Is Being Virtuous Attractive

One of the questions that comes up in different ways is as follows:  Is being a virtuous man attractive to women?

Before I answer that let’s clear up a few things.

First of all it should be noted that attractiveness itself is not a virtue.  Being attractive to women is not a virtue.  Being “hot” is not a virtue.  There are plenty of non-virtuous men who are attractive to women.  We see this all the time.  Heck a common complaint is that women are attracted to the “bad boys”.  It’s a common complaint because it’s often true.

There are men who don’t treat women well who are attractive to women.  There are men who are mean and insensitive who are attractive to women. There are men who live dangerously in one form or another who are attractive to women.

Not only that, but as I’ve stated before, being a Christian, despite what some church people might tell you, is attraction neutral.  What I mean is that being a believer doesn’t make you more or less attractive to women.  “Wait a minute,” you say, “What about Christian women.  They say they want a Christian man.  Doesn’t being a Christian make me attractive to them?”

In short – NO.

When a woman says she wants a Christian man, what she means is this; she wants a man who she is attracted to who is also a Christian.  This goes for most of what Christian women say.  They want a spiritual leader or a person who is smart or good with children or whatever.  What they mean is that they want a man that they are attracted to who also has those qualities.

We do the same thing.  You say you want a Christian woman.  You want a Proverbs 31 woman (barf).  You want a woman who is loyal.  Yes you do.  But what you want is a woman you are attracted to who also has those qualities.

I know this is true because I have spoken with hundreds of single Christian men and women.  They all know people who have the “checklist” qualities they are looking for but who they don’t ask out or don’t go out with.  These qualities are actually qualifiers that, if they are trying to follow Jesus, they run the people they are attracted to through.  But they aren’t about attractiveness per se.

Attractiveness is a feeling.  As I’ve stated here ad nauseam, attractiveness is not a choice. It is not an in the moment decision.  It is an emotion.  It’s not a bad one.  But it’s not a choice.  What you do with attractiveness is a decision, but that feeling is not.

This is why attractiveness is not a virtue.

It is also why being virtuous is not necessarily attractive.  On its surface virtue is neutral when it comes to attraction.

However, to be truly virtuous, could lead you to be more attractive.  Here’s why.

In order to live a virtuous life I have to know myself and have self control.  I know that I am strong but I choose when to use it.  I know that I am capable but I choose how to use it.  I know that I am sexually capable but I choose to keep my passions in check.  All of that requires confidence.  And confidence is for sure attractive.

Following all the rules is not necessarily virtuous.  And therefore following all the of the rules is not necessarily attractive.  Being incapable of being dangerous is not attractive.  But being capable of being dangerous and choosing not to be, that’s different.  Knowing that I have sexual prowess and yet keeping it in check – that is being a virtuous man.  That is attractive.  Being virtuous is more attractive than being just a rule follower out of fear and calling yourself virtuous because you don’t do “wrong” things.

For free today, not doing wrong is almost always better than doing wrong for the person doing it.  But that doesn’t necessarily make it virtuous.  For a simple example, not stealing because of lack of opportunity or even because of fear of being caught is better than stealing.  But it’s not really all that virtuous.  Knowing that you could steal, and maybe even wanting to, but then not doing it – that’s much more virtuous.  Let those who have ears. . .

Back to the question at hand. Attraction or being attractive is not in itself virtuous.  However being a truly virtuous man capable of being non-virtuous, might well make you more attractive as bonus.

4 thoughts on “Is Being Virtuous Attractive

  1. Why are women attracted to bad boys? Because too many are fools.

    My theory is that the “bad boy” is the embodiment of all the bad stuff the “nice girl” wants to do, but lacks the guts to, so she enjoys evil vicariously through him.

    If I saw a guy kicking puppies that was a turn off. But too many girls in my high school thought jerk behaviors were sexy and even got their boyfriends to sexually harass me since my squirming came across as funny to them.

    For that matter, a lot of guys–especially young ones–don’t care what’s inside a woman or prefer an “infernal Venus.” Both Tolstoy and C.S. Lewis observed this.

    It’s as if we choose our own shadows when we partner foolishly. (I say “partner” since it often doesn’t end in marriage.)

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