I once dated a guy that my friends referred to as an “Adonis.” It was great, until other women — people we knew, strangers, everyone — started asking me questions like “How did you get him?” And while he was sweet, I broke it off shortly after we began dating, because too many women made passes at him everywhere we went.
History, and now science, have vindicated me.
A new study in the academic journal “Personal Relationships” suggests that there are “relational repercussions of physical attractiveness,” and physically attractive people have shorter relationships and are more likely to experience divorce than physically unattractive people.
Researchers at Harvard University, University of La Verne, and Santa Clara University performed several experiments to explore the link between beauty and breakups.
In one of the experiments, female coders rated men based on facial attractiveness in their old high school yearbook photos from the 70s and 80s. The researchers then found the photographic subjects on Ancestry.com and found that those who had divorced were typically rated as more attractive than those that were still married. The second test was similar, but the women were ranking celebrities and researchers determined the physical attractiveness had a similar impact on their marriages.
“Past research has found that people who are in relationships tend to lose their wandering eye over time,” according to Broadly, Vice’s vertical on women’s experiences, and “because of this, the study’s authors sought to investigate whether more attractive people still maintain interest in alternative relationship options.”
So the “Personal Relationships” researchers performed a third test. They found that those who were more physically attractive and in a committed relationship still showed interest in outside romantic partners outside their relationships. This, the authors write, suggests attractiveness is a “relational liability insofar as it promotes perceived interest in alternative partners.” In other words, it’s pretty hard to settle down with a hot guy if you’re always worried he’s going to ditch you for a hotter girl. And now, science says he probably will.