The Law of Attraction: Study Finds It takes Time to Love Unattractive People

Attractiveness and traditional mate values decrease over time giving way for more personal and unique desirable traits to be appreciated.
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A couple hold hands as they walk through downtown Sydney with their shopping from Australian department store retailer Myer, March 6, 2014.
A couple hold hands as they walk through downtown Sydney with their shopping from Australian department store retailer Myer, March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed REUTERS/Jason Reed

While most people find the beginning stages of a relationship to be the most exciting, it's oftentimes the most difficult. Attractiveness and one's exterior qualities are given the most weight because generally, people are more attracted to those who are well, attractive. 

As people only begin to get to know each other, the physical aspects of a person are the most highly accentuated because it is the one that's easily identified. 

However, a recent study conducted by the University of Texas, Austin found that even though people would find beautiful people more attractive at first, over time, opinions change and as people get to know each other better, other important characteristics attract us. 

In order to delve deeper into mate value, the research consisted of three experiments, "In Study 1, participants described their personal conceptions of mate value and revealed themes consistent with classic and relational approaches. Study 2 used a social relations model blocked design to assess target and relationship variances in participants' romantic evaluations of opposite-sex classmates at the beginning and end of the semester. In Study 3, a one-with-many design documented target and relationship variances among long-term opposite-sex acquaintances."

"Despite the unbalanced distribution of desirable traits in the population, mating pursuits take place on a more-or-less even playing field in which most people have a strong chance of being satisfied with their romantic outcomes," explained Dr. Paul Eastwick as quoted by Medial Daily , assistant professor in the department of human development and family sciences, and Lucy L. Hunt, a doctoral student. 

In the beginning stages of a relationship, while other desirable qualities like one's physique, strength, charisma and professional success may make women swoon, those characteristics that separate the haves from the have nots, uniqueness can also be measured. 

According the the article on the subject published by the , Eastwick summarizes his findings by saying that as people spend more time with each other and get to know one another better, the consensus about desirable traits decreases and more emphasis is placed on one's uniqueness and personality traits. 

There is hope for everyone, "So if you do not have a high mate value, take heart. All you need is for others to have the patience to get to know you, and a more level playing field should follow," concluded the author

Their research appears in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. See the research here.   

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