You knew this already, didn’t you? And you’re wondering why I am doing a post on this saturated topic. But hear me out, and you might be pleasantly surprised. You see, a little known fact about me that I will share with you, is that I love psychology! Psychology is the study of people. Psychologists have these cool theories that try to describe human behaviour (and for those interested, sometimes even change human behaviour). So of course whenever I come across a psychology theory about dating, attraction or relationships, I’m all over it!
Take for instance, the matching hypothesis. The matching hypothesis states that we tend to date people who we think are equally as attractive as we are. I can believe this too when I spot attractive looking couples. Have you ever seen an attractive looking couple together? Such couples are usually hard to miss because of the combined level of attractiveness between the two people. I always wondered how two good-looking people managed to find each other in a sea of daters. Is there a dating website restricted to attractive people only? (Actually there are tons of these, but even before such websites existed, attractive people still were able to find other attractive partners.)
So how did they do it? There is no secret formula to it; it’s a matter of perception. Such people thought they themselves were of a certain level of attractiveness and as a result sought partners who matched their level of attractiveness. (Note that this does not imply that these people were actively seeking out partners who matched their attractiveness, rather they tended to choose partners who matched their level of attractiveness.) In terms of what is considered attractive, it’s basically a general agreement that certain people were blessed with the right physical attributes in the right places! Think Brad Pitt or Jennifer Lopez here.
In terms of applying the matching hypothesis for yourself then, this means that if you think you are attractive, you will choose a person who you also think is attractive. If you think you are average, you will choose a partner you think is average. Finally, if you think you are ugly, guess what kind of partner you are going to choose. Get the picture?
So this led me to wonder about my husband and I’s situation. Where did we fall according to the matching hypothesis? Well, there were 4 possible scenarios:
- If I thought my husband was hot and I thought I was hot, we would have no problem approaching each other.
- If I thought I was hot, but my husband was just average, I would have set my sights on someone slightly better looking (if we’re strictly focusing on looks here).
- If I thought both of us were average, then we would also have no problem approaching each other!
- If I thought my husband was hot and I wasn’t, I would have never, ever had the guts to approach him. Why? Because I would worry about being rejected. I have a hard enough time dealing with rejection, but rejection based on how I look? No thank you!
Clearly #1 and #3 were both very likely scenarios in our relationship, otherwise we would have never approached each other to begin with! So……I could say that Prince Charming has found his Cinderella, OR I could say that Shrek has found his Fiona. Regardless of the analogy I use, in both scenarios, each spouse still thinks their other-half is ALL that and a bag of chips!