Attractive, Smart and Unlucky In Love?

Are you attractive, smart and unlucky in love? Well, according to new research published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, you are not unlucky in love, you are turning others off.

It’s really you.

You have so many positive qualities but the one or two negative qualities you have are enough for others to avoid pursuing romantic relationships with you.

Researcher examining how people evaluate potential mates found that although people typically think about potential mates in terms of their positive traits, they still give more weight to negative qualities than to positive ones. One or two negative qualities can be enough for others to avoid pursuing romantic relationships with someone.

“We have a general tendency to attend more closely to negative information than we do to positive information,” said Gregory Webster, one of the study’s authors and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Florida.

Using information from six independent studies — the University of Florida, Western Sydney University, Indiana University, Singapore Management University and Rutgers University, the researchers determined that the top deal breakers for people making decisions about potential partners were (in no particular order):

  • unattractiveness
  • unhealthy lifestyle
  • undesirable personality traits
  • differing religious beliefs
  • limited social status
  • differing mating strategies
  • differing relationship goals

They were quick to point out that a deal breaker for one person may be a dealmaker for another.

For example, if a person is impulsive, some will be attracted to that quality and think of it as a dealmaker, while others who prefer people who are predictable may not look so kindly on that trait.

The researchers also evaluated deal breakers in non-romantic relationships. The effect of negative traits in friendship is not as strong as in romantic relationships, but some deal breakers, like dishonesty, are avoided consistently in all situations.

“A lot of times, just by avoiding negative traits, people will probably be fairly well off — maybe even more well off — than if they were trying to optimize the best potential partner”.

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