Is Your Partner as Attractive as You? – Time Transcends Attractiveness

A recent study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science found that the people who immediately start going out after meeting are normally of a similar attractiveness level. On the flipside people who have built up a friendship before dating were found to be of varying attractiveness compared to each other.

Having more time to get acquainted may allow other factors, such as another person’s compatibility as a relationship partner, to make that person appealing in ways that outshine more easily observable characteristics such as physical attractiveness.

“Our results indicate that perceptions of beauty in a romantic partner might change with time, as individuals get to know one another better before they start dating,” says lead researcher Lucy Hunt of the University of Texas at Austin. “Having more time to get acquainted may allow other factors, such as another person’s compatibility as a relationship partner, to make that person appealing in ways that outshine more easily observable characteristics such as physical attractiveness. Or perhaps another person might actually become more attractive in the eyes of the beholder by virtue of these other factors.”

 

The study used 167 couples, 100 married and 67 dating. Independent, trained coders used rating scales to indicate the physical attractiveness of each partner; the ratings were strongly correlated among the coders, suggesting a high level of agreement on the physical desirability of each partner.

As predicted, couples revealed stronger evidence of assortative mating to the extent that they knew each other for a short time and were not friends before initiating a romantic relationship.

The data also found that the differences didn’t change the happiness of the couples.

It doesn’t matter how you look, beauty is only skin deep but a gorgeous personality just needs a little time to shine through.

Now I’m trying to remember how long I was friends with my partner before we got together.


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