Sad but true: Most people don't end up with the man or woman of their dreams.
We've been told for awhile now to let go of our "type," whether that's the ever-so-original tall, dark and handsome, the urban hipster (plaid shirt, ripped jeans and all) or the briefcase-carrying banker (ka-ching!). Being picky can cause you to overlook a great match and potentially keep you in a state of singledom…or so the thinking goes. Still, let's face it, most of us continue to hold onto our dreams of Mr. Perfect, however we personally envision him. Come on, we've been imagining him since we were ten!
But now a study confirms that there's really no point in having an "ideal type," because try as you might, you probably won't end up with him anyway. Researchers from the University of Sheffield in the U.K., found that the people we end up with aren't necessarily determined by individual preferences or, at least, physical preferences (read: the things we each find attractive, be it green eyes or big, burly muscles). The study looked at 116 couples comparing what each person considered the ideal body shape for the opposite sex with their actual partner's silhouette to see if what they liked is what they got. In other words, did men who liked curvy women, end up with curvy women? And did women who liked their men tall, end up with tall guys? How To Fall In Love With Mr. Good Enough
The short answer: no. This particular study only looked at body shape preferences, such as height, weight and BMI (basically body fat). Turns out that what both men and women said they preferred in terms of height, weight and BMI didn't exactly match up with their reality.
On average, men preferred females slightly taller, significantly lighter, and with lower BMI values than their actual partners. Depending on your level of cynicism, surprisingly or not so surprisingly, men preferred BMI values close to the cut-off value used by the World Health Organization to mark normal and underweight BMI. In other words, the guys found women just on the brink of starvation most attractive (yikes!), and in most cases, their partners' had far healthier curves.
So the next time your guy asks you why you can't just forget about your diet and order some pizza, I'd send him the study. Then I'd call Domino's, since it looks like no matter what he "finds attractive," he's gonna take what he can get anyway.
Sure, everyone's partners change over time—a reality for many couples, also known as post-marriage weight gain. But that's still pretty depressing. Think about it: You might find your man attractive to start (hello, toned muscle), but down the road, you may hardly even recognize him (beer belly, much?). Sigh. Wedded Weight Gain
For the ladies, the news wasn't much better. Female preferences for height and BMI were poor predictors of their partners' actual body shapes. In other words, the women who preferred tall, slender dudes, probably ended up with vertically-challenged guys with a few pounds to lose.
So yeah, the news is totally depressing—or totally freeing. Sure all that pickiness and time spent dreaming up Prince Charming doesn't seem to actually do much other than set us up for disappointment. And it looks like both men and women really do settle in some regard.
But then again, maybe it also goes to show that looks aren't really everything, and when it comes down to it, initial appearance may land you a first date, but other characteristics (personality, perhaps?) just may outweigh the superficial. And perhaps, both men and women are a whole lot deeper than we thought. Or maybe, we're all just lazy. But hey, at the very least you can stop being so self-conscious about your height or muffin top. So stop with the calorie-counting (if you haven't already) and start living a little—and that's pretty uplifting news to us. Picky People Can Find Love, Too