4 Determinants in Choosing a Date

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What do people look for when they want to choose a partner in a date?

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The factors that determine people what to look for from people they want to go out in a date are usually cultural. Each culture has its own set of expectation and criteria of what constitutes an ideal date and date partners. But the following factors seem to be popular among people living in urban societies based on some research studies.

Do you also consider some of these as significant in choosing your partner in a date?

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1. Physical Attractiveness

Although social factors can influence the choice of partners in dating, physical attractiveness of the partner still remains an important determinant in dating (Spreadbury and Reeves, 1979). This idea of physical attractiveness as a determinant of dating progress is shown to be strong in both casual and serious daters (White 1980).  There is something interesting that should be noted about this study however, because the findings suggest that it is similarity of attractiveness that plays a larger role in how long a couple continues in a relationship.

Research supports the idea that both genders value physical attractiveness to a certain degree (especially within short-term contexts), but males may have more incentive for pursuing a woman they perceive as beautiful, even for the long-term.  According to this evolutionary imperative, men may highly value physical attractiveness in a female because it serves as a truthful indicator of health and fertility (Eastwick, 2008).

2. Financial Prospects

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Women do not only value physical attractiveness of their male partners but also their financial prospects in the long run as they are expected be better equipped to provide for both his partner and subsequent offspring.

Females had much stronger preferences towards “financial management, ambition and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

3. Proximity in Age

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Age does matter in dating. Unless a person is just looking for financial support from a rich individual, the age gap between dating partners is important in society. Most research studies reveal that proximity in age between dating partners is important. One partner must not be very old or young compared to the other. Their age must either be similar or proximate. People can easily notice a gap  when partners show affection in a public date. Signs of informal disapproval can be seen in their facial expressions when seeing a couple with big age gap.

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4. Social Desirability

Individuals who are themselves very socially desirable (physically attractive, personable, or possessing great material assets) will require that an appropriate partner will possess more social desirability than will a less socially desirable individual. If couples with different social desirability in a situation, couples with similar desirability will most likely date with one another (Walster et al, 1966).

Women Want More!

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Women are even more demanding than men with their dating partners. Aside from social desirability, they have much stronger preferences towards partners who demonstrate “financial management, ambition and industriousness, higher education, desire for children, high intelligence and capacity for parenting” (Williamson, 1965).

Because of women’s expectation of their partners’ financial security,  men tend to postpone their marriage just to achieve first a middle class social status. Dating and Courtship Patterns, Some Explorations, by Harold E. Smith, for instance, suggests that “owing to the needs of men to achieve some economic prosperity first, males more often than females in courtship postpone matrimony.”

Photo credit: Pexels.com, Pixabay.com

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