room” sort of thing. As I watch Disney films with my daughter through adult eyes, I see where the roots of this came from. I’m already trying to figure out how to mute the appalling lessons of Cinderella and The Little Mermaid:
- Love at first sight will build a strong foundation for marriage
- Start a relationship based on lies, it will all work out
- It’s OK to give up your voice for love, you’ve got your looks
- The Prince/white knight will always save you
I love Disney films, don’t get me wrong, but their messages are damaging if you think about them very deeply. These films are building children’s early perception of romance and the happily-ever-after message should at least be examined.
And what about the fact that the mom is nearly always sick/gone/dead in these films? Consider Bambi, Cinderella, Snow White and The Little Mermaid, to name a few. Not seeing any moms here, Disney folks! Only a few wickedly vindictive stepmommies. I understand it helps the plot, but DANG….(Sorry, that’s a separate rant for another time!)
The last line of the article states: Overall, the researchers found that men ranked women more attractive than women ranked men. (Then why do we spend so much time trying to get their attention?)
I’m concerned that dating is in the toilet…what do y’all think? Are you hearing different things than I’m hearing? What do you think about the messages being put forth to our young people about dating?
You know I love hearing from you! I love it so much that I created the Let’s Meet Up (for Training)! Contest…still waiting to hear back from some of my May winners on a time – check your Junk Mail for my message, or just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oh, speaking of contests, we are in the final days of the Going To The Chapel contest over at Writers In The Storm…it’s creative, fun and FREE! And the prize is at least three critiques of one of your chapters from your current work in progress. I wrote one of the “processional lines” – can you tell which one?
Till next time,