Romantic Rejection & Average Looks

Problem

You’re not the hunkiest guy out there, but the girl you have your eye on just got rejected by a really attractive guy. So you have a better chance now, right?

Solution

Nope. Actually, your odds just got worse, according to a study in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Method

Researchers recruited 126 women who were both heterosexual and single. They were told that they’d be interacting online with two men and have the chance to meet them at the experiment’s end. In reality, the dating profiles they were looking at were created by the researchers. The dating profiles were written to be extremely similar in terms of romantic appeal and responsiveness, but some were paired with a picture of an attractive man and others were paired with a picture of an average man.

The participants were then told by the “men” they were interacting with whether they wanted to meet or not. The participants then had to rate the men in terms of physical attractiveness, perceived level of responsiveness, and romantic appeal.

Results

Perhaps unsurprisingly, women who were rejected by one of them men “distanced themselves from and derogated him”, which meant they rated him lower on all three scales.

However, the more interesting result was that “participants who were rejected by the attractive man were also relatively uninterested in meeting the unattractive man, and derogated him even when he was accepting [them]”.

Researchers speculate that accepting the advances of a “low-status” man would imply to the woman that she was also “low-status”, thus making the pain of her initial rejection worse. And like it or not, attractiveness is a big part of status in the dating world.

The Takeaway

If you’re waiting for the woman you’re into to get rejected before making your move, don’t. Putting aside the fact that it’s kind of a shitty thing to do, it just won’t work.


Flickr.

 

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