While dating has become quite different from what it used to be even a few years ago, mostly due to the advances made in online dating applications, it might turn out that we’re still relying, albeit subconsciously, on the same mechanisms that are still in use by our less evolved cousins and even more distant relatives.
As animals set the “dating” rules in nature, some things remained unperturbed for hundreds of millions of years. Remember how some dinosaurs used some extra appendixes to make themselves look more impressive for their potential mates? How about peacocks and their tails, or monkeys and their intense arm waving?
Rules of attraction
In nature, pretty much everything has a purpose. So of course, so do the flashy manifestations of some species that, according to experts on the matter, are just trying to reproduce. Just like it has been for hundreds of millions of years, power attracts more mates. And few things are as big a display of power and statute in nature as size, or, at least, appearance of size.
So, some creatures have evolved frills, feathers, horns, or other similar such displays of dominance, most of which are used primarily for courting. And even though not all of the creatures with the biggest display always win the ladies, one thing is definitely relevant – the posture or the size, how big the animals actually appear.
And as with most things originating in nature in times long passed, some instincts have crossed over to us. According to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, a wider posture can improve your dating success. This is because it implies dominance and a willingness to share the resources given by your dominant position.
Speed dating and not-Tinder
In order to test this process called postural expansiveness, a team of researchers from UC Berkeley performed two studies. The first revolved around speed dating and the chances of getting a second date, while the second revolved around a “leading unnamed GPS-based online dating app”.
For the first study, the team analyzed 144 speed dating sessions, looking at the participants’ non-verbal cues. As it turns out, the posture was the biggest determinant, with those participants that made wide gestures and moved their arms a lot having nearly doubled the chances of getting a second date.
Meanwhile, for the second study, the researchers took six heterosexual participants and made two Tinder profiles for each of them. In the first set they were photographed in expansive poses, while in the second in contractive ones. As expected, those profiles (primarily of male participants) that had profile pictures featuring extended legs and outstretched arms were far more likely to be swiped right than those crouching or crossing their arms.
Image source: CyberLawCentre