Attractive Men Don’t Make The Best Husbands

In the wake of the Anthony Wiener scandal, it’s hard not to speculate about how his beautiful, pregnant, new wife got herself involved with a guy like that.

46-year-old Weiner is a fit, intelligent, (formerly-promising) politician with a six-figure income and a reputation for being a ladies’ man.

According to Vicki Larson of Huffington Post, that’s where Weiner’s wife and other smart, beautiful, accomplished women often make their mistake. In “Hot or Not? Why Women Shouldn’t Pick Attractive Husbands”, Larson writes “The more financially independent women become, the more they prefer good-looking men. But they don’t just want their partners to be hotties; they want them to be masculine, physically fit, loving, educated, a few years older and making the big bucks. Oh, and they also have to really want to be a hubby and daddy.”

That’s a tall order.

She writes that men with more testosterone are consistently rated more handsome than other men.

And that men with more testosterone are 38 percent more likely to cheat.

She claims that the happiest couples are those in which the woman is more attractive than the man, rather than the reverse.

Read the full article here. Do you agree? What happened when you chose a guy based on his looks? Share your comments below, please.

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  1. 31

    I think the lesson under all of the verbiage is that if a person thinks s/he can do better, they will try to do better.
    As far as dating and mating goes the question would be what would make someone pass up an opportunity to “upgrade”.
    I think some of Evan’s best observations are that women mistakenly think men want the same things women do.    You can see this for yourself in online dating ads where women advertise their resumes instead of themselves.   Super duper Alpha guys aren’t looking for a resume, they are looking for a woman to complement them and fit into THEIR lives.

    1. 31.1

      Yes sir! Also women inherently seek alpha males because despite that impressive resume & fabulous well paying job, they will like to be able to work less when desired eg to raise kids. It’s been my experience an alpha guy will more readily allow his wife not to work as opposed to a beta guy . It’s almost as if a beta guy needs his wife working to feel good about himself. 
      Not enough alphas to go around, sigh!

  2. 32

    Tony Montana: In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.

    More money = more power = more opportuntiy with women. More opportunity = more temptation and an eventual feeling of entitlement.

    So no Evan, I’m not surprised that men making $300,000 are 30% more likey to cheat. I’m surprised the percentage is not higher.

  3. 33

    One of my readers had a recent dilemma between two men, and she seemed to think you could only be sophisiticated, or sexy, not both.

  4. 34
    Real Men Secrets

    I don’t agree, the problem with “good looking” guys is the same problem with the “big penis” guys….

    They think that the look/size is enough to keep the women satisfied and then they go on and cheat with the “ugly guys”… I think that David Shade talks a lot about this issue.

    But not all the “big” guys are like that.

  5. 35

    Evan is totally right about the alpha confidence/status phenomenon.  I dated an alpha, and fell for him quickly– he was an activist and frequent public speaker, intelligent, charismatic, extremely good-looking, masculine, funny, and at first, a total pleasure to date because he was interesting, talkative, and charming.  He was also addicted to the validation he got from his many admirers– men and women of all ages– and really was unable to prioritize or appreciate me.  When he dumped me, it hurt– badly– but I realized very quickly that a man that self-absorbed, who needs that much attention all the time, can really be exhausting, and make for a really crappy partner.
    I agree with Karl that most things you love to show off about your boyfriend/girlfriend to your friends and family have zero impact on what kind of partner a person is.  This time, I’m still looking for attractive, but with a little less flash and a little more humility.

  6. 36

    The biggest problem I had with the original article is that the way a person looks does not have one thing to do with their character.  Crappy people are just crappy people, and for many of us a horrible character will quickly equal an unattractive person.  So thank you, Evan, for your clarification regarding status.  Some people can handle power, some can’t, but the truly sad thing there is that the ones who can’t can often be good people until they reached that level of power/status.  I don’t find Weiner to be attractive, but then, I’m not attracted to power or fame.  Give me the sweet, loving man every time because I think that’s hot!

  7. 37

    Good looking? Weiner???? hahhahahha ok..well I don’t think he is going to be on the Peoples Most Beautiful cover.  Neither will his wife.  They are normal average people in a really horrible situation.  I feel for her.  The humiliation. He is just arrogant and really thought he was above the law ie. Tiger Woods.   Bad people are bad people.  Yes the good looking are much more confident and arrogant which leads them to think they can and will do whatever they want because the world is their oyster.  There is no empathy, sympathy or any of those “pathy” words.  They are Narcissists.  The most frightening to be in a relationship with.  I know I was in one.  How did my relationship with what “i thought” was a good looking man end up….yep you got it divorced.   Beauty is in the eye of the beholder….I think Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Jason Statham are good looking but you might think George Clooney, Jeff Goldblum, and Liev Shriber are good looking…cause I certainly don’t.  We all have a different idea of beauty which I am glad cause then there is something for everyone.  If the person is pleasing to your eye and are a good person…wonderful..wonderba! Go for it…cause getting those two in one person I am finding is quite the feat.  Beauty also doesn’t mean that you will be happy….falling in love with their character can be alot more reassuring and lasting.  Truly blessed you are if you find the character that outshines any beauty!  Just my own silly opinion…. 
    Carrie  🙂

  8. 38

    I think most men know that it takes time for a woman to warm up to a man.  Once she is attracted to him, she will find the not so good looking man, very good looking. 

  9. 39

    @ Hunter

    I think most men and perhaps some women would like to believe that. I think most women just get good at imaging someone else to get by.

  10. 40

    The sad thing about these kind of studies is that they insist that to be a masculine, strong, attractive male is to be a big cheating scumbag that can’t but help to act on impulse only. And that is just insulting to men and manhood in general.  Especially for every man that stands by his family, works hard for them, puts them first. And it’s insulting to women to believe that if a man is masculine, he can only but be a big cheater and it’s her own fault if he ends up cheating on her.  I bet your average trailer park Joe can easily and happily cheat within his social circle just as much as the Anthony Weiners of the world. By insisting that masculine men are only able to disrespect their female partners, we insist on justifying behavior that’s not so much nature as it might be social nurture. Studies like these only further help populate unflattering and untrue so called “truths” about what men and masculinity means.

    Further, our culture LOVES to focus on men (and women) that behave badly. So strong masculine men that are known to be good their families like Matt Damon and Paul Newman clearly don’t get the press time that the Arnolds and Anthonys of the world do. I do not think attractiveness (in any form) has to be synonymous with awful cheating husband/boyfriend material.

  11. 41

    I think it’s not so much look, but attitude. Weiner seems like he thought/knew he was “hot stuff” so to speak and felt he could maybe get any women. He does need help.

    1. 41.1

      Weiner is below average looking, he is deluded if he thinks he is hot stuff.

  12. 42

    Um, Weiner looks like crap, and I’ve always dated attractive men. I let men be the pursuers and the ones who pursue me are usually attractive and outgoing. I’m currently not in a relationship at present, but the guy I’m seeing is good-looking.

  13. 43

    The whole point is moot, while it seems logical that less attractive/shorter guys whould have to develope nice personalities to compensate for these “shortcomings” on the dating market, in practice these guys are (1) delusional about their looks and actually consider themselves attractive (2) scarred by multiple experiences of trying to date out of their league and being rejected and as a result (3) jaded and have much worse personalities that good-looking guys.

    Just my experience

    1. 43.1

      100 % agree with you. I am a beautiful woman I have dated all sorts of guys, handsome and average looking ones…I even once gave a below average  guy a chance, surprisingly I noticed that the uglier the guy was, the more abusive they become. The ugly guys are mostly deluded and think they are in fact good looking and have big egos due to their delusions. They constantly try to bring you down because of their insecurities. I haven’t had any problem with handsome guys, they treated me the best.

  14. 44

    Jersey girl

    You beat me to the Paul Newman comment- thanks for bringing that up. I think people love thinking in black and white: alpha bad, beta good. Things are not that ridiculously simple.

    1. 44.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Sayanta and JerseyGirl – Citing Paul Newman as an example of a great looking successfully married alpha male is great. However nobody said it was IMPOSSIBLE to find a man like that. Certainly not on this blog, where it’s never about black and white. However, good dating advice deals in the majority instead of the minority. So, among Hollywood marriages, do you think the majority are successful or unsuccessful? That’s right; the reason you cite Paul Newman (who is now dead, by the way) is that there are VERY few examples of successful long-term relationships among stars. I think this is perfect proof of my point, thank you very much.

  15. 45

    Karl said it best! “Regardless whether you’re a man or a woman, I don’t recommend putting the highest emphasis on looks, fitness, education, age, finances or anything else that will impress your friends, family and coworkers when you make introductions.”
    As for the question posed in Evan’s post, I chose my ex-husband primarily for his looks (hey, I was 20), and, well, he is an ex and I’m here. Enough said. Then again, I dated a very unattractive guy recently, and that didn’t work out either. While I, like many people on here have said, started finding him pretty good-looking after I had warmed up to him, he turned out to have massive issues related to looks. Apparently to him I was either a status symbol, or a piece of tail, or both 🙁 As a result, things didn’t work out. Bottom line, like Karl said, if at least one side chooses their partner for external qualities rather than internal, it isn’t going to work.

    1. 45.1

      still not black or white  

  16. 46

    I think its more men in powerful positions then looks.  Wiener and so many others aren’t really that good looking but power and wealth make them attractive to a lot of women and the attention they get added with testosterone increases the likely hood that they may cheat. Integrity and their personality make some stay faithful

  17. 47

    I really like what Diana (#7) had to say.  Frankly, I kinda agree with the article.  I’ve dated mostly “hotties” in my day and I’m no spring chicken.  For the most part, I knew that they loved me and cared for me deeply, but they just couldn’t say no to other women and the attention they always got.  On the flip side of that, I’ve tried several times to date not-so-attractive guys to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they turned out to be angry, insecure, pompous types.  But I think it was Even who said that it’s not that we’re picking the wrong guys, its’ that we’re tolerating the wrong guys and their bad behavior too long (paraphrasing, as my memory doesn’t serve me well enough to quote verbatim). 🙂

    I do know of a couple of men who are extremely attractive, who are and have been faithful to their wives for a very long time.  One of them being a very good friend of mine who’s wife is so secure in their relationship that she doesn’t mind having me and another of our good friends over for dinner.  I’d say these guys are far and few though.

    I’ve always dated really good looking guys, but now I realize that it was because I was lacking something within myself that made me feel as though I had something to prove

    Now that I’m older and mature (and still got it goin’ on), I look deeper into a man’s behavior, his ideas, his life style, his goals, his heart and most important, how he treats me.  And I avoid pretty boys like the plague! LOL

  18. 48

    Evan, I think that Hollywood marriages are probably privy to the same issues people in regular marriages face. Just with nicer cars, better wrinkle creams and more boob jobs. I think they also might have just about the same success/unsuccessful rate that regular people have within their relationships today, with perhaps a slight increase to more unsuccess in long term relationships. But I bet the women in Hollywood are cheating just as much as the men. Like I said before, I doubt Trailer Park Joe is always a good model of good morals and does nothing but treat his lady with respect. Do you really not think that cheating goes on as much with “upper” class people as it does “lower” class ones?

    Basing truths about men based on men like Anthony Weiner, Arnold or Tiger Woods is really doing men in general a huge disservice. Insisting that most powerful men are only capable of humiliating their families is actually quite an awful opinion to have of men in general. I think the issues these men caused for themselves goes beyond just being more “masculine/powerful” men in their retrospective fields.  This is where fringe pop-science “studies” do us a disservice. They offer so little information about the depths of human nature while managing to pan to the most simplistic of terms that people can’t help but rationalize them. I think our society thrives on reporting on bad gossip. So if Kurt Douglas bought Goldie Hawn an entire nursery of flowers and had Bruce Springsteen serenade her on a spinning ferris wheel, we would STILL be more likely to hear about how many porn stars Tiger Woods was doing over any big sweet romantic gestures between Hollywood couples.

    I used Paul Newman as an example, (yes I am well aware he is dead thanks), because your article was based on comparing another public figure to regular guys and relationships, Anthony Weiner. There are clearly many public political officials that do not do right by their wives and families. But what about the thousands of other men in politics that we don’t hear about that have been in 30+ year old marriages? We don’t hear about them because we don’t want to hear about the boring good minded men and women. We want to hear the most salacious tidbits we can. I live in NJ and we have a Governor that has been married for decades and has 6 kids. Inbetween doing his job as Governor, we still hear about him working hard to still attend his kids games and still find time to connect with his wife. But the rest of the world doesn’t hear about that because that’s not what sells. What sells are scandals and sex so that’s what we hear about.

    The study is only doing men and women a huge disservice by insisting that most men in powerful positions can’t be good men.

    1. 48.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      Sigh. No one said “most men in powerful positions can’t be good men”, but rather that a higher percentage of powerful men are worse risks as husbands. So if 20% of all men cheat, I’m guessing that 40% of high status men cheat. That means 60% of high status guys don’t cheat. This doesn’t mean you CAN’T find a high status guy who is faithful – clearly 60% of them are – but that such high status men are higher risks overall because of their power, drive, testosterone, and appeal to women. Are you STILL willing to argue with this point? Really?

  19. 49

    The biggest problem is there are too many games being played.  If the players would just leave the serious people alone all would be good.  Let the players play with each other.

  20. 50

    Evan (#51) – You crack me up!  LOL! :))

  21. 51

    In general Evan, I am leary of alot of the pop science studies that come through as news. I have dated all kinds of guys myself. From someone in politics themselves to guys that sold retail. I’ve dated men with Ivy league educations and men with community college ones. I am not someone that thinks that ivy league = smarter or political position = better. I’ve gone out with “regular” guys that treated me like crap and high society ones that have treated me well…and vice versa. There is no “truth” that is consistant. So based on my personal experiences, by insisting that it’s more normal for powerful men to desrespect their famlies, we aren’t doing right by men or women. We are equating “more masculine” men with being “users”. I just don’t think that’s right! I believe these men in recent media had deeper issues going beyond power. Things that we could not ever judge scientifically without deep conversations about who they are as men.

    1. 51.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      I appreciate your tone, Jersey, but really disagree with your conclusion. The way you say it, one can never make any inferences about anything, because there’s always an individual exception. That ignores the idea that there is truth to be found in patterns and in science, and we’d be foolish not to attempt to draw some sort of conclusions. If it were determined that 72% of men under 5’4″ were verbally abusive, wouldn’t that inform whether you went out with a short man? By your standards, you’d say, but “he could be in the 28%”. And you’d be right. There are always going to be exceptions to rules. But that doesn’t negate that there’s something behind the rules.

      My whole business is about seeing patterns – in how men act, in how women act. And if every time I point out a pattern, you attempt to negate it with a “Yes, but SOME people don’t fit that pattern”, it just becomes a bit exhausting. You know what I mean?

      One would have to be an ostrich with its head buried under the sand to not recognize that good looking successful men with money are higher flight risks than nice, normal, nerdy guys who are appreciative to have found a woman who digs them. This is absurd to even debate.

  22. 52

    Excellent point, Jennifer! (#52).  Now, if only the players could get real honest with themselves and admit they’re players right up front to anyone who romantically crosses their paths, all would be well.  But it’s a big IF only.

  23. 53
    Darren Miller

    Sorry for the weird txt, my computer is having a hissy fit.
    The statistics I have seen are incredible: something like 50% of marriages fail, and 5% of newlyweds fail within the first year. Now, you guys can decide whether that’s incompatibility or attractive men just don’t make great husbands. Personally, I find it a load of rubbish; you can make any person as special as you want them to be.
    I say that because I have a very attractive mate who got marriage in the belief his wife was the one for him. After 3 years, they had a child and got divorced and he got back on the dating scene. He met a new girl and ironically, now he thinks she is the one, but I can see it ending up exactly the same way as his previous relationship. This tells me whether you’re an attractive man or ugly man, it doesn’t matter.  It’s the way you behave in the relationship and the way you treat the girl.

    1. 53.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      @Darren – from today’s New York Times: “According to a 2010 study by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, only 11 percent of college-educated Americans divorce within the first 10 years today, compared with almost 37 percent for the rest of the population.”

  24. 54
    Karl R

    JerseyGirl said: (#54)
    “In general Evan, I am leary of alot of the pop science studies that come through as news.”

    I ran across that specific studies several months ago. I can’t remember the details, but they were executed in a scientific manner and the conclusions (wealthy men are more likely to cheat, high-testosterone men are more likely to cheat) accurately represented the results of the study.

    JerseyGirl said: (#54)
    “There is no “truth” that is consistant. So based on my personal experiences, by insisting that it’s more normal for powerful men to desrespect their famlies, we aren’t doing right by men or women. We are equating more masculine’ men with being ‘users’. I just don’t think that’s right!”

    Some well-executed surveys have demonstrated that there is a strong correlation between higher salary and cheating -and- that there is a strong correlation between higher testosterone and cheating.

    If you’re involved with a successful, high-testosterone man, the risk of being cheated on is higher. You may decide that it’s an acceptable risk. Heck, you could decide that the risk doesn’t exist and unknowingly take the risk. (There are people who try to downplay the risk of cigarettes by pointing out smokers in their 80s and 90s.)

    I would say Evan is “doing right” in this case, because he’s providing accurate information. You can choose to take the risk, but at least it will be an informed decision.

  25. 55

    I wonder if that has anything to do with that demographic getting married less or the bad economy motivating people to stick it out with a marriage.

  26. 56

    Steve @60, I’ve read studies lately that say that because college educated individuals tend to wait longer before marrying, that lends well to them staying together. Also, this population is less likely to suffer from the financial strains that break many relationships apart.
    I’ve even seen studies that say that today, college educated Americans are more likely than any group to marry.
    The New York Times article didn’t mention the bad economy as a reason for couples to stay together, but it said a lot of them either were children of divorce or saw too many divorces in their community… so when it was time for them to get married, they entered the institution more cautiously and have less inclination to divorce just for the sake of “freedom” or “growing apart.”

  27. 57

    Evan, I appreciate your tone as well but think you are missing my point.

    I do think there can be truth found in patterns and science. I am not saying patterns and science used to describe behavior is wrong. What I am saying is that the pop science we get fed today is only one hair on the whole head. And it’s usually the hair that panders to the worse common denominator inside us because that is what elicits attention. So I am not saying it’s completely untrue. What I am saying is that there is more to the story. And not just in what you might qualify the small percentage of men that beat the stereotype. Men like Tiger Woods have histories in combination with their situation and inside nature that cause them to make the choices they make. I just think we do men and masculinity in general a big disservice by setting men up to fail and justifying it.

    Do you really believe that the average joe in a lower economy class is necessarily treating his partner better and not cheating on her because he’s not famous and powerful? Men of all social economic classes cheat. Are there any studies done on men in lower economy classes and their rate of cheating and stepping out? I’d be interested in seeing how it compares.

    Aside from that, I don’t think most women are trying to date the richest man they can find. Or the most handsome. Based on the study, I do wonder at what price point, successful men all the sudden became high risk partners. $70k, $90k, $120K, $160k, $200K+? And how good looking does a guy have to be before he also becomes a more high risk partner? Because I don’t consider Anthony, Arnold or Tiger Woods attractive on any scale. And I think the women that pursue them are a certain kind of woman themselves. There are just too many questions and variables to make the statement that women should pick men that are less then them. And that’s the impression the article leaves me with. That the only way men are happy is if they feel they got the better deal while women are told to be happy they must accept men that are less then themselves.

  28. 58

    I’m sorry, but I don’t see the point of the article. I also don’t agree with teh title. Powerful positions and attractive looks aren’t what make men cheat; character deficits make men cheat. Looks have nothing to do with it, Evan.

  29. 59

    @David #12, 23 – Lisa M. can speak for herself. I’m attracted to “short” men and the one man in my life that I was most attracted to was about 5’7”. (I’ve been considered attractive by the opposite sex and have dated men who were 5’3” to 6’3”, fyi.)

    In my experience, shorter men tend to be less arrogant, more faithful, and more appreciative of my petite body. In addition, I like the way their muscles tend to be more defined and how I don’t feel like they are looking down at me all the time. I also believe that they are more likely to develop their personalities and sexual repertoire than “tall” men, especially those past age 35.

    @Jadafisk – #14 – Excellent psychological analysis of Weiner. I thought the same thing myself.
    @Ruby – #28 and Carrie — #38  – I so agree with you. Weiner is not that attractive and definitely not as attractive as Abedin.
    I really didn’t like this article.  I felt it was insensitive and abused statistics.  First of all, it comes across as if the woman is the one with the problem.  It hijacks the very personal issue of Huma Abedin’s husband essentially cheating on her in front of the world in their first year of marriage while she is pregnant with this child and then dares to question the judgement of the woman in the situation.  Hmmmmm.  Anthony Weiner literally tweeted his we*ner to the world and yet — somehow — we are supposed to scrutinize the judgement of the woman who chose him before he did that?  That doesn’t make any sense to me at all.
    I realize that the author of the article used Weinergate as an example of her pseudo-scientific theory that women bring misery upon themselves by choosing high testosterone men because high testosterone men are more likely to cheat.  However,  that is putting the blame where it doesn’t belong and that is completely unfair.  I’ve seen the same types of arguments used against Maria Shriver (“How could she have not known???”) and I find it completely sexist and, again, totally insensitive.
    For example, women with high estrogen are also more likely to cheat on their partners.  When a woman cheats on a man, I don’t read articles about how the guy should have seen it coming and how he picked a woman with high estrogen, he should’ve known better, should have picked an uglier wife, etc., etc.  No.  When women cheat on men, it is because they chose to do it, are of bad moral character, etc., not because of some silly statistic that says they are more likely cheat.
    The truth of the matter is that women are are attracted to testosterone in men and men are attracted to estrogen in women.  (If you doubt this, try using good quality pheromones or herbs that enhance your natural hormones and watch your attractiveness with the opposite sex increase significantly.)  The likely reason that men with high testosterone and women with high estrogen are more likely to cheat probably has to do with having more opportunities because people find them more attractive than the norm.
    There have never been any studies that demonstrate that high levels of testosterone or estrogen cause people to lose their free will or their sanity.  Therefore, the only people who should be blamed or shamed for cheating are the cheaters themselves.  Trying to delve into the minds of cheaters only provides more excuses for their bad behavior, which is the problem.
    That said, I can still appreciate Evan’s “hedge your bets” response to this article, which has more relevance to me than the article itself.

  30. 60

    Sarahrahrah touched on something that is often a common theme when we hear stories about a woman wronged by her man. There is always an aspect where people blame the woman or say that it was really her own fault while studes just like these and comments come out about what men’s “true” nature is and how it’s justifiable why men do things because of their “nature”. It’s insane but it’s a popular theme that crops up regularly in our culture about how women are to blame and men are just being men. 

    According to most pop science women are suppose to pick mates that are uglier, make less money AND wamt her to split everything 50/50 and are older then herself.

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