Calling a guy 鈥渘ice鈥 after a first date is rarely a compliment, but rather a kiss of death for any romantic possibility. So it鈥檚 no wonder a lot of people still believe we鈥檙e livin鈥 in a bad boys鈥 world. 鈥楴ice guys finish last鈥 is an old adage that suggests that guys who are kind and compassionate get passed over for misbehaving (and often charming) men. For those ladies that haven鈥檛 learned themselves that dating good guys is awesome, rom-coms have been disputing the 鈥渘ice guys鈥 theory for years by giving the sweetest guy the girl in the end. And now, there鈥檚 science to back up women鈥檚 preference for dating thoughtful men with manners.

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A new study out of two universities in the UK found that nice guys actually don鈥檛 finish last when it comes to long-term straight relationships. The researchers surveyed about 200 women, asking them to look at photos of men and read descriptions of things those men had done, including buying a coffee for a homeless person 鈥 or walking right by.

What they found was that even among the men who were less conventionally attractive, women preferred the 鈥渘ice guys.鈥 Now, the women were asked the questions in the context of choosing which man they鈥檇 want a long-term relationship with, so the results might have been a little different if the researchers had asked who they would pick for a casual fling.

Still, the results are pretty clear: 鈥淏eing altruistic is better than being attractive for long-term relationships,鈥 lead author Daniel Farelly told Live Science. Farelly also said he鈥檇 be interested in reversing the study to see how men respond to altruism versus physical attractiveness. Now that would be interesting!

What鈥檚 your take on the 鈥渘ice guys finish last鈥 theory? Tweet us your thoughts at @BritandCo!

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