Dating and relationships are a bit of a gamble — you go out there with high hopes, ready to throw yourself into love head first, but you still don’t know how things are going to work out, or even if they will. There’s always a chance that you’re planning a future with a guy that will never come, leaving you alone with several wasted years behind you. And while you may think you can’t tell what you’re getting into when you first meet a guy, a new study published in Social Science Research says differently — turns out, you can predict the marrying type.
University of Miami sociology professor Michael T. French studied longitudinal data of over 9,000 people from adolescence through young adulthood from 1994, when they were all in middle school, to 2009, when they were all grown up and aged between 29 and 34. The participants were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 on their looks, personality, and personal hygiene/grooming — in other words, the things that would be likely to first attract you to a person rather than the intricacies of their personalities that you’d most likely only get to see after getting to know them more deeply.
While men who rated higher on the attractiveness scale were more likely to get married, in general, high scores on only one of the three criteria made men or women more likely to tie the knot. Instead, researchers basically found if you’re lacking in one area, you could make up for it by scoring highly in another and have just as much of a chance of settling down. In other words, you don’t have to be hot to score a husband or wife — having an amazing personality or a great sense of personal style/presentation (or both) is just as effective.
“Though certainly not definitive, these results suggest that individuals may be able to trade-off different personal traits to enhance their competitiveness in generating offers and finding a suitable mate,” the study says. “The results also suggest they may be able to compensate for a deficiency in one desirable trait by enhancing the presence of another. For example, a person lacking in physical attractiveness may choose to invest more in grooming in order to become a more attractive partner.”
Basically, what makes someone marriage material is pretty simple: be either hot, have a great personality, or clean up well — or a moderate combination of all three. When you look at it like that, it seems like there’s hope for all of us, right?