A group of researchers in England studied the photos of about 100 couples and made a very scientific discovery: relationships do not fare well when the woman is better looking than the man. Oh yeah, it’s true. The “researchers” explain that since beautiful women may realize they can be choosey, they “might generally prefer short-term relationships [where] they’re better placed to move on.” The researchers also suggest that relationships between attractive women and less attractive men may not work out so well because, get this, the men are jealous of their partners’ looks. Yeah, I’m sure someone like, say, Christina Hendrick’s husband, who is arguably less attractive than his wife, spends his days moping about because he’s jealous of how hot she is.
But wait! The researchers have more explanations! They suggest that ugly women, knowing they have to basically make do with whatever they can get, will stay in relationships much longer than pretty women who know they’ve got options. Finally, the study also suggests that we tend to partner up with people whose facial features have a similar level of symmetry — a sign of attractiveness — to our own. To defend this idea, one of the researchers argues: “Are all men trying to go out with Anne Hathaway or Angelina Jolie, or do you really want to be with someone at the same level of attractiveness as yourself? These findings suggest our ideal partner is one on our own kind of level.” Yeah, I’m sure most men would totally kick Angelina out of bed for being too hot, while they chase the woman who looks the most like them. That’s how it always goes down in the bars, right? The poor pretty girl sits alone just dying for someone to pay attention to her, while the less attractive chicks are beating the guys away with sticks.
I’ve heard of really stupid studies, but this one pretty much takes the cake. [via Daily Mail]
cdj0815 March 1, 2011, 12:10 pm
‘I’ve heard of really stupid studies, but this one pretty much takes the cake.’
I agree. Enough said.
Jessica March 1, 2011, 12:15 pm
lol. that’s hilarious!!
Kristina March 1, 2011, 12:22 pm
Yeah, this study doesn’t make much sense at all. In my personal experience, I’ve found that relationships tend to be overall better when the woman is better looking.
Callifax March 1, 2011, 12:41 pm
An N of 100 is reallllllly not big enough, in a study like this, to make such a broad conclusion. Also, I’m a molecular biologist, and I feel a little sad that research like this gets funded and mine doesn’t. 😉
JT March 2, 2011, 8:17 am
I’m a neuro-pharmacologist and I had this exact same thought…
_jsw_ March 1, 2011, 1:15 pm
So, basically, we men pursue attractive women because we’re all afraid of commitment, and we know someone who’s really hot will end up dumping us anyway, so it won’t last.
Yup. That’s how it is. “Damn, she’s hot!! You know she won’t make me grow old with her! Ima gonna go hit on that!”
Desiree March 1, 2011, 1:15 pm
I think the study should be renamed, “Never make a vapid woman your wife.” Reliable women, regardless of their level of beauty, will commit to a good partner.
ArtsyGirl March 1, 2011, 1:42 pm
Umm then wouldn’t people in Hollywood have the longest lasting marriages since it is arguable that movie stars tend to have the same level of attractiveness? There are other ways to interpret the data too for example: attractive people are less likely to stay in relationships because they are used to getting their way based on their physical appearance and not willing to compromise. Total bull in my opinion but hey gave my a few moments of entertainment.
Heather March 1, 2011, 1:45 pm
I will admit that the first time I saw Christina Hendrick’s husband I thought “really?”. But it doesn’t matter, because even the best looking woman can “settle” for a guy that she-gasp!-actually loves and finds attractive, regardless of what other people think.
I don’t think this study is entirely without merit, as there are lots of people that do exactly what this study says they do. But to imply that it’s the end all be all is just silly.
plasticepoxy March 2, 2011, 10:39 am
I think he’s really cute! Based on the photo at the top of the article anyway. I don’t follow Mad Men, etc, so I don’t really know who SHE is, let alone who her husband is. So if that isn’t them in the photo, disregard my comment 🙂
Lisa December 29, 2019, 10:07 pm
But there is a lot of abuse coming from the husband who feels he is less than ideal, like in my marriage for example. My husband is considered less ideal while I am considered ideal and he forces me to look plain and simple which I don’t like because he feels insecure and calls me names like slut, whore, cunt, prostitute, vain, narcissistic bitch, etc. and gets extremely jealous of other guys that are considered ideal like I am that he tries to start fights with them. You know how beautiful people end up in abusive relationships, especially when they are with less attractive people who are insecure, or even get divorced? Being involved with regular, normal people is difficult if you’re considered attractive, especially too attractive.
anonymousse December 30, 2019, 7:21 pm
There’s a lot of abuse coming from your husband. Why do you stay?
Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich March 1, 2011, 2:18 pm
I’m going to play devil’s advocate here and I say that completely agree with the findings. After all, these are subconscious trends in behavior, not a transcript of the inner thoughts of males.
First, it’s probably inaccurate to say that Christina Hendrick’s husband is jealous of her ‘looks’, but he probably IS jealous of her status. Looks for women tend to be equated with status within and without the evo-bio lexicon. It’s easy to understand why a partner (male or female) who is much lower status (based on whatever value you want to place here: looks, wealth, intelligence, charisma, handiness…) would be jealous, or at least feel insecure.
Second, it is completely believable to me that most men partner with women/men of comparable attractiveness… because that is what you see. Visual symmetry is a projection of how functional the growth of the being/immune system was. The biological impetus of mating is to perpetuate your genetics, and this is most effectively done if you mate with a person with complementary needs/offerings to yours. You could try for someone with better genes, but they probably won’t mate with you. If you mate with someone with worse genes, your offspring’s chances of survival are slimmer.
So, maybe man men would jump at the chance to sleep with Anne Hathaway or Angelina Jolie, but most men aren’t going to get that chance. Most men will do a lot more mating if they choose equivalent partners.
Blitzen March 2, 2011, 2:35 am
I agree with you. I find this is the case, although not universally.
Also, fascinating screen name… I’m racking my brains trying to figure out who your enemy is. 🙂
WatersEdge March 1, 2011, 2:38 pm
There are a TON of studies that actually show the opposite result- that relationships are happier when the woman is the more attractive partner. I agree that a N of 100 is too small.
belongsomewhere March 1, 2011, 2:53 pm
They should have named this study “Sexist Stereotypes: We Have Proof!”
silvii March 1, 2011, 3:34 pm
Of course it’s a ridiculous study – if the Daily Mail reports it. I detest DM with a passion – sexism being one of their faults amongst others.
fast eddie March 1, 2011, 4:12 pm
I dated a woman that could have easily been a playboy model. Being very average looking myself I went overboard in an effort to woe her with gifts, expensive dates, etc. After 6 months of swallowing her rejection of me, but not the entertainment I paid for, I moved on. While I was devastated by the breakup the fact is that she wasn’t the kind of person that I could have been happy with long term, for that matter those 6 months only had brief moments of happiness. It may have only been her looks that drew me into it to begin with. Now I’m very happy with my soul mate and she looks terrific…don’t mess with my reality. While appearance does get ones attention it’s what’s inside that counts.
RoyalEagle0408 March 1, 2011, 4:21 pm
My roommate and I were having a discussion the other day about couples who are not necessarily deemed to be the same level of attractive. She thinks it’s odd of a 10 is dating a 6, no matter who is the 10 and who is the 6. I completely disagree because I know plenty of 10s who think they’re 6s and plenty of people who aren’t the most attractive looking who I’d rather date because of their personality. It’s all about how people perceive themselves and their partner. If a person thinks they’re “settling” and dating down, then yeah, maybe they will cheat. But maybe that woman who is a 10 doesn’t realize that the guy she fell head over heels for isn’t up to par with her.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. End of story.
Beckaleigh March 1, 2011, 4:26 pm
Hate to break it to the people who did this study, but you aren’t going to be “beautiful” forever! We are all gonna get old, wrinkly, and soft in the middle at some point in our lives. The key is to find someone who will look past that and see you for who you are! So these women who tend to break up with their less attractive partners will be old and wrinkly alone, haha.
AKchic March 1, 2011, 5:01 pm
This study just doesn’t seem to have “enough”. Not all men are superficial and are looking for “trophy” women to be arm candy. Not all women are looking for a flesh and blood Adonis either.
Personality is a big factor for a lot of us, regardless of our own looks, or our own evaluation of our appearance. I find it very distasteful that this “study” wants to prove that women move on in a relationship faster if they are society’s definition of attractive while their chosen partner isn’t. Not all of us are that shallow.