I must say I got a chuckle out of when this article was assigned to us; right around the time when everyone is thinking, maybe not consciously but subconsciously about their partner preferences. These criteria to which all potential candidates for companionship are measured against vary from person to person. Also, how strictly they are followed varies from scenario to scenario. For example, if I were to meet someone in person they may get a totally different impression than if they just looked at a facebook or dating profile. Unless someone has a predisposed reason to not like someone there is a good chance that they may hit it off despite the variance from their “ideal date.” Physical attractiveness is kind of the wild card so to speak in this equation because people may be more likely to tolerate less desirable traits to be with “a hottie.” Personally, attractiveness may be the reason i initially get to know a girl but it certainly isn’t why I date one.
The context of the encounter matters a lot. When people meet in person they have a different perspective of the person that allows the person to be seen as a whole. I feel like when people are judged based on a set of criteria, like on a dating website or how we have biased views on facebook, we start to judge people on a point system of sorts. I found an an article that talked about at what point into couple’s marriages they knew what characteristics were most important to them which was surprisingly early, mostly within the first couple years.
Eastwick, P. W., Finkel, E. J., & Eagly, A. H. (2011). When and why do ideal partner preferences affect the process of initiating and maintaining romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101, 1012-1032.
Choo, E. and A. Siow (2006): “Who Marries Whom and Why,” Journal of Political Economy, 114 (1), 175-201.