You’ve heard of the expression “nice guys finish last.” And if you’re a guy, you may feel that term to be true. “Bad boys” are exciting, right? Being treated like garbage, ignored, but still able to go out to parties and be seen with the most mysterious hot guy there? It’s thrilling to have your heart torn into pieces and thrown into the fire. Right? Wrong.
Forget that overused, utterly long, unfortunate phrase. A new study by scientists for the University of Worcester and the University of Sunderland, both in the United Kingdom, discovered that men who are attentive to the happiness and prosperity of others rather than themselves may be more attractive to women in comparison to men who are just good-looking.
Altruism is the term for when someone acts in a way that is beneficial to others and not themselves. In the new study, the researchers analyzed what happened when two desirable characteristics, physical attractiveness and altruism, were investigated together, and whether women preferred one quality over the other.
In the study, 202 women were shown pictures of 24 men of varying degrees of attractiveness. Alongside the photos were descriptions of the men doing something like saving a child from a river or buying coffee for a homeless person. Other photos were accompanied with rude or unappealing situations, such as the man refusing to help in either of the previous scenarios.
The researchers found that being selfless gave men a better chance with a woman if she was looking for something long term.
In contrast, the new study found that selfish men were seen as more desirable among women who were looking for a fling. Farrelly said he found this result interesting, and he said one possible explanation is that it relates to other characteristics that women prefer in short-term partners. For instance, it might be that if a woman is looking for something short term, her choice of a partner might be one with less socially desirable traits such as narcissism, the researchers said.
If you want a fling, continue on your “bad boy” path, if you’re looking for something a little more serious, try finding someone who thinks of others than themselves..