Are You Looking for Love in All the Right Places?


Does it matter where you meet with an expected partner? Can it tell you something about who they are, and what they are looking for? New research has found that when individuals are seeking a mate at certain sites, they do so with particular character characteristics and with short term or long term intentions in mind.

New research that’s taken a lot of the guesswork from the mating game was conducted by Peter Jonason of the University of Western Sydney and his collaborators. There were three objectives:

to analyze where people go in search of short-term and long-term teammates;
To discover how character characteristics are linked to the tastes of specific venues to hunt for a partner; and
to figure out whether there are gender differences in the preferences of specific places in the search for a partner.
The investigators created an inventory of 50 sites or niches that were “, as they were referred to in this study ”, where folks might look for short term and/or long term mates, or relationship and sex partners. This sample was comprised of 100 pupils (70% female and 30% man) who attended the University of South Alabama, ranging in age from 18 to 38. Unexpectedly, the women and men in this sample mainly agreed on where to go locate a fling vs. a relationship.

Here are the Top Ten for each group, from most to least:

Long-term markets:

Fitness Center
Coffee shop
Volunteer groups

Shortterm niches:

Dance Club
Health Club
Fraternity party
Next, his team and Jonason analyzed how particular character characteristics linked to the preferences of these niches.
The participants were also asked to envision going to the places on the “niche list” and to rate how likely it would be to seek out a teammate at that site.

The traits of narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism (i.e, the Dark Triad) predicted more use of short term markets, but not use of long term niches. Moreover, the traits of agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness were correlated with going to long term niches.

Jonason and his team also examined how successful participants were in finding short-term and long term mates in these various niches by having them rate it on a scale from 1 to 5, and simply asking participants about each. They also had participants complete a questionnaire assessing Dark Triad traits, to see these characteristics that are exploitative and opportunistic may come across conjugating environments. The sample was made up of 472 American individuals, 56% male and 44% female, ranging in age from 18 to 72 years old.

The results were stunning. The characteristic of narcissism appeared to drive mating success in short-term markets. And there was one important gender difference I Will refer to as the “wedding crasher” effect: Men reported more success at finding short-term mates at weddings than girls did, and the overall results implied that narcissistic people may use weddings, classes, and the seashore to seek long term mates, and that those high on measures of psychopathy may specially use weddings to find long-term mates. Eventually, in accordance with the findings, if you desire to steer away from Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and individuals possessing the characteristics of narcissism, volunteer. There were no associations between the niche of volunteer groups and the characteristics that contain the Dark Triad.

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