According to science, moral outrage combined with action is hotter than good looks
“I hate when people do this,” one of my coworkers said one day at the beach. He’s now my husband.
We had decided to meet for a Saturday picnic, but before eating his sandwich, my now-husband combed the beach for plastic bottles and tossed them in the trash.
“Why do they throw it in the sand?” he asked no one as he collected the tenth plastic bottle. “The trash is right there!”
I was smitten. For a reason I couldn’t understand until now, I found his initiative to care for the planet irresistible. From that day, I looked at him with different eyes. He was no longer my attractive coworker; he was boyfriend material.
Turns out, there’s a scientific explanation as to why my husband scored extra points with me. According to a recent 2021 study, moral outrage is attractive to long-term relationship seekers.
The previously mentioned 2021 study arrived at the same conclusion. After four studies with 870 participants, the researchers concluded that moral outrage increases long-term attractiveness because it portrays benevolence (kindness) and trustworthiness (honesty). This was true for both sexes. Finding someone who is morally good and isn’t afraid to show it is irresistible.
But there’s a catch: Unless you take action based on your convictions, the magic doesn’t work. Had my husband only complained about the plastic bottles, he wouldn’t have sent my heart in a frenzy.Worse, based on the 2021 study, moral outrage without action is perceived as neuroticism, an undesirable quality for long-term mating.
In simple terms, walking the talk can make you an alluring long-term partner.
Walking the talk is about doing what you said you were going to do. It’s about taking a stand for the morally good things that matter to you.
If you disagree with how a bully coworker treats other people, have a polite conversation asking him to stop. If you care about the planet, try to pick as much trash as you can. If you care about animal cruelty, find a way to contribute to organizations working to solve this problem or reduce your animal consumption.
Often, people hide their convictions out of shyness or fear of being judged. But as it turns out, putting moral outrage to work makes you more attractive as a long-term partner, not only for romantic relationships but also friendships. Would you want to be friends with someone who doesn’t care about anything or doesn’t take action?
In short, don’t be afraid to walk the talk. Being honest with yourself will draw in others like cats to Amazon cardboard boxes.
- Why else do we feel connected to celebrities who show their faces without makeup?
- To influencers who aren’t afraid to admit they screwed up?
- To billionaires who donate their money to make the world a better place?
Especially when it comes to long-term love. We all want someone who will stand by our side when the world turns against us, someone who will push us to do the right thing even though it’s hard. We all want to feel like we can trust our partner.
So honor your convictions. They’ll make you more irresistible.
Certified INFJ. Travel enthusiast. Fellow writer. English teacher. Business Consultant. Personal Development Experimenter. Fantasy lover.
Article credit and social network links below…