Making Gains to Attract Women
Men hit the gym for a lot of reasons, but most single men aren't doing it for their heart health, mobility, or overhead strength. They're doing it to attract women, or at least increase their odds. And while fitness is extremely important in life and dating, it can't be all you have going for you.
Let's make sure we have a few non-fitness components nailed down to a science. Some of these will surprise you. Keep in mind that this also applies to married men who want to keep their spouses enticed.
Social media, naughty websites, and poor lifestyle habits have killed male self-esteem. Approaching women in public used to be normal. Unfortunately, average testosterone levels are tanking, and men are more unsure of themselves than ever before. All of this overlaps with a lack of confidence.
Minimal confidence dries up her libido you get friend-zoned. Research confirms how women and corporations treat unconfident men. In short, confident men get paid more AND treated better by women. (1,2)
Fortunately, research also shows that confidence is controllable and quickly improved. A little verbal affirming and a few reps of practice produce better confidence correlated outcomes. In one study, men who watched a video with speed-dating tips were rated as more attractive than the men who didn't watch the video. (2) The video-trained men were simply more confident after getting some pointers.
So put in the practice and get clear on who you are, what you're about, and where you're headed. Be decisive. No woman likes a "Well, I don't really know what I want; I'm just going with the flow" type of guy.
Quality women value intelligence. But it's not that simple. First, flexing your intelligence only works if you have good social skills. (3) If you can communicate or display your intelligence, IQs in the top 10% are most attractive.
There's a dose-response with intelligence. More is always better. The human brain will screen your attitude and calculate how attracted a person is based on your brainpower. (4)
In our vain world, it's surprising how attractive intelligence can be. It's ingrained in human biology like physical attraction, and in some studies, it's a higher priority. (5) This makes sense because, biologically, humans are attracted to fertility potential, and nobody wants to make a dumb baby.
Also, scientific models can't find any relationship between attractiveness and intelligence. (6) In other words, being pretty has nothing to do with intelligence. This is important because some men focus hard on improving their looks when that's a limiting effort.
This also dispels the myth that if a woman has the looks, she won't have the smarts. Beautiful women can be brainiacs, and average-looking nerds can still be highly desired creatures.
So, chest day is great, but don't forget brain day. Here are some things you can do to boost your IQ:
- Talk to more people, especially smarter ones.
- Read regularly.
- Learn a new language, instrument, or skill.
- Practice mindfulness and observe the world.
- Play memory and puzzle games.
- Entertain ideas that don't align with what you've assumed.
This is probably the most unexpected thing on this list. However, storytelling isn't merely a tactic to get some quick game. It's a principle you need to master and maintain.
The woman you're eyeing at every party has her attention hooked on the dude with the best stories. There's a science behind why stories are absurdly powerful chick magnets. Generally, stories connect humans. When humans hear stories, their biochemistry changes: they feel pleasant. Oxytocin synthesis occurs, which connects humans further and causes people to react emotionally. (7,8)
This is key to female nature. Women love to feel a spectrum of emotions like joy, anticipation, suspense, excitement, and the other endless emotions their biology obsesses over.
This is why romance novels are so profitable. These stories are like heroin. But think about this for a second: she can pay for more books, or you can become her story daddy. No, seriously.
Direct research finds men who tell stories are much more attractive than men who don't. Men who tell good stories heighten attraction from others. (9) Moreover, women will rate your attractiveness, long-term potential, and even perceived status based on your storytelling ability.
The gym takes care of your book cover, but can you support it with a novel or at least a steady supply of short stories?
People care about one thing: themselves. So it's a breath of fresh air to experience selflessness. Many meatheads don't care much about others unless it somehow serves them. Not only does this perpetuate the stigma that the gym is filled with douches, but it's also not doing them any favors with women.
Selflessness is sexy, though. Women rate your long-term desirability as sex partners based on your selflessness. (10)
This trait has predicted mating success in humans down to the genetic level for decades. (11,12) Women love good men (not to be mistaken with nice guys). Good men are not self-serving. Good men think of other people's needs.
This sounds obvious, but here's the eye-opening science some men have no clue about. Whether natural or injected, higher testosterone levels have internal mechanisms that unconsciously reduce generosity. (13,14)
This isn't to say healthy, high-T bros can't be good, selfless men. And I'm definitely not saying this to intentionally tank your testosterone and make you more generous. But the more testosterone you have, the more intentional you'll have to be about being selfless.
Be a good man because it's the right thing to do. And yes, you might reel in a few more phone numbers from doing so.
Your biceps' girth and deadlift PR won't impress her as much as you think. Fitness is important, but you'll need more to attract and keep a desirable woman.
Many men would find more success with women if they skipped some gym time to work on their social confidence, brainpower, storytelling skills, and selflessness. Do that and you'll be a man worth competing for... even without a six-pack.
- Judge TA et al. Does It Pay to Be Smart, Attractive, or Confident (or All Three)? Relationships among General Mental Ability, Physical Attractiveness, Core Self-Evaluations, and Income. J Appl Psychol. 2009 May;94(3):742-55. PubMed.
- Li NP et al. Confidence Is Sexy and It Can Be Trained: Examining Male Social Confidence in Initial, Opposite-Sex Interactions. J Pers. 2020 Dec;88(6):1235-1251. PubMed.
- Gignac GE et al. Some People Are Attracted Sexually to Intelligence: A Psychometric Evaluation of Sapiosexuality. Intelligence. 218 Jan-Feb;66:98-111. ScienceDirect.
- Montoya RM et al. On the Importance of Cognitive Evaluation as a Determinant of Interpersonal Attraction. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2004 May;86(5):696-712. PubMed.
- Gignac GE et al. Exceptional Intelligence and Easygoingness May Hurt Your Prospects: Threshold Effects for Rated Mate Characteristics. Br J Psychol. 2019 Feb;110(1):151-172. PubMed.
- Mitchem DG et al. No Relationship between Intelligence and Facial Attractiveness in a Large, Genetically Informative Sample. Evol Hum Behav. 2015 May 1;36(3):240–247. PubMed.
- Kelly B. Storytelling: A Way of Connecting. Nursingconnections. Winter 1995;8(4):5-11. PubMed.
- Zak PJ. Why Inspiring Stories Make US REACT: The Neuroscience of Narrative. erebrum. 2015 Jan-Feb;2015:2. PubMed.
- Donahue JK et al. A good story: Men's storytelling ability affects their attractiveness and perceived status Personal Relationships. 2016 Jun;23(2):199-213. Wiley Online Library.
- Moore D et al. Selflessness Is Sexy: Reported Helping Behaviour Increases Desirability of Men and Women as Long-Term Sexual Partners. BMC Evol Biol. 2013 Sep 3;13:182. PubMed.
- Phillips T et al. Do Humans Prefer Altruistic Mates? Testing a Link between Sexual Selection and Altruism towards Non-Relatives. Br J Psychol. 2008 Nov;99(Pt 4):555-72. PubMed.
- Arnocky S et al. Altruism Predicts Mating Success in Humans. Br J Psychol. 2017 May;108(2):416-435. PubMed.
- Ou J et al. Testosterone Reduces Generosity through Cortical and Subcortical Mechanisms. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Mar 23;118(12):e2021745118. PubMed.
- Zak PJ et al. Testosterone Administration Decreases Generosity in the Ultimatum Game. PLoS One. 2009 Dec 16;4(12):e8330. PubMed.