The University of British Columbia (that is in the great white north), did a study of just over 1000 people divided evenly between men and women of all ages, and uncovered a few behavioral surprises. (American Psychological Association Journal "Emotion")
The study had the people view pictures of the opposite sex where the pictures showed people displaying demeanor's of shame, happiness, pride or a more neutral expression. They then rated the attractiveness of each from one to nine.
All women tended to prefer proud, successful looking men, and younger women also rated shameful and brooding men very highly. For some reason, all age groups were not that attracted to pictures of men who were happy.
Likely women are attracted to successful looking guys because of the security that they represent. It would seem that women are looking for a good provider. Bad Boys, on the other hand, with their brooding expressions likely attract females because they think that they can fix them and make them wholesome and happy (hmm -- at which point they would likely have to dump them because women are not that attracted to happy guys – then the guy would be unhappy and brooding again, so some other woman can take a turn at bat).
Because we are creatures of millions of years of evolution with just a couple of thousand years of social skills layered on, women are instinctively attracted to good hunters (successful men) who can keep them and their children fed. Bad ass dudes would be able to provide them protection.
Men dig fun happy women and find proud ladies a turn off. The happiness makes sense, because most guys put up with crap on the job all day and just do not want to face it at night as well.
Women with a shameful expression were also somewhat attractive to men. The shame thing might just be a hint that you have a bit of bad girl in you so they are curious to see just how bad you are.
Using our cave man analogy again, what cave man in his right mind would want to come home from a hard day hunting animals and find that the wife had already cooked a meal from a rabbit she killed with a stone and roots she had already dug up – makes him look second rate after all.
So what can we derive from this study:
1) For Guys, you want to come across as confident and successful (the pro sports player, or successful entrepreneur). If you cannot pull that off, and you are after a younger woman, then try for a brooding James Dean / early Marlon Brando sort of look. In fact, if you can pull off the successful yet brooding and thoughtful man look, you will have females licking at your feet. For both of these looks, to hold onto them past the initial attraction, you do not kowtow to women. In fact, you will likely get your best traction by refusing to dote on them. Treating them like one of the guys is a better approach than treating them like princesses.
2) For Women, you want to be seen as happy go lucky, never complain, and never put your man down.
For other relationship advice see: