Dating and Relationship Advice

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder but is it possible to be more objective than that? Of course, everyone will be attracted to something slightly different, but is there a general formula we don't know because we've been steered away from asking questions like how attractive am I according to science?

Gender-Neutral Guidelines

Studies have found that there is a Holy Grail of attractive features that apply no matter which sex you are: the most attractive feature in both men and women is confidence. While not a physical trait, confidence has physical manifestations: the obvious ones are looking up while walking, making appropriate eye contact, unhunching the shoulders, and freely smiling. Some uncommon physical indicators of confidence are taking the full stride one is capable of while walking and wearing clothing styles or colors that are atypical for your gender, city, or other surroundings. (Yes, this means that people who wear black in a technicolor town are more likely, according to science, to be confident), and going to movies, restaurants, and other traditional 'date' scenes alone (this is still seen more as sad than confident).

Something that makes both male and female faces more attractive than asymmetrical features — so what can you do if your face is not naturally symmetrical (hint: no one is actually perfectly symmetrical)?

Gender-Specific Guidelines

Science has shown that smiles are more attractive on women than on men. This doesn't mean men shouldn't smile, and it definitely doesn't mean they should scowl. It means that societal expectations play into physical attractiveness: the importance of beauty in a woman —which a smile enhances — and the importance of strength in a man— which a neutral but friendly facial expression — remain ingrained in our collective psyches for better or worse. We can fight against this or use this knowledge to our advantage.

Science has also shown that the color you wear matters: red is the most attractive color on both men and women, but the reasons are gender-specific. It's not because red is an uncommon color on both cars and people, so you stand out more — "standing out" does not necessarily equate to being attractive. Instead, studies show that women are attracted to men in red because it sends signals of status and leadership, which subconsciously translates to attraction in a woman's mind. According to one study, men are drawn to women in red for more primal/biological reasons. Women's suspicious that men's responses to them are less thought-out and more primitive may, in fact, be correct. Still, again, you can use this knowledge as a weapon or excuse to denigrate men, or you can use it to your advantage since it doesn't seem likely to change anytime soon.

These are just a few guidelines to get you started. You may be afraid to ask how attractive I am according to science, but use these tips to enhance what you came into the world with, and remember, Iris Dating's focus is on mutual attraction — and that doesn't mean between you and science!

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