Science Says A Guy’s Smile Affects His Perceived Dateability

I thought that women liked bad boys, but apparently, according to a recent study in Evolutionary Psychology, guys who smile warmer are more desirable for a long-term relationship than those who “brood”.

The study is called, “Cool Guys and Warm Husbands: The Effect of Smiling on Male Facial Attractiveness for Short- and Long-Term Relationships”. The abstract says, “While smiling enhances women’s facial attractiveness, the findings are inconclusive for men. The present study investigated the effect of smiling on male facial attractiveness for short- and long-term prospective partners using East Asian and European samples.”

In the experiment, 71 heterosexual female participants  were shown photos of both men with neutral expressions and men who were flashing their pearly whites. Judging on their facial expressions alone, those who were smiling left an impression suitable for long-term partnership with high ratings of trustworthiness. ‘

On the other hand, men with neutral expressions were seen as more masculine and desirable for casual or short-term partnership. It falls in line with the established academic beliefs that we desire men with good genes in a lustful way due to our brains being wired for reproduction.

However, that’s only for a single night or short-term. For a long-term beau, dependability and approachability are key. Evolutionary psychologists say this appeal is due to our need for security to be with a man who is fit to raise a family with you. The mate choice comes down to “heritable benefit versus paternal investment”.