Do you really know what you want in a partner?

So you're flocking to online dating sites with a wish list of ideal traits that you desire in a mate. Not so fast!

Once you actually meet a potential dating , those ideals are likely to fall by the wayside, according to new research from Northwestern University and Texas A&M University.

People liked potential partners that matched their ideals more than those that mismatched their ideals when they examined written descriptions of potential partners, but those same ideals didn't matter once they actually met in person, according to a new study by psychologists Paul W. Eastwick, Eli J. Finkel and Alice H. Eagly.

"People have ideas about the abstract qualities they're looking for in a romantic partner," said Eastwick, assistant professor of psychology at Texas A&M University and lead author of the study. "But once you actually meet somebody face to face, those ideal preferences for traits tend to be quite flexible."

Say you prefer a partner who, online or on paper, fits the bill of being persistent. "After meeting in person, you might feel that, yeah, that person is persistent, but he can't compromise on anything. It's not the determined and diligent kind of persistent that you initially had in mind," Eastwick said.

The idea is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, said Finkel, associate professor of psychology at Northwestern University and co-author of the study.

"People are not simply the average of their traits," he said. "Knowing that somebody is persistent, ambitious and sexy does not tell you what that person is actually like. It doesn't make sense for us to search for partners that way."

"Thinking about this or that feature of a person apart from taking the whole person into account doesn't predict actual attraction," Eagly said. "While some online have video features that provide some context, generally people are matched on their answers to specific questions that do not capture the whole person."

Scores from answers to questions such as "How much money do you earn?" or "Are you extroverted?" provide two-dimensional facts rather than three-dimensional humanness, Finkel said.

For those seeking prospective partners, don't be surprised if you end up ignoring your preconceived notions about what would make an ideal mate.

"Based on those ideals, you might end up liking a person upon meeting face to face, or you might have the opposite reaction," Finkel said. As Eastwick notes, it is not uncommon for someone to say, 'If you had tried to set me up with this guy, I would never have gone out with him, but I'm so glad I did!'"

More information: The study, "When and Why Do Ideal Partner Preferences Affect the Process of Initiating and Maintaining Romantic Relationships?" will appear in the November edition of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

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hb_
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2011
What you believe you find attractive is also a reflection of what you believe about yourself. If you would admit, for instance, that you are not really looking for the most intelligent partner, you would be admitting that you are not that intelligent yourself.

Thus, there is a strong incentive to select properties that reflect well upon yourself. No wonder that the criteria do not hold up once confronted with a real person.
rawa1
not rated yet Nov 14, 2011
Why we should pay for such silly selfevident research? This is just a stuff, which could be subject of frauds in most easier way.

http://www.nytime...aud.html
210
1 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2011
Indeed: you want a 'trustworthy' person; you wish them 2 B responsible, a bit frugal yet willing 2 set aside a nut or 2 4 a really good time every week or 2; YOU won't know they R like this til you have been around them 4 a while. By that time, it may B a bit 2 uncomfortable 2 just break it off when U realiz D truth. Yes, D person can B trusted as far as THEY define trust, but they think spending D rent or mortgage money on a hunch/bet @ D local casino is 'okay.' Or she thinks letting her parents N on EVERY decision U make is cool, & if parents disagree, she bails on your idea, even if you have shown her raw naked proof that you R right. A questionaire could never have disclosed this tendency, you had 2 buy these facts with your time, possibly, your life: You said put D new tires on D back wheels/drive wheels, she decided 2 put them on D front, U trust her. It snows, you get on the highway, end up in a ditch - the slick tires R still on the back! You're DEAD!
flowers-2-ya-muthas
TopherTO
4 / 5 (4) Nov 14, 2011
Oh my lord 210, I hope you're incessant use of one letter short forms was a joke. Your drivel is bad enough, but at least comment without the grammatical train wreck. You're not on Twitter.

U B D biggest loser ever.
210
1 / 5 (3) Nov 14, 2011
Oh my lord 210, I hope you're incessant use of one letter short forms was a joke. Your drivel is bad enough, but at least comment without the grammatical train wreck. You're not on Twitter.
U B D biggest loser ever.

Hummm, I must hav hit close 2 home, now we know...poor thing.

word-
electric
5 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2011
Oh my lord 210, I hope you're incessant use of one letter short forms was a joke. Your drivel is bad enough, but at least comment without the grammatical train wreck. You're not on Twitter.
U B D biggest loser ever.

Hummm, I must hav hit close 2 home, now we know...poor thing.

word-

210

It's hard to "hit close 2 home" when it's almost impossible to figure out what you wrote.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Nov 15, 2011
In the future, medical science will become so advanced, we will be able to breed women who don't fart.

God has revealed this vision to me.
210
1 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2011
Oh my lord 210, I hope you're incessant use of one letter short forms was a joke. Your drivel is bad enough,

Hummm, I must hav hit close 2 home, now we know...poor thing.

word-

210
It's hard to "hit close 2 home" when it's almost impossible to figure out what you wrote.

And I tried hard 2 leave no evidence our failed past relationship. No 1 wood have known it was U F U had said nothing. But U saw D shoe did N fact fit so U put it on cause U could not resist. I apologize to everyone..these past flames get on this site and pursue me still..these niggling PAIN -junkies, trying 2 gain my favour anew, while wearing the Kardashian robes of guilt. Their pained memories of being insufficient and lacking the substance to admit their failings...please overlook and forgive my old flames. I called NO names but they have revealed themselves, please comfort them, ply them with wine and, yes, DATE my rejects & help the broken 2 mend, don't hate!
word-2-ya-muthas
Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 15, 2011
Kitchen - Chef
Living Room - Servant
Bedroom - Whore

Isn't that the ideal model for most men?

I prefer an intellectual equal. Almost Impossible.


210
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2011
Kitchen - Chef
Living Room - Servant
Bedroom - Whore

Isn't that the ideal model for most men?

I prefer an intellectual equal. Almost Impossible.



Vendi? Is that the REAL Vendi? Vendi...'PC' you just don't do the 'Politically Correct' crap do you? And now you have gone and told all the women of the world that you place them in such HIGH regard in your domain! Tell me, oh exalted being, when are you going to run for public office? I can see an ARMY of bra-burning, militant, feminists running toward the cameras of CNN with all your 'phys.org' posts printed on posters and screaming "Don't elect that Bum...he owes us years of child support and he will NOT share his weed!"
How do you respond to these allegations your Vendi-ship-ness...our viewers want and deserve to know....!
word-
pauljpease
5 / 5 (2) Nov 15, 2011
What you believe you find attractive is also a reflection of what you believe about yourself. If you would admit, for instance, that you are not really looking for the most intelligent partner, you would be admitting that you are not that intelligent yourself.

Thus, there is a strong incentive to select properties that reflect well upon yourself. No wonder that the criteria do not hold up once confronted with a real person.


I respectfully disagree. If I choose someone who is not that intelligent that doesn't mean I'm not intelligent. Maybe they have other qualities that still make them a quality person. The qualities you feel are important aren't a reflection of the qualities you have yourself, they are a reflection of your values. What I find most people I know who struggle finding quality relationships is that they don't look for the single most important quality in a person, i.e. are they a good person? They choose someone who is fun, but who will stab them in the back...
210
1 / 5 (1) Nov 15, 2011
hb's logic overlaps yours paulpease, here:
"Thus, there is a strong incentive to select properties that reflect well upon yourself. No wonder that the criteria do not hold up once confronted with a real person."
Followed by: "I respectfully disagree. If I choose someone who is not that intelligent that doesn't mean I'm not intelligent. Maybe they have other qualities that still make them a quality person. The qualities you feel are important aren't a reflection of the qualities you have yourself, they are a reflection of your values."
The values YOU hold within are reflected by YOU outwardly. Your future partner may NOT have these same values/characteristics but admire them and desire to have them in the ONESS/civilized union of the two of you. Ergo, they get what you are/have and you get what they bring. Thereby, D whole exceeds D sum of parts -your differences, if not 2 great, become a new & unique being that age and time can never destroy! In Love we R born again!
word-2-ya-Lovers
Nerdyguy
not rated yet Nov 19, 2011
Reading these posts -- with a very few exceptions -- reminds one of watching roosters strut around the farmyard.

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