Dating and Relationship Advice

If you read any article about dating or attractiveness, you’re sure to come across authors citing self-confidence as one of the most attractive traits. All things considered, confidence is sexy. It is endearing to be with a person who is comfortable in their own skin, who doesn’t feel the need to second-guess everything they say or do.

I am a firm believer that we all could use some confidence. However, like any trait, confidence falls on a spectrum. The sweet spot of confidence is somewhere in the middle — whereas either extreme can be a problem. Just like having too little confidence is not-so-attractive, having too much confidence can be an absolute turn-off.

Many of us have likely experienced the over-confident person. This is a person who believes everything will simply work out in their favor. They may make jokes at others' expense, put themselves before others, or not consider the consequences of their words and actions. Over confident people can over-value individual actions, believing the “just world hypothesis.” This belief (incorrectly) cites that an individual will get what they deserve, or if people just work hard enough bad things won’t happen to them. We know this isn’t true, and it can feel toxic to be around people who believe this. Ultimately, overconfident people believe they are at the epicenter of everything.

Being around someone with constant self-confidence is exhausting

Being in a relationship with an over-confident person can feel overwhelming. You may have at first found it charming, but now feel exhausted by their constant self-assuredness. Many of us feel insecure at times, which is completely normal. But being with someone whose confidence doesn’t waver can feel unrelatable. And we all need a partner who we can relate to, at least most of the time.

Vulnerability is attractive

Being around an over-confident person can feel like they’re wearing eight layers of body armor. Their over-confidence is a shield that doesn’t let anything out — but it doesn’t let anything in, either. While body armor can be protective, it can also be detrimental to the shared experience of a relationship.

Research partially supports this. Vulnerability can increase likeability. For example, if someone is very competent at what they do, they are more likely to be liked by others when they’ve made a small blunder, as opposed to a competent person who looks infallible. Some vulnerability is endearing.

The truth is — vulnerability is sexy. There is nothing more special than sharing something with your partner that you haven’t shared with anyone else, and vice versa. When we connect with others in this way, we forge a deep emotional bond. Overconfidence can hinder this relationship development.

Overconfident people, take heed

Confidence can be really attractive, but too much of a good thing can turn sour. It’s attractive to be self-assured, but don’t let it make you self-centered and unrelatable. Make sure to open up and be vulnerable with your partner. Be yourself and know it’s okay to make small blunders. It could even make you more likeable, according to research. Ultimately, opening the armor will go a long way.