How A Guy's Smile Instantly Affects His Perceived Dateability

Photographed by Anna Alexa Basile.
Here's a study we can get behind: Not only does it have maybe our favorite study title ever, it also brings up something very interesting about first impressions. Published last summer in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, the study, Cool Guys and Warm Husbands: The Effect of Smiling on Male Facial Attractiveness for Short- and Long-Term Relationships (nothing like wordplay in science, right?), found that women consider men who smile both warmer and more desirable for a long-term relationship than men with neutral expressions.

Related: 4 Ways To Use Eye Contact To Your Advantage
Researchers showed 71 heterosexual female participants photos of both men with neutral expressions and smiling men, and asked them to judge the men on their facial expressions alone. Those who were smiling came off as more trustworthy and much happier, leading the participants to deem them better candidates for long-term relationships and marriage. Meanwhile, men with neutral expressions were rated as more masculine and more desirable as short-term partners or casual hookups — probably since "neutral" can easily slip into "brooding." (That's right: You can accidentally come off as tall, dark, and handsome if you're not careful, fellas.)
Related: Does Who You Date Change Who You Are?

Overall, the women in the study explained that approachability and warmth in a significant other were major priorities — hence their clear preferences for the smiling men as potential partners. Let's make one thing clear, though: There's a smile, and then there's a smile.

Click through to Shape for more in-depth dating tips. (Shape)

Related: What I Learned From 10 Years Of One-Night Stands

More from Sex & Relationships

Sexting was never my thing, and I sure as hell never thought I would even consider cybersex. I knew myself — or at least, I thought I did. I’ll get too ...
Historically, women in West Africa have not had a voice. Men decide if their wife or wives can use birth control or have access to money; fathers decide if...
Foreplay often doesn't get enough credit — not to mention time or attention. In one study of heterosexual couples published in the Journal of Sexual ...
Amber Rose doesn't do "off days." "I always feel confident," she tells us. "I never allow myself to not feel confident. I wake up and say, I’m going out ...
Aside from encountering creeps and starting conversations that just don't go anywhere, one major problem online daters face is catfishing. According to a...
A version of this story originally appeared on Shape. When it comes to female pleasure, there's enough misinformation out there to fill a book. One of ...
This article was originally published on December 18, 2015. According to stereotypes, men are the sexually voracious cheaters and women are the ...
(Paid Content) You don't need a degree in common sense to know getting involved with a coworker is a bad idea. Yet, we probably all know someone who has, ...
We're great fans of accessorizing in the bedroom. Au naturel stimulation is wonderful, but sex toys can do things that people just can't. The sex toy ...
Even as the sex toy market continues to expand, there remain a few vital "firsts" for the industry to tackle. This week, with the arrival of the Buck-Off...
The Halloween-costume-planning frenzy is officially in full swing, and we still have so many questions. Is our costume idea clever without being obscure? ...
This article was originally published on April 2, 2015 and has been updated throughout. Lube is a little like masturbation. It's a big part of most people...
It would be an understatement to say that a lot of us love superhero blockbusters. Luckily, there's really no shortage of them, but should you ever need ...
The following is an excerpt from Asa Akira's recently released memoir Dirty Thirty. Another year of wasted eggs because I chose to whore instead. “Do ...