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How important is good looks when choosing a partner?

Am i pretty enough Am i attractive enough How important is appearance when choosing a partner?

The influence of the visual attractiveness on the choice of partner has been proven. For entering into a partnership and the stability of a relationship, however, other factors are considerably more important than appearance - yet numerous studies have shown that “the eye eats too”.

 

How important is good looks when choosing a partner? - Article content:

 

What is "good looks" anyway?

Before the following is about the importance of your own appearance when choosing a partner, you should first make a fundamental distinction between attractiveness and good looks to be hit:

attractiveness (derived from Latin attractive. Means "Pull in, put on") means the total attraction:

  • This is the umbrella term for external properties (beauty)
  • and Characteristics (character, personality, charisma, social characteristics such as status, etc.).

 
If in the following from good looks the question is, that is how it relates solely on the physical appearance. So it's about the optics / what is perceptible to the eye from the outside.

Accordingly, attractiveness is the much broader umbrella term that includes much more than “just” good looks.

 

Good looks are subjective ...

Good looks and attractiveness are in the eye of the beholder - that's what they say.

Of course, the aesthetic sensation is very individual. What as "Well", "beautiful" and "attractive" applies, everyone decides for themselves.

The perception of beauty is not only individually different, but is also subject to societal and social change.

For example, it used to be "beautiful"to be chalk white and chubby. This enabled you to show that you neither have to work in the field (i.e. have a higher status) nor gnaw on the hunger cloth (because you clearly had enough to eat).

Today most people would be more likely to have tanned bodies ("Look, I have money for vacations and also the time for it") and sportiness ("I take care of myself, know something about nutrition and am also ambitious") as an ideal of beauty.

Everyone has a different prey scheme and individual taste. So good looks are subjective and changeable. Or are there external factors that most people equally consider "attractive" would classify?

 

... or can it be measured objectively?

While the first attractiveness researchers assumed that beauty "From his or her view" lying, the research carried out in the 1980s brought the realization that different people are quite similar in their judgments of beauty.

In fact, current attractiveness research suggests that our attractiveness judgment is only about half subjective. In the other half, we agree with other people.

 
Even if women and men jointly judge the same women or the same men, the judgments largely agree here too. This means that a physically attractive woman is judged to be almost equally attractive by a man as by a woman. The same goes for the physical attractiveness of men.

In other words: If a woman is attractive / pretty / sexy, this is not only perceived by men. Other women judge this in the same way as men.

And even if test subjects of different age groups were asked to rate people on the basis of their physical attractiveness, they came to roughly the same results.

So there seems to be a general consensus on what looking good means.

The findings on objectivity increasingly focused on the question of which features distinguish attractive faces or bodies. And above all, how important beauty is for a partnership.

Now to the exciting questions: Which external features make it attractive? And how important is attractiveness in a relationship?

 


Trying to make good looks measurable

The preoccupation with the ideal of beauty and the phenomenon of attraction to other people goes back to ancient Greece in European culture. People have always wanted to know what exactly they find attractive.

What can today's science and above all attractiveness research tell us when it comes to looking good when choosing a partner?

 

Averages

In many studies it has been shown that people find faces more appealing when they are compiled on the computer by morphing several faces into an average face. Such average faces are judged to be attractive by many viewers.

However, this could also be due to the fact that the superimposition of several faces makes the skin appear particularly smooth and flawless. To what extent an “average face” can even be recognized in practice remains questionable.

In addition, due to the trend towards individualization, there is an effort to deliberately deviate from the norm. Therefore, sometimes striking faces appear interesting and "edgy".

 

symmetry

It has also been shown time and again that, at least in experiments, symmetrical faces are preferred to asymmetrical ones.

Asymmetries in a face indicate that there may be genetic or health problems that are detrimental to reproductive fitness.

So this means that a symmetrical face is not automatically attractive. It's just plain inconspicuous. However, an asymmetrical face is more likely to be perceived as unattractive.

In evolutionary psychology, the absence of deviations makes just as much sense as healthy-looking skin. Because this could be interpreted as an indication that the person is healthy. Attractive faces reflect health, strength and reproductive fitness. Which is also the reason that these may be preferred when choosing a partner.

 
This biological “sense” of beauty, namely to indicate health and fertility, is also known as the “good gene hypothesis”. Assuming that at least biological partnerships are formed with the aim of reproducing, this seems very plausible.

However, there are also examples that minor blemishes can make you very sexy. Just think of Cindy Crawford's mole, for example, or Bradley Cooper's ears of different sizes.

 

similarity

There is also empirical evidence that we find people who are similar to us attractive.

Matching describes the similarity in the physical attractiveness of partners. Studies have shown that on average there is a positive correlation between the physical attractiveness of couples.

This means that beautiful people are more likely to have beautiful partners. Less beautiful people, on the other hand, also tend to have less beautiful partners.

In reality, unequal external attractiveness is often compensated for by other factors, such as economic success or social status.

The degree of similarity between partners also proves to be an indicator of the stability of the relationship.

It is already known from other studies that similarity has a fundamental influence on the perceived sympathy. This also supports the thesis that similarly attractive people enter into relationships more often and last longer.

Mental attractiveness, like many other characteristics in the population, is normally distributed. This means that the vast majority are neither particularly unattractive nor particularly pretty. Under the premise of similarity, "normal" looking singles have the largest selection.

 

Good looks outside of partnerships

There are studies outside of romantic relationships that suggest that looking good is beneficial.

Attractive people earn more money on average and even get lighter sentences in court. In addition, beautiful people have better chances of employment than less attractive applicants because they are perceived to be more competent.

On the one hand, what is hidden behind this is the so-called Halo effect, which was observed as early as 1907 by the psychologist Wells. This effect describes the phenomenon that from known characteristics of a person one draws conclusions about unknown characteristics. For example, polite people are seen as particularly capable of working in a team. Or just pretty people for more intelligent people.

And on the other hand there is one "Stereotype of attractiveness", which was already described in the 70s by the social psychologists Dion and Berscheid. This stereotype says that we automatically attribute more positive character traits to attractive people. Apparently people tend to mix aesthetic (“beautiful”) with ethical (“good”) categories. Of course, all of this happens unconsciously.

So far so good.

 

Does this mean that looking good promotes partner search?

There are actually studies, for example in a speed dating setting, that show that visually attractive people are actually more successful here.

This is also quite logical: in a short period of time, we base our judgment on the information that is available. If we only see someone for a few seconds or look at a photo, the visual appearance is the only basis. The appearance therefore takes a disproportionate part in our assessment of the overall attractiveness.

In the course of time, for example in the interaction, we receive more and more information on which we can base our judgment. For example, the way you move. Language. Choice of words. Tonality. Charisma. And character traits gradually become "visible". The physical appearance is becoming less and less important when assessing attractiveness.

When looking for a partner, this means that the look is of course important - at first - but then becomes less and less important.

However, you shouldn't worry too much about food supplements, beauty products or cosmetic surgery. Because in addition to the ones just mentioned, there are many other factors that influence your attractiveness. You will find a (incomplete) list below.

 

Good looks are just one of many factors in attractiveness!

Of course, a beautiful man's body or a beautiful woman's body goes down well with the other (or the same) sex. And when there is an appealing face on this attractive body, the first impression is already mastered.

So people with good looks have a (small) head start when looking for a partner. Handsome men or women, on average, enjoy a little more benevolence.

However, attractiveness or charisma and charisma is also possible without looking excessively good.

 

The basics

Just for the sake of completeness: a good appearance is not a must for a successful partner search. Well-groomed appearance, however!

Of course you should be well-groomed. And try not to give anyone a feeling of disgust or the like through your presence.

You should treat your body well for self-interest and health reasons alone!

This includes, for example, a healthy diet, regular exercise, sufficiently restful sleep (click here for my blog article on the subject of "good sleep") and also the odd sunbath. In addition to the tan, which also makes you look a little more attractive, vitamin D is very important and the only vitamin that is not primarily supplied through diet, but rather through the sun.

All of these are good for your body, health, and satisfaction. And ensures a release of so-called "happiness hormones" (dopamine, serotonin, noradrenaline, endorphins and oxytocin). This automatically makes you healthier, radiates it and makes you look more attractive.

So if we assume that this minimum has been met, there are many other adjusting screws that have a positive influence on your attractiveness.

I don't want to come up with something trite like “counting inner values”. But think about the following points! There are many important factors that, in addition to looking good, influence your attractiveness in relationships.

 

Positivity

You have probably already experienced this before: You get to know someone who may not look like your prey scheme, but still exerts a certain attraction on you.

Often this is due to a certain energy or aura that this person exudes. As you can read in the article on How To Get More Popular, people are drawn to positivity.

A generally positive attitude, fun and laughter are natural drugs and very attractive. This applies equally to humor and gratitude.

So be grateful for the experience you have already been able to gain! Have fun in life and in your interactions! And potential partners will almost automatically be drawn to you.

If you still have some support in establishing a positive attitude, take a look at my article Learning Optimism and Enjoying Life!

You can also underline your positivity and attractiveness through sensible use of your body language. You can also find a helpful blog article here on the subject of non-verbal communication.

 

presence

You don't have to say or do anything special to be attractive. It is enough if you are there.

And by “being there” I don't mean being physically present, but fully there. With all your attention!

Clear. With full awareness. At the moment. Just a present.

Take a look at works like Jetzt! The power of the present (Amazon Link) by Eckhart Tolle. Then you will understand better what I mean by that.

If you are present and feel good, then your counterpart will also feel it, because you radiate a much more intense energy. And through so-called mirror neurons (a resonance system in our brain) your counterpart even feels what you are feeling.

 

Self-sufficiency

You are enough!

If you have internalized this, you appear much more attractive.

Assume in advance that others will find you attractive. Because you find yourself attractive. No matter how you are.

That is a very powerful mindset. And has a great, attractive charisma!

Before you get to know other people, make it clear to yourself that they will be impressed by you and cannot help but find you attractive. Just because you are human. And therefore automatically valuable and lovable.

Don't even try to impress others! You only need to impress others when you value them more than you value yourself.

Find happiness in yourself and be enough for yourself! This is very attractive when looking for a partner.

 

Self-esteem / self-esteem

Real self-esteem comes from within and does not rely on external factors.

To be self-aware means to be aware of yourself. For example, based on a clear identity, a strong value system or your own goals.

Knowing who you are and what defines you is also very attractive to other people and is helpful when looking for a partner.

By definition, you do not need to base your self-awareness on the outside.

Many derive their self-esteem from their well-trained body, expensive clothing or other status symbols. By definition of the Selfesteem not work!

For example, it is widespread among men to try to define themselves through status, money or mountains of muscles.

For example, I see a lot of men in the gym who have such poor self-esteem that they poison their own bodies with growth hormones or steroids and look completely blocked. Just because they think it's attractive. For the trained observer, this almost screams for the need to snatch recognition from the outside, which unfortunately is completely missing inside.

It is the same with the attempt to earn a lot of money and thereby prove one's "worth" or with similarly reactive behaviors.

There is nothing wrong with having a trained body or trying to make a lot of money. If you do this for yourself and enjoy it!

But trying to achieve it for a boost in self-confidence or recognition from the outside doesn't make you happy. In this case, you are chasing false ideals and trying to meet other people's demands.

Do the things you love for yourself! A lack of success with the opposite sex is almost certainly due to your inner workings.And not about not being visually attractive enough or not having enough!

Having clarity and integrity as well as your own value system are very attractive qualities when choosing a partner - for men and women.

 

Other properties

There are a number of other factors that influence your attractiveness when choosing a partner.

Intelligence and education, for example, are known to make you sexy. Reading a good book every now and then will get you a lot further than making a pilgrimage to the gym six times a week.

Other virtues such as loyalty, honesty, loyalty, etc. are also very popular.

So you see, good looks are just one of very, very many factors in attractiveness. However, there tends to be too much emphasis on their own appearance.

 


Differences between men and women

In contrast to men, who tend to pay more attention to external appearances and decide immediately whether they find a woman attractive or not, women tend to pay more attention to indications in a man's behavior as to whether he has the desired qualities.

In fact, research on attractiveness suggests that women are more willing to compromise on the factor of visual attractiveness in favor of other qualities, in particular social status and some character traits.

Men, on the other hand, are guided to a much greater extent by visual criteria when choosing a partner.

This also makes sense in terms of evolutionary psychology, because men perceive good looks and youthfulness - as already described above - as signs of health and fertility.

From the woman's point of view, it is more important that the man is a protector and provider in order to secure the offspring. This is why characteristics such as dominance, decisiveness and leadership qualities in men are attractive to women.

 
The archaic idea that the strong man protects the weak woman remains effective in the choice of partner despite emancipation and gender equality.

 

How important is appearance when choosing a partner? The bottom line

It is easier to blame bad results when looking for a partner on dissatisfaction with your own appearance than to work hard on your own character traits.

This is why advertising works so well:

  • "Buy this deodorant and you will act like James Bond on women!"
  • Or: "With this cream you look 10 years younger."

 
The business with consumer dissatisfaction is a billion-dollar market in Germany. In 2015, German retail sales of beauty products amounted to around 13.4 billion euros.

When you actually ask yourself questions about your own attractiveness and think about it "I don't get the woman / the man, I don't look good enough ..." then consider:

Looking good when looking for a partner is important, but only one factor in the attractiveness of many!

Much more important than looking good is to be in harmony with you and your masculinity or your femininity. There are also two very readable books, one for each gender, which I warmly recommend to you:

 
Good looks should therefore not be overrated. However, you should make the best of yourself and be well-groomed. Just to feel more comfortable in your own skin ... and then to radiate this too!

Be good to yourself and your body! Even if you are young and the destructive effects of lack of exercise, bad eating habits, cigarettes and alcohol are not yet visible, sooner or later they will take their toll!

Looking good is like high jump for relationships. The bar is somewhere a meter (neat look). Whether you jump 1.05 meters or 2.34 meters, in both cases you take the hurdle. If you meet certain standards, you will be able to enter into nourishing, trusting relationships - even if you don't look like the advertising is trying to tell you.

If you have internalized this, you will also have to fight less with self-doubts about your appearance and fears of commitment etc.

If you want feedback on your external impact and want to work on being more attractive to the opposite sex, personal coaching is probably best for you. Because here we can look together at what might be perceived as unattractive in your behavior and your effect and optimize facets of your attractiveness such as self-worth, beliefs, behavior and communication.

 
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