Dating and mate selection

Homogamy is the tendency for dates, mates, and spouses to pair off with someone of similar attraction, background, interests, and needs. They find and pair off with persons of similarity more than difference. Heterogamy is the dating or pairing of individuals with differences in traits.

Have you ever heard the colloquial phrase, "opposites attract? He likes water skiing and I like camping and hiking…" I interrupted her and said, "So you both like ethnic food, music, and outdoors. All of us pair off with heterogamous and homogamous individuals with emphasis more on the latter than the former.

To help you better understand this let’s learn a few key principles that apply to the realistic processes we use to date and mate select.

When we see people we filter them as either being in or out of our pool of eligibles. We might include some because of tattoos and piercing or exclude some for the exact same physical traits.

These include slightly above average desirable traits and symmetry in facial features.

According to the Centers for Disease Control the average man in the United States is 5 foot 10 inches tall and weighs about 177 pounds.

Filtering is the process of identifying those we interact with as either being in or out of our pool of people we might consider to be a date or mate. We might include some because they know someone we know or exclude the same people because they are total strangers.

Am I excluded from the date and mate selection market? There is a principle that I have found to be the most powerful predictor of how we make our dating and mating selection choices--homogamy. Our mates resemble our parents more because we resemble our parents and we tend to look for others like ourselves.The average woman is about 5 foot 4 inches tall and weighs about 144 pounds. Most of us tend to compare ourselves to averages or to others we know.That’s how we come to define our personal level of attractiveness.I often ask my students how they met and when they tell their stories I help them to identify the geography that was involved in the process.Physical appearance is subjective and is defined differently for each individual.

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