The more options you have, the more desirable you are.
By Melissa Noble — Last updated on Jun 24, 2023
Photo: Raushan_films/ Shutterstock
Researchers seem to think that the more choices you have when it comes to dating, the more appealing you are.
After all, no one wants to date someone who is a social recluse and doesn’t have any friends. And, the more people you have, the higher the chance is that you know someone who owns a boat, or a really cool lake house at least.
According to a 2010 Indiana University study, you’re considerably more appealing to suitors if the suitors think you’re popular.
So, if you’ve ever thought you’re more attractive to the opposite sex when your S.O. is around, it isn’t in your imagination. You are. People want what they can’t have, it’s simply love science.
Researchers videotaped a slew of speed daters and then presented the tapes to 40 women and 40 men.
Overwhelmingly, they found that if the speed dater was adequately charming their date and the person sitting opposite was interested, those viewing had a higher opinion of the dater in the hot seat. Yet if the conversation was awkward, or the person on the receiving end seemed bored, viewers tended to rate them as less attractive.
Scientists also estimate looks matter most when it comes to dating competition. If men viewed the other guys wooing the potential girl as handsome, it kicked in some evolutionary competitive streak that made her more desirable.
The same went for women. But that’s not shocking — we’re constantly comparing ourselves to others!
“We might think that searching for mates is a process best done individually, that we can best gather the appropriate information by ourselves,” lead author Skyler Place, a researcher in Indiana University’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, said in a university news release.
“But humans, like many other animals, also pay attention to the preferences of others, to make for a more efficient search process. Who others like might also be a good choice for ourselves.” We are super impressionable, huh?
This is made abundantly clear if you flip through an old high school yearbook.
You’ll wonder why on Earth such a fuss was made about one person and not another. The same goes for the adult world. What exactly makes the “Most Desirable” celebrities featured in magazines most desirable? Who will remember any of them in 20 or 30 years? There will just be different beautiful people to fawn over.
Alas, the biggest note to self: chat up as many hot strangers as possible in social situations, after all, dating is a numbers game and if he’s gonna break your heart, he might as well be pretty.
More for You:
Zodiac Signs That Are Terrible At Relationships (And Why)20 Little Things Women Do That Guys *Secretly* LoveThe Perfect Age To Get Married, According To Science5 Little Ways Men Wish They Could Be Loved — Every Single Day
Melissa Noble is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about love, relationships, and trending news stories.