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The Biggest Lie Dating Coaches Tell You

Physical attractiveness plays a bigger role than you’d like to believe

If you’ve ever scrolled through websites of dating coaches or self-proclaimed “pickup artists”, you’ve probably seen claims that looks don’t matter when it comes to implementing their teachings. Just learn a few quick tricks and you’ll be able to get any woman into bed.

Almost every man dreams about being with a nine or ten, but, since those women are the most pursued, research has suggested that they are the most selective over whom they date. It makes sense; if they’re the most sought after, they might as well look for the complete package. And if you believe existing research, your looks could be a make-or-break factor.

Researchers have studied speed dating as a way to draw conclusions about the characteristics men and women seek in romantic/sexual partners. One study in particular by Eli J. Finkel and Paul W. Eastwick of Northwestern University noted the following:

While women say that they prioritize attractiveness and earning potential equally in prospective partners, they actually end up dating attractive men with relatively little regard for his earning potential. It also found that women and men prioritize a potential partner’s attractiveness almost equally.

That finding destroys two myths: (1) Women don’t care about looks as much as men do, and (2) rich, unattractive men don’t have any problems getting hot women.

The study also said that couples got together more often based on “observable characteristics” including age, attractiveness and height, and less frequently based on “less observable characteristics” including religion, education or desire to have children.

Does that mean if you’re not good looking you don’t have a chance with the most beautiful women? No, but it does mean you need to cultivate other ways to attract women, such as:

Social proof. Take a guy who’s a 10 and a guy who’s a six. If they’re both standing by themselves inside a venue, women will likely seek the attention of the 10. But what if the six had a few women around him? A less attractive man surrounded by women is on a more equal playing field with an attractive man by himself, or in a group of guys.

Another way to trigger attraction without good looks is through pre-selection. Take a guy like actor Benicio Del Toro. He’s dated some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood despite the fact that he looks like the lovechild of George Lopez and Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

You don’t have to be a famous actor to develop a social circle that will give you social proof and pre-selection. Dating coach Adam Lyons used to tell students on his bootcamps the story of the nerdy Comic Con goer who hosted the event’s main afterparty. As host, he pretty much had his choice of women, but only on that one day of the year; he spent the other 364 days being a typical geek who struggled to get a date.

And whatever your situation is, you can probably find a cool angle to build a social circle around.

Here are two more interesting observations from the speed dating study by Finkel and Eastwick:

  • “Female speed daters tend to prefer same race over different race partners more than male speed daters do.”
  • “White participants who endorse political conservatism are more likely than their liberal counterparts to report reduced romantic desire for racial minority romantic partners compared to white romantic partners.”

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About Jordan Murray Jordan is a journalist who has written extensively about dating and lifestyle for multiple publications.

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