Bearded fellas everywhere, step forth! For you, my fuzzy-faced friends, have been lauded long-term relationship gold. Science says so.
The science-backed conclusion comes courtesy of a study, led by Barnaby Dixson and published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, that determined that dudes facially drowning in the furry stuff were more likely to be considered long-term relationship material compared to their fur-free equivalent.
"But how?! But why?!" I hear you ask, confusedly, as you mentally calculate the time it'll take your beau to produce some chin grass. A bodacious beard straddles the line of masculinity and femininity and, essentially, alters the face shape of a fella; thus rendering him ALL SORTS of attractive because, apparently, us ladyfolk don't like our dudes too masculine or feminine.
Add to that the idea that facial hair indicates testosterone and testosterone indicates maturity and, according to the study, you've got a recipe for sweet relationship success.
Now you're probably thinking: "OK, sure, I kinda get that. But what about if beneath the bountiful beard lay a jawline so sharp it could cut glass? What a travesty to mask such a thing!" Well, Barnaby's got an answer for that, too.
While the thought of Harry Styles' razor-sharp chops might get us going, an impeccable jowl suggests they'll fall short of relationship material. Instead, these types of hunks are limited to short-term dalliances and saucy one-nighters because we associate masculine features with unreliable suitors. (Although I think I speak for all of us when I say that I wouldn't dismiss a long-term relationship with Douglas Booth on the basis of his exceptionally-angled face.)
In other words: a full-blown beard has the ability to mask a masculine face - a face we'd otherwise only consider for a short-term relationship - or balance out a feminine face - a face we might not deem 'masculine' enough for a long-term relationship; hitting that elusive attractiveness 'sweet spot'.
Of 8,520 women asked, a mind-blowing 8,520 women (all of them, then) showed a preference for facial hair when asked to rate men (both with and without facial hair) out of six on attractiveness and on a spectrum of "relationship longevity." That's pretty conclusive, non? Guys with bountiful beards were considered more for marriage, while guys with little-to-no scruff were generally considered casual relationship material.
So, there you have it! Bag yourself a beard if you've got marriage in mind anytime soon. (And invite us, yeah?)
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.