Skip to content

    Health & Sex

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Speed Dating? It Pays to Be Picky

    Act Desperate, and They're Just Not That Into You, Speed-Dating Study Shows
    By
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    Feb. 8, 2007 -- When speed dating, eagerness isn't an asset.

    That love lore doesn't come from Dear Abby (though she might agree). Instead, it's from researchers, including Eli Finkel, PhD, of Northwestern University.

    "Romantic desire comes in two distinct flavors: selective and unselective," Finkel says in a Northwestern news release. "If your goal is to get someone to notice you, the unselective flavor is going to fail, and fast."

    To reach this conclusion, Finkel and colleagues set up four-minute "speed dates" for 156 single undergraduates, roughly half of whom were women.

    Each student went on nine to 13 speed dates with suitors of the opposite sex.

    Immediately after each speed date, they rated their date's romantic likeability, sexual attractiveness, and perceived selectivity in choosing matches at the speed-dating event.

    Match or Miss

    When the students went home, they visited a web site and checked "yes" or "no" to indicate whether they wanted to meet their speed dates again. They could vote "yes" for as many dates as they wished.

    If they and their speed date both voted "yes," they received each other's contact information.

    Students who voted "yes" for most of their speed daters didn't get many matches.

    But selective speed daters -- those who found a few needles in the haystack -- tended to hear "yes" back from the rare person that interested them.

    "People who like everyone, unlike in a friendship context where they generally are liked in return, may exude desperation in a romantic context," Finkel says in a Northwestern news release.

    The study is scheduled for publication in Psychological Science's April edition.

    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
    Article
    HIV Myth Facts
    Slideshow
     
    How Healthy is Your Sex Life
    Quiz
    Couple in bed
    Video
     
    6 Tips For Teens
    Article
    Close-up of young man
    Article
     
    screening tests for men
    Slideshow
    HPV Vaccine Future
    Article