How are attractiveness and dating relationships correlated
The tendency to pair with someone who is similar in physical, behavioral, and psychological characteristics is known as assortative mating, and this phenomenon has intrigued experts in psychology, sociology, genetics, and even economics for over a century.
While assortative mating is a robust finding, scientists disagree about why it occurs.
And have you read a recent peer-reviewed paper that you would like to write about?
Please send suggestions to Mind Matters editor Cindi May is a Professor of Psychology at the College of Charleston.
To test these ideas, Hunt and colleagues studied 167 heterosexual couples who were involved in long-term relationships.Ultimately, the story delivers on its fairy tale ending and Beauty falls in love with Beast despite his appearance. Although attractive people do tend to select other attractive people in many romantic relationships, new research by Lucy Hunt, Paul Eastwick, and Eli Finkel indicates that there are predictable exceptions.Ahh, if only love could be like that in real life... Couples who spark a romantic relationship shortly after meeting are most likely to match in physical attractiveness; however, when people get to know each other well over an extended period of time before dating, it’s not unusual to see greater disparity in their physical appeal.Some contexts (e.g., workplaces or classrooms) may be more conducive to cultivating long-term friendships before dating, while other contexts (e.g., nightclubs, cocktail parties) may necessitate a more immediate romantic overture.
If you are hoping to couple with a partner who is objectively more attractive than you, consider doing things together in contexts that allow you to get to know your love interest over time.
On the other hand, it is also possible that physical appearance is important to all people, but that the perception of physical appearance is changed over time by idiosyncratic characteristics (e.g., a devilish charm makes a man more attractive).