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How Smiling Can Get You a Wife and Scowling Can Get You a One-Night Stand

Study shows your expression can attract women who want a short- or long-term relationship.

There’s a good chance this study might infuriate you. Women are picky. But research published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology takes that well-known fact a step further. 

Turns out women who want long-term relationships find men who smile most attractive, and those who want short-term relationships go for the brooding guys scowling in the corner. Not kidding. 

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In the study, 218 women were shown photos of men either smiling or wearing neutral expressions. After, they were asked to rate the each man’s attractiveness as a prospective short-term relationship (a date) or long-term relationship (a possible marriage partner). Then another group of 71 women were shown the same photos and asked to rate the men on their trustworthiness and masculinity. 

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Not surprisingly, men who smiled were deemed more trustworthy. And the guys with neutral expressions? They were rated as more masculine. The researchers chalk it up to womens’ evolutionary strategies. When picking a mate, females intrinsically look for men that either have a “heritable benefit” or “paternal investment.”

Trustworthy men are a more attractive option for a lifelong partner because children are likely a pit stop along the way; this isn’t a top priority for a girl looking to score a date. Dinner is likely the only pit stop on her itinerary.  

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And you thought you just had to worry about your hair, body odor, clothing, and making a first impression that exceeds bumbling bar patron hitting on girl. Dating just got way more complicated.

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