Did it work for Paula Abdul and her cat boyfriend in 'Opposites Attract'? I don't think so!

For love to work, we need to date who we can date

I was in Prague the first time I noticed a discrepancy in the attractiveness between men and women who were dating. Everywhere I went I’d see these beautiful, whippet thin model-like women with small, dumpy Czech men and think, ‘God, she must be with him for the money because I’d rather Coyote Ugly myself than wake up next to that creature every morning.’ The next time I noticed this undesirable social phenomenon was when I moved to Manhattan in 2005. Everywhere you turned there were successful, attractive, fit women getting all worked up over a Wall St. sea urchin or a semi-acceptable Meatpacking District party boy. Despite the fact that most of these ladies were lovely, they all seemed to be alone. But why?

I always chalked it up to foul-looking men having too many options, thus severely overrating their own hotness, but it would seem that there’s actually a scientific reason for why most of the New Yorkers I knew seemed to be alone: we physically need to be dating our equals.

According to the ‘matching hypothesis’, the people you want to date are generally the people who want to date you. Meaning: you should be dating those who are on the same level of hotness as you are. The University of California, Berkeley study has determined that when it comes to online dating, at least, we tend to fall for those who are our match physically and socially.

Here is what scientists set out to prove: ‘The matching hypothesis predicts that individuals on the dating market will assess their own self-worth and select partners whose social desirability approximately equals their own. It is often treated as well established, despite a dearth of empirical evidence to support it. In the current research, the authors sought to address conceptual and methodological inconsistencies in the extant literature and to examine whether matching occurs as defined by Walster et al. and more generally. Using data collected in the laboratory and from users of a popular online dating site, the authors found evidence for matching based on self-worth, physical attractiveness, and popularity, but to different degrees and not always at the same stage of the dating process.’

Basically what this is saying is that opposites might attract, but that attraction won’t last. We need people who are on our level. For example, if you’re a Rachel McAdams, you’re not going to be dating a Ron Jeremy. One, he’s foul while she’s fair. Two, their lifestyles are too different. She’s a clean-cut homebody and he’s a porn star. ‘Nuff said (sorry for the drastic examples, just trying to drive my point home here).

So if you think, ‘hey, my love life is shit at the moment’, well, I guess you’re going to have to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Then swallow a long, cold dose of reality. Who were the last three guys you dated? Were they less attractive than you or more so? If your relationships aren’t working, perhaps it’s because you’re dating the wrong guys — guys who don’t want to date you because you’re too different physically or socially. The study suggests a lot of women fall for guys who are “out of their league.”

I  know that sounds like a bad thing, but really, you’re better off in the long run. What normal girl wants to date a really, really hot model/actor type who has nothing going on in his head but dead space? Point, LoveTrekker!

What do you think of this study? Do you find it to be true? Sound off below!

Laura xo

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6 Responses
  1. I really want to make a post about this on my blog. Thanks for your inspiring ideas. You are welcome to read my follow-up to this at howtogethits.net You can consider my post for July 13th to be the comment to this!

  2. Vanya Dee says:

    A good one, indeed! It is getting more and more well known that similarities rather than opposites attract. Studies have proved that we are attracted to our facemates (look-alikes). And by this it is meant people who have similar facial features. (Btw there is also a new trend in online dating related to facial similarities and finding love – http://www.Soul2Match.com is a free dating site which also calculates your compatibility based on facial recognition techniques)
    I do aggree with the study and even though there are always exceptions, it is nice to see the myth that opposites attract – confronted every once and then.

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