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Looking for love?
Be choosy

Looking for love?
Be choosy

Indiscriminate attraction is a turnoff, say researchers at Northwestern University. Desiring all potential partners is likely to result in widespread rejection. Conversely, finding one person more desirable than all others is a surer way to find love.

To study dynamics in the opening minutes of romantic attraction, researchers had 156 undergraduate students participate in speed-dating sessions. The students each spent four minutes with nine to 13 individuals of the opposite sex. Immediately following each "date," they completed a questionnaire, responding to statements such as "I really liked my interaction partner" and "I was sexually attracted to my interaction partner."

"People who like everyone, unlike in a friendship context where they generally are liked in return, may exude desperation in a romantic context," said Eli J. Finkel, a study author and a Northwestern assistant professor of psychology. Added Paul W. Eastwick, the lead author of the study and a Northwestern graduate student in psychology: "It suggests to us that romantic desire comes in two distinct flavors: selective and unselective. If your goal is to get someone to notice you, the unselective flavor is going to fail, and fast." (The Advocate)

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