Study: Flashy car owners not the settling down type

Laura Donovan Contributor
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If your high school boyfriend drove a 1974 Ford Bronco, you probably should have kept him around. According to new research from Rice University and the University of Texas-San Antonio, guys who own Porsches or other flashy possessions might not make the best husbands, as they’re not the “marrying kind.”

After analyzing 1,000 men, researchers concluded that men take after peacocks. Just as these feathered friends flap their brightly colored tails to catch the eyes of women, certain guys flaunt showy products to attract the opposite sex. As to be expected, researchers also found that these men only desired short-term sexual relationships. According to the research, women are more likely to gravitate towards ostentatious car owners than Honda Civic drivers, but the former is less desirable in a spouse.

Courtship consultant Brandon Aki told The Daily Caller that a Porsche could intrigue potential partners because the driver is responsible, smart with finances and accomplished.

“Much like the brilliant feathers of the peacock, a shiny, new $250k sports car inspires a myriad of adjectives to describe the car and it’s owner,” Aki said. “The formulation of adjectives, in dating, serve a critical role for men and women to quickly convey their evolutionary upside: wealthy, successful, stable, attractive, intelligent, hard-working, etc.”

On the other hand, females appreciate men who eat humble pie.

“[T]he trap that many men fall into is that they forget to pack a heavy dose of humility in the (often disproportionately small) trunk,” Aki said. “Sadly, it’s often very easy to forget to be gracious, kind, thoughtful, and caring when you’re working hard to make a $4k car payment each month.” (Study: Romance fueled by uncertainty of relationship)

Dating consultant Nicole Johnson, who co-hosts “The Dating Marketplace with Nic and Neely,” said she wouldn’t tell women to blow off men who drive around in pricey vehicles.

“I would never advise a female client to overlook a potential partner just because he drives a 1992 Toyota Corolla. Conversely, I would not advise a woman to pass up a man, simply because he drives a Bugatti,” Johnson told TheDC. “A man who can afford expensive cars and lives an affluent, extravagant lifestyle does not always denote: ‘Playboy,’ ‘Womanizer,’ and ‘Lifetime Bachelor.'”

Regardless, men who show off their riches might actually be at a romantic disadvantage, Johnson said.

“[G]iven the findings of this study, and the preexisting stereotype, if a man of opulence desires marriage and children, he will need to work harder than the average man to prove he is capable of love, romance, and monogamy,” Johnson told TheDC.

The study’s co-author Daniel Beal conveyed a similar point in the news release.

“People may feel that owning flashy things makes them more attractive as a relationship partner, but in truth, many men might be sending women the wrong message,” Beal said.

Neely Steinberg, co-host of “The Dating Marketplace with Nic and Neely,” echoed colleague Johnson’s statement that it’s unfair to rule out men who make extravagant purchases.

“[M]y gut tells me the odds are against it, but you never know, “Steinberg said.

At the end of the day though, money cannot buy love.

“If you’re a woman looking for a serious, loving relationship and you’re thinking of dating such a man, I’d say the key is not to be swept away by his possessions and what he can buy you,” Steinberg said.

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Laura Donovan