Importance of Looks

Jasbina Ahluwalia asks Ty Tashiro, author of The Science of Happily Ever After: What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love: You have your pool to choose from. You put restrictors on it. They’re going to overlap. There could be a lot of missed opportunity.

Let’s say that someone is single and they have their three wishes. Why is it that people so often put looks and money at the top of the list when choosing a partner? What’s behind that?



Ty Tashiro

There is good reason for it. The best of us can be prone to it.

Importance of Looks: Psychological Research

The reason with the strongest evidence from the psychological research has to do with the idea that, for most of human history, our life expectancy was short. It was under 40 years. The chances that your partner could die at some point were relatively high.

Importance of Looks: Mating

If the goal was to further the species for the human race to continue on then we would be interested in mating, but also having our offspring reach reproductive age themselves and successfully reproduce.

That was far from guaranteed for thousands of years. Looks and money then become relevant.

Importance of Looks: Good Health

Looks were thought to be an outward indicator of genetic health.

People who are good looking, for example, oftentimes have symmetrical faces. This means that everything is lined up on the left-hand or right-hand side.

This was thought to be an indicator of genetic health. If someone was asymmetrical, that might be indicative of some dangerous genetic mutation that would be really threatening.

The evidence for this nowadays in wealthy countries is weak. Good-looking people don’t tend to live longer. Their health doesn’t tend to be any better than people who are less attractive.

Importance of Looks: Life Expectancy

In countries where the life expectancy is still low, there does tend to be stronger evidence that better-looking people have a little bit better health.

That was a long answer but we’re kind of hard-wired to look for physical attractiveness.

Importance of Looks and Resources

Resources are much the same way in the sense that, if it was hard to find drinkable water, food or shelter, which was the reality for most of human history, it would be great to partner up with someone who had a lot of resources, food, drinkable water, good shelter and could protect you.

That’s one of the reasons why we like people with resources. Once again, it’s something that was selected for.

We still tend to look for people who will help us survive even though, in modern day environments, survival is almost guaranteed.


Tell Us:

Did the importance of looks play a role in selecting your match? Tell us about your partners in the comments section.


The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Ty Tashiro

The entire interview transcript is at: Ty Tashiro Interview – What Really Matters in the Quest for Enduring Love

Listen to the entire interview on: Intersections Match Talk Radio – Jasbina’s Lifestyle Show

Listen to the entire interview on Blog Talk Radio: The Science Of Happily Ever After – Ty Tashiro

Listen to the entire interview on iTunes