It may not always feel like it, but people are more than just the sum of their physical parts -- and that does count for something in the dating world. Some sites, such as Match, let you decide who you can meet, while other sites, such as e Harmony, suggest potential dates for you. Other times, it can feel like you're lagging behind in the Superficial Olympics -- as you try to win the romance race and stand out as the most attractive candidate, you ultimately lose to a prettier face.
Yes, we live in a shallow world that values appearances, but there is a way to make the playing field a bit more level: allow people to get to know you and take the time to get to know people yourself.
As the researchers put it, "longer acquaintance lengths tend to feature romantic impressions that rely heavily on unique, idiosyncratic desirability," rather than just looks.
So how do you break through romantic superficiality? Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University brought in 167 dating and married couples and asked them how long they had known their partner and how long they'd been romantically involved.
The difference between each length of time was considered the period during which couples were friends or acquaintances before dating.
The main finding, however, was this: Couples who were friends before dating tended to have a bigger attractiveness gap -- aka one partner was clearly the good-looking one, according to the coders -- than those who started dating soon after they met.
The couples who started dating sooner, on the other hand, tended to consist of partners who were comparably good-looking.