‘She could do so much better than him!’
We’re all guilty of thinking it, aren’t we? You and your very attractive pal are at a bar, and she starts chatting to a guy who’s…well, not very attractive. They hit it off, as you watch on, incredulous. When he walks off to get a drink, you seize the opportunity to warn her, hissing – “Babe, he’s not that hot!”
She looks shocked, you feel like a jerk. They end up dating, and stroll off happily into the sunset. Wait, what?
Welcome, friends, to the confusing world of ‘mixed attractiveness dating’.
In what is potentially the most offensive concept ever created, some charming person has decided to coin a name for the scenario in which one partner is physically better looking than the other.
It's called, 'mixed attractiveness dating'.
Apparently, the idea of a hottie dating a nottie hottie is so offensive, people are leaping at the chance to get to the bottom of it. Oh, the injustice of it! How dare those ugly people date the babes of the world!
The study of what attracts two people is actually something that's been around for centuries.
It is, after all, one of the greatest mysteries of the universe: what feeds that chemical reaction that magnetises you to another? More than just a nice smile, or funny jokes, or great shoes - what is the scientific explanation behind it? How do we logically define...love?
For as far back as 1903, scientists have been studying Assortative Mating, which basically searches for a pattern in the otherwise random act of choosing a mate:
"Assortative mating is a mating pattern and a form of sexual selection in which individuals with similar genotypes and/or phenotypes mate with one another more frequently than would be expected under a random mating pattern."
"Examples of similar phenotypes include, but are not limited to, body size, skin coloration/pigmentation, and age." - Encyclopedia Britannica
In other words, people will generally be attracted to someone with a similar characteristic. Why? There are many theories, but the most likely one is competition.
As men and women battle it out with their peers for the most desirable people, they generally end up constrained by their own characteristics. You know the drill: "A super fit model like her, would never go for an average Joe like me."