Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Font Size

Looking for Love Doesn't Take Long

Men and Women Can Assess Potential Mates in 3 Minutes or Less
WebMD Health News

Feb. 11, 2005 - Looking for love may take much less time than most people think. A new study suggests that people can assess a potential mate in moments rather than months.

Researchers surveyed participants of a speed dating service and found that the men and women made their dating decisions based primarily on visible physical attributes, like height, weight, and attractiveness and placed relatively little importance on other factors.

"Although they had three minutes, most participants made their decision based on the information that they probably got in the first three seconds," says Robert Kurzban, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, in a news release. "Somewhat surprisingly, factors that you might think would be really important to people, like religion, education, and income, played very little role in their choices."

"Some people say they're looking for one kind of person, then choose another. Other people say they don't even know what they're looking for. But our data suggest that, however it happens, people know it quickly when they see it," says Kurzban. "People generally understand their own worth on the dating market, so they are able to judge each other's potential compatibility within moments of meeting."

The results of the study are scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

In the study, researchers analyzed surveys from 10,526 anonymous participants of HurryDate, a company that organizes "speed dating" sessions in which a group of about 25 men and 25 women has three minutes to interact with each other on a one-on-one basis and decide whether they'd be interested in contacting each other in the future by indicating a "yes" on their scorecard.

Researchers analyzed the percentage of "yeses" that a person received from a member of the opposite sex and found that women were much more selective than men. On average, men were selected by 34% of the women, and the women were selected by 49% of men.

The study also showed that physically observable traits were the biggest predictors of how often a person was selected as a desirable mate by the opposite sex.

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
Life Cycle of a Penis
HIV Myth Facts
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Couple in bed
6 Tips For Teens
Close-up of young man
screening tests for men
HPV Vaccine Future