3 Pieces of Dating Advice for Men, Based on Psychology Studies

by Gideon
April 19, 2022

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Though most of us are loathe to admit it, the games we play when it comes to love and relationships are not always rooted in reality. And while there is no surefire way to guarantee success in the dating world, there are some psychological principles that can help give you a leg up. In this post, we look at three pieces of dating advice for men, based on various psychological studies.

But first,

Why listen to psychology studies?

Well, firstly, you don’t have to, but, psychology studies can provide valuable insights into the dating and relationship world.

By understanding how people think, feel, and behave in relationships, we can learn how to create healthier and happier partnerships the right way from the start.

Additionally, psychology can help us understand why some relationships succeed while others fail, and what we can do to improve our own chances of finding love.

That is also the goal of this post, to share 3 core pieces of dating advice for men.

So, let’s start with the end in mind first – what you need as a man in a relationship.

Why?

Because by understanding what you need as a man in a relationship long-term, you can start dating far more wisely.

When you know what it is you will need to be satisfied in a romantic relationship, you can drastically rig the dating game in the favour of success and happiness much sooner.

You will know instantly whether a woman is right for you or not based on your earliest interactions and whether you should pursue things any further.

So,

The top three things men need in relationships, according to psychology studies.

According to some experts, the top three things men need in relationships are communication, trust, and respect.

Men need to feel like they can communicate openly with their partner, that they can trust their partner, and that their partner respects them.

Respect in particular is hugely important to men.

You might find it cute when she’s controlling and somewhat disrespectful at the beginning of a new relationship, but I guarantee you it won’t last.

When these needs are not met, men may start to feel disconnected from the relationship and may eventually seek out other relationships.

Therefore, if the person you’re dating does not come across as trustworthy, respectful, and hard to communicate with, it’s not likely to improve.

So quit while you’re ahead.

With that said, let’s now look at,

3 Pieces of Dating Advice for Men

When it comes to dating in the modern world, a lot has changed since a decade or two ago.

However, there are two fundamentally significant ideas that, in my opinion, will not change and, as a result, should be part of your dating strategy.

First and foremost, establishing a long-term and happy partnership is the aim, not dating.

That objective has always been there, but many people have lost sight of it.

dating advice for men

As a fellow romantic, I’d want to provide some insight and aid you on your journey toward finding the love of your life.

Two, human attraction and primitive psychology don’t change much in a hundred years, let alone ten.

Sure, we have better tools and a greater understanding of sex and love, but none of that alters the reality that primordial attractions may be quite powerful.

Men are drawn to women in a very fundamental and predictable way.

I’m not implying that people only consider something beautiful if it’s white, long, and blonde.

What I mean is that when a man sees a lady, he can typically determine whether or not he wants to pursue her.

His mind has already concluded that she isn’t the one, so it doesn’t even bother to consider her anymore.

Why do we get this sensation?

Because we are all extremely aware of how attraction works on some level.

The average woman is undoubtedly drawn to certain guys as well (speaking from a Western perspective of course).

We know that the safer and more secure a woman feels with a man, the more attracted she’ll be.

In a nutshell, we are drawn to those who want to be near to us and be with us because it makes us feel safe and loved.

Unless we’re just playing games of course or are only looking for casual sexual encounters (a topic for another time). 

The other main thing I want you to grasp and remember about dating is that people are highly visual.

That implies that if you aren’t visually inclined at first, it doesn’t matter how many insightful words you have to offer or how great your wisdom is; they won’t ever see or hear it since they won’t give you a chance, whether online or in person.

It’s cruel I know, but also true it seems.

With those things in mind, my 3 pieces of dating advice for men today, revolve around three ideas (in no particular order):

  • Flirt effectively
  • Be more attractive
  • Get over your fear of rejection

The science of flirting: What really works (and what doesn’t)

  1. Conversation starters differ from one another in terms of effectiveness
  2. When you get past the small talk, people feel more connected to one another
  3. Men tend to overestimate the level of attraction that women have to them
  4. Sex differences influence which features are most attractive
  5. There is power in a gentle touch
  6. It is not necessary to be the most attractive person in the room
  7. Making direct eye contact is really quite powerful

The science of flirting is a complex and often misunderstood topic.

What really works when it comes to flirting?

And what doesn’t?

How do you know when to stop?

It is important to know that the science of flirting is not always black and white.

There are some universal truths that can help you build the confidence to start a conversation with someone new.

However, certain aspects of flirting come down to the quirks of individual personalities and preferences.

The way one person approaches the science of flirting might be completely different from another person.

However, there seem to be six different reasons why people flirt with one another, which influences the approach.

Prof. David Dryden Henningsen of Northern Illinois University conducted a study of the research on flirting in 2004 and identified six possible reasons why people engage in the behaviour:

Six possible reasons why people flirt

  1. Sex: attempting to get into bed;
  2. Fun: treating it as a sport;
  3. Exploring: attempting to discover what it might be like to be in a relationship;
  4. Relational: attempting to strengthen the intimacy of a relationship;
  5. Self-esteem: attempting to increase one’s own self-esteem;
  6. Instrumental: attempting to obtain something from the other person

Henningsen asked 101 female and 99 male students in that study to write down a hypothetical flirting dialogue between a man and a woman, and then explain the motivations for what they said.

Men were much more likely than women to have a sexual incentive for their actions, while women were more likely to have a relational motivation.

Conversation starters differ from one another in terms of effectiveness.

The usefulness of three types of opening lines in a flirting scenario was tested in a study published in the journal Sex Roles by University of Alaska psychologist Chris L. Kleinke, who asked 600 participants to rate their effectiveness.

  • Pick-up lines such as “You must be a librarian since I saw you checking me out” and “You must be a librarian because I saw you checking me out.”
  • Innocuous, open-ended comments such as “What do you think of this band?” or “Who are you cheering for on the sports field?”
  • Direct approaches such as “You’re cute – do you mind if I buy you a drink?”

While males tended to favour a more direct approach, women tended to prefer open-ended, harmless questions.

Unsurprisingly, only a small number of participants stated that they preferred these pick-up lines.

When you get past the small talk, people feel more connected to one another.

You’re probably already aware that it’s a good idea to ask questions of the person you’re interested in.

However, it all comes down to the type of questions you ask.

A widely reported 1997 study by State University of New York psychologist Arthur Aron found that when people ask each other intimate questions, such as “What roles do love and affection play in your life?” and “What, if anything, is too serious to be laughed about?” they feel more strongly connected.

In fact, two of the individuals (a tiny proportion of the original study group) fell in love six months after the study began, an interesting outcome, though one that was not statistically significant.

Men tend to overestimate the level of attraction that women have to them.

Numerous studies support the notion that males tend to overperceive sexual attraction from women, whereas women tend to underestimate sexual interest from men.

In other words, men have a tendency to believe that women are interested in them when they are not, and women have a tendency to ignore the fact that men are interested in them.

There are many possible reasons for this.

University of Texas psychologists Martie Haselton and David M. Buss looked at a lot of these studies in 2000 and found that men are raised to see more sex in their environments while women are raised to be more modest.

But psychologists still haven’t come up with a perfect answer for these findings.

Sex differences influence which features are most attractive.

According to a 2011 study conducted by Jessica Tracy, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, heterosexual men and women have vastly different preferences when it comes to facial expressions.

Tracy’s findings after displaying 1,041 people the photographs of various facial expressions were:

  1. Happiness was the most appealing female expression, but one of the least attractive for men.
  2. Surprisingly, males found pride to be the most appealing male expression, but women found it to be one of the least attractive.
  3. Interestingly, both men and women found embarrassment to be somewhat attractive.

There is power in a gentle touch.

Using a gentle touch like placing your hand on her arm or touching her hand may be beneficial.

dating advice for men

Using 20-year-old men, psychologist Nicolas Gueguen conducted a study in which he asked them to approach female pedestrians in a French city and ask for their phone numbers.

Half of the time, the males just asked the question; the other half of the time, they softly touched the woman’s forearm for a fraction of a second while doing so.

Interestingly, when the males touched the woman’s arm, they had a better chance of getting her number than when they did not.

It is not necessary to be the most attractive person in the room.

It’s about communicating your availability.

A study conducted by psychologist Monica Moore at Webster University found that women who smiled and made eye contact with other individuals were more likely to be approached than women who were simply good-looking.

Moore observed this behaviour at singles’ bars, shopping malls, and other venues where young people interact.

Making direct eye contact is really quite powerful.

Gazing into someone else’s eyes, without appearing creepy has a real and tangible influence on them.

Participants’ arousal is greatly increased when they make direct eye contact with a live person as opposed to watching a photograph with either direct or averted gaze, as has been demonstrated by research.

Recent studies have suggested that social interaction may play a role in the augmentation of arousal.

That is to say, looking someone in the eyes is both a signal received and a signal delivered to communicate with others.

Now that you have a better idea of how to flirt more effectively, let’s consider attractiveness from a woman’s perspective (granted, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and few rules are without exceptions when it comes to human connection and relationships).

Are there things you can do, as a guy, to be perceived as more attractive?

Yes, there seems there are.

How to be more attractive to women, according to science

There are a number of characteristics in males that make them physically appealing to women, according to research in the fields of psychology and biology.

When it comes to male facial features like cheekbones and eyes, personal taste and desire have a bigger role than physical characteristics.

However, these physical traits aren’t as important as the physical features that a man can change, like facial hair and clothing.

Additionally, individuals also often find personality traits to be much more appealing than physical characteristics such as facial appearance.

The Journal of Psychology released cross-cultural research done at the University of California that sheds some light on what individuals find physically appealing, as determined by scientists.

Over the course of many years, University researchers analysed hundreds of people to understand more about the impact of physical attractiveness, positive personality traits, and cultural indicators on physical attractiveness and sexual desire.

Now, even those this study can tell you about what constitutes a physically appealing guy in some people’s eyes and give you basic information, individual preferences always exist, as I said earlier.

The following are the most prevalent physical and psychological characteristics of males deemed physically appealing by survey respondents, but take care and keep in mind that these responses reflect what a random sample of individuals found appealing.

However, attractiveness is subjective and varies from person to person.

Facial hair

A study published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior found that men with facial hair were rated as more attractive by women.

The study also found that men with facial hair were more likely to be perceived as dominant and masculine.

dating advice for men

Another study found that men with facial hair were rated as more attractive, masculine, and dominant than clean-shaven men.

Sincerity

Sincerity is attractive because it communicates that we are trustworthy and honest.

When we are sincere, we are sending the message that we can be relied on and that we are genuine in our words and actions.

This makes us more likable and trustworthy to others, which can lead to better relationships.

Individuals who have romantic feelings for someone and who make an effort to be truthful in their interactions may find this to be a tremendous turn-on for the other person; it is not difficult to think that the majority of people appreciate sincerity and good conduct.

Even if you’re simply attempting to be physically attractive for a limited period of time, according to the current state of psychology, being upfront and honest about your goals may be one of the most effective strategies to attract people emotionally.

This genuineness is appreciated by the typical person.

Ability to tell a good story

The ability to tell a good story is attractive because it demonstrates that the person has the ability to be creative, think outside the box, and communicate effectively.

All of these are qualities that are highly valued in a partner.

Body hair

There are many different reasons why people find body hair attractive.

For some, it may be the result of evolutionary cues that signify good health and fitness.

For others, it may simply be a matter of personal preference.

Men with a little amount of body hair are often prefered by certain women.

This is due to the fact that body hair may be seen as a sign of maturity and reproductive success, whether consciously or unconsciously.

This adds to a prospective mate’s total physical looks or sexual appeal on a psychological level.

Signs of being physically active

According to psychology, signs of being physically active are attractive because they indicate that the person is health-conscious and takes care of their body.

This sends the message that the person is disciplined and has self-control, which are qualities that are highly valued in a partner.

Additionally, physical activity releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting and stress-reducing effects.

This makes the person appear more positive and relaxed, which are also qualities that are attractive in a partner.

dating advice for men

Scientists also believe that women’s attraction to males with toned muscles and other evidence of physical activity dates back to prehistoric humans.

As a result, physical strength, rather than specialised skills or social connections, may have been necessary to cope with the challenges that archaic people endured throughout their lives.

The hip ratio, which shows a person’s capacity to reproduce, may also have an impact.

Additionally, according to certain studies, such as the one described above from the University of California, men with muscles and a decent hip ratio have been drawn to women for ages, and this hasn’t evolved much in relation to human behaviour.

A “traditional” feminine side

According to psychology, the traditional feminine side in males is attractive because it represents the ideal mate.

Some people find traditionally feminine things appealing, especially in physically attractive guys, if it signifies that the male is secure enough in their sexuality to be able to exhibit their genuine interests to other people.

This is also due to the fact that the conventional feminine side is connected with characteristics that are considered desirable in a spouse, such as being nurturing, caring, and loving, among other things.

Previously, researchers at the University had not regarded this characteristic to be a factor in male physical appeal or sexual attraction.

The experts at a university who are researching human behaviour found that these characteristics are now seen as desirable and physically appealing in males by certain people.

Researchers found that this was true for some people, especially when it came to their grooming habits and their roles in the home.

Grooming was shown to be the most important factor in determining a man’s physical attractiveness, as demonstrated by the study’s findings.

The findings also revealed that males who engaged in duties traditionally associated with women in the home, including cooking, housework, and child-rearing, were often seen as being more physically appealing to women.

Sense of humour

According to psychology, a sense of humour is attractive because it indicates that a person is intelligent, quick-witted, and able to see the funny side of things.

All of these qualities are highly desirable in a partner.

A sense of humour also makes a person more fun to be around and more likely to be successful in social situations.

In terms of verbal intelligence, psychologists point out that the ability to talk about things in an intelligent way is seen as important.

Sociologists also suggest that a sense of humour can also help in establishing and maintaining relationships with other people.

Being into music

Being interested in music is likely attractive since it demonstrates that you are enthusiastic and have excellent taste in art.

It may also show that you are open-minded and eager to try new things, as well as that you are extroverted and love socialising.

All of these qualities are highly desirable in a partner.

Now, that you have a varied musical taste could be enough to make you attractive to someone even if they don’t share your music preferences or don’t enjoy the music you play for them.

Intelligence

Intelligence is often seen as attractive because it is associated with a number of positive qualities, such as being successful, competent, and able to understand and solve complex problems.

People who are perceived as intelligent are also often seen as more likely to be successful in their careers and to have better relationships.

According to the journal of personality and social psychology, cognitive evaluation is an important driver of interpersonal attraction.

However, there is no need to put forth additional effort to seem knowledgeable in order to entice someone.

Nonetheless, you may need to seem intelligent in their minds and be capable to hold an intriguing and reasonable dialogue.

You can do this by being genuinely interested in the things that people say to you and by demonstrating your knowledge about those things.

Smelling good

The sense of smell is very important when it comes to attraction because a person’s body odour tells men and women a lot more than whether or not they’ve just bathed.

Studies have shown that people are attracted to others who have a pleasant scent.

This is probably because the sense of smell is closely linked to the limbic system, which is responsible for emotions and memories.

When you smell someone who smells good, it can trigger positive emotions and memories.

dating advice for men

This can make you feel more attracted to that person.

Hormones and certain microorganisms present in another’s body odour might also be detected by those sensitive to body odour.

In the biological sense, this may assist people in choosing mates who will have a greater chance of reproducing and passing on their genes to the next generation.

Psychological and biological studies show that certain men’s natural scents might be even more seductive than colognes for some women.

Good hair

There are many reasons why people find good, well-maintained hair attractive.

For one, hair is a sign of good health, which is always attractive.

Additionally, hair can be seen as a symbol of youth and vitality, two things that everyone finds attractive.

However, some women love the polar opposite and prefer males with short hair or who are bald.

This will come down to personal preference, to be honest.

But, it still adheres to the fundamental principle of humans being visual I mentioned before.

We also have a preference for things we love looking at, including those we date.

Volunteering

Volunteering is attractive to potential mates because it is a signal of altruism, which is associated with a host of positive qualities including intelligence, cooperation, and a capacity for empathy.

People nowadays, according to psychology, prefer a guy who is ready to contribute their time and effort to a worthwhile cause.

It reveals a lot about a person’s character; it might indicate that they are gentle, compassionate, and concerned about others.

Altruistic behaviour is also seen as an indicator of good genes since it demonstrates that an individual is able to put the needs of others above their own.

Showing passion

A person’s level of passion is often recognised as the most significant or appealing personality feature by others.

A passionate man is attractive to many women because he exudes a sense of confidence and power.

When a man is passionate about something, it shows that he is driven and ambitious.

These qualities are highly attractive to women, as they indicate that the man is likely to be successful in his pursuits.

Additionally, a passionate man is usually very articulate and can express himself well.

This is another quality that women find attractive, as it shows that the man is intelligent and has the ability to communicate effectively.

The main point here is that when people see males who are enthusiastic and passionate about something that they are really interested in, they are more likely to be attracted to them.

In fact, the University of California studies say that a person may even be willing to overlook a bad personality feature if they believe the unfavourable qualities arise from a man’s passion.

Work ethic

A man’s work ethic is attractive according to some research (in the USA at least) because it demonstrates that he is responsible and capable of taking care of himself and others, even though we should all aim to care for ourselves.

However, a strong work ethic may be attractive to a possible mate since it demonstrates that he is prepared to put in the effort to attain his objectives, and how would this transfer into other aspects of life or predict other essential behaviours?

It might indicate that he is likely to be a good provider and a reliable partner.

Having confidence

A man’s confidence is attractive because it is a sign of high self-esteem.

When a man has high self-esteem, he is more likely to be successful in life and to have a positive outlook on life.

This positive outlook is contagious and makes those around him feel good about themselves as well.

The University of California research found that males who felt more physically attractive were evaluated as more physically appealing by other individuals.

In this example, it is clear that having confidence in yourself could encourage others to believe in you.

Being chivalrous

Being chivalrous is attractive to many people because it shows that you are caring and willing to help others.

It also shows that you are confident and have good manners.

dating advice for men

All of these qualities are attractive to both men and women.

Integrity

One of the most attractive qualities in a man is integrity.

This is because a man with integrity is someone who is honest and trustworthy.

He is someone who is reliable and who can be counted on to do what he says he will do.

A man with integrity is also usually someone who is principled and who has a strong sense of right and wrong.

He is typically someone who is moral and ethical.

In short, a man with integrity tends to be someone who is a good person.

And that is very attractive.

Dominance or prestige

In a study published in the International Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, researchers sought to determine if women prefer domineering males or prominent men.

And, according to the results, those seeking short-term relationships may be more drawn to domineering males.

On the contrary, individuals hoping for a long-term relationship are more interested in males of high social status than those looking for casual encounters.

What does all this mean for you as a man looking to be perceived as more attractive?

At the end of the day, it is critical to understand that each woman will be drawn to different aspects of a man.

However, it’s also important to recognise that there are some fundamental things a man can focus on in order to be more attractive to women.

Among them are things like having confidence, being a good listener, and being respectful.

These items will never go out of style.

Beards and status come and go, but how we make people feel while they are with us and how we treat them will remain in demand and highly desirable.

As a result, show interest in the things that the woman you’re dating is interested in, and be sincere in your feelings for her.

And don’t beat about the bush or drag her around for your own amusement.

Instead, be sincere and truthful.

If all you want is sex, then be honest about it (respectfully of course).

But don’t give someone hope where there isn’t any, especially if all you’re actually looking for is casual sex. It might not be what she wants, but at least she’ll know and have the opportunity to choose.

Treating her kindly and decently, as you would like to be treated, will eliminate the necessity for absurd and juvenile behaviours such as “ghosting,” “haunting,” “submarining,” or “zombieing,” as well as all the other ridiculous “-ings.”

That brings us to the third main piece of dating advice for men,

Get over your fear of rejection

When dating, a man must overcome his fear of rejection for a variety of reasons.

The most important reason is that if he doesn’t put himself out there, he won’t find the woman of his dreams.

As soon as a man is turned down, he moves one step closer to meeting the woman of his dreams.

Furthermore, the more dates a man goes on, the more experience he will have and the less probable he will face rejection.

dating advice for men

Here’s what I learned and came to believe about rejection when I was still dating (the old school way, when rejection happened in person!): the fear of rejection is normal but mostly based on stories in our heads.

Psychology tells us that people who are afraid of being rejected often have irrational beliefs about what they are afraid of.

These beliefs could be that we are not good enough or that if we do not fulfil someone’s standards, it’s the end of the world.

These ideas are frequently founded on our prior experiences or what we have witnessed happen to others.

To overcome our fear of rejection, we must challenge these ideas and recognise that we are worthy of love and acceptance.

We might also learn to embrace rejection as a natural part of life, rather than as something that keeps us back.

The important thing is to retain an open mind and not allow our past experiences to determine our future.

The following four suggestions can help you in overcoming your fear of rejection and improving your dating life:

1. Improve Your Self-Esteem

Having good self-esteem is the best method to overcome the fear of rejection.

A high sense of self-esteem allows us to feel good about ourselves and to set higher expectations for our romantic relationships.

Low self-esteem, on the other hand, makes us sensitive to the fear of rejection.

We may then be too quick to give up and accept less than we deserve.

You must cultivate strong self-esteem in order to overcome your fear of rejection.

Spending time with individuals who appreciate us for who we are is the best approach to do this.

2. Keep in mind that everyone has insecurities

There is no such thing as a flawless individual.

Everyone has weaknesses, and their past experiences have heightened their awareness of them.

People who are afraid of rejection are especially sensitive to negative feedback and frequently confuse disapproval for dislike.

Disinterest from others should not be taken as a personal attack on you. Instead, take something away from it.

Make use of it to help you grow and become a better guy.

3. Make an effort to put yourself out there

What’s the worst that might happen? The answer is “nothing.”

Not really.

Not when compared to real-life threats like wars and famine.

Not when compared to the loss of your home and livelihood.

Nothing you can’t deal with is going to happen.

Yes, by putting yourself out there you risk rejection, but you’re also “at-risk” of finding love and happiness.

The truth is, you’re not going to discover joy in your love life by sitting on the couch and waiting for her to knock on the door.

4. Put an end to comparing yourself to others

Comparison is a major source of anxiety and despair.

When you consistently compare yourself to others, you will always fall short of your own expectations.

You’ll never be happy with who you are because you’ll always wish you could be someone else.

When, in fact, there is no such thing as perfection, and you are only competing with yourself to improve.

When you recognise this, you will be able to enjoy the moment more fully.

No one will love you perfectly since neither you nor they are flawless.

Fear of rejection is simply a mind game that you are allowing to rule your life and prevent you from finding love.

Get over yourself and put yourself out there.

As we say in the fishing world, “you might not catch anything when fishing, but you’ll definitely not catch anything if you don’t have bait in the water.”

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the best dating advice for men will vary depending on the individual’s unique circumstances and personality.

However, psychology does provide us with some general tips or principles that can be useful for all men who are looking to improve their dating lives.

First, it is important to be confident and to project a positive image of oneself.

Second, it is helpful to be well-groomed and to dress sharp.

Third, it is important to be a good conversationalist and a good listener.

Fourth, it is vital to be a sincerely good person.

What are your thoughts on dating advice for men?

Leave your thoughts below.

About the author 

Gideon

Gideon is the founder of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a top-50 relationship blog (2021) and top-100 marriage blog (2021) which focuses on providing healthy relationship advice about love and life. He earned a Master's degree in theological studies before training as a professional counsellor and hypnotherapist (DipProfCouns., DipMSHT.) almost 10 years ago. He completed a graduate diploma in Psychology and is currently pursuing postgraduate Psychology studies at Massey University. He has been married to his wife for over sixteen years and is the father of two children. His articles have been published on Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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  1. Our personalities and characteristics are frequently shaped by the surroundings that we ’re most exposed to. A loving terrain where all members are treated with respect will most probably produce a kind, regardful, loving personality.

    On the negative, a harsh terrain where the value of members is demeaned and disrespected will presumably beget a person to be anxious, tone-conscious, and fearful. Such a person may be on the road to getting emotionally abusive, verbally abusive, and psychologically abusive (these three expressions of abuse depict the same type of bad behavior).

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