The plot of pretty much every 2000s movie goes something like this: A dweeby guy, after a series of huge misunderstandings, lands an extremely hot girl. Then, they seemingly live happily ever after. Of course, it all seems a bit too good to be true. And that’s because it probably is.
A new study from the University of Missouri suggests that people who have partners who are seen as just as attractive as them are more likely to have a successful relationship.
Sean Prall, an assistant professor of anthropology, went to Namibia to study the behavior of the Himba people — a tribe made up of agro-pastoralists, or people who practice both agriculture and livestock herding. During his time there, he theorized that within the tribe, the people who were considered by others to be the most attractive were more likely to begin a romance with each other.
To put his theories to the test, his research team interviewed people in the Himba community, basically asking who they thought was hot. After noting all their answers, the researchers gave everyone a “mate value,” which determined how likely people were to want to be in a relationship with them. Then, the researchers looked into how this compared to the participants’ relationship status.
What they found was that those who consistently topped the most attractive list were more likely to date each other and, ultimately, had stronger relationships in the long run. (This helps to explain why the hot girl whose DMs you keep sliding into isn’t responding. She’s just busy dating someone who is equally hot, sorry!)
But Prall said he was more interested in looking into people’s actions that led to them entering the relationships, rather than understanding their physical preferences. “This research focuses on people’s actions. Sure, you might say you’d prefer someone that’s deemed really desirable, but that’s heavily impacted by societal norms. What do you do in that relationship? How does it actually go? That was what we were looking at,” he explained to Technology Networks.
So, if you’re sexy and you know it, don’t settle for someone below your league (unless it’s true love). Be the star of your own aughts teen movie and live happily ever after with someone who is just the right amount of hot for you.