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Appearance And Common Values Are Not That Important, According To The Data Collected

Appearance And Common Values Are Not That Important, According To The Data Collected

Your image of the perfect date may go something like this: A peaceful evening with a handsome man or a beautiful woman at your favorite quaint restaurant. The food is delicious and the conversation is enjoyable. You find that you have a lot of common values and interests.

If this is your assumption, then you may want to think again. A recent article that talks about the dating website OkCupid has shown that good looks and core values don’t have any effect on one’s dating experience.

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How The Experiment Was Launched

The App: “Crazy Blind Date”

“Love is Blind Day” was launched by OkCupid on January 15, 2013; on this day all the user’s profile pictures were hidden from view. The day was held in as a promotion for a new mobile app called Crazy Blind Date. The app would send users on a blind date where the only thing they knew about their dating partners were their names.

Interesting Findings

Approximately 10,000 people used the app. As there was a post-date questionnaire interesting data about blind dates was collected. Christian Rudder, the co-founder of OKCupid and author of the book Dataclysm reveals that people generally like blind dates and, this is the interesting part, looks and how attractive a person was did not matter.

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Rudder states: “The two people’s looks had almost no effect on whether they had a good time. No matter which person was better-looking or by how much—even in cases where one blind-dater was a knockout and the other rather homely—the percent of people giving the dates a positive rating was constant.”

So the attractiveness of a person did not affect the level of enjoyment experienced by the two people on the date.

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What We Think We Like vs What We Really Like

What is not surprising is that when profile pictures are available people will choose to go on dates with good looking people. This may, however, not be doing them any favors as looks itself seems does not equate with having a good time. So what we think we will like and what we actually like may be two distinct things. This idea is explored by Rudder in his book Dataclysm.

Sam McNerney explains:
“Dataclysm is a book about a curious aspect of human behavior: the rift between what we think we’ll like, and what we actually like—what we say versus what we actually feel and do.”

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Are common core values important?

Many people, when asked, will say that for a relationship to be successful both people need to share the same core values. For example, if someone is an avid vegan they are less likely to go out with a meat eater. However, core values may play a more minor role than we think.

Rudder says that the answer to mundane icebreakers such as “Do you like scary movies?” and “Have you ever traveled alone to another country?” can indicate if a relationship will last or not. If both couples have the same answers, be it yes or no, the relationship is likely to stand the test of time.

Summation

So next time you go on a date with someone perhaps you should consider going with an unexpected choice. You may like to consider someone who, in your eyes, is ordinary looking or someone who has different values to your own. Going against your instincts may yield surprising and positive results. You may find yourself enjoying the date to a greater extent than you would have ever anticipated. As Steve Jobs said: a lot of times we don’t know what we want until we experience it.

Featured photo credit: Huffington post via huffingtonpost.ca

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Rebecca Beris

Rebecca is a wellness and lifestyle writer at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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