What Do Men Find Attractive?

What Do Men Find Attractive
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First of all, what do you think defines attractive? It’s interesting because a guy friend of mine said his girlfriend would be what he would call pretty even though he didn’t think she fit the mold of what society called pretty. Does that mean there can be an openness to different types? I’ve wondered. Exactly what makes someone pretty? I know this is a sensitive question so no pressure in answering.

Second, for whatever it is, can guys learn to compromise on looks or be open to different types? I’ve wondered because I thought about something for me that was similar. I will it admit in high school I only went after the charming popular guys. The high school jocks. I could have said well I can’t help what I like right? Then I realized I was being superficial and should instead go after less superficial things. So I now have a crush on a guy (that’s another story) who is less of the charming type but very likable. I realized I should see what’s important. It seems your dating advice encourages women (chemistry vs compatibility something like that right?) to focus on those things over things that people value in a more superficial sense.

Lastly I’ve wondered how much of the obsession with finding a hot girl is really about attraction. It seems like it would be an of course, guys want the pretty girl because she is pretty right? Then I thought of my old high school crushes. I realized some of them I liked not really because of them, but actually because I enjoyed the praise I felt of having won the attention over of someone so impressive. It made me feel important. Really though, frankly I think it’s actually using someone. I’ve wondered if that’s something our society could work on.

Let me know what you think! Deep questions I know. No pressure in answering.

Kath

Three different questions. Three different answers.

  1. What do you think defines attractive? Can there be an openness to different types? Exactly what makes someone pretty?

The reason this one is tricky is because the answer is both objective AND subjective.

Objectively, there are traits that are almost universally considered attractive. Per Wikipedia:

Men, on average, tend to be attracted to women who have a youthful appearance and exhibit features such as a  symmetrical face,  full breasts, full lips, and a low waist-hip ratio. Women, on average, tend to be attracted to men who are both taller than they are as well as taller than other men, display a high degree of facial symmetry, masculine facial  dimorphism, and who have broad shoulders, a relatively narrow waist, and a V-shaped torso.

Sounds about right. Look at the cover of most beauty and fashion magazines and you’ll see a lot of stereotypically attractive people staring back at you.

At the same time, everybody has personal tastes and preferences. Some men like women who are curvy. Some men like women who have no body fat whatsoever. Some guys are turned on by fake boobs. Some guys are turned off by them. Some prefer tattoos and piercings. Some wouldn’t look twice. Some gentlemen prefer blondes. Some prefer ethnic. Go to Pornhub and take a look at what men look at. Top searches include: lesbian, hentai, MILF and step mom. There was almost equal representation of men looking up “mom” and “teen.” So when you ask “what’s attractive?” I would only point out that there are broad generalizations on what women and men find appealing — and there are lots of exceptions to those generalizations as well.

  1. Can guys learn to compromise on looks or be open to different types?

Yes, but it’s important we get our definitions straight. I don’t believe you can talk yourself into finding someone attractive. Attraction is not a choice; it’s a feeling. When any client of mine goes out with a guy where the chemistry is less than a 6, I tell her to move along. However, as burgeoning couples get closer and more intimate, there are many (if not most) of my clients who discover that their 6 can develop into an 8 or a 9.

To your original question, a man generally won’t compromise on looks in terms of going out with someone he doesn’t find physically appealing. But are guys open to different women who aren’t their “type?” Absolutely. When I was in high school, I was into skinny model-types from all the magazines and TV shows I consumed. Then I dated someone my senior year who was short and curvy and discovered I loved that, too. To this day, my favorite physical type is short, curvy, dark-skinned brunettes. Salma Hayek, Kim Kardashian, etc. I have NEVER had a girlfriend who looked like that. To me, dating around is like fine dining: the more you are open to trying different things, the more developed your palate gets, the more you can eat in any restaurant and find something you like. But still, you’re going to have your favorite dishes — just don’t think you have to marry one of them to be happy.

  1. I’ve wondered how much of the obsession with finding a hot girl is really about attraction or about having won the attention over of someone so impressive?

I think it’s impossible for most people to separate their motives from their desires. How many women stop to think about WHY they like “bad boys” even though we all know objectively that they make for terrible long-term partners? They don’t. They feel something, go with the feeling, get burned, and go back for more of the feeling. The brain chemistry that is associated with attraction is very much like cocaine or meth — powerful highs that make people — men and women alike — do otherwise irrational things.

The brain chemistry that is associated with attraction is very much like cocaine or meth — powerful highs that make people — men and women alike — do otherwise irrational things.

My take as a 46-year-old former slut in a 10+ year marriage is this: I think the obsession with “hot” is largely a maturity thing.

When I was a kid, I was attracted to EVERY girl who fit the description in the Wikipedia entry. Essentially, if she was physically appealing, I would have a crush on her, regardless of what her personality was like. Now, I STILL find plenty of women physically appealing, and in an alternate universe where I was single, would gladly have NSA sex with 25% of the female population. But after all my experience, I know better than to think that strong attraction + good sex = happiness.

Which is why I can be attracted to so many people and be the world’s safest husband. It doesn’t occur to me for one second that I’d be happier with anyone other than my wife. That’s what I mean by maturity.

Men who are still driven by the need to get the hot girl literally only see women for their looks. They don’t see women as having value beyond that, so they place a disproportionately high premium on it. Witness the rich men/trophy wife phenomenon. But, as someone crude and wise once said to me, “See that hot woman over there? Some guy is getting sick of fucking her right now.” Which is precisely my point. Since most of life and marriage is not about sex and attraction, it seems short-sighted to place the highest value on sex and attraction. If a random guy asked me for blanket dating advice, I’d tell him to look for two qualities first: happy and sane. Brilliant is a bonus. Hot is a bonus. Because if you are with someone who is unhappy and unreasonable when dealing with conflict, you’re never going to have a great marriage — no matter how rich and attractive the both of you are.

Thanks for the thought-provoking question. If you liked my answer, please share it with a friend, and issue your comments below.

  

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Yet Another Guy

    “If a random guy asked me for blanket dating advice, I’d tell him to look for two qualities first: happy and sane”

    😀   A guy cannot argue with the sane part.

    1. 1.1
      RustyLH

      Well, that helps out the men, but this is about women understanding what men find attractive. The problem here, is that I don’t think women really want to know. And, if they find out, they can be resentful. The truth is not always easy to hear.

      The other thing is that it is true that not all men find the same things attractive. But this does not mean that everything is attractive.

      More often than not, it goes something like this.
      95% of men prefer long hair
      5% of men prefer short hair

      95% of men prefer skirts
      5% of men prefer pants

      Then you have things like tattoos. I talk to a lot of men about this…most don’t like them on women, but this seems to be a fad that isn’t going away anytime soon. Most guys will not be honest about this, as a result, because they fear that if you do have one, and they are honest that they don’t like them, then you won’t like him. A good clue, if you do have them, is if asked, he will say that yours are OK, but in some manner, he will try to hint that you shouldn’t get anymore…or don’t overdo it.

      If you have a lot of tattoos, or have those sleeve tattoos, etc…you are literally cutting out many men, who might otherwise be a great fit for you…but they won’t consider you for long term, because they don’t want to look at those tattoos for the rest of their life. Personally, I find most tattoos on a girl to be ugly. A tiny tattoo in a place that is normally hidden, even at the beach, is OK, but most of them, I could do without. The majority of men I have talked to, feel the same way..even the younger guys. Here’s a clue…most of young guys don’t have any tattoos. Truth is, even on the University campus, I see way more girls with a tattoo, than guys. Women follow the crowd more so than men. It’s almost like an obligatory thing with so many women. Well ladies…most men really don’t like them. Odds are, a new guy you start dating, who likes you, also wishes you didn’t have that tattoo(s). A good rule of thumb for you to go by, is if he has no tattoos, he wishes you didn’t also. If he has one small one, he is likely OK with that, and not much more. If he is covered in tattoos, he will be more likely to be attracted to a woman who has a lot of tattoos…but even that isn’t 100%. I have met guys with a lot of tattoos, who don’t actually prefer them on women.

      Style? You can test this out. Try dressing in different styles. Gauge his responses to them. If you dress up in a pant suit, to go out, does he respond? What if the next week, you are going out, and this time, you look like a 1940s glamor girl, in an evening gown? Think Jessica Rabbit…with the lush flowing hair style, red lips, and a dress that is sexy and feminine? No woman has her cartoon curves, but they can mimic her style, and I think women would be surprised how much men respond to that style.

      And what about personality? You will find that most men…manly men, aren’t going to respond to chest thumping feminism. Save that for your marches. Keep in mind the Stevie Nicks song…she says, “Give to me your leather, I’ll give to you my lace.” Men do like strength and confidence in a woman…mostly because that instills in him a confidence that she won’t fall on her back for another guy…but they want to see it in a very delicate, feminine package. I don’t know a single manly man, who likes manly women. I think that horse has been beat to a bloody pulp on this forum.

  2. 2
    Emily, to

    “Now, I STILL find plenty of women physically appealing, and in an alternate universe where I was single, would gladly have NSA sex with 25% of the female population.”
    This is something that women will never understand because the percentage of random, strange men they see as they go about their day week (not day) who they find appealing and actually take note of is so much lower. 5% ? Maybe. When the universe lines everything up right.

  3. 3
    No Name To Give

    Well I’m plain and average at best, so I’m out.

  4. 4
    Aalyiah D

    This is not really related to the article but kinda sorta-

    I was reading an old article with Josh Brolin. He explained that the reason he divorced Diane Lane was because he was tired of the “hero” role he was playing in the marriage. He said he married his current wife because “she doesn’t need me.”

    So, my question is men like to be needed and they find that attractive, but I’m guessing there’s a fine line to neediness?

    1. 4.1
      Adrian

      Hi Aalyiah D

      I would say that men want to feel desired instead of needed. I think this is due to the fact that they are required to put in the majority of the effort in the beginning stages of the relationship through courting while women are taught to mirror his actions which to me is passive signs that she likes him.

      Anyone man or woman wants to know that someone is appreciating their efforts not in a emotionally unhealthy needy sort of way.

    2. 4.2
      RustyLH

      “So, my question is men like to be needed and they find that attractive, but I’m guessing there’s a fine line to neediness?”

      Yes. You nailed it right there. I guess you could look at it like this…most women I know, like a man who appears to be confident…and who takes charge at times…but if he takes this to an extreme, he would instead appear to be overtly cocky, and controlling.

      Keep in mind, also, that this would vary from man to man. Some men will enjoy being needed, more than others. But I do think that a woman who is well tuned into her man, should be able to read his signals. She should be able to see if he is starting to get a little irritated. And, at the same time, while he may enjoy taking the lead in most instances, he will also enjoy the refreshing feeling of her just surprising him out of the blue, and taking him on a date where she has done all the planning, and it’s not just to do something she will enjoy, but also something he will enjoy.

      Also, knowing his primary love language will help. This is overlooked way too much. It in fact, can cause deal breakers. I have seen it in action. For instance, my primary love language is physical touch. A friend had started dating a beautiful girl who was always touching him. Guess what…her primary was also physical touch…so I was wildly attracted to her. And then he was around…without her. So I asked him why? He stated that in a nutshell, she touched too much. He told her that too. My first thought was that he had ruined her. I thought that she will take that info on board, and modify her behavior. Sure, this may help her with the next guy, if touch is not his primary, but what good is that? What if the guy did have touch as his primary, and walked away, without telling her? In other words, she should continue to touch, and the right guy will respond appropriately.

      The reason I say this is because for me, it is a very very very good thing, when the woman takes my arm in her hand, as we are walking, or takes my hand. It does trigger the right emotions, and makes me feel needed. I feel feminine energy coming from her when she does this. Makes me feel like a leader.

      I think people get confused about these kinds of things, because they aren’t tuned into the other person as much as they are tuned into their own needs. While it is OK, and normal to revel in the endorphins you experience, when your needs are being met, you still have to tune into your partner, to gauge whether theirs are being met. Not an easy task. More like a lifelong endeavor.

  5. 5
    Yet Another Guy

    @Emily, to

    “This is something that women will never understand because the percentage of random, strange men they see as they go about their day week (not day) who they find appealing and actually take note of is so much lower.”

    What I have found is that women tend to agree more so than men on what is attractive; however, even then, there is still a bit of debate between women. I would hate going through life only finding 0.5% of the female population attractive. I personally do not get the fascination with Ryan Gosling.

  6. 6
    Noone45

    Eh, I say don’t fuss about what other people find attractive and worry about what you can actually control. Don’t go around looking like Post Malone, but try not to worry so much lol.

  7. 7
    Clare

    Another thought-provoking post, Evan.

    I definitely second the bit about attraction being both objective and subjective. I think people tend to underestimate the subjective part. People will be down on themselves, comparing themselves to someone else and feeling that they are unattractive or not as good looking as this person. What they forget is that we are a world of 7.5 billion widely divergent people. We’re wired to be drawn to each other, and if we’re open to it, drawn we will be. Somewhere there will be someone, or many people, who will find your look appealing.

    I partly wondered whether the OP might also have meant which personality traits do guys find attractive? I’d also be interested in Evan’s take on this question.

    When it comes to attractiveness, it is definitely not just about how a person looks. Sure, most of us have a physical type. Mine is brown hair, brown eyes and sporty/broad shoulders. But the number of more sensitive, blonde haired, blue eyed guys I’ve dated surprises even me. As Evan pointed out, it’s about personal chemistry, and that often has nothing (or little) to do with physical appearance. A person who is charming, flirtatious, a good conversationalist, is able to put people at ease and knows how to compliment them without being creepy will always do well with members of the opposite sex. Someone who is able to make others drop their guard is extremely attractive. A simultaneous feeling of safety and excitement is a powerful combination that can make feel attracted. I think sometimes people forget (or overlook) that it’s not all about looks.

    1. 7.1
      Caroline R

      Good points Clare

  8. 8
    Marika

    YAG said:

     I would hate going through life only finding 0.5% of the female population attractive.

    Where did you get 0.5% from? Your stats are going down!

    I personally do not get the fascination with Ryan Gosling

    Neither do I….

    Please stop trying to speak for women. You often get it wrong.

  9. 9
    Mina Harker

    I’ll echo the idea that while we cannot choose who we find attractive, age and experience offer perspective and the ability to act with much more freedom. I’ll add that this is in no way to be viewed as settling. In this area of life age truly does bring wisdom.

  10. 10
    Lynx

    Clare: When it comes to attractiveness, it is definitely not just about how a person looks. 

    Absolutely. I was in high school/college before online dating, when groups of women had to go to clubs to meet guys. Looks-wise, the women in my group were all in roughly the same league. Without fail, one of us easily got 4X the attention. She was a naturally happy, outgoing, fun-loving person who lived to dance. I easily got the least attention —  a self-conscious, non-flirtatious, wannabe intellectual type who only had fun if I stayed glued to the bar and goaded some poor guy into a sloshy debate.

    Attitude may not be everything, but it’s a lot.

    1. 10.1
      Evan Marc Katz

      This question was about looks, thus my focus on it.

      1. 10.1.1
        RustyLH

        Evan, I agreed with what you said about maturity, but even mature women still care way way more about what family and friends think about their man, than men do. Every women I have been friends with, has raved about their man, talking up his qualities. In other words, if a woman goes on a date with a new guy, and I ask her how it went, she will start talking about all the qualities that matter to women. What he does, where he went to school, etc… But when I ask guys the same question, in the same situations, they will almost always, simply say, “It went well…I like her.” They might throw in a comment about his finding her attractive, or that she was easy to talk to. Those, as we know, point to the two things guys are actually looking for. She is attractive to HIS eyes, and she made him enjoy being around her. Likely, she made him feel good about himself, while he was around her.

        Like it or not…the whole trophy wife thing, is way overblown. Most normal men don’t actually care all that much about what others think about the woman…the only thing that is make it or break it is what he himself thinks about her. Not nearly as true for women. A marriage counselor did tell me once, that especially on the woman’s side…while not always true…family or friends not approving of the union…not approving of the man, usually spells doom for the relationship.

        So the short answer I would have given her is that approval of family/friends, in order to be attracted to a mate, is more a female thing, so if he is not into a woman, it is very likely that it has little to nothing to do with what his family/friends think of her.

    2. 10.2
      K

      LOL Lynx! I know we all complain about online dating, but I actually prefer my odds there than the old clubs ways. I’m also great one on one, but not the super flirty/obvious/tons of smiles way that was more popular in bars/clubs when I was younger. My more toned down personality with a lot of snark tends to do better when I’m not in a big crowd.

  11. 11
    Michelle Williams

     

     

     

     

     

    Things my boyfriend finds attractive in a woman:

    40 or older (he’s 39, and often says “I just can’t stand ‘girls.’)

    Strong muscular legs and butt

    Mental and physical toughness

    Financial nous (so he doesn’t have to worry about bills paid on time etc)

    Appreciating and reciprocating his bizarre, childlike humor

    Following through and committing to plans

    So: everyone’s preferences are a random mixed bag, and some come with life experience.

    1. 11.1
      Mike

      Michelle Williams #11 I don’t think what your boyfriend likes is that uncommon at all, frankly. And it makes sense–from an evolution standpoint, a woman who has strength of her own, and yet is feminine–definitely gives her offspring a great chance of surviving.

      At my CrossFit box I see this all the time. Show me a woman who can outlift most of the guys there–and I will show you a woman who tends to have no problem having guys interested in her.

  12. 12
    Lynx

    My high school/college self would submit a rebuttal. My current-day, more appealing self says: “True”.

  13. 13
    Emily, to

    YAG,

    What I have found is that women tend to agree more so than men on what is attractive; however, even then, there is still a bit of debate between women. I would hate going through life only finding 0.5% of the female population attractive.

    While I’m assuming the 0.5% is a bit of an exaggeration, there’s something to be said for being a bit picky. A man valuing/searching for a sane woman, as you posted, is the equivalent of a woman valuing/searching for a picky man. If he finds a large swath of the female population appealing, his compliments/attraction to her plummet in value. Also, it’s not all about appearance for women. I remember being in a Denny’s with a friend and our waiter approached the table. Nice-looking guy but not handsome and I really didn’t notice him until he took our order and interacted with us a bit. Unassuming, low key, but he had “that thing.” I turned to my friend after he walked away and I said, “Is it just me or is our waiter sexy as shit?” She immediately agreed.

    I personally do not get the fascination with Ryan Gosling.

    Me, neither. A perfect example of an attractive, in-shape guy who lacks sex appeal.

    1. 13.1
      Mousteria

      ”While I’m assuming the 0.5% is a bit of an exaggeration, there’s something to be said for being a bit picky. A man valuing/searching for a sane woman, as you posted, is the equivalent of a woman valuing/searching for a picky man. If he finds a large swath of the female population appealing, his compliments/attraction to her plummet in value. ”

      I haven’t experienced that. The college I first attended 10 years ago was 90% female, with the leftover 10% being male. I would have sex with 90% of them had they have approached me with the intent of having casual sex with me.

      Most of them were conventionally attractive, but I was still very much attracted to my college ex-girlfriends because altough they looked pretty much like every other pretty, slim, young woman in that college, they were the one to approach me, hit on me/flirt with me first, ask me out, and initiate intimate contact for the very first time.

      I find that to be very hot. Women who are self-assured and not afraid of rejection, like many physically attractive women strangely enough to me, are.

      ”Also, it’s not all about appearance for women. I remember being in a Denny’s with a friend and our waiter approached the table. Nice-looking guy but not handsome and I really didn’t notice him until he took our order and interacted with us a bit. ”

      Technically speaking, it is, all about apperance. At least when it concerns hookups and one-night stands with women.

      I remember being in a nightclub with a group of friends. A Calvin Klein model, an abercrombie model, an Armani model, and 2 famous professional soccer players. A group of young women was suspisciously getting closer and closer to my group of friends ending up eventually with a very pretty 4’10” 80-95lbs young woman approaching me.

      Notice that I wasn’t approached by the 5’10” 5’11” underwear fashion models she was friends with. Those women approached my friends; the men whose aesthetics went far above my own.

      People mate assortively. Economically and where it concerns someone’s level of personal attractiveness. There are cases of women hooking up and even marrying men who are far less attractive than they are, but it’s usually a business transaction affair they have going on(Trump’s wife, George Clooney’s wife, The President of Brazil wife etc).

      ” personally do not get the fascination with Ryan Gosling.

      Me, neither. A perfect example of an attractive, in-shape guy who lacks sex appeal.”

      He has an amazing body, tho. And lots and lots of women would be attracted to him by his looks alone, if he does lack sex appeal to many women.

  14. 14
    sylvana

    Emily,

    you’re being generous…lol So true, though.

    On the other hand, I can actually understand how men would find 25% of the female population (or more) either hot or beautiful. There are tons of those women out there. In a single trip to the grocery store, I will probably encounter at least two or three.

    We might not be able to relate to it, but I’d say most of us can understand it.

  15. 15
    sylvana

    YAG,

    Really? Because I think that women, especially, are all over the place when it comes to what they find attractive. I think men are a lot more predictable.

    Just think about the huge differences between a pretty boy and the lumberjack-type guy. You’ll find women leaning both ways, depending on what their type is. You don’t see that much division in men. There are way more women who like more feminine looking men than men who like more masculine looking women.

    And there are very few men who manage to appeal to women on both ends of the spectrum.

    1. 15.1
      Mousteria

      ”Really? Because I think that women, especially, are all over the place when it comes to what they find attractive. I think men are a lot more predictable. ”

      I would say what women find to be attractive is related more intimately with her age than with a variety of tastes in men being present in women.

      An example would be Leonardo DiCaprio circa 1997. I’d venture to say that many if not most of the young women inquired about Leo’s attractiveness would say that yes, he’s so hot, but if you were to go out and ask women aged 18-25 if 45 leonardo Dicaprio is attractive- they’d say noooo lol.

      Hence why Dicaprio relies on his massive wealth and fame to sleep and date lingerie models who are no older than 25.

      ”’There are way more women who like more feminine looking men than men who like more masculine looking women. ”

      I haven’t experienced that. Not saying that it doesn’t happen, but personally I’ve never experienced that. When I was 15-22 years old I was prettier, as a man, than a young keira knightley was, and although I got attention from women, they rarely if ever outright approached me in a sexual manner. It was only after I entered my mid-20s and my shoulders wiended considerably, my high cheekbones became even higher and my jawline went from triangle-shaped to square-jawed did I start to get considerably more positive attention from women(women who approach me in a sexual manner).

      But again, that’s just my experience.

      ”And there are very few men who manage to appeal to women on both ends of the spectrum.”

      And that’s why 30 years after fight club, Brad Pitt is still considered to be the most attractive man in the world.

  16. 16
    sylvana

    Emily,

    I totally agree. Sex appeal in men is completely unrelated to looks.

  17. 17
    Marika

    Emm-o

    I could be wrong, or misinterpreting your meaning, but (assuming you weren’t keen to open yet again the women-find -hardly- any -men attractive floodgates), weren’t you saying that as a woman it’s hard to imagine walking around day in day out thinking about wanting to sleep with 25% of the population? We certainly believe guys that they think about sex a lot and think about attraction a lot and like to look at women and porn a lot etc. But it’s hard to imagine it. For us, unless we’re specifically in the zone (online dating, watching Magic Mike, out at a bar with a group of bachelorettes or a really hot guy walks past), this stuff isn’t front of mind in the same way. For the average woman. I thought you were commenting on that.

    But maybe I misunderstood.

  18. 18
    S.

    @ Emily, to

    Me, neither. A perfect example of an attractive, in-shape guy who lacks sex appeal.

    I don’t think he’s attractive. Too skinny.  He doesn’t look like he could pick me up. LOL. I don’t even like being picked up, but I like the idea that a man could if he had to.

    So yeah, I don’t get what’s attractive about him.  He seems average at best to me.  But maybe he has something in person we can’t sense.  You never know.

  19. 19
    Shaukat

    @Emily,

    “If he finds a large swath of the female population appealing, his compliments/attraction to her plummet in value”

    Most men do find a large swath of the female population attractive enough to sleep with, at least 40% I’d say. You’d have no way of knowing who he’s paid complimemts to im the past/present.

  20. 20
    Noquay

    Folks, I think the .5% was a result of the period of her previous sentence being close to the 5 starting the next one. So 5%, which I’d say, from my experience, is about right. The only men who have been strongly attracted to me are older and intellectual and active. I’ve never had much use for television, pop culture, etc and all attempts to date outside “type” were disasters. BTW, who is this Gosling dude anyway?

    What surprised me was that “healthy” or “in shape” wasn’t high on the list but that could be because, with America’s obesity epidemic, there are few healthy potential partners available, especially as one ages. Also most folk do not yet realize the astronomical emotional and financial cost of obesity related illnesses. Even here, in ostensibly the thinnest state in the nation, few men in my age range (50s to 70s) are at a healthy weight yet some want thin partners and get angry when they cannot get them. I am a strong proponent of “be the person you want to date”, hence my own 5% attraction level. It’s very true that one cannot force oneself to be attracted to someone you are not. The person you are trying to force yourself to be attracted to is a feeling human being; not fair to either party.

    1. 20.1
      Noone45

      Noquay, It may be that the “healthy” bit is something they are attracted to without saying. Men tend to put healthy and thin together (that’s not to say all of them do, but it seems to be enough to make a generalization). Perhaps it’s superfluous for them to make a distinction as it goes together in their view? I’d have to agree with the rest of your take though. I’ve lost quite bit of weight, so much so that I can notice distinct difference in how people treat me. It’s disconcerting, but predictable.

    2. 20.2
      Mousteria

      ”What surprised me was that “healthy” or “in shape” wasn’t high on the list but that could be because, with America’s obesity epidemic, there are few healthy potential partners available, especially as one ages. ”

      Well, that’s relatively easy to solve. I was living in Los Angeles at the age of 18, not yet college-bound, but already weary of incurring in massive college debt. I was also a little bit annoyed at paying thousands of dollars a month for a 1bedroom apt, so what I did was to move to Europe, traveling around until I found a place I was really attracted to, which I did.

      College was so cheap it was basically free, rent for a beach house was hilariously low, and most of the people were at 90lbs to 160lbs(the heaviest being the men). Even the people who are middle-aged and fast approaching their elderly years are slim-looking, with lots and lots of older men taking their health seriously. I’ve come across quite a lot of men in their 50s and even 70s whose body ressembles quite a fair deal the body of professional soccer players.

      So, the advice I give to my friends who are still in America or Canada, and want to increase their chances to land a slim-bodied partner is to either move to LA and end up paying a fortune a month just to not end up homeless, or to find themselves an European Country they can see themselves living in and just going out to meet women(and men).

      1. 20.2.1
        Noquay

        Mousteria
        Wow! The reply button works again! I spent time in Finland and the only obese folk I saw were an American couple. Would hate to leave my ancestral home land (I’m Native) but I often think of Scandinavia or Canada (still part of turtle island) as places where I’d do well. More literate places yet would be able to be in the woods (I’m a biologist/ecologist). Having spent tens of thousands of dollars supporting a parent who slowly died of basically a poor lifestyle (obesity/alcoholism) I’m not willing nor can afford to do that ever again. Those of us who work hard to stay healthy, are highly active, eat a healthy diet don’t mesh well with those who do not or cannot do those things. One group isn’t better or worse than the other, we are just too different to be compatible. As an earlier poster mentioned, mating is mainly assortative, we do best with folk that are socioeconomically, educationally, and lifestyle similar to ourselves. The problem is that folk with compatible lives are becoming more and more rare as I age and one cannot force oneself to live a live that is incompatible with ones basic values.

        1. Yet Another Guy

          @Noquay

          If one tracks the rise of in women in the workforce with the rise in obesity, one will see that there is a direct correlation, starting in the 1970s. What occurred was the shift from meals that started mostly as whole foods to the heavy use of processed foodstuffs and the consumption of fast food (anyone over the age of 40 should be able to see the difference in how his/her grandparents ate versus his/her parents). Starting with whole foods is more time and labor intensive than using processed food stuffs. Time and the energy necessary to prepare healthy meals after a hard day’s work and shuttling over-scheduled children around is something that most two-income families lack. Combine this shift in dietary habits with the war on fat in foods that started in the eighties and we have a recipe for obesity because fat is replaced with high fructose corn sugar often than not. Fat curbs one’s appetite whereas sugar spikes one’s insulin level, resulting in fat storage and increased hunger. We also should not forget the heavy use of antibiotics and hormones in modern livestock and poultry production as well as food sources that a not natural food sources for animals such as corn. Subsidized corn production made feed-lot operations possible. EU countries do not allow farming operations to use hormones and antibiotics are being phased out.

          The current standard American diet (SAD) absolutely leads to obesity and disease, but it is so pervasive in American society that avoiding it takes a lot of effort (even the American Diabetes Association pushes a modified form of the SAD). I recently converted my girlfriend over to a mostly whole foods, plant-based, low animal products, flexitarian diet because it was either that or break up. I was gaining weight and did not feel healthy after spending long weekends with her. The first time I made a green smoothie for her was a light bulb moment. It took patience to get her to understand that replacing meat with carbohydrate was a mistake that most people make when they adopt a more plant-based diet, even if the carbohydrate source is complex carbohydrates. I got her making more bean and legume-based dishes as well as mixing beans and legumes with grains to make complete protein sources. For example, hummus with whole wheat pita bread is a complete protein source (hummus is very easy to make, even when making tahini from scratch), so are farro salad with white beans and lentils with brown rice. Avocado is a good source of healthy monosaturated fat. In fact, an avocado is more than 75% healthy fat. Ripe avocados are great in green smoothies.

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