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Matchmakers much preferred couples to be similar in weight, and thought they had made a bad match when partners were dissimilar in weight.
Advice for Mixed-Weight Couples In a third study, the researchers tested whether mixed-weight couples receive different dating advice than similar-weight couples.
From now on, I’ll just refer to "higher BMI" and "lower BMI" avatars.
Half of the time, the volunteers saw avatars that matched in weight: Both had higher, or both lower, BMI.
The volunteers read a description of a dating website user.
This description included information about the user’s weight.
The results of the experiment showed that matchmakers had chosen heavier partners for heavier users.
When the user had a lower BMI, the volunteers chose, on average, a partner with a BMI of 22; when the user had a higher BMI, the volunteers chose partners with BMIs around 32. When volunteers were shown avatars of their matched couples, they rated couples with similar weights at around 6 out of 8, regardless of whether both partners were heavier or lighter.
But when one partner had a high BMI and the other a low BMI, scores were much lower—around 3 out of 8.
Many people hold fast to the idea that opposites attract, but in reality, couples are usually more similar than dissimilar.
There’s a wealth of evidence suggesting that couples match on intelligence, attitudes, and physical attributes such as attractiveness and height. We shouldn’t be surprised to see couples who are different in personality or appearance.