According to NYMag.com, researchers found that "while those who had begun going out recently were rated as equally physically attractive, there was often a clear 'hot one' in couples who had known each other for extended periods of time (as friends or acquaintances) before they became involved romantically."This is two pieces of good news disguised as one, because a) you've potentially already met your future husband but haven't realized you're in love with him yet, and b) if you meet someone painfully more attractive than you, you can wear him down with years of friendship and subtly make him love you.
The study focused on couples who were dating or married, and had been together from anywhere from three months to 53 years; their individual physical appearance (as assessed by undergrad coders, who obviously know what they're doing in that department); and how well and how long the couple knew each other before coupling up.
Their belief was that the couples were examining factors other than appearance when choosing each other, or, as lead researcher Lucy Hunt put it, "Maybe it's the case that beauty is partially in the eye of the beholder, especially as time passes."The study also didn't see any connection between each person being the same level of hot and how happy they were together, so hooray! One of the more infamous moments was an episode where Lena Dunham’s character Hannah hooks up with an attractive, older doctor played by Patrick Wilson for a weekend-long sex-spree. The Internet lost its collective shit over the idea that someone who looked like Lena Dunham could stand a chance of getting within such a thing is tantamount to sacrilege.Of course, everyone on the Internet took this in without even blinking, accepting that people are complex and varied in their desires and understanding that attraction is a complicated beast. To judge by the collective outrage over the episode, you would’ve thought that Dunham had murdered Ned Stark while dressed as Hitler and simultaneously shooting kittens out of a cannon that was also on fire.Whenever we see someone who isn’t conventionally attractive dating somebody who is more attractive we often dismiss the relationship as somehow invalid; clearly he has money, or a high-status job or some other external quality that the more attractive partner desires enough that she is willing to put up with having to toss the cave troll a handy every now and then.It’s impossible – or so the assumptions go – that perhaps she’s legitimately attracted to him, that attractiveness and desire are about more than just the accepted definitions of good looks.