This Is Why Some People ‘Punch Above Their Weight’ In Relationships

Have you ever seen a couple who are very physically mismatched and wondered, ‘How did that happen?’

The answer might be that they are more in love than you are.

In a University of Texas at Austin study published in June 2015, researchers found that those of us who tend to go for quick-fire relationships end up with people roughly of the same level of attractiveness.

This is known as ‘assortive mating’.

But couples who have known each other for a long time before dating, and who are friends can end up ‘mismatched’ in physical attractiveness - simply because they know each other well enough to see other, less obvious, attractions in each other.

The researchers say, ‘A study of 167 couples included measures of how long partners had known each other before dating and whether they had been friends before dating, as well as coders’ ratings of physical attractiveness.

‘As predicted, couples revealed stronger evidence of assortative mating to the extent that they knew each other for a short time and were not friends before initiating a romantic relationship.

‘Because consensus is stronger earlier in the acquaintance process, assortative mating based on attractiveness should be stronger among couples who formed a relationship after a short period rather than a long period of acquaintance.’