Its all in their face - online dating guide to finding and keeping the online date for you
Studies carried out by the universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen and Durham in the UK found that men and women are often looking for quite different things in terms of a new relationship. The study, p...
Studies carried out by the universities of St Andrews, Aberdeen and Durham in the UK found that men and women are often looking for quite different things in terms of a new relationship.
The study, published in April 2008, analysed the needs and wants of 700 singles in their twenties. It was jointly funded by the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social research council was presented in the Journal of Evolution and Human Behaviour.
As part of the study, heterosexual participants were shown pairs of photographs of men and women and asked which face they thought was most attractive for a long or short relationship, who was the most masculine or feminine, who was generally attractive and who would be more open to a short term sexual encounter, one night stand or sex without commitment.
Although many previous studies have shown that people could spot personality traits like introversion and even the health of other people, this is the first study of its kind to show that people can derive a view of the romantic and sexual relationships that the other person would want. It showed that most people are subliminally observant of facial movements and characteristics. These perceptions, When compared with the actual desires and expectations of that person showed that most could accurately spot, from photographs, those wanting a short term, sexual relationship and those looking for a more long term commitment.
Specific findings showed that: More men prefer women that would consider a short term sexual relationship over those looking for long term love matches only. Women wanting short-term, sexual relationships are therefore seen as more attractive by men. Men who have larger jaws or small eyes were seen as being less committed or marriage material by the majority of women. Men wanting casual sex were perceived as being more masculine and were usually those with square jaws, large noses and small eyes. Most women found promiscuous-looking guys unattractive for both short and long term relationships. This study has shown that people could then, with understanding of these subliminal judgments, make more informed choices on their prospective partner based on the type of relationship that they would want.
When online dating it may be worth taking a closer look at the man or woman of your dreams and seeing whether their face really does show the same expectations of yours - no need to jump to conclusions though, getting to know each other and taking time to chat will tell you whether that built in instinct really is as accurate as the researchers think!
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