High-flying men are not as attractive to women looking for love as those with an average job, scientists say.
Women shunned high-flyers for men with average jobs
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the University of Central Lancashire research found the 186 female students asked preferred good-looking men.
But within that group, those without top careers were deemed most suitable, the Personality and Individual Differences journal reported.
The team said women seemed to feel high-flyers would not be good fathers.
Lead researcher Simon Chu said the high-earning career men were deemed to be "too good to be true".
"Under particular circumstances, high socio-economic status in males can be subtly counter-productive in terms of attractiveness as a long-term partner.
"We suggest that females see physically attractive, high status males as being more likely to pursue a mating strategy rather than a parenting strategy."
Using photographs of 60 men in their 20s, researchers asked students to rate them on a physical attractiveness scale.
Six from the good looking group, six considered average and six judged unattractive were then selected.
Alongside each photograph they added information on the man's age, what he was looking for in a partner and their profession.
The professions included high-status jobs such as architects and company directors, medium-status positions such as teachers or travel agents and so-called lower-status roles such as gardeners and postmen.
The researchers found that purely on looks, the best-looking men were assessed as the best partners.
But within this group, when professions were taken into account, those good-looking men with medium status jobs came out top.
Ingrid Collins, a consultant psychologist at the London Medical Centre, agreed potential parenting and providing skills were important.
"I think there will always be a pattern where women will take the lead in caring for the children.
"Because of this they will tend to go for someone who can look after and provide for their family."