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Don’t Underestimate the Nice Guy

It was the legendary baseball manager Leo Durocher who coined the famous adage, “Nice guys finish last.”

While you may wonder whether that’s an accurate assessment in relation to sports, it’s certainly untrue when it comes to relationships. You will instantly boost your attractiveness by cultivating kindness, courteousness, and unselfishness as part of your daily behavior.

These qualities are universally attractive. In seventeen cross-cultural studies of what people are looking for in a marital partner, kindness was in the top two in every study. In addition, a recent study found that 75 percent of people seeking a relationship said the degree to which a potential partner was nice and kind was a “significant factor.”

However, there’s much more to kindness than boosting your attractiveness; it is a key ingredient for successful, harmonious relationships. Kindness calms anxiety, turns sadness into joy, and keeps annoyances from igniting into arguments.

Of the hundreds of books published this year that promote a program or plan for finding love, very few include what may be the most important strategy of all: Be kind and gentle and generous. We all want to be around considerate people like this, because we sense that kindness comes out of an inner place that is healthy and balanced. In most cases, when someone consistently extends kindness to those who deserve it or not, that is a person with a solid emotional core.

When you’re out on a date with someone, observe how he or she treats family members, work colleagues, friends, and strangers. Does she put down coworkers behind their backs? Is he rude to servers at a restaurant? Does she rail at other drivers on the highway? Is he curt with the bank teller who makes a mistake?

Look for kindness in the person you’re dating. And of course, be especially attentive to how your partner treats you over the long haul. Be keenly attuned to attitudes and actions that demonstrate kindness or a lack of it. Keep in mind: when in comes to love, nice people finish first.