Has anyone else ever noticed that the majority of arrogant, rude and selfish men are always the ones with the charming smiles, the perfect pick-up lines, and the sexy toned arms?
Your friends tell you that the guy you went home with last night was a total douchebag, but all you remember was how good he smelled. They tell you they saw him make out with two different girls before he found you, spill a drink on a girl walking past without even apologizing and heard him talking about how slutty the girl he took home the night before was. You, of course, are horrified. You couldn’t get past those captivating eyes or that sexy smile. Could you really be that oblivious?
According to a study done in June from the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships called “Show Versus Tell? The Effects of Mating Context on Women’s Memory for a Man’s Physical Features and Verbal Statements,” there is an explanation.
The study states that when women go out wanting short-term partner — someone to casually date or hook up with— they remember his physical features more anything else. However, when they are seeking a long-term partner, the opposite is true.
Researchers gave 125 female participants, all undergraduates, a fictional scenario where they asked the women to determine whether they wanted a man as a short-term partner or a long-term partner. The women were then given a memory test that tested their memory of the man’s physical appearance and verbal statements.
They asked the women to describe the man’s “eyes, nose, eyebrows, shoulders, facial and body hair and body build,” along with “his university, major and minor in school, community, favorite foods, feelings about competition, workout habits, scholarship, mother’s and father’s occupations and family history of heart disease.”
All of the women wanted both attractive and interesting men, but the women who were seeking a short-term partner remembered what he looked like more than anything he said, and the opposite was true for those who wanted a long-term partner.
The study says:
When selecting a long-term partner, women prioritize cues to a man’s status and ambition more so than his physical attractiveness. In a short-term mating context, women’s preferences change somewhat toward the physical features of men, as they become particularly interested in men with attractive faces and bodies.
Basically, a woman’s memory is affected by what type of relationship she is looking for. But what makes certain qualities more or less important when pertained to the type of relationship they want?
For long-term relationships, qualities such as his ability to provide, and his ambition, which are figured out through conversation, are more important. When it comes to something short-term, not so much.
In the context of long-term mating, women appear to have stronger preferences for men who display indicators of high investment/status…
When considering a man as a short-term sexual partner…women are not likely to benefit substantially from a short-term mate’s status and resources, and they understand that casual sex is not likely to lead to a long-term relationship. Instead, they benefit from securing high-quality genes, which can be passed onto their offspring.
When you are seeking out a guy to just casually date or have fun with, it doesn’t matter to you how upstanding he is. Your mind is focused more on the physical attraction and that is what it remembers. There really is an explanation.
“women understand that they are not likely to have a long-term relationship with a casual sex partner, they are more likely than men to engage in casual sex as a means of trying to start a long-term relationship.”
According to the study, appearance is more important for short-term relationships, not the actual substance of the man. Therefore, you can keep hooking up with a total jerk and not even realize it because you aren’t paying attention to his behavior as much as how he looks.
It’s important to know this about our minds and how attraction works based on what we want. Keep this in mind next time you go out so you can go home with a guy who is worth your time instead of a total jerk.