View the full list Some time ago, I found myself single again (shock, horror!) and decided to get back into the world of dating.But physical attractiveness matters most in the absence of social interaction.
In fact, decades of research has shown that attraction is most likely to be sparked when two people perceive themselves as being very similar to each other. It could be similarity in terms of sociodemographics – most relationships are formed between people who are similar in terms of age, social class, occupational background, and so on.
But more important than sociodemographics is similarity of values – everything from musical tastes to political orientation.
But even online, geography continues to have an influence.
After all, the point of online dating is eventually to meet someone offline – and it costs more time and money to meet someone who lives further away.
Of course, online dating and dating apps have changed where we meet our future partners.
While most 20th-century couplings were either formed in workplaces and colleges or through friends and families, online dating sites and dating apps are fast becoming the most common way of meeting partners and now account for about 20% of heterosexual couplings and more than two-thirds of same-sex couplings in the US.One thing that struck me very early on in my forays was that everyone had an opinion about “what worked” in terms of dating.But too often those opinions were based on anecdotes, assumptions about human behaviour I knew to be wrong, or – worse – pure misogyny.And my own research has shown that love sometimes really is blind.People in romantic relationships, particularly new relationships, are biased in how they perceive their partners.In dating, first impressions really do count – and not just for the reasons you might think.