Have you ever looked at a couple like Paulina Porizkova and Ric Ocasek-or any other pair with seemingly imbalanced beauty-and think, Why is she with him? We admit, it has crossed our minds, and the minds of the researchers at the University of Tennessee. They wanted to understand why beautiful women marry less attractive men, and what it means for the relationship.
Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but researchers relied on universal standards such as facial symmetry and waist-to-hip ratios to determine the attractiveness of their subjects. That said, the reasearchers observed 82 20-something couples who were recently married but had been together at least three years before wedding. Each spouse discussed a personal problem for 10 minutes, and their partner’s supportiveness was assessed.
When the husband was more attractive than the wife, both spouses were noticeably unsupportive of each other’s problems. This could be chalked this up to the man’s possible “grass is always greener” outlook, and the woman’s ability to sense-and resent-that. But when the wife was more attractive than the husband, the couple was much more encouraging.
Researchers say women value supportiveness over appearance. As for the men, the study author say that a husband who’s less physically attractive than his wife is exceeding his own expectations and receiving something greater than he’s providing at that level. Therefore, he’ll work harder to maintain that relationship.
What do you think? Are you perceived as much more attractive than your partner? How does that affect your relationship? Tell us by leaving a comment below.
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