While there are plenty of things that matter more than appearance, especially when it comes to having a successful long-term relationship. However, there’s no use denying that physical attractiveness plays a big role in our romantic connections. In fact, according to a recent study from the University of Florida, it’s paramount to women’s happiness, just not in the way you’d expect.
Women are happier with less attractive men. That’s the major takeaway from a study of 113 heterosexual married couples in their late twenties. When the woman is more attractive than the man, the relationship is way more likely to be successful long-term.
Less attractive men treat you better, apparently. Researchers found that men who were less attractive tended to treat their female partners a lot better, compensating for their lack of good looks with more thoughtful acts of kindness like helping out with chores, giving their spouses gifts, etc. Because the women in the relationships felt more loved and appreciated, the relationship was happier. “The husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt that they were getting a pretty good deal,” the study read.
The same wasn’t true in reverse. Having a less attractive husband bodes well for the relationship, but when the tables were turned and the men were more attractive than their wives, things got a whole lot worse. The women apparently felt much more pressured to be as hot as their spouses and often became obsessed with dieting and exercise. “The results reveal that having a physically attractive husband may have negative consequences for wives, especially if those wives are not particularly attractive. The research suggests there might be social factors playing a role in women’s disordered eating,” explained study co-author Tania Reynolds.
The study’s methods were a little subjective, however. The was conducted with a combination of user-reported data as well as the researchers’ own assessments of the participants’ attractiveness, which raises some questions. First of all, why does FSU and the Southern Methodist University get to decide who’s hot or who’s not? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. Because of this, we might have to take the results with a grain of salt.
The takeaway? Date an average-looking guy, I suppose! It’s pretty common knowledge that hot guys can be total a-holes, but this study seems to co-sign that theory (or at least the theory that you won’t be happy with one). In the end, go for someone who makes you laugh, treats you well, and who you feel comfortable with… and maybe someone a little less attractive than you.
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