The dating world is known to be superficial and judgemental. Choices are quickly based on appearance. Think Tinder where all you have to do is swipe left to reject someone based on one photo! Internet dating isn’t much better!
As a dating coach, I read a lot of research and statistics on dating. One area where there has been a lot of research is related to how people tend to choose someone of equal attractiveness. A ‘9’ will choose a ‘9’; an ‘8’ will choose and ‘8’, etc. The research has shown that generally people rate others on a similar scale when based solely on appearance.
There is an interesting exception – when relationships start off as friendships. The longer you know and are friends with someone, the higher you will rate them on physical appearance! You will literally rate them higher than if you had just met them! For instance when you first meet a person you will agree with the census rating of ‘5’ but then as you become friends with the person your rating will be a ‘6’ or a ‘7’ or higher.
Research was carried out by Paul Eastwick, Lucy Hunt and E J Finkel and they wrote a paper for the Psychological Science related paper . They researched 167 couples – looking at who was friends first. They then got strangers to rate each member of the couple – they rated the couples who had not been friends first equally (ie both 8’s) whereas the couples who had not been friends first rated quite differently.
The results are interesting. I know I have met couples who are amazingly happy and in love, who say they would have rejected the love of their life if they had to choose via a photo. I think singles in 2015 are way too quick to judge and dismiss others and the research backs this up.
The research blows the myth of being in the friend zone totally out of the water!
Let’s look at 4 benefits of being friends first:
- You get the chance to know the person without the dating pressure and expectations.
- You understand who the person is first rather than idealizing them. When you date someone you tend to only show your good side. Did you know that it takes the average guy 3 months before they show their real self to the person they are dating! Relationships often fail at the point where you realise the person isn’t who you thought they were. Whereas if you start off as friends you get to know and truly accept the person. It is an amazing feeling when you have a friend who understands you and your past – it gives you strength/peace to overcome what you have gone through.
- It allows you to find out naturally if you want a relationship with the person.
- By being friends you build a solid foundation that will enable your relationship to stand the test of time.
Happy dating x