You’re so picky!

Women have gotten used to hearing about how “picky” they are, thanks to “well established evolutionary explanations” that point to women as the more discerning sex because of our irksome, responsibility-laden wombs. (Hmmm, should I select the toothless, out-of-work alcoholic with anger issues as the future father of my child or go with the reliable bank vice president with green eyes and a fabulous smile?)

But new research out of Northwestern University suggests that choosiness in mate selection has nothing to do with gender and everything to do with power. According to a story in Science Daily, when researchers assigned women the “traditionally male role” of approaching romantic partners, they were “not any pickier than men in choosing that special someone to date.”

The research, conducted during a speed dating event (a phrase that totally makes me yearn to become a social scientist), featured 350 undergrads who each took turns at the “dominant dater” role. In half the events, the men moved from table to table while the women stayed put. In the other half, women roamed the joint, hopping from date to date. Afterwards, everybody provided info about their various encounters, including their level of romantic interest, whether they’d like to see the person again and how self-confident they felt about the whole she-bang (so speak). And that’s where things got interesting, i.e.,

Regardless of gender, those who rotated experienced greater romantic desire for their partners, compared to those who sat throughout the event. The rotators, compared to the sitters, tended to have a greater interest in seeing their speed-dating partners again.

Associate professor of psychology at Northwestern and co-investigator of the study Eli Finkel explained it thus: “The mere act of physically approaching a potential partner, versus being approached, seemed to increase desire for that partner.” He went on to talk about how “our physical activity and psychological processes interface in ways that are outside our conscious awareness” and emphasized that the results of this study “strongly suggest that the mere act of approaching a potential love interest can boost desire.” 

In other words, sitting around passively waiting for Mr. Right to approach may mean you’ll be stuck in that chair for months (or even years). Walking across the room to chat up some guy, on the other hand, may magically turn him into Mr. Right. Voila! 

Here’s hoping the speed-dating outfits will take note and revamp the whole “ladies in waiting” motif they seem so fond of (sounds like it would produce a lot more happy customers). And that women everywhere will realize that true love may not be so much about pickiness, but about pickups.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s the story?

Meet Diane Mapes, your friendly neighborhood freelance writer. My beats include health (with an emphasis on cancer prevention, treatment and survivorship) and lifestyle and singles issues, but I also love writing about history, natural history, pop culture and TV/film. On this site, you'll find links to stories, praise for my writing (*blush*) and the odd bit of social commentary about the single life. Also here, a few shameless plugs for my books (hint: see links below). Have fun, glad you're here and hope to hear from you soon.

Oh! And if you're looking for my breast cancer blog, go to Double_Whammied

Check out my books!

How to Date in a Post-Dating World A dating manual for the modern, mangled single.

Single State of the Union
Single women speak out on life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Follow me on Twitter!

June 2009
« May   Jul »

%d bloggers like this: