The journal Psychological Science has released some new and very interesting findings on physical attraction in dating and relationships. According to lead researcher Lucy hunt of the University of Texas at Austin, when two individuals have more time to get acquainted before they begin a romantic relationship, factors like personality and compatibility weigh as heavily as physical attraction does when two people start dating right after meeting. Essentially this means that a person’s compatibility and personality can make them more attractive to someone who might not have been attracted to them in a typical meeting and dating situation.
This study was inspired by an interest that Hunt and colleagues Paul Eastwick (UT Austin) and Eli Finkel (Northwestern U) had in understanding why individuals are more likely to be with mates who have similar physical, behavioral, and psychological characteristics, otherwise known as “assortative mating.”
Obviously success in dating comes from one’s desirability, so those who are most physically attractive tend to get the most notice from others who are also considered highly desirable. This study challenged this by looking at how those who are less physically attractive could get an edge on the competition, and it appears they can when they can get to know someone over time and therefore, increase their attractiveness to that person. Looks then take a back seat to all those other qualities.
This is good news for anyone who feels left out in the typical dating scene—always left on the sidelines as your “beautiful” friends get chosen. It also gives more weight to what some relationship experts (myself included) have been saying for years—try to meet people through a passion, sport, activity, interest that you are involved in regularly. It will bring you into contact with like-minded people and give you a lot of face, body, mind, and soul time to connect, get to know one another, learn about what each has to offer, feel a connection and then maybe go for that first date.
Yes, friends can and do become lovers. According to this research, it might be the best way to find that right someone.
Want to read the study? Click here