Do men prefer AVERAGE women Qualities women believe make them appealing – beauty, youth, confidence, intelligence – are NOT top of men's wish list, says relationship expert TRACEY COX
13:27 GMT, 7 November 2012
Cox is the UK's leading expert and author on sex and relationship
issues. With an academic background in psychology, 14 books on sex,
relationships and body language under her belt as well as a television career
spanning decades, she is more than well equipped to answer your
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Men would rather a girl who made them feel secure and listened to them than the one all the other guys wanted to take away from him, Tracey discovered
TRACEY SAYS: I’m obsessed with Lena Dunham’s character Hannah in HBO’s Girls and, like the rest of the world, a lot of the fascination is with seeing a real girl up there on screen.
Greasy hair, no make-up, general podginess, grubbiness, scruffiness – it sounds off-putting but it’s enchanting.
Hannah is the antithesis of the glossy, glam, skinny girls we’re used to seeing in sit-coms – and she’s one hell of a lot more attractive because of it.
There’s something incredibly appealing about flaws-and-all ‘average’ – and despite society’s perception that they are looks-obsessed, critical creatures, men agree.
They really do like average women best.
Study after study (this piece in Psychology Today has a good, general round up) shows while men pay lip service to being hung up on physical attractiveness, once they interact with a woman in real life, they’re far more swayed by personality than they profess to be.
A speed dating experiment (reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) with 163 university students found ‘spark’ far outweighed looks for men and a subsequent study further confirmed feeling an emotional ‘connection’ won over ‘sexiness’.
I saw evidence first hand at a party last week.
I was with the new boyfriend of a friend of mine, watching her chatting away to friends, looking positively gorgeous.
“How hot is your girlfriend!” I said to him, taking in the slim hips, long thick hair, pert breasts, confident aura.
Antithesis of glam and glossy: Lena Dunham as Hannah Horvath in the HBO show girls, in bed with her 'difficult' on-off lover Adam
She’s a kick-ass lawyer and workaholic but still manages to look amazing. I felt proud of her and sure he was feeling the same.
'I wish everyone would stop telling me how hot she is,' he responded heavily. 'I don’t want to be with the hottest girl in the room. It’s not me. I just wanted the nice girl.'
SEX BY NUMBERS
The average couple alternates between two or three positions, most settling on missionary, woman-on-top and him-from-behind
Further investigation (three more beers and a bit of prodding) and he confessed her ‘hotness’ made him feel insecure. 'I want someone to love me, not feel like every guy in the room is trying to take the person I love away from me.'
Turns out the things women believe make them more appealing to men – good looks, youth, being super confident, intelligent, body perfect – aren’t top of men’s wish list after all.
Having an OK figure that’s curvy, looking ‘nice’, appearing kind, listening, being trustworthy, laughing at his jokes and letting him look after you – these are the qualities men most frequently seek in long-term partners.
All that striving, all that dieting, all that denying ourselves, when we could have been scoffing cupcakes in the bath, Hannah-style, all along. Chocolate anyone
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