What Makes A Guy Attractive? 20 Physical And Personality Traits

Updated September 15, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Cessel Boyd

It is no secret that the dating world is fraught with perils, and when you are not found attractive by women you are going to have a much harder time finding a partner for either short-term or long-term relationships. But what do women find attractive? Attractiveness goes far beyond physical attraction, although that is a large part of it in the beginning. However, there are many other behavioral and psychological traits that women also find attractive.

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Traits Of Attractiveness In Men

There are several traits that women find attractive in men. Some physical traits have more to do with personal style and preference than they do physical features like cheekbones or eyes. Much more important than these physical traits are the physical traits that a man can control such as facial hair and clothing. Personality traits are often much more attractive to women than physical traits. A recent study published and conducted at the University of California was published in the Journal of Psychology, and it gives some great insight into what people find attractive according to science. Researchers at the university studied hundreds of subjects over several years to find out more about the effects of physical attractiveness, positive personality, and societal markers and their role in both female and male attractiveness.

The state of psychology today has benefited greatly from the results of that study published recently by the University of California. You’re probably wondering what this study can tell you about what makes an attractive male. Here are the most common physical and personality traits of men that are attractive to women.

#1 Facial Hair

Although many men prefer not to have facial hair because it is a pain to keep trimmed and can be itchy, studies have found that women are much more attracted to men with facial hair. This is based on a couple different studies on evolution and human behavior; the results showed that men with kempt facial hair were perceived by both male and female participants to be more mature and receive higher attractiveness ratings. You don't have to have a full-grown beard to be attractive, though. Even some kempt, or unkempt, stubble is considered attractive.

#2 Sincerity

Today's society and dating world have gone into a hookup culture in which people seem to be more interested in casual sex and dating than they are in finding people to make a connection with; this can be attributed to the rise of dating site and apps. When a man is sincerely wanting to get to know a woman and is making an effort to be sincere in their interactions, it is a real turn-on for women because they don't get sincerity very often. Even if you’re only trying to be attractive for short term or purely sexual relationships, being open and honest about your intentions is one of the easiest ways to attract women. This sincerity is appreciated by the average woman, since it’s a rare find these days.

#3 Ability To Tell A Good Story

The ability to tell a good story is very attractive to women. Women love it when a guy can get involved in telling a story about something they did with the guys or an interesting event in their lives. Being a good storyteller also means that you are a good communicator, and this is a huge trait for women that turns them on.

#4 Body Hair

While men prefer their women to be smooth and without body hair, women find the opposite attractive in men. In fact, women prefer men who have a bit of body hair, although you don't want to let it get out of control. Based on the study of human behavior carried out at the University of California,  A little bit of chest hair poking up out of a slight V-neck shirt can go a long way toward making you attractive to the right woman.

#5 Signs of Physical Activity

It's no secret that men look at women's legs and use that as a trait to determine attractiveness. But legs are important to women too. Developed calf muscles are something that women notice. Developed calves are sexy because they not only look good; they mean that you are physically active. Toned chest, shoulders and arms are evidence that a man is physically active and cares about his physique. These toned areas of the body are easily noticed through clothing and are appealing to women. Researchers at the university suppose that women’s attraction to men with toned muscles and other signs of physical activity goes all the way back to ancestral humans. This is because the hardships faced by ancestral humans were almost all solved with physical strength, rather than a honed skill or social connection. So, women have been attracted to men with muscles for millennia, and that’s something that hasn’t changed much in terms of human behavior.

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#6 A Feminine Side

Women find men attractive when they like things that are not traditionally masculine. Showing your feminine side, a bit can land you additional dates and help you seem more attractive to women. In fact, women find men who find traditionally feminine things interesting very attractive if it means that the man is confident enough in their sexuality to be willing to show their true interests.

This trait wasn’t previously considered a factor for male attractiveness beforehand but women revealed to researchers at the university that these factors have become a pleasant and attractive trait for men to have nowadays. The researchers at the university found this to be true of grooming habits and roles in the household, specifically. The results showed that men who paid special attention to their grooming – such as wearing a nice cologne and choosing their clothes carefully – made for an attractive male candidate. This is despite the fact that, in contemporary Western culture, such grooming efforts are often considered a “feminine” trait. Furthermore, the results showed that men who participated in roles often relegated to the female in a domestic setting – such as cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing – were often deemed more attractive by women.

#7 Hands

Believe it or not, your hands say a lot about you and your lifestyle. Women are obsessed with their hands. It might seem kind of silly, but hands are attractive. If you have large warm hands, this can be a turn on because the woman will imagine those hands on her body. If you have muscular and calloused hands, it shows that you are a hard worker, which is also attractive.

#8 Sense Of Humor

Women love a man who can laugh and make them laugh in return. Women find men who have a good sense of humor much more attractive than men who do not laugh much. In fact, guys who tell a lot of jokes and funny stories are going to be much more attractive than men who don't. Men without a good sense of humor often come off as simply boring and not worth the effort.

#9 Being Into Music

Women find men who are really into music very attractive. If you have some favorite tunes that are not in the top 40, you have a much higher chance of being attractive to a woman. Even if the woman doesn't share your musical interests and doesn't like the songs you play for them, the fact that you have a diverse taste in music is enough to make you attractive to them.

#10 Intelligence

Intelligence is sexy, no matter what your gender or preferences. You don't necessarily have to be a massive brain or a huge nerd to turn a girl on, but you do need to be somewhat intelligent and able to carry on an interesting and equitable conversation. The more tidbits of random knowledge that you know, the more attractive you will be as well.

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#11 Men Who Smell Good

While body odor in the way we think of it is bad, a certain smell to a guy is attractive. Some men have an amazing natural scent that is a huge turn-on for women, more so than colognes. Although colognes and other scents can also heighten a woman's interest in some cases.

#12 Good Hair

It's no secret that men like long hair on women, but did you realize that the same is true of women to men? Women love a guy with a full head of hair because it gives her something to grab onto. Although some women indeed prefer bald or shaved heads, it is a general rule that women like a man with good hair. If you have good hair, make sure it stays up to par with good hygiene habits and using hair products that are good for your hair rather than just cheap.

#13 Volunteering

If you volunteer for a local charity organization, little league team, church, or other organization or group, you are much more likely to be attractive to women. Women like a man who is willing to give their time and energy for a good cause. It shows that you are kind, gentle, and care about your fellow man.

#14 Showing Passion

When a man shows passion about something specific, it is a real turn-on. Women are attracted to men who have a passion for something that they are really into. According to researchers at the University of California, it might even be enough for a woman to overlook a negative personality, as long as she feels the negative traits stem from a man’s passion. For example, if you have a nerdy obsession with comic books or a particular comic book character, you might think that this is a turn-off. But really if you are passionate about it, and that passion can be seen when you broach the subject, what might seem like a nerdy obsession becomes a trait of attractiveness. So, you shouldn’t be afraid or hesitant to include your passions on your online dating profile or in the conversation on a first date.

#15 Work Ethic

Women want to know that they are interested in a man that can provide for them. Although women can and should be able to take care of themselves, they want a man who can take care of them if they need it. Researchers asked why this might be the case, and the answer turned out to be more sociological than evolutionary. Women are attracted to men with a high status in the society. In the contemporary world, this high status is often tied to a person’s position at work or the amount of money that they have or earn. While this may seem like a superficial indicator, it is taken as a sign of strong work ethic. This means that a good work ethic can go a long way toward making you attractive to the right woman.

#16 Having Confidence

Women find confident men very attractive. If you have confidence in yourself, you are much more likely to come off as attractive to the women that you interact with. Being shy and indecisive or appearing weak in some way will not make you attractive. You should be self-confident, regardless of your other personality or physical traits. In recent studies, results showed that men who felt more attractive were actually perceived as more attractive by the other participants. This shows that having confidence in yourself can also inspire those around you to have confidence in you, too.

#17 Being A Gentleman

Being a gentleman is about more than just opening doors and pulling out chairs. Being a gentleman is also about basic manners, saying please and thank you, and being generally respectful. Flowers or chocolates for your date can go a long way toward making you attractive to them.

#18 Integrity

A man who has integrity and is willing to tell the truth, and be honest even in difficult situations is very attractive to a woman. Integrity is important, because if you have integrity and you are honest then it means that you are much less likely to cheat on them and you are more likely to be faithful and respectful.

#19 Dominance Or Prestige

In a recent study, it was asked whether women are attracted to dominant men or prestigious men. Dominant men are those that are behaviorally attractive or those that have eye contact, dominant body language, and overly masculine. Prestigious men are more psychologically attractive and are unique in their appearance and style. Women looking for short-term relationships are more attracted to dominant men; white women looking for long-term relationships are more attracted to prestigious men.

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#20 Benevolent Sexism

Women have come a long way, and as general rule women do not want a sexist man. Yet studies have found that women still find benevolent sexism attractive. Benevolent sexism refers to things such as opening doors, pulling out chairs, offering to carry heavy objects, offering to parallel park or other tasks that require skill, and other sexist maneuvers that could challenge a woman's ability to care for herself. While these things can be considered sexist, especially depending on the context, most women still find these things attractive.

Getting Professional Help

If you feel that you are not attractive to women and you are looking for a way to be more attractive and have lasting relationships, you might need some additional help. One of the keys to being more attractive yourself is to know what you find attractive and what you should be looking for in your interactions and next relationship. To that end, a licensed therapist or relationship counselor can help you gain focus that will help you in your next relationship. Contact ReGain, an online counseling platform, for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What makes a man physically attractive?

Different women find different things about a man physically attractive. Research results showed that women are more attracted to men and women for a variety of reasons. Some of these include:

  • Being clean shaven
  • Taking good care of themselves
  • Mindful men who care about the welfare of others
  • Men who engaged in risk taking
  • Men are generally more attracted to intelligence over beauty
  • Men who agreed with statements about political views similar to their own 
  • Those who are slighty more attractive than the average guy (of course this depends on the individuals perception of attractiveness)
  • Those who want a long term relationship
  • Men who make long term commitments to their future

The research results showed that women are attracted to mindful men and those men who engaged in safe activities. They do not appreciate when men were generally considered risk takers. Mindful men tended to be more aware of their actions and how they affect and impact others. Higher attractiveness to mindful men means that women feel thought about and cared for deeply. 

Men tended to receive higher admiration and were thought to be significantly more attractive when they could engage in meaningful conversation. Women preferred men who could carry their side of a conversation and debate, but not get angry. These attributes received higher attractiveness rating from women. These women felt they could engage in a long term relationship and were more attracted to men they could easily talk to for long periods of time. 

What qualities make a man attractive?

Many qualities make a man attractive to men and women alike. A man’s body language can be attractive as well as the way they communicate. Research results showed that women rate the attractiveness of a man when they can relate to them and feel like an equal. Long term relationships are easier to establish when communication is strong. Those who cannot communicate well are more apt to bounce from short term relationship to relationship.

How can a guy look more attractive?

A guy can look more attractive by cleaning himself up and dressing neatly. Body language is also an attractive quality, which is why a guy with a swagger is more appealing to look at than someone who slouches when they walk. Both men and women agree on this fact. Men are rated more attractive when they have a clean looking mouth, with no rotting teeth, and slightly more attractive when they have clean cut hair. However, some women are attracted to long locks, as well. When asked, women looked for a man who had a good personality and the ways men could make them laugh. Whether you’re talking to women face to face or looking to spruce up your online dating profile, these are all important traits to highlight if you want to make yourself seem more attractive to women.

What do guys find most attractive?

When asking guys, attractive women are typically those who take good care of their bodies. Physically attractive women tend to catch the eyes of men more frequently. Highly attractive women, however, can be intimidating to men, interestingly enough. If a woman is thought to be out of a man’s league, he may not even approach her for conversation. 

What do men really want in a woman?

While men may notice attractiveness beforehand, women are sought after by men for a variety of reasons. Some is attractiveness of the composer, which means that women who take care of themselves, work out, wear nice clothes, and makeup are sought out as a mate. Other men want a woman who will take care of them. Men from Anchorage found that women who were good at fishing, hunting, and homemaking were more attractive than women who looked good in a bathing suit. The customs and culture in Alaska make survival skills more attractive than physical appearance. Now, if women were both handy with a gun and attractive, they would find many suitors knocking at their doors. 

What attracts a man to a woman?

Sometimes things are quite simple when it comes to what a man likes, according to researchers. When a man owns a dog women who also like dogs are seen as attractive. These little details can be all that it takes to bring two people together.  

What do men want in a wife?

When men and women are considering marriage, some attend couples counseling. Separately men are seen separate from women before the session where they are seen together. Statements like ‘I perceive’ are noted by the counselor as an item where the couple sees things differently, rather than mutually. While most men want a wife who agrees with them, there will always be some items that a couple disagrees about. How they manage may be an indication of how successful the marriage will be in the end.   

What are good qualities?

Men and women are drawn to physically attractive people. When you rate the attractiveness and kindness against those who are mean and abusive, results showed that nice men are substantially more sought after than their dangerous counterparts.  However, when you look at the data results showed that women preferred men who reminded them of their father. On this note, women rated more attractive to bold men when they thought that the women could be controlled. In addition, results showed that men who were abusive were able to easily target women with an abusive father. While one would like that a lady would seek out someone who is more attractive than dads who abused them, studies indicated that the opposite was true. Women tend to be attracted to what they know best. 

While abusive qualities are not considered good, the research regarding why single women were generally more attracted to “bad boys.” However, not all women think this way, and many women rated that man as not on their radar at all. Attractiveness ratings from women suggest caring, loving men to be at the top of the list of good qualities that men should possess to be considered likable.  

What defines a great man?

There are many things that define a great man, however, a few top the list. A great man is considered attractive when they are compassionate, caring, and loving. If they would make a good father or lifelong companion, these define the qualities of a great man. Researchers found that women found that men who are loving rated slightly more attractive than those who just compassionate. In addition when given questionnaires about how attractive different men were, based on different attributes, women looked for those that they could build a life with and grow old together. 

How can I become good looking?

Taking better care of yourself is one way to become good looking. If you are healthy, fit, and seemingly intelligent, you will be considered attractive to those who find those qualities appealing.

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