If you’re hoping your Valentine’s Day date will blossom into long-term love, be sure to study him closely in the candlelight.
Women are drawn to men with broader faces for short-term relationships, according to a study – but they do not tend to see them as husband material.
This could be because men with wider faces are perceived to be more dominant and aggressive. While this may initially make them appear desirable, they are less appealing traits in a long-term partner.
Researchers studied more than 150 single men and women, aged 18 to 32, during a speed-dating event, with interactions lasting three minutes.
Men who had been independently rated as more dominant were found to have broader faces and the women said they would be more interested in striking up a short-term relationship with these men.
Lead researcher Katherine Valentine, of Singapore Management University, said: ‘Our study shows that within three minutes of meeting in real life, women find more dominant, wider-faced men attractive for short-term relationships, and want to go on another date with them.’
Previous research has explored whether physically dominant men are actually attractive to women.
The study, published in Psychological Science, revealed that facial width and height are both factors that are thought to have an effect on the level of dominance.
Ms Valentine said: ‘High male FWHR (face width height ratio) has previously been associated with surviving in hand-to-hand combat, aggressiveness, self-perceived power, and CEO’s financial success.
‘Our study shows it’s also a reasonably good indicator of perceived dominance – not only that, it piques women’s interest in a face-to-face speed-dating setting.’
It was thought that, because of its link with testosterone, FWHR, would make men seem more dominant and desirable as short term partners.
But as facial width is also linked with undesirable traits like aggression, women would not want them as long term partners.
Researchers looked at over 150 single men and women, aged 18 to 32, who took part in speed dating.
Each date lasted three minutes. They found that men with wider faces were considered more dominant.
Women not only expressed interest in short term relationships with these men, but were also more likely to choose them for a second date, regardless of their age.
Researchers believe that women were attracted to men with wider faces because they seemed more dominant.
‘The fact that women wanted to see these men again suggests that our findings are robust – women aren’t just saying they are interested, they’re actually willing to be contacted by these men,’ said Ms Valentine.
‘Previous studies have found that women prefer more dominant men for short-term relationships, but almost all of these studies were based in the lab and did not involve an interaction that could actually lead to mating and dating.’