The Real Reason Why Some Girls Prefer Ugly Men

Seeing a beautiful woman with a not-so-beautiful guy fills us with a burning curiosity. It’s like apples and oranges. Attractive people date attractive people, for the most part. Or do they?

By Gwen Farrell3 min read
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Both women and men are naturally judgmental creatures, especially in an internet age where we first make a judgment about someone based on what they look like. It’s for this reason that a beautiful woman dating a not conventionally attractive guy just doesn’t compute with us. What could she possibly see in him?

A lot, as it turns out. There are several reasons why some girls prefer ugly men, but not for the reasons we might think.

The Pete Davidson Question

While comedian and former SNL cast member Pete Davidson isn’t hideously unattractive by any means, Arnold Schwarzenegger he is not. He’s definitely not the ideal man in terms of physicality for a lot of girls, but he’s been romantically linked to world-famous supermodels and actresses. What gives?

It isn’t all that surprising, really. According to close friends, dating experts, and even some of the women he’s dated, Pete has an honest, genuine set of qualities that separate him from most Hollywood types and make him attractive to women. Davidson is a very vocal mental health advocate, and one SNL castmate described him as “sweet and vulnerable.”

He’s also funny (depending on who you ask). As much as we might think physical attractiveness trumps a sense of humor, what’s going to last in a long-term relationship? Looks fade over time, but intelligence, wit, and charm are all characteristics that last well into old age and keep drawing us to our significant other. Chemistry, regardless of what we look like, is an undeniable aspect of bringing many couples together, and the linchpin in that kind of attraction is a fantastic sense of humor.

Looks fade over time, but intelligence, wit, and charm are all characteristics that last well into old age.

Another Hollywood insider told one news source, “You wouldn’t think it, but he has impeccable manners and is so polite. I think, honestly, that’s part of the reason women like him.” Manners and politeness should be the bare minimum when it comes to how our boyfriends treat us, but sadly it’s far removed from much of modern dating and the romantic interactions we have nowadays. Chivalry may be dead to some, but if Pete Davidson can date a Kardashian, clearly there’s something to having good manners and being “the nice guy” (and not in an insincere way).

It Could Be Insecurity

Physical characteristics aside, there could be more logical thinking as to why women are choosing less attractive men to date. Women who’ve been cheated on or hurt in the past (like Emily Ratajkowski), or maybe who’ve been disappointed in pursuing an extremely attractive mate (what’s commonly known as outkicking your coverage), could believe that a less attractive guy won’t leave them or hurt them in the same way.

This is problematic for a number of reasons, the main one being that if there is no component of true physical attraction, your relationship is unlikely to last. But it is understandable. If you’ve been cheated on or betrayed in the past, you might head back into the dating pool with a fresh set of eyes.

Most of us know that looks aren’t everything, and we should judge others the same way we’d want to be judged in their eyes. But still waters run deep, and even if we’re initially turned off by someone because they’re not conventionally attractive, they could be the right fit for us in terms of temperament, personality, sense of humor, intellect, and other qualities. If these characteristics are enough to pique our interest initially, we could grow to develop an appreciation for their looks as well. 

Attraction, aside from our early, spur-of-the-moment opinions about someone based on their looks, can be complicated. We could end up dating someone we find hot or sexy, only to discover their personality doesn’t match up to the looks. In the same way, we might not usually go for a guy who looks dissimilar to who we’ve dated in the past, only to find that our personalities are compatible and very complementary to one another.

Being Funny Helps

Men usually operate under the assumption that all women go for is abs, biceps, and a strong jawline, but this isn’t necessarily true. Every woman is different obviously, but fortunately, science has found several definitive traits that women are drawn to.

To be fair, physique is one of them. From an evolutionary standpoint, women are naturally drawn to someone who’s taller than them. Women also appreciate a man who takes care of himself – so regardless of what your other physical characteristics look like, being active and going to the gym can only help in this regard. Facial hair helps too. One survey found that women overwhelmingly prefer men with facial hair, or at the very least, some stubble.  

Women overwhelmingly prefer men with facial hair, or at the very least, some stubble.  

We know that women usually go for the most masculine presentation, but what about behavior and personality? Once again, a sense of humor is so important. A study from Northumbria University discovered that a good sense of humor communicates several things to a woman about a particular guy – one, that he’s intelligent, and two, that he’s able to be social. No girl wants to date a guy who can’t take a joke or get along with their friends. Another study from Stanford found that many women find funny men “irresistible.”

Other skills, like social value and leadership capabilities, are also attractive to women. Believe it or not, looks aren’t absolutely everything. If you can make a woman laugh and you take care of yourself physically, you have just as much of a shot as the traditionally “hot” guy.

Closing Thoughts

We might look at a particular couple and think, “Why the heck is she going out with him?” The most beautiful woman in the world choosing a complete schlub is unthinkable in our eyes, but look at how he treats her. Is she constantly laughing, enjoying herself, and is she taken care of? Is he social and witty, intelligent, charming, and easygoing? Is he humble but confident in himself, and serious about his health? Does he treat her like a queen? In cases like these, it’s really not that much of a mystery after all.

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