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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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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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