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After all, the point of online dating is eventually to meet someone offline – and it costs more time and money to meet someone who lives further away.
Proximity matters because it increases the chances people will interact and come to feel part of the same “social unit”. People perceived to be physically attractive get asked out on dates more often and receive more messages on online dating sites.
Chat-up lines may sound like a bit of fun, but all romantic relationships are built on reciprocal self-disclosure – the mutual exchange of intimate information with a partner.
Deciding when and how to disclose intimate information to a new partner is an important part of every romantic relationship and can be the difference between an honest, healthy relationship or a closed, stunted one. Giving the impression of dislike is unlikely to spark attraction because it goes against the grain of reciprocity.
Being nice can even make a person seem more physically attractive. Consuming alcohol, for example, really can make everyone else appear more physically attractive.
It turns out that both women and men value traits such as kindness, warmth, a good sense of humour, and understanding in a potential partner – in other words, we prefer people we perceive as nice.
Human psychology is too complex to reduce to rules or laws of attraction – but that’s not the same as saying that there’s nothing to be gained from understanding the processes involved in attraction.
Understanding the science of attraction can’t guarantee you a date tonight, but it can point the way towards forming mutually benefiting relationships with other people. Well, first, it turns out that one of the strongest predictors of whether any two people will form a relationship is sheer physical proximity.
But when someone agrees with us, they validate our worldviews and as result we want continuing contact with that person.
Knowing all this, is it possible to predict with any accuracy whether two people will form a stable relationship? One the difficulties with these sorts of predictions is that relationships are complex and often messy.