It’s an ongoing phenomenon. You’re out sipping coffee, buying a croissant, and you’ll spot men across the sidewalk with women who seem out of their league. You can’t help but wonder: How did they pull it off? Is it because they’re rich? Do they have some sort of hidden superpower? Maybe, they’ve got a huge…package? (Spoiler alert: it’s not because of money.)

Hot Guys are Bad at Dating

Remember the last time you dated an attractive guy? Science says the most attractive guys are also the worst to date, and that you’ll have a better shot at a happy marriage with somebody less attractive. The reason lies in their genes. According to the study by UCLA’s Benjamin Karley, physical attractiveness of long-term mates is really more of a guy thing.

Of course, women aren’t blind. They do need to be attracted to their partner, after all. It is women, however, who give more stock to personality over looks. Karney’s study also revealed that less attractive men are naturally more confident and outgoing, which makes them more fun to be around.

The Tricky Science of Attraction

You might also not have as much control over who you’re attracted to as you think. Much of the attraction between the sexes is chemistry. Your libido and mood are determined by chemical signals that could be affecting who you’re choosing as a romantic partner.

Also, something as little as a birth control pill could dictate who you’re going to bed with. Depending on whether you’re on the pill or not, your tastes and preferences could make a complete 180-degree turn. Women on the pill no longer experience a greater desire for traditionally masculine men during ovulation. 

Worship Over Love

You hear it everywhere, on TV, from your mother, “Marry a man who loves you more than you love him.” Although, this piece of advice sounds more like an old wives’ tale than something you’d actively pursue, it may have some truth to it.

“When women who are really beautiful go out with men who aren’t so hot, the men try harder so it makes for a better marriage,” psychologist Cooper Lawrence tells Huffington Post. He continues, “The women know that whatever goes wrong in the marriage, the husband is going to do whatever is necessary to keep it together.” And they should (if they know what’s wise and good for them). As women, we have this innate need and desire to be worshiped as their guru, the muse, their salvation, the crack through which the divine shines through.

And yet, we are all so different. The synergy, passion, love, and chemistry between two partners can be quite difficult to grasp–like that guy you can’t believe you dated in college. Hugh Mackay, Australian inventor and industrialist, sums it up nicely when he said, “I suspect the secret of personal attraction is locked up in our unique imperfections, flaws and frailties.