2 years ago5,000+ Views
My friend sent me this article about a study done to determine whether women find smiling faces more or less attractive than neutral ones. Interesting premise – I never really thought about how facial expression affects my attraction to someone!

According to the study, smiling makes men more attractive to women as husbands, but not as short-term dating partners.

Hmm – interesting! Is this actually true? And does it hold true for everyone? I don't know. But if you'd like to learn a little more about why they came to this conclusion, read on!
The Long and Short of It
Humans have two different strategies for choosing sexual partners – short-term and long-term.
The short-term strategy is all about finding a partner with awesome genes, so these can be passed on to offspring – we don't think about it that way, of course, but that's why (biologically) we as a species are attracted to people with clear skin, thick hair, straight teeth, etc. These qualities are subconsciously viewed as indicators of good health.
The long-term strategy, according to evolutionary psychologists, is more about finding a partner who will be with you through the tough times as well as the good ones, and who will be compassionate and caring when raising offspring.
The Experimental Design
Researchers asked women from Japan, Norway, and Italy (a pretty good geographic spread!) to rate the attractiveness of male faces that were either smiling or wore a neutral expression.
Half of the women were asked to evaluate the faces according to desirability as a marriage partner, while the other half were asked to evaluate their men's desirability as a potential dating prospect.

The Results?

"Women evaluating men’s attractiveness for marriage rated smiling faces as more attractive than neutral faces, whereas women evaluating men’s attractiveness for a date rated smiling and neutral faces the same. In a second part of the study, 71 female Japanese university students rated the same smiling and neutral faces on three qualities thought to be important for mate selection. Women rated smiling men as less masculine and less mature, but more trustworthy compared with men who had a neutral facial expression."
Why should men smile more – or less?
So for the short-term mating strategy, the women surveyed seemed to look for masculinity and maturity. Smiling apparently detracts from your projection of these qualities.
Meanwhile, in the long-term, the women in the study seemed to prefer someone who appeared trustworthy – and smiling did the trick.

Well, I don't know about you, but whether I'm on my short-term or long-term grind, I'm all about a guy who smiles! :)

Seriously, a smile can be someone's most attractive quality. If you want to read more about the study you can check out the article here, but in all honesty, if you like to smile, I wouldn't change a thing. I don't really go for moody, broody guys. I prefer someone who likes to laugh, have fun, and be happy. :)
What do you think? Do you agree with the study, or is it a load of bull?
View more comments
Hahaha and here's me at 20, expressionless. I definitely think it's harder to photograph ok with a toothy grin. Has to be genuine.!NlhlhKKQ!aVlFR86kXJvR_3SF0EIhW8repnRFkLEefbA3z0FL0vM
@allischaaff Something made me wanna chuckle in your description of the site's purpose. It's cute: "And getting love advice and stuff like that. :)" Like real nonchalant, as though when we find ourselves in love emotions aren't fluctuating between extremes (at times). Interesting you mention Australia: I had a--for lack of a better word--cyber relationship (elationship also works) with a girl I loved, and who claimed to love me, that spanned SEVEN years. It ended badly in early 2015, with us NEVER having met in person, and the whole experience gutted me. Was no catfish deal or anything. I think she was under the impression that life is infinite, and was incapable of bold strokes. We spent thousands of hours "together", wrecking each other's sleep patterns because of the time difference, having voice and IM chats, swapping pics and vids... And it has occurred to me of late that I am still affected--devastatingly so--by the complete im/explosion of things with her. I was fully expecting--with her total agreement--to marry this girl someday. I shouldn't give the impression that I was...celibate during that time, nor was she, but the kicker was I would have up and booked a flight to Oz tomorrow with her green light. But she never seemed to grasp--or hey maybe she just gave zero fucks--that our meeting was a major undertaking, requiring logistics and so forth. We met at age 27, and I am 34 now (her too). I don't really want or expect a bunch of opinions on this subject. I just thought I would share a deeply private matter that is a raw, open wound for me still, seven-eight months later. I have even tried moving on to other girls, but it's like I'm still in that holding pattern. I truly wanted only her. And I freely admit that near the end I was not my best self, but imagine SEVEN years of frustration, runaround, and ultimately waste, and tell me that's not going to affect your psyche. Was probably just more real for me, here, than for her, there (the idea of "us", though there were some kismetic aspects of our interaction--even the randomness of how we met online...) Sigh. I still think about her regularly, and miss her. She really did a number on me, huh? :( :) I'm not up to a detailed discussion of the matter, but by all means if this is not appropriate subject matter for L & R, say so. This is the first time I've discussed it in a cyber forum since we parted ways. Christ the interwebs need a warning at every browser opening that one can experience heart-rending devastation via online relationships, so engage at your own peril!
OK this is fucked up, the Aussie sent me a FB message for the first time in like 6 months not long after I posted this comment. And while I haven't read the message I'd wager dollars to donuts its sole purpose was to force--as FB tends to do--me to glimpse that her latest profile pic is not a "solo" one, like 90% of ordinary, nonvindictive FB users, but rather of her and a guy. I didn't investigate further, I don't know what she wants. I think she truly just wants to injure me. In my glimpse it looked like the message started "G'day, don't know if you remember--" That's all I caught via shitty FB and its torture methods.
I should add that she and I are not FB friends, haven't been in forever, it was never good for us. So she could have picked a million other ways to reach out to me.
WHOA wait she contacted you?? Ugh good decision not to read it, I think. When my French ex sent me an email about a month ago, I was like um... yeah no. Not reading that. It just brings back all the old wounds. I can't believe the coincidence though. That really is EXACTLY the kind of thing we tend to discuss on Love & Relationships :P That's such a crazy story... I mean, 7 YEARS!! That's a long time :O and a long time to feel jerked around... and I'm sorry she didn't see things the way you did. Sigh. It takes a while to get over relationships that go so deep. You'll get there, I'm sure. The fact that you're getting out there and looking a little is a good sign. With any luck you'll find someone new to fall head over heels for, and those old woulds will disappear into the past :) we can only hope, right? P.S. – Great pics haha. I think I have to say, win on the facial hair. Keep it! I don't know about the smiling less, though. As I said, I prefer a man who smiles :P