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Guys vs. Girls: What’s “Attractive”

There are certain physical and moral standards we are pressured to attain. I sat down with five other college students in hopes of getting some honest answers to what both guys and girls consider “attractive.”

First, let’s get physical!

What’s the most attractive physical feature a guy can have?

Guys think:

Daniel: “I think girls care the most about a guy’s face, but I care most about the guy’s body. He should have toned muscles, but not look like he only has the muscles to impress people.”Luke: “In my opinion, the best physical feature is a guy’s face because it’s the first thing you see about someone and then you begin to focus on everything else.”Adam: “A guy should have good personal hygiene.”

Girls think:

Mariam: “I always look at a guy’s smile or eyes. That’s just what I’m drawn to.”Rachel: “Cleanliness; a guy that takes care of himself is attractive.”Sam (me): “I love when a guy has pretty eyes and nice muscular arms.”

How about a girl?

Guys think:

D: “A good body.”L: “If a girl has a pretty face then the rest kinda falls into place. A beautiful face is the priority.”A: “I love a girl with nice hair and beautiful eyes.”

Girls think:

M: “When girls have very full, thick hair and lips.”R: “A strong smile.”S: “I think girls with athletic looking bodies are attractive. When a girl looks healthy, not too skinny.”

What’s the most attractive non-physical feature a guy can have?

Guys think:

D: “Being genuine and being caring. There are tons of guys who act caring towards girls, but many just do it to impress them. A truly good guy acts caring because he genuinely wants the best for that girl.”L: “That he’s overall a nice guy. Like he’s nice to talk to and cares about people other than himself.”A: I think a guy should be respectful, be a good listener, and have a great sense of humor.”

Girls think:

M: “Someone who shows passion and interest in something. Like a drive of some sort.”R: “Humor, I want to know that they can laugh at life.”S: “Nerdiness is really cute in guys! It shows they’re comfortable being themselves. That goes along with self-confidence, and that’s really attractive.”

And how about a girl?

Guys think:

D: “Being easy to talk to and fun to be around.”L: “If she can hold a conversation. As a guy, I don’t want to be doing all the work, she needs to put effort into conversations. And it’s really awesome if she can text first sometimes.”A: “Humor in a girl is absolutely key for me, I’m always making people laugh so it’s really nice to find a girl who can figure out my humor and knows how to make me genuinely laugh.”

Girls think:

M: “If a girl isn’t afraid to be weird.”R: “Being down to earth and having a positive outlook at life.”S: “I think when a girl is humble it’s really approachable. I hate when girls act like everyone else is beneath them.”

What’s something you look for in a potential girlfriend or boyfriend?

Guys think:

D: “Someone who I always want to be around and someone I can have fun with.”L: “We would have to like the same things. She needs to enjoy my company and be able to take me when I’m angry or upset. And she needs to be able to put effort into our relationship.”A: “Common interests are very important otherwise we end up not doing anything together that excites both of us.”

Girls think:

M: “Someone who is outgoing, loyal, and trustworthy with a good sense of humor. Someone who can bring me up when I’m feeling down and someone who has goals for the future.”R: “Honesty; someone that tells you the truth even if they know it’s gonna be hard to hear.”S: “Someone who can comfortably reciprocate all the respect, concern, and love that I give to them without having to force it.”

What’s a physical deal breaker for you?


D: “Nothing too specific. I’d say the closest thing is being overweight and having no motivation to try to lose weight.”L: “If her thighs and butt are a little too big. And if she looks really bad without makeup on.”A: “Super thin girls, like almost boney.”

And girls:

M: “When someone doesn’t look clean or kept up. I like when guys look like they take care of themselves.”R: “Bad teeth, for sure. Like gross, unbrushed teeth.”S: “If he has really messed up teeth.”

And a non-physical deal breaker?


D: “There are a ton of potential non-physical deal breakers. I’d say anything that makes them incompatible with me. If I act any differently than myself around someone than we’re not gonna work.”L: “If she’s rude. Like she’s just not nice to other people. And if she can’t hold a conversation or if she doesn’t communicate well. If she doesn’t know how to think for herself and if she can’t solve her own problems. ”A: “I wouldn’t want to date a girl who can’t be herself and express her true feelings towards certain topics and situations.”


M: “When a guy’s more cocky than confident.”R: “Someone that has a poor outlook on life in a way that nothing is ever pleasing to them. Like a pessimistic personality. ”S: “If he isn’t passionate about anything or is unable to express his emotions. I’m a very passionate person and I need someone who I can talk to about all the things I find joy in.”

What’s most important: appealing physical or non-physical features? Why?

Guys say:

D: “Physical features play a major role in initial attraction but for anything long lasting non-physical is more important because the most important thing in being attracted to someone is how you feel when you’re around them.”L: “A little bit of both. You need to have a good personality and also good looks. There needs to be a balance.”A: “Non-physical definitely comes first, cause I don’t want to end up with a beautiful girl who doesn’t know how to have fun, I’d rather be with a girl that knows how to be herself and have lots of fun.”

Girls say:

M: “I’d say personality, so non-physical, because it’s more important to trust and connect with someone through words rather than just finding them physically attractive.”R: “Non-physical because there’s always more to a person than just how they look, like how they act and treat people.”S: “I don’t fall for guys for their hot bodies. I fall for their personalities and passions and all the little quirks that make them unique.”

Describe, in your own words, the overall, most attractive person to you.


D: “The most attractive person to me is someone who I am 100% comfortable with and is someone I want to be with during my best and worst times.”L: “The first thing that comes to mind would probably be if she’s attractive in the face area with a nice body. Not a twig or too big. She has to be outgoing and able to deal with me when I’m at my worst. And she has to be nice and able to talk to other people too.”A: “The most attractive and all around perfect girl would have to be one who loves photography just as much as I do, who is willing to sacrifice time every once in a while to be with me and that enjoys it, someone that likes to do athletic things like workout and such in other words someone who takes care of themselves.”


M: “I’d say someone who looks nice and cleaned up with a good smile and a great sense of humor. Someone well dressed and in shape. And who can help me when I’m feeling down. A guy who can be weird with me and who is motivated to do something with his life. I want him to have good leadership qualities.”R: “Someone that can laugh at his faults and have a good time. Someone that can be serious when he needs to be, but not all the time. Someone not too short or too tall and perhaps with a clean-cut beard. ”S: “To me the most attractive person is someone who will go out of their way to help other people. He loves life and laughing as much as I do. He is goofy and nerdy in the cutest of ways, but can also be serious when necessary. I’m attracted to taller guys with pretty eyes and nice facial hair, but at the end of the day a guy with a similar personality and interests as me trumps someone who meets those physical requirements. But if he has all of the above, well then he’s just perfect for me.”

So there you have it! To recap: guys, at least the three I talked to, are attracted to fit, humorous girls who can hold legitimate conversations and who are nice. So girls: when you’re interested in a guy, show it! Guys want to feel wanted. And girls like well-kept guys who like to laugh. So gentlemen: brush your teeth, comb your hair, and don’t take things too seriously because Cyndi Lauper knows what’s up. Girls just wanna have fun. 

Now, how do YOU define “attractive”?

Hey I'm Samantha. I'm working towards a journalism major with a minor in writing. I love photography and writing and I'm so glad I get to combine both through HerCampus. I hope you all enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoy writing them!
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