BY Dr. Alex Avila

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They say beauty is only skin deep, but if it is, what really attracts you to a love partner? Is it primarily someone’s looks, character, personality, faith, beliefs, or financial resources? New research provides insight into the true nature of dating, physical attraction, and long-term relationship success, and reveals interesting truths about how men and women choose to date and mate. Let’s take a look at some of the findings:

*Men and women differ in how good-looking their mate must be. Men tend to prioritize female beauty in choosing a mate, yet will often settle for a less physically attractive partner for both short-term (sex, companionship) and long-term relationships (love, marriage; “She has a good heart”). Women, on the other hand, will not usually get romantically involved with a man they consider physically unattractive—he will stay forever in the “friend zone.” She will usually make sure that she is physically attracted to a man before she allows it to go to the next romantic step.
*Choose a physically less attractive man and be happy for the rest of your life. Research indicates that when a woman marries a man who is not as physically attractive as she is, she will likely be more happy and satisfied in the relationship. A very good-looking man, although desirable, may have more opportunities and desire to cheat or take the woman for granted—or at least she will be jealous toward him. A less physically attractive man may be more devoted and doting to her. Also, research indicates that more masculine men who have a higher level of testosterone may make undesirable mates: 31% of them are likely to have marital problems, 38% are likely to cheat, and 43% of them are likely to get divorced.

*True beauty is within—develop it for yourself and find it in another person. In reality, there are no ugly or unattractive people—we are all beautiful in our own way as creations of a Higher Nature (God, spirit, nature). True beauty consists of inner traits such as compassion, empathy, kindness, gentleness, and patience. Make sure you develop these traits in yourself and find a mate who possesses similar qualities. If you’re already with a partner, both of you can strive to increase your inner beauty together. As you and your partner actualize your inner beauty—including loving each other unconditionally—you will find yourself more attracted to each other in every way: physically, romantically, and spiritually.

It’s true that being physically attractive and in good physical shape—looking and feeling good—is often a great advantage in society and life. Yet, in romantic relationships, looks often fade, but the inner qualities of the person—compassion, empathy, and lovingness—are what remain. After all, it’s your inner beauty that will make you more outwardly beautiful—this is what you should develop in yourself and discover in your love partner. In this way, you can build a love partnership that stands the test of time and leaves a lasting legacy of goodness and contribution for all to see.


Author's Bio: 

Dr. Alex Avila is an award-winning clinical and forensic psychologist who holds four graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. A respected college professor, researcher, and bestselling author (The Gift of Shyness, GuyTypes and The 3 Secrets of Happiness), Dr. Avila’s first book, LoveTypes, has been an international bestseller, helping over 40 million followers find compatible relationships and lasting love.

In his work as a forensic psychologist who treats victims of trauma and suffering, Dr. Avila has helped thousands of people transform their pain into power and their fear into desire.

In addition, Dr. Avila is the creator of Love University (now a podcast on iTunes and Podbean)—a multiplatform community of growth and transformation in which people learn how to love themselves, others, and a higher nature.

Dr. Avila’s ultimate mission is to help people live invincibly and with love.

Dr. Avila: “Love is an energy that permeates all things. The secret to ultimate success and happiness is to extend loving energy without expectation. That is the greatest gift of all.”