How to be an attractive man

What are the 20% of things responsible for 80% of your attractiveness and success with women? This guide will equip you with all the skills and habits you need to get girls attracted to you.

By Ed Latimore Last modified

A lot of guys spend most of their lives with no clue what they’re doing.

Between the lack of strong father figures…

The misinformation being spread in schools and mainstream media (“toxic masculinity” sound familiar?)…

And Hollywood movie tropes (do nice guys finish first or last, again?)…

Not to mention the things girls say they like

It’s hard to separate truth from fiction, and to get a real grip on things. It’s tough to figure out what exactly makes a guy more attractive.

Now, let me preface this by pointing out the obvious:

I don’t know everything.

But I did already go through my twenties and amassed plenty of experience. Combined with a healthy dose of common sense, this article contains the big lessons I’ve learned.

In my experience, the idea that roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes holds true for male attractiveness and romantic success too.

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Now, I want to be clear. This isn’t a dating guide.

I’m not a dating coach like RSD Tyler.

And I’m not a renowned professor of evolutionary psychology like Geoffrey Miller.

I won’t help you with the minutia of interactions with the opposite sex.

I won’t tell you what this or that body language means…

Or give you any clever lines to use.

In fact, for the most part, this article is the opposite of a dating guide.

It’s an anti-dating guide.

I want you to chase after fewer women. Instead of chasing tail I want you to focus on yourself:

I will give you three areas of life to focus on in order to make yourself as attractive as possible.

They are all basically lifestyle changes, not mindset shifts (which take longer). With all the recommendations I make, you will see a noticeable difference in 3-6 months.

This is because while it’s important to think about the long term…

To put in the time and build something real…

It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t notice any difference early on.

Fast successes motivate long-term commitment to a goal.

In short, this guide is foundational. It won’t teach you the finer details or advanced pick-up skills. It won’t teach you the evolutionary reasons for why women find certain things attractive.

It will, however, show you how to transform yourself into the kind of guy that girls do find desirable.

Because without a solid foundation, everything else is more or less useless.

If you haven’t learned arithmetic, you won’t be able to perform even the “basics” of advanced mathematics.


Do women care about appearance?

Some guys think they’re not good-looking or handsome enough to attract hot girls.

Photo of Christina Hendricks and Geoffrey Arend together
Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks is married to Geoffrey Arend, who’s certainly not got model looks.

Unless you have Quasimodo-like deformities, not being blessed with top 10% (or top 1%) genetics is not an excuse for failure.

Truth is, women care far less about physical appearances than men do.

And they look for different things.

As a man, your appearance is judged in four different categories:

  • Grooming
  • Physique
  • Fashion/style
  • Face

You can’t do much about the way your face looks (apart from keeping it clean), but you can do a lot of other things:

How to groom better

Grooming is simple. Unlike most women, you don’t have to spend an hour every day putting on or taking off make-up in order to look good

Go for a basic but clean hairstyle. Only shave your head if you’re black or if you’re already balding. Learn how to talk to your barber.

Keep your facial hair well-maintained or go clean-shaven.

Keep your nails (and nose hair) trimmed, and moisturize your hands.

Don’t worry about armpit hair or pubic hair. They don’t matter, until they don’t matter. (If you get into a relationship, your girl will let you know if she has a problem with either of them.)

Handle all body odor:

  • Use deodorant and cologne
  • Brush your teeth and use mouthwash

How to get an attractive physique

If you want to make your body more attractive, you need to focus on doing two things:

  • Building muscle mass
  • Reducing your body fat

To accomplish these things, hit heavy weights and eat healthy food. (If you don’t have access to a gym, create your own.)

You should be doing more to take care of your body (like improving your cardiovascular health). What I’m outlining here is just the fastest way to make yourself more attractive.

In terms of physique, there’s no “ideal weight” that you should aim for.

Instead, look at BMI and body fat percentage:

  • Get your body fat to somewhere around 10-14%
  • Get your BMI to around 23-27

If you’re 5’10”, you’ll look best at about 11% body fat and weighing 175 to 190 pounds.

That’s not freakishly huge. And you shouldn’t aim to be.

Most women do not like the bodybuilder physique:

Instead, they prefer guys who look like models or athletes. (Swimmers or soccer players, not Olympic weightlifters.)

Famous soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo
This is the body type you should aspire towards.

Unless you’re severely obese or ultra skinny, you can get very close to your ideal metrics after 6 months of healthy eating and regular weightlifting. (You might not be as ripped as you’d like though, that can take longer.)

And don’t forget that consistency always trumps everything else: it’s better to hit the gym fewer times but more consistently…

Than hitting it every day and then dropping off after two or three weeks.

You’re running a marathon, not a sprint.


Style basics for men

First of all, let’s get this out of the way:

Caring about the way you look, and the clothes you wear is not gay.

Ed Latimore standing in a pumpkin patch, wearing a grey sweater, chinos, and navy blue quilted vest — and holding a pumpkin.
I’m not a fashion expert, but I get by alright. This was taken in the fall of 2016.

If you respect yourself, and want others to do the same, you need to master at least the basics of menswear and style.

You don’t need to stay up to date on all the latest fashion trends.

In fact, unless you’re genuinely interested in that (in which case more power to you) it’s probably best to ignore fashion trends altogether.

Like Yves Saint-Laurent (the guy who started the famous clothing brand with the same name) once said:

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

So buck the trends and stick to principles and clothes that will never go out of fashion.

Again, the 20/80 rule applies here as well. 20% of your effort contributes to 80% of your results.

In most cases, what makes an outfit attractive is: proportion and scale. Wear fitted clothes with small (or no) patterns, wear mid- or high-rise pants, and choose the right colors.

Unless you’re 6’8” or above, you probably want to look a little taller and leaner. Brock from The Modest Man has a great video guide on things to do and things not to do:

I’m including this video because, even if you’re on the tall side, it still applies. You might want to make yourself look a little shorter by contrasting the color of your pants and shirt, or wearing bigger patterns.

Aside from the fit, pay attention to these things:

  • Unless you’re 13, don’t wear novelty t-shirts outside the gym
  • Don’t wear wrinkly clothes
  • Make sure your clothes don’t smell bad
  • If you can afford it, it’s better to pay more for high quality products — they fit, feel, and look better (and you save money in the long run)

Appearance is important for two reasons:

  1. It will make you more attractive to women in and of itself
  2. But perhaps more importantly, looking good will give you a confidence boost — which will make you more attractive to women.

Why you need a hobby

Every man needs a skill or hobby. It gives him confidence, and it makes him more interesting.

Skills and hobbies show that you are passionate about something, that you are active, and that you have status and intelligence.

These are all important factors that make you more attractive.

And no, playing video games all day isn’t a hobby. It’s a way to waste your life away with nothing to show for it. 

And no girl thinks guys who spend their days playing World of Warcraft or Call of Duty and downing energy drinks are attractive.

What’s a good hobby?

Tim Ferriss dancing tango
Tango is a great hobby for meeting and attracting women. Tim Ferriss only practiced for a few months before participating in the world championships.

Good hobbies that increase your attractiveness meet one or several of these criteria:

  • It makes you the center of attention
  • It places you around women
  • It forces you to compete with other men (in person)
  • It lets you demonstrate applied intelligence…
  • … Or applied athleticism

You should probably have more than one hobby.

I won’t tell you what hobbies to pick. Every guy has different interests, enjoys different activities, and likes different kinds of girls.

I can, however, make some suggestions to kickstart your brainstorming process:

  Center of attention: Around women: Male competition: Intelligence: Athleticism:
Center of attention: Lead singer in a band Improv theater Politics (being a candidate/leader)   Competitive fighting
Around women: Improv theater Volunteer work   French language course Salsa dancing
Male competition: Politics (being a candidate/leader)     Chess Competitive fighting
Intelligence: Slam poetry French language course Chess    
Athleticism: Competitive fighting Salsa dancing  Crossfit   Weightlifting

As you can see, a lot of activities meet several criteria.

Pick hobbies that touch on as many points as possible, and that you find interesting.

Don’t stress about picking something for the sole reason that it will make you more attractive to women. There are groupies for every male endeavor — so focus on what you’re actually interested in.

Don’t forget to have more than one hobby. In the world of socializing and romance, 1+1=3. By cultivating several hobbies, you not only lead a more varied life. You also make yourself more interesting and perhaps even a little mysterious.

Like with looking your best, having hobbies makes you attractive in more than just one way:

  • It puts you around women
  • It gives them a reason to admire you
  • It makes you more confident

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Stop being awkward

If you want to have success with women, you need to learn solid social skills.

You need to know how to approach strangers, how to have small talk, how to hold a conversation, and how to create rapport.

Mastering the art of small-talk is an essential life skill

Even if you’re not super awkward, I’m gonna take a wild a guess and say you don’t go out of your way to make new friends.

A lot of guys stick with the same group of friends throughout their life.

That’s fine. I’m not saying you should ditch them.

I am saying, however, that you should make new friends — and get more comfortable creating connections with people you don’t know that well.

Why? Several reasons:

  1. You’ll have more fun

  2. It’s a challenge

  3. You’ll develop a different aspect of your social skills: how to meet new people

  4. You’ll become more comfortable in your own skin and feel more confident

  5. You’ll meet new people, and many of them will be girls

Making new friends is one of those “simple, but not easy” tasks.

If you haven’t done so already, you need to pick up and read Dale Carnegie’s famed book How to Make Friends and Influence People. It really is a must-read.

Take the knowledge you gain from that book and apply it to whatever groups of people you plan to make friends within.

More practically, though, you want to leverage your hobbies to meet new people.

It’s the perfect setting. You already have an excuse to get to know them, you have at least one shared interest to talk about, and they’re already going to know who you are (probably).

When you are polite, interesting, and know how to make friends, a few things happen:

People start introducing you to their friends…

You get invited to many places…

And you meet a lot more women.

Eventually, you will have more party and event invitations than your schedule can accommodate.

Just remember this:

I’m telling you to be friendly and social — not to run game.

When I tell you to meet women, that’s exactly what I mean. A lot of guys have a “pussy or bust” mentality. That’s wrong.

Here’s why you need to be able to befriend women:

  • Desperation kills attractiveness
  • Having female friends is immediate social and romantic proof. If women actually want to hang out with you, it probably means you’re not a creep or a serial killer
  • Your female friends will probably be friends with a lot of single women that you can now meet

Befriending a girl isn’t the same as settling for the friend zone, however. If you are into a girl but they’re not into you, it’s better to just move on.



Approaching women

At this point, you have:

  • Cleaned up and improved your style
  • Been eating better and hitting the gym for a while
  • Developed some new hobbies and skills
  • Made new friends and acquaintances and feel more comfortable in different social situations

Maybe you’ve already met a girl that you really clicked with

Or maybe you’re just enjoying your new, improved life.

In which case you’re ready to take the next step:

Start approaching women.

There’s a reason why this step is presented last.

Before approaching women, you need to have a good grasp of the fundamentals.

If you don’t, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

You won’t have the external traits that women look for in guys. And you definitely won’t have enough inner confidence — which means you will be deathly afraid of rejection.

Side note: fear of rejection is the biggest internal obstacle to romantic success, because it causes you to self-sabotage.

When approaching women, you should only have one goal:

Make a real connection. That’s it.

It doesn’t matter if you get a date. It doesn’t even matter if you ask for it.

Starting out, just try to connect and build rapport with the girl you’re talking to.

Get comfortable with approaching girls you’ve never met before.

Make small talk. Try to make her day a little better. Again, use the tips in the small talk video by Art of Manliness:

Yes, this is the same video I linked earlier in the article. It’s that good.

If you do make a connection, then you can ask for her phone number. (Or Instagram username; whichever is more culturally appropriate for your age and location.)

Lots of guys start approaching women and are too insecure to be honest about their intentions. They pretend to just want to talk, but in fact have a hidden agenda. That agenda (“get the number” or “ask her out”) is all that’s on their mind, so they are unable to stay in the moment. This makes it very hard to make a genuine connection.

And then they complain about flakes… Girls that act interested but never return texts, or don’t show up for dates.

I’m not flake-proof, but when I was in the dating market my “flake rate” was lower than average.

This is because I made a real connection first:

Girls didn’t feel like I was just some random stranger.

Once you have the fundamentals down, “making a connection” with strangers is easier than it sounds.

In conclusion…

So, to sum up, the 20% which accounts for 80% of your success with girls is this:

  • Physical shape and grooming
  • Hobbies & leading an interesting life
  • Social skills
  • Actually approaching girls

You don’t need to learn any PUA techniques. You don’t need to drive a Ferrari. You don’t need an expensive Rolex on your wrist.

While these things will certainly help you attract girls (especially the kinds of women that like those things — which isn’t everyone)…

Not having those things is not the thing that’s holding you back.

In order to become successful, you just need the fundamentals.

After all, hundreds of generations of your male ancestors didn’t have Ferraris or PUA blogs…

And yet here you are, somehow.

American couple kissing farewell before man leaves to fight in WW2
Guys from the Greatest Generation didn’t read blogs or buy expensive cars to get women.

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