Dad Bods Are Way Sexier Than Six-Packs

Can you imagine the hunks of Baywatch running down the beach with imperfect bodies and hairy chests, clutching a full-calorie beer in place of a life preserver? Does that sound hot to you? Because it kind of does to me. The dad bod is the perfect balance between a beer gut and hitting the gym every day. Think Chris Pratt pre-Jurassic World or Leonardo DiCaprio, whose six-pack sunk with the Titanic.

  1. I love food, so my guy needs to love it too. There’s nothing more unattractive to me than a guy who counts calories. Why? Because I like pie. And pizza. And French fries. I don’t need to feel judged when I stop for a hamburger on the way home from a stressful day at work, OK? I love going out to eat and I never skip dessert. I need my boyfriend to love food just as much as I do for the relationship to work. If he’s boiling chicken or disgusted by mayonnaise, we’ll be as compatible as oil and water.
  2. Who wants to cuddle with steel? Not me. Can you imagine snuggling with Jason Momoa? You could actually get physically crushed. It would be like snuggling up next to a boulder. Nope. This doesn’t mean that I want to accidentally get sucked into a roll of fat, but I’d like to be comfortable. Think of it as trying to find the right pillow firmness. You’ll know it’s the one when you sleep with it that first night.
  3. My body isn’t perfect, so why does his have to be? My thighs touch when I’m standing, I have stretch marks and a little extra love around my waist. Regardless, I’ve learned to love my body just the way it is and I’d hope my guy does too. Just like women, guys can have body image issues. Nothing is hotter than confidence on a guy who’s proud of who he is. It’s easy to feel confident when you spend four hours a day at the gym and eat celery sticks dipped in protein powder. Not my scene.
  4. I already know what he’ll look like in 20 years. Literally the same. If he’s sporting the dad bod at 25, you know what he’ll be rocking at 45. You won’t have to watch his body slowly deteriorate with every year of marriage. If all he had going for him was his washboard abs, what will I drool over when they are gone? Hugh Jackman has somehow maintained his six-pack after 45, but I’m convinced that he’s not human.
  5. I want our looks to be balanced. You think it might be fun dating someone hotter than you, but trust me, it’s not. Imagine hearing, “Wow, how did you snag him?” on a regular basis. You want to aim for, “You guys look so good together! You’re going to have the prettiest babies.” I want heads to turn when I walk in a room, but not if they’re only turning for him. I don’t want to worry that I’m not good enough for his bulging muscles.
  6. I don’t need my boyfriend to be more obsessed with his image than I am. If a guy is posting more shirtless selfies than Kim Kardashian, it’s a huge turnoff for me. I’d be more interested in his selfies if he was reading To Kill A Mockingbird while sipping a black coffee.
  7. I want his free time to be spent with me, not his CrossFit cult. We spend eight hours apart during the work day, so is it too much to ask that we have the evenings together? Not only is he at CrossFit after work every day, but he spends more time texting with his gym buddies than he does talking to me… and I’m sitting across from him. We don’t need to spend all of our time together, but I want to feel like a priority over his toned body and fellow meatheads.
  8. I’d rather be intimidated by his intelligence than his looks. Whether he has serious cooking skills, artistic talent, or a brain filled with astrophysics, I like being a little intimidated by my boyfriend. But if his greatest assets center around his ability to get ripped, it’s more likely to make me feel insecure than inspired.
  9. To be clear: Healthy is sexy. Guys, this does not give you the green light to obesity. Just because I want you to be you, doesn’t mean you can let yourself go. I need to know that there are remnants of muscle under that bit of squish that I love to cuddle. I want to hike through the mountains or go for a bike ride… THEN eat pizza and watch Netflix for four hours. Life is a balance and this is the extremely specific balance I’m looking for.
Caitlyn is a freelance writer living in Washington D.C.