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His Smile May Determine Whether He's Boyfriend Material

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Bad boys, beware—women believe that guys who flash a bright smile appear more suitable for long-term relationships than those who brood, a recent study in Evolutionary Psychology reports.

So what is it about that smile that makes us lock in on someone as a soon-to-be-boyf? Researchers from Europe and Asia had women rate guys as viable boyfriend material or a more casual hook-up—all based solely on their facial expression. Men who flashed their pearly whites came across as far happier and more trustworthy than those with neutral expressions, who tended to be viewed as simply masculine and mature, landing them in the casual category.

This falls in line with established academic beliefs that we tend to gravitate toward men with the best genes (read: good looks) when looking for a casual hook-up, because our brain is primed for reproduction. (If you're in this boat, check out What I Learned from 10 Years of One-Night Stands.)

But while the whole mysterious manly man thing may seem attractive for a single night or a few days, women in the new study reported that they want dependability and approachability in their long-term beau (although a cute face certainly didn't hurt). Grinning guys consistently conveyed this security, which evolutionary psychologists say is appealing because it denotes he's fit to raise a family with you.

So next time you catch a smile from across the bar, don't write him off immediately as a boring Mr. Nice Guy. He could end up being just the one you're looking for! (Does Who You Date Change Who You Are?)


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