Has been in centuries, men and women will always select potential
partners based on their personal perceptions
Catherine Donaldson-Evans of SheKnows says
looks matter to people when it comes to choosing
a life partner.
Men and women will always select potential
partners based on how much their looks
complements them, matching popularity and self-
worth also matters too.
A person who’s less attractive than their partner
is bound to feel insecure and will always worry
about their attractive mate for fear of losing them
to someone else or infidelity.
Donaldson-Evans revealed the reason behind this scientific theory:
Maybe you’re a beauty queen and your sig-o isn’t
exactly a head-turner. Or maybe you’re with a
total hottie but you’re more of a plain Jane. In
either scenario, you might be looking at slightly
rocky times ahead in the relationship. Experts say
your best bet is being evenly matched with your
mate in the looks department.
“Looks do matter and people do get attracted to
potential partners based on matching for looks,”
says Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D., a licensed couples
therapist and the author of Now You Want Me, Now
You Don’t!. “It’s an evolutionary trait so that
individuals are less likely to have a roving eye.”
There’s another biological explanation for why
people tend to seek out partners who are equally
good-looking that has to do with their future
“It’s basically about having the best chance of
offspring who are going to be fit, able to manage in
the world and adaptable,” Raymond says. “It’s kind
of like having the best genes you can think of.”
A large-scale study of the so-called “matching
hypothesis” — the theory that people choose
romantic partners who are similar to themselves in
a variety of ways — analyzed dating couples and
found that they did pick each other based on
similar looks. But even more important was that
they had matching popularity and self-worth.
“Individuals voluntarily selected similarly desirable
partners from the very beginning of the dating
process,” the authors wrote in the 2011 study “Out
of My League,” which appeared in the journal
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
“Matching based on physical attractiveness
becomes increasingly important at successive
steps of dating.”
If there is a difference in level of attractiveness
between partners, it can cause friction.
“When there’s that kind of disparity between looks
and physical attractiveness, there is an insecurity
on the part of one of the partners,” Raymond says.
In other words, the less attractive person will feel
insecure and worry that his more attractive mate
might cheat on or leave him.
On the other hand, a looks discrepancy can make
the more attractive one in the relationship feel
“They go for these guys who are safe, but they still
have those others who are salivating over them,”
Raymond says. “They get the best of both worlds.
They still have the sense that they’re desirable, but
they also feel safe. And the guys aren’t going to
want to leave — they feel needed.”
Men sometimes choose a less attractive partner
because they want a mother figure, according to
“One client married a woman who was not that
attractive deliberately — he wanted something very
pure and Madonna-like,” she says (and by
Madonna, she means the Virgin Mary, not the sexy
Most of those polled about whether they were
evenly matched with their partners looks-wise
were coy and declined to answer. But one
admitted that she and her husband are eerily
similar in that department.
“My husband and I look like we’re related,” says
Sharon Kehnemui. “And you should see my cousin
and her wife. They look like twins. I assumed it
In the end, though an imbalance in physical
attractiveness could prove to be an issue in a
relationship, it doesn’t have to be.
“The looks matter if you’re just wanting to be
showing the world, ‘Look what a catch I’ve got!'”
Raymond says. “But it may not in terms of whether
you have a good relationship and whether you’re
going to last.”
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