We’ve all seen the movies where Hollywood gives us hope that we can date someone out of our league – “Hitch,” “Knocked Up,” “Beauty & The Beast,” and the list goes on. But is it possible to “date up” in real life?
According to science, the answer is yes!
A recent study published by Psychological Science gives hopeless romantics a glimmer of faith that it can be done – by becoming friends with the desired person first as attraction can grow over time.
The study surveyed 167 couples – 67 dating and 100 married for various lengths of time – about how long they knew each other before beginning to date and whether or not they had been friends before dating. Researchers also independently rated each individuals’ physical attractiveness.
Results showed that people who started dating within a month of meeting were more similar on the attractiveness scale, whereas couples who knew each other, or were just friends for more than a month before dating, were less equal on the attractiveness scale. In other words, people do become couples despite not having an instant physical attraction.
"If you happen to be shooting for someone ‘out of your league’ (in terms of attractiveness, at least), you may be more likely to succeed if you get to know the person for a while rather than going for it immediately," said the study’s lead author Lucy L. Hunt of University of Texas at Austin’s School of Human Ecology.
The study also detailed more about the influence attractiveness has on relationship satisfaction. Even though couples who started dating soon after meeting were more likely to match based on attractiveness, it didn’t effect long term happiness, and neither did being friends first.
Let’s say you show up for your first date and the sparks aren’t immediately flying. Your first instinct might be to shut down mentally and emotionally and down your drink as quickly as possible so you can get out of there.
Slow down and give it a little time. The study noted, “As individuals become acquainted over time, romantic impressions become increasingly unique and less consensual.”
And what are some of the best ways to get acquainted? Things such as making someone laugh, the ability to have a great conversation and having common interests can help perceptions of people change over time.
Are you ready to get out there and meet your match? Let the matchmakers at It's Just Lunch help you find your match! Get started today by calling us at 1-800-489-7897 or click here to tell us a little about yourself.