Time Makes the Heart Grow Fonder (and More Attractive, Typically)

posted: 07/02/15
by: Courtney Reimer

If you've ever seen a couple and thought "what's SHE doing with HIM" (or "what's HE doing with HER?"), the answer to your otherwise rhetorical question might be: time.

While the phrase "familiarity breeds contempt" might be popular in certain circles, in some ways familiarity can actually give people time to move beyond superficial first impressions and into more substantial, deeper connection. That's according to a study reported in The New York Times, in which researchers from the University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University analyzed the attractiveness level of couples ranging from many decades of marriage to just a few months. Here's what they found:

If they'd begun going out within a month of meeting, then they tended to be equally attractive physically. But if they'd been acquaintances for a long time, or if they'd been friends before becoming lovers, then someone hot was more liable to end up with someone not so hot.

This also bears out in a study conducted by the Kinsey Institute with Match.com in which 33 percent of men and 43 percent of women answered yes when asked if they had ever fallen in love with someone they did not initially find attractive. It's a phenomenon that's being referred to as "slow love" by scholars in this area.

But this phenomenon isn't limited to people who are supposedly mismatched on the attractiveness scale: beautiful newlyweds Audrey and Jeremy Roloff (of "Little People Big World" fame) also didn't experience love at first sight (or so they've said), which may come as a surprise to anyone who's ever flipped through their wedding photos. Romance times infinity!
Jeremy and Audrey are married
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Jeremy and Audrey are married! The happy couple wed on September 20, 2014 at the Roloff Farm.