When it comes to relationships and commitment, here's why you want to give the sweetie next door a second look
Nice guys finishing last is so outdated. And no matter how hardcore your penchant for the bad boy, you probably already know this on some level—there's a reason rom- coms keep us swooning over the big-hearted best friend. (But does love come from your heart or your brain?)
But according to a new study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, there's actually science behind why you're tempted to give the guy next door a second look. Recently, researchers at the University of Worchester found in a study of 202 women that certain types of niceness made men more attractive.
We know, we know—not exactly breaking news. But what was actually interesting about their findings was that these traits were rated as more attractive than any physical traits. Instead, according to the study authors, the perception of attractiveness hinges largely on altruism. After all, who needs big biceps if you don't have a big heart? They asked women to look at dozens of photographs of men—some hot, some not. Then the participants read descriptions of the men they had just viewed in different scenarios. For example, the handsome guy either gives a homeless man a sandwich or ignores him and walks away. Same deal for the not so handsome gent.
The women were then asked to rate how attracted they were to the men in both scenarios—both for a one night stand and for something more serious. In both cases, the women were overwhelmingly attracted to the guy who demonstrated the act of goodwill, regardless of how physically attractive they had originally found him based on his photo alone.
Unsurprisingly, the hot heartless guys were still desirable for a fling (science says a beautiful face is like heroin, FYI). But as soon as commitment enters the equation, it's all about altruism over abs. The study was limited to heterosexual women, but the findings make sense across orientations. At the end of the day, physical qualities will fade, while personality traits ultimately keep us coming back for more.