May 3, 2016

"The real reason some people end up with partners who are way more attractive."

"[A] study published last year in the journal Psychological Science... found that heterosexual couples who were friends before they dated were more likely to be rated at different attractiveness levels."

But look for more closely matched couples in the future as people get together primarily through computer services. This friends-first thing isn't going to be happening much. 

23 comments:

Birkel said...

On pain of death, nobody had better show this article to my much more attractive wife.

:-)

tim in vermont said...

I totally agree that the "friend zone" is a viable start for a relationship with a beautiful woman who is out of your league. Plus you find out if she is a complete shit before it gets too deep too.

bagoh20 said...

I blame an institutional and structural system that unfairly distributes good looks to people based purely on genetics. I believe this can be addressed by the government forcing good looking women to date ugly men - for the children and equality!

dbp said...

All those years of avoiding the friend zone, for nothing! It all worked out though, I still ended up with a wife much better looking than I am.

Rob McLean said...

"But look for more closely matched couples in the future as people get together primarily through computer services."

I seem to remember, back in the 80s, some scientist predicting that most couples would meet each other via computers by the year 2000.

Didn't happen. (Actually, did anything predicted for "the year 2000" really happen?)

Bay Area Guy said...

I got married pre-internet, so I missed out on all these wonderful modern opportunities! (sarcasm off)

In the dark ages (pre-internet), you met people face to face. Your friend's girlfriend's friends. Your sister's friends. Your friend's sister and her friends.

Generally speaking, you met girls who in your same zone. Some guys had bigger zones, some did not.

It was very spontaneous, flexible and pretty easy-going. You had to be friendly, and get out there in public (bars, parties, pool halls, weddings, sporting events, beaches.)

I have no idea how the mating game works today, although the overriding I sense I get is people are stressed.

BillyBob said...

I woud bet most commenters here can strike up a conversation with people on dating sites without even posting a photo or much personal info.
Because, most here are interesting and able to write well.

Try it. for fun, but be nice and don't hurt anybodies feelings.

buwaya said...

" I still ended up with a wife much better looking than I am."

Ditto. When I first saw her, I thought - "whats Linda Rondstadt doing here?"

Rick said...

Ding!

One issue not mentioned: people age differently so couples with different attractiveness may not have started that way.

Bruce Hayden said...

I managed it. I tell her that she was a 12 on a 10 point scale when she was in her early 20s, and moved from that to a classic beauty when she lost the baby fat in her face. Definitely genetic - mother is still attractive, but her father looked like a movie star of the 1940s. Plus 6'3", wide shoulders, narrow waist, very French, etc. 30+ years later, she still gets marriage proposals from random men. Me? Not nearly as attractive. But I didn't really notice it from her until later when I saw how guys reacted to her. And it probably was due to friendship for quite awhile.

We were just talking about this, and she remarked that after her first husband was horribly burned, he worried that she would leave him. One of her comforts when she lost him was that that wasn't true. Indeed, of her 3, that one was the only one whom others would have called attractive. I tell her that we got together because I was smarter than she. She denies that I am. Oh well.

D. B. Light said...

I don't know about others, but for me it was just plain dumb luck.

Michael K said...

My medical students marry each other and the "girl next door" stuff is what Charles Murray was worried about with "assortive mating."

Couples who marry are probably more likely to meet mates in college or grad school or maybe occupations where you are at similar levels.

Dating doesn't mean marrying as the "Sex and the City" types are learning.

buwaya said...

"what Charles Murray was worried about with "assortive mating."

That's true. That's what I see. College, or rather grad school in far more cases, is the great mating zone of the upper middle class, followed by workplaces.

mockturtle said...

I don't think women see attractiveness and beauty as synonymous. When I was about 10 years old I had a wild crush on Fidel Castro. Life magazine had some photos of him which I hung on my walls. One of him in striped pajamas and a fat Havana cigar in his mouth, anther in revolutionary fatigues. I also have always considered Bogart very attractive, though few would find him handsome. Personality is far more important to a woman and a man who exudes an aura [if auras are exuded, which I doubt] of power and confidence is attractive, IMO. A sense of humor is important, too, at least to me.

Sal said...

Another way to put it is that the main factor bringing people into romantic relationships is familiarity.

William said...

People are attracted to those others who possess that quality in which they take the most pride in themselves. FDR took great pride in being a Roosvelt. I think the quality that FDR found the most appealing in Eleanor was that she was a Roosevelt. They were about the most physically mismatched couple in history. She was not very good looking but she was a near(er) relation to Teddy who was the supreme, high Roosevelt. FDR also had an affair with a more distant cousin........People who think their most important quality is brains or wealth or beauty seek out someone with similar qualities at least for their first marriage.

Steve said...

As a guy that does pretty well on Internet dating sites, I can tell you that the ability to read a profile and write a brief, cogent and witty opening message is at least as important as looks. There are of course minimum levels of acceptable looks but a good message can move you up a standard deviation on that looks bell curve.

mockturtle said...

My younger daughter, who uses internet dating sites, likes a man who makes her laugh. But if she finds a guy physically unattractive [by her standards], it's a deal breaker. She and I both find bald men attractive. Ironically, my late husband of 40 years died with a full head of hair. He was strikingly handsome but it was his wit that won me.

TomHynes said...

If you want to be happy for the rest of your life, get an ugly girl to marry you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NF5XU-k2Vk

One Eye said...

Not many examples where the male is the more attractive in the pair. As someone else said, the male may become more attractive due to aging better. That usually leads to cheating then divorce. Then the woman becomes a lesbian. It all works out in the end.

tim in vermont said...

Highly attractive women have a difficult time with dating sites. I have a friend who is one of those women the camera picks out on the jumbotron at sporting events, she says she can't use them because she gets overwhelmed with responses, everybody takes a shot. She would rather stick to dating friends of friends and people from her everyday life.

The Gold Digger said...

I didn't see anything about money, ie, rich ugly men can marry beautiful women. (Case in point: Donald Trump.)

walter said...


Blogger The Gold Digger said...I didn't see anything about money
Maybe here:
"..when the people get to know each other first, perhaps by being friends of friends, or studying at the same school, they learn unique information about other characteristics that may influence someone’s desirability — and thus form an opinion of their partner that is different from the pack."

Of course, the other unspoken issue is procreation schedules and the "characteristic" important to that.